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Thread: New to the forum and two questions

  1. #1
    blockhead Guest

    Default New to the forum and two questions

    I've been peeking in on this forum from time to time this past winter. Great information and advice!

    My uncle belongs to a private lake and the crappie fisherman do well there from the docks. My questions are these and there're simple ones, so try not to beat me up too bad for them--when fishing using minnows, is there a type and size hook that works best? Also, the lake is deep, 15-20 ft., how do I find where the crappie are holding

    Thanks

  2. #2
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    Fairly small and thin like a 8 or maybe a 6 would be ok or you could just use jigs in 1/32 or 1/16 if you need the extra weight. They come with a variety of hook sizes too. Some brands even make crappie hooks you can have a look at.

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    I'm not much on shiners but have used when things are really slow. Try using a couple of poles at different depths and locate any type of under water structure till you get a bite. Patience is the best thing of all. Try different things till you find what works for you on that particular body of water. You'll be surprised at what you can learn that others on the same body of water haven't seen. :p :p

  4. #4
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    Welcome to the forum.

    As for hook size I personally like the #4 or #2 size Gold Thin Wire type hooks. They are small enought to get inside the crappies mouth and they have a big enough gap to help the hook catch the crappies mouth or lips when I set the hook. Some smaller hooks will work ok too. I just grew up using these size hook. But I have caught fish using a #22 size hook on a fly when fly fishing.

    For bluegills who have much smaller mouths I like the #10 size hook with the long shanks.

    If the lake is only 20ft deep at the max and not very big then during the hottest parts of the summer and during the coldest parts of the winter I would find the fish in the deeper water. During the hot summer months you want to look for the coolest water that still has enough Dissolved Oxygen. Fish will not be found below a thermocline and small deep lakes will most likey have a thermocline. The water below the thermocline will be colder but lack suffecient dissolved oxygen so fish may not be using that area of the lake. Water right above the thermocline would be where the fish will stay. If you find an structure that comes up from the bottom of the lake and though the thermocline and extending above the thermocline then I would look there.

    During the winter the fish will be found near the bottom of the lake especially if there is ice on the surface. The very bottom of the lake will have the densese water and during times of ice on the surface that bottom water is the warmest water in the lake. Water at 4 deg C (39 deg F)is more dense and also water than water at the surface that is at 0 Deg C. (32 deg F)

    You may find that others have different favorite size hook. If the hook hooks the fish then it's done it's job no matter what size it is. Some hook sized are just more effecient at hooking crappie than other. Remember that a crappie has a pretty big mouth opening when they eat a minnow. Crappie also prefer to eat the minnows head first but will not hesitate to grab a minnow anyway it can. But I have noticed that if they grab the minnow tail first they will cough it up at times and reeat it. They may also try to rearrange the minnow inside the mouth. The crappie will shake his head when he does this as if trying to shift the minnow around inside his mouth. I have observed crappie eating minnows for the last 14 months now. I have some crappie in an aquarium that I feed minnows to. That is how I know how they eat minnows. I have seen one black crappie grab a minnow and try to reagragne the minnow in it's mouth for several seconds then spit the minnow back out and then inhale the minnow back in head first. And yes minnow scales fill the water when a crappie eats a minnow. Those scales reflect the sunlight and can be seen floating in the water. I am sure that the other crappie can see these scales if there is enough sunlight getting into the water.


    At this time of the year the crappie may be found on the north shoreline in the shallower waters as they are warming up first. There should be no thermocline at this time of the year in the Northern Hemisphere unless you are in florida or South Texas right now. Even there it may not be hot enough to have a thermocline develop this early in the spring. I could be wrong on this as I am just guessing about the Florida and Texas Waters.

    Quote Originally Posted by blockhead
    I've been peeking in on this forum from time to time this past winter. Great information and advice!

    My uncle belongs to a private lake and the crappie fisherman do well there from the docks. My questions are these and there're simple ones, so try not to beat me up too bad for them--when fishing using minnows, is there a type and size hook that works best? Also, the lake is deep, 15-20 ft., how do I find where the crappie are holding

    Thanks
    Regards,

    Moose1am

  5. #5
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    I have been told not to use shiners in a pond. Supposedly if they reproduce they will take over the pond and grow to large for a lot of the game fish to eat. My son has a pond and we buy minnows to feed the bass. I was told not to buy shiners for the reason stated above.
    I use #2 hooks and keep all colors. Experiment with depth by using a slip float and bobber stop. If you need to cast a long way there are weighted floats available or use different size floats with appropriate weight.



  6. #6
    blockhead Guest

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    Thank you all for the great suggestions! I will contact the fishing club from the lake and ask whether or not they discourage the use of shiners, although I have seen other fishermen using them there. I also intent to try many of the artificial baits I have read about in this forum. Thanks again for all the responses and your advice!

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by whizkids
    I have been told not to use shiners in a pond. Supposedly if they reproduce they will take over the pond and grow to large for a lot of the game fish to eat. My son has a pond and we buy minnows to feed the bass. I was told not to buy shiners for the reason stated above.
    I use #2 hooks and keep all colors. Experiment with depth by using a slip float and bobber stop. If you need to cast a long way there are weighted floats available or use different size floats with appropriate weight.
    I'm not 100% positive, but I believe if they are a true shinners they will do very little harm to a pond. It's when bait stores sell "creek run" minnows and you get the young of rough fish is what creates most of the problem.

    I'm sure some of our Southern fishermen can shed more light on the subject than I can.

  8. #8
    CrappiePappy's Avatar
    CrappiePappy is offline Super Moderator - 2013 Man Of The Year * Crappie.com Supporter
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    Lightbulb I've seen ....

    hooks from tiny little "baitholder" #8's, up to #2/0 used ... and I have a hook/sinker box full of various different sizes. When I use minnows on a hook/sinker set-up ... generally I am using a #1 Eagle Claw sproat hook - light wire, bronze colored (esp if fishing around wood). If I'm fishing in open water, I may go up to a #2 gold. A lot of times it depends on what I'm fishing "around", and other times it's how big the minnow is.
    One of the ways to find out where the Crappie are holding ... is to cast and swim a jig - covering water area and different depths. Generally, you can expect the Crappie to be around cover....shallow in the Spring, and under lowlight conditions - deep in Summer/Winter. But - those docks offer shade, and draw baitfish/fry ... you could find them "under" the docks, most any time of the year (esp if there's good water depth under them, brush, or if the dock has underwater supports. Even a floating dock creates shade - so don't discount them.
    Fish on the shaded side - in corners - around support posts - "under" the dock (or pontoon boat, if one is parked there). Try using a 1/32-1/16oz weedless jig .... cast it along the inner and outer edges, or slingshot it up under the dock/pontoon. Just reel it back in very slowly, and watch your line ... if it jumps or goes slack (and you're sure it's not on the bottom or bumping into cover) - set the hook !! ..........luck2ya .....cp

  9. #9
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    If the lake does not already have a threadfin shad population then stay away from using them. I have fished a private lake for many years and It was the best crappie lake I had ever seen. About 4-5 years ago somehow threadfin shad got in there and now there are so many that its hard to catch a crappie except for those times of year when they move off of the shad schools. I researched a little and these shad have corrupted many small lakes and are almost impossible to get rid of.
    Michael Holden

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