32° 50.395’ N
96° 28.214’ W
Those are the coordinates to the Shell station in Heath, Texas where you will find the best breakfast burritos on the planet!
I grew up fishing for bluegill and LMB on Murvaul, catfish on the Sabine when the river was “right”, and catching crappie by accident. After chasing sandies and hybrids last year, I decided this would be the year I would learn to catch crappie on purpose. After lurking around this site for a little over a year, I have learned a lot but still have a lot to learn.
Although I've learned a lot and gained confidence, I'm still only picking up a few fish from each tree. That can make for a long day. So, after drooling over the reports here from the big dogs and then reading a lot about building brush piles, I decided it was time for me to give it a try.
Last week I built two and put them next to underwater trees 30 to 50 feet from visible trees that have consistently produced for me … but not in great numbers. Before dropping them, I scanned the structures with DI and marked few or no fish. Then I fished them for about five minutes just to see. After no bites at either place, down they went.
The next evening I just had to go see. So I eased past BP1 under trolling motor power. And what did I see? … Fish! Marked quite a few from near the bottom up to 8 feet deep in 18 FOW with a cluster between the 10 to 15 foot marks. On the first drop I felt a faint tic. And after a couple of minutes hooked up to a dink. After a few more minutes of light bites and no fish, I moved on. But, I moved on with the satisfaction of catching my first crappie off of a brush pile I built and placed and brimming with confidence that I had picked a good place that with time could become a decent producer.
The next hour was spent dipping trees. Picked up a few drinks and two almost-legals. It was hot, the wind had died, and the shade of a distant bridge looked inviting. On the first drop I got that satisfying thump and boated the first keeper of the afternoon. I had to measure him and wondered whether he would have been too short a week ago. The next two were solid keepers. So, with three in the well and a fast bite, I never measured another fish. When in doubt, throw it it out. Caught 24 crappie and ended up with 8 in the box after about an hour. With the Sun headed for the horizon I called it a day … a good day!
My sincere thanks go out to all those who are willing and are able to take the time to share. Y’all sure have helped this newbie.
Wood fish were caught 10’ deep in 16-18 FOW
Concrete fish were caught 14-16’ deep in 18-22 FOW
All fish thumped a BG Baby Shad in Emerald Shad or BG Slab Dockt’r in Blue Ice.
First brush pile crappie.