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#11511350 - 03/30/16 12:49 PM Guided Crappie Spawn Trips- Tips Tricks and Pics (Wade or Boat)
TarponFly Online   content
TFF Celebrity

Registered: 04/28/05
Posts: 8234
Loc: Dallas, TX

Guided Crappie Fishing-$300/ 2 people 4 hours

Additional persons $75.00

Its that time of year again! The fish are starting to come shallow and we are getting limits of these tasty fish. The male crappie aggressively defends their nests from other fish or anything they perceive might be an egg eater or threat to the nest. If a fish gets to close, the defending male chases it, the male will bite at the other fish until it leaves the area. I have seen them nip at passing gar that were 4 foot long. Most crappie caught during the spawn, strike the bait not because it represents food but because it has invaded into their spawning beds. They will slam you lure or bait and swim out of the spawning bed and spit it back. Then, the male will return to the bed. If you miss a bite, drop back in the exact spot and he will eventually hit it again when he gets pissed off. If the fish felt the hook, come back to the exact spot 30 mins later and I bet you get him! Males protect the just-hatched fry and continue attacking anything near the nest. Therefore, they remain easy to catch on baits and lures for a week or more, after Spawning activities come to an end. -But that science will might never know, -when they actually end.

Google Earth is your friend-You can also look at bottom contour map to find your own honey holes. Look for submerged creek channels near shore. Crappie follow channels from deep water to shallow and use them like highways to get to spawning grounds. Shallow water in backs of feeder creeks and coves, stump rows or barb wire, old fence lines, weed lines, ditches, veggitation, the green slimy stuff is not your friend. The main thing to look for is shallow water with abundant cover with a great bottom. Meaning Gravel being best. Look for spots you don't sink more than 2-3 inches and there is hard bottom under it.

Temps that I tend to follow:

55 degrees: waiting in creek channels 15-20 ft
58 degrees: moving shallower 8-12 ft
59 degrees: moving shallow 2-7 ft
60 degrees: males and females moving in fanning out beds
61 degrees: females start coming in periodically laying eggs
62-65: Full Blown Spawn is happing.

Cold Fronts:

Not my favorite type of weather day. Typically I wait two days after a hard cold front. I am sure we should be done with the bad ones. But sometimes the front will lock jaw them.


*Fish will hide under logs, ledges, boats, docks, to keep from getting wet.
*Run-off washes food to them since they are shallow making them happy, and staining the water making them less spooky.
*Light sprinkle of a rain is very good, air pressure should be falling at this time too.
*A heavy rain will spook them.
*Hail will spook them and it hurts.
*Thunder will spook them, lightning will kill you.

Where to look:

Cattails reed, shallow gravel bottom areas, swim beaches, shallow coves, rip rap, lilly pads...etc. The list goes on and on. Every lake has a slightly different pattern.

Rip Rap; ( means rocks and boulders along the shoreline )

When fishing these, there are two ways I like to do it.

Jig and Bobber- casting a spinning rod with 4-6 pound line. the jig has to be about 4-6 inches off the bottom due to the crappie notice things better above them. Start right up against the rocks and twitch the bobber back in 1 inch twitches. then cast 1 ft out from the rocks and repeat. Then 2 foot out, etc.....
Minnow and bobber- same thing but let the minnow do the twitching for you. Fan cast till you find the depth they like.

Otherwise vertical jigging will get them as well 1/32 - 1/8th oz jigs.


Lakes are high and the cattails are in 1-5 foot of water. A long rod is usually needed. It will take you20 mins to fish one spot properly. You have to dip the jig on every cattail reed. Otherwise you will miss a lot of fish if you get impatient. You must slow down.

With the lakes being so high and at pool, Cattails are going to push out big numbers of fish this year.

Shallow Brush Piles:

The females are usually staging or holding on some kind of structure very close to where the spawning ground is. All the black shadows were fat females. After uploading a couple times, site to site, you lose the picture quality.

Button Willows:

I like to stand with the deep water at my back and me facing the land. Like the picture below. Attack every single stick up you can find. The willows trunks and base of the bush are the main prime spots, but they have roots that extend out and away from the bush and those stick ups will hold them too!

Tire Reefs: The obvious tires that black wind and waves from pounding the boats in the marinas. The fish actually will swim into the tires and set up spawning. Its usually only one male per tire. There are times you can hit 25 tires in the reef, and limit in less than 30 mins.

Boat Ramps and Submerged Boat Ramps:

Side Imaging with a Humminbird 898 SI

Slow rolling a jig, Jig and Bobber, or vertical all work for hitting the ramps. This ramp in the picture is not visible from land one bit. I dropped a brush pile on the left of it as you can see a small obtuse blob there with a shadow to the right of it. The male crappie will bed up on the boat ramp and rocks surrounding it. I placed the brush pile at the end of the ramp in 12 foot of water. I can fish the brush first and pick of the staging fat females, then go pick apart the boat ramp. Spider rigging the ramps can be very productive at times.

Gravel Beds and Sandy Beaches:

Jig and Bobber or slowly walking with a long rod swimming the bait slowly. Almost like spider rigging but wading with one maybe two rods.

Standing Timber:

fish the bases of the tree. Pretty simple. Picture not needed for that.

If you would like to experience a Guided Trip with me, wading or fishing from the boat, contact me via text, phone call, or email that is list at the bottom of this post. These trips will be at Lake Lavon and Lake Ray Hubbard.

I have everything you need but waders. Waders can be purchased from Academy or Bass Pro Shops. 30-200 dollars.

We don't have to wade. We can take the boat and you can stay dry.

Cooperate Trips available up to 18 people "wade" only trips!*

Guided Crappie Fishing-$300/ 2 people 4 hours

Additional persons $75.00

Only about two months or so to get them while they are shallow! And its just starting up.....

#11511369 - 03/30/16 12:57 PM Re: Guided Crappie Spawn Trips- Tips Tricks and Pics (Wade or Boat) [Re: TarponFly]
MrNovice Offline
Extreme Angler

Registered: 02/16/16
Posts: 1996
Great info, Carey. Thanks, luv dem crappie!
“There’s a fine line between fishing and just standing on the shore like an idiot.” –Steven Wright

#11513447 - 03/31/16 09:09 AM Re: Guided Crappie Spawn Trips- Tips Tricks and Pics (Wade or Boat) [Re: TarponFly]
Mac817 Offline

Registered: 04/14/13
Posts: 383
Loc: Texas
Outstanding post! Thanks!
I would rather die finding out there was no God than die finding out there is.

#11530003 - 04/08/16 03:50 PM Re: Guided Crappie Spawn Trips- Tips Tricks and Pics (Wade or Boat) [Re: TarponFly]
TarponFly Online   content
TFF Celebrity

Registered: 04/28/05
Posts: 8234
Loc: Dallas, TX
Lavon Report:

Hit some spawning grounds before the wind got bad. Before I arrived at my destination, I was dipping some of the obvious structure in 7-18 ft. Found three in those depths. I got to my spot where they spawned in 2007. Rammed my boat in the wicked mess of old vegetation and that was my anchor. First drop of the Jig I landed what was in the picture, and as I figured, they were there and thick. After 20 minutes of goofing around I decided to hop in the water and Wade. That was definitely the ticket for getting these fish out of that thick stuff. And it's a heck of a lot more fun. 1-3 ft. Most were 1.5 to 2 foot deep on willows and timber. I fished less than 2 hours in super secure secret location, and managed 33 crappie. 13-16 inch average. Males were 13-14 and females were 14-16 inches. Black and chartreuse definitely worked better than white and chartreuse. thump buddies soft plastics was what I was using on 1/16 oz jig head and 8 lb mono. Pink head on the jig.

Water temps 61-64

#11531234 - 04/09/16 12:52 PM Re: Guided Crappie Spawn Trips- Tips Tricks and Pics (Wade or Boat) [Re: TarponFly]
jsinn01 Offline
Extreme Angler

Registered: 12/28/06
Posts: 1169
Loc: Austin, TX
That's a nice fish! Congrats.


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