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#11511352 - 03/30/16 12:49 PM Guided Crappie Spawn Trips- Tips Tricks and Pics (Wade or Boat)
TarponFly Offline
TFF Celebrity

Registered: 04/28/05
Posts: 8243
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.

Rain:

*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.



Cattails:



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.....


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#11511368 - 03/30/16 12:57 PM Re: Guided Crappie Spawn Trips- Tips Tricks and Pics (Wade or Boat) [Re: TarponFly]
JohnButte Offline
Pro Angler

Registered: 07/05/12
Posts: 867
Loc: Lake El Butto, Pearland
Awesome post, thanks for the info! Won't be in the area, but sounds like a great learning trip.

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#11511377 - 03/30/16 01:00 PM Re: Guided Crappie Spawn Trips- Tips Tricks and Pics (Wade or Boat) [Re: TarponFly]
leanin post Offline
TFF Celebrity

Registered: 08/18/09
Posts: 5383
Loc: TEXAS
what a great, informative post.. !!!
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The more gratitude you give to Jesus for the things you have, the more he will bless you with the things you need- Steve Harvey

www.nekidtackle.com
Ask Ron about his crappie trolling rigs designed with input from top crappie fisherman!!

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#11511399 - 03/30/16 01:11 PM Re: Guided Crappie Spawn Trips- Tips Tricks and Pics (Wade or Boat) [Re: TarponFly]
RayJ Offline
Green Horn

Registered: 04/25/12
Posts: 7
Loc: San Antonio, Texas, USA
Great informative post! My son lives in the Ft Worth area and I am planning a trip up there in about a month or so. We would love to go out with you while my wife and I are up there in your area.
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RayJ

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#11511406 - 03/30/16 01:16 PM Re: Guided Crappie Spawn Trips- Tips Tricks and Pics (Wade or Boat) [Re: TarponFly]
jrc Offline
Outdoorsman

Registered: 03/24/08
Posts: 48
Loc: Longview, TX
Great info, thanks.

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#11511633 - 03/30/16 02:47 PM Re: Guided Crappie Spawn Trips- Tips Tricks and Pics (Wade or Boat) [Re: TarponFly]
kodys'papa Online   content
TFF Guru

Registered: 07/19/05
Posts: 17305
Loc: Tawakoni/Conejos County
bow_down


Great post,,, book this guy!
_________________________
Hooking a fish is like playing string with a cat. The exact size, shape, color of string matters less than how you wiggle it- and little cats are easier to fool than big ones. John Gierach

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#11511692 - 03/30/16 03:11 PM Re: Guided Crappie Spawn Trips- Tips Tricks and Pics (Wade or Boat) [Re: TarponFly]
TwoLakes Online   content
Pro Angler

Registered: 08/04/09
Posts: 653
Loc: Texarkana, AR
About as detailed and informative as you can get. Great Post!!

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#11511766 - 03/30/16 03:43 PM Re: Guided Crappie Spawn Trips- Tips Tricks and Pics (Wade or Boat) [Re: TarponFly]
crappie fan Online   content
Extreme Angler

Registered: 04/17/06
Posts: 1173
Loc: Garland, Tx
Very good write up! What are your thoughts on how wind affects them during the spawn? Not a light breeze but days like we have had recently with 15 to 30 blowing out of the north or the south?
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#11512365 - 03/30/16 07:11 PM Re: Guided Crappie Spawn Trips- Tips Tricks and Pics (Wade or Boat) [Re: TarponFly]
TarponFly Offline
TFF Celebrity

Registered: 04/28/05
Posts: 8243
Loc: Dallas, TX
They still bite if you can get to the spawning grounds. I tend to find coves to guide in, when I can. Coves that are protected by the wind you are talking about. For instance at Lavon, most coves are protected from a north and south wind. I also try to make it to where if the wind is terrible, I have back up coves that I can physically walk into with foot power, and not have to take the boat. They don't leave the spawning grounds in high winds. Humans usually don't fish in that weather. I find that the baitfish pile up at the mouths of the coves on days like like and the females will stack up and feed at the mouth of the coves. If you can catch a thread Finn shad, put that on your hook, the crappie will annihilated as soon as it gets near him. Remember, these fish of never seen a store-bought minnow before, they don't live in the lakes as they are not a native baitfish. When these fish see a threadfin they usually can't stand to just watch it. No, if your spawning grounds are getting bashed by the wind makes it a little bit difficult to fish in 3 foot rollers. Fish are always going to try to be out of the wind on the north and south when they set up to spawn, but again some fish Spawn in the direct Southwind. It's just all trial and error and dipping jigs everywhere. I don't take the boat out to the lake in a 15+ mile an hour wind. Those are the days I use foot power . It's the east and west winds that affect me.

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#11512520 - 03/30/16 08:05 PM Re: Guided Crappie Spawn Trips- Tips Tricks and Pics (Wade or Boat) [Re: TarponFly]
Mr. Catchum Offline
Outdoorsman

Registered: 01/09/14
Posts: 85
Loc: Richardson, Tx
Wow! Outstanding post with great information! THANKS!!! woot
_________________________
Mr. Catchum


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#11513256 - 03/31/16 07:53 AM Re: Guided Crappie Spawn Trips- Tips Tricks and Pics (Wade or Boat) [Re: TarponFly]
crappie fan Online   content
Extreme Angler

Registered: 04/17/06
Posts: 1173
Loc: Garland, Tx
Thank you for your response. I mostly fish Lake Ray Hubbard. There are not many protected coves from a North South Wind that you can get to by foot. All those that come to mind are attached to Private property, and with no boat to get back to those coves to get out of a boat and walk, I am stuck. I only ask because I had fish located, then the fronts pushed in and the spawning grounds I had been on, got beat with the wind the last two weeks and haven't had a bite since. I know they will be back, but was curious what your thoughts were.
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#11513271 - 03/31/16 08:01 AM Re: Guided Crappie Spawn Trips- Tips Tricks and Pics (Wade or Boat) [Re: crappie fan]
fishin'aholic2 Online   content
TFF Guru

Registered: 11/08/07
Posts: 12792
Loc: Irving, Texas
Originally Posted By: crappie fan
Thank you for your response. I mostly fish Lake Ray Hubbard. There are not many protected coves from a North South Wind that you can get to by foot. All those that come to mind are attached to Private property, and with no boat to get back to those coves to get out of a boat and walk, I am stuck. I only ask because I had fish located, then the fronts pushed in and the spawning grounds I had been on, got beat with the wind the last two weeks and haven't had a bite since. I know they will be back, but was curious what your thoughts were.

Did that spot you had been fishing get muddy?
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www.youtube.com/KIDKRAPPIE

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#11513404 - 03/31/16 08:51 AM Re: Guided Crappie Spawn Trips- Tips Tricks and Pics (Wade or Boat) [Re: TarponFly]
TarponFly Offline
TFF Celebrity

Registered: 04/28/05
Posts: 8243
Loc: Dallas, TX
One of my spots, is not producing anymore like it was last week. I could stand in one spot and catch around 15-20 males. Now maybe one to two fish when I go there. I noticed that they closed the gates down at Lavon Dam. The water where I was fishing got a couple inches shallower when they backed the gates down. So in that case the water dropping pushed them out. The fronts and wind could have pushed them out of your spot, till the weather settles down. Today looks like a nice day to check to see what they are doing and if they came back.

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#11513463 - 03/31/16 09:16 AM Re: Guided Crappie Spawn Trips- Tips Tricks and Pics (Wade or Boat) [Re: TarponFly]
crappie fan Online   content
Extreme Angler

Registered: 04/17/06
Posts: 1173
Loc: Garland, Tx
The spot did get very muddy which is expected with 2 and 3 ft waves for a week and a half straight. The bigger problem was just trying to fish in those conditions. It is tough, but I know the fish are still around. I have a feeling they were hitting much better at night when the wind relaxed.
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#11513595 - 03/31/16 10:03 AM Re: Guided Crappie Spawn Trips- Tips Tricks and Pics (Wade or Boat) [Re: TarponFly]
crappie fan Online   content
Extreme Angler

Registered: 04/17/06
Posts: 1173
Loc: Garland, Tx
The spot did get very muddy which is expected with 2 and 3 ft waves for a week and a half straight. The bigger problem was just trying to fish in those conditions. It is tough, but I know the fish are still around. I have a feeling they were hitting much better at night when the wind relaxed.
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