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#11614874 - 05/20/16 01:06 PM Crappie Hunters
Pilothawk Online   sad
Super Freak

Registered: 01/14/03
Posts: 73456
Loc: Kentucky Lake

For those of you with knowledge of the species.

I live on what is supposed to be one of the better bodies of crappie water in the country.

This is the second year in a row that has had a poor spawn. I don't know if pressure, yo-yo water temps or all the rain messed things up, but all agree that the fish never came up River in normal numbers. Hours of fishing net four or five keeper sized fish. Even some guides have taken to trolling crappie cranks to cover more water and pick up a few.

What, in your opinion, does this mean for future spawns?
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#11614907 - 05/20/16 01:30 PM Re: Crappie Hunters [Re: Pilothawk]
karpbuster Offline
TFF Guru

Registered: 09/14/09
Posts: 11694
Loc: Albuquerque, NM
They will come back, they are a very productive species. Crappie is one species that was stocked in Rayburn when the lake was created 1965, 7000 fingerlings (that was it one stocking), and they are quite prolific today. Even in New Mexico we have crappie in a real tough eco-system Cochiti lake. I usuually try to find out from the Fish Biologist in New Mexico and Texas directly and call them with questions like this, good information from the horses mouth. They do surveys and have stocking plans usually.

Most major reservoirs have white crappie they reproduce the most, black crappie grow at a faster rate. I would guess they cycle from great spawns to poor spawns. The Biologist in New Mexico told me that lake levels (Drought) effect the shad population and the numbers. We (NM Crappie fishermen) also had thoughts of stripers eating up most of the crappie which devastated (so we thought) Elephant Butte's awesome crappie fishing. The stocking of Stripers has been controlled and dialed down and the crappie are back and plentiful along with walleyes. So ???


Edited by karpbuster (05/20/16 01:30 PM)
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#11614931 - 05/20/16 01:46 PM Re: Crappie Hunters [Re: Pilothawk]
Pilothawk Online   sad
Super Freak

Registered: 01/14/03
Posts: 73456
Loc: Kentucky Lake
We have stripers, but in what number I don't know. I do see huge balls of baitfish, which I assume are Shad. We also have walleye and sauger.

I wonder the impact of the yellow bass. Those darn bait thieves are all over the lake.
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#11614995 - 05/20/16 02:08 PM Re: Crappie Hunters [Re: Pilothawk]
karpbuster Offline
TFF Guru

Registered: 09/14/09
Posts: 11694
Loc: Albuquerque, NM
In Elephant Butte we had one of the best crappie fisheries in the country, NMDFG put Stripers in we had some big water years the stripers were big and plentiful the crappie went bye bye. The striper fishing now is spotty, but the crappie/walleye are back not as great as before, but getting better. So I don't know for sure, how good is the Striper and walleye fishing at Kentucky lake? They might have the same relationship as here or Kentucky lake may be a very fertile lake and able to support all of the species.

Here you can get the lake surveys over the years, they electro-shock or net fish and see how the spawns are each year. The best walleye spawns are at Ute lake, it has a more constant water level then Conchas and EB. The crappie have to be surveyed during the spawn, too. A time of high water is always a great shot in the arm for a lake's fisheries. So they will overlay water levels on the surveys.
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#11615010 - 05/20/16 02:14 PM Re: Crappie Hunters [Re: Pilothawk]
Laner Offline
Extreme Angler

Registered: 02/26/07
Posts: 2189
Loc: Joshua, TX
Are you assuming the spawn wasn't good because you and other fishermen didn't catch large numbers of crappie the last two springs?

The reason I ask is because with all the flooding here in Texas, the conditions are perfect for the fish, but not the fishermen. Crappie and other fish species now have thousands upon thousands of acres of new breeding grounds, filled with button willows, reeds and other plants that grew during the drought,that they can utilize to their full potential. Unfortunately for the fishermen, this means the fish are spread out.

Prime example, if you looked at the early spring pictures on the BigCrappie.com website for the years of 2011-2013 you would see thousands of crappie taken during the month of March for each year. Compare those pictures to the pictures from the last two springs, when the March and April rains have fallen very heavily in that part of east Texas, and you'll see the difference in number of harvested fish is huge.

Was the spawn bad? Not at all. During the drought, the fish had very limited areas to spawn, and those areas where they could spawn, saw schools of fish in very, very large numbers. Those same areas that produced tens of thousands of fish during the drought, were absolutely barren when the lake came back up.

Long story short, I wouldn't worry too much about your crappie population until your local biologist run net and/or shocking surveys and come back with reports that the crappie population is decimated in your area. If you have good baits populations and a lot of structure in your lake, the crappie should be doing just fine.
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#11615021 - 05/20/16 02:16 PM Re: Crappie Hunters [Re: Pilothawk]
fishin'aholic2 Offline
TFF Guru

Registered: 11/08/07
Posts: 12795
Loc: Irving, Texas
JMHO, If the lake was high for the most part then the fish will have had a great spawn. If it was constantly going up and down then those fish that would have spawned on the banks probable spawned deeper. Nature has a way of adjusting to the conditions at hand. As far as the stripers go, they shouldn't bother the crappie population. Texoma is great crappie lake and is also one of the best striper lakes as well.
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#11615035 - 05/20/16 02:18 PM Re: Crappie Hunters [Re: Laner]
fishin'aholic2 Offline
TFF Guru

Registered: 11/08/07
Posts: 12795
Loc: Irving, Texas
Originally Posted By: Laner
Are you assuming the spawn wasn't good because you and other fishermen didn't catch large numbers of crappie the last two springs?

The reason I ask is because with all the flooding here in Texas, the conditions are perfect for the fish, but not the fishermen. Crappie and other fish species now have thousands upon thousands of acres of new breeding grounds, filled with button willows, reeds and other plants that grew during the drought,that they can utilize to their full potential. Unfortunately for the fishermen, this means the fish are spread out.



Exactly what I was heading towards. cheers
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#11615046 - 05/20/16 02:21 PM Re: Crappie Hunters [Re: Pilothawk]
leanin post Online   content
TFF Celebrity

Registered: 08/18/09
Posts: 5388
Loc: TEXAS
It is very hard to get accurate crappie population figures in deep water lakes. electrofishing doesnt work well, nor does netting,.
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#11615122 - 05/20/16 02:54 PM Re: Crappie Hunters [Re: leanin post]
karpbuster Offline
TFF Guru

Registered: 09/14/09
Posts: 11694
Loc: Albuquerque, NM
I went looking, wow Kentucky lake is huge and beautiful. This website was very useful:

Fish results




I would like to see more recent results. They do have some older ones too.
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"Love is something more stern and splendid than mere kindness."

"All that we call human history--money, poverty, ambition, war, prostitution, classes, empires, slavery--[is] the long terrible story of man trying to find something other than God which will make him happy." — C.S. Lewis

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#11615271 - 05/20/16 04:13 PM Re: Crappie Hunters [Re: Pilothawk]
Pilothawk Online   sad
Super Freak

Registered: 01/14/03
Posts: 73456
Loc: Kentucky Lake
Yep, as ponds go this is a biggie.

Since there are no houses on the eastern shoreline, there are hundreds of miles of fishy looking water. Gotta have good electronics if you wanna do any good.

The down side is this is a mature lake. Not as much structure here as one would want in a perfect world.
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#11615762 - 05/20/16 09:07 PM Re: Crappie Hunters [Re: Pilothawk]
bush hog Offline
Extreme Angler

Registered: 06/12/13
Posts: 1868
Loc: Beckville, TX
Also know that the crappie spawn runs in cycles. They will have a good/normal spawn for 3 or 4 years followed by a terrible spawn which will set the lake up for a diminished crappie population later. Then it start all over again (mostly).

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