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#12714521 - 04/13/18 01:16 AM Are crappie hot and cold during the spawn?
jp24 Offline
Outdoorsman

Registered: 01/09/10
Posts: 153
Loc: Texas
Would you say that crappie tend to turn ON and OFF during the spawn? I’ve been thinking about this because it seems to be happening to me a lot the past few weeks. For a 30-minute period, they go crazy, then for an hour or more, they completely shut down. That seemed to happen a lot on my annual Lake of the Ozarks trips in the 90’s, but I’d mostly forgotten about it because here in Texas, I catch crappie year-round.

If you agree that it does happen, have you discovered ways to wake ‘em up?

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#12714597 - 04/13/18 06:50 AM Re: Are crappie hot and cold during the spawn? [Re: jp24]
crapicat Online   content
TFF Celebrity

Registered: 01/23/13
Posts: 6291
Loc: Grandview, TX
Originally Posted By: jp24
Would you say that crappie tend to turn ON and OFF during the spawn? I’ve been thinking about this because it seems to be happening to me a lot the past few weeks. For a 30-minute period, they go crazy, then for an hour or more, they completely shut down. That seemed to happen a lot on my annual Lake of the Ozarks trips in the 90’s, but I’d mostly forgotten about it because here in Texas, I catch crappie year-round.

If you agree that it does happen, have you discovered ways to wake ‘em up?


Don’t know about your theory...but if you want to wake them up, chum them...

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#12714720 - 04/13/18 08:18 AM Re: Are crappie hot and cold during the spawn? [Re: jp24]
AQUA11 Online   content
Outdoorsman

Registered: 02/29/16
Posts: 118
Loc: Temple, Texas
I would have to agree with you. Don't know about the times you describe but they move around or something.

When fishing the marina they will stop biting for us and my buddy 300' away is catching them, I can see him from my barge. Then vise-versa. That's when we refresh the cold drink and get a snack. I do believe they make "the rounds".

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#12715390 - 04/13/18 02:36 PM Re: Are crappie hot and cold during the spawn? [Re: jp24]
Ken Gaby Offline
Extreme Angler

Registered: 05/08/07
Posts: 2875
Loc: Belton, TX
Definitely does happen. Sometimes they move and sometimes they just quit. Crapicat gave some good advice (although I hate to admit it) about chumming. If you have minnows, tossing out 5-6 sometimes gets them going again. Mark Standridge gave a tip a couple weeks ago that he puts several baits close together where he knows there are fish, and teases one to bite and usually the rest start up again. Hanging multiple baits around them just might do the trick.
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#12715439 - 04/13/18 03:14 PM Re: Are crappie hot and cold during the spawn? [Re: jp24]
fishin'aholic2 Online   content
TFF Guru

Registered: 11/08/07
Posts: 13617
Loc: Irving, Texas
Typical spring crappie. They are just super finicky this time of year and can be super hit or miss. Usually about May they start settling down.
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#12717810 - 04/15/18 05:39 PM Re: Are crappie hot and cold during the spawn? [Re: jp24]
Stucky76 Offline
TFF Guru

Registered: 06/04/07
Posts: 11129
Loc: Bedford, TX
Worst time of the year for consistency. Give me summer or winter fish

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#12717863 - 04/15/18 06:40 PM Re: Are crappie hot and cold during the spawn? [Re: jp24]
Spiderman Online   content
TFF Team Angler

Registered: 09/04/06
Posts: 4278
Loc: EAST TEXAS
Yeah, I catch allot more Crappie from May on. The weather is consistent and the pattern and depth remain the same for weeks.

People think crappie are easy to catch, but usually something weather related will shut them down in the Spring for days at a time.
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The first 5 days after the Weekend are the Hardest.

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#12718093 - 04/15/18 09:25 PM Re: Are crappie hot and cold during the spawn? [Re: jp24]
Mckinneycrappiecatcher Offline
TFF Team Angler

Registered: 12/20/10
Posts: 3617
Loc: mckinney, tx
Spring fishing is rough, there one day, gone the next. I prefer post spawn/summer and winter for steady patterns.
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TCU class of 2019

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#12718289 - 04/16/18 06:05 AM Re: Are crappie hot and cold during the spawn? [Re: jp24]
hawghoover Offline
Pro Angler

Registered: 01/28/15
Posts: 596
Loc: Lewisville Tx
December is always the best month for me.

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#12722312 - 04/18/18 10:42 PM Re: Are crappie hot and cold during the spawn? [Re: Ken Gaby]
crapicat Online   content
TFF Celebrity

Registered: 01/23/13
Posts: 6291
Loc: Grandview, TX
Originally Posted By: Ken Gaby
Definitely does happen. Sometimes they move and sometimes they just quit. Crapicat gave some good advice (although I hate to admit it) about chumming. If you have minnows, tossing out 5-6 sometimes gets them going again. Mark Standridge gave a tip a couple weeks ago that he puts several baits close together where he knows there are fish, and teases one to bite and usually the rest start up again. Hanging multiple baits around them just might do the trick.


Marks trick does work...in fact, if you are fishing alone, just fish two poles, use a tandem jig setup on each pole and move the poles beside each other and lift one while dropping the other...it drives any fish in the area mad enough to bite!

BTW, when chumming, I always cut the dead minnows into Four or five pieces on a board...once I toss them, I quickly wash the board to release the scales on the board...then drop Jigs into them! Also, put a jig on the lake bottom, just to get any picking up the leftovers...

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#12722984 - 04/19/18 02:39 PM Re: Are crappie hot and cold during the spawn? [Re: jp24]
redraider4life Online   content
Extreme Angler

Registered: 05/25/08
Posts: 1288
Loc: Grapevine, Texas
This time last year I had over 200 slabs in the freezer..right now I might have 20! Same lake, same time of the year just crazy weather!!
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Life can be best understood looking back, but it can only be lived looking forward !

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#12723239 - 04/19/18 05:22 PM Re: Are crappie hot and cold during the spawn? [Re: jp24]
Jon Online   content
TFF Team Angler

Registered: 10/11/01
Posts: 4904
Loc: not Mesquite, TX
I fished the spawn a whole lot of years off the banks at night. Sometimes better than others but sometimes not. Cold front, weather change, elevation of water change, temperature change, will definitely put them off whatever had been normal.

I think they move in schools because when things are right and a batch comes by you catch a bunch quick and then they slow down for a bit. Rinse and repeat. I like to fish off riprap because I think the crappie roam around at night looking for bait fish up near those rocks.

Some years, they never seem to move up shallow. Most years they do - close enough to find them within casting distance anyway. I've heard lots of guides say spring is their least favorite time to take clients on crappie trips because of how fickle the crappie can be at spawning time. It sure can be boom or bust depending on lots of conditions.

Much more consistent for patterning the other 3 seasons deeper out in the lake.
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Originally Posted By: roadtrip
In the south, pretty much any fish that doesn't get bigger than a pound or so is called a perch. For some reason, this drives some people crazy.


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#12723885 - 04/20/18 09:00 AM Re: Are crappie hot and cold during the spawn? [Re: Jon]
crapicat Online   content
TFF Celebrity

Registered: 01/23/13
Posts: 6291
Loc: Grandview, TX
Jon, your night time tactics are spot on...I do/have fished that tactic for years both on the bank and in the boat...

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#12724476 - 04/20/18 04:38 PM Re: Are crappie hot and cold during the spawn? [Re: jp24]
TexExp Offline
Extreme Angler

Registered: 01/13/10
Posts: 1456
Loc: Lake Lavon

Great discussion & useful information!
Thanks all.

Good luck out there!

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#12724909 - 04/21/18 08:12 AM Re: Are crappie hot and cold during the spawn? [Re: jp24]
UncleFunky Online   content
Outdoorsman

Registered: 09/13/09
Posts: 201
Loc: Cleburne, Tx.
Just when I thought I had em' figured out, yesterday was a humbling experience. After being very successful on a shallow bite (for me), the wife and I only boated one baby. The fish we caught was by pushing baits in about 12 FOW.

Other than the wind, I thought yesterday had us set up for success. Though we didn't catch, we learned a few things and had a great time together.

With the weather forecast predicting rain today, I'll be installing my side imaging, so maybe I can at least see them. I'm ready to hit em' on the piles where they should be more consistent and less condition sensitive.

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