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#12816149 - 07/04/18 12:22 PM Struggling Crappie fitchin Kayaker - Stillhouse
Jaybonnett Offline
Outdoorsman

Registered: 01/28/18
Posts: 36
Loc: Salado
Iím struggling with crappie all year and am looking for some help. I take my boys to Stillhouse Lake in Belton and if I donít get them on some fish they may not be so eager to go. Stillhouse is fairly deep but doesnít have much vegetation and only has a handful of floating docks. We kayak and donít have sonar so we somewhat fish blindly. Weíve tried the bridegroom and havenít had enough to keepers to keep them all. The water is currently 6 feet below level so the deepest part at the bridge is about 15 feet. We donít go early because Iíve read the crappie typically gather back up around structure when the sun is higher. We normally go about 10-2. The only way I can check depth besides dropping a line is dropping my anchor, Iíve marked the rope every 5 feet to figure out depth. However, Iíve quickly discovered as soon as I drop anchor the bite stops. Iím worried Iíve disturbed a brush pile or two so we drop it as far from the bite as possible. Iíve watched videos, read posts and articles, tried different color jigs, with and without crappie nibble. Iím very close to making my own structure and dropping it in places I can visually find with markers. Any help is greatly appreciated. Where to go, what to look for, times to go, jigs tonise, type of structure to make and how. Iím looking for honey holes or handouts, just some help and advice. PM is perfectly fine if youíre willing. Thank you.
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#12816349 - 07/04/18 03:07 PM Re: Struggling Crappie fitchin Kayaker - Stillhouse [Re: Jaybonnett]
leanin post Offline
TFF Celebrity

Registered: 08/18/09
Posts: 5971
Loc: TEXAS
well here is some advice from someone who has spent MANY hours and days fishing on stillousy. you are fishing a poor crappie lake. there just isnt a large population of crappie in the lake. way too many massive floods, poor nutrient base, a large stunted white bass population and many very large hungry skinny black bass. your much better off going to belton lake or lake waco to catch crappie.
around 2007-8 the lake was decent, not good but worth fishing, what happened since then I dont know, but It hadnt been good for a long time.
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Many living in this generation shall never see the grave, JESUS gave us revelations and the time is very near. Dont be a soul that stands before GOD on judgment day and be told "depart from me, I do not know you".
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#12816458 - 07/04/18 04:54 PM Re: Struggling Crappie fitchin Kayaker - Stillhouse [Re: Jaybonnett]
Jaybonnett Offline
Outdoorsman

Registered: 01/28/18
Posts: 36
Loc: Salado
Iíve fished Belton as well around the house boats and stumps I can see. Struggled there as well but I donít fish the barges hard enough so I donít get any angry owners on me. We do the bridge and Backstrum Crissing at Stillhouse because itís less than 5 minutes from the house. I notice lots of boats at the South end of the island at Stillhouse around sundown but suspect theyíre poking for hybrids. I have a few sports to hit up at Belton this summer and in February but havenít gotten there yet.
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#12816630 - 07/04/18 07:45 PM Re: Struggling Crappie fitchin Kayaker - Stillhouse [Re: Jaybonnett]
Bass fro chop Offline
Extreme Angler

Registered: 06/01/05
Posts: 2613
Loc: Mesquite
Fishfinder is a big help. You can get a color unit for 100 nowadays.
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#12816695 - 07/04/18 08:43 PM Re: Struggling Crappie fitchin Kayaker - Stillhouse [Re: Jaybonnett]
C.M. Offline
Outdoorsman

Registered: 09/09/16
Posts: 208
Setting aside question of crappie population in given lake -- you really need fishfinder for crappie fishing... even basic one (in 99% of cases you need it to find brush and return back to it). That and 1-2 markers.

Without fishfinder and ability to create a reference point on water (aka marker) all you could really do is to fish docks and bridges. And shorelines of a tributary during the spawn.

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#12817252 - 07/05/18 12:50 PM Re: Struggling Crappie fitchin Kayaker - Stillhouse [Re: Jaybonnett]
Bullet20XrD Offline
Extreme Angler

Registered: 02/27/07
Posts: 1818
Originally Posted By: Jaybonnett
Iím struggling with crappie all year and am looking for some help. I take my boys to Stillhouse Lake in Belton and if I donít get them on some fish they may not be so eager to go. Stillhouse is fairly deep but doesnít have much vegetation and only has a handful of floating docks. We kayak and donít have sonar so we somewhat fish blindly. Weíve tried the bridegroom and havenít had enough to keepers to keep them all. The water is currently 6 feet below level so the deepest part at the bridge is about 15 feet. We donít go early because Iíve read the crappie typically gather back up around structure when the sun is higher. We normally go about 10-2. The only way I can check depth besides dropping a line is dropping my anchor, Iíve marked the rope every 5 feet to figure out depth. However, Iíve quickly discovered as soon as I drop anchor the bite stops. Iím worried Iíve disturbed a brush pile or two so we drop it as far from the bite as possible. Iíve watched videos, read posts and articles, tried different color jigs, with and without crappie nibble. Iím very close to making my own structure and dropping it in places I can visually find with markers. Any help is greatly appreciated. Where to go, what to look for, times to go, jigs tonise, type of structure to make and how. Iím looking for honey holes or handouts, just some help and advice. PM is perfectly fine if youíre willing. Thank you.


Stillhouse is an excellent crappie lake for me. I catch them all the time out there, even in the heat of the summer. You'll need a graph to find the brushpiles though. I fish the area around the bridge. Main river edges anywhere from 8-16' of water. I just use a white 2" grub on an 1/8 oz ballhead jig. There's 5 or 6 spots/brushpiles within paddling distance of the bridge that have old laydowns and brush that hold crappie from May thru October.
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#12818559 - 07/06/18 02:57 PM Re: Struggling Crappie fitchin Kayaker - Stillhouse [Re: Jaybonnett]
Jaybonnett Offline
Outdoorsman

Registered: 01/28/18
Posts: 36
Loc: Salado
I appreciate yíall. Iím looking into sonar now and have found several under $100. I also have three brush piles drying in concrete in the backyard at the moment. I will definitely hit 36 bridge in Belton and am putting these piles in the area of the Stillhouse bridge. Maybe with a little rain and a little time I can post a limit picture on here soon. Thanks to the forum!
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Keep doin what youíre doin, youíll keep gettin what youíre gettin.

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#12819461 - 07/07/18 11:53 AM Re: Struggling Crappie fitchin Kayaker - Stillhouse [Re: Jaybonnett]
leanin post Offline
TFF Celebrity

Registered: 08/18/09
Posts: 5971
Loc: TEXAS
Originally Posted By: Jaybonnett
I appreciate yíall. Iím looking into sonar now and have found several under $100. I also have three brush piles drying in concrete in the backyard at the moment. I will definitely hit 36 bridge in Belton and am putting these piles in the area of the Stillhouse bridge. Maybe with a little rain and a little time I can post a limit picture on here soon. Thanks to the forum!


lotta current runs thru stillhouse when theyre letting water out, everything weve put by the bridge over the years washes away. even tried tying it before when water was super low. first big flood, GONE. I would try to put the brush in areas directly out of the main river channel. most of the fish weve caught in the river channel near the bridge has been at night, in late fall and winter. I would love to see a limit of fish being pulled off of stillousy but I just havent seen any. I can pretty much visualize most of the structure in the river, from the bridge to the bend. Ive fished it many times, ands saw it when the lake was so low you could almost walk across it. near the bend the first hard turn to the right headed away from the bridge, theres a double ledge shelf, where a tree fell off the bank into the water, theres also an old tree with lantern burns in it, has plenty trees around it. now closer to the bridge are slews, that have laydowns in them, weve tied up in those slews at night and caught a few moving up and down the river channel. on deep, clear water lakes, alot of feeding is done at night. on the cedar ridge side, if u go round the point headed towards trimmer creek, there used to be brushpiles all around that point, but they never produced.
Heck, plz report back what u find, maybe things have improved, I dont mind being proven wrong.
several years back, we used to hold tourneys on stillhouse, open tourneys, most anglers couldnt even catch 7 fish. The winner I think had 6 fish that weighed 5 pounds.. now im not talking abt folks who dont know what they are doing, this was a field of very good sticks. the average weigh in was 2 or 3 fish. 8 hours of hard fishing, with the best electronics, good boats, good to great fisherman, and most couldnt catch 7 fish. I would like to propose to bulletxd, if you would be interested in taking us out, I will supply everything,19 foot boat, the best electronics, trolling motor, ect.... all he has to do is show up at the dock, and we can all go out. If theres a big secret to catching crappie on stillhouse that has evaded me for 20 years, heck Id love to know it. maybe its a white grub, dont know that ive tried one.. roflmao
_________________________
Many living in this generation shall never see the grave, JESUS gave us revelations and the time is very near. Dont be a soul that stands before GOD on judgment day and be told "depart from me, I do not know you".
REPENT, RECIEVE, REJOICE!!!

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#12821125 - 07/09/18 07:55 AM Re: Struggling Crappie fitchin Kayaker - Stillhouse [Re: leanin post]
Harleyrockstar Online   content
Angler

Registered: 01/30/15
Posts: 311
Loc: Leander
Originally Posted By: leanin post
I would like to propose to bulletxd, if you would be interested in taking us out, I will supply everything,19 foot boat, the best electronics, trolling motor, ect.... all he has to do is show up at the dock, and we can all go out. If theres a big secret to catching crappie on stillhouse that has evaded me for 20 years, heck Id love to know it. maybe its a white grub, dont know that ive tried one.. roflmao



Will the challenge be accepted?? Going to watch this thread!
popcorn

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#12821163 - 07/09/18 08:36 AM Re: Struggling Crappie fitchin Kayaker - Stillhouse [Re: Jaybonnett]
TreeBass Online   content
Lt. Dan

Registered: 06/19/06
Posts: 45799
Loc: Central Texas
Stillhouse used to be a decent crappie lake, I fished it all the time for crappie and did well years ago. leanin post nailed it, with the floods went the nutrients, then trying to make it a bass fishery probably didn't help, but what do I know.

we went out a few weeks ago, and I checked every single area that I know that usually holds fish, and didn't catch a thing.

Night fishing used to be good by the island and the bridge, but I haven't tried that in years. Up river was always a good place to find them in the spring.

and for the record, we took first place in one of those tournaments with 7 fish, 4.5lbs if I remember correctly. eeks
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#12821316 - 07/09/18 10:23 AM Re: Struggling Crappie fitchin Kayaker - Stillhouse [Re: Jaybonnett]
leanin post Offline
TFF Celebrity

Registered: 08/18/09
Posts: 5971
Loc: TEXAS
theres a cove near dana peak that can be accessed like if your going into dana peak park, I saw that there was a fire on the little dock you could walk to from the road and fish from. further up in the cove toward the mail lake, is a hard right bend, and deep drop off, with a ledge shelf. we used to tie up to the trees by that ledge at night and crappie schools would come thru following the shad in waves. we did ok, but it seemed like they were getting less and less and it just got where it wasnt worth going. the population just depleted fast. I used to be in awe of scanning the lake with my humminbird 898 and how void of life it is. like the dead sea. when you ride around a lake for hours and dont see a fish, somethings not right.
I spoke with the biologist in the area and he said that there just isnt a good nutrient base going into the lake, without the nutrients u have scarce plankton, baitfish, daphnia, gamefish.
brushpiles do no good if theres few fish in the lake.
_________________________
Many living in this generation shall never see the grave, JESUS gave us revelations and the time is very near. Dont be a soul that stands before GOD on judgment day and be told "depart from me, I do not know you".
REPENT, RECIEVE, REJOICE!!!

Top
#12821980 - 07/09/18 06:06 PM Re: Struggling Crappie fitchin Kayaker - Stillhouse [Re: Jaybonnett]
Jaybonnett Offline
Outdoorsman

Registered: 01/28/18
Posts: 36
Loc: Salado
I gotta say every time I put my line in the water I think Iím gonna catch something. But now, at Stillhouse, I wonít have those positive feelings. I love the lake because weíre so close and itís easy for us. It has gotten tougher to look at though because of the drought, then flood, and scattered debris 20 feet above the water line. I took my wife to Trimmier Creek a few months ago and sure did like the looks of it but didnít get a bite except two whites while paddling back. During the crappie spawn (donít get me started on my confusion with that) I did manage to get 5 slabs a few hundered yards south of Gravel Crossing. I will keep fishing Stillhouse and trying to make it work no matter the effort, but when I return to the classroom in Belton in a month, 36 bridge is my destination when the bell rings!

I gotta say to the forum... I love planning to fish, thinking of spots and tactics, packing up the gear, talking to the kids about our targets, and mostly talking on the lake about whatever hits their brains. Without some of the info and tips from this awesome site, we may not enjoy it as much as we do. Without the forum my 15 year old and I would not have had such an amazing paddle trip on the Leon during spring break and would not have gotten to tell the fish catching stories to the family during the fry that night. Not to mention the 6 hours I spent on Granbury because of a helpful forum member. So thank yíall in all seriousness, we all appreciate it. Well maybe not my wife as much as myself!
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Keep doin what youíre doin, youíll keep gettin what youíre gettin.

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