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Warmwater Fly Fishing Bass, Bream, Perch, etc...

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Old 09-09-2014, 09:31 AM
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Default Where do the crappie go?

Maybe all crappie behave this way, or maybe they are just the ones by me, but they all dissappear during the summer. In the spring, I can go out to my local reservoir and catch about 20-30 in an hour. After a certain point, they just dissappear and I won't even see any in the water. One day you can't avoid them, the next you'd swear yesterday was a dream.

Does this happen to you guys as well? Maybe I'm just not knowledgeable about crappie behavior and this is typical of the species. If this is normal, what do they do during the summer?
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Old 09-09-2014, 09:43 AM
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Default Re: Where do the crappie go?

Once summer comes along the crappie like to hang out suspended usually will be over deep water.
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Old 09-09-2014, 04:42 PM
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Default Re: Where do the crappie go?

That would explain it I guess. Thanks for the info.
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Old 09-09-2014, 05:25 PM
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Default Re: Where do the crappie go?

I was going after them on the last labor day, they were in about 3-5 ft of water near the vegetation and weed. The bites were pretty hot still.
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Old 09-09-2014, 07:19 PM
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Default Re: Where do the crappie go?

I fish for them in shallow tidal rivers. Most are small, average about 6"-8" in length. In the spring they're up in the shallower areas as you've said, but once spawning is over they tend to move deeper. Since "deep" water in these rivers is relatively shallow (10' or so) they still tend to relate to structures & cover. They're not often found in areas devoid of cover, such as the channels in the rivers I fish. But they will move in & out of the shore line vegetation & other cover & into the adjacent deeper water. Again, this is only water 4-5' deep.

I've caught them in August in 90 degree temps up under over hanging brush too in water only a couple of feet deep. I'm sure the temps under there are cooler & there's probably plenty to eat for them too. Even though Crappies are often caught on minnows & baitfish imitating flies or lures, they will eat a lot of insects, especially large aquatic nymphs such as Dobson (Hellgrammites) or Dragon fly nymphs. They'll eat snails too & of course other small critters such as frogs if they get the chance.

Largest one I ever caught was 18" and was caught in a small pond on a 2/0 size cork bass popper I had made. I've yet to catch another one anywhere close to that size. 12-13" is as close as I've found since.

Since the majority of them here are small, I like targeting them with a 3 or 4 wt rod.
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Old 09-09-2014, 10:10 PM
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Default Re: Where do the crappie go?

I live on a "lake" built by TVA where 2 tailwaters and one freestone river all come together to form Watts Bar. I fish for crappie in the spring and fall too when they can be found in the sloughs and coves in shallow water away from the original river channel. Folks around here sink a lot of Christmas trees, stumps and brush to form structure. Blowdowns from steep dropped off banks are good places to find them during these times too. When it's on, it is ON! April and October are usually hot months for the Crappie bite. Late winter they can be found in the "creeks" that feed the lake if there are minnows or threadfin shad hanging around. I fish a lot of little Clouser minnows in Chart/white tied on a sz6 Gama Stinger hook and another fly I tie in white, chartreuse, black and olive that is so TOP SECRET that even Eric Snowden nor any of the NSA have yet to crack the recipe! Wishing ya'll a crappie fall!
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Old 09-09-2014, 10:16 PM
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Default Re: Where do the crappie go?

When I go to MN in July we find the crappie early and late. Usually about a cast from exposed bull rushes or right on the submerged weedline. In the evening, as it gets darker, they move up the water column we all start at different depths from 3-6 feet we all go to the same depth after a couple of fish are caught, when the bite stops we move up and down the column while staying in the same spot. By dark, or as we call it there mosquito 0:clock we are getting them in the upper two feet. Of course this is conventional fishing but the behavior is the same.
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Old 09-10-2014, 07:43 AM
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Default Re: Where do the crappie go?

Where ever they go they are close to a food source. If they are suspended over deep water there must be either bait fish there or some kind of swimming bugs. With the human animal follow the money. With fish follow the food.
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Old 10-05-2014, 10:37 PM
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Default Re: Where do the crappie go?

I'm not sure about the east coast, but where I fish (Michigan, Lake St Clair) as the water cools I start fishing Clouser Minnows and Wooly Buggers in my local marinas docks as the water cools (the best structure I have easy access to). The water temp is around 62 right now, but as it approaches 50 they really turn on. I went today and ended up with a few plus some really nice gills.
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