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hey guys, i'm planning a trip on lake houston hoping to pick up a few crappie,the problem is,i've done a lot more saltwater fishing than freshwater,can anyone give me some pointers on how to fish this time of year for then do you use jigs ,or cork,what kind of structure.i'm totally lost any info would be appreciated.



thanks mudbug59!!!!!!!!!!!
 

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Crappie fishing is different. They are what I call a "finesse" fish...meaning you don't attack them with shock and awe but with light equipment and light touch.

They are a structure fish, also.

You can use jigs, minnows, etc. depending on water clarity and how aggressive the Crappie are. Find the structure first, brush piles, blow downs, sunken trees, etc. Fish your preferred method and if you don't get bit in 10 minutes move on to the next place...and keep moving until you find them. When you find them, stay put and work them over good.

I prefer to use a fly rod with small jigs but an easier method is rigging up minnows under a slip cork. Fish right in and just above the structure...7-8 feet is good feeding depth for them right now. The take is often very subtle on minnows. Light touch is required. If you set the hook bass fishing style, you won't see many (any) Crappie. Let them take the minnow and gently put pressure on them to set the hook. Until you get used to them, I recommend you use a landing net instead of the old jetty heave/ho. Not because of the size but because of their paper thin mouths. You can loose a bunch of them lifting them over gunnels into the boat.

Lots of fun...and right now with the right techniques in the right places, the limits are easy....but go finesse and it will work better for you. Good luck and tight lines.

p.s. if you are interested I will post a picture of my fly rod/spinning reel set-up...and if you are not familiar with slip corks can post that set-up also.
 

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I just fished the lake 2 days in a row for crappie with no luck. I dropped jigs in every piece of brush I could find from 9 - 12 feet. Maybe I should have tried deeper. The bass were biting pretty good though.
 

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huffman, ponderosa marina on Luces bayou.. use minnows along the banks, brush piles on drop offs.. they are there. good luck!
 

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oh: you don't have to buy the super light gear.. just remember not to try to cross their eyes.. their mouths are not like a red or trout. easy does it...
 

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NEVER NEVER EVER RING THE BELL
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Every thing Meadowlark said plus stealth. Ease along with no loud noise and talking.
When you find them be very careful how you anchor. Just tossing out an anchor can shut them down in that area.
Crappie are shy timid souls noted for their Filet minon quality than their fighting prowess. If they did not taste so good they would be boring to catch.
 

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i would appreciate that meadowlark i thank you for the info too.
Start with the first picture, an ultra-light spinning outfit. The hook is a very thin wire long shank hook designed to bend when you get hung up in brush. Just above the hook, 12-18 inches, I place some small split shot. Above that is the slip cork, a protection bead, and then the slip stopper string. The stopper is easily attached, just pull the two ends of the string and trim off and then remove the tube. When rigging out, of course, do the reverse putting the string on first, the bead, the cork, the split shot, and then the hook.

I'm setting my stopper at about 8 feet right now, but you might need to experiment to find the right depth. You should use just enough split shot so that the cork is upright in the water. With this set-up, you can detect even the very slightest Crappie bite. You can easily see via cork motion even when the minnow moves around. When the minnow really gets moving, look out because a Crappie is after it and will usually soon take it.

The second picture is my fly rod/spinner combo. Its an old 9 ft fly rod that once had the tip broken. To it I attach a lite spinning reel. The typical jigs I use are also shown along with some Crappie candy to tip the jig with when the fish get finnicky. Sometimes I will use this rig in conjunction with the slip cork and just let the jig move along slowly with the current /winds at the 8 foot depth. Othertimes, I just vertical jig over the structure. This is an absolute blast, so much fun I have to pinch myself sometimes to make sure I'm not dreaming. You get a 13 inch plus Crappie on that fly rod jigging and I promise you will grin ear-to-ear and want to do it again. The total cost for that entire rig is under $30.

Good luck and if any questions feel free....I'm sure others probably have their own techniques, but these worked for me with easy limits every time I've been out this month.
 

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This is a great post for crappie fishing techniques. I have a little different fly rod rig that i go to when they get real hincky. Most of the time I use spinning tackle like the ones MDLRK displayed in his pick, but most of the time i lay my rod across a boat seat and the gunnel tight line style(no cork)and watch it for movement, if the line moves far to one side or takes a dip and does not come back up or get increasing slack as the fish moves up in the water column I gently but with surety raise the rod to set the hook.
My fly rod setup is like this one.

I go to it when they have been biting well but begain to slack off and just push the bait around without commiting to a bite.
My best trick with any of the rigs is get the right depth, lately about 6" off of the bottom and with that amount of line out pitch it away from the boat and let it swing back. They often bite just as the line gets straight down from the rod tip.
I use minnows exclusively, when they are still under the boat and just pushing the minnow and real hincky about biting i get radical and pinch the minnow into, put the tail end on a hook and use no weight with swing method, only the wisest of crappie will let that pass without biting.
SS
 

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Meadowlark,

Will that slip string slide through the eye when casting?
Yes, if you trim it close. You don't even know it is there. I should add you can adjust it also by sliding up or down depending on what depth you need. You can actually go many feet, as many as you wish in depth with this set-up. It works extremely well....far better than the old bobber method with a fixed length which makes it difficult if not impossible to cast.

Try it and I believe you will like it.
 

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gone fishin'
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I live on it and I have never seen one, but in the summer you can see some monsterous snakes out there.
 

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i was out on luces monday and tuesday, monday caught maybe 10 perch with only 5 keepers in 6 hours, and tuesday only caught 3 fish none big enough to keep.
 

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come on now, you won't let a little ole gator spoil a good fishing trip would you?
Here's a few I got on camera that was sunning behind the cabin....they were about 6 to 8 ft gators.....good swimming mates....
 

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Dialed-In Adventures
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I'm glad to see that I'm not the only one that uses a fly rod ultra light combo. I have iced many crappie with that rig. The slip bobber works well with a tandom tube jig also this time of year. It gives your jigs a longer period of time in the "strike zone" and you can move the jigs ultra slow.
 
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