Crappie thru the ice?

Discussion in 'Fishing Forum' started by Blue Duck, Jan 11, 2001.

  1. Blue Duck

    Blue Duck Elite Refuge Member

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    Jul 25, 2000
    Location:
    Hayden, Idaho, USA
    I ice fish for perch and trout here in north Idaho. We have crappie, but I never catch them in winter. Actually never tried just for crappie thru the ice but it sounds great. Is there anything real different about them thru the ice? I catch a lot of crappie spring and summer, so I know a little about them. Would appreciate any tips.
     
  2. Krappie

    Krappie Senior Refuge Member

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    Mar 11, 2000
    Location:
    Depere, WI, USA
    Hey BlueDuck, I may sound like a Vexilar salesperson, but they are worth their weight in gold when ice fishing for crappie. Since crappies are notorious for suspending over deep water during summer and winter months, the vexilar helps eliminate the guessing game. But before the days of the Vexilar, I use to always start about 1 foot off the bottom and gradually raise the bait 6" or so until a fish was located. Often times, Crappies will stay a "ways off" the bottom, and it's usually better to have the bait higher than them. Because they usually will only hit a bait higher than them, this is due to their feeding habits and how their field of vision works. A Moxy jig, or any rocker style ice jigs work well with a fathead/lake shiner minnow. Hook the bait at the dorsal fin and place a small split shot about 1 foot above the jig. If you're using a bobber and see it float on it side, and doesn't appear to have weight, pull up the line quickly because the fish grabbed the minnow and went up with the minnow. This holds true if you're watching your pole tip. If it springs up like there's no weight set the hook immediately. Typically hook sets are merely putting good pressure on the fish, because of their paper thin mouths you definitely can tear through if setting the hook too hard or "hoarsing them in". You'll have to move around alot to find the schools, and often times the best times is to fish them at twilight or dusk. But this is not always true on some lakes. If you find man-made cribs and fallen timber you have yourself a gold mine. Make sure to mark it on your GPS if you have one. Most often if there's crappies in a lake they'll relate to this structures. Deep weed lines, fallen timber, cribs and open water are key locations. On some lakes I can catch them in about 25 feet of water and others in about 5 feet. It all depends where those buggers want to hang out in a lake. Hope this helps and good luck. Let us know how you do.

    catch ya later,
    Krappie
     
  3. Blue Duck

    Blue Duck Elite Refuge Member

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    Thanks for the info...
     
  4. High Velocity

    High Velocity Senior Refuge Member

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    Jul 8, 2000
    Location:
    Northern Minnesota
    Must say Krappie covered it pretty well!! Couple of other things I try. I typically start off in the deepest water in the lake I'm fishing, try the inside turns of the deepest water. If that proves uneventful, which it seldom does, early to mid season I try humps that come out of deep water around and after dark. During the day I drill numerous holes looking for them with the locator. The locator REALLY helps and I have gotten by with several different types. We have a lot of deep bowl type lakes here so that may make a difference. Try smaller acreage lakes first to see how they are relating to water depth. Also try a Rat Finkee(sp?) jig in yellow or glow, I won't leave home without 'em. I use a short "noodle" rod with at the most 4lb test, usually only 2lb. Last winter I released a 22" largemouth,as well as several others, caught on 2lb test and the noodle rod so as long as your drag is light and you take your time a Crappie should be no problem. Every lake is different and your predator fish type will certainly make a difference. Late-Ice look for them to start coming up near those spots you fish after ice-out. I have also caught them inches below the ice at Late-Ice which is really neat!! I personally can't find them much in the summer. That's when I chase Muskies but if I could pattern numbers of crappies I'd be after them just as much. Good luck and let us know how it goes.
     
  5. Greybeard

    Greybeard Elite Refuge Member

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    Location:
    Springfield,Illinois
    We usually locate them in the "none-ice" month by finding sunken brush or trees.
    If we get enough ice in the Winter, we go to those spots and fish that with very small minnows and a tiny ice-spoon. Some times you'll get on a hot spot and they will take big Wax worms dangled on the little spoons or jigs. This usually takes place on brush or trees that is at least 8 to 10 feet deep or more although I've caught them (on occasion) right under the ice...just a few inches. That usually happens after you catch one deeper and the others seem to follow it up. Then they hit it on the drop as your bait sinks.
     

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