Ice Fishing Tips -Check your local regulations! > Crappies

Thoughts on crappie locations on this 23acre lake.

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Agronomist_at_IA:
Dusk into night they hang right at the 10ft depth by structure, bush piles, docks just off the deep basin. All a guy needs to do is pull the shack to the end of the dock and your good.... gills hang around all day with an occasional big bass...never see a crappie all day then dusk they suspend at 6ft in 10ft. Of water.

Iíve dropped the camera in deep basin and can see a few feet...they arenít on bottom when we check.

hnd:
While this has happened to us on a few lakes, sometimes the opposite, i've not really put a ton of thought as to why and now am a little bit. 

So my thought process especially as we get out of first ice, is that fish move not just shallow but just under the ice.   crappies more than any other fish IMO are suseptible to poor oxygen situations.  there is more oxygen under the ice than there is deeper.  ALSO we've seen minnows in shallow clear ice conditions.   

also during the day, the sun is beating on the shallow water spots and plankton and what ot are hatching and baitfish move in.  sun goes down plankton stop, and minnows will go deep and so do the crappies. 

My guess the fish are up super shallow....easily spooked and very difficult to find. 

In all the years of my dealing with this on some bodies of water thats my best guess.  because its easy to search deep water your cone covers more.  when you are searching in shallow water, drill all the holes you are goign to want to fish, and then come back to the first hole and just dip a lure in the water without electronics and try and be quiet.  my guess is thats your best option. 

Fat Boy:
That's interesting.  In our lakes, during the evening, the plankton get so thick that you can't use a camera.  You can see them on your flasher, and, sometimes, swimming in the hole.  Granted, we're using lanterns.  So, perhaps, if that's the case, the lanterns are indeed attracting the food chain and crappie.  It's not a new concept.  But, what I can't explain is, how come the plankton are there before we fire up the lanterns?  During the day, you can see great on the camera, then, dusk happens and there are clouds of planktonic critters.

I've had similar experiences.  We don't often get blanked on our favorite lakes, but the crappie numbers are sporadic.  When we do catch them, we remember those spots for the night bite.  They usually produce more often than not.

Fat Boy:
OK, after further research, I found that zooplankton (as I originally suspected) are light sensitive.  They stay deeper during bright daylight, and rise at night to feed.  That explains why I often cut a new hole at night and see lots of little critters swimming around.  It also explains why crappie suspend to feed at night.  So, what about daytime?  Zooplankton may be the key.  I seem to see more of it in the daytime when I'm fishing the edges of weed beds.   Find areas like that close to your nighttime spots, and maybe you'll find daytime crappie.  They could be hiding in the weeds too.

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