Author Topic: Where to target crappie in the winter?  (Read 2463 times)

sdatver

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Where to target crappie in the winter?
« on: Feb 02, 2016, 10:47 AM »
Just wondering what you guys look for on a structure map to target crappie. I want to try a lake I have never fished and wondering what to look for on the map? I am unsure of any structure in the lake just have the contour map.

slipperybob

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Re: Where to target crappie in the winter?
« Reply #1 on: Feb 09, 2016, 07:22 AM »
You can find crappies in two places.  Over the deep holes of the lake and along the weedlines. 

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VDueslerIV

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Re: Where to target crappie in the winter?
« Reply #2 on: Dec 24, 2016, 02:19 PM »
You can find crappies in two places.  Over the deep holes of the lake and along the weedlines.  yup sounds about right
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captain54

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Re: Where to target crappie in the winter?
« Reply #3 on: Dec 31, 2016, 11:06 AM »
You can find crappies in two places.  Over the deep holes of the lake and along the weedlines.  yup sounds about right.
You can find crappies in two places.  Over the deep holes of the lake and along the weedlines. 
You can't go wrong with that advice.

UFCreel

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Re: Where to target crappie in the winter?
« Reply #4 on: Jan 01, 2017, 11:07 AM »
 :tipup:
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italianice77

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Re: Where to target crappie in the winter?
« Reply #5 on: Jan 02, 2017, 05:37 PM »
You can find crappies in two places.  Over the deep holes of the lake and along the weedlines.
Ditto
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DR.SPECKLER

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Re: Where to target crappie in the winter?
« Reply #6 on: Jan 04, 2017, 05:09 PM »
I also find crappies suspended high in the water column over deeper water and on weed edges that are alive still.or brushpiles and trees that have fallen in the lake if your lucky enough to find structure like that.

khtwo

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Re: Where to target crappie in the winter?
« Reply #7 on: Jan 23, 2017, 07:53 AM »
about weedline, does the weed need to be alive and green? or dead weed line is also ok for crappie? In winter, many weed dead under ice.

butcher

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Re: Where to target crappie in the winter?
« Reply #8 on: Jan 23, 2017, 09:34 PM »
Weeds need to be green to hold fish of any species. When weeds die, they begin to decay.  The decaying process releases methane into the water which dilutes the oxygen level of the surrounding water.  In short, decaying weeds suffocate fish so you won't find many fish of any type near dying or dead weeds.  This holds true whether during the ice or open water seasons. 

If you see dead weeds in your hole or on your hooks, move around until you find green ones.  Any time you find green weeds, fish shouldn't be very far away. 

khtwo

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Re: Where to target crappie in the winter?
« Reply #9 on: Jan 24, 2017, 02:50 PM »
Weeds need to be green to hold fish of any species. When weeds die, they begin to decay.  The decaying process releases methane into the water which dilutes the oxygen level of the surrounding water.  In short, decaying weeds suffocate fish so you won't find many fish of any type near dying or dead weeds.  This holds true whether during the ice or open water seasons. 

If you see dead weeds in your hole or on your hooks, move around until you find green ones.  Any time you find green weeds, fish shouldn't be very far away.

Very reasonable. However, I heard some other stories, such as crappies like to stay around decaying woods, which can provide shelter. And fishes are classified with the level of consumption of the oxygen in the water. Crappies and large mouth bass consume less oxygen, so they can stay at quiet water with decaying woods or grass, while walleye and pike need more oxygen, so they like to stay around the current. Besides that, decaying grass or woods tend to raise more small bugs, which attracts more minnows, which attract more bigger fishes there. How do we combine all these factors when targeting crappies?

butcher

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Re: Where to target crappie in the winter?
« Reply #10 on: Jan 25, 2017, 09:06 AM »
Any type of wood or standing timber will attract fish pretty much year round.  Wood decays VERY slowly so it doesn't release very much methane or other gases underwater so it does not affect oxygen content very much.  Green weeds of all types (including algae) actually release oxygen into the water.  They "breathe in" carbon dioxide and release oxygen as a byproduct.  When the weeds die, they turn brown or black because bacteria are consuming the plant cells.  The digestion process of the bacteria generates methane.  Once that methane is released into the water, it severely depletes the oxygen level which makes it very difficult for oxygen-breathing organism to survive - including insect larvae, crustaceans and minnows.  You'll often notice that when you find decaying weed beds, you wont catch many fish. 

The problem of decaying weeds is even worse during the ice season than it is during open water.  First, waterways get a lot of their oxygen content from surface turbulence.  On windy days and in moving water, the surface creates waves and ripples which trap oxygen from the air and aerate the water.  Once ice covers the water, even if it is just and inch or so,  the waterway cannot aerate from the surface.  Once a lake is capped with ice, oxygen can only come from springs, green weeds and any moving water under the ice surface like a creek channel.  Further, the methane that is released from decaying weed beds pools up under the ice surface in large pockets because it can't escape through the air.  Normally, this methane escapes the water directly into the air when the water is open but when there is ice, it gets trapped which further dilutes the oxygen content.  I have read stories about shanties catching on fire when a big pocket of methane escapes through a hole and ignites from a heater, lantern or cigarette. 

Lots of people notice that fish bite best in the early and late ice seasons but are notably less active during mid-ice.  The prevailing theory that seems to make sense is that the oxygen level gets very depleted under the ice because fish are breathing it in and little is replaced.  In the early season there is lots of oxygen in the water and in the late season, runoff and deteriorating ice conditions allow oxygen back into the water.  In the middle of the season though, the oxygen is likely at its lowest level.  When the oxygen reaches lower levels, fish become lethargic and will conserve energy (and oxygen) by limiting their activity and feeding. 

Bottom line - if you find green weeds, you will likely find active fish under the ice.  Wood is usually a good collection point for fish and forage as well but be careful.  Wood tends to retain heat more than other types of structure so the ice near any wood is typically less thick than the surrounding area.  If you find dead, decaying weeds, move to another spot. 

Sorry for the chemistry and biology class there but I find this stuff really interesting and very helpful when I am fishing.

khtwo

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Re: Where to target crappie in the winter?
« Reply #11 on: Jan 25, 2017, 11:24 AM »
Applaud Buther! Very detailed Information, and make clear of many linked factors that applied on ice fishing. Great job!

butcher

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Re: Where to target crappie in the winter?
« Reply #12 on: Jan 25, 2017, 01:33 PM »
Always happy to help a fellow ice fisherman.  Good luck and stay on top!

Whopper Stopper

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Re: Where to target crappie in the winter?
« Reply #13 on: Feb 02, 2017, 04:20 PM »
Always happy to help a fellow ice fisherman.  Good luck and stay on top!

Well written and very informative butcher :bow:

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lunkahville

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Re: Where to target crappie in the winter?
« Reply #14 on: Mar 02, 2017, 07:49 PM »
That helps alot. I thought I had to be strictly over deeper holes
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MG39

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Re: Where to target crappie in the winter?
« Reply #15 on: Mar 15, 2017, 05:12 PM »
Any type of wood or standing timber will attract fish pretty much year round.  Wood decays VERY slowly so it doesn't release very much methane or other gases underwater so it does not affect oxygen content very much.  Green weeds of all types (including algae) actually release oxygen into the water.  They "breathe in" carbon dioxide and release oxygen as a byproduct.  When the weeds die, they turn brown or black because bacteria are consuming the plant cells.  The digestion process of the bacteria generates methane.  Once that methane is released into the water, it severely depletes the oxygen level which makes it very difficult for oxygen-breathing organism to survive - including insect larvae, crustaceans and minnows.  You'll often notice that when you find decaying weed beds, you wont catch many fish. 

The problem of decaying weeds is even worse during the ice season than it is during open water.  First, waterways get a lot of their oxygen content from surface turbulence.  On windy days and in moving water, the surface creates waves and ripples which trap oxygen from the air and aerate the water.  Once ice covers the water, even if it is just and inch or so,  the waterway cannot aerate from the surface.  Once a lake is capped with ice, oxygen can only come from springs, green weeds and any moving water under the ice surface like a creek channel.  Further, the methane that is released from decaying weed beds pools up under the ice surface in large pockets because it can't escape through the air.  Normally, this methane escapes the water directly into the air when the water is open but when there is ice, it gets trapped which further dilutes the oxygen content.  I have read stories about shanties catching on fire when a big pocket of methane escapes through a hole and ignites from a heater, lantern or cigarette. 

Lots of people notice that fish bite best in the early and late ice seasons but are notably less active during mid-ice.  The prevailing theory that seems to make sense is that the oxygen level gets very depleted under the ice because fish are breathing it in and little is replaced.  In the early season there is lots of oxygen in the water and in the late season, runoff and deteriorating ice conditions allow oxygen back into the water.  In the middle of the season though, the oxygen is likely at its lowest level.  When the oxygen reaches lower levels, fish become lethargic and will conserve energy (and oxygen) by limiting their activity and feeding. 

Bottom line - if you find green weeds, you will likely find active fish under the ice.  Wood is usually a good collection point for fish and forage as well but be careful.  Wood tends to retain heat more than other types of structure so the ice near any wood is typically less thick than the surrounding area.  If you find dead, decaying weeds, move to another spot. 

Sorry for the chemistry and biology class there but I find this stuff really interesting and very helpful when I am fishing.

Very interesting indeed. Recently I couldn't fine fish in several spots in a deep cove that usually held fish. When we moved out closer to the running water in the stream, the bite was on.
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