John's Journal...

Catch Fat February Crappie

Day 2: More Productive Places to Catch February Crappie

Editor’s Note: Crappie fishing in February can be highly productive with plenty of fast action and big fish. Or, you may encounter fishing situations as slow as pouring maple syrup out of a cold pot on a frosty morning. Where you find the crappie makes the difference in the type of February fishing you do. Here’s some strategies that will make you more successful.

Click for Larger ViewCrappie Reefs Anglers Build
– Many wintertime anglers choose to build their own crappie reefs, by sinking old Christmas trees and other forms of brush to attract the fish, rather than searching for sunken treetops or manufactured reefs available from various suppliers. Click for Larger ViewResearch has proved that wintertime crappie prefer hardwood trees sunk to the bottom that stand upright, like trees grow on the bank. Years ago Barry Smith, a fisheries biologist and the co-owner of American Sportfish ( in Pike Road, Ala., experimented with brush shelters. “From our research, we determined that the standing brush shelters provided more food and cover and were better fish attractors than the brush that was sunk into the lake and left on the bottom.”

Old Creek Channels and River Ledges – Crappie fishing is much like bass fishing in the winter, in that if you can locate old creek channels with brush on them, you usually can find crappie. In many instances, these creek channels may be in the middle of the lake. To locate them and the brush that’s on them may require a depth finder. An expert crappie fisherman, who prefers not to be named, explains, “I’ll move-out into the main river channel and start hunting old creek channels and drop-offs with my depth finder. Then I’ll look for brush and cast to the brush pile. Personally, I catch more crappie fishing the deep brush, than I do down the bank in the wintertime. The mistake that many deep-water fishermen make is they don’t put their jigs down where the crappie feed. Click for Larger ViewCrappie stay tight in the cover in the cold weather and won’t run far to take jigs. To catch them, the baits have to move slowly and nearly bump them on their heads. If you’re not hitting limbs and branches on these old creek channels and river ledges, you’re not fishing where the crappie are. You’ll rarely see anyone else out in the middle of the lake fishing these areas. So, once you find a good bunch of crappie, you’ve pretty much got them protected from other anglers and can continue to go back and fish them for several days.”

Click for Larger ViewSome crappie guides on Kentucky Lake also fish the deep creek channels and the old river ledges there by trolling minnows along the deep structure. On each line, they use a lead to get-down close to the bottom and two-hook spreaders to hold the hooks and baits away from the main line to troll live minnows slowly just-off the bottom to catch crappie all winter long.

Tomorrow: Tactics to Find February Crappie

Check back each day this week for more about "Catch Fat February Crappie "

Day 1: Some Key Places to Catch February Fish
Day 2: More Productive Places to Catch February Crappie
Day 3: Tactics to Find February Crappie
Day 4: Use Concrete Solutions for February Crappie
Day 5: Catch Concrete Crappie in February

ALL CONTENT PROTECTED UNDER THE DIGITAL MILLENIUM COPYRIGHT ACT. Content theft, either printed or electronic is a federal offense.


Entry 653, Day 2