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How long before crappie come to new cover?

larrymouser's picture

By larrymouser - Posted on 09 February 2011

I am wondering how long it takes crappiei to come to the new stake beds and brush piles and PVC trees all you guys have been putting out?

peepaw's picture
"The Keeper"
"The Keeper"

Well said Ray, couldn't agree more. We also take prevailing wind/wave action into consideration. As we all know,food is #1 so where will the minnows be close by for forage? Lots to look at when deciding best spots. Water type and quality plays the biggest part in how fast the fish habitat "matures". We have some dark stained waters where algae forms in less than a week. Fish will use habitat sooner in darker waters it appears from our experience. Algae starts the whole process so it is the key in my opinion. I have learned to test stakes in various spots before committing to a whole bed. Can show you some clues with little effort.

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katfish76's picture

Ray you took the words right out of my mouth. Great post and reply.

Chris "Katfish" Johnson
Professional Fishing & Duck Hunting Guide
Tn River Guide Service

Ray's picture

Larry that is a question that will get different answers from everyone that puts out stuff.
My best guess is I have put out about 500 crappiei covers of every type in the past 5 years.
By far the most important factor is location. I improved my success rate greatly when I started spending more time selecting the exact spot I wanted. I now look for spots where I know there are crappie in the area because I caught some and not because I just thought they should be there.
Next I want some kind of unique feature. Change in depth, change in bottom composition maybe even just an area where there is shade further out than anywhere else.
Next I want a spot where it is a good distance to any other good cover natural or man made. I think this helps get you the numbers.
If I consider all these things I rarely have a spot that is a complete failure.
Now to your original question. The really good ones get fish on them in 90 days. Some and probably most take 12 months to get the real quality crappie I want. It really varies.
I have a stake bed and it is one of the largest I ever put out with around 200 stakes 9 foot long in it. 2 years I never caught a quality crappie off it. Then a 2 day tournament and that stake bed put us in the money (2nd) place and produced probably 20 quality fish in 2 days.
In short put them in good spots and crappie will come to them sooner or later most of the time.


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A defined set of location and presentation factors that consistently produce fish.

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