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Crappie Study/Continued


Beau Butler's picture

By Beau Butler - Posted on 02 July 2010

Part of what we are working on revolves around food sources and the effects of temperature on that food source.
As crappiei fishermen, we all are aware that crappie are predator fish. We also understand that crappie like cover. But I don't think many of us have delved into WHY crappie like cover.
Crappie feed primarily on small "gizzard shad", " threadfin shad" or some form of insect. However, they are oportunistic and will basically feed on just about anything that will fit in their mouth and moves like it's alive.
Minnows are food. Why, because they are much like small shad.
Jigs, we try to make them look like a food source. Have you considered what food source a jig is suppose to look like?
So let's examine that for a moment: You drop a minnow down beside a stump, get to the right depth and "thump". Same with a jig. Sometimes, and you've seen the fishing reports, they were hugging the cover. Why? And they were shallower than you thought they should be.
What we are trying to determine is why that fish is hugging the cover at a certain depth at certain times. The simple answer is "food".
So if we want to understand the fish, we need to understand the food, which is precisely what we are working on. The correlation of temperature/ water depth/life cycle of food sources.
There are many variable we have to contend with: light, wind, clarity and temperature ( affected by all the above).
Also, at this point we are working on warm or hot temps. for this time of year, with the idea of expanding it into fall and winter as time passes.
Just keep those reports coming and we'll see where all this leads us.
Beau

Big Papa's picture

Food for thought.

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A distinct layer of water where rising warm and sinking cold water meet but do not mix. It is a layer of water where the temperature changes at least one-half a degree per foot of depth. In many of our desert bass lakes, a thermocline often develops during the spring and breaks down in the fall. The colder layer of water is often lacking in oxygen, forcing most baitfish and sport-fish to the upper layer of water. Thermoclines can be so dense that they actually show up on sonar (fish finders and depth finders) as a thick, impenetrable line.

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