How to Build and Fish a Crappie Condo

 

How to Build and Fish a Crappie Condo

When warm weather hits, the crappie start biting. Depending on the region, after the spawn around April or May till the first cold front rolls through in the Fall, these tasty panfish are easy to find, usually congregating around brush piles that house the plankton and baitfish that make up the food chain. Although, anglers can spend a long time with their DownScan sonar looking for the ideal spot, many anglers are making their own brush piles, so they know exactly where to look.

In reality, anything will work as a brush pile – in many areas, anglers bundle together Christmas trees and weigh them down. The key to placement is depth. When the temperature climbs, crappie will move into deeper water. The ideal depth range is between 10 and 30 feet. Even government agencies like Fish and Wildlife, the Army Corps of Engineers and The National Park Service are involved in placing brush piles to offer the fish a comfortable and safe habitat — though they want to keep them in water deep enough so that they don’t become hazards to navigation. The problem with using trees and brush is that they eventually break down and have to be replaced after a few years. Additionally, hooks can snag on the limbs making it a challenge to fish.

Barry Stokes from FOX Sports Outdoors has found a great way to create manmade brush piles that won’t snag hooks and will last forever. Made with PVC pipe, recycled tubing, concrete and a bucket, Stokes’ crappie condos are just about guaranteed to catch fish when you know how to work them right. Typically, he places six to twelve in a clump five feet apart, and within a week the crappie will be in residence. The longer they sit in the water, the more algae grow, and the more life surrounds them.

When placing a brush pile, marking the location on a chart is vital to help find them once again. On 2D sonar, a brush pile will just appear to be a blob, but with the latest Lowrance DownScan sonar technology, the brush pile not only comes to life, but even the fish hiding in the tangle of PVC pipes become apparent.

According to Stokes, the best way to work the brush pile is to have an HDI transducer on your trolling motor. You want to be directly over of the brush pile with the transducer right under you. Using a vertical presentation, you lower down a jig. Stokes recommends 3/16 ounce as the heaviest weight with six- or eight-pound test line. You’ll have to experiment with depth, but once you get a bite, you can just keep dropping the jig to catch more fish. After a few catches, however, the crappie will get anxious and back off. If you are in a spot with a few brush piles grouped together, you can troll over to the next one and work them in sequence. By the time you get back to the first one, the spooked fish will have returned. If you have only a limited number of brush piles to work, you can also just back away with your trolling motor and cast from a distance. Using a lighter weight in the 1/8-to-1/24 ounce range when casting from a distance is preferred. This technique will draw out the fish that have been hiding.

To see how Barry built his crappie condos, watch the video here: http://foxsportsoutdoors.com/videos-main-page/search/condos/

Catch all the of the action from Barry Stokes and the team at FOX Sports Outdoors on FOX Sports Southwest, FOX Sports Southeast, Waypoint TV and on FOXSportsoutdoors.com.

Learn More: Visit Lowrance.com Today.

Original Source: Sportsmans Lifestyle.com 

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