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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Crappie have long been one of my favorite fish to catch and eat and my son and I have been doing pretty good at Silver lake this fall/winter.

I know there is more than one pond/lake that hold these fish, so I figured I would start a non-location specific dedicated crappie thread.

I hope to hear some great reports and techniques. Go get them slabs!!


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I’ll play. Just started fishing for them again year two ago. Hope to get out soon. But life keeps getting in the way.
 

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At one of my crappie spots, the crappie swarm into the shallows to spawn in the spring. They're in water 6 inches or less deep in some spots, tucked away in the muck, weeds, and branches. This is where those telescopic crappie poles work great. Tie about 5 feet of mono to the tip guide, with a small corkie (bobber) pinned about 3-4 inches above a live wiggly garden worm.


Then dunk that bobber and worm into every nook and cranny while walking along the shore where casting is impossible, and watch that bobber disappear. Ounce in a while, you'll get surprised with a 2-3 pound bass grabbing the tiny worm instead of a crappie.
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
I’ve received a few PMs asking for tips and advice, so I thought I’d write up what has been working for us this fall/winter.

I do not make any claims of being an expert, again, this has been what has worked for us. Tactics and lures will change as the weather and water warms.

Rods: I recently bought new trout/panfish rods, since my old ones have been well used and abused. I decided on Okuma Cascade Pro Elite series. (Around $40 at BiMart.) I bought a 6’6” 2-6lb line for my son and a 7’6” 4-10lb for myself. So far, I really like these rods and both are very fun to fight panfish on.



Another rod that I use and is a less expensive option, ($19.99 at Sportsman’s) is a Shakespeare Micro Series 7’ UL 2-6lb.



Reels: The Okuma rods are paired with Pflueger President 20 reels (on sale for $35) and spooled with 10lb tufline hiviz braid.(I find that braid less than 10lb can be very limp and prone to tip wrap or knotting on the spool)



The Shakespeare rods are paired with Okuma Aria 20b reels (bought on sale for $15) also spooled with 10lb Tufline.




On all reels, I connect about four feet of 2-4lb fluorocarbon.

Rigging: We prefer to use 2” weighted cigar floats. We only connect them on the weighted end, as we have found this allows the float to create the least surface disturbance and gives the jig the best action. Make sure to wrap the line around the float hook 3-4 times to prevent it from sliding. We normally set the floats around 18-24” from the jig, but adjust depth if needed. I try to avoid using any swivels or split shot under the float, because I have noticed smaller fish, especially bluegill will attack these rather than the jig.

Jigs: For us, smaller jigs have worked better. (1/64oz and smaller). We have been doing well on our hand-tied jigs, but before that, we had success with 1” mini tube jigs (1/80oz jig heads), Trout Magnets (not the larger Crappie Magnets), and I recently ordered and have been catching fish with Mini Magnets, which are 1/200oz I believe.

Many people like to fish with multiple jigs, spaced 8-12” apart, but we catch just as many fish with a single jig, and it’s simpler.



We have stopped using any kind of bait or scent. We caught more Bluegill and Perch with bait and scent, but it doesn’t seem to matter to the crappie.

Tactics: In these colder months, crappie are not nearly as aggressive as they are when the water is warm. Hence, why we don’t use the larger jigs, beetle-spins, small crankbaits, etc.

After the cast, we reel in EXTREMLY slow, and lightly jig on the return. This is done with just the rod tip. I like to pause about every third or fourth turn of the reel handle. Often, when a fish strikes, the float will only move a tiny bit side to side and not go under. Reel up the slack and give a slight tug. No need for Bill Dance Bassmaster hooksets.

Tip: If you are targeting crappie, but are catching perch, you are fishing too deep.

Like I said, I am no expert, but I hope what works for us might help someone else.

The goal is to turn this:



Into this:




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I've got one of those float's around here somewhere but never figured out how to use it. Like the Looks of those President reels and that Shakespere ultra light rod. Some reason for 10# line? My ultra light Ocuma has just 2# on it. The rest have 4#. I don't use any leader at all. I notice a lot of crappie fisherman seem to use line fron 6# up, don't understand it they are so small in Oregon.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I've got one of those float's around here somewhere but never figured out how to use it. Like the Looks of those President reels and that Shakespere ultra light rod. Some reason for 10# line? My ultra light Ocuma has just 2# on it. The rest have 4#. I don't use any leader at all. I notice a lot of crappie fisherman seem to use line fron 6# up, don't understand it they are so small in Oregon.

I like that braid has no stretch and I think that helps with the light bites this time of year. The trade off is that I have found that braided line any lighter than 10lb has a tendency for wrapping around the rod tip or knotting up on the spool because it is so light and limp. If I was using straight mono, I’d probably use 4lb hiviz main and a section of 2lb flouro.


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Wonder if there's any hope for Brownlee this spring? If it's not Crappie, I can live with Bluegill and Yellow Perch, especially the perch.
 

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Wonder if there's any hope for Brownlee this spring? If it's not Crappie, I can live with Bluegill and Yellow Perch, especially the perch.
I was just wondering the same thing....Was thinking about making a weekend trip over in May...never been that early, though. Fathers day weekend has always been good to me.
 

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Brownlee has been a head scratcher for the last two years. A few large crappies then a class of mid size non keepers for me. The bluegills can be found on their beds after water level stabilizes in early June, then they disappear. Bass population is healthy but dominated by smallish fish. Catfishing is steady. The spot will be Prineville again. 12 inch average should keep us happy. Heavy pressure has kept large population from stunting but now I think we need to harvest only a few each trip to keep this thing going. I had trouble finding them this fall. I observed some very large trout feeding aggressively after crowds thinned out. They were chasing schools of smolts near surface( I am assuming these were crappie smolts). Lake Shasta has the big crappies( 16 inchers) but again hard to find. Spotted bass population is incredible and filets are firm, very white flesh. A few bluegills in the 10 inch class show up. There will be some fish to be had beside trout. I am going a bit crazy with no ice to drill. See you on the lakes soon.
 

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Anybody been to Prineville lately? How's the water level? Keep thinking I'm gonna take a ride over to find out but long trip for me.
 

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As Puckfisher notes, late season crappie fishing was slow at Prineville. Some of the rainbow that I caught on my crappie gear would put Diamond Lake rainbow to shame. Rainbows were well fed.
 

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2 years ago I was catching the biggest crappie I have ever seen at la page park in front of my camper on a 15 ft cane pole. Even the bass tournament guys camping around us were amazed at the bass sized crappie. I also some times catch very large crappie in the back slogs of the Willamette fly fishing for bass :twocents:
 

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Anybody been to Prineville lately? How's the water level? Keep thinking I'm gonna take a ride over to find out but long trip for me.
Reported at 33% right now. I went out there in November and I don't think i'd ever seen so little water. Looks to be about half the volume as this time last year.
 

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Reported at 33% right now. I went out there in November and I don't think i'd ever seen so little water. Looks to be about half the volume as this time last year.
Thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter #16
We had another good day at Silver lake. Started fishing around 9:00 am and had our limits by noon.



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Hey guys,

I have been to Silver Lake a few times over the past couple of Summers to bank fish for Crappie and Perch but it was always hit or miss. Since then, I have purchased a boat and recently, I have been wanting to get in on the Winter panfish bite. Since I have only been on the lake in the Summertime, I was hoping that some of you veterans would be able to give some pointers for someone taking a boat out on Silver for the first time. Tackle/gear-wise, I am good to go. However, I am mainly curious about what spots to try and hit during this time of year, as I have read that the fish aren't in the same water they are commonly found in during the hotter months. Any helpful hints would be greatly appreciated!
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Hey guys,

I have been to Silver Lake a few times over the past couple of Summers to bank fish for Crappie and Perch but it was always hit or miss. Since then, I have purchased a boat and recently, I have been wanting to get in on the Winter panfish bite. Since I have only been on the lake in the Summertime, I was hoping that some of you veterans would be able to give some pointers for someone taking a boat out on Silver for the first time. Tackle/gear-wise, I am good to go. However, I am mainly curious about what spots to try and hit during this time of year, as I have read that the fish aren't in the same water they are commonly found in during the hotter months. Any helpful hints would be greatly appreciated!

The fish seem to congregate in the canals near Silver Cove Resort this time of year. I’m sure there are fish elsewhere, but I’ve yet to find a consistent spot. You could always launch at the WDFW launch and try the areas just outside of the RV park.


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Discussion Starter #20 (Edited)
My son and I went to SCR again yesterday. I had tied up some new jigs the night before and was curious to try them out.

We got there around 8:30, but our day was almost ruined as soon as we started fishing. I had a few words with a loud mouth jackwagon who apparently thought it was appropriate to teach his kids to snag fish. He also seemed to think that anti-snagging rules only applied to salmon/steelhead and that being a foul mouthed dingus was a fine example for his boys.

I somehow was able to keep my temper under control and not make the situation worse than it was. Had my son or other kids not been around, I can’t say I would have been able to keep myself under control, although I would have thoroughly enjoyed myself.

Even though we were catching fish and hadn’t heard anything from the loud mouth for a while, I could tell neither one of us were having much fun and my son seemed pretty tense. I suggested that we go warm up in the truck for a while and move to a different spot.

Once we moved, my son was visibly happy to be fishing again. The fishing was slower for a while, but the people around us were all very friendly and sociable. Once we started getting bites again, the fish were bigger and and we finally filled our limits with multiple fish in the 11” range.

Both of my new jigs caught fish, but the blue/chartreuse one was my top performer for the day. (Both are 1/80oz)





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