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Can you catch suspended crappies?

Posted By: Windfall

Can you catch suspended crappies? - 07/20/21

I bought a new fish locator a week back, a Garmin because the old Humminbird and even older Lowrance ones I had both puked. Now I can see lots of suspended fish 12-18 feet down mostly and all the way down to the thermocline at 40 feet in an 80 foot deep lake. They are not interested in a 1/16 or 1/32 ounce jig with a Twister or other plastic tail. I’ve caught a few crappies and bass in the shallow water, but the water temperature is 77 degrees and most of the fish seem to be out in the deeper water. Question is will they bite on anything? Need input. Thanks.
Posted By: FWP

Re: Can you catch suspended crappies? - 07/20/21

First are those suspended fish really crappie?

When I'm fishing for suspended crappie over open water I locate a school of suspended fish and try to catch a few. I use side imaging sonar which is great for this approach. I have found that crappie are pretty quick to take a bait. If I fish a school of suspended fish and do not get hits I presume they are not crappie and move on.

I do mark the school with a buoy to make sure I casting to the area where the school was detected. In big water it is easy to miss suspended fish without something to orientate to.

I also use shiners or small minnows at times. I catch more crappie and perch on shiners than jigs but will switch to jigs when I'm sure I'm on a school of crappie.
Posted By: Windfall

Re: Can you catch suspended crappies? - 07/20/21

I'd need to catch one to make sure, but at this point I'd be happy to catch anything. That 1/32 ounce pink jig with the crappie's preferred yellow colored 2" twister tail was under a small bobber for over an hour slow trolled through lots of suspended fish marks and it never twitched. The lake is gin clear and mostly bluegill, sunfish, crappie and large mouth bass with a few perch and northerns. Live bait is next I suppose.

I bought those Bobby Garland Baby Shad Electric Chicken plastics recommended in the April crappie jigging thread for my 1/16th ounce pink jig and nothing there ether.
Posted By: wabigoon

Re: Can you catch suspended crappies? - 07/20/21

Minnows?
Posted By: davet

Re: Can you catch suspended crappies? - 07/20/21

The more aggressive fish will be the ones closer to the surface. They also bite much better early or late in the day than in the middle of the day.

If you can set up to fish the school at different depths that would also help your chances. Either two jigs on the dame line 2' apart, or multiple poles all at different depths, and then hone in on the depth where youu are getting the most action.

Good luck.
Posted By: Colorado1135

Re: Can you catch suspended crappies? - 07/23/21

I used to fish a reservoir like that, what I found to work was using a 1-2oz bottom bouncer with a spinner rig pulling 1/4 of a night crawler. I tied my own spinners the same as I do for walleyes with similar set up only I use smaller hooks and spinner blades and keep them much closer together, like 2" or so. Often I'd make the snell 4' long to give it a little distance from the weight, not sure if it made a difference though.
The bottom bouncer acts as a poor man's down rigger, keeping the crawler at the target depth, then I'd just troll through the schools of fish. I didn't have a line counter, just kinda estimated a ran them at different depths. We caught a pile of them that way, way more than a slip bobber. Most of the time I wouldn't even get to fish, I'd be baiting and unhooking got the kids, they had a blast
Posted By: Spotshooter

Re: Can you catch suspended crappies? - 07/23/21


If you have a live scope (Garmin) and minnows’ and they don’t bite - they aren’t fish.
Posted By: 10gaugemag

Re: Can you catch suspended crappies? - 07/23/21


Don't bet on it.

We have quite a few swim up to the minnow and then dart away as fast as they can.

Not all fish are hungry.
Posted By: 10gaugemag

Re: Can you catch suspended crappies? - 07/23/21

Originally Posted by Windfall
I bought a new fish locator a week back, a Garmin because the old Humminbird and even older Lowrance ones I had both puked. Now I can see lots of suspended fish 12-18 feet down mostly and all the way down to the thermocline at 40 feet in an 80 foot deep lake. They are not interested in a 1/16 or 1/32 ounce jig with a Twister or other plastic tail. I’ve caught a few crappies and bass in the shallow water, but the water temperature is 77 degrees and most of the fish seem to be out in the deeper water. Question is will they bite on anything? Need input. Thanks.

Try minnows.

In the summer heat we have our best luck w minnows.

Yes they can be caught on jigs and sometimes just as good or as many but day in and day out I will put my $$ on a minnow.

Edited to add: Do you have some crankbaits? We have decent luck trolling Berkley Flicker Shads at times out in open water.

Headed down this weekend to give em a go.
Posted By: Windfall

Re: Can you catch suspended crappies? - 07/23/21

Some good things to try so far. It is hard to think that those hooks or the computerized different fish shapes down 12-18' over 30 foot deep and deeper water wouldn't be fish especially since the lake is so clear. Then there are scattered bunches of them right above the thermocline that I can see at 40', but nothing below that likely because of poor dissolved oxygen since the lake is spring fed. The three resident loons spend a lot of their time out over the deeper water diving, so they must know something that I don't. I have a buddy with one of those Aqua-view things that I bet I could borrow. Hard to believe that near anything wouldn't eat a worm right in front of them. The lake is only 40 acres, so there is never any chop and I'm sure fish can see a boat above them. I've been slow trolling with an electric motor and a minnow crankbait away from the boat is also a great suggestion.
Posted By: Rick n Tenn

Re: Can you catch suspended crappies? - 07/25/21

Before the last heavy rainfall wee found fish around flooded timber 8 feet deep in 15 feet of water . Jigs tipped with minnow was working best .

Next trip Im going to try pulling crank baits in the main lake channel .
Posted By: FWP

Re: Can you catch suspended crappies? - 07/27/21

Originally Posted by Rick n Tenn
Next trip Im going to try pulling crank baits in the main lake channel .


There is a bay I fish on a local lake. The water runs 20 to 30 feet deep. There is one area of about 400 to 500 yards that I troll with crankbaits and often I catch decent size crappie.
Posted By: whackem_stackem

Re: Can you catch suspended crappies? - 07/27/21

I have had luck getting suspended crappies to bite by jigging a smaller Mepp's. Sometimes the flash of the spinner gets them to bite.
I go jig + minnow then jig + tail then Mepp's. If nothing works I then move on.
Posted By: BustemAgain

Re: Can you catch suspended crappies? - 08/05/21

Strike King 3XD in any of the Shad patterns kill suspended slabs dead. I have also caught a ton on a Blazin Blue UV Storm Wiggle Wart.
Posted By: BustemAgain

Re: Can you catch suspended crappies? - 08/06/21

Can also recommend Rapala Glass Shad Raps size 4 or 5. All the colors seem to work but I’ve probably caught the most on the glass citrus Shad color.
Posted By: chlinstructor

Re: Can you catch suspended crappies? - 08/06/21

Minnows
Posted By: Schmidtx2

Re: Can you catch suspended crappies? - 08/06/21

Originally Posted by Colorado1135
I used to fish a reservoir like that, what I found to work was using a 1-2oz bottom bouncer with a spinner rig pulling 1/4 of a night crawler. I tied my own spinners the same as I do for walleyes with similar set up only I use smaller hooks and spinner blades and keep them much closer together, like 2" or so. Often I'd make the snell 4' long to give it a little distance from the weight, not sure if it made a difference though.
The bottom bouncer acts as a poor man's down rigger, keeping the crawler at the target depth, then I'd just troll through the schools of fish. I didn't have a line counter, just kinda estimated a ran them at different depths. We caught a pile of them that way, way more than a slip bobber. Most of the time I wouldn't even get to fish, I'd be baiting and unhooking got the kids, they had a blast

Can do the same with smaller cranks single or double stacked. A more aggressive presentation seems to be the ticket on suspended fish
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