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Written by Rocky Madsen   
Wednesday, 01 May 1996
Article Index
Spring Crappie Patterns
May Locations
Where They Are

 

May Locations


In larger bodies of water, the best locations to concentrate on is rivers, canals (man-made), harbours (both natural and man-made), and particularly marinas. I have noticed taht canals, harbors, and marinas that have been excavated seem to attract and hold more crappies. The newly exposed soil produces the food necessary to attract the bait fish and crappies. In the earlier part of May when the water temperature is in the low 40's, you will find smaller crappies moving up the river systems. The larger crappies can usually found in deep holes around the river mouth. As the temperature starts to rise into the upper 40's larger crappies will move more aggressively up river. However, I find the larger crappies feed for a shorter period and then exit back to the lake .The smaller crappies (8" and less) will usually stay in the river longer, and in fact, many may be resident fish.

When picking a river to fish, you must take into account the speed at which the river flows and how many acres of land drains into the river. Rivers with a current of 4 MPH and greater with a large drainage area can, and will change the crappie pattern in mere hours after a heavy rain. I find crappies fishing patterns in the larger systems more difficult to pinpoint because of these water fluctuations. You might find crappies in one location, only to find out that your fish have moved several miles overnight. The best places to concentrate on for large crappies is (again) deep holes around the river mouth.

I prefer rivers with a current speed of 1 to 2 MPH, with a small drainage area. Crappies will not move around as much in this type of river, making their movements more predictable. Again, fish deep areas around the river mouth, and the deeper holes upstream in early and mid May.

As I mentioned earlier, some of my favorite locations in early spring on larger lakes are marinas. Whether the marina is upstream, close to the river mouth, or directly on the lake, they will generally hold some crappies. The marinas closer to the main lake will be more likely to hold the 12,13,14,inch lunkers.

On smaller lakes check weed lines/bunches in (north) shallow bays (with 8' to 14' depths), boat houses, docks, and by other structure with a minimum of 8' of water. Also, check canals, smaller lakes and swampy lakes off the main body of water. Fish the deeper water when the water surface temperature is under 50°, and then move shallower to the shoreline when temperature goes over 50°.



 
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