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Best flies for crappies


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36 replies to this topic

#1 FlaFly

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Posted 22 September 2014 - 09:03 AM

I fish mostly for bluegills with rubber spiders, poppers, etc.  I have never in all my many many years caught a crappie on a surface lure.  I have caught black crappies on rooster tail spinners (ultralight).   What I'd like to know is what is your most effective crappie fly, and is it equally effective for black or white crappie?  I looked on the database/tag: crappies, and there's lots of variety, but how to tell which actually catches crappies?


"Good advice is always certain to be ignored, but that's no reason not to give it."

Agatha Christie

 

"No one wants advice -- only corroboration."

John Steinbeck

 

"I had six faithful serving men, they taught me all I knew.

Their names were what? and why? and when? and how? and where? and who?"
Rudyard Kipling
 


#2 RickZieger

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Posted 22 September 2014 - 09:11 AM

I use Goldie Jr., furl tailed mohair leech, rubber legged dragon and boa yarn flies.

 

Rick



#3 shoebop

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Posted 22 September 2014 - 09:15 AM

I rarely catch crappies when I actually target them. I have tried numerous "crappie jigs" that I have tied. Usually on  1/16 - 1/8 ounce jig heads. But I have caught them on occasion when fishing for sunnies with soft hackles. Always in the spring when they are spawning or just after the spawn. Once they move out into the deep and suspend, I haven't cracked that dilemma yet.


Shoebop

#4 greyhackel

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Posted 23 September 2014 - 01:23 PM

I've just had a couple of specular evenings with Crappie and White Perch using a Black foam/purple body Gurgle bug up top with an olive damselfly nymph dropper. They were slamming both the bug and nymph. Even had a couple of doubles.

#5 flytire

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Posted 23 September 2014 - 02:16 PM

I happen to catch crappie when I'm least expecting to catch them on some sponge spiders it tie

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#6 TheCream

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Posted 23 September 2014 - 02:44 PM

I don't use anything for crappies but streamer of varying sizes.  I'm not discounting that crappies feed on aquatic insects, but the bigger crappies I find where I live are small fish eaters.  Streamers ranging from size 8 or so all the way up to size 1 depending on where I am and how big I expect to find crappies work best for me.  Usually in all white or some sort of shad coloration.  I even catch a lot of smaller crappies on streamers, but it's pretty normal to catch crappies between 9-14" and fish max out around here in the 17" or so range.  The big ones really put the flex in a 5wt.  I target them mostly in the spring and fall when they come shallow.



#7 rich mc

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Posted 23 September 2014 - 05:11 PM

when I fish for crappie I use a strike indicatorand a fly tied on  90 degree jig hook.  mostly a pink over white marabou  bead chain clouser or a new fly called the wee willie wiggler   you can see them at    off the deepedge.com   rich mc



#8 FlaFly

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Posted 23 September 2014 - 07:06 PM

Greyhackel... it a gurgle bug the same as a gurgler?

 

Flytire.... did you make those out of earplugs?  or Rainy's foam?

 

Rich mc....  when I tried your link all I could get was Weird Al Yankovich. 

 

Sounds like some of you guys are catching them on flies I've used but I never have caught one on.  Here in Fla., people mostly fish for crappies (blacks only... we don't have whites) in the early spring.  Anything else is usually just luck.


"Good advice is always certain to be ignored, but that's no reason not to give it."

Agatha Christie

 

"No one wants advice -- only corroboration."

John Steinbeck

 

"I had six faithful serving men, they taught me all I knew.

Their names were what? and why? and when? and how? and where? and who?"
Rudyard Kipling
 


#9 rich mc

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Posted 24 September 2014 - 07:13 AM

its  www.offthedeepedge.com      the sonic boom also takes crappie      rich mc



#10 TheCream

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Posted 24 September 2014 - 07:56 AM

This was a slab that drilled a 3.5" shad imitation on a #2 hook:

 

IMGP2267.jpg

 

Average river crappie I catch here in Ohio, this one on a #6 bead chain Clouser on the 1wt:

 

PC041046_zpsc468bf78.jpg



#11 mikechell

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Posted 24 September 2014 - 08:20 AM

Florida = grass shrimp for Crappie.


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#12 tidewaterfly

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Posted 24 September 2014 - 08:27 AM

FlaFly, I don't generally fish for Crappies specifically, because there are other panfish species too in the tidal rivers I fish most often. I'll take them when I catch them. When I'm targeting panfish, I'll use the same flies for all, and have a variety that all seem to work well. Like anything else they will show preferences some days. 

 

The largest Crappie I've ever caught was while fishing in a small private pond. It was 18" in length, and hit a 2/0 cork bass popper. That was & still is the only one I've ever caught of that size. Any other larger ones I've caught here have been in the 12-13" range. I have occasionally caught them on surface flies while after Bluegills, but not often.

 

I caught one last week that was 10" on a 3" Polar Fiber style streamer while looking for bass. It was up under a duck blind. They'll hit streamers that are quite large compared to their size.

 

 Crappies, Yellow Perch, White Perch all often prefer baitfish patterns, but will readily strike other types of flies, including crayfish & insect patterns. Bluegills & Pumpkinseed Sunfish will also hit small baitfish flies, but they tend to strike the surface flies more readily. IMO, the type imitation is not usually important, it's the movement & action that the fly provides that gets their attention. 

 

Here's some of the flies I use. I've yet to find a single "best".

 

Small, sparse but flashy Clousers & Woolly Buggers

100_4263.jpg

 

Simple patterns. Some brightly colored.Also use these for Shad in the spring.

100_4257.jpg

 

Flashy, Bead Head Woolly Buggers, these are all about size 4. Best in early spring during the spawn.

100_4256.jpg

 

"Bonefish" style flies, but most are a bit more flashy. Sizes range from 8 to 4

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100_4453.jpg

 

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More, sizes up to a 2.

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More small Clousers & other Bonefish types. 

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Shad flies. Anything that eats baitfish will hit these. Mostly size 4, a few are size 6

100_4073.jpg

 

100_4286.jpg

 

Spinner flies

100_4621.jpg

 

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Simple streamers, all are tied on Gamakatsu size 6 B10 hooks.

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My favorite Shad patterns, and they work equally will on Crappies & Perch. Bead chain & lead or brass barbells for various sink rates. Size 4 & 6 2XL or 3XL hooks.

shadflies006.jpg

 

Other Shad flies, that also work on the panfish.

shadflies009.jpg

 

Simple Clousers, tied only with Flash. I prefer Polar Flash, but will use Flashabou. Long shank, straight eye hooks, size 4 or 6.

shadflies010.jpg

 

My Stonefly / Hellgrammite Nymph, the primary "insect" pattern I use, only tie it in size 2. Keeps most of the small fish off the hook. Everything eats it. 

100_4109-1.jpg



#13 SILKHDH

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Posted 24 September 2014 - 09:14 AM

I fish for crappie a lot. I do well on imitation of a small tube jig.  Simple, bead head, marabou tail and chenille body.  Black body with chartreuse tail is the best for me. But all white is good too.  White wooly worms and wooly buggers good too.  I also use a small size 10 hook, bead-chain-eye clouser-type fly tied with craft fur. Only difference is I cover the hook shank with tinsel.   Called a crappie clouser. I got the pattern from a guy at Lake Ten Killer.  Chartreuse-black, chartreuse-white, good colors.  My advise would be to ask the crappie fisherman around your area what color they use for jigs and then tie to match what they recommend. Is what I do. Let them do the research.  I will warn you, one thing with crappies is when they suspend, some times they DO NOT like to chase a bait. They like it to suspend too, with little to no movement.  I have used a foam strike indicator (small bobber type) to suspend with good results. Crappie can be extremely light biters. I have caught them before, that if it wasn't for the fact I could SEE them suck in the fly, I would have never known I had a strike. WATCH YOUR LINE for the slightest twitch when paused between strips. AND I MEAN THE SLIGHTEST TWITCH!! 90 percent of the crappie I catch I never feel a thing. I will see the line barely twitch.  SLOW retrieves have always been best. Short 1-2" strips with pauses. STRIP STRIP STRIP STRIP PAUSE> REPEAT> My favorite time is spring spawn in and around the rocks. Like damns and man made fishing points. They will be right at your feet close to the bank. I will out fish the spinning guys..LOL.  100  fish days are NOT uncommon. In the middle of this picture is a green box with the crappie clousers. Right above it is the box with the tube jigs. Sorry, It's the only picture I have of these flies.

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#14 FlaFly

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Posted 24 September 2014 - 05:47 PM

I know what you're talking about SILK... when I was a kid my dad took me fishing with cane poles and bobbers.  We'd put a minnow on a #2 hook and hope for a crappie.  Sometimes the bobber would sit still for so long we'd figure we had lost our bait. So we'd retrieve it, only to find a crappie hanging onto the hook. 

Thanks to all you guys for the ideas.  Now one more question, since I've never used wet flies:  if I make a clouser or streamer, or such, do I need to weight it with lead to make it sink quickly, or is it better to leave it slow-sinking?  In Florida our lakes average about 4-5 feet in depth. (They may be 15 ft. deep in the middle, but they're mostly round potholes and average about 4 to t ft.).  When I fish in North Carolina, I'll be fishing in reservoirs that probably get deep quickly away from shore and thus I'd expect the crappies to be spawning a bit deeper than they do in Florida.  Given what was said that they like to just sit and eat slow food, rather than give chase, would I need fast-sinkers up in NC and slow-sinkers in Fla.? 


"Good advice is always certain to be ignored, but that's no reason not to give it."

Agatha Christie

 

"No one wants advice -- only corroboration."

John Steinbeck

 

"I had six faithful serving men, they taught me all I knew.

Their names were what? and why? and when? and how? and where? and who?"
Rudyard Kipling
 


#15 FlaFly

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Posted 24 September 2014 - 05:52 PM

Mike

The live grass shrimp I'm familiar with aren't much bigger than about 1/2 to 1 inch long.  What do you suggest/use size-wise for a crappie?  Also do you recommend any specific shrimp pattern?  There's lots of them to pick from on the database.


"Good advice is always certain to be ignored, but that's no reason not to give it."

Agatha Christie

 

"No one wants advice -- only corroboration."

John Steinbeck

 

"I had six faithful serving men, they taught me all I knew.

Their names were what? and why? and when? and how? and where? and who?"
Rudyard Kipling