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Crappie fly fishing


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30 replies to this topic

#1 Bimini15

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Posted 21 November 2017 - 08:48 PM

I just saw Islanders pic of a crappie in the fish pics thread, and I remembered that it was this time of the year, years ago, that I caught my first and only crappie, ever, and it was in my back yard.

If I want to go after them, I have no idea what flies, sizes or colors are more likely to produce. Any hints?

Thanks in advance.
Bimini15

#2 Fisherboy0301

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Posted 21 November 2017 - 09:00 PM

Well, I know they like gray synthetic baitfish...


Minnows. Clousers and half&halfs. Mini decievers.
Wooly buggers. Nymphs. Even heard many caught on small poppers.
Tie up some beadheads that look like crappie jigs. Marabou tail with a chenille body.
You might also try the "crappie candy" fly. I think it's on the Fly Anglers Online website.

Attached File  IMG_0037.JPG   157.75KB   0 downloads
"Yesterday is history, Tomorrow is a mystery, but Today is a gift, thats why they call it the present." - Anonymous

"Snakes are first cowards, then bluffers, and last of all warriors." - Clifford Pope

"To him, all good things -trout as well as eternal salvation- come by grace, and grace comes by art, and art does not come easy." - Norman Maclean  "A River Runs Through It"                                                                            

#3 Bimini15

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Posted 21 November 2017 - 09:14 PM

Thanks.
How small should I go? #10?
Bimini15

#4 Prybis

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Posted 21 November 2017 - 09:29 PM

If you are fishing for white crappies I would suggest minnow patterns, or any other baitfish patter to your local water. If you are target black crappies, nymphs scuds, crayfish, or any other trout and bluegill flies will work. 


Mike P.

#5 Flat Rock native

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Posted 21 November 2017 - 09:40 PM

Thanks.
How small should I go? #10?


Bim, 8-10-12 should work. Check out Chris Mihulka's page on Rainy's Flies. Several good ideas there. Chris told me his most effective patterns had chartreuse, if I recall correctly. Maybe we should put up a page for some photos. I will be tying some for spring fishing, too.

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#6 mikechell

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Posted 21 November 2017 - 09:50 PM

My experience with Crappie, though limited, extends from Indiana to Florida and West to Texas.

 

Like most fresh water predators, they will attack anything ... opportunist when hungry.  They do not feed from the bottom or surface as much as Bass and the other Sunfishes do.  They are almost exclusively open water hunters. 

It is my understanding that Crappie, both Black and White, are primarily fry/minnow eaters.  

 

Last year I was getting into good numbers of Crappie.  None of them took a top water offering.  Just about every one came on my "Panfish Attractor".

 

Attached File  Aug 2017 Panfish Attractors (1).JPG   163.84KB   0 downloads

 

Size 8 Aberdeen, bead chain eyes, Raccoon hair, a little flash for the tail and dub fine dubbing.


Barbed hooks rule!

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#7 redietz

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Posted 21 November 2017 - 10:18 PM

Back when I started fly fishing in the 60's, crappie were my main target, and I estimate that of the 1st thousand fish I took on a fly, 950 of them were crappies. (When you fish 300 days a year, those aren't high numbers.)  Almost all of them were taken on the only fly that I had the materials to tie:  a streamer with a gold tinsel body, and two orange saddle hackles as wings.

 

The only trick to catching them was to determine how deep they were holding on any given day.  Cast, count to ten, and begin a retrieve.  If nothing, repeat but count to eleven.  Keep increasing the count until you caught a fish, and then stay with that count.  (This was with an intermediate line.)  They'd all be at that depth.

 

I agree with Mike about top and bottom.  I don't think I've ever caught one in either place.

 

FWIW, these were black crappie.


Bob


#8 spiralspey

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Posted 21 November 2017 - 10:26 PM

I chased crappies a lot in my teens. Like others I recommend minnow patterns. Crappies like deeper water off weed beds and like slow moving flies or flies on the drop. I hope you find a few that like your flies.

#9 Fisherboy0301

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Posted 21 November 2017 - 10:30 PM

I think that fly was a sz 2 hook. They have large mouths, which open more like a bass than other sunfish. Anything from 2-16 will catch them.
"Yesterday is history, Tomorrow is a mystery, but Today is a gift, thats why they call it the present." - Anonymous

"Snakes are first cowards, then bluffers, and last of all warriors." - Clifford Pope

"To him, all good things -trout as well as eternal salvation- come by grace, and grace comes by art, and art does not come easy." - Norman Maclean  "A River Runs Through It"                                                                            

#10 Bimini15

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Posted 21 November 2017 - 10:38 PM

The depth thing maybe an issue. My only non wff lines are a 7wt sink tip and a 10wt intermediate.
I was thinking about trying a hopper dropper. But maybe I can gain some depth with two weighted flies, or just one on a longer leader.
Bimini15

#11 caloosa bug

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Posted 21 November 2017 - 10:47 PM

Lots of good answers. Basically any small minnow, or grass shrimp pattern should work. I never really targeted then specifically when fly fishing, but have caught plenty on a jig.

 

From my experience, growing up fishing for them here in south Florida in winter is to find the highways. They cycle in to their spawning grounds, then back out to the deeper channels. Here on the lake they spawn in the sand/shell bottom grass flats in around 4 ft of water. Then move out the channels in 10+.  If you can find a ledge between shallow and deep areas this time of year, it will usually hold crappie either suspended on the ledge, or cruising by in both directions. Same thing applies in canals. Once you catch 1 at a certain depth,  remember it, and there will usually more.Moving water helps congregate them too. Marabou and chenille should be a deadly combo. I bet a scaled down schminnow would be good.

 

I'd say size 6-1 depending on the pattern. I generally hook a size 4 aberdeen with a minnow, but have caught a few on a #1 hair popper, and a few others on a #6 ep minnow. Whites, greens, yellow, and pink are all good colors.



#12 JSzymczyk

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Posted 22 November 2017 - 06:10 AM

I try to target crappies a few times a year on a local lake for a fish fry.     I've also caught them lots of times in lots of places while just fishing.   They have large, fragile mouths-  rather the tissue inside their mouths is fragile.   Using a comparatively larger hook seems to increase my landing rate----  I have hooked and lost a LOT of them on size 10-12-14 flies.    I settled on a very simple pattern when going after them-  a #6 "standard dry fly" hook(if there is such a thing any more....) with a marabou tail as long as the shank,  an ice-dub body, and a bead head.   In all-white or all-tan it may represent a small baitfish, in brown or black it may represent a nymph, and sometimes pink or chartreuse works well.   I have caught my biggest ones in southern waters (14-15") on Clouser Deep Minnows about 2" long tied on a #4 or #2 hook.    Black over purple always seemed to be a producer on dingy water. 


the gales of November remembered...


#13 Dave G.

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Posted 22 November 2017 - 06:38 AM

The place where I fish for them here in SE New England they would take Mikes pattern he showed very well. They like rubber grubs if spin fishing and minnow patterns fly fishing, colors from olive to pumpkin seed to chartreuse . A weighted Muddler works, so does a Woolly Bugger. In that water you generally need to get down about 10 ft and its open water so need a boat or canoe. You can't reach the better holes they are in from shore. I like a size 6 or 8 hook but these are good size Crappies in there and really good eating I might add. May is a good month here, the breeders are moving then and the water still cold enough the meat is clean tasting.


John 7:38 ESV  is about "Rivers of Living Water"


#14 Poopdeck

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Posted 22 November 2017 - 07:27 AM

anything tgat looks like a baitfish in any bright colors will catch crappie. I target them with a fly rod every spring as the lakes start to warm when they come up into shallow water. Any other time of year when they are deep I'all use spin gear.

#15 Bimini15

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Posted 22 November 2017 - 10:16 AM

My quest begins in this glorious morning with this fly...

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