Category Archives for Fishing

Fish Hook In You

What Happens When You Loose Your Fishing Hooks!

pike on spoon


We're guessing the results of this test would be very similar for muskie. We need more tests to confirm if this is the case for all fish or just for freshwater fishing. It doesn't appear someone has done a similar study for saltwater fishing yet. It would probably be worth looking into considering how many saltwater species anglers cut or break off on purpose near the boat. That method is generally accepted as a form of catch and release.  It would be helpful to know if those treble hooks left in the jaws are either shook or later dissolved by the salt water. However, a least of this particular culprit, it's good to know most survive the encounter after a hook set.

Full limit of sac-a-lait

Advanced Crappie Tactics – Gear

WHERE TO FISH & HOW TO FISH

Picking You Lake

Choosing a lake is one of the first steps in planning a good night crappie fishing trip. Ideal lakes should be deep and clear with an area of at least 500 acres. There should be plenty of brush and debris under the water for crappie to hide.  In addition, there should be plenty of structures and changes in depth along the shoreline.

The worst water for crappie fishing in the summer is in shallow, warm water.  This water quickly gets deprived of oxygen, and the fish can sometimes scatter or go completely dormant.  This makes for some pretty rough fishing. Stick to deeper, colder water for a good oxygen supply. Use this guideline along with advice from local fisherman, bait shops, ranger stations, and online forums to determine the best lake for your trip.

Anchor or Troll

This is a hot debate at night. In general trolling does work well with vibrating lures but extra caution must be takes and it is hard to see things at night and conditions can change on you very quickly.

I prefer and recommend that you anchor up. Use your fish finder and  trolling motor to either find the fish or good fish catching structure. Once there anchor up and get ready for a good time.

In either case It is vital that you do some scouting during daylight hours to determine where you will fish when darkness falls.  In addition, you do not want just one spot to fish. As you scout, find a few backup spots to move to if needed. At night, you will find crappie grouping in areas where the bottom of the lake drops suddenly.  These ledges along the bottom can be found along creek and river channels, points, and ridges. Use a bottom-contour map of the lake to find these.

Crappie Fishing Tip #2

Electronics

Once you have found these locations on the map, it is time to hit the water.  Move your boat to these areas and use a sonar device to determine the exact coordinates of the break-lines.  Use a fish-finder to identify brush, treetops, stumps, and rocks that crappie will use to hide. Once you have found that your map and location choices are suitable, drop buoys in these spots so that they will be easy to access later that night.

Gear

In-boat lighting is very important when fishing for crappie at night.  Double check your running lights to ensure they are working. In addition, have a flashlight or spotlight handy to signal other boats if needed, and to see what you are doing as you fish (the moonlight isn’t always sufficient).  It is best to use both a headlamp and a flashlight, so you can keep your hands free if needed. You will also need a life jacket and a kill switch for your engine for safety.

Q&A FOR BIGGER FISH

 Live Bait vs Artificial

Crappie when the bite is hot will eat anything! Even a BARE HOOK. So the answer is it depends. I have found that if I have kids with me I will get live bait because 97.134% of the time it will lead me to catching at least some kind of fish

As you can see below the light brings in tons of bait. If it is legal in your state I would recommend you bring a dip net and scoop up the bait for free!

Most times I fish artificial. A great grub bait or tube jig will normally lead to a great night of fishing.

Jigging vs Casting

WHY:
The use of white light from any source assumes that a broad-spectrum light propagates well in water. But… It doesn’t. Pure water looks blue and it passes blue and green light with very little absorption. Typical lake, bay or offshore water is not pure, but contains various dissolved organic matter, photo-synthetic pigments and particulate material.

Salt has very little effect on light absorption, but the other ingredients do. Tests reveal that light between 450 and 550 nm (nano meters) transmits through lake, bay or offshore water with the least attenuation. Other wavelengths of light, especially near the low, infra-red end, are dramatically absorbed. Green light has a wavelength around 525 nm, near the center of the range, thus green light propagates better than other colors in both fresh or salt water. Rather than waste energy by using broad-spectrum white light, your best success will come using green light.

WHEN:
New moon is the best moon. Full moons are not great for night crappie fishing. The catch will be a lot more exciting as close to the new moon as you can get.

HOW:
Anchor and wait. The object of fishing at night is to target your attraction methods for zooplankton, then minnows, then game fish. You will therefore be working with nature to reap the most benefits.

To be most effective, the boat should be anchored in the front AND back, to attract the zoo plankton. Otherwise, your boat will pivot around the one anchor with that beautiful summer evening breeze. The zoo plankton will have a hard time staying with the boat in those conditions, thereby not allowing your minnows to school up.

When anchoring, make sure that the anchor is lowered slowly to avoid scaring your game fish. In addition, avoid having the anchor disturb the brush cover, as game fish could already be located in the brush piles. Again, working with nature.

HOT TIP: Take a long handled minnow net with you. Once your light has been deployed over the water for 30 minutes, you will be able to catch live minnows to use as bait. To work optimally, they need to be used straight out of the lake as opposed to having been brought from home base.

WHERE:
Anywhere crappies live! Use the internet and other fishing research tools (or the advice of local fishermen) to find your best locations. There are so many elements to finding a successful lake full of crappie, so be sure to make a plan based on recent information.

Spec fishing in the sun

Speck Fishing Tips For High Sun

SECRET TO CATCHING MORE PANFISH IN THE SUN

3 Hot Tips

FIND BOAT DOCKS

Boat docks are a great location for fish to find shade during the hot sun. The shade of the docks allow the fish to hid and ambush bait when they come in for the shade. These docks are key areas for people and fish so make sure you find docks that are not occupied. 

Also check the depth of the dock and the water near it. The docks near dropoffs are the best as the fish will be locating to structure near the dropoff. 

FIND SWIM PLATFORMS

Swim platforms are also another overlooked spot as they are often in deeper water and provide shade away from all other structure. 

It is amazing how often I will get on a mess of crappies on these platform when no one else is catching fish. The key here is to be able to get under the platform and let it sink.

SHOOT UNDER THE STRUCTURE

Now the key is to get the lure under the dock. When shooting the dock you will need to do side casting (which is left to right and not up to down). You will want a lure with enough weight to cast and then try to skip it under the dock.

Give it a few tries and you will get this down. 

When fishing swim platforms you will want a heavier weight as this will sink quicker!


How to cook crappies - bake - fry - boil

Crappie Recipes That Will Surprise You

CRAPPIE FOR DINNER- THREE YUMMY WAYS

Both Black and White Crappies are found throughout the country. This panfish species is known for being excellent to eat and fun to catch. Because crappies, also know as, specks, paper mouths, and calico bass, are so good to eat with a white flaky flesh I wanted to provide you with three great crappie recipes with different ways to eat them up.

Crappie Recipe #1 - >Crispy Fried Fish
Ingredient List

  • 1 lbs. fresh crappie
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1 cup corn mean
  • 1 cups flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1 12 oz beer
  • 1 cup vodka (key to crispy skin)
  • Frying Oil like Crisco


Instructions (Detailed)

  • Soak the crappies in the milk for an hour with a pinch of salt. This will get rid of any bad taste.
  • In a bowl mix the other ingredients. Let it set for 10 minutes. You should have a batter that will coat your spoon.
  • Heat oil in cast iron pan to 375. You will want about 2"-3" of oil
  • Cook for 4-6 minutes until the flesh is not translucent.
  • Place on drying rack.
  • Give a sprinkle of salt.
  • ENJOY!
Fried Crappie

Crappie Recipe #2 - Baked Crappies
Ingredient List

  • 1 lbs. fresh crappie filet
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 4 tbs salted butter
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1 12 oz beer
  • Reynolds Wrap Non Stick

Instructions (Detailed)

  • Soak the crappies in the milk for an hour with a pinch of salt. This will get rid of any bad taste.
  • Heat oven to 425.
  • Season crappies
  • Place butter on top of crappies
  • Bake for 6-10 minutes until the flesh is not translucent.
  • ENJOY!


Crappie Recipe #3 - Crappie Crab Cakes
Ingredients

  • 2 lbs. fresh crappie filet
  • 4 tbs salted butter
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 2 eggs
  • 4 tsp old bay seasoning
  • 2 tbsp of dijon mustard
  • 1 onion
  • Reynolds Wrap Non Stick
  • 1 stack of Ritz crackers
  • Crisco oil

Instructions (Detailed)

  • Boil the crappie fillets with 2 tsp old bay seasoning for 5 minutes
  • Drain and put in the refrigerator for 1 hour.
  • The fish will be flaky at this point. Shred the fish into a bowl.
  • Heat oil in cast iron pan to 375.
  • Mix crappies, old bay, mustard, eggs, onion,and crushed Ritz crackers
  • Make them into 2" - 3" patties about 1/2" high.
  • Fry for 2 minutes per side
  • Place butter on top of crappies after first flip. 
  • ENJOY!
Low carb baked crappie

Crappie Recipe #3 - Crappie Crab Cakes
Ingredients

  • 2 lbs. fresh crappie filet
  • 4 tbs salted butter
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 2 eggs
  • 4 tsp old bay seasoning
  • 2 tbsp of dijon mustard
  • 1 onion
  • Reynolds Wrap Non Stick
  • 1 stack of Ritz crackers
  • Crisco oil

Instructions (Detailed)

  • Boil the crappie fillets with 2 tsp old bay seasoning for 5 minutes
  • Drain and put in the refrigerator for 1 hour.
  • The fish will be flaky at this point. Shred the fish into a bowl.
  • Heat oil in cast iron pan to 375.
  • Mix crappies, old bay, mustard, eggs, onion,and crushed Ritz crackers
  • Make them into 2" - 3" patties about 1/2" high.
  • Fry for 2 minutes per side
  • Place butter on top of crappies after first flip. 
  • ENJOY!


Now this recipe may seem weird but trust me... once you try it you will wonder where the recipe has been your whole life!

PS: Boiling gets rid of any fishy flavor and that is why we removed the milk

crappie crab cakes
Night Fishing For Crappie

Night Fishing – Crappie Fishing At Night

Night Fishing for Crappie With the LDO10 Green LED Fishing Light

There is not much I enjoy more than fishing at night for crappies and specs during the summer months.  Even getting up at the crack of dawn to throw a top-water out for bass can be miserably hot where I live.

While you can fish during the day fishing for Crappies like Richard Gene does it can take its toll.

However, tossing out a few lines in the cool moonlight provides needed relief from the daytime heat.  Crappie tend to like the cooler water at night.  They also have incredible eyesight, so fishing at night can give you an added advantage versus fishing in full sunlight.  If you are smart about your strategy, you might just reach your limit before heading home by midnight!

In this article, we will cover tips for catching more  crappie than your buddies during those nighttime hours.

cool night

Pick your Lake

Choosing a lake is one of the first steps in planning a good night crappie fishing trip.  Ideal lakes should be deep and clear with an area of at least 500 acres.  There should be plenty of brush and debris under the water for crappie to hide.  In addition, there should be plenty of structures and changes in depth along the shoreline.

The worst water for crappie fishing in the summer is in shallow, warm water.  This water quickly gets deprived of oxygen, and the fish can sometimes scatter or go completely dormant.  This makes for some pretty rough fishing.  Stick to deeper, colder water for a good oxygen supply.  Use this guideline along with advice from local fisherman, bait shops, ranger stations, and online forums to determine the best lake for your trip.

Pick your Spot

It is vital that you do some scouting during daylight hours to determine where you will fish when darkness falls.  In addition, you do not want just one spot to fish but also a few backup spots to move to if needed.  At night, you will find crappie grouping in areas where the bottom of the lake drops suddenly.  These ledges along the bottom can be found along creek and river channels, points, and ridges.  Use a bottom-contour map of the lake to find these spots.

fish finder

Once you have found these locations on the map, it is time to hit the water.  Move your boat to these areas and use a sonar device to determine the exact coordinates of the break-lines.  Use a fish-finder to identify brush, treetops, stumps, and rocks that crappie will use to hide.  Then drop buoys in these spots that will be easy to spot later that night.

Pick your Gear

In-boat lighting is very important when fishing for crappie at night.  You want to double check running lights to ensure they are working.  In addition, you want to have a flashlight or spotlight to signal other boats and see what you are doing.  I like to use both a headlamp and a flashlight, so I can keep my hands free if needed.  You will also need a life jacket and a kill switch for your engine.

Fishing Lights

Getting your gear all organized is a good step the day before your trip.  Set everything out and get rid of any gear that you will not need.  Make sure any batteries for your lights are replaced or recharged.  If using lanterns, be sure you have plenty of fuel.  Pull out your anchors and be sure there is enough rope to reach the depths at which you will be fishing.  Also, mosquitoes can be especially bad at night so get out the bug spray.

Pick your Structures

As stated above, underwater structures are great for crappie to hide out in the depths.  However, not all structures are created equal. You must be selective when you choose the cover you will fish.  One of the best spots to look for structures is at the mouth of a creek spilling into the lake.  Start at the mouth and troll back and forth looking for any structures along the channel drop.

Light with minnows

Another type of structure that is ideal for summer crappie is a bridge.  As long as the water is deep, you will find pockets of fish at various depths.  You can use sonar to determine the best depth, or you can just test different depths to find the hotspot. Also, when crappie move from deep water to shallow water at night they often like to follow structures.  These are typically bluffs and points.  It is somewhat like closing your eyes and feeling along a wall to find your way.  Fishing along these bluffs and points will often score you some crappie at night.  Finally, lighted docks and marinas attract insects and baitfish.  This makes lighted areas a prime spot at night.

Pick your Depth

At first you may not know the ideal depth to fish for night crappie.  To get started, use the clarity of the water to determine how deep to set your bait.  In clear water you should start between 20 and 30 feet deep.  If the water is a bit murky, 10 to 20 feet is better.  If it is flat out muddy, 5 to 10 feet is best.  Remember that the murkier the water, the shallower the light will stay.  Use a few different depths to figure out where your hot spot might be.

Pick your Lighting

LostDuckOutdoor Fishing Light

You can choose to use Coleman style lanterns above water, or you can use an underwater fishing lights.  The best night crappie fishermen use underwater fishing lights.  Coleman type lanterns will attract bugs to you and not great bait!   Instead you want to use  submersibles LED fishing lights. These are your best option because they sink beneath the surface and direct light into the water in all directions. LostDuckOutdoors makes a green LED light that runs at 4000 Lumens.  It is six sided for maximum light refraction, and safe to use down to 33 feet in depth.  This is the perfect scenario to attract baitfish and crappie.  Blacklights can make fluorescent monofilament glow in the dark, so it is easier to tell when you have a bite.  They typically run off of 12-volts system and because they are LED they will last all night long.

When picking LED fishing lights you will find a variety of choices and price does really make a difference here. You want your light to be there for you whenever you are ready to fish. This means getting a light the is strong, durable and powerful. Make sure your light is completely sealed and tested to ensure they will not leak. You also want to make sure you are dealing with a company you can get a hold of in case you have any issues. Remember your fishing time is valuable and there is nothing worse that thinking you saved a couple of dollars but have no working light.

The LDO 10 is the profession grade fishing light that you need to fill you dreams with fish!!!

Pick your Bait, Hook, and Markings

When you are selecting hooks for crappie fishing at night, you want to avoid rigid, large hooks.  The best options are going to be small, and thin enough to be pulled straight if snagged on brush.  Crappie are finicky and will leave the area if you spend any time trying to pull your hook free.  Fine-wire Aberdeens are ideal to keep your minnow moving and pull loose if you snag.

Fluorescent markings are important for crappie fishing at night.  Bobbers and tackle box trays should be sprayed to give you a visible target or background.  Pliers and rod tips should be painted to help you see your work and also the work a fish is lightly doing on your bait.  These splashes of color will literally let you see in the dark.  A blacklight can enhance this even more.

You will find that most anglers catch the majority of their crappie with jigs and minnows.  However, do not limit yourself to these types of bait. If you see mayflies being eaten along the surface near your light, switch to that.  If you see shad attracted by your submersible being eaten, get out a net and catch some bait.  If you clip the tail, they will have more of a crippled movement that crappie love.

Jigging spoons and spinners are a good option to consider instead of jigs.  They will effectively pick up the light from your submersible LED and attract some action.  This is especially true if you let them gently flutter through a school of baitfish alongside your boat.  The light mimics what a crappie would see from an injured baitfish.

🐟Best Deal On LED Fishing Light!🐟

40% OFF LABOR DAY WEEKEND SALE – CODE: ldo20special

Additional Tips

In addition to these standard strategies, here are a few extra tips for more success:

  • Start with #1 sized hooks and ¼ ounce sinkers or ¼ ounce jigheads. These are the standards for crappie.  You can then make adjustments from there.
  • Plankton style fishing line will actually attract baitfish that will bring in more crappie.
  • If you do not have time to catch minnows, frozen anchovies can work as well. Cut them into one-inch lengths.
  • Balance in bait size is everything. If you go too small you will get lots of small fish, but if you go too big you will only get bites from a few big fish.  Find a balance.

Best Gear To Get You Started!

RankingProduct NameOverviewPrice
1LDO20 - Green LED Fishing Light40% off Labor Day Sale: CODE ldo20special Submersible 12V Underwater Bright Green LED Fishing Light - 84 watts, 7 amps, and 576 LEDs of green glow. Enough to light the night sky! Perfect for catching bass, crappies, trout, snook, squid, or a variety of fish at night.Check Latest Price
2Hand Free HeadlampHANDS FREE ,HASSLE FREE--Rechargeable headlamp you can have a reliable, hands-free led headlight to brighten up your environmentCheck Latest Price
3Garmin 93V Fish FinderThe best way to find fish and structure holding the big fishCheck Latest Price
4Eagle Claw Fishing RodPowerful graphite rod that offers outstanding strength while remaining lightweight and easy to handleCheck Latest Price
5Berkley GulpNever worry about finding fresh bait. These minnow will bring in the big fishCheck Latest Price

In Conclusion

As you can see, night fishing for crappie can be a great deal of fun.  It can also be a huge challenge.  If you take the time to do your planning and prepare the correct gear such as a Lost Duck submersible LED light, you can actually bring in three or four times the number of fish you would catch during the day.  You also get to do all of this under the cool moonlight with a soft breeze blowing across the water.  Nothing could be better.

Light with minnows

Get out and 

@LostDuckTeam

Check out our fishing lights at www.lostduckoutdoors.com

https://www.lostduckoutdoors.com/fishing/crappie-recipes/