How to Build and Fish a Crappie Condo

 

How to Build and Fish a Crappie Condo

When warm weather hits, the crappie start biting. Depending on the region, after the spawn around April or May till the first cold front rolls through in the Fall, these tasty panfish are easy to find, usually congregating around brush piles that house the plankton and baitfish that make up the food chain. Although, anglers can spend a long time with their DownScan sonar looking for the ideal spot, many anglers are making their own brush piles, so they know exactly where to look.

In reality, anything will work as a brush pile – in many areas, anglers bundle together Christmas trees and weigh them down. The key to placement is depth. When the temperature climbs, crappie will move into deeper water. The ideal depth range is between 10 and 30 feet. Even government agencies like Fish and Wildlife, the Army Corps of Engineers and The National Park Service are involved in placing brush piles to offer the fish a comfortable and safe habitat — though they want to keep them in water deep enough so that they don’t become hazards to navigation. The problem with using trees and brush is that they eventually break down and have to be replaced after a few years. Additionally, hooks can snag on the limbs making it a challenge to fish.

Barry Stokes from FOX Sports Outdoors has found a great way to create manmade brush piles that won’t snag hooks and will last forever. Made with PVC pipe, recycled tubing, concrete and a bucket, Stokes’ crappie condos are just about guaranteed to catch fish when you know how to work them right. Typically, he places six to twelve in a clump five feet apart, and within a week the crappie will be in residence. The longer they sit in the water, the more algae grow, and the more life surrounds them.

When placing a brush pile, marking the location on a chart is vital to help find them once again. On 2D sonar, a brush pile will just appear to be a blob, but with the latest Lowrance DownScan sonar technology, the brush pile not only comes to life, but even the fish hiding in the tangle of PVC pipes become apparent.

According to Stokes, the best way to work the brush pile is to have an HDI transducer on your trolling motor. You want to be directly over of the brush pile with the transducer right under you. Using a vertical presentation, you lower down a jig. Stokes recommends 3/16 ounce as the heaviest weight with six- or eight-pound test line. You’ll have to experiment with depth, but once you get a bite, you can just keep dropping the jig to catch more fish. After a few catches, however, the crappie will get anxious and back off. If you are in a spot with a few brush piles grouped together, you can troll over to the next one and work them in sequence. By the time you get back to the first one, the spooked fish will have returned. If you have only a limited number of brush piles to work, you can also just back away with your trolling motor and cast from a distance. Using a lighter weight in the 1/8-to-1/24 ounce range when casting from a distance is preferred. This technique will draw out the fish that have been hiding.

To see how Barry built his crappie condos, watch the video here: http://foxsportsoutdoors.com/videos-main-page/search/condos/

Catch all the of the action from Barry Stokes and the team at FOX Sports Outdoors on FOX Sports Southwest, FOX Sports Southeast, Waypoint TV and on FOXSportsoutdoors.com.

Learn More: Visit Lowrance.com Today.

Original Source: Sportsmans Lifestyle.com 

Lowrance provided Serious Excitement on and off the Water at the Bassmaster Classic

 

Lowrance provided Serious Excitement on and off the Water at the Bassmaster Classic

Lowrance® continued its domination of America’s tournament-fishing circuit late last month as Lowrance Pro Jordan Lee won the 2017 Bassmaster Classic Championship on Lake Conroe in Houston, Texas. A 25-year-old professional angler from Guntersville, Alabama, Lee became the sixth consecutive Lowrance angler to win the Classic when he finished with a three-day total of 56 pounds, 10 ounces, taking home $300,000 and the most coveted trophy in the sport. Steve Kennedy, who also competed in the event with Lowrance marine electronics, finished second with a total weight of 55 pounds, 1 ounce.

On the final day of the Classic, 15 of the top 25 competitors — including seven of the top 12 anglers – were using Lowrance HDS fishfinder/chart-plotters to navigate and find key fish-holding areas. For Lee, 2017 was his second appearance at the Bassmaster Classic. He finished 6th in the 2014 Classic at Lake Guntersville in Alabama.

During practice at Lake Conroe, Lee used his HDS-12 Gen3 with StructureScan® 3D imaging to identify an underwater “point” with a hard-bottom area that he thought would hold fish. He returned to the spot on the final day, where he was limited by mechanical issues on his boat, which held him in the same spot all day. Staying in that spot proved to be the difference as Lee jumped from 15th to first place with a 27-pound, 4-ounce, five-fish limit, the biggest single-day catch of the tournament.

At the tournament, there was plenty of excitement off the water as well. Lowrance announced the production of the HDS CarbonTM 16, a new high-performance fishfinder/chart plotter with a 16-inch screen – the largest ever produced by Lowrance.  

The massive 16-inch high-definition screen on HDS Carbon 16 displays provides an even bigger stage to showcase the clarity, high resolution and superior target separation of SolarMAX™ HD technology, exclusive to the HDS Carbon series. Setting up a four-panel split on the HDS Carbon 16 gives anglers the equivalent of four seven-inch screens on a single display.

Anglers in the market for a do-it-all, integrated system need a processor that can smoothly drive high-tech features like StructureScan® 3D with SideScan and DownScan Imaging™, StructureMap™, Broadband Radar™ and SiriusXM® Weather Chart Overlay. HDS Carbon 16 delivers on that front, taking processing power to the next level with a dual-core processor that allows anglers to switch between applications and simultaneously view independent sonar feeds with ease.

Lowrance SolarMAX HD display technology features high-definition views and clear visibility in all conditions with the widest available range of viewing angles – even when wearing polarized sunglasses. The new displays feature 1920×1080 HD resolution and are engineered to withstand higher temperatures than conventional units, offering enhanced reliability in warmer climates. The secret behind the new SolarMAX HD displays come from the implementation of the most advanced IPS (in-plane switching) screens in fishing electronics. With superior color accuracy and boosted high-definition reproduction, IPS screens are perfectly designed for viewing picture-like sonar images. Whether viewing menu panels or onscreen fish targets, the improved clarity and sharpness of SolarMAX HD displays are clearly evident from any viewing angle.

With Live Network Sonar, HDS Carbon 16 gives anglers the capability to view and control two independent, live sonar sources at different locations — like the front and the back of the boat — from a single display. This powerful feature provides anglers with a comprehensive picture of underwater activity with convenient and complete control. 

In addition to integrated wireless connectivity, HDS Carbon 16 features Bluetooth® control of multiple Power-Pole® shallow water anchors and Bluetooth audio streaming from the SonicHub®2 marine entertainment system. Anglers can navigate with ease behind proven Lowrance navigation technology, high-resolution mapping with enhanced coverage of coastal and inland waters, a 10 Hz internal GPS antenna, and a multitude of mapping options accessible from the unit’s dual microSD card slots. HDS Carbon 16 is compatible with the most expansive selection of optional cartography on the market, including Insight Genesis™ custom mapping, C-MAP Insight PRO, C-MAP Lake Insight HD, C-MAP MAX-N+, Navionics® and more.

HDS Carbon 16 supports radar, SmartSteer™ control of Motorguide® Xi5 trolling motors and the Lowrance Outboard Pilot and full engine data integration highlighted by compatibility with Mercury® VesselView® Link.

Congratulations to Jordan Lee and all the anglers competing in the tournament. And look for more exciting developments from Lowrance in the near future.

Catch more fish, learn more at Lowrance.com  Today!

Original Source: Sportsmans Lifestyle.com