While fishing the last few times I’ve gone out, as I moved around I noticed for long times I would only get one fish here
or there, then all of a sudden I’d have double and triple hookups and I couldn’t keep up with the fish. After a few
minutes this would end and I’d go back to waiting long periods for bites. Why was this happening?
When the crappie are staging and schooled up dense like they have been for the last 2 weeks, an easy way to increase
your catches is to target active fish over stationary fish. Crappie will stay schooled up at their holding depth with the
shad above them and as the shad move, active fish will come up to feed and return to the school. They are easy to spot
on sonar once you know what to look for.
In the first image, there is a large school of crappie holding near the bottom of the water column. These fish aren’t moving
much and their sonar returns just look like flat bars going across the screen. These fish are inactive, they are conserving
energy. They will still eat, but only if you put a bait right on their nose and hold it here, “deadsticking”.
inactive.jpg [ 84.53 KiB | Viewed 455 times ]
In the second image, you can see several sonar returns that come up and then return to the school. These are fish that
are actively feeding. They are coming up and grabbing shad. These fish will be much more aggressive and come after your bait.
active.jpg [ 33.67 KiB | Viewed 455 times ]
As I noticed this, I started moving a little more often, spending more time over these active fish than others, and I was
able to catch fish at a rate of 2 or 3 to 1 versus the people around me, simply because I was looking for and
targeting the active fish in the school.