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Texas Crappie Fishing
A state full of slabs is a fair description of the Lone Star State once crappie-catchin' time arrives each spring. These lakes are prime for producing heavy stringers of slabs in the weeks ahead.
Crappie are consistent.
Texas anglers always worry about the quality of largemouth bass fishing changing on their favorite waterways, but they know for the most part that crappie fishing remains strong no matter what.
These highly adaptable fish fare extremely well in the structure-rich reservoirs of Texas, especially in the eastern third of our state where excellent crappie fishing destinations are too numerous to count.
However, that is not to say other parts of the state do not produce solid crappie fishing because lakes in the central and southern regions certainly give up their share of barn door-sized specimens.
Let's look at some of the best spots for you to catch a limit of slab-sized crappie in 2005.
Veteran Lake Conroe guide Tex Bonin says that the crappie fishing can get so good there that he won't take anglers out unless they're catching fish on the lake.
"Conroe is full of brushpiles and various structure that crappie like to inhabit. Once you get on a reliable pattern, it's fairly easy to produce limits of fish here."
Bonin probably has 50 brushpiles spread around the lake, ranging in depth from shallow to deep. Most of the year, though, the crappie hang out in the deeper brush in 18 to 22 feet of water.
He advises anglers wanting to intercept Conroe's brush-loving crappie to employ sonar of some sort, because most of its brushpiles are submerged around main-lake structure like creeks, humps, roadbeds and points. "It is very difficult to pinpoint good locations or to sink brush without a depthfinding device here," Bonin said. "There are so many brushpiles in fact that you'll never find the right ones for the big crappie unless you're able to look at the bottom with great detail. Finding the structure on top of structure is important."
Anglers unfamiliar with brushpile locations could cruise the lake with a good pair of polarized sunglasses and look for submerged marker buoys. The buoys that are submerged and covered with green slime are the ones you want to look for. These are the ones that some of the hardcore crappie anglers put out, and they usually hold plenty of fish.
When the crappie are spawning at Conroe, why not give trolling a try? Rig up a couple of rods with small Road Runners, cast them off the back of the boat and pull them slowly through the creeks. You'll be surprised at the number of crappie that you can catch this way. It's also a good way to cover water. If you get a bunch of bites in a particular spot, you can always anchor and fish there.
If you want to catch big, high-quality crappie at Livingston, the best places to look are in the creek channels from April through about mid-June.
When looking for creeks at Livingston, don't fool with small, shallow ones. Look for creeks with 10 to 15 feet of water, because crappie will stay in these deeper creeks until the water temperature reaches the high 80s.
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