John's Journal...

What Tips Will Help You Catch Crappie

Day 5: How to Fish Brush at Boathouses and Docks and on Creek Ledges for Crappie

Click for Larger ViewMany lakeside residents put brush shelters out for crappie under their piers and docks. Some property owners also sink brush in front of the docks. If a dock has pole holders on it, more than likely the brush won’t be more than 10 to 20 yards in front of the dock. If the dock has chairs, seats or benches on it, the brush usually will be within 30 yards (casting distance) of the dock. Just like bass fishermen flip docks with a pig and jig to catch bass, crappie fisherman fish out in the front of docks to take big crappie. Click for Larger ViewYou often can locate brush in 10 to 20 feet of water. Since deep-water brush generally holds crappie year-round, by finding and fishing 10 to 30 docks in a day, often a crappie fisherman can limit out on deep-water crappie prior to the spawn by just fishing docks. This dock-fishing pattern generally produces best during the middle of the week when few lake residents are at home and not many other fishermen are on the lake.

How and Why to Sink Brush on River and Creek Ledges:

The most-consistent place to find crappie at any time of the year is often along the edges of the underwater creekbanks and riverbanks. These banks usually have stumps on them. Water will wash the dirt away form the roots of the stumps, which then provide ambush spots where crappie can and will hold. However, if you are fishing in an area with a large number of stumps along the edge an old creek or river channel, many times if you put brush on the edge of that creek channel, you can concentrate more crappie around the brush than around the stumps. The more cover the crappie have to hold on, the more crappie you can concentrate on that cover.

Click for Larger ViewOne of the best places to sink brush on the edge of a creek channel is near a bridge piling on the down-current side. Most crappie fishermen will fish around bridge pilings on the edge of creek and river channels because they know crappie will use the bridge pilings as spots to hold when moving up the creeks to spawn and swimming out of the creeks after the spawn. Bridge pilings are easy to find and fish. However, if you’ll move 10- to 20-yards downstream of the bridge piling and build a brush shelter on the edge of the creek channel, you can have a deep-water crappie hot spot that probably will produce plenty of crappie and receive very little fishing pressure. Click for larger ViewFor this type of fishing structure to be productive, sink the brush close enough to the bridge piling so the piling will break the current, and the brush won’t be swept away. But put the brush far enough away from the piling that the crappie fishermen who normally fish the piling won’t be able to find it. This type of deep-water brush shelter on the edge of a creek channel can and will short-stop the crappie that normally hold on the bridge piling and give you a productive deep-water hotspot where you can find and take crappie before and after the spawn.

To learn more about how to catch crappie in the spring and summer, Click here, or visit, and type in the name of John E. Phillips’ latest crappie-fishing book, “Crappie: How to Catch Them Spring and Summer” that’s now available from Kindle books and contains information on all aspects of fishing for crappie and the best, most-productive tactics from anglers all across the country.

Check back each day this week for more about "What Tips Will Help You Catch Crappie "

Day 1: When to Set the Hook on Crappie with Sam Heaton
Day 2: How to Fish on the Rocks for Crappie with Rick Solomon and Mike Walters
Day 3: How to Pinpoint and Fish Deep Brush for Crappie
Day 4: How to Find Natural Deep-Water Brush Structures for Crappie
Day 5: How to Fish Brush at Boathouses and Docks and on Creek Ledges for Crappie

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Entry 660, Day 5