Crappie Fishing

Missouri crappie fishingMissouri

Missouri crappie fishing pond. No need for $20,000 bass boats. Small car toppers and shoreline fishing.

Small Waters

We offer small pond and watershed lake crappie fishing that has an abundance of crappie habitat that larger bodies of water cannot match.

Our waters have more structure for the crappie to suspend themselves rather than just from along the shore. This combined with the generally shallower overall average depth of farm ponds and watershed lakes makes for more crappie habitat per acre than larger, deep water lakes.

For Anyone New To Crappie

Missouri fishingIn general terms crappie inhabit a water strata from 1 to 10 feet with 4 to 8 feet the most densely packed suspension area (the most oxygen and temperature gradient).

This will change with the clarity of the water and the intensity of sunlight. Both of these factors make fishing better on overcast, windy days in the morning or afternoon.

This is the value of small water body crappie fishing -- that is, more shallow water bottom, water more likely not to be clear due to wind on the shallow water and the Association's habitat development. All this combined makes more likely a stringer of slab crappie from a short morning or afternoon.

crapie on a stringer

Common Rigs

The most common crappie fishing method is by moving a boat over a shallow water structure and jigging. This is most effective in clouded or muddied water when the crappie are less likely to be spooked by the boat overhead and all the noise that accompanies the boat and its occupants.

The only caution is that floating objects on many of our waters will be completely foreign to the fish in that pond or lake as they are typically not used. Shore and wader fishermen will find it easy to access many of the farm ponds to include the structures out towards the middle of the water. Watershed lake fishermen will want more than waders to access all the possible fishing sites within the lake. In all cases boat access to our waters is primitive and the hand portable boats the most commonly used. Electric trolling and small gas powered motors are permissible.

Begin

Middle May traditionally marks the beginning of the best crappie fishing. However, during the warmer springs April first is the time to start. The problem with this time of year is competition for time between crappie fishing and spring turkey hunting. Each hunter/fisherman can only do one at at a time with many turkey hunting the mornings and fishing the afternoons. Mid-America Hunting Association offers the crappie fisherman the opportunity for solitude on private farm ponds and watershed lakes for non-competitive fishing.

crappie stockingCrappie being moved from one over stocked pond to a pond with too many bass.

The intended purpose for the cross leveling of the crappie is to provide a self sustaining food source for the bass.

Pictured is young Jon Nee Jr., the future MAHA owner and operator, actually performing land stewardship that many youngsters just read about in magazines.

The crappie were caught on hook and kept alive while fishing in a fish basket. They were transported in the ice chest with water from the original pond. The travel distance was just over 30 minutes to the next pond and the ice chest kept them at their original pond temperature.

A 12 VDC air pump was employed during transport.

At the new pond with the ice chest positioned at its edge water was poured in using a plastic pitcher. Once confidence was gained from watching the fish swim appropriately in the ice chest they were placed in the new pond.

small crappieDuring such transfers we would use as many fish as we could catch in that day to include the entire range of fish from the smallest to that which normally would see a frying pan. On this day they were all small as the original pond was heavily over populated with crappie and will probably remain so until the adult bass placed in that pond balance out the food chain.

When managing the stockage level of a pond it may seem to be fuzzy science. The reality is that it is much simpler than it appears. We will work with ponds that have large size to hold a good number of fish. The pond must be part of a long term lease. We personally fish the pond to survey what is in it and adjust accordingly.

Rarely does a pond we pick to manage have a good balance as no one really knows what was placed in it over the years. Examples have been carp, flathead and channel catfish have been found in some unassuming farm ponds and watershed lakes. Once we have confidence that either bass or crappie are out of balance one or the other is promoted with cross leveling. It takes about three years of stocking and monitoring and we ask several Association fishermen to test an occasional pond and that is a blind test to see what they catch. These tests have a great amount of variability due to we have seen some of the best bass fishermen not be able to catch 5 crappie and some of the best crappie fishermen not able to catch a single bass, without luck. What we have found is that once we establish a better balance in a pond or watershed lake we rarely return for additional stockage to include several not stocked since the 1980's. Sometimes we are not so lucky and the landowner dies or sells the farm. Once the current lease expires these farms many times do not continue the lease. Not everything is perfect.

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Kansas City Star newspaper article about our crappie fishing
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