Versatile, affordable Sea Skiff

 

Versatile, affordable Sea Skiff

By Craig Lamb

Carolina Skiff is known for making the pickup trucks of the skiff world. They can go anywhere, do anything and provide years of dependable, reliable boats at an affordable price.

What can be made better? Upgrades and improvements matter at Carolina Skiff. The Sea Skiff Series from Sea Chaser is a result of that mission for 30 years and growing.

Durability, versatility, affordability, combined with a 100% composite construction and quality materials all come together in the Sea Chaser 21 Sea Skiff.

Abundant storage is immediately noticeable in the 21 Sea Skiff. Stow, all that gear and there is a cockpit area free of clutter and open for fishing and fun.

Up front are two spacious bow hatches and anchor box with LED light. Entry is made safe and easy with LED-lit molded steps on the front deck. A 12/24-volt trolling motor plug is pre-wired for easy, clean rigging.

The cockpit features a newly designed console with plenty of space to flush-mount today’s wide-screen electronic units. A removable windshield creates more options for mounting electronics. Flush mount rod holders for six outfits keep them at the ready, and a console live well, and removable 70-quart cooler makes it convenient for storing drinks and fish.

 

In the back an 18-gallon baitwell with LED lighting for quick access to live bait. Rear jump seats with storage compartments and battery storage feature LED lighting for safety and convenience. For water sports fun the swim platform with stainless steel ladder makes boarding safe and easy.

Hulls are constructed with 100 percent composite materials, and a high-density fiberglass transom core. Patented Box Beam Construction forms each fiberglass stringer as with fiberglass, pre-cast foam logs laminated into the hull one by one. The process allows for an unsinkable wood free hull.

See the full line of Carolina Skiff and Sea Chaser boats at carolinaskiff.com. With 60 different options and models, you can use the Build A Boat feature. On the website, you can find a dealer, request a catalog and more. Check out the loyal following of Carolina Skiff fans and owners on Facebook.

 

 

Original Source:  Sportsmans Lifestyle.com 

 

Not Your Ordinary Fish Camp

 

Not Your Ordinary Fish Camp

By Craig Lamb

Travel to Venice, Louisiana, and find fish camps lined up along the Mississippi River. Most are rustic by design. After all, you come here for the world-class saltwater fishing that is not far away in the Gulf of Mexico.

A place to lay your head at night after a long day of catching yellowfin tuna, grouper, snapper, and the latest craze, swordfish, is the basic need. A decent meal and a bed are what you get at most fish camps.

The Lodges at Home Run Charters is not your average fish camp. Arrive, and you find elegance, comfort, and first-class service, dining, and lodging. Take a look around Venice, and you will see the lodge stands out.

The reasons are many. Location is a start. The lodges are located within the very same marina where you will meet your captain and board their boat. You can have a tasty breakfast and be out the door and into the boat within minutes.

A good day on the water beckons you to come back to an even greater evening of entertainment, dining, and relaxation in elegant luxury. You are fishing in the best saltwater fishing in the U.S. So why not treat yourself to the best in food, lodging, and service?

Return from your day on the Gulf and just a few steps away is your luxury condo.

From the stylish Tommy Bahamas furniture to the ornate fixtures and rich, hardwood floors, the accommodations offer a more refined way to relax after an exciting day of inshore or offshore fishing.

Three separate lodges each have a living room, wide-screen TVs, free WiFi with a printer, dining room, bar and kitchen. You can cook your own meals or experience gourmet dining. Big pork chops, prime steaks, and Louisiana seafood, the freshest around, are on the menu.

The lodges can comfortably accommodate up to 20 people at one time. That makes the Home Run lodges a perfect venue for corporate gatherings, bachelor parties, and other special events.

Luxury living means the same experience for dining at the Lodge. The all-inclusive plan includes a decadent five-course meal, breakfast, and a to-go lunch for the fishing day. Check out details about the lodge and dining here.

Right now is prime time to get the most of a trip to Venice and what is called “Tuna Town.” Make it a date and check here for availability at the Lodges.

Got questions? Click here for answers to frequently asked questions. Ready to book a trip? Go for it by clicking here. Got more questions? Call (504) 982-8862, or (504) 909-TUNA.

 

 

Original Source:  Sportsmans Lifestyle.com

 

Enjoying a typical day of world-class fishing in Louisiana

 

 

Enjoying a typical day of world-class fishing in Louisiana

By Craig Lamb

The fastest, safest and best-equipped boats in south Louisiana are docked just a few steps away from your luxury condo. Captain John Pisa, a veteran guide around Venice, Louisiana, is waiting for you to come aboard.

Untie the lines and head out the Mississippi River passes and you will be in the most gamefish-rich waters of the United States. Yellowfin tuna. Snapper. Grouper. Wahoo. Dolphin. And lately, there are swordfish.

That’s a snapshot of a day of fishing with Home Run Fishing Charters & Lodge. Pisa and his fellow captains are the most knowledgeable guides in the area known as Tuna Town.

At typical day begins at 6 a.m. and concludes at 6 p.m. Offshore rates are $1,700 plus fuel costs for up to 6 anglers. Inshore rates are $800 for up to 3 people or another $50 for a fourth angler. Fuel, artificial and dead bait is included.

You will ride and fish in luxury from 36’ Yellowfin 36 boats designed for smooth, dry rides in the blue water, and powered by a trio of fast, dependable 300-horsepower Yamaha outboards. What that means for you is a boat that skims across the water at 50 mph or more. You will be first to the best fishing, while arriving safely. You will fish from Shearwater and Skeeter boats for inshore trips. 

Click here to view more about the offshore fleet of boats.

You’ll use the best and latest tackle when aboard the boats. The gear can stand up to the toughest pelagic species in the sea, such as premium 30w and 50w stand-up gear and Shimano reels with Seeker Rods. For really deep fish the boats have Hooker electric reels.

Those will come in handy for the latest fishing craze in South Louisiana.

“Swordfish have gotten really popular, and recently we’ve hooked up with lots of big fish,” said Pisa.

The swordfish are being caught from 1,300 t0 1,700 feet deep. Those electric reels make the work easier and more fun for fighting the big swordfish. Those are running up to 200 pounds.

The snapper season is what else is hot. The season begins June 1 and runs 48 days.

“We have a lot of customers who come for the snapper,” added Pisa. “It’s a short window, but the fishing is just exceptional.”

Right now is prime time for experiencing the greatest variety of fishing around Venice. Take your pick from blue and white marlin, grouper, cobia, blackfin tuna, yellowfin tuna, and wahoo. Mangrove snapper, dolphin and king mackerel also are abundant.

“What’s really great about a trip here is a lot of times you don’t know what you’re going to catch until you see it come up,” added Pisa.

Click here for more about the offshore charters.

“We also have world-class inshore fishing for speckled trout and redfish,” said Pisa.

Click here for more about inshore charters.

What sets Home Run Charters apart is the Home Run Lodges. The lodges are located within the very same marina where you will meet your captain and board their boat. You can have a tasty breakfast and be out the door and into the boat within minutes.

Ready to book a trip? Click here for more information on rates. Got questions? Click here for the FAQs. Need more information? Call (504) 909-TUNA.

 

Original Source:  Sportsmans Lifestyle.com 

 

 

Great idea to find your perfect knife!

 

Great idea to find your perfect knife!

Tammy Shepard

BFMG Staff

Regardless if you hunt, fish, camp or need the perfect knife for work, the choices to find your perfect blade are massive! Certainly, there are numerous retail stores, catalogs and online opportunities to shop in order to get the right knife for the right job.

The choices from fix or folding blades offered from mass producers or even a custom knife are virtually, sheaths and many more options are almost equally as numerous.

Instead of spending a tremendous amount of time searching the internet, learning more about metals, designs and other aspects, attending a knife show may be your best bet to educate yourself about the subject for your specific needs. 

Typically, there are many ‘custom knife” manufacturers at these shows. Their work is spectacular!  In fact, I recently held a custom knife that was being sold for $15,000! Certainly, this one was for a collector and not the average deer hunter looking for a typical “gutting tool.”

A key advantage in attending a cutlery show, in addition to looking at key cutlery, manufactures products such as Buck, Gerber, Kershaw, Case, and others are the fact you will see many different designs, materials and much more within a wide range of prices. Plus, every knife “manufacture” is more than open to spending significant time to discuss materials, blades, handles, and additional details.  It is a fantastic way to learn about metals and the real process

A key factor many do not consider when looking at knives is really understanding the steel. There has been a tremendous amount of steel from China used in knives, and frankly, it’s quality is significantly less than steel produced in the US.  Plus, with stainless, carbon and even meteorite materials in use to build knives, options are almost endless.

With a few upcoming trips, I was seeking more information about obtaining a solid filet knife as well as a general purpose fixed blade knife for camp and hunting. Interestingly, I was able to select a very moderately priced custom filet knife but ended up selecting a fixed blade knife from W.R. Case Cutlery, a mass producer of quality knives all of us have seen in the market. This decision enabled me to be a bit more selective in finding a custom knife for specialized work with many features for filleting fish and maintaining my budget by selecting general purpose knife from a well-known manufacturer.

It is a great idea to attend a few of the ‘Blade Shows” in your area. All knives are not the same, and when I am at the dock cleaning fish, the discussions about fillet knives is almost as diverse as what bait to use to catch the largest redfish! But by spending a little time with the experts that build these great tools, your knowledge about knives, materials, design, and construction will pay off when selecting your perfect blade that can last you a lifetime. 

 

Original Source: Sportsmans Lifestyle.com

 

 

Try These Tips for Snook

 

Try These Tips for Snook

By Craig Lamb

Acrobatic leaps. Long runs. Screaming drags. Beautiful scenery. Go fishing for snook, and you get all of the above in one package.

Light tackle inshore anglers consider the snook one of the most sporting species of all to catch. Snook generally range in size from 3 to 15 pounds and catching giants up to 30 pounds is common during summer when the fish spawn around inlets and passes.

Mangrove shorelines on Southwest Florida and passes and inlets on the opposite coast are classic areas to catch snook in the Sunshine State. On both coasts, you can count on finding snook around bridges and piers, grass flats and nearby deep holes.

The Homosassa River, on the Gulf of Mexico side, is considered their northern range. Find then on the Atlantic side from the Florida Keys to the mid-coast around Daytona.

Current, structure and bait. Remember those three key simple needs of a snook, and you will have eliminated a lot of water.

Snook, like a freshwater largemouth bass, are opportunistic predators. They chase after food that requires the least effort. Current makes that job easier.

Current and structure go together because the latter requirement feeds the predator instinct. Snook like to ambush bait, and current breaks make ideal casting targets.

Bait is the given portion of the three-sided equation for catching snook. Find the bait, add the current, an ambush point and you have the perfect setup for snook.

What makes snook fishing so easy, and appealing is live bait is not a requirement. In fact, big splashy topwater baits spark the predator instinct of a snook. So do popper-shaped topwater plugs, glider baits, and wake baits. Fish them slow or fast until determining the mood of the fish.

A top choice for fishing in shallow water is the JVX Series by Carolina Skiff. A lightweight hull and modified V-hull design combine for a boat that will carry more, go further and faster with less horsepower.

You get excellent maneuverability and handling with the positive tracking keels. Patented splash guards provide the smooth, dry ride that Carolina Skiff has been known for after 30 years and counting in the business.

Fishermen have plenty of options from which to choose from the JVX Series. Nine different models are in the JVX Series lineup, and you can customize the rig to fit angling needs.

Worth a strong look for snook fishing is the 18 JVX CC. This center console boat with a 78” beam and 17’ 9” overall is ideal for running the winding, shallow channels of the back country and mangroves where snook lurk.

The 18 JVX CC gives you an edge for accessing shallow creeks and rivers with it’s modified V-hull design. Carry more weight farther and faster with less horsepower. Add that together, and the sum is a boat that performs better than any other at a cost that can’t be beat.

See the full line of Carolina Skiff and Sea Chaser boats at carolinaskiff.com. With 60 different options and models, you can use the Build A Boat feature. On the website, you can find a dealer, request a catalog and more. Check out the loyal following of Carolina Skiff fans and owners on Facebook.

Original Source: Sportsmans Lifestyle.com

For Over 80 Years H&M Landing Has Defined the World of Sportfishing

 

For Over 80 Years H&M Landing Has Defined the World of Sportfishing

 

When speaking about the ‘best’ fishing guides in the gorgeous oasis of San Diego, California, the name H&M Landing is at the top of the list and has been (believe it or not) since 1934.

sportfishing, San Diego, California, fishing, guides, H&M Landing, Harbor Water Taxi, West Coast, Coronado Islands, marine wildlifeIt was way back when that two partners in a company called Harbor Water Taxi took one of those rare, much-needed days off from work for a little rest and relaxation, and set out on the water to do a little marlin fishing. What happened, however, was more than just a day of rest – it was a day where these two particular men got “hooked” on the sport and began to seriously contemplate founding their own sportfishing company. The very next year, in 1935, they went with their dream and H&M Sport Fishing Company was born.

 

Here we are in the 21st Century and H&M is now called H&M Landing Company and its’ fleet has held its position as being the West Coast’s oldest, most experienced and diversified sportfishing company for over 80 years and counting.

 

When we talk “fleet,” we’re not kidding around here. H&M has one of the finest charter boat fleets in the entire world. One of their private charters can accommodate any group, any size. Offering a full range of open party trips, H&M can even customize charter itineraries to suit everyone’s needs – whether the trip be for business, family, or (as it was in the beginning) simply two friends who want to enjoy the beauty of San Diego while catching those marlin.

 

On the highly detailed H&M website that will literally have any sportfishing lover drooling, you can see this amazing fleet that’s at the ready. From A to V in this case, they have a wide variety of boats to choose from. ‘A’ is for Alicia which sleeps 14 (10 bunks provided/single and double). 46 X 15, the owner is a guide that will bring to you one of the most memorable fishing trips you have ever experienced. The ‘V’ in this fleet is for Vendetta and is 45 x 14. Owner Ray Summer is one of the ‘best of the best’ when it comes to fishing guides, but where H&M is concerned that is the norm.

sportfishing, San Diego, California, fishing, guides, H&M Landing, Harbor Water Taxi, West Coast, Coronado Islands, marine wildlife

Just to give you a little detail, the trips offered are various and many. 1/2 day fishing trips have you fishing the coastline from Imperial Beach to the Point Loma kelp beds, or Mexican Waters according to the “best bite” out there. Depending on the season, the game fish that are available to catch look like the best ‘menu’ any seafood restaurant could offer: yellowtail, calico bass, sand bass, barracuda, bonito, mackerel and rock fish.

 

H&M also has 3/4 day fishing trips available that lead you to either the Coronado Islands in Mexican Waters or offshore areas in US waters. These are perfect trips for those on a tight schedule, providing you and your friends with a full day of fishing while taking up less than a full day. In the spring, summer and fall, trips target surface game fish (yellowtail, white sea bass, barracuda, bonito, and calico bass); whereas, in the winter, trips focus upon sand bass, rock cod and bottom fish.

 

Multi-day trips ranging from one-and-a-half to three-and-a-half days can be chosen. And when it comes to booking that sportfishing, San Diego, California, fishing, guides, H&M Landing, Harbor Water Taxi, West Coast, Coronado Islands, marine wildlifeperfect trip that allows you to remain in the San Diego paradise for up to 21 days, if you wish, you can choose from the long range fishing trips offering personal service and modern accommodations that can only be found within the H&M Landing fleet.

 

Every vessel is individually owned and operated, which is another way to ensure that you and your guests will receive the highest level of personal service. All trips include luxury aboard accommodations, complete meal service, personal crew attention, live bait, on board fish filleting and even refrigerated fish holds to preserve your catch. All you need to bring is sunscreen and your duffle bag, and you have the blue waters of San Diego – and everything swimming in them – at the ready. H&M even offers the adventurous out there Whale Watching tours that are unbelievably cool, allowing you to observe marine wildlife in their natural environment.

 

So now that you know the absolute perfect sportfishing company out there, it is time to head on over to www.hmlanding.com and book that ultimate trip today. WARNING: Get ready to drool!

 

Source:  Sportsmans Lifestyle

Finding Bass During a Mixed Spawn Season

 

Finding Bass During a Mixed Spawn Season

Yamaha Pro Mark Davis Offers Two Solutions For Catching Bass This Spring

Warmer-than-normal winter temperatures have shuffled bass spawning schedules on many lakes throughout the country this spring, but Mark Davis has seen it before, and the veteran Yamaha Pro knows just how to approach the problem.

“With the milder winter, bass began spawning much earlier than usual this year so when a fisherman heads to a lake this month, he’s probably going to find some bass in post-spawn, others on spawning beds, and even a few still in the pre-spawn stage,” notes Davis, a three-time B.A.S.S.® Angler of the Year and winner of the 1993 Bassmaster Classic.® “The fish are doing a lot of different things, but not a lot of them are doing the same thing.

“It’s a real curve ball, because some bass may be in water only a foot deep while others can be in water 20 feet deep, and the rest of them are somewhere in between.”

The first solution Davis offers for catching some of these fish is for an angler to simply begin fishing the way he wants to fish, using the lures and techniques in which he has the most confidence. 

He should decide which type of spawning fish he wants to catch, choose an area of the lake where that is likely to be happening, and then concentrate entirely on those fish. For example, if he prefers to go after post-spawn bass, Davis suggests looking for slightly deeper water in the 15 to 20-foot range and fishing a deep diving crankbait, a football head jig, or a Carolina rig and staying in that area of a lake.

“If you decide on this approach, you really need to forget about any shallow water bass,” emphasizes the Yamaha Pro, “because if you don’t commit totally to what you’re doing, you’ll never fish as effectively as you need to. Just remember, you’re probably not going to find a lot of bass because they’re so scattered.”

Davis describes his second, completely opposite solution as “junk fishing,” in which a fisherman does work both shallow and deep water. If he sees a potential shallow water target, he can cast to it, then turn and make his next cast toward standing timber in deeper water. He might follow with a third cast ahead of the boat to still another spot. Junk fishing usually involves a lot of running to different places, and it frequently means fishing entirely new water each day. This spring, it’s been a technique used by many of the tournament pros in both Bassmaster® and FLW® events.

“This is how I fished the recent Bassmaster® Elite tournament at Toledo Bend,” Davis admits. “I started the tournament in deep water looking for post-spawn bass, and I caught 24 keepers the first day, but all of them were small fish, and I only weighed in about 12 pounds. You can’t even place in a Toledo Bend event with weights like that, so I changed completely. The rest of the tournament I junk-fished water down to about 10 feet, working shallow for spawning and pre-spawn bass, and I eventually finished 36th overall.

“It wasn’t the way I wanted to fish, but on Toledo Bend, there is a huge bass population, so I actually moved up in the standings each day. On lakes that don’t have a large population of fish, a spring like the one we’re having now can really make fishing difficult.”

Another part of the problem, adds Davis, is the increased fishing pressure bass are receiving now, which also makes them more difficult to catch. Because fish are seeing more lures than ever before, and many are being caught and released multiple times, anglers need to remember to keep trying different lures and retrieves until some combination starts bringing strikes. 

Visit Yamaha Outboards.com Today!

Original Source; Yamaha Outboards.com 

Versatile 2500 Custom Carolina from Tidewater Boats

 

 
Versatile 2500 Custom Carolina from Tidewater Boats

By Craig Lamb

There is so much more to like about the new 2500 Custom Carolina Bay from Tidewater Boats than its head-turning good looks.

Tidewater Boats is known for designing boats for serious anglers, with serious features, using luxury appointments you find in a fine yacht. Wrap luxury around a performance hull and you have the newest model, 2500 Custom Carolina Bay.

As the name implies, this customized Tidewater is loaded from bow to stern with standard features.

This new Carolina Bay is a full-featured high-end, family-friendly bay boat with high-performance features. Fishermen will appreciate the open cockpit with abundant storage and plenty of room to move about the cabin to rig up and fight big fish.

2500 Custom Carolina Bay has a centerline of 25′ 2″ and a 9-foot beam. The boat has a fuel capacity of 74 gallons and rates for a maximum of 350 horsepower.

Here are standard features for the boat.

Electronic Power Steering

Pull up cleats

Raw water wash

Tilt steering

Wrap around seating with cushions

Aluminum Leaning post with backrest standard with 6YC

Information Station Digital Gauge

Compass

Windshield

Hydraulic Jack Plate

Trim Tabs

2 (30) gallon live wells

Built-In “Icehouse Cooler.”

Lockable rod storage for (8) 7.5’ rods

Under gunwale rod storage for over 8-foot rods

Console with room for a Porta Potty

Rear deck with jump seats

Rear deck with storage

Rear deck with pump/bilge access

Bow deck storage

Bow deck anchor locker

Floor bucket storage

Tidewater Boats are designed with distinctive Carolina Flair, setting up the dry ride, to direct waves away from the hull using reverse chines. Tidewater likes to appropriately call that feature the Dry Chine Ride.

Carolina Flair and the Dry Chine Ride are enhanced by another feature adding to the smooth, dry ride. The Corrugated Grid Stringer Vertebra absorbs the shock of waves against the hull in choppy water. Filled with foam to reduce noise and vibration, the stringer system works like a human skeleton to create a rigid, unified construction that tightly secures all of the internal parts. Those include fuel tanks, consoles, seating and storage compartments that are fastened to the stringer system. To ensure a solid, tight fit, every stringer system is customized for each Tidewater model.

Another defining Tidewater feature is the Spray Relief Point. That is the point of impact on the hull deflecting water away from the boat. Multiple SRP areas enhance the characteristic dry ride of the Tidewater.

Composite construction, foam filled hulls, cored decks, and gunwales plus much more quality design, materials and construction are extras that come with the price of a Tidewater.

By taking extra steps not found in most brands, Tidewater has the confidence in providing owners a 10-year, transferrable warranty that covers the hull.

Tidewater stays close to it’s saltwater roots with the manufacturing facility located in Lexington, S.C. Find out more about the complete lineup of models at tidewaterboats.com. Visit the growing community of Tidewater owners on Facebook at Tidewater Boats LLC.

Original Source:  Sportsmans Lifestyle.com

Come to Tuna Town for the Best Offshore Fishing

 

Come to Tuna Town for the Best Offshore Fishing                       

By Craig Lamb

Take a short drive south of New Orleans, and you come to the southernmost point in Louisiana. It’s Venice and being at the end of the road is just the beginning of your trip for world-class yellowfin tuna fishing at Home Run Fishing Charters & Lodge.

The business’ phone number even includes the fish: (504) 909-TUNA.

“It’s why everybody wants to come to Venice,” said John Pisa.

He shares with his guide clients more than 20 years of experience of fishing the area.

“You might say that saltwater runs in my veins.”

Read more here about Pisa and his fellow captains at Home Run Charters.

What makes the trip to Venice worthwhile is the relatively short run it takes to get to the tuna water. The migratory tuna come within 10 miles of the Mouth of Passes or point where the Mississippi River meets the Gulf of Mexico.

The action gets hot when the yellowfin take flight. The aerobatic displays are unforgettable. So is hooking up with tuna up to 50 or 150 pounds cruising through. Some grow even bigger. This spring an angler landed a yellowfin tuna weighing 226 pounds. The fish caught from 300 feet of water ranks as the 10th heaviest yellowfin tuna ever brought to the scales in Louisiana.

Pisa says trolling for deep fish and setting lines behind a chum line are two popular methods his clients can expect to use on a day of fishing. So are topwater fishing and chunking baits at schooling tuna.

The day typically begins at 6 a.m. and runs 12 hours. The charter rate is $1,700 plus fuel for up to 6 anglers.

You’ll do that in style aboard some of the fastest and best-equipped boats in Venice. What that means is getting to the tuna water ahead of everyone else. Home Run Charters operates two 36’ Yellowfin 36 center console boats that are powered by 300-horsepower Yamaha outboards. The fish can’t hide, either. The boats are rigged with the latest GPS mapping and sonar devices available.

Click here to view more about the offshore fleet of boats.

Fast boats, world class fishing and knowledge you gain that makes you and even better angler the next time out. What could be better?

After a long day on the water, you find out upon returning to the dock. Home Run Lodges is no ordinary Venice end-of-the-road fish camp. Stylish Tommy Bahama furnishings set over rich hardwood floors. Separate living and dining rooms with a bar and kitchen.

Choose from non-inclusive or all-inclusive. With that, you get a decadent five-course meal, breakfast and a lunch to take on the boat.

Eat, sleep, fish. Repeat.

The perfect fishing vacation is waiting for you at Home Run Charters & Lodge.

Got questions? Click here for answers to frequently asked questions. Ready to book a trip. Go for it by clicking here. Got more questions? Call (504) 982-8862, or (504) 909-TUNA.

Original Source:  Sportsmans Lifestyle.com 

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