Homemade Habitat

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Building a crappie habitat in your local lake is not only easy, it's a great way to build-up and maintain your favorite crappie fishing spot. There are many different ways to build a crappie habitat, but we're only going to talk about the quickest, easiest and most effective one; Old Christmas trees.

Homemade Crappie Habitat

Homemade Crappie Habitat


First you will need to analyze the areas where you like to crappie fish. How deep is the water? If your favorite crappie fishing spot is just off-shore in only 6 feet of water, you'll want to tie concrete blocks to the center of the trees so they lay-down on the bottom of the lake. If your favorite spot is out in deep water over 12 feet, you should weight down the tree at it's base so it stands up on the bottom of the lake. Considering that crappie come into shallow water to spawn and prefer the deeper water during summer heat, you can get ambitious and build a crappie habitat in both shallow and deep water.

After the holidays, many cities set up an area designated to drop off Christmas trees that are free to the public. If you get a few trees from one of these areas, be sure to strip them of all human-added decor so you don't pollute the water with harmful metals or plastics. Where I live all the lakes are frozen over by January, so I collect a few trees from the drop-off and store them on the side of my garage. The snow covered ground and the freezing temperatures keep them until the middle of April when the ice on the lake thaws and I toss them into the water.

Not only will you be contributing to natures' ecosystem by building your own crappie habitat, but the crappie will move-in to spawn as the water temperature warms and you'll be able to start fishing your new structure.

Now, I don't want too, but I have too touch on the only possibly unpleasant part of building your own crappie habitat - The Government. Some states have no problem with you tossing a few old Christmas trees into the water at your favorite state-owned lake and some states may require you to get a simple and inexpensive permit to place the trees, but there are a few states that have thousands of meaningless regulations written by bureaucrats who have never been any closer to a fish then they would get dinning out at Long John Silvers. These self-serving fools may want you to spend 5 years and $500,000 on a Environmental Impact study before allowing you to legally place the trees. There's no need to mention these states by name. If you live in one of them, you know it.

For those of us who live in a state where the government exercises a reasonable degree of common sense, creating and enjoying your own little crappie habitat shouldn't be a major problem and will provide you and others a lot of great crappie fishing.

North American Fisherman Magazine

Boaters World!

Expert Crappie Article Writer

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