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Is It Possible To Attract More Crappie To My Dock?
Any lake that has docks has had a crappie under it at some point throughout the day.
Whether stopping off to shield themselves from the sun rays, cool themselves off from the shade, or ambush unsuspecting baitfish, crappie use docks as much as any structure around!
There’s not a local lake that I can’t go to and catch at least a few crappies that are suspended under a dock.
But what attracts crappie to a dock?
If you own a dock, is it possible to attract larger schools and keep them there?
Yes! From my decades of dock fishing, I will share with you what makes the most productive docks and how you can turn them into fish catching machines!
Why Do Crappie Relate To Docks?
There are several reasons why docks make up some of the best crappie fishing…
1.) Docks Provide Protection From Warmer Water
Fish are cold blooded creatures and don’t fare so well in summertime. The cooled water of a dock is a welcome relief especially if that water is stained or dirty.
Off colored water means that the sun can’t heat up its temperature but only a few feet down which you’ve likely noticed while swimming.
There’s a certain area when you go under that’s much cooler than the surface.
Combining these two factors alone mean crappie can find their comfort zone.
2.) Docks Provide Crappie A Food Source
If you look around the shady sides of docks, you’ll see a lot of algae growth and somewhere in the vicinity a lot of bait fish!
Algae clings on to shady wooden surfaces which creates a buffet for minnows, hatchlings, and shad. They also provide limited protection for these fish at times.
The shade also provides crappie concealment giving them the possibility of ambushing more prey.
3.) Docks Provide Crappie Protection As Well
Some days you’re the windshield, some days you’re the bug…
Crappie have a unique role in the water world. They’re both a fish predator, and a fish prey. While they use the same reasons a baitfish would use a dock for food, they can also rely on it for protection if the dock has enough structure under it!
How To Attract More Crappie To Your Dock
If you’re experiencing only so so success at catching fish under your dock, there are many ways to going from a ghost town to owning the most popular place on the lake!
Here are my 5 best tips for attracing more crappie to your dock!
1.) Make Your Dock Larger
More real estate means more room for fish. Only a finite number of fish will fit under each dock row and the fish’s position on each row will change with the sun’s direction throughout the day.
If you only have one row and can add another to make a nice boat slip, then this will double your chances of the fish seeking out your dock to suspend!
2.) Put A Roof Over Your Dock
Instead of actually building another dock you could add a roof which will cast a shade over a wider area for the crappie to suspend in. It will have the double effect of protecting your dock from the sun’s rays giving it many more years of life!
3.) Take Advantage of Lake Draw Downs
Every few years most impoundments will be lowered so that those living on the lake can make repairs to their docks. If you know a draw down is coming up, then you might want to plan on extending your dock out into deeper water.
If you’ve reached the limit of where your dock will extend, consider having sections of the dock dredged out creating more contour for fish.
Crappie love having access to several different depths quickly so if the beginning of your dock sits in two feet, perhaps have the middle of your dock sitting in eight feet, and finally closer to the end of your dock sitting in twelve feet.
Crappie will stay around your dock all year long with all these depth options to them!
4.)Place Fish Attractors All Around Your Dock
All lakes that have docks, the local anglers know which ones to motor up to because they contain the best structure!
Christmas trees, while a time tested, and true method are becoming more obsolete in favor of the manufactured crappie attractors. These are made of PVC and other slick surfaces that minimize snags and hold fish well all year!
5.) Hang Lights Off Of Your Dock To Catch More Crappie
If you’re wanting to create the best possible ecosystem for your dock, then you can’t ignore nighttime.
Whether you wish to use a standard light or a submersible you’ll pull more fish to your dock!
Lights attract bugs which fall into the water and are quickly snatched up by fish of all sizes. This creates an area of the lake where fish know they can feed day and night.
If they’ve got all the other variables listed above, then why would they ever leave?
If you’re looking for ways to attract more crappie to your dock, then after reading the above you should have a great head start! Crappie will go where there’s protection, a food source, and comfortable water temperatures.
If you provide all three, then your only problem will be trying to fight off all the boats that know where the new honey hole is on the lake!