Depth finder critical to crappie-fishing success

What does the perfect picture look like on your electronic graph when you are looking for crappie in the deep water on D’Arbonne in February?

Bob Mitcham said your depth finder should be like the image appearing with this sidebar. It’s an actual photo of his graph taken while he was catching fish on Lake D’Arbonne.

“There are two big balls of shad on this screen,” he pointed out. “They are both attracting fish. To the left of the red ball, you see several bunches of crappie right beside the shad. There are also a few fish right below and more on top of the shad. On this day, the fish are hovering around 12 to 15 feet deep by one school of baitfish and around 22 feet deep by the other baitfish.

“Chances are you can catch them at either depth.”

In fishgraph speak, such a screen screams, “Fish here!”

The deepest part of the old river channel in the image is 34.2 feet deep, and the surface water temperature is 61 degrees after a few days of unseasonably warm weather.

The deeper “lines of fish” are probably white bass, yellow bass or catfish, Mitcham said.

“You don’t always have to see fish on the graph to catch them, but it sure helps with consistency,” he said. “And you don’t always see all the fish on the graph, either.

“But when you maintain the same depth as the fish you are seeing, you’ll be able to catch some of the others, as well.”

About Kinny Haddox 595 Articles
Kinny Haddox has been writing magazine and newspaper articles about the outdoors in Louisiana for 45 years. He publishes a daily website, and is a member of the Louisiana Chapter of the Outdoor Legends Hall of Fame. He and his wife, DiAnne, live in West Monroe.