If you have ever gone fishing for crappies, perhaps you have thought to tie off to one of the trees. In fact, this might even make sense over dropping an anchor because you don’t disturb the water as much when you tie off on a tree. The crappies won’t notice your presence as much when you tie off to trees.
The Advantage over the Anchor
Along with tying up to a tree quickly, you can untie it quickly. The fish won’t notice you as much as if you had dropped anchor, and you don’t have to crank up this heavy anchor that has now become even heavier because of how the anchor collected the muck and dirt on the bottom of the lake.
If you can get away with not spooking the fish, you will have a higher success rate. Not only that, but you will be closer to the crappies this way. When you drop anchor near a fallen tree, you will only have so close that you can get to it, but you can get much closer when you tie off on a tree.
The Nature of Crappies
Crappies love to hang around outside of a brush pile because as pan fish, they have a lot of natural predators. Everything from northern pike to muskellunge to walleye loves to feed on crappies, and when they hide out near a fallen tree or brush pile, it gives them a better chance to escape.
Crappies tend to be more timid than northern pike, and if you want to catch one, you should slowly put the bait near them and wait for them to take it. They will nibble on it at first, rather than gobble it down, but once they get comfortable with it, they will take the bait.
Near the Food Source
Like all other types of fish, you only have to follow the food source to find where the fish like to hang out. They don’t evenly distribute themselves across the waters. Crappies like to hang out near the brush piles because of how they can feed off the shad, minnows and microscopic foods that give life-giving sustenance. As the bait fish show up, the crappie won’t be too far behind.
You might look at a brush pile as the same as what you’d see a corn feeder to deer. They like to be close to where they can get the food. The other thing is that crappies like places like under a fallen tree because of how it provides them with shade. If you have ever looked under a dock, you will see how many crappies tend to congregate here in the summer months as a way to escape the heat.
Tying off in a River
Tying up to a fallen tree especially has its advantages in a river or stream because of how these especially become the places where crappies like to hide out. They will go to places like this as a way of getting out of the current to rest, and you will find all types of other fish like bass, catfish and walleye doing the same in water like this.
The other thing that you can do is to buy what is known as a brush anchor. People have especially found this useful when they fish in a kayak or canoe because of how it will secure them easily without having to tie a specific fishing knot. You can use this to secure yourself to a dock, fallen tree, brush pile or a stationary object.
The stronger the current or pull of the wind, the more you need an anchor to secure yourself.
Unique Habitat for Fish
If you have a fallen tree, you will most likely find a crappie swimming underneath it. With that said, any fisherman looking for this fish should first survey the fallen trees like this because of how it can be advantageous. Once you have found a healthy school of them, tie off on a tree and go to town. The advantage of a tie off is that it puts you closer to them than what an anchor would.
How to Detect Fallen Trees
Outside the obvious of seeing a fallen tree out in the water, you may have underwater fallen trees that could prove advantageous. How do you spot them? Many times, you can spot them because while the tree may have toppled over and went underwater, you can see the roots or trunk up closer to the bank of the water. You can see the canopy and branches underwater.
In general, you may want to check the windward side of the lake because you will find more fallen trees on this side. That depends on your location, but in the Midwest, the southeast side will usually be the side with the most fallen trees because of where the winds come from. Depth finders can also help you to find underwater fallen trees that you could tie off on.
We have to understand the objective here as well. We don’t necessarily want trees, but what we want is crappies hiding under those trees. If you can’t find crappies underneath the trees, then it doesn’t have much value to a fisherman, but many times, you will find crappies underneath those trees.
Where to Find Crappies near the Trees
Around mid-day, when the sun is the hottest, you will find crappies closer to the structure of the tree. Many times, they will be close to any part of the tree that has fallen. As the light conditions start to drop, you will want to look for them higher up and watch for fish rising to the surface.
For the nicer days out on the lake, you will find crappies anywhere in or around the fallen tree. Look for where the fish might hide in relation to the tree.
Why It Makes Sense to Tie off on a Tree
You want to tie off on a tree because it makes it much easier to catch crappies. As any fisherman knows, casting near trees from afar can prove disastrous where you snag a lure on the tree branch and break your line. You have to exercise caution when you cast from afar close to trees. Getting up close and personal will make it easier.
Not to mention, it can take a lot of time to pull up a heavy anchor, and it leaves a lot of disturbance in the water when you first drop anchor. For that reason, a lot of people have taken a liking to fishing through tying off on a tree or an underwater tree.
Here’s how to make your own mooring pole to tie off on trees more easily.
How to Make a Stand off Mooring Pole
Step #1 Cutting the PVC Pipe: First, you will want to cut out the length of a 3/4-inch PVC pipe to whatever length you desire. In general, I prefer the longer mooring poles of 6 1/2 feet, but if you get anything over 4 feet, it will work fine. You might consider cutting it to a specific length where you can store it easily in your rod box or the deck of your boat.
Step #2 Drilling the Holes: In the second step, you will drill the holes of the PVC pipe. You do this closer to the two end caps, and you do this because you want the rope to slide through easily. The rope that you choose to fit through the holes should fit tightly.
Step #3 Drilling in the PVC: You want to drill in the PVC one inch from where the end cap goes. As you’re doing this, you will take a rope twice the length of the pole, and you put it through the hole that you have drilled and thread it out closer to the end. To keep the rope from slipping back out, you will tie a knot in the rope. The other option is that you can take a lighter to melt the other end of the rope into a blob for a tight fit.
Important to Note: For those who want to tie to underwater trees, you will need a rope that sinks in the water.
Step #4 Thread the Rope through the Cap: In this step, you will thread the rope through the end cap, and you will put it through the length of the PVC pipe to the other end of the cap to create your mooring pole.
Step #5 Gluing the End Caps: Step five, you will glue the end caps onto the pipe to keep them secured when you go to use them.
Step #6 Tie a Knot on the End of the Rope: For the next step, you will tie a knot on the end of the rope, which is meant to keep your mooring pole more secure.
Step #7 Finishing Up: In the final step, you will take a girl’s hair tie and put it near the top of your mooring pole. You do this because it holds the extra rope in place when not in use.
That’s all that you have to do to create a mooring pole, but you will find that it comes in handy on the water, and you may even find that you like it more than using it with your regular fishing anchor because it works well. In fact, it honestly probably takes less time to make a mooring pole than what it did to type this. It is a simple project, and you will have a useful fishing tool at your disposal afterward to tie off on tree branches.
Tying off to a tree can be a huge help when fishing, and a lot of fisherman find that they like this more than if they were to drop an anchor. Obviously, an anchor has its place, but this can eliminate some of the need to use it when on the water. You don’t always have to use an anchor on the water.