When using a brush pile to attract crappie, what is the best way to set it up?

When using a brush pile to attract crappie, what is the best way to set it up?

There are many ways to construct fish attractors. The old fashioned way is to collect all your neighbors Christmas Trees, stick them in buckets with concrete, and sink them where you can find them again. When building fish attractors, it sometimes helps to thing about what we are trying to accomplish. What actually attracts crappie? Is it the smell of the wood? Is it the cover that the structure offers? If you answered yes to any of these questions….YOU”RE WRONG! What attracts crappie to these attractors is a good supply of food in the form of minnows. So we’re actually trying to attract minnows. What do minnow eat? Plankton! So now we are trying to attract plankton. What do plankton eat? Plankton eats algae, the most abundant and easiest to attract form of aquatic life! Algae will grow on any surface (unless it is treated with an anti-algae agent). The algae grows on our attractors, the plankton arrive to eat the algae, the minnows arrive to chow down on the plankton, and our Guest-Of-Honor, the crappie arrive to dine on the minnows. Neat, huh? So, if we can’t find a supply of trees and brush, are we out of luck? Of course not. With a little ingenuity, we can do much better than brushpiles. Brushpiles only last for a few years anyway, because they will eventually rot. We want something that will endure the test of time. For that, we need that miracle of the modern world (and bane of environmentalists)….PLASTIC! Plastic will last a lifetime and algae love the smooth sides. All we need are plastic buckets…..any kind. Kitty Litter buckets, food service buckets, large tupperware, large paint buckets…..all kinds of things come in plastic. Clean them very well before use. Simply weight them down with concrete (Sacrete works wonders) and sink them. Be sure to mark where you put them, because plastic does not show up on depth-finders very good. But, wait…we can even solve this problem, and add more surface area for the algae at the same time! Place old boards (do not use boards treated with creosote, or insecticides) inside the buckets, 2 or 3 to each, and fill with cement. Now, when we sink a few dozen of these, we have created an underwater forest that will light up any depth finder! When placing your attractors, try to drop them about 3 feet apart. As for location, it depends on what time of year you want to fish. For winter, I’d drop them in about 30-35 feet of water near a channel or off of a cove mouth. Bear in mind that crappie migrate along set routes, and you want them to discover the attractors, so place them along known routes if possible. Check with local authorities before creating any fish attractors, and make sure it is legal to do so. As far as I know, most places allow you to sink things in the water as long as it is not detrimental to the environment. Fish Attractors actually enhance the habitat. Happy Fishing!


Dan Eggertsen is a fellow crappie fishing enthusiast to the point of obsession. :) He's been providing solid advice on crappie fishing since 2004.

One Response to “When using a brush pile to attract crappie, what is the best way to set it up?”

  1. Joshua says:

    i live on a private lake that has crappies in it but the lake is very hard to fish see it drops off very fast but only to a depth of 10 to 12 feet so no deep holes i want to build something to attract them in winter any sugestions on where to put them

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