They just know where the fish are hiding!
Pictured above: Jeff Caldwell- The truth is found in the catch! Above are two of the many crappie Jeff’s been catching off the structure he created, transported, and sunk in
Pictured Below: Brush Pile Map-A lake map can help you quickly get up to speed on early visits to new water. This particular map is of Fyrne Lake displaying its shoreline shape, depths and the placement of fish attracting structure.
created by pallet stacks and vertically placed Christmas trees.
I was making progress, but I wasn’t doing it all by myself. Early on several fishermen on the lake offered their advice. One in particular, Jeff Caldwell, had been watching me struggle with managing the lake from the beginning. He had often expressed to me how much the lake desperately needed more structure. Jeff was a crappie fisherman by choice, and a good one. There was nothing he enjoyed better than bringing home a mess of fresh caught crappie for supper! The sad truth was that despite its potential, Fyrne Lake wasn’t providing the quality crappie fishing he was after. Most people would have given up and moved on. Not Jeff! He believed in the lake and my vision for it. And he was willing and able to help!
At first, Jeff started using the traditional starburst shaped porcupine fish attractors. Relying on his years of experience, he placed the PVC structures in coves and off points. It wasn’t long before Jeff began catching fish. Other fishermen noticed his success and realized the advantage of creating their own structure. Controlling where and how deep material is placed and WHO knows where it’s sunk is a fishing advantage! Sure, others would eventually find the structure on their own or when they notice you catching fish near it. But, you would still be the only one who knows the details of what was sunk and that is a HUGE advantage in knowing how best to fish it!
Jeff understood this secret and started experimenting in customizing his structures. Jeff added short sections of large diameter corrugated pipe to the starbursts creating dark recesses as fish hiding places. That helped, but he couldn’t get out of his mind how productive stump areas are for crappie at Reelfoot Lake. Why couldn’t he create his own! With the help of a few trusted friends, he rounded up 5-gallon buckets, filled them with concrete and added branch like appendages made out of varying lengths of black pipe. Not only did they look like stumps to the fish… they attracted fish! The ideas kept coming. Soon he began adding to their buckets a tall vertical PVC pipe with smaller perpendicular pipes attached to simulate branches. The creation appeared like a tree growing out of the bottom and stretching up toward the water’s surface for as many feet as he chose to build. His most recent project involves vertically mounting multiple lengths of black pipe on pallets creating long lasting crappie stake beds.