Using Christmas Trees for Fish Structure

Discussion in 'Crappie Fishing' started by mtrimble, Dec 1, 2005.

  1. mtrimble

    mtrimble New Member

    Messages:
    290
    State:
    oklahoma
    I was thinking about starting a christmas tree collection to submerge in the lake aroungd here. Do most evergreens like pine and fur work as well as cedar? I was thinking of puting a few nails in the bottom the trunk then pouring concrete in old flower pots around the base of these trees. I figured that way when I drop them in the water they will naturally stand up. Am I thinking right? How much weight do I need to sink the average sized Christmas tree?

    Id like to fill up lake Hefner with as many as i can before the spawn. Its close to me but the fishing habitat generally sucks.

    By the way, anyone know the laws on putting trees in public lakes?

    (Check with DNR in your area, they will be glad to give you the rules of placing trees into the waterways. )
     
  2. on_the_fly

    on_the_fly New Member

    Messages:
    606
    State:
    Kentucky
    well i like on rough river lake here in ky. are lake is a flood control lake witch is run by the us army corps. here it cost you 30 bucks for a three day permit to place structure, you also have to let the army corps office know where you intend to put structure, an they also give you a chart they only allow you to put it in three different ways.an it also has to be so many feet below water line. the best ones i have fished had 8 or more x-mas trees on them. here they put the trees up side down an place rebar along the top, stager every other tree trunk along rebar as it one on one side an one on the other an so on. they tie trunks with wire an ancor structure with concret blocks.
     

  3. TOPS

    TOPS New Member

    Messages:
    4,099
    State:
    Cabot,Arkansas
    Mtrimble, Here in London and Russellville, Arkansas People are requested to drop their old Christmas at a boat ramp for the use by fishermen. When I first move up 6 years I did not realize what they were doing :eek: I thought they were using the ramp as a trash dump :cursing: I stopped a game warden and asked why this was going on :eek: when the warden was finished laughing ,he told they request the trees to be put there :D
     
  4. BILL SCHWEYER

    BILL SCHWEYER New Member

    Messages:
    3
    Check with local FISH & GAME CORP OF ENG> and local authorities and if none own it go to court and look up land deeds and find owner to get permission. That is what I would do Try to do it right. You might be surprised at the answers you get Lots of times to your advantage and helpfull. bill
     
  5. r_bray89

    r_bray89 New Member

    Messages:
    152
    State:
    Shawnee, Kansas
    um were i fish at we sank christmas trees and we also sank logs and tree limbs and be sure to remeber were you put them cause ive gotten snagged alot and its no fun
     
  6. james

    james New Member

    Messages:
    747
    State:
    Blue Ridge texa
    i heard some where that you shouldnt use christmas trees not sure why but i know alot of people use them i hate them i get my castnet caught in them alot when im at the boat docks get shad
     
  7. fish

    fish Active Member

    Messages:
    1,573
    State:
    ChattanoogaTenn
    When you put the Christmas trees in for cover, you need to let the needles fall off first or you will have a bunch of the green slimy junk all over the trees.
     
  8. bankpoleken

    bankpoleken New Member

    Messages:
    83
    State:
    Mattoon, Illinois
    The COE puts in Christmas trees in the lake I fish in Illinois and I noticed after a year or two they are hard to find and I think it is due to the fact that they get covered with silt like this article explains.

    In their attempts at luring crappie, some anglers plant stake beds; others sink brushpiles; still others drop Christmas trees. Morgan uses dead trees or large branches for crappie cover. But, according to Morgan, not any trees will do.

    "I prefer sections of hardwood trees, plus willow and fruit trees," he says. "These all last a long time in the water -- I'm still fishing some trees today that I sank over 12 years ago."

    Christmas trees and cedar trees? No way, Morgan insists. "The single biggest mistake I see crappie anglers who are sinking cover make is relying too much on pines and cedars. I believe these trees put out an aroma that can repel fish. Their bushy branches get mired down with silt so the tree gets pressed down flat; this explains why you often can't locate the Christmas tree you sank last winter once spring rolls around. And their branches are so full, fish cannot move freely within the tree, and you stay hung up constantly when fishing them."

    Never put out any tree or large branch with its leaves still attached, the guide warns. "The leaves stay there for a surprisingly long time, and grab silt like a catcher's mitt."
     
  9. dinkbuster1

    dinkbuster1 New Member

    Messages:
    2,272
    State:
    Ohio
    i sank old christmas trees years ago at lakes around my house for crappie fishing. i always just tied a cinder block in the middle of the tree with poly rope. block was enough weight to get them down. never thought about letting the needles fall off though, but the crappies didnt seem to mind.
     
  10. r_bray89

    r_bray89 New Member

    Messages:
    152
    State:
    Shawnee, Kansas
    the christmas trees wew used we had all the needles removed and then tied cinder blocks to the tree trunk and drop em in also some of the trees have the green slim thx always wondered were it came from
     
  11. mtrimble

    mtrimble New Member

    Messages:
    290
    State:
    oklahoma
    I appreciate the feedback. I've collected about 30 large christmas trees. I will let the needles fall off and will clear out some of the small spiney twigs so the fish will have mobility. Im sure there are better trees like the article says and I think any oils the crappie find stinky will be gone once they're fully waterlogged. Its just that there is an abundance of christmas trees headed to the dump. if it won't harm anything I might as well use them. Do you guys think it would be advantagoues to sink them in an upright position? I have trees about 8 ft tall and was thinking about sinking them in about 14 ft of water. The trees I have are quite massive. I collected them from a wealthy neighboorhood a few miles away from me. If possible, I would like to create an under-water forest in a lake lacking of structure.

    I hear what your saying about the castnet problem. I destroyed my castnet last week on a sunken cedar. Oh well, comes with the territory.

    _Matt
     
  12. bassadict69

    bassadict69 New Member

    Messages:
    239
    State:
    Benton, Louisia
    I have found a neat idea on a crappie forum.

    Everyone over there takes 5 gallon buckets & put sackcrete in them with a bunch of small PVC stuck into the concrete at angles basically looking like a big bush. They are supposed to last a lifetime.

    I will be trying some of them soon!
     
  13. bankpoleken

    bankpoleken New Member

    Messages:
    83
    State:
    Mattoon, Illinois
    Matt - I think if you tie something bouyant at the top to make the trees float upright, they would be less likely to trap silt.
     
  14. jtrew

    jtrew New Member

    Messages:
    4,404
    State:
    Little Rock, AR
    I always tied a soda jug to the top of the cedar tree as well as a rock or concrete block to the bottom; that insures that the tree won't fall over on its side.

    Another, longer lasting method of creating structure is to fasten several tires together. And you can't just pile them, or even stack them like you would when storing them on shore. Take the first tire, stand it upright, and fill the bottom part with concrete or gravel; concrete is best because you don't have to worry about it falling out while you're transporting the tires. Drill several holes in the top part of the tire to let trapped air escape. Take the second tire (in an upright position) and stand it on top of the first tire at a 90 degree angle to the first tire. Drill a hole through both tires and bolt them together with a nut, bolt, and washers. Drill holes in the top part of the tire to let trapped air escape. Continue the process for as many tires as you want, adding each tire at a 90 degree angle to the tire below. Do not drill air holes in the very topmost tire; also, shove a 2 liter soda bottle into the top of the topmost tire to help hold the structure in an upright position.

    You can also use old shipping pallets to make fish habitat. Just fasten several together to make boxy shapes and add weight to sink them. Here is the method used by one group of people using pallets:
    The first step is to accumulate wooden pallets. Pallets are donated by various companies in Wisconsin and trucked to the flowage at our expense. Cinderblock, clips and strapping must be purchased to build cribs. Cribs are constructed by layering pallets separated by cinderblocks on each comer until it is 3 or 4 pallets deep. Then the "sandwich" is strapped together. At this point the cribs are loaded by tractor-forklifts onto special pontoon boats that have been totally stripped down to just bare decks. Workers then turn the pallet/cribs on edge to stuff in brush. It takes a lot of brush to fill each crib. Accumulating brush and stuffing the cribs is actually one of the hardest parts of the job. Finally , when the pontoon is totally loaded, the captain and workers shove off and the cribs are dropped off into new crib locations.
     
  15. jtrew

    jtrew New Member

    Messages:
    4,404
    State:
    Little Rock, AR
    I meant to add these pictures to the above post. They show how still another group fastens their pallets together:
     

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  16. spoonfish

    spoonfish New Member

    Messages:
    3,780
    State:
    Warsaw, Mo.
    Great advice on the pallets Jtrew!
    Thank you for sharing it...
     
  17. shadow

    shadow New Member

    Messages:
    136
    Just let the needles fall off the cedar trees(or burn them off) then stick the tree in a 5 gallon bucket and pour in 1/2 sack of Quickcrete and fill with water. In a few days it will harden and you will be set to drop them in the lake. My best results are to separate the trees a few feet when setting them out. Maybe 5-6 feet apart. I dont believe that the trees atract fish as much as they draw bait to them and ,of course, the fish follow the bait in.
     
  18. canebreaker

    canebreaker Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,311
    State:
    Southaven,MS
    The Corp has setup some guide lines to follow on their lakes. You can learn of them by asking question to you wildlife agencies, as I have. They ask that no tires, plastic or metal be used, just trees and wood.
    We have dates set for a couple of lake in north MS for later this month and next. Meet at the field office at 7 am, breakfast and a map of where the trees should be set and you ideas are welcomed.
     
  19. wpsatisfide

    wpsatisfide New Member

    Messages:
    305
    State:
    Pawleys Island, SC
    I knew i had seen something like this in one of my magazines. After checking through the last 2 i got i found it at basspro. A lot cheaper to make your own though.

    http://www.basspro.com/servlet/cata...rClassCode=11&hvarSubCode=1&hvarTarget=browse
     

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  20. catwacker

    catwacker New Member

    Messages:
    202
    State:
    illinois
    dragging your pallets, trees, or whatever is a lot easier with an atv or snow mobile. we just leave them on the ice, they seem to know where to go in the spring!!