How to Make Crappie Stake Beds

Crappies are small, freshwater fish commonly grouped into a category known as panfish. Stake beds are fish-concentrating structures that provide these small fish "cover" to live in. These are placed into shallow water and will attract crappies almost immediately. Stake beds are most effective when they occupy 1/2 of the water column, meaning that if the water is 10 feet deep your stakes should be 5 feet after they are anchored in mud.

Step 1

Construct a stake driver with a 5-foot-long and 3-inch-diameter piece of PVC pipe. Attach an end piece to the PVC with PVC cement.

Step 2

Load 40 to 70 wooden stakes into your boat and drive to the spot you want your stake bed.

Step 3

Search for a spot and check that the bottom of the lake is soft so you will be able to drive the stakes into it. Also look for a place no more than 10 feet deep.

Step 4

Cut your stakes to size. If the water is 10 feet deep, cut the stakes 6 feet long with your sawzall. The extra foot is to account for the fact that you'll drive the stake 1 foot into the mud.

Step 5

Insert one stake into the PVC pipe. Lean over the edge of your boat with the PVC pipe in your hand and drive the stake into the bottom of the lake. Repeat the process with the next stake. Drive the stakes into the bottom. Ensure that all of the stakes are placed in the same general area, leaving approximately 10 inches to a foot of space between each one.


  • Before you create a stake bed in your local lake, gain permission from the state department of natural resources.


  • Make sure that you plot the location of your stake bed on a map so that you can find it in the future.


About the Author

Jay Angel has been a writer since 1998, specializing in scientific writing, as well as articles about fishing and hunting. He worked as a columnist for the Illinois newspapers, "Daily Chronicle" and "News Tribune." Angel has a Master of Science in fluvial geomorphology from Northern Illinois University.