Everyone knows that in the hot summer sun, one cannot catch crappies in any numbers. WRONG!
Most anglers believe that crappie somehow get lockjaw and just will not bite during the hot summer days. One theory is that they go into a dormant stage and anglers might just as well go fishing for catfish on the bottom.
In part they are right. Crappie will move deeper. They do not go to the bottom but rather suspend at depths from which they can locate and feed on bait fish. Take a look at a crappie and see that they cannot close their eyes. They must deal with sunlight in other ways than just blocking it out. They look for shade.
Crappie must eat every day whether the weather and water conditions are favorable or not. They find places with bait fish that have water conditions that are comfortable to them. This usually is in deep water with structure and some current.
Bait fish feed along creek channels and underwater structure with a current break. They like such structure as submerged trees, root systems and stumps.
The angler with a good knowledge of deep water structure can find them. This is where good electronics come in handy. That includes a G.P.S. as well as sonar and a trolling motor. The trolling motor is an electric motor that allows the angler to position the boat with precision and stealth.
The G.P.S. uses satellite technology to help the angler pinpoint locations such as a favorite fishing location. Sonar, or fish finders as they are sometimes called, allow the angler to see a representation of what is found beneath the surface of the water. It shows contours in the bottom as well as submerged objects like trees and brush.
The approach to summer crappie is a bit more sophisticated than when the fish are spawning in the spring and in the shallows.
Like the spring fishing, jigs and light line are key factors. Clear line in the two to 4 pound class is a good idea. Light jigs of about 1/16th to 1/32 ounce work well. In stained water the darker colors are best while in clear water brighter colors are preferred. I like the twister tail type of jig due to the action they portray.
After consulting with a map to find areas of structure and where current is likely to be found, you can troll the area. The sonar will help you locate fish as well as the exact location of the structure to be fished. Remember that you are looking in deep water where the water temperature is more stable. Water of 15 to 25 feet depth is usual.
Long crappie poles are a good idea to get and keep the lure away from the boat while trolling along likely structure. The technique is to jig the lure along the structure until you find just where the fish are biting. Then mark it on the G.P.S. for future reference.
The jigging in summer is not the same as in spring when a jig is often fished below a cork. In summer no cork is used and the jig is finessed along and around the structure until the right depth and position are found. Usually if one fish bites several more will take the jig at the same depth and from the same location.
Summer crappie fishing is a little different but it is just the same in fun as is crappie fishing in Spring or through the ice in Winter.