Locating Summertime Crappie

Crappie fishing gets hard in summertime, with them seemingly spreading out completely randomly. In fact, though, there are quite a few tactics you can use to locate summertime crappies, for a summertime crappie fishing fest. * Drop-offs near Spawning Beds In early summer, crappie won't move far from their spawning beds and can be found at the first drop off structure nearby. They'll be hanging out usually between 12 and 18 feet deep. * Over 80 degree top-water temperatures The crappies will move to deep creek and river channels, if they can. Or, just look for them to be suspending near flooded timber, stumps or brush-piles in about 20 to 30 feet of water. * Over 90 degree waters Continue using the methods of 80 degree waters, but try to target offshore humps. Crappies will use the current to move over this hump, and look to feed on bait at the top of the hump as they move over it before back into deeper water. If you set yourself up to pull the rig over this, let it hit the hump, let it hit and go slow: crappies in hot water are incredibly slow to bite. * Muggy, warm waters Minnows won't survive the heat so use tube baits; vertically rig it over towers of suspending crappies down to 30 feet near dropoff points. * High pressure Clear skies mean high pressure, so they're gonna retreat into heavy brush and weeds. Use a weight to get your jig in their as far as you can, and do your best to pull them out. Heavy lily pad cover is popular for crappies if your lakes got lily pads. * Oxygen levels In lakes with a lot of incoming water (from streams and rivers and boat traffic) you can still catch crappie deep all summer. In lakes with less oxygen at this time, the fish will suspend above the thermocline layer, so look for these suspended schools rather than deep trolling. * Downwind shores If you're not having any luck, check the winds and look for channels and structures near downwind shores. Crappies tend to follow plankton, which move with the winds, so you can bet you might find some crappie feeding here. * Fish the docks Fish the shady areas around the dock, getting as close as you can--you're likely to pull some crappie here. Make sure you shoot a dock with cover, though, because they like to have lots of places to retreat when not feeding. * Night fishing Last attempt technique: go out at night and set up a light. It'll draw in bait fish like minnows which will bring in the crappies. For presentations to use for summer crappie, check this card: http://www.vingle.net/posts/408595 Happy Crappie fishing, everyone.

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