Pro Tip: Summertime crappie fishing
CHATTANOOGA (WRCB) - During the spring, crappie anglers find crappie shallow and easy to catch. As the spring spawning cycle ends and water temperatures soars as summer approaches, most anglers will wait for cooler fall weather to go fishing for crappie again, however these fish can be caught year round.
Hot-weather crappie are still catchable for anglers who don't mind the heat and are willing to take the time to locate fish and adjust their patterns.
It may take some time and patience but it can pay off with a fun day on the lake.
Crappie are structure oriented and are found schooled together during the summer months. Presence of cover, water temperature, and current are also factors that must be considered when searching for summer time crappie. Look for crappie around deep ledges on creek and river channels. Crappie can be found on drop offs, deep bluff's, and on humps with wood cover.
"Shooting docks for crappie in the summer can also be a very productive technique. Try to find one with cover and shoot all around it. Get as close to the dock as you can," says to Greg Payne, owner of Soddy Custom Bait & Tackle.
"While holding the rod in your casting hand, open the bail on your spinning reel and hold the line with your index finger. Leave about 6 inches of line from the end of the rod to the jig. Then take the jig with your index finger and thumb and pull down the jig, causing the rod to bend in the shape of a C. Hold your rod close to the surface of the water, aim the jig at the spot you want to hit and release the jig. Just before the jig crosses the tip of your rod, release the line from your index finger. It should hit the spot you were aiming for, and then skip under the dock. The key to this technique is to get the jig as far underneath the dock as possible. Most fishermen prefer 1/32 or 1/16 ounce Bobby Garland baby shad jigs to shoot docks," Payne explains.
Another great summer technique to catch crappie during the summer is to fish for them at night. Find a good spot to put out a light above the water surface. This will attract baitfish which will in turn draw in the crappie to feed. Drop your minnow or jig below the school of baitfish and wait for the action.