Each and every spring, crappies seem to occupy the minds of every fisherman under the sun. Springtime crappies pile into the shallows with intentions of creating the future generations. Typically, these mass schools of fish are followed closely by schools of fishermen with intentions of reliving their childhood memories.
As the season progresses, the droves of crappie fisherman quickly transition their efforts on the toothier varieties of fish species. The challenge of mid summer crappies is a lot more rewarding than one might think. In my experience, productive days in the summer often result in much higher catch rates than those in the spring.
My best advice: Don’t waste your time with live bait. Soft plastic paddletails, like the Eurotackle B Vibe, will out fish live bait in most applications throughout this time period. Typically, I rig these plastics up on a 1/32 or 1/16 oz jig. Opt for the former in the situations where you will encounter thicker weeds.
Look for a fast to extra fast action rod, for quick hook sets, and one lengthy enough (6’9” to 7’3”) to make long casts with light jigs. Make sure it’s power is of the light variety so it can absorb those fish fighting their way back to the boat. My personal favorite: Elk River Custom Rods 6’9” Light Panfish Gold.
Start in areas that look similar to what you’d expect in the spring. Look for weeds to hold the large majority of fish this time of year. Certain types will hold more fish, but as long as you’re focusing on the weeds you should find success. In this part of the country, everything from lily pads to coon tail hold crappies in the middle of the summer. Don’t be surprised if you find a rogue largemouth or walleye in your ventures, as they tend to roam the same areas.
Rely on those electronics you’ve spent all that money on to pinpoint locations. Use Side-Imaging to locate pockets and the edges of the weeds.
Once you find some quality vegetation, start pitching those plastics to the weed edge. Slowly roll that plastic over the tops and in the weeds. If you start getting bit, anchor up as there are likely more nearby.
If you aren’t finding fish, keep moving along those weed lines.
Crappies are often found in deeper water at this time of year as well. However, personal experience has proven that I am often times better off focusing my efforts on the weeds.
Good luck out there!
Good luck and tight lines!
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