Hugh Krutz, Mississippi. Ross Barnett, my home lake, has some of the finest summer crappie fishing in the country. My favorite method is single pole jig fishing. Crappie tend to get very lethargic. They will lay and wait in the shade for a bait to swim by rather than chasing it. This is important when choosing gear. I use a BnM Sam Heaton Super Sensitive for sensitivity. I match it with six-pound test Vicious line and a 1/32-ounce jig. Light line helps me feel the light bites and keeps me in contact with the small jig. Scent is important in the summer. I use a Bait Pump to inject Crappie Nibbles into the hollow of the tube jig. The bite in the summer time can be very light and it seems the scent makes the fish hold on a second longer. For safety, remember to drink lots of water. A patio umbrella isn’t a bad thing, either.
Garry Mason, Tennessee. Big Crappie seem to become single predatory animals here on Kentucky Lake during the summer. They cruise shallow flats in search of forage food. Crappie usually school by size. Once they get close to the two-pound range I believe they leave the school and head out on their own. Small crankbaits can be trolled allowing you to cover a lot of area. Stay as far from structure as possible to avoid hang-ups. A depth finder with GPS is key for this type of fishing because you can repeat your previous track when you start catching fish. Finding and repeating runs is the important to catch the most crappie.
Richard Bowling, Missouri. Here at Truman look for tree rows in 4 to 14 feet of water. Fish get more active at 85 degrees and move very shallow. Minnows are my guide trip bait for numbers of fish. A minnow moves around under the sinker. The fish take it before the hook is set. My tip for those wanting just bigger fish would be use a 3/16 split shot 4 inches above a 1/0 hook. The smaller fish don’t hit it as often and when a big one hits he stays on.
Charlie Campbell, Tennessee. My favorite tip is to fish a Kentucky Lake Minnow Rig in deep water. Sometimes crappie can be very finicky during the summer. I’ll vary the presentation by reeling up very slowly to the surface and drop back down. Crappie will often strike on the retrieve. I’ll also slow troll around and between trees and stumps. The slow-moving minnow seems to get their attention especially on days when the bite is otherwise slow. Crappie get finicky so don’t give up too quickly; coax them to bite.