Catching crappie is no problem at Lake Murray these days – as long as you can find them.

And according to guide Brad Taylor of Taylor Outdoors, find them is a matter of finding the bait.

"This time of year, the crappie are starting to bunch back up and move into the creeks to feed on the shad," said Taylor ( "Right now, the fish are going to be where the bait is, and it can be touch to locate the bait this time of year. The fish are definitely moving with the shad, and they're here today and gone tomorrow. They move a lot during the fall chasing the bait."

But Taylor expects that to change in the next few weeks as the water turns colder.

"During the summer, the crappie scatter and find cover like brush piles," Taylor said. "My preferred method in the fall is casting jigs over pilings, docks (and) brush piles. The key to the crappie fishing in the fall is … the fish could be anywhere from five to 25 feet deep. There's no special depth to fish in the fall, you just have to find them. It's basically like bass-fishing with crappie gear and covering water."

Taylor prefers Fish Stalker jigs in the 32nd- and 64th-ounce range in black or chartreuse.

"I normally fish 5½-foot ultralight spinning rods with 4-pound test," he said. "Once you find them you can catch them, but the key is covering water until you find them. They're all over the board as far as size. When you catch the small ones, you just have to move on until you find the size you want."