According to guide Brad Taylor, the water temperature has warmed to the point that the fish are in solid,summertime patterns.
"The best pattern now and for the next several weeks will be on the brushpiles in 20 to 25 feet of water," Taylor said. "Crappie can be found and caught on other types of woody cover as well, but for me, the brushpiles are the most dependable, and now is I can really expect to catch limits of crappie on most every trip. Even though the fish are deeper, they are predictable and consistent, and that makes it some of the best crappie fishing of the year for me."
Taylor (803-331-1354) said that the fish can be caught with either jigs or minnows, depending on time of day, an angler's skill level or even his or her preference.
"Early in the morning and again later in the evening, low-light conditions specifically, the crappie will typically be near the top of the brush," Taylor said. "I can cast a jig and work it around the top of the brush in 10 to 12 feet of water and catch fish. Later in the day, when the sun gets high, the fish seem to migrate deeper and down alongside the brush or actually in the cover. That's when I will typically use live bait.
"I'll use a 10-foot rod rigged with 4-to 6-pound test line and a No. 2 Aberdeen hook. I will use a split-shot about 12 to 18 inches above the hook. I will hook the minnow in the tail instead of the eye or lips. Hooking them in the tail enables them to swim better, and you'll get better movement from the live bait. When I drop them alongside the brush, they will typically try to swim to the brush, and that's where the crappie are waiting.
"Sometimes, I do have to fish right in the middle of the brush, but usually I can work around the edges and catch plenty of fish. I'll mark the cover with a marker buoy after I pinpoint the location with my electronic gear. I usually toss the marker to the side and use it as a reference.
"Most of the crappie action will be in the main body of the lake where the water is slightly cooler," Taylor said. "My preferred territory is in the middle part of the lake for the summertime crappie fishing. From June right on through the summer, the crappie fishing is excellent and often we'll catch limits quickly."