Guide Kevin Davis out of Blacks Camp on Lake Moultrie said he has put clients on five crappie weighing more than three pounds each in the past two weeks. In addition, they're filling the remaining cooler space with additional slabs.
"The bite for really big crappie is super strong right now," Davis said. "Almost every day, we'll catch several crappie over two pounds each, and the rest are averaging very large as well. Despite the colder weather, the fishing is holding up really well, and because I am fishing deeper brush … I think it's going to last a while longer. There's no sign of a let-up yet."
Davis (843-753-2231) said the fishing has been consistent despite the changing weather patterns.
"The fish are on a specific pattern right now," he said. "I am fishing deep brush piles, particularly wax myrtle, in 20 to 25 feet of water. The prime locations for the brush holding these fish are offshore areas, but specific targets such as in depressions in natural ditches, ends of underwater points and mouths of underwater creeks.
Davis said another key is using small crappie-sized shiners for bait, but using them tipped on a small tinsel jig.
"The tinsel streaks of the multiple colors are very attractive to the fish in the colder water, and I just tip a live minnow on a 1/16-ounce jig," said Davis, who is using long poles with light spinning reels spooled with 6-pound fluorocarbon. "But it is also crucial right now to add a No. 1 size split-shot no more than eight inches above the jig. The extra weight is needed because of the depth and light bites associated with cold water. I've found that if the split-shot is placed further up the line, we'll often not see the bite and miss more fish. Sometimes, it's these little things that make a big difference."
Davis said he is using his electronic gear to find the brush and look for forage and fish.
"If I don't mark bait and fish on the graph, I move on to the next spot without wasting time fishing," he said. "If they're on a particular brush pile you can see them.
"I first fish the area right at the top of the brush," Davis said. "Often, the crappie will be holding off the bottom and in the upper portion of the brush. When I maneuver the boat over the brush with the jigs and minnows rigged at the right depth, the crappie will readily move up a foot or two to take the bait. Sometimes we do have to drop the bait deeper and get into the brush to find crappie willing to bite."