Not all of Lake Moultrie’s crappie spawn at the same time; some have already spawned and are abandoning the shallows for deeper water. Other crappie will soon spawn and join them on the journey to deeper water. Kevin Davis, guide and co-owner of Blacks Camp, recently had a 3-pound, 12-ounce crappie hauled over the rails of his pontoon boat.
“The most striking thing about this huge crappie was that she was already spawned out,” Davis said. “Normally, we don’t start seeing big spawned out fish on the brush until later in April. But this one had spawned and was headed back to deeper water and the big crappie was caught in 15-feet of water. We caught a lot more fish that day as well but nothing else in that class. But in another few days it will be time to expect to see those big, spawned out crappie leaving the shallows.”
Davis (843-312-3080) said that as the crappie in Lake Moultrie complete the spawning process, they begin to move deeper and will stage on brush and woody cover in 10 to 15 feet of water.
“I’ve got a lot of cover placed in that water depth just for this type fishing,” Davis said. “The fish will move onto these places before heading on out to deeper water in the main lake. The fish was caught on a 1/16 ounce Rockport Rattler jighead with a black and chartreuse Mid South tube jig. We fished with 10-foot B’n’M West Point jig poles with 6-pound test Vicious monofilament. We were working the jigs vertically directly over and down in the brush. The fish are biting quite light, and we’re holding one rod and also have additional rigs in DriftMaster Rod holders.
“The rigs in the rod holders were tipped with a live, medium-sized shiner minnow, but all my fishermen were holding one rod, and those just had the jig and plastic body,” Davis said. “The big fish was caught on the jig-only rig and the bite was very light. But both methods caught a lot of fish that day and have continued to produce well since then.”
Davis said he thinks a lot of the fish are still in the spawning process, but it won’t be long before many more fish will be headed back to the deepwater.
“I think the crappie fishing is about to enter a real strong post-spawn phase where a lot of heavy but spawned out fish will be taken by fishing this same pattern,” he said. “The fish can be caught all day, but on a clear day, I like mid-morning once the sun gets up and shine s on the water. That seems to push the crappie back onto the brush where I can target them more effectively. This big crappie was caught mid-morning and typically that’s when most of the larger ones are caught during April.”