If you think it’s too hot to catch crappie on Lake Murray, then you’ve obviously never fished with Capt. Brad Taylor. Taylor doesn’t understand why so many crappie anglers fish for the paper-mouths for just a few weeks in the spring and fall, and forget about them the rest of the year.

If you fish for crappie with Taylor (www.tayloroutdoors.com) on a hot summer day, you’ll understand why he feels that way. The crappie are still in the lake, and they’re still plenty willing to bite. And while locating them is a bit tougher than it is during those magical few weeks during spring and fall, once you figure out where they go on hot days, you’ve got them licked.

Crappie do go deeper this time of year, said Taylor (803-331-1354), but it’s not the drastically deep depths that many people believe. He won’t say that you can’t find crappie in 80 feet of water if you look hard enough, but he finds plenty of them in the main channel in 20 to 25 feet of water, especially on submerged brush.

Taylor said if you watch your sonar and travel between Rocky Creek and Dreher Island, you’ll see these brush piles with crappie all around them. And even though the brush may be on the bottom in 20 feet of water, he said sometimes the crappie will be suspended above them in 12 feet of water, or anywhere in between.

“They are staying in the thermocline, which is the water with the most comfortable temperature. They will move between the thermocline and the brush piles throughout the day, looking for baitfish,” Taylor said. 

Once Taylor locates a likely spot, he positions his Tidewater boat over the brush pile, drops a live minnow down with 4 pound test line and a No. 2 Eagle Claw hook, then either moves around the brush pile with his trolling motor, or anchors down and casts out a handful of rods, then waits for the biting frenzy to start, which he said usually doesn’t take long.

If Taylor is fishing early in the morning or in the evening and on into the night, he increases his chances for success by using his Hydro Glow Fishing Lights, which shine lights down into the water column, attracting baitfish, which in turn attracts crappie.