Spring brings fishermen into shallow-water jungles to target crappie as the peak of their spawn approaches and arrives. When the show is over, it’s back to targeting other species such as, bass, catfish or copperhead bream. 

Even though crappie are famed as shallow-water performers, their shoreline appearances only account for a short part of their annual travels, and deep-water brush piles are hot spots for catching summer specks. 

No doubt, crappie venture into shallow, wooden cover during the spring to spawn. Anglers can easily spoon-feed jigs and minnows to these speckled beasts in willow tops, laydowns and around lily pad roots, but, the spawn doesn’t last long. and crappie will return to deep water along creek channels and deep brush. 

T.C. Lloyd, a tournament crappie fisherman from Hartsville, S.C., catches plenty of slabs around deep brush piles; it’s one of his primary ways to target fish throughout the year.

“We catch crappie on brush year-round, even during the spawning season,” said Lloyd (843-307-6678). “Crappie definitely move into the shallows to spawn during the spring. They will almost completely evacuate these shallow areas by mid-May and return to the deep water.”

Lloyd fishes for crappie competitively all over the southeast. In six years, he has won several tournaments and has had dozens of top-10 finishes. When he arrives at a new lake or a place he hasn’t fished recently, he knows he must quickly learn and dissect the waters to catch fish.

“The spawn can be one of the toughest times to consistently find fish, because they are constantly on the move, but deep brush will always hold