Anglers who think crappie fishing isn't worth the effort once the spring spawn ends haven't tried summertime long-lining at Shearon Harris Lake. Guide Freddie Sinclair of Clayton said he'd been taking clients the past few weeks during hot weather, and they'd caught as many as 100 fish in a few hours.

"I took three guys to Harris last Saturday, and we fished for five hours and caught 100-plus crappie," said Sinclair (919-553-4547). "The fish ranged in size from small ones to one crappie that was 13 ¾ inches long and weighed 1 ½ pounds."


Long-lining involves trolling at various speeds lures or minnows on multiple B&M crappie poles (Sinclair uses 14 poles ranging from eight to 16 feet in length). 

"I've been tying on 1/16-ounce jigheads and trolling either live crappie minnows or curlytail jigs," he said. 

The fish are suspended near bait balls in 11 to 20 feet of water over channels. 

"I look for bait balls (on his fish-finder)," Sinclair said. "Average-size crappie usually are right inside the bait balls, and larger fish are just below the bait balls." 

The curlytail soft-plastics trailers always have some chartreuse color in them. 

"I've been using blue/chartreuse and black/chartreuse," he said. "One day they like one color, and another day they like a different color." 

His best results have occurred at channels near points off the bank. 

"I use the trolling motor to set the depths of my jigs and minnows," Sinclair said. "If I go faster, they run shallower; if I go slower, they run deeper."