When flood control reservoir water levels drop in the Fall, crappie anglers will often find fish that have simply backed off into deeper water, near those shallow water areas you were fishing in the summer. (Photo: Richard Simms)
Crappie Basics – Fishing and Scouting Low Water
by Tim Huffman
Routinely all game fish, including crappie, will abandon shallow water haunts when water levels begin to drop. They often back off onto mid-level or deep-water structure. In many lakes that means creek channel ledges or points. Anglers would be wise to seek out structure in the vicinity of where you were catching shallow-water fish a month ago.
One the greatest benefits of low water, however, is an angler’s ability to find structure that will pay huge dividends when water levels rise again in the spring. Stumps, stake beds or brushpiles that once were hidden from view might be exposed now.
Map and mark those places accurately for future reference. When water levels rise again in the spring, you can bet they will be prime targets to locate spawning crappie.
But don’t ignore shallow water fishing during the winter. Especially on sunny days, those shallow areas are likely to warm up slightly compared to deeper water, attracting baitfish and crappie midday and afternoon.
You can read much more about fishing and scouting
falling water in Tim Huffman’s book.
“Limiting Out on Crappie,” available on Amazon.