It can take practice to learn how to slingshot a crappie jig beneath a dock that is just a few inches off the water. But perfect the technique and it can be a sure-fire way to connect with crappie in September. (Photo: Richard Simms)
Crappie Basics: Shooting September Docks
Richard Simms, CrappieNOW Editor
In the South we once considered September the beginning of Fall. These days, however, it seems September can often be as hot, if not hotter, than August. That often keeps crappie still looking for shade.
On Southern reservoirs there is no better shade than what is provided by a well-built boat dock. And with higher water temperatures encouraging increased algae growth on docks, it attracts small bait fish. With that combination, crappie can set up shop beneath a dock and never leave home.
Usually (but not always), crappie prefer docks that are near deep water. Of course, these days either side-imaging or live-imaging sonar will quickly reveal what is under any dock and can help an angler not waste time on dead water.
But even without the electronics, anglers who just hunt and peck can usually find that one “sweet dock.” You may have to fish several and it may not be very obvious why crappie like one dock, but not another. But when you do find the right dock, you can sometimes fill a limit without moving the boat.
In this video, Mr. Crappie himself – Wally Marshall – shares a fantastic demonstration of dock shooting for big crappie, and lots of them.
Capt. Richard Simms is the Editor of CrappieNOW magazine as well as owner of Scenic City Fishing Charters. Formerly he was a game warden for the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency before becoming a photographer and PR guy for TWRA. That lead to a 30-year career as a broadcast journalist and freelance outdoor writer. Check out his book, “An Outdoor State of Mind.“