I despise August (just about as much as July). I live in Tennessee and while it’s not as bad as it is even further South, daytime temperatures in the mid-90’s are crappy.
However, some folks still insist August is actually crappie (time). One thing I know for sure is that competition on the water from other crappie fishermen usually won’t be a problem. The hordes of boats you saw out there jigging, trolling and spider-rigging in March, April and May have long since – mistakenly – stored their tackle away until next Spring.
Another thing I know is that crappie LOVE shade. Everyone has heard that old adage that if a crappie can find a stick just big enough to shade its eyeball, it’s happy. But give that crappie a 30×40 foot dock to hide under and it’s even happier.
In our area the folks willing to brave the heat and “shoot some docks” can fill a livewell in a hurry. Sometimes you may have to work your way through several docks to find a “sweet spot.” But once you do, it can be game on.
Check out this video for an excellent demonstration.
Another prime crappie opportunity you will find ONLY in the summer is willow flies. Many lakes, especially in the South, experience several major willow fly hatches during the summer.
Crappie will pile in on a willow fly hatch just as readily as bluegill and bass. Here’s a great video example of that.
Of course, many avid crappie anglers know all about trolling deep crankbaits in the summer. CrappieNOW writer Greg McCain shares some great tips on doing that in this issue [HOTLINK TO MCCAIN ARTICLE).
Finally, another tried and true summertime technique to escape the heat AND catch crappie is to fish under the lights as night. Here is a simple step-by-step guide August Crappie-Catching to get you started.
However, after discussing the questions with biologists from North to South, I well understand why it is impossible to say, “One size fits all.”
The results of our survey definitely won’t provide definitive answers on how all of your fellow anglers feel. But we sincerely hope it will provide some enlightening insights on how you compare to others in your respective states, and help explain why some biologists do what they do.
The survey is long over but that doesn’t mean we don’t still welcome your feedback. Please send it to us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Richard Simms, Editor
“The outdoors is not a place, it’s a state of mind.”