I’m new to crappie fishing at the lake. I don’t go very much and want to give it a chance with my kids. They get bored with striper fishing and I’m looking for area’s to try this time of year. Any help would be appreciated.
Your best bet is to focus on the upper ends of the lake like around Hardy, Moormans, Ponderosa, Crafts Ford, and in the back half of main creeks in the upper ends of the lake. As you go south of Halesford Bridge and downstream of Gills Creeks, crappie become less numerous. It can take some time to find them, usually they’re starting to congregate on laydowns and brush in 12-20’ of water, as well as around certain docks. They seem to get more concentrated through summer, so when you find a spot holding them, you’ve usually found a bunch. It just takes time to find that spot.
I like to focus on areas where boat traffic is limited. Rarely do I find them on the “main channels”, where summer boat traffic is usually heavy. Coves, no wake zones, secondary creeks, etc. You can also focus on water that has quick access to deep water, and focus along steeper, deeper banks as opposed to flatter, shallower shorelines. By early June, I start my search in 12’ of water and don’t bother looking shallower. I also like to wait till the sun is higher, so crappies will be pushed down onto the cover, or concentrated in shady areas like overhangs and docks. This lets me see them a bit easier on sonar, and makes the catching easier.
Minnows are always a good choice and as the water warms, larger minnows can be used too. Even small peanut shad/alewives. Swimming small jigs/plastics around the brush is a very good tactic too. This can even be done under slip bobbers for the kids.