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5 Summer Crappie Fishing Secrets: How to Fish Smarter with DSG Outerwear

Summertime crappie fishing is a blast, but it isn’t always easy. So, gear up with DSG and try these five tips to catch more slabs this summer season:

Author: Nicole Stone
Summertime crappie fishing is a blast, but it isn’t always easy. Not only do fish patterns change rapidly between the seasons, but it also means dealing with a variety of weather conditions throughout the same day – from scorching midday sun to chilly mornings and evenings. That's where DSG Outerwear's versatile women's fishing apparel comes in! Whether you need protection from the elements or lightweight, breathable layers for hot days, we have you covered.
However, having the right gear is only half the battle. To truly maximize your summer crappie fishing success, you need the right tactics. So, gear up with DSG and try these five tips to catch more slabs this summer season:
  1. Find Cover in the Summer


After the spawn is finished, crappie transition from their springtime shallow water locations to areas offering both cover and shade to escape the now much warmer water and ambush prey. Oftentimes, these areas aren’t far from the spring locations, but simply near the first weedbed or off the first break line closest to where you caught them all spring.

During summer search for fish in these prime locations:
  • Shady weed beds: Look for areas with thick vegetation, especially those with deeper pockets or edges where crappie can hold. Use weedless jigs or light hooks and soft plastics to avoid getting snagged. Casting over the weeds and keeping a slow and steady retrieve can be key in turning over these fish.
  • Brush piles and fallen trees near shade: Submerged structures like brush piles and fallen trees are prime crappie habitat. When combined with overhanging branches or shaded areas, they become even more attractive to these fish.
  • Ledges with shade: Deeper ledges (8-15 feet) that receive shade from trees, docks, or bridges can be hotspots. Use your electronics to locate these ledges and drop your bait right on top of them.

 Summer crappie fishing often means finding fish stacked on top of the weeds.

  1. Summer Crappie Fishing Means Adjusting Your Timing

Mornings and evenings mean cooler weather and are often deadly for crappie in the summer.

As summer progresses, crappie sometimes become less active during the hottest parts of the day. In fact, you will find them thick in cover or suspended very deep, sometimes near the thermocline, in search of colder water. During these times, it’s often beneficial to transition your efforts to the early mornings or late evenings when the bite tends to turn on.
Essentially, consider these timing strategies:
  • Early morning and late evening: The low-light conditions and cooler water temperatures around dawn and dusk often trigger crappie feeding activity. This is the prime time to target them, period.
  • Night fishing over the basin: In many lakes, crappie move to open, deeper water (the basin) at night to feed on plankton and baitfish, much like they do in the heart of winter. They become very active at this time at well, and if you aren’t finding luck during the day, one of the hottest times to target these fish is at night. Not to mention, suspending over deep basins make them very easy to identify.
  1. Don't Be Afraid to Be More Aggressive

Summer is the perfect time to dig out this big baits and go aggressive for summer crappie

Warm water temperatures can actually boost a fish’s metabolism, making them more aggressive then during cooler items of the year. That’s why summer crappie fishing is the perfect time to dig out those more aggressive baits, casting on top of promising structure or cover.  Many times in these situations, fish will bite out of reaction, even if they aren’t instigated by feeding.

  • Casting larger baits: Try larger jigs (1/8 oz or even larger at times), swimbaits, or small crankbaits to entice bites. Fish holding in the weeds will often react to this presentation, as they are often holding to feed.
  • Vary your retrieve speed: A faster retrieve can trigger reaction strikes from aggressive crappie. Experiment with different speeds and cadences until you find what works.
  1. Troll to Cover Ground for Summer Crappie

If you are struggling to find fish, or at least feeding fish, one of the best methods to switch to is trolling. Many people underestimate the value of trolling for crappie, especially over the weeds this time of year. However, it’s one of the most effective ways to find active fish. Once you find them don’t be afraid to stop and setup with a bobber or lightweight jig to keep targeting those eating fish.
For trolling, try using a spinner with a split shot. Go .8 to 1.5 mph with a crawler or plastic on the end. The goal is to go on top of the weed bed not along it. Making it highly effective for pulling fish out of the thick weeds.

Being prepared is key to quickly changing plans and finding fish

  1. Spend More Time on the Water

The best tip to catching more fish is to simply spend more time summer crappie fishing.

There is no better tip then to put in the time on a lake and take notes.  Once you locate fish on the lake, keep a journal or note on their active times, productive baits and more. Fish stick to similar patterns on similar bodies of water, and nothing will made a fisherman more productive than putting in the time no matter the conditions, and using resources to keep detailed notes on each body of water.

Summer Crappie Success
By following these tips and adapting your tactics to the summer conditions, you'll increase your chances of catching more crappie. And with the right gear from DSG Outerwear, you'll be comfortable and protected no matter what the weather throws your way. So gear up with DSG, get out on the water, and enjoy some exciting summer crappie fishing!
Remember: Always check local fishing regulations for size and bag limits. And most importantly, have fun!

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