John's Journal...

Catching Crappie in Weather So Hot You Can Fry Eggs on the Sidewalk

Day 5: Catching Hidden Summertime Crappie

Editor’s Note: Productive crappie fishing doesn’t end when the spawn is over, but crappie fishing does change. Many nice slab fish still can be caught, if you know where to find them and how to catch them. A few weeks ago I was fishing with Billy Blakely of Bluebank Resort (, 877-258-3226) on Reelfoot Lake on the border of Tennessee, Kentucky, Missouri and Arkansas.

Click for Larger ViewClick for Larger ViewIn the summertime, crappie may hold in and under cover and not show up on a depth finder. “Crappie tend to school at a particular depth, according to water temperature and dissolved oxygen content,” Blakely reports. “Many times if the crappie aren't in the cover, they'll be schooled-up above or under the cover or off to the side of it.”

According to Dr. Tom Forsyth, who has a PhD in fishery biology, "When you discover a school of fish like this in the summer, you can assume several things about them. Vertical jigging or fishing deep with minnows right on tops of the schools will be the best method to catch these crappie. They won’t come away from the cover to take the bait. You can return to that same school for several days without the school's having moved. What actually happens in the summertime is the amount of water the crappie can survive in shrinks drastically. Therefore the crappie have to be concentrated in larger schools to survive. To locate crappie, an angler must utilize a depth finder. However, he’ll have to look in much less water for the fish than he did during the post-spawn time of the year when the water conditions were better for the crappie. The advantage to summertime fishing for crappie is that if an angler can fish consecutively for 3 or 4 days, he can go to the same places where he’s located the schools and continue to catch fish out of those schools all 3 days. If an angler learns how to take crappie in the summer, he consistently can catch more fish than he will during the spring when the crappie go to the banks, because the crappie are more concentrated in the summer than they are in springtime."

Click for Larger ViewClick for Larger ViewTo learn much more about crappie fishing, get John E. Phillips’ Kindle eBooks and some print books, “Crappie: How to Catch Them Fall & Winter,” “Crappie: How to Catch Them Spring and Summer,” “Catch Cold Water Crappie Now” and “Catch Crappie All Year: Fishing a Single Pole, Using No Boat and Farming Crappie” by clicking on each, or go to

To receive and download for free “The Crappie Catchers’ Cookbook,” by John and Denise Phillips that offers free recipes, go to

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About the Author

John Phillips, winner of the 2012 Homer Circle Fishing Award for outstanding fishing writer by the American Sportfishing Association (ASA) and the Professional Outdoor Media Association (POMA), the 2008 Crossbow Communicator of the year and the 2007 Legendary Communicator chosen for induction into the National Fresh Water Hall of Fame, is a freelance writer (over 6,000 magazine articles for about 100 magazines and several thousand newspaper columns published), magazine editor, photographer for print media as well as industry catalogues (over 25,000 photos published), lecturer, outdoor consultant, marketing consultant, book author and daily internet content provider with an overview of the outdoors. Click here for more information and a list of all the books available from John E. Phillips.

Check back each day this week for more about Catching Crappie in Weather So Hot You Can Fry Eggs on the Sidewalk

Day 1: Duck Hunting for Summertime Crappie
Day 2: Shooting Docks for Crappie During the Summer
Day 3: Catching Summertime Crappie after the Spawn
Day 4: Switching Tactics to Catch Summertime Crappie
Day 5: Catching Hidden Summertime Crappie

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Entry 879, Day 5