Cooling temperatures and shorter days signal all fish to adjust their seasonal habits and crappie are no different. One of the things we see the fish doing this time of year is moving off the shallow brush and out to the creek and river channel edges.

Following bait schools, the fish will orient to these break lines where they’re generally pretty easy to locate. Look dips, turns and other oddities in the channel edge, as such features tend to attract more fish.

Daybreak through early morning typically brings the best action, as the bites dwindle once the sun gets up. Intensifying sunlight pushes the baitfish off the channel edges and into deeper water where they’ll suspend for much of the day. Crappie follow the bait, so once they slip into open water, it’s a real hit-or-miss game.

When you do locate a school of bait on your graph, note the position of the larger marks (crappie) that will surely be hanging close to the food and present baits accordingly. Small jigs like the Lindy Fuzz-E- Grub Jig or the Lindy Watsit Jig will tempt the fish, but don’t hesitate to go tiny like 1/16- to 1/32-ounce Lindy Little Nipper when the baitfish are tiny.

This time of year, crappie aggression is waning, so don’t miss those light, upward “lift” bites. A light action rod and high-vis green or red line helps, but nothing beats undivided attention. You don’t want to let a single one of these tasty fish escape.