I had always thought that crappie fishing was at its best in the spring and fall. For a lot of years, I never thought about fishing for summer crappie.

Then one day I saw a fellow come out of a boathouse with a basket full of crappie. That got my attention and my gift of gab got him stopped and we were talking. I asked him how he was catching crappie in 100-degree weather. He grinned and said “I’m fishing in the shade and it’s not bad.” Once again, my mouth showed I didn’t know as much about crappie fishing as I thought I did.

As we continued to talk, he began to make me rethink how I might give the bass a rest and catch a dinner. I said I thought crappie for the most part was in shallow water. He said even in this heat you might find crappie in water three-to-four feet deep but don’t count on it — if you want to catch big ones go deep.

He spent some time with me talking about how and where to look for hot weather crappie. He said he had caught every one of those big crappie out of a boathouse stall he had baited with brush. He said the water was 15-20 feet deep. The brush attracted minnows and they in turn bought the big ones.

Now I have fished this way for several summers and I have a lot of crappie fillets in my deep freezer. I’m lucky enough to have two things going for me. I have a boathouse to fish in and it’s over deep water. It’s also baited out with my brush.

I’m too tight to buy minnows so I’m using Jigs and Plastics. MY Jig of Choice is a Blakemore Road Runner in 1/8 and 1/16 oz. size. For my plastics I’m using both YUM Money Minnows 2-inch size and Generic soft plastics in a lot of odd ball colors, 1 1/2 inches long.

I like the Blakemore Road Runner because its horsey head doesn’t hang up as bad as a ball jig does and it has the little spinner blade that makes it more visible. There are times though fishing for these summer fish they don’t want anything but a Ball jig. So, my summer crappie tip for you is to carry a variety of heads and plastics. You won’t need a big tackle box either.

How you retrieve can also make a difference. Sometimes the crappie want it moving, other times just dead sticking a lure will be what they want. Experiment with different retrieves. In deep water the crappie can be at any depth.

I always freeline my jig to the bottom while watching the line; sometimes they will hit it as it’s falling so watch your line if it stops going down; set the hook. Next tip — they don’t call them paper mouth for nothing. You don’t have to jerk hard; the little hooks are sharp and will penetrate easily. A smooth jerk will often be all you need.

Don’t get in a hurry fish slow and deep. Find a brush pile in the same depths there are a lot of them hung up in the lake after our flood. A boat and fish finder are a necessity to find and fish them. Bank fishermen this time of year are at a little disadvantage.

Texoma at one time had public fishing barges all over but now most are gone; I believe there is one at Alberta Creek in Oklahoma. I’m thinking someone should put a nice fishing barge in on the Texas side of Texoma. With the influx of people moving in now, a nice place to fish just might make some money. Boathouses are private so don’t fish in them or off their walkways if they are posted, unless you have permission.

Summer crappie can be caught in numbers. My methods I talked about in this article work for me. I have a freezer loaded to prove it. The heat is breaking so get in a few late fishing trips.

Looking at a fishing report on Texoma, nighttime is the right time to fish. Little Dixie Bass Club had a night tournament on Texoma and 26 people fished and brought 167 pounds of bass to the scales.

First was John Clouse and Kenneth Pate with 21.91 pounds and a Big Bass at 6.28 pounds, second was Payton and Billy Stephens with 17.83 pounds, third was Ed Larkins and Ellis Campbell at 17.75 pounds, fourth was Alex and Joe Johnson totaling 16.32 pounds and fourth and fifth was a tie between Jim Hill and Jerry Tonubbe and Mark Ross and Brad Harper at 14.40 pounds. Not a bad fishing night.

I’m 2-1 in predictions so far this year. Fur will be flying at Gunter Friday night. With Tigers and Bearcats playing I’m going with the Tigers by 7. See you there.