Crappie will be found in much deeper water from summer through winter. You can still catch some crappie in the shallows during this time, but most of the quality fish will be found deeper. While crappie will often suspend in open water over very deep water, there will usually be some crappie relating to the drop-offs, especially steep drop-offs that drop into 30 or 40 feet of water. If a drop-off has brush piles, submerged trees, rocks or some deep weeds, there is a good chance that some crappie will relate to that area at some point during the day. Some of the better drop-offs will hold crappie all day if the bait fish are there. Experienced crappie anglers will use slip bobber rigs, double jig rigs and drop-shot rigs when fishing the deeper water.
Vertical jigging is one of the most popular deep water crappie techniques. You can use jigs, live bait and spoons to find these active fish in deeper water.
Trolling is very effective for targeting crappie in deeper water. These fish may be schooled up and suspended out over deeper water or they may be relating to the bottom. You can slow troll with jigs and live baits or you can speed it up a little bit with crankbaits. They all work.