Murky water allows anglers to target crappie with slightly heavier tackle, which is great when fishing around timber and brush. Crappie will often seek out shallower water during the spawn. It is not uncommon to find big crappie in only 1 to 2 feet of water near some type of cover like brush piles, overhanging trees or around docks. Crappie also won’t spook as easy, which helps anglers get closer and make more accurate casts to productive fishing spots. The downside is that you’re not sure if any fish are in the area that you’re fishing because you can’t see them. In clear water, you can easily sight fish for crappie during the spawn.
Once crappie move into deeper water after the spawn, anglers have a much tougher time catching fish. In dark water, you can still find fish very deep like you would in clear water lakes during the summer, but crappie tend to stay slightly shallower in the darker water lakes. Instead of being over 30 to 50 feet of water, you may find big schools of crappie in 15 to 25 feet of water and during lowlight conditions, crappie will be much more comfortable moving into 5 to 10 feet of water to feed on bait fish.
Brighten up your jigs and other lures when targeting crappie in murky water. It will help crappie find your baits easier and eat your baits easier.
In the spring, you may catch some crappie in as little as just a couple feet of water. Once they do eventually go deeper after the spawn, you may still find some crappie in much shallower water than you would find in clear water. Fish may be anywhere from 6 to 20 feet deep or even deeper in summer and fall. Just don’t rule out some of the shallow and mid depth ranges if there is some good crappie cover there.