There are many rivers that offer some very good fishing for crappie. Most rivers offer plenty of timber, brush and laydowns, which all can be great cover for crappie. When the rivers are high, you can find good numbers of crappie in the flooded timber and brush along the shorelines. When the water is low, more crappie will be found in deeper pools near laydowns, current breaks and bridges.
Finding Crappie in the Rivers
Rivers usually have plenty of wood and the crappie will often be found around the wood. In the spring and fall, you can usually find plenty of crappie along the shorelines around the wood. In the summer, you are usually going to have to find wood in deeper water to find some of those crappie hot spots. You will need your electronics to find a lot of the better fishing spots.
The bridges are always a good place to start when searching for crappie on the rivers. With all the rocky structure along the bridge pilings, crappie have plenty of areas to search for bait fish and they can get out of the current and rest while waiting for their next meal to swim by.
Fish the Current Breaks
The current breaks will usually hold a lot more crappie than in the current. Bait fish will usually school up in these areas and crappie will be right there looking for an easy meal.
Fish the Backwaters
The backwaters are great areas for targeting crappie, especially in the spring. Some backwaters provide some excellent fishing while others may be just ok at best. If you can find some backwaters that have some wood or other type of cover, there is a chance there may be some crappie in there. The backwaters can be very good after a heavy rain moves these fish out of the main river.
Dams and spillways can definitely hold some crappie. They usually will be found in the areas that have more moderate currents and around the pools and current breaks near these major dams and spillways. On some bodies of water, you will get a little spillway after a rain and it may only last an hour or two or up to a couple of days. Fish these spots after a big rain and you may catch some nice fish.