If you want to consistently catch crappie, you’re going to have to fish deeper water on most lakes except for the spring time when they move in the shallows to spawn. If a lake has good depth, expect to find crappie anywhere from 10 to 40 feet deep throughout the fishing season. In the summer and fall, crappie are consistently found in 20 to 30 feet of water on many lakes and to catch them, you have to get your baits down there. Most anglers will vertical jig for them, but you can also troll crankbaits, drift or slow troll with live baits.
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.