It's hot, prepare for it-
Summer is here and the temps are not the only thing that are scorching hot right now, that Crappie bite is red hot also. For those that can handle the heat, the fishing is fire. There are several things to take into consideration though, the heat can be deadly for the dumb.
The first thing you need to do before you ever leave home, much less unload the boat is make sure you have plenty of water and Gatorade on board. Don't wait until the headache sets in to start hydrating either. Also, dress in clothing that will cover you up and block the sun out. I like the Columbia Sportswear shirts, they work best in my opinion but regardless of brand, the more you cover up with clothing, the less you need to use sunscreen.
Crappie do not like the taste of sunscreen, and as soon as you rub that junk on your face and touch your Crappie jig afterwards you just ruined it. Whatever you do, try to keep that stuff off of your jigs if you absolutely must use it.
Fish shallow, even if you're in deep water-
Between the heat and Blue Green Algae blooms, the oxygen levels drop significantly during the Summer. The wind driven whitecaps, as well as wakes from boat traffic all helps keep the upper level of the water column oxygenated and the fish are wise to it. That upper level of water also cools off over night. You can see in the video I took of my Garmin Livescope below, these fish were only a few feet deep in almost twenty feet of water, and most Anglers will drop the jigs right through the entire school and end up fishing below the Crappie, and since we all know they feed up, you greatly reduce the odds of that monster slab seeing your jig by doing so.
Fish smarter, not harder-
Crappie are very structure oriented so fishing standing cover is always a sure bet. Maximize on that by focusing on straight lines of trees to fish. Look for old roadbeds and fence rows using Google maps. The fish love them and it is more efficient to focus on them as opposed to scattered standing timber. Running around dipping every random tree is tough on boats and takes forever. Channel ledges are sometimes lined with standing trees that will consolidate the fish and can be productive as well.
When it is scorching hot you don't want to be out any longer than you need to be, so fishing efficiently and saving as much time as possible is key to a good day.
There are many tools available to us these days on the internet such as Google Maps and Navionics to locate these hedgerows. It will not matter if it is on the main lake in twenty feet of water or the back of a mud flat in five foot, if it is a hedgerow, it will hold fish. Below is what my spot looked like on Google, as well as real time.
I went on to catch over a hundred fish Sunday. As you saw in the video, as fast as I dropped it in they would smash it. I had plenty of short fish to pick through being Hillsdale, but there were more than enough keepers to go around with a few really nice ones showing up throughout the day. I used a ten foot B'nM jig pole with a slip cork to hold my jig at four feet or so.
For jigs I would suggest Elaztec soft plastics by Z-Man or old school hair jigs, they hold up the best and last the longest, hands down. Minnows never hurt to have around if you don't mind dealing with them. This pattern will run through all of Summer and into Fall. For the Angler that can handle it, some awesome fishing trips are there to be had, make sure you get yours.