Summertime crappie can be hard to target, but you can appeal to them by using the right lures and presentations.
* Trolling Crankbaits
They're be suspending along dropoffs, so you'll do well if you slow-troll small crankbaits like the Bandit 100 and Bomber Model A. Target the deep ends of gravel flats, major points at tributary mouths, and creek-channel drops. Go slow--between 1.5 and 2.5 mph in an S pattern, moving between cover and open water to get the crappie while the feed and retreat.
* Kentucky Rig (Image 2)
Use nice, heavy mono leaders to keep two hooks from tangling. Lower straight down into heavy cover, and VERY slowly reel it up vertically. If you have a sonar, use this to place your presentation in a channel. Fish tend to suspend vertically in 80 degree waters, so you can often hook two crappies with this method.
* Straight Jigging into Cover
Sometimes, simple works. Straight jig a red/chartreuse and black/green with flake into the heaviest cover you can find. No scents or minnows. Fish straight off the bottom and don't bounce the jig.
* Super long poles
Summertime crappie get spooked more easily; use an extra long pole for fishing summer shallows to keep them from spooking.
* Live bait
Lures are appealing and cheaper, but using live minnows will get you 10x as many bites on hot, lazy, summer dies. The crappie become slow to bite, but live bait fish will get them moving.