In the summer heat, you need to act like the thermocline is the bottom. Find suspended fish up over ledges, humps, or other structures, or locate schools of baitfish because crappie will be nearby.
Summer Thermocline Techniques:
- Troll a crankbait.
- Suspend a 3" plastic (like Swim Senko) three feet above the crankbait, in white, orange or electric.
- Try longline trolling: cast bait out 50 ft behind the boat, troll at 1.0 mile per hour with a 2" curlytail.
- Slow troll: cast out 2-4 poles each and slow troll.
- Keep baits just above the thermocline.
- Minnows are great for slow trolling and longline trolling.
-A small jig and small minnow create a medium size bait. The minnow adds the realistic look, smell, action and flash while the jig provides color to get the attention of a crappie.
Locating the thermocline
-Drop a minnow down to six feet and keep it there a few minutes. If it is still lively, drop it down to 9 feet and hold. Repeat until you find the depth where the minnow dies quickly. Just above the ‘killer depth’ is where minnows (and fish) have a better oxygen zone and will live.