In the fall, crappie fishing can get rough because the fish are hard to find and often only feed ravenously in the morning.
When turnover ends and the water starts clearing, crappie often concentrate around standing timber. Here the fish can move shallow or deep as water and weather conditions dictate.
On cloudy or windy days when light doesn't penetrate very far into the water, crappie may be within a few feet of the surface. Bright, sunny, post-frontal days may find them hugging the bottom. Adjust your tactics accordingly.
You'll catch the most fish by moving from tree to tree: don't sit on just one. If you don't get a bit within a few casts, chances are there aren't crappie so keep moving.
Vertical jig around standing timber. Once your line hits bottom, gently raise it up with your free hand. Crappie in the shallows won't dive down to hit your jig, but if you bring it right to them, they'll be fast to bite.
While trying this technique, make sure to use bright colors: they gotta see it to bite it!