Magnolia Crappie Club member Hugh Krutz said one of the biggest mistakes he sees when crappie anglers take to the water during the post-spawn is only fishing the way the angler wants to fish for them.

Krutz said it is important to be versatile and target where fish actually are and not where the angler wants them to be.

“If we’re talking late May or even into June, crappie will be finished spawning and heading for deeper water, meaning they’ll be on the move,” said Krutz. “Too many anglers think crappie are still going to be up in 3 feet of water so you see them going back to the same old spawning grounds.”

Krutz is not against being comfortable when fishing, however. He suggests rather than beating the banks, crappie anglers should move offshore and learn to cover more water.

“The weather is also likely to be hot here in Mississippi so anything you can do to stay on the move and keep a breeze flowing will make it a whole lot more comfortable to fish,” he said. “My post spawn plan would be either tight-lining around the edges of drop-offs, long-line trolling the flats adjacent to the drop-offs, or pulling crankbaits to find out where crappie are holding. That gets you out in the open where there’s more fish and not stuffed up in a creek that has been mostly abandoned.”

Krutz’s favorite inspirational story entails a hard-fought club tournament. Pre-fishing efforts disclosed the only decent fish to be found were in a hard-to-reach location, literally.

“I happened to find some fish buried deep under this huge metal pier and we had to pull the boat all the way under the pier and sit in the bottom of the boat to fish,” said Krutz. “My partner and I took all the rod holders and seats down to get under there. We had a hard time even getting a net under the fish because of the low clearance overhead but it paid off.

“It was definitely a matter of fishing where the fish wanted to be, not where we wanted to catch them.”