Ross Barnett crappie still on summer pattern in September

Guide Brad Chappell has big crappie located on stumps and brush piles across Ross Barnett Reservoir through September.

Brad Chappell cast towards the open water of Ross Barnett Reservoir and slowly let his Bobby Garland Itty Bitty jig-n-grub glide slowly towards the bottom as he watched his depth finder screen. Just as his jig neared a school of crappie surrounding a stump, a massive slab nailed one of the jigs. Chappell whipped the rod back and drove the hook deep into the fish and fought him to the boat before landing him with the dip net. The crappie was a solid 2-pounder.

While many anglers have stowed their fishing gear and winterized their boats, Chappell is enjoying one of the best times to catch crappie on Ross Barnett — and he’s got plenty of room to fish. September is a time for catching crappie in deep water, and Chappell spends most of his time searching for fish and guiding anglers.

Chappell has been a guide on Ross Barnett for years. He’s got a boat rigged and ready for anglers of any age or proficiency level, and he likes to share his crappie expertise and knowledge with others. Depending upon the weather and location of fish, Chappell can catch them during in September by long-lining, spider-rigging or by casting a jig to crappie around submerged stumps and brush piles.

Stumps and brush

Chappell has hundreds of stumps and brush piles marked; he likes to fish the main lake from the dam to mid-lake in August and September. The good thing for anglers still searching for crappie is that they are still on their summer pattern through most of September; that means fish are concentrated around stumps and brush.

“There’s no use getting to the lake at daylight, because the sun needs to get up above the horizon to put the crappie on the submerged structure,” Chappell said. “They’ll be scattered and hard to find during the early morning hours.

“Technology has improved so much that it’s changed the crappie world, as most of the top anglers use the LiveScopes to help them find and locate big crappie,” Chappell said. “I’ve spent a lot of time on the water learning the Live Scopes, and they are a game changer.

“We spend time fishing where the fish are now and not wondering if there are any on the submerged structure. We cover a lot of water going from stump to stump until we find active fish, and then we’ll catch them.”

Angler’s need to troll around, searching for underwater ledges with structure and shad to find crappie. If you have a good depth finder, it shouldn’t be a problem finding fish.

Watching a LiveScope is a little like watching a live video game, as you can watch the screen and see your lures sink all the way to the fish. Whether you want to fish with jigs or minnows, the crappie are there, and they’re ripe for the picking.

For more information or to book a guided trip at Ross Barnett with Brad Chappell, call 601-317-6681 or email

About Michael O. Giles 407 Articles
Mike Giles of Meridian has been hunting and fishing Mississippi since 1965. He is an award-winning wildlife photographer, writer, seminar speaker and guide.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply