One common denominator for South Carolina fishermen wanting to catch crappie during the post-spawn phase is forage. Crappies are going to be found in areas where food is nearby.

Guide Wendell Wilson relies on his graph to spot forage as much as he does fish in May on Lake Russell.

“During the prespawn and spawn, crappies are into the process of making more crappie, and having an abundance of food nearby is not the primary consideration,” he said. “The right water temperature, cover and depth are the essential considerations. But during post-spawn, I factor in forage as a crucial element as well. Feeding is again a major component of locating crappie and it will be throughout the summer and fall.”

Guide Jerry Neeley agrees and says he pays strict attention to his graph throughout any day fishing on Lake Wylie.

“I’m always looking for fish on my graph to let me know I’m in the right area, and I also want to see forage in the same area,” he said. “When I’m catching crappie really well while trolling, I will see a lot of fish and forage on the graph; it’s a correlation that I’ve learned is essential. Plus, as the sunlight changes during the day, it impacts the location of fish, so my graph-watching is continuous. I have to ensure I stay on the right trolling course to present my lures to crappie that are feeding.”

Guide Buster Rush is also a graph watcher and his technique is dependent on him using it to find Lake Marion’s underwater brush and cover where crappies are concentrated.

“In addition to finding submerged brush, stumps, logs and trees, I use the graph to let me know if the fish are suspended above and around the cover, or buried in it,” Rush said. “That has a direct impact on how I fish a specific target. Plus, if I check a spot but see no fish or forage, I may not fish it at all or give it a very short time to produce.”