Deep water and cover are two common denominators for summertime crappie-fishing success, but another recurring theme is the practice of tipping an artificial jig with a live minnow. 

Kevin Davis, who guides out of Black’s Camp on South Carolina’s Lake Moultrie, said sometimes a little meat makes a good jig better.

“Some days, either a jig or a minnow fished alone works,” he said. “But during the summer, it seems a jig tipped with a minnow can be lethal — not all the time, not every day, but often enough I’ve got to try it.”

Guide Maynard Edwards said that on North Carolina’s High Rock Lake, sometimes it’s the minnow that makes a jig more productive, but the combo often works better than just a minnow.

“The jig-and-minnow combination can be an exceptionally effective pairing, especially for big fish,” he said. ”I don’t know if it’s just the larger bait, but during the summer, it seems the largest crappies are often caught on that combo.”