Anglers looking for some hot crappie fishing can find it on South Carolina’s Waccamaw River, and even though the fish are hungry and biting, this river is widely ignored by anglers who like to catch these paper-mouthed panfish.

Capt. Todd Vick fishes this river several times a week this time of year, and he said he’s always surprised at how few other anglers are probing its deep holes, humps, downed timber, and docks for crappie.

“Especially during the week, I can crappie fish from the Enterprise Landing all the way up to Conway and not see another person fishing for crappie. I might run across a couple of bass anglers, but it’s so rare to see anyone else crappie fishing that I don’t even remember the last time,” said Vick.

The weather can be sporadic this time of year, but Vick said anglers shouldn’t let the cold keep them off the Waccamaw. The crappie, he said, are more predictable when it’s consistently cold.

“When we have indian summer days, the crappie disperse and move a good bit. When it’s cold, they stay in tighter schools, and they stick tighter to cover. The colder it is, the easier they are to locate,” he said.

Minnows fished under corks are working well, and Vick also catches his share on soft plastic jigs made by Wack ‘Em and Stack “Em, especially the ones with tails made up of hair-thin strands.    

Lately, Vick said he’s finding more crappie on docks than any other type of structure on the river.  Patience is key, but Vick said that doesn’t mean being patient enough to let your bait or lure sit in one spot for a long time.

“You need the patience to cover every bit of each dock. These fish aren’t being particularly aggressive right now, so you have to put the bait right in their face. You can land several fish from an area as big as the mouth of a coffee can, and if you miss that hole by an inch, you won’t even get a nibble,” he said.

“Don’t let your bait sit it one spot for more than 15 or 20 seconds. If you’ve got it in the right place, they’ll hit it that quickly. But don’t move to the next dock until you’ve covered every area of that one.

Vick uses 8-pound test monofilament on ultralight rods and reels, and he cautions anglers not to start off fishing too deep.

“Crappie feed up. They won’t go under them to get bait, but they’ll come up, so you don’t want your bait too deep. You also don’t want to hook one of the crappie at the bottom of the school, because when you do that, you’ve got to pull that one up through the rest of the fish, and that will break them up and they’ll scatter,” he said.

As the days get shorter and the air and water temperatures cool even more, Vick said the crappie fishing gets even better on the Waccamaw. Click here for more information on fishing with Capt. Todd Vick.