But the cooling water suits High Rock Lake crappie just fine, and guide Maynard Edwards of Lexington has given up cut bait and Santee rigs for six B&M crappie poles and is cruising the lake, filling his boat with slabs from "The Rock."
"Crappie are biting pretty good at High Rock, (but) that's about all that's biting," said Edwards (336-247-1287). "They've been coming up pretty shallow for the last three weeks."
When he's fishing alone, Edwards uses his normal "strolling" technique of six poles ranging from 10- to 14-feet long at the bow of his boat spooled with ultra-light line tied to 1/16-ounce curlytail crappie jigs at the business end. With clients, he'll add six poles at the stern.
"I run the trolling motor about one-half mph," he said.
"There are places where you get a bunch of undersize (less than 8 inches) crappie, and other places where the fish are 9-, 9 1/2- and 10-inches long, keeper sizes," Edwards said.
"All spring and summer you could catch 100 crappie at High Rock, and maybe 10 would be keepers, but now those fish have grown. Out of 100 you catch now, you'll probably have 40 to 50 keepers, including a few 10- or 11-inchers.
"Next spring, High Rock crappie fishing should be awesome."
Edwards' favorite jig colors include "John Deere" (chartreuse/yellow), but pink/yellow also has produced consistent catches.
Edwards and a partner decided to experiment a few days ago and first used crappie minnows and caught fish while "strolling," then they switched to jigs and caught just as many crappie.
"Most of the fish are suspended, but less than 10 feet deep," he said. "I'd say the ones we catch are mostly are from 6 to 8 feet deep.
"We don't troll jigs more than 10 feet down, and most of the poles are pulling jigs from 2 to 6 feet from the surface."
Crappie suspend in the water at a 45-degree angle, with their eyes directed toward the surface, so jigs presented at lesser depths draw their attention.
But Edwards said anglers who'd rather fish High Rock's docks than troll also can have success.
"Docks are perfect places to take a kid with a pole and float and let him have some fun," Edwards said.