We are in the late fall time right now, but it sure does not feel like it. Going into this week we were still having very mild temperatures and weather for this late in the year. It sure feels good, but it changes the typical fall patterns for fish like crappie.
When the temperatures are much colder than now, crappie will still feed and remain active like smallmouth bass. They will school in groups and hold on deeper main lake cover like brush piles and rockpiles and most forms of wood cover. Also, they will hold on structures like points, deeper mouths of creek channels, along cliff lines and banks with a steep drop off into deeper water where some type of cover is present.
Crappie will be active in very cool water and will come up to shallow areas at times. Crappie, like smallmouth bass, will feed in much cooler water than will largemouth and bluegill.
Crappie can be fished for in very cold temperatures just by adjusting your fishing presentations. Use lightweight, clear line on a good spinning rod-and-reel combo and use live minnows or small baits like a crappie-jig or tube bait.
Over the years I have done well on both. I love to crappie fish in milder weather and always look forward to it.