Shady shelter from summer swelter, ample feeding opportunities, better breathing environment: yeah, lily pads offer everything a fish could want.

But we’re not talking about largemouth bass.

No doubt, the green bullies love their lily pads, spatterdock, and the like—but so do speckled perch. Crappie tournament pro Matt Morgan explains the attraction:

“In summer, you will also find a multitude of grasses in the pads as well,” he said. “Most of the time the crappie will relate to pads and grass. The shade and cover is there and that is also the place the bait fish will hang out.

“The oxygen released from the green grass and pads makes [this habitat] a great place to catch crappie in the summer.”

As Morgan notes, this is simple, accommodating method provides solid crappie slinging potential for anglers of all levels. Even small boaters with basic spinning gear can get the job done.

Longer rods of 8-plus feet certainly help you access the distant spots, but poking around wherever you can reach will still afford plenty of opportunities.

Morgan’s advice?

“Patience is the name of the game as you will typically find crappie on one end or the other of a line of pads. They usually are not thick in the whole set of pads. It is usually easier to find them on a smaller isolated patch of pads.”

So take a crack at those lily pads and see what they’re hiding.