It’s a good day when you get to spend time with one of the best crappie fisherman in these parts. Amos Livingston, pro guide and touring tournament fisherman recently invited me out for an afternoon on Truman Lake. He and his brother make up Team Livingston. One of the best crappie fishing duos in the region. Back in November, Amos was a guest on my Ozarks Outdoors podcast. If you’ve not checked that out, you need to. In it, he shares some great tips on finding and catching crappie plus, his thoughts on today’s forward facing sonar.

We had planned to get out on the water while the crappie were schooled up this winter but our schedules never quite worked. Now that spring is knocking on the door, our day on the water turned more into a hunting trip than fishing. With those big winter schools breaking up now that the lake water has warmed into the upper 40s, crappie are moving to the mouths of the creeks and coves in preparation of the coming spawn.

From the comfort of the Team Livingston Nitro we headed across the lake to his first spot only to find the wind blowing just enough to make holding in the best location a bit challenging. Of course, it didn’t take him long to put a solid fish in the boat. Again, the outing was more like hunting. With the trolling motor down and the Garmin Live Scope on, Amos cruised along scanning the water until he spotted a crappie on the screen. Once he did, we’d drop our jigs down to try and entice a bite. The real-time images on he screen took the guesswork out of it. Unlike the “ole days” of going from tree to tree hoping to find a fish, we didn’t get our lines wet until we saw a fish pop up on the screen.

As the clouds parted and the wind died, the fishing got better. The crappie moved up in the water column. Even though we may have been in 10 to 15ft of water or more, most of the fish were less than halfway down. I must say too that “video game” fishing is fun! I can see too how folks say it’s “addictive.” Mostly because it’s productive. No more wasting time hoping your jig’s in front of a fish. Live Scope is a useful tool but it doesn’t make fish bite. Many of the fish we saw on the screen turned their nose at our offerings.


That afternoon, we tossed just over 20 into the live well. Amos, of course, caught most of them but I can’t remember the last time I had this much fun. If you have some of this modern tech in your boat or not, make plans to get out on the water soon. Spring only comes one a year, so make sure to make time to get out and enjoy the many great fishing opportunities here in the Ozarks!