Many anglers target panfish each winter through the ice. Crappie are one of the most popular throughout the upper parts of North America. These fish have very specific winter feeding locations and habits.
The best bottom to locate Crappie in the winter time is a mud or silt bottom. The reason for this is the food that Crappie consume. Even though they are often caught on small minnows, a large part of their diet is invertebrates and crustaceans that live in a mud bottom. The depth you find Crappie at can vary on the average depth of a lake. In smaller lakes and reservoirs that are relatively shallow, Crappie will often be found in 5-12′ of water. In larger lakes that have a good mix of deep and shallow water they will most likely be found in the 15-25′ depths.
Given that even large Crappie will feed heavily on small organisms near the bottom it makes sense to either fish a small 1/16 or 1/32 oz jighead tipped with either live maggots, wax-worms or mousies.
Keep in mind that Crappie can feed much after dark, especially during full moon phases so plan your outings during the day accordingly.