Fishing for Crappie in late autumn and early winter is not an easy sport. However you gain a significant advantage if you know where to find them.
Crappie will not be found close to the surface or on the bottom, but suspended about in the middle. They will school around drop offs and will move in and feed around brush and other cover. The schools are not tight unless feeding. Even though the schools are loose they will tend to group in key areas around the lake so don't waste time in any one spot. Doing so is just a waste of time.
Your best bet is to fish in about 8 to 14 feet of water. The colder it gets the deeper the crappie will congregate. The best strikes will be on wax worms or small minnows with various small jigs.