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Have a Crappie Spring Day
By John Campbell

There aren't many things I enjoy more than catching crappies in the spring. Oh sure, I enjoy catching bass and walleyes early in the year also, but fishing seasons being as they are, bass and walleye seasons are still closed when the first days of nice weather arrive. On the other hand, crappies can be taken as soon as the ice leaves the lake. For me, crappies provide the first open water fishing of the year. Crappie activity will vary depending on location. In some southerly regions, crappies will go on a bite in March or April. As you travel north, expect the action to begin in April or May. Water temperature is one key. Although crappies can be taken in colder waters, expect activity to get good as water temperatures approach sixty degrees. Begin looking for early season crappies in areas adjacent to their spawning grounds. The first drop-off near a large flat with rushes could be very productive. As the water warms, the crappies will become more willing to feed. They will also move shallower. The shallower they get, the easier they will be to catch, if a few things are remembered. Remember that shallow water fish can be very spooky. Long casts will be most productive. There are times when an angler can hover directly over the fish, but most of the time it works best to stay away from them. Movement in the shallows will be quiet if you use your Minnkota trolling motor. Quietly adjusting to a specific piece of structure is essential in shallow water, that is where electric trolling motors perform the best. When crappies are holding tight to cover, because of a change in water temperature or barometric pressure, or because the water has suddenly risen or fallen it is essential to fish the crappies in a vertical motion. The problem may be that they are tight to cover and usually shallow, with adjacent deep pockets or holes near by, but not enough to position a boat over the top of them.

Thill Center Slider Float Therefore, a vertical presentation with a Thill slip bobber might do the trick. It will allow the presentation of the bait over the top of the crappie. Something that is important to remember is a crappie always feeds on food that is in front of them and just slightly above them. The bobber should be set so that it will present the bait in a suspended offering, and once you find the depth you can work the shoreline around structure like stumps and points. I like to cast a small jig below a slip-bobber to these shallow water crappies. A jig in the 1/64 ounce size range will be best. A Little Guppy or Little Niper in pink, orange, or chartreuse would be a good choice. If the crappies are aggressive, I will use a Techni-Glo Fat Boy in the larger jig sizes, when they're finicky go with the smaller jigs. It sometimes helps to attach a split shot or two, eight to twelve inches above the smaller jigs.
Two Nice Early season crappies Lndy Techni glo Fat Boy Jigs Give me an ultralight Shimano rod and reel with four to six pound test line, a handful of jigs, a nice day and some crappies that are willing to bite and I'm a happy guy. You'll be happy too, if you take advantage of this early season crappie bite that is going on somewhere near you right now. For more techniques about crappie and walleye fishing drop me a line at www.walleye.info. Hope to see you on the water!

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