After ice out, it is time to go out and start your spring crappie fishing. The crappie
are still in deep water but will start their move into holding areas close to their spawning beds. The large slab crappie
will be feeding in earnest. The water is extremely cold, so you will have to use a very slow bait presentation.
The trick is being able to locate the fish. There are some fundamentals you need to be aware of to find the big
slab pre-spawn crappie. Oh, you won't have to be out on the lake at first light either. It has been my experience at
this time of the year that the afternoon is best time to fish because there is some sun warming the surface, and
the crappie feed on the moving baitfish more in the afternoon.
A good place to start your spring crappie
fishing is at the last places where the ice fishermen were catching crappie. If you don't ice fish, contact some ice
fisherman and find out their last fishing locations. The fish will be holding at these locations right after ice out.
If your lake is shallow, head to the deeper boat channels around your lake and the fish will be there. In deeper lakes,
head to narrowing creeks and channels feeding off the lake. I always look for channels that feed off the main river.
When fishing In cold water, I prefer ultra-light equipment. When you're fishing for spring crappie,
the bite will most likely be very light. You need to be able to feel the bite to catch fish. Use 2lb test with
an open face reel and a graphite rod with a good tip. If you are breaking line and snagging alot, move to a 4lb
fluorocarbon. For bait, I recommend you use 1/32oz or 1/16oz jig heads that have eyes painted on them. The color
of the jig head can vary, but my preference is chartreuse or pink and split-tail plastic tubes with glitter color.
My preference for clear water is clear color tubes with some glitter color in them. In murky water, use white or
yellow. If the water is real muddy use chartreuse and black.
If you use these tips you will be successful.
When you catch a giant slab crappie in early spring there is no better feeling!