Southern Style Early Season Crappie Fishing

With the end of winter approaching the southern states, now is the time to hit the lakes for crappie. This time of year as old man winter starts to give way to spring, crappie will slowly move shallow as they follow bait fish, such as shad.

This time of year, shad will move shallow looking for warmer water. The key area to look for warmer water, shad and ultimately crappie is in the back of north-facing creeks and coves with an incoming flow of water. The incoming flow will usually be warmer than the existing lake water. Exceptionsto that rule are right after a significate cold front; sometimes the incoming flow will be colder. This is a good time to go back to your deeper-water brush piles until the inflow warms back to a better temperature.

The second thing to look for is red clay. The runoff from the area with red clay stains the water which in turn helps the water to warm up quicker than clear water.

Brush piles this time of year is something to fish, but the water temperature is more important for locating huge schools of feeding crappie.

Once crappie start moving to shallow water in the creek arms, access to catching a good mess from the bank becomes much easier. An ultralight rod and reel, light line with a bobber and a hair jig or minnow canbe deadly.

Unlike in the spring when you can work your bait a bit faster, this time of year you want to work your bait very slow and let it soak in place before moving it. The water is still cold and the bait fish are alittle sluggish … you want the same presentation with your bait.

Best times to go are during low light conditions and even when it’s dark.

I hope this helps you catch some good ones.

Tight lines and God bless,

Rob Ambassador

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