Many folks focus on slabs, crappie or – as they call them in Louisiana – sac-alait in the spring.
The key is to locate schools of these tasty fish in areas where they will spawn. Typically these areas are extremely shallow areas with plently of weeds/structure.
Crappie tend to move more than many folks think. Prior to spawning when the shallow water warms, these fish will make early season runs into shallow water to feed and then move back out deeper. These early runs are generally prior to spawning.
Many anglers will fish the backs of creeks waiting for schools of these fish to pass through. Typically these early spring runs will be later in the day as the shallow water warms much quicker, and baitfish and predators will move in. When you get on a moving school the action can be fast and furious.
With water temperatures in the lower to middle 60s, these crappie will locate to suitable spawning areas. This event has been ongoing for a few weeks. Usually it takes a steady water temperature, which means that some consistent weather will make it prime for their spawn.
Some of the best areas I have found for catching spawning crappie are areas with reeds, typically in the back of sloughs and creeks. Other areas with a lot of brush and weeds can also produce. They will get in the midst of this structure and set up their beds. When working these shallow areas you need to make sure that you do not spook the fish. I work the edges of these structures with a long cane pole or crappie rod. After working the outskirts, you then can start moving your boat into the weed beds, slowly working the area.
Some folks will cast a small jig or minnow on a float to stay away from the bedding areas. Casting can make splashes that can spook the fish so be careful.
An effective pattern is to use small jigs on light fluorocarbon leader (4- to 6-pound test). 1/32nd or 1/64-ounce feathered jigs or tube jigs carefully placed on the bedding areas will get you a strike.
Some will use a really small float to keep the jig suspended. Place your jig or minnow carefully as too much of an unnatural action and you may spook the fish. Some common colors that are effective include white, chartreuse, black and pink.
If you happen to accidentally spook some fish, those fish will settle down eventually. You might just have to come back to that area a little later.
Nothing is better than a mess of crappie fillets in the frying pan with fries or hush puppies.
HOOD COUNTY FISHING REPORT
Main lake is stained (muddy). We have some dry days this week, so hopefully things will settle out some. Backs of creeks and sloughs are settling out.
Water temperatures have quickly rebounded into the mid 60s on many area lakes. Black bass are reported as good on the beds in the back of creeks and sloughs. Crappie catches on the upper ends and in mid-lake creeks are good when located. Sand bass and stripers are slow on slabs and live shad.
Black bass and tilapia continue to be the desired species on Squaw Creek. Blacks are good on soft plastics and spinner baits. Tilapia are good on worms. email@example.com | 817-578-0023