Early season crappies quite frankly are all about timing.
During the winter months crappies reside in deeper water. Once spring arrives, these fish transition to warmer water looking for areas to spawn. Typically back bays and channels located on the north end of a lake warm first. Key spots are bays or channels with average depths of six to eight feet. Look for old vegetation, stumps, fallen trees or brush piles along the shoreline. Once the water temperatures reach the upper 40’s to low 50’s the crappies move in. Early mornings these fish will be found in the deeper parts of the bay. As the days sun warms the shallower water, these fish will move tight to the shoreline structure. Many times with a good pair of polarized glasses you will see both the structure and fish. Live bait set-ups (hook/crappie minnow) will do the trick on these early fish. As for gear an ultra-lite rod and reel spooled with 4lb to 6lb test line works great. This teamed with a #6 long shank hook, BB sized split shot set up about six inches and a Rocket Bobber is hard to beat. Set the bobber at or around three feet. Hook the minnow under the top fin. Cast out towards the shoreline structure. The Rocket Bobber will give you incredible casting distance to cover water. It will lay flat until the crappie takes the minnow. At that point it will begin to stand up, that’s when you can set the hook. As the season progresses and the fish become more aggressive you can switch to a small 1/32 ounce jig tipped with a plastic. Setting your bobber at or around three feet cast out. Again it will lay flat until the fish takes the bait. Once it begins to stand up set the hook. In an upcoming video named “Crappie action using the Rocket Bobber” Pan fish tips and videos will take a closer look at utilizing the Rocket Bobber as both a bait delivery system and strike indicator. Good luck fishing!