Well this last week ended up being great to get out on the water. One thing I will say is I have never seen so many people early spring out chasing pan-fish which is a good thing! I’m not against keeping fish by any means but with the added number of people out there please try to practice selective harvest on any species. Yes the bigger fish have more meat on them but they also have genetics to keep growing the bigger fish for us all to catch in the future.
Now let’s get to the fishing this last week, I will start off with spring can be a roller coaster with weather changes. One of the biggest things I tell people who have boats looking for early spring crappies is trust your electronics! If I do not mark fish I do not fish that area. Same goes for if the school leaves, which they tend to do a lot depending on the conditions. Remaining mobile can be a big factor on having a great day with high numbers on the water.
Now as far as the bite has went this week its pretty much been the same as my last report. Slip bobbers and lightest jig you can go with and a crappie minnow, yes plastics also work very well. I just prefer the live bait myself when using slip bobbers. If I’m dragging for these crappies then I do like plastics because they are a lot more durable in my opinion. Water temps I have found to be rising slowly max I seen was surface temps of 45 degrees. The lakes I’ve fished this week I have found the crappies in 11’-15’ shallower and more willing to feed when the wind is blowing and pushed a little further out on the flat calm days. What I look for is the schools around weeds coming up, fish seem to be holding to those specific areas moving less. I have a lot of people ask also “How far off the bottom are you fishing?” Well the answer always is not that simple I tend to watch my graphs and see where these fish are in the water column and adjust my slip accordingly. A lot of the times I don’t do well with fish a few inches off the bottom for crappies the active feeding fish generally seem to sit higher up off the bottom while feeding. Overall ended up having a couple triple digit fish days this week with the max day putting 142 top side. As far as size goes I came across a lot of 12”-14” fish that were released (selective harvest) and plenty in that 10”-12” range that a person could use for table fare if they wanted.
I can’t recommend enough to people right now to get out there and fish just try to practice the selective harvest above and there will be great fishing for the generations following us. As theses crappies start to spawn you will see them pulling up even more shallow as the water warms. Keep mobile and trust your electronics and you will have better success on the water. Tight lines everyone thanks for reading my reports!