Many lakes in Kentucky and Tennessee are starting to raise to summer pool. As the water floods the back water areas, crappie will be moving into the shallow water and holding on cover such as wood, weeds and rock.
Wood is usually the cover of choice for most crappie in our area lakes. The early spring crappie fishing action is something many anglers look forward to all year. I know I really do, as this is some of the best action of the year at the right time and location. It is relaxed, laid back fishing with great action.
Catching large numbers of crappie and some nice size ones is not uncommon this time of year. Bait and tackle selection is simple and inexpensive also. A nice limber tip rod in a light action and a good sinning or spin cast reel will work fine. You do not have to have a high-dollar rod and reel to do this type of fishing. As for bait, a small live minnow will work in any situation, but small tube baits and crappie grubs and a fly will all work very well at times.
The biggest two things to remember in crappie fishing is depth and color. Crappie are very color-picky at times, and the best color patterns can change even on a hourly basis. And for many reasons, crappie will move to different depths several times a day.
So if you are catching crappie and the action slows down, try a few different depths first and then try different colors. Most of the time, this change will get you back into the action.
Just remember that crappie may be full of eggs now, so practice sensible catch-and-release to ensure good fishing in the future for new and younger anglers.