Well, it has finally warmed up some and the weather has calmed down and fishing will start getting better. I have had reports of some crappie being caught on some lakes.
Crappie are some of the first fish to become active in the early spring and will remain fairly active in colder weather also. As the water warms, the crappie will move toward shallow areas and around slopping banks and will move up in the creeks in search of food like minnows. The peak of this type of activity is a few weeks away, but is worth the wait.
This is some of the best fishing action of the year for numbers of crappie. Besides live minnows there are a lot of good artificial baits for crappie. Some of the best I have used are tube baits and small crappie jigs. I have seen times a tube bait would catch as many crappie as a live minnow.
When you find an area with schools of crappie holding, make a long cast out past the cover and very slowly, with an up-and-down pumping action of the rod tip, work the bait back and at times stop and let the bait flutter down like a injured shad minnow. This will drive feeding crappie crazy.
I have used a lot of colors for baits, but for me the green-headed tube baits with the black head works very well. This color pattern has caught many crappie for me over the years. Crappie also like the white- and silver-colored baits.
It feels good to catch crappie early in the year and the fishing will get even better as the weather warms on up.