While it is going to warm up two or three days later this week, this early spring has mostly been cold so far. However, it is still time for crappie to start moving to shallower waters and to the back of main lake creek areas. Prime spots for finding crappie now are in and around cover like wood, weeds, and flooded timber.
On most lakes, crappie will start to move to shallow water areas in early April if the weather is warm and stable enough. You need to check water temperatures around the lake if you can. The best action will be where the water is warmest. Most water is in the low 50s right now. When the water reaches the 53- to 55-degree range, the action really picks up for crappie and bass and most all other fish as well. This is a time of year that most crappie anglers can catch large numbers of crappie shallow and a few good-size ones at times.
I have fished this time of year for crappie for many years and I know it is hard to beat a live minnow for bait. Small jigs and tube baits are also good in early spring. You can fish them slow as you make your cast and reel them in giving them swimming action. If the water is deeper, fish straight down on a tight line and work the bait up and down slowly to draw strikes.
If you are fishing a live minnow you can let it swim around naturally looking or fish it under a floater. I prefer to use a floater because I can just tell more about what is going on with the bait and the fish.
It should warm up soon and so should the fishing action.