Fishing the heavy buck brush and shallow openings is a key to finding early season crappie.  Sometimes anglers must pole their boats far into the shallows to find the big ones.

All kinds of jigs work in water from 2 to 10 feet deep.  Anglers probe the shallows with cane poles to more sophisticated fly rod tackle.  Popular are spinning and bait casting rods and reels.  The newer crappie poles are fast becoming the tackle of choice.

Light line is a must.  Two to four pound test clear line is best.  If one is going to fish the heavy cover then perhaps 4 to 8 pound test clear line is better.

Small jig and minnow combinations with jigs of 1/8 to 1/32 ounce are good.  Plastic tube bodies of white, chartreuse, or red/chartreuse combinations seem to work well on jigs.

Some anglers fish for crappie along rip‑rap near dams and spillways with bank fishing tackle.  This is a long pole, light line, and a small wire hook with a minnow suspended below a small balsa float.  Allow the bait or lure to bounce along the bottom with an occasional jigging by the angler to entice a bite.

The above is fine for the casual crappie angler.  But, then there are the guys who REALLY want to get those big fish.  You can tell them immediately.  They have rods in the 9 1/2 to 12 foot length.  The side of the boat is scratched from rubbing on the bushes.

The long rods are sensitive in addition to being very long.  They need the length to reach into the brush and the backbone to yank big fish up and out.  The key is to fish straight down and straight up and keep a pretty tight line at the same time.

A jig and minnow combination with a slip bobber, set at about two feet, to dip down in the middle of a real thick brush.  The combo provides more weight to control going down and the wind will not hinder the action.

Lake levels are usually high during the spring.  This makes it just right for fishing bushes.  The best is when the level is 2 to 3 feet above normal pool.  If it gets higher, the fish get really back into the brush.  That may require polling or wading and pushing the boat back as far as possible.  You will notice scratches on the boats of the guys in the know.

Early spring crappie fishing can be excellent.  Nothing beats fresh crappie, taken from cold water, for the table.  Whether you are a novice or a grizzled old pro, give it a try.



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  1. Reblogged this on Modern Day Outdoorsman and commented:
    Excellent thoughts for this coming spring!

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