Bass and crappie begin prespawn dance.

Spring seems a long way off. However, fish are biting between the cold fronts. They have to eat. Choose your days carefully. Don’t be surprised to find crappie and bass around the lily pads. The sun warms these little “solar panels”.

Copyright Road Runner Lures

Lily pads are often the first place to warm up.

While crappie will be first in the pads, bass will soon follow. Ledges near these pads will hold the bass until the water warms enough to move in. Try the heavier, quarter ounce Road Runner along this structure.

Tip: The favorite water temperature of crappie is about sixty five degrees. Bass become more active in water temps of sixty nine degrees. Water temperatures are just one of the factors in fish activity. Your Humminbird depth sounder likely has a water temperature gauge. Check it during the day to see how much the water warms up.

Elite Outdoor Media

Rich bagged these fish along step edges.


About TJ Stallings

45-year tackle industry veteran Marketing and Crazy Ideas at TTI-Blakemore Fishing Group (Home of Road Runner Lures and six hook brands including Tru-Turn, Daiichi, XPoint, Team Catfish, Mr. Crappie and StandOUT Hooks.) Home of Gun Protect. The opinions expressed in this blog are those of TJ Stallings and not necessarily those of TTI-Blakemore.
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8 Responses to Bass and crappie begin prespawn dance.

  1. You offer hope, if anything, to a winter-locked Minnesotan. My snow banks are still taller than my truck, and I don’t even know how thick the lake ice is. Man I miss fishing proper. In the sun, the gentle rock of the boat, the breeze mingling amid a pine-scented shore line. And an ultra lite rod in hand, hooped over and pulsing towards the watery abyss, a lively small mouth on line. Sigh….

    Thanks TJ…..I think.

  2. richardmax22 says:

    Luckily up here in Western Washington we don’t have the weather P.O.P. and other back east have, so I’m just dealing with cool water temps. No bass yet, but I am catching perch out in deep water, weather permitting.

  3. Love this time of year and the fishing is amazing here in Texas but after fishing all winter having the lake to myself and not seeing another boat for days on end most weeks i’m not a big fan of the increasing lake traffic (and boat ramp traffic).

    Guess it’s part of the trade off!

  4. kayakfishingfever says:

    Hi, I don’t know your location, but here in upstate NY on 3/31, we still have ice over most of our lakes. Ice out on Black Lake won’t be until maybe the 3rd week of April.

    During the early season we can see the crappie and “Sunnys” coming in to make bedding. As you say the Bass are just a bit behind. In most of the New York, a preseason Catch and Release is allowed, with the exception of four counties. I am in one of the counties that doesn’t allow the preseason lure only CnR.

    I am curious to know about the importance of water temperature measured from a transducer depth just below the surface of the water when the cooler 69 degrees in most likely lower in the lake at that opening, the third week of June. I guess the question is how do I get an accurate temperature and depth reading below the transducer’s position?

    While there are deep areas in the lake, and the lake is 25 miles long, the DEC says the average depth is only 10′. I see many anglers with a variety of lures banging the shorelines with plastics and shallow cranks. But I believe the bigger fish are elsewhere.

    Your thoughts sir.

    • TJ Stallings says:

      I agree that the surface temperatures differ from lower depths. It’s really just a guide for us to follow.
      Fish, being cold-blooded respond to temps and barometric pressure more than the moon or dogwoods blooming. Larger fish are affected by barometric pressure more so than the dinks. (Their bladders are larger.) I was a shoreline banger myself. In Florida waters, the shoreline is really all the structure you have. Cover becomes more important too. All that grouper fishing in FL has helped me to fish deeper in Alabama waters. I was blessed there. Now when I fish a shore, I fish way off, barely casting distance because of the ledges we have here. The bigger fish are usually there. The exception is weeds and docks tend to warm up quicker than deeper waters in the spring. Good fishing!
      Blessings, -tj

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