In the early spring, shallow crankbaits are an effective search tool. As an alternative to the spinnerbait, shallow-diving crankbaits can cover a lot of water and give the fish a look at something different. As the bottom temperature reaches 50 degrees Fahrenheit, new vegetation begins to grow. In the shallow areas of the lake, baitfish begin to roam and congregate in these areas. The baitfish are small minnows and panfish. Smaller (downsized) crankbaits such as lipless baits and those "crappie"-sized crankbaits match the hatch. Erratic retrieves work best to trigger strikes especially those when the bait deflects of the cover (wood, rocks, sandy bottom, and weed tops).
In very clear water, use the lightest line that you can get away with as the lighter line allows for better sensitivity of the bait and will make the bait run a bit deeper than the next heavier line. Some of the bites may be very light and the lighter line can help detect them. Look for areas at this time of year that would have the warmest water. These areas would be those shallow bays protected from the north winds with the presence of any cover such as wood, rocks, and/or weeds - preferably with all of these. Wood and rocks absorb the sun's rays and help warm the water in these little areas faster than the main lake. A temperature difference by as much as a couple of degrees could make all the difference between sluggish fish and active feeders. Good Luck on the Water! Make sure you enjoy the "Great Outdoors!"