You may have heard that spring crappie fishing is one of the easiest types of fishing you can ever do. However, in reality it can be rather frustrating if you don't know a few good techniques that can help you continue catching crappie after the initial spawning days are over. The first thing that you need to do is understand that this is a busy time for crappie and so they are moving around a lot. Therefore, you have to be willing to move around as well.
The fish will be in the deeper water at the start of this season and they will slowly begin to work their way to the more shallow water as spring begins to set in and the water starts to warm up. They are in search of places to spawn. When summer starts they will be headed back out to the deeper water. Knowing this information will help you figure out where the best places to fish for crappie will be.
When the weather conditions are not very favorable for the crappie you need to make it easy for them to catch the bait you are presenting to them. An example of this time would be early spring when it has been warm for a few days and then a sudden cold front moves in. This will startle the fish and they will try to return to the deeper water for comfort. It will also make them slower to bite. Therefore, if you use a technique that makes it easy for them to catch the bait during this confusing time you will catch more crappie.
One technique that seems to work really good during this time of year is called "bumping bottom" and you use a dropper rig to accomplish this technique. The way it works is by presenting the minnow to the crappie vertically with a dropper rig. Of course, to do this type of fishing you need to know where the fish are hiding out in the deep water. They will be found in ledges, rocks, stumps and similar areas.
You must present the bait by bumping it on the bottom in these locations or allowing it to hover around the openings. The best method to use is a 1/2 ounce bell sinker tied to the end of the swivel to prevent the line from twisting and a minnow will work great for the bait. It does require calm weather conditions to perform this technique or the line will be moving too fast for you to have any success.
Another technique that will require practice is leaning the difference between the fish biting and the bait brushing up against something. The reason this is so difficult is because the crappie has such a soft bite. You may get a little frustrated at first but remember with time and practice you will learn the difference.
Trolling is another crappie technique that you will find very useful for spring crappie fishing. With this technique you will align several rods in a row with the same type of line and bait on each one. Be consistent and patient and you can catch a lot of fish with this method. However, you do need to check the regulations for trolling for each lake before going out because the rules for each one may vary.
A technique that combines trolling and "bumping bottom" together is called "pushing" and it is good for catching spring crappie when they are located in the shallow water. It is a very simple technique that is accomplished by using live bait. All you need to get started are a few rods with lightweight reels positioned off the edge of the boat. Add a bell sinker and a couple hooks about a foot apart and you are ready to start fishing.
It is the best method found to get the bait in positions where the biggest fish can get to it. It allows you to put the bait right where you want it and keep it there until the crappie become interested. Remember, you must always move very slowly to use this technique correctly or you will not get the response you are hoping for.