About a month before the spawn, anywhere in the country, crappie will seek out warmer and shallower waters in preparation for the spawn. This means, anywhere you can find a warm water discharge in small creeks and streams that run into major reservoirs, you’re sure to locate a big crappie honey hole.
Also, while you’re on creeks and streams, look for prespawn crappie in the mouths of feeder creeks. Often, large schools of crappie will move out of a river channel and hold in mid-water in the mouth of a creek due to the warmer water found there and the large numbers of baitfish. As soon as the creek water starts to warm up enough to trigger the spawn, the crappie will move up the creek channel and into the spawning areas.
Another great place to look is shallow, underwater stumps found along creek and river channels, often 20 to 30 yards from the bank. If you can find underwater stump-rows along or near an old creek channel close to a spawning area, you’ll likely find a good collection of crappie there, as well.
Docks are similar to stumps for prespawn crappie action. Most lake and river residents with docks typically build some sort of brush shelter, or put some structure out in front of their docks, so they can come down, sit on their dock, and fish at their leisure. By motoring your boat back and forth in front of the dock, you usually can find this sunken cover on your depth finder. Crappie will move to this type of structure during the prespawn because it gives them cover to hold near while they wait for warmer temperatures.
The areas outlined today are just a few examples of where you can cash in on prespawn crappie this year. Take note if you count yourself a crappie angler, and be sure to come back later this week for Part Two, where we’ll take a look at even more great prespawn crappie spots!