You have to love this time of year. The leaves are popping and everything is in full bloom. All the smells fill your nose and all the sounds fill your ears. Every single one of your senses is in use.
Enough about all that fuzzy stuff, it's panfish time. Especially, those jet black spring crappies. As the water temps rise so do the fish. Rise into shallow water that is, where they become rather vulnerable to my soft plastic baits.
The males are the first to move shallow looking for potential spots to fan out spawn beds. These are the jet blacks that you catch. They really pile in and around anything protruding from the water. My favorite thing to look for this time of year is Lilly pad roots. They heat up and offer excellent cover for these fish.
Roll up on these spots and start fan casting until you get bit. I start with using a small plastic and a cork. I can cover more water in less time this way. Once I find a good pod of fish I remove the cork and increase the size of my bait. This allows me to fish slower and usually triggers the bigger fish into biting. You will catch your share of smaller ones, but don't you worry. The slabs are lurking.
We've had a strange spring here in Minnesota and I can't wait for the Gills to move on beds. That is not too far off. P U M P E D !