Shallow Crappies in Spring: Bobber Tactics
Shallow crappies are both finicky and spooky, tucked within shallow weeds, reeds or wood cover. Polarized sunglasses reveal their location on calm, sunny days. The panfish won’t chase fast-moving lures, but respond well to small jigs or livebaits dangled below bobbers.
It all begins with locating these fish. In spring crappies tend to almost always be in warm shallow water sometimes less than two feet deep. This leads to a very visual fishing scenario. In these warm water bays you’ll see crappies, bluegills, bass, pike and more. A large majority of the food chain moves up into this shallow water in spring.
When targeting these shallow crappies it is important to be stealthy because these fish spook easily. Use a trolling motor as much as possible to sneak up on the fish. Then make long cast past them and bring the bait towards them. Avoid casting right on top of them.
In this shallow water situation bobbers really come in handy because they allow your bait to sit in one place for an extended period of time.
As far as gear goes we like a 7ft medium light to ultra light panfish rod, paired with a 2500 size reel spooled with four to six pound braid.
This set up allows for long casts which help in this shallow water scenario.
At the business end a small jig with a minnow or plastic will work. Hair jigs also work well in spring.
Make sure to get out during these warm spring days and capitalize on this bite, because it doesn’t last that long. Grab a bobber rod and a few small jigs and enjoy the visual experience of shallow water crappies.