The early season pre-spawn movement of crappies into the shallows is highly anticipated by many anglers and for good reason. Under ideal conditions large schools of crappies will concentrate in relatively small areas, but as every angler knows spring weather can be fickle. Those ideal conditions one day can turn cold and windy in a heartbeat and those hordes of shallow water crappies can disappear. That is where utilizing your electronics can be so effective, side imaging crappies that have slide off of their normal shallow water spots.
Just recently we had some cooler weather and those crappies have slide out from their spawning areas and have almost moved back into their staging areas.
In order to find these fish we are relying on our Humminbird and its side imaging.
What I am doing is driving around at about two miles an hour and searching for these fish with side imaging.
These schools of fish really stand out on the side imaging if you set it up correctly.
For a stronger and more defined imagine of the fish, I only have the side imaging range set to fifty feet out. If you have the range set for too far out the fish will be too small to see.
When I’m driving around you just want to look for those hot spots that look like white grains of rice, with a shadow behind them. Those are fish and if they have a shadow they are generally fish that are off the bottom.
It will take a little getting used to, but once you know what your looking for the schools of fish will really stand out.
Once you find a decent school of fish mark the spot with a waypoint.
Then slide out about twenty to thirty feet away from the school and cast into it.
When you find pockets of fish like this I like using a bobber set up so you are able to keep your bait in front of the fish for an extended period of time.
Side imaging crappies will allow you to catch these fish in the spring when they aren’t on their traditional spots.