Why do sportsmen and women get excited when spring approaches? It’s the great fishing action that lies ahead.
With March rolling in, whether as a lamb or as a lion, one thing is certain: spring is not far away, and the crappie are transitioning as we speak. When water temps near 60 degrees, the spawn will begin.
This varies in Mississippi as the northern parts of the state are typically cooler than the southern parts. Keep an eye on your area and places you target crappie as cold fronts this time of year affect water temperatures. Fish move in shallow water with warm temps and transition back to deeper water when temps drop.
Just prior to the actual spawn, male and female crappie go through a feeding frenzy. They are trying to add to their energy reserves for the quickly approaching stressful spawning period. This is a good time to catch them.
If you don’t know a lot about crappie fishing or don’t own a boat — don’t let that stop you. You can hire a fishing guide that knows how it’s done and knows a particular hole of water like Copiah County fishing guide Jimmy Walters.
“I guide mostly at Lake Lincoln,” said Jimmy Walters of Wesson. “I also help out another guide service on Lake Grenada when they get too much to handle.”
Crappie on the move
When males move in to prepare nests, the females are not far away in deeper water feeding. Areas to target when this is happening are ledges next to shallow areas that drop sharply to deeper water.
“March is the prime time of the year to catch spawning crappie,” adds Walters. “I will target ledges and back off on the deeper side in 6 to 8 feet of water.”
It is good now and only getting better — crappie are on the move to their spawning grounds. Anglers should keep in mind that crappie bed in shallow coves of lakes that are protected from wind and wave action.
“I give them something different to look at,” said Walters, “I tie my own jigs.”
Walters also owns and operates his own custom jig making business.
Anglers can take advantage of the fact that male crappie will vigorously defend their nests from predators or anything they perceive as a threat. If an intruder gets too close, they will chase it, biting and nipping at it until the threat leaves.
Males protect the nest after the eggs have hatched and continue to attack anything that comes near. This makes them susceptible to baits and lures after nesting activity has ended.
An exciting time
Take advantage of spring crappie action as they are concentrating into small shallow areas to bed. It’s exciting — this makes spring crappie easier to find and catch than any other time of the year.
To contact Jimmy Walters for a guided crappie trip, look him up on Facebook at Walters Custom Jigs or at Jimmy Walters Jr and private message him. Or call Uncle Rays Bait shop at Lake Lincoln’s entrance and they will book you with Walters.
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