Start your search at the mid winter crappie locations (deep holes or basins). If it is still frigid cold outside you can expect them to be there, or along steep drop-offs. Start where ever you were catching them all winter.
If you cannot find any fish in the basins, it is safe to say that the fish have started to migrate back towards the same bays that they were in during the fall period. Warm and stable weather usually sparks this migration.
Once the fish have migrated, start looking along hard structure, such as steep break lines, inside turn or point. As the weather continues to warm, be sure to drill lots of holes so that you can follow the crappie up into the shallows.
Remember, that unstable weather or a cold front can scare the crappies right back into the depths. It is important to pay attention to the past weather before you go on a fishing trip.
Why Fish leave the depths in search of food as the weather warms. The shallows warm up first (especially with a dark bottom, or in the North-west corner of the lake) and therefore more bug hatches will happen, and more bait fish will migrate into the shallows.
Fish school together and feed on zoo plankton on soft bottom
Tactic Drill a ton of holes and using an underwater camera along with a sonar to find the fish. Keep on moving until you start marking fish! This is especially important for Basin fishing… Keep Moving if there are no fish!
Great baits to use are heavy jigs, such as tungsten. Tungsten jigs are perfect because they get down to the fish fast, and are still very small in size. Tip the jig with a wax worm, or a spike!
Another great tactic is to use tip ups so that you can cover every depth. Use a small hook and split shot weight with a small minnow.