J.R. Oldham, Missouri, Outlaw Poles and Stockton Lake guide, says, “Fish are in transition from deep to shallow water. Fishing is usually tough here because of all the spring floods we get keeps the water unstable. The fish will usually be on the move chasing shad as they ease up shallower a little at a time. I like to go upriver because the wind is another spring factor and a small river arm gives protection.”

Russ Bailey, Ohio, is a guide and the host of BrushPile Crappie TV. “Up in the north ice starts to leave and fishing is fantastic. The ice triggers them to move up into shallower water. Cold weather is the biggest challenge because March can be as cold as February. I use Columbia wear because it is so warm and use hand warmers. We’ve fished in snow squalls catching crappie. Prepare for the cold and you can have a good time.”

Greg Mathenia, Tennessee, tournament angler and Strike King pro staff, says, “One problem in the spring is cold fronts with wind. One thing we do is use a single jigging pole. A lot of days we can stay out when the spider rig fishermen can’t because of the waves. You can keep your bait steady in the water even if the boat is rocking.”

John Marten, Missouri, national tournament fisherman and member of the Eastern Missouri Crappie Club, says, “Cold is a problem so the first thing you must do is dress warmly. The cold water has fish biting light so holding a pole in each hand is good. You don’t have to be set up for slow trolling and it’s easier to feel the bite when you are holding the poles.”

Steve Coleman, Tennessee, multiple Classic champion, says, “People underestimate the water temperature after a day or two of warm sun and air temperatures. Wear plenty of clothes and always wear a life jacket. It can be much colder on the water than a person might expect so warm clothes are important. You need the life jacket because a fall into cold water can immediately turn a fishing trip into a disaster. Stay warm and safe.”