Springtime in Arizona for the warm water fisherman means crappies are moving to shallow water to spawn. This phenomenon begins sometime in March and continues into April or May.
A number of desert impoundments have sizeable populations of this tasty pan fish like Bartlett, Alamo, San Carlos and, of course, Roosevelt Lake. With Roosevelt being only a 40-minute trip to the closest boat ramp, it is a popular destination for the Rim Country angler.
Crappie can be caught year-round, but the spring moves them into the shallow water of 8 feet or less near the bank.
This affords the casual fisherman a better opportunity to take home some fish for dinner. The crappie are excellent table fare and very catchable, which make them the best fish for a family fishing trip. Everyone can get in on the action.
Probably the greatest number of fish is taken with live minnows using a bobber, clipped on two to three feet above the bait.
Casting the shoreline and looking for submerged brush piles can be effective in locating this schooling fish. Chances are good, if you catch one in an area, there are more nearby.
There are many other baits that can help you catch this springtime crappie. The Kalin's two-inch grub is extremely popular in a variety of colors. The most often used is John Deere, black, blue or chartreuse. There is a wide color spectrum of Kalin's baits that, on any given day, can do the trick for a successful fisherman.
Another good bait to have in your tackle box would be the Berkley power grub in a natural or Christmas light pattern. The power grub has a fish attractant odor, which makes it a unique bait and sometimes very effective.
There are many other baits that will work on any given day to lure the springtime crappie. The key is to be able to locate the areas that hold fish, then be there when they are biting.
If you cast these small baits, use a light jig head with a 1/16 or 1/32 ounce weight and a slow retrieve near the brush piles.
Crappie are not very aggressive when it comes to taking a bait. So, accuracy of the cast may be important. Crappie time is springtime on Roosevelt Lake and it won't be long before they are biting. It's a fishing trip where the novice or expert can all have some action and enjoy the God's creation.