Spring Panfish Bite Heating Up!

The spring panfish bite is shaping up nicely.  Water temps in the shallow bays are in the mid 50’s, so there are more fish moving into these bays every day.  I generally notice sunfish moving in first and the crappie to follow.  Most areas I’ve been fishing now have crappie, so now is the time to wet a line. 

There are dozens of areas around Alexandria putting out fish from shore right now.  I wouldn’t say you will go catch an easy limit everywhere, but there are some very nice fish being caught from shore. 

If you have a boat I’d recommend looking for shallow bays that are 3-5′ deep.  Black bottom bays are my favorite and seem to hold the most fish.  You can find a lot of these areas on a map or Google maps prior to even hitting the water.  For example look at the satellite picture below.  The shallow bay on the north side of this lake is a perfect place to look. I like to have a few spots picked out like this before I leave home. 

Whether you’re fishing from a boat or from shore your technique will be similar.  Set a small jig about two feet below a bobber and tip it with a plastic tail or minnow.  Then cast quickly around your bay of choice covering as much water as you can.  These fish are hungry and when you find them they will let you know!  Now is a great time to get the family out fishing because there’s generally a lot if action. This technique will work all summer long you just have to adjust your lure depth as the fish move deeper.  The fish should be in the shallow bays for at least a few weeks yet, so good luck out there!

Joe Scegura is a fishing guru with years of experience and a guide for the Alexandria area lakes.

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