x Come spring, crappies will flood to the skinniest water they can find to spawn. Unlike other species, they won't shut down during this time, and the catching can be fast and furious. A temperature gauge will help you find warmer water, but look on the northern ends of lakes that get more sunlight during this time of the year. Mud bottoms that hold the sun's heat are an added bonus. It's essential to fish shallow—in no more than 5 feet of water. For targeting these depths, nothing works better than a fixed float with a crappie jig underneath. Attach the float 1 to 4 feet above a 1⁄16- to 1⁄8-ounce jighead, depending on depth. You can tip the jighead with an artificial, like a tube; or live bait, such as a fathead minnow. Target brushpiles, stumps, and boat docks. When you start getting bites, don't move. Where you find one crappie in spring, more will follow. —M.M.