Regional Reports-Midwest

If you're a crappie fisherman and you live within driving distance of such Kansas reservoirs as Hillsdale, Cedar Bluffs, Kirwin, Pomona and Perry, you won't be disappointed in the action this month, says Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks fisheries chief Doug Nygren. "May is considered the top month of the year for crappies," says Nygren. "The fish move into the shallows to spawn and are available to a lot of bank-fishermen as well as those working the shoreline from a boat." Nygren adds that anglers will have the best chance of catching the most fish at Hillsdale, the 5,000-surface-acre reservoir three miles northwest of Paola. Expect to see a lot of crappies in the 9- to 11-inch class on this reservoir. And concentrate your efforts in the shallows where there is some gravel or rocky structure along with flooded brush and timber. "If you're looking for slab crappies it can be a toss-up between Cedar Bluffs and Kirwin, but don't pass up Pomona and Perry," says Nygren. "We're talking about crappies in the fourteen-inch-plus class." It's tough to beat a small lively minnow to tempt the popular panfish, but if you go the artificial route, try 1/8- to 1/32-ounce hair jigs or Twister Tails in white or chartreuse with a pink head. Contact: Craig Johnson, fisheries biologist (913-894-9113).