A small wave of fish spawned during the last full moon. Those fish that have spawned, have moved out to 14 to 18 FOW and have been suspended 7 to 10 foot down on cover.
I am seeing a large mass of fish still holding in the typical pre-spawn patterns and will move in to spawn the week of the next full moon.
The pre spawn females that I am catching are holding in the 7 to 12 FOW and look like they may blow up any min, their so fat.
I am also am finding pre spawn fish holding in deeper water suspended on cover (as seen in the picture below) but, these fish seem to be inactive or only feed for a very short time each day.
I hope this confused you because it has been a great challenge for me this year also! Good luck.
Todd, this is what I have experienced in the past and what is the normal pattern for the spring spawn is for me.
Under normal spring conditions as the water temps warms a wave of fish will start moving shallow 1 to 2 weeks prior to the full moon in March or earlier if the water temperatures and water conditions are right. I start looking for water temperatures to hit 57F and higher, at 57F is when I fell I can start catching the early arrivals in 10 FOW or less with confidence.
The water water temperatures were just about right leading up to the full moon but, the water conditions were not ideal for the fish to spawn, resulting in only a small wave of fish to move up and spawn.
Each year, April's full moon will also have a wave of fish move up to spawn. I believe, this year this second wave of fish that moves up shallow to spawn is going to be massive.
Those cold water temperatures and along with the nasty water conditions last month confused a lot of people and some are still even waiting on enough daylight for the fish to spawn.
I still am finding a lot of fish still holding in the typical pre-spawn pattern in 7 to 31 FOW. It is easy to determine that they are pre-spawn because when I catch them they are still full of eggs. They just haven't moved up shallow to spawn yet. (See pictures below.)
I am also catching fish that have spawned out and are suspended on cover in 12 to 18 FOW. Typical post spawn pattern.
This is what I have learned, "crappie are where you find them" and if you know where to look, well it sure makes things easier.