Although fish can't read, here is a mental schedule I go by as the spawn quickly approaches us. This is all from my standpoint based on the lakes I guide on. Your individual experience on the body of water you typically fish outweighs what is written here.
Water Temperature Schedule
52 Degrees and below: fish staging on main lake following bait.
54-56 degrees: black crappie start to move up.
60-62 degrees: white crappie start to move up.
65-72 degrees: fish move to shallow brush piles, bridges and docks.
75+ degrees: main lake brush and timber.
-I'll start my searching in the backs of coves, pinch points (where a bridge cross a creek and fish are forced to move back and forth through the area), isolated structure in shallow water, and transition zones (deep water next to shallow flats.)
-Begin your search at the far north end of the lake, then work south as the season progresses.
-Look for areas with a lot of structure in 2-8ft of water. The dirtier the water, and the darker the skies, the shallower the fish will be.
-East Texas lakes are typically 2-4 weeks ahead of north Texas lakes.
-Shallow ends of bridges, button willows, reed clumps, rock piles, stumps, root balls, undercut banks, fallen trees, docks, the dam, beaver mounds, logjams, and ledges are all great spawning grounds.
-If it's light out, use white and chartreuse. If it's dark out, use black and chartreuse. If the water looks terrible, use a pink head.
-Use the lightest jig head you can get away with.
-If a cold fronts hits, and it will, find the closest deep water to where you've been finding shallow fish and start looking. I usually focus on 8-14ft water when a front hits.
-When fishing very shallow water, choke up the trolling motor or cast to potential fish holding areas, so as to not scare them off the bed.
-Males will be shallow during the day, while big females will come at a later time (typically at night) to lay their eggs.
-Do not, I repeat DO NOT be patient with shallow fish. Fish very quickly until you get bit, then slow down and pick apart the area.
-Have fun. The spawn is either incredible or incredibly frustrating.
-Begin your search at the far north end of the lake, then work south as the season progresses. What about lakes with the dam located on north end and shallower water towards the south end? Would it be just the opposite?