Spring time is definitely to capitalize on catching good-size Crappie that congregate in high numbers in shallow, mud-bottom areas.
Many of these crappie right now are “pre-spawn” and are in very shallow water all along shorelines. When you land one it’s visually easy to tell the difference between a plump-female (full of eggs), or a lean male. It’s good to practice selective harvesting releasing the females and keeping a mix of large and intermediate size males.
While many anglers fish small live minnows, artificial lure anglers probably catch more and bigger Crappie using a traditional slip-bobber or stationary bobber and a small jighead tipped with a small plastic grub like the Fishing Compete Lil’Fry.
Small crankbaits can also be fished like the Rapala Ultralight Minnow in the 1 1/2″ length which are excellent for locating bigger Crappie when they are dispersed in a larger, shallow bay. Once you locate a school then it’s a good idea to switch-up between the crankbait and the small jig/plastic grub.