Spring is a great time to fish shallow-water for chunky and tasty panfish. While many anglers use live bait, others use small soft-plastics with sensitive floats or just casting and fishing near the bottom.
One of my favorite way to target them is by casting small “mini” crankbaits. All panfish species when they get larger can become very aggressive and during the summer they can even strike larger lures fished for Bass & Walleye.
Spring is a perfect time to cast tiny minnow imitation lures. Some of my favorite are:
Rapala Countdown CD1.
Rapala Ultralight Minnow.
Rapala Ultralight Shad.
Rapala Ultra Light Crank.
Rapala Ultra Light Pop.
Fish these in areas where you know panfish are schooling. These areas include new aquatic vegetation growth, rocky shorlines, stream and creek mouths and even simple mud-bottom shorelines that have cattail & bulrush growth growing on the shorelines.
Aggressive, bigger panfish will readily strike a fast or slow moving tiny crankbait. Sometimes the little crankbait will even surprise you and you may hook a bigger gamefish!