The timing of this years spring rain wasn’t ideal. In late April, just when the crappie where setting up to move to the bank, the storms and heavy rains hit the Ozarks! Area lakes rose several feet in a matter of days! And for most of us who waited all winter for the crappie spawn, were disappointed things didn’t go as we had it planned. And as they say, what goes up, must come down, and area dams have been releasing water trying to bring the lakes back down.

These massive water releases create bigtime current both above and below the dam. Fishing can be good in this moving water in the tailraces below the dam. On the lake side, huge schools of shad gather near the dam. And where there’s shad, predators will gather. The best approach is to fish around these massive schools of baitfish. Also too, take a minute to check out the size of the bait your fishing around. If the shad are 3-5 inches long, toss a shad imitation crankbait just under that size. You want to “match the hatch” but most white bass, and smaller hybrids, can’t consume a shad that size so your offering will be more appealing.

It’s too early for this year’s shad fry to start to school up, but when they do, the whites will target the smaller more bite-sized prey. It’s important too your offering is similar in size to the shad. In this situation, the Rat-L-Trap in the “Tiny Trap” size is the best bait to throw. Yes, you’ll catch a lot of small whites, but it’s still a lot of fun and the perfect situation to get your kids on the water.  Of course, 1/8oz Road Runners, Rooster Tails, small spoons, and other baits will catch them too. Good luck, and “happy fishing!”

Be sure and catch my Ozarks Outdoors podcast! We’re talking fishing and other fun ways to enjoy the great outdoor opportunities here in southwest Missouri!