Crappie fishing in April is usually a spawning deal, but according to Chris Bullock of Kerr Lake Crappie and Cats Guide Service, 2017 isn’t shaping up as the usual deal.

“Usually, there is a big bunch of fish that spawn in March, but April should be a month when you catch them back in the creeks, going to the banks to spawn,” said Bullock (252-902-4039). 

“But this year has been crazy,” he said, referring to the very mild winter. “I caught a couple (in late February) that were already flat (bellied).”

Bullock expects most crappie to be finished spawning when April rolls around, but he said that understanding how slabs go to and from their spawning areas should keep you putting fish in the boat.

“I think you’ll be able to catch some fish coming out of their spawning areas, going to their late-spring, early summer places: boat docks and brush piles,” Bullock said. “You just have to look for them.”

Bullock advises flat-line trolling with 10 rods behind the boat, each trailing a different-colored Road Runner.

“I start out pulling 10 rods with eight or nine different colors, but by the end of the day, eight or nine rods will have the same color,” he said. “You’ve got to experiment.”

Bullock said he will concentrate on trolling along the outside edges of spawning flats along creek channels. 

“You ought to be able to catch them on the drops and in,” he said. “Everything will be dictated by the water temperature.”