WILLMAR -- Ladies and gentlemen, it's time to start the outboards or find a spot along the shoreline of a back bay.
The open-water season is here, and the warming spring temperatures bring the promise of early-season crappie action starting this week.
There were a few anglers reporting some success, but this past week the fishing was generally spotty, according to Brad Foshaug at Brad's 71 Bait and Sport, Willmar.
A forecast for warmer weather this weekend and the prospect of more consistent, spring weather this coming week should start things up, he said.
The crappies begin moving from deeper water into shallow bays where the waters are first to warm.
Foot and Willmar Lakes generally are safe bets for early action, especially near the culvert and walking bridge area.
The shallow waters of West Norway Lake and the creek near Dilley's Resort on Lake Florida are also good. Elkhorn and Florida Lakes are also known to offer some of the best early season opportunities.
As things warm up, Foshaug recommends testing the waters of Lake Andrew, Calhoun Lake, Dogfish Bay on Diamond Lake, and the north shores of Eagle Lake and Green Lake.
Keep it simple. A slip bobber, a small jig such as a Flu Flu tipped with a crappie minnow or wax worm, and low-test line are all it takes.