Panfish fans across Lindy Land dream of stumbling upon schools of hungry crappies and sunfish stacked up in shallow-water hot zones close to the bank.

The shoreline bite isn’t always on fire, of course. When a bank job goes bust, you can either head for home or try a different approach.

Fickle spring weather, murderous fishing pressure and other factors can push panfish out of the shallows. When that happens, set your sights on deep-water structure close to the area where the fish had been feeding.

For example, the first major drop-off near shore often holds fish that have moved away from the shoreline. Sweet spots like a shelf, soft-bottom flat just off the break, and any type of woody cover along the break can all concentrate the action. Depths vary by lake, but 9 to 12 feet is often a good starting point.

A cluster of aggressive crappies may respond well to small jigging spoons like the Lindy Frostee, Quiver Spoon and Rattl’n Flyer Spoon.

Less active crappies, and sunfish in general, are often better tempted with insect-imitating ice fishing jigs including the Lindy Ice Worm, Toad and Tungsten Toad. Experiment with tippings such as crawler parts, waxworms and panfish leeches until the fish reveal a preference.

Minimal movement is best with ice jigs in this situation. Either tight-line and hold the jig as still as you can (it will still move), or suspend it below a small Thill slip-bobber and let the lake’s surface impart subtle action. In flat-calm conditions, try lightly twitching the bobber. This is often all you need to trigger a take when spring panfish play hard to catch.