By Dan Johnson

Warm, sunny weather has sparked a flurry of shallow water panfish activity across much of the Midwest. In central Minnesota, for example, panfish fanatic and Lindy pro staffer Paul Fournier reports that action over the past weekend was fast and furious on a number of metro lakes.

“Over the weekend the fish came storming into classic fast-warming shallows that had been producing fair action up to this point,” he says. “If the weather forecast holds and we see more warm, sunny weather, this weekend could be crazy.”

In fact, the action already got a little out of hand on some systems last weekend. On one small lake—which shall remain nameless because it’s already overcrowded—Fournier reports that a hot bite for big crappies drew literally hundreds of boaters.

“It was a zoo. They were all trying to jam into one small area that had been producing nice-sized crappies,” he explains. “The big fish wanted no part of it and moved out right away. I’m sure they’ll find somewhere else to feed and spawn.”

Fournier also notes that as fish-hungry anglers frantically tried running on plane into a small canal to reach the area where the crappies had been holding before the mob moved in, more than a few ran afoul of rocks in the shallow water.

“People thought they could make it, but a lot of lower units got damaged in all the process,” he says.

As far as the shallow bite goes, it’s the same story on other lakes across the region that have been blessed by the sun in recent days. The Iowa DNR reports that crappie and bluegill action is picking up on East Okoboji Lake, for example, and similar conditions are being reported in other states as well.

All of which means that if you’re in the mood for a fish fry, there’s no time like present to tie on a few Little Nippers, Watsits and other go-to panfish jigs and hit the water.