I will be the first to say that I am as much a walleye angler as anything else. They put up a respectable fight, you get a good filet off of each fish, and I would take them over a ribeye any night. That being said, I’ve never been a “walleye snob” that won’t spend any of the season chasing other species. I make sure to make a fly-fishing trip to Montana or Colorado at least once a year, I have no problem with catching channel cats in the late summer, and pitching tubes for smallmouth gets my heart racing.
But it’s April, so chasing anything other than walleye right now is generally a waste of time, right? Well April isn’t far from May, and for me the month of May in South Dakota means one thing; A hold onto your britches, buy the store out of minnows, crazed crappie bite.
Crappie typically start moving into the shallows with water temps in the mid-50’s, and it happens en masse. With all the lakes sprinkled across Eastern South Dakota, you’re sure to find a body of water hitting these temperatures while the masses are chasing walleyes, and you’re missing out on fun for the whole clan if you don’t give it a shot. There’s no doubt that crappie are great eating, but a lot of anglers underestimate the excitement that comes with every-cast catching. Get yourself some 1/16 ounce jigs, a few scoops of minnows, a light spinning rod, and prepare to fill your bucket with some slab crappies. With any luck, you’ll be cleaning fish late into the night.