Despite cooler and sometimes rainy weather, March is ushering in the spawning ritual for crappie on Lake Greenwood.

Rod Wall of Slab Master Guide Service in Ninety Six said crappie have moved out of their winter patterns and are starting to suspend, and that the combination of stained water, rising temperatures and suspending crappie is what a lot of fishermen on Greenwood like to see.

"Long-line trolling is a very popular crappie tactic on Lake Greenwood, and now with the water having some color to it, the crappie are starting to suspend," said Wall (864-993-8868). "That puts them right in the crosshairs for anglers who long-line troll or push or spider rig – whatever you want to call it. Anything that you can use (involving) multiple poles and multiple baits to fish multiple depths in the water column will be catching crappie from now until the fish finish spawning and head back out."

Recent angler surveys and creel reports done by the S.C. Department of Natural Resources show Greenwood with a pretty even distribution of crappie – no hot spots or "cold" areas. When he targets an area, Wall starts fishing in deeper water and moves shallow, bearing in mind that suspended fish aren't real particular about how much water is under them right now.

"Some of the deeper creeks like Cane Creek, the mouth of the Reedy River, and even the smaller creeks down the lake – those with deeper water and 20-foot plus depths – are producing fish now towards the front in the mouth of the creek," Wall said. "But these fish are staging and are in prespawn mode, so look for them to be moving on in to the creeks as the sunlight starts warming the water. Most of the better fish are being caught 10 to 14 feet deep in anywhere from 12 to 40 feet of water. You might see all kinds of fish all over the graph this time of year, but most of the crappie seem to be suspending in that 10- to 14-foot deep range."

Wall is favoring curlytail crappie jigs in junebug/ chartreuse and black/chartreuse over live bait. He's using 1/16-ounce jigheads and trolling at speeds that range from .6 to 1.0 mph on his electric trolling motor.