Weather systems are a recurring consideration in March, and guide Dave Hilton said it’s simply something anglers must anticipate and plan strategy accordingly.

“Fronts are gonna blow through in late February and throughout March,” Hilton said. “With crappie already on the move in terms of pre-pawn and spawn phases, it adds a layer of complication to the fish-finding process. It usually means I have to slow down my presentation and perhaps fish a bit deeper.”

Hilton said the passage of a front, with its cooler weather and change in barometric pressure, doesn’t impact the bite as it makes boat control and bait presentation more difficult.

“The wind after a front is the biggest problem, because it’s typically blowing considerably harder, and that often changes where I can effectively fish,” he said. “That’s why I’ve got brush piles in various depths of water in both lakes, giving me as many options as possible. The fish will still bite on the windswept, open-water spots, but it gets extremely difficult to control the boat and make the right presentation.”

Hilton said he moves to protected areas based on wind direction, and he will be working brush and cover that’s along the bottom of a hump or ledge. 

“These deeper fish don’t shut down, but boat control is essential to put the bait exactly where I want it to get that bite,” he said. “Finding alternative areas to fish keeps my success high. I may have to fish a few more places but the fish are still on a good bite. Bottom line is, bait presentation is a key to catching lots of slabs in March.”