Typically around the end of March to April time frame, local lakes here in southern Wisconsin start to thaw out. As water temperatures slowly start to heat up the ice leaves the lakes, fish start there spring spawning patterns. This time of year you can expect to find fish returning to there nearby bays and flats that they have been spawning in for as long as they have been alive. Most fish this time of year are fairly dormant and inactive for the most part. It’s important to remember that fish this time of year require patience and some technique to catch due to cold water temps. Most fish in a small lake will congregate in similar areas to start their spawning rituals. Most fish like to locate shallow warm bays and muddy flats. When it comes to spawning fish you need to make sure it is the season before targeting that specific fish. Panfish are available to catch year round, unlike bass, walleye, pike, and musky. Be sure to check your local fishing regulations to get an accurate confirmation on fish seasons near you. Shortly after the water temperatures have warmed up you can look to find most bass and panfish species shallow. Bass will look for weedy soft bottoms where they can drop their eggs. Fish this time of year can be fickle when it comes to locating the correct spawning grounds. It is also important to consider the predators and competition aspects that fish go through during this period. Bigger fish such as northern pike and musky spawn before the panfish and bass. Northern pike will spawn before a musky, its common for water that contains both musky and pike for the first hatched pike to eat the musky fry. Always keep in mind fish spawning patterns and their usual sping movements in order to catch them this time of year. If you’re not familiar with a new body of water in search for spring fish. Always start by scouting shallow, weedy soft-bottomed bays or marinas to find a variety of panfish and bass. Always remember safe fish handling and selective harvest once the season opens in your neck of the woods.