With the full moon hitting this weekend, along with water temps still in the low 60's most everywhere, I've been hearing more stories of bass being spotted on beds in the local lakes, even further north than the Lemon and Patoka fish from the previous week. Heard they're starting to see some on Geist now, as well as one or two other central Indiana lakes. This is still just the early wave, and they'll be a lot more coming later this month and into early May, especially if the cooler weather predicted for the next few days knocks water temps back down into the upper 50's.
If you're into crappie fishing, they tend to nest a bit earlier than bass do, usually starting in the 57-60 degree range, and really getting it on in the 60-68 degree range. You can tell things are getting close by the coloration of the males, what is sometimes refered to as their "spawning colors", but is actually a form of sexual dimorphism.
The crappie on our local lakes are just starting to show off their colors, and similar to bass, the larger crappie tend to spawn first and spawn deeper. Crappie tend to spawn in very protected areas, typically over harder substrate such as clay, and usually next to some type of vegetative cover in water depths of 1'-3'. Crappie do make nests, but they're not the big, well defined depressions that bass or bluegill make, so they're much tougher to pick out. They also fall in-between gills and bass in relation to their nesting arrangement, not displaying the huge honeycomb formation of gills known as colonial nesting, yet not being completely individual and isolated either. Find one and you'll probably find more in the same general area, just not literally stacked right on top of each other. Their eggs usually take 2-4 days to hatch, and then there is a short period of maternal oversight before the little guys swim off and become pelagic, hanging out in open water and near the surface.
I spent a few hours out on the water yesterday afternoon, and ran into one such aggregation of oversized crappie (the 2 pics above). Not certain if they were nesting or if they were just staging right before heading to their nests. Either way, it was a short period of some of the best big crappie action I've ever had in Indiana. I put all the big fish back after snapping a few pics. You can see their distinct and bold black coloration these guys have taken on as they get ready to do their thing.
On the other hand, I spent Good Friday out at Cataract Lake with crappie guru Lee Dilly, and we caught between 75-100 crappie, keeping a limit of good eaters from 9"-12" despite the heavy winds. In this larger lake, the fish didn't seem to be quite as far along, with the majority of the fish coming out of 10'-14' of water, and the largest fish coming even deeper, about 17'-19'. You'll notice they lack that really dark coloration, though after cleaning them, many turned out to be females. Nothing wrong with a little selective harvest of fresh fish for the table.