Another spring fishing season is upon us, and fishing is great.Early March finds bass, crappie and perch in very shallow water as they spend the next month or so feeding, spawning and, in some cases, protecting their brood. That is not to say that every fish will be swimming in less than 5 feet of water, but those that aren’t are nearby. Best places to cast are to the shallows, particularly back coves, nooks and pockets with a southern exposure to the sun. It is here that the water warms first because the sun shines on it longer each day, and the shoreline affords protection from chilly northern winds.Savvy fishermen prefer water that is slightly muddy or stained for a couple of reasons. First, suspended debris (mud) absorbs heat and causes the water to warm slightly; stained water also masks a fish’s presence from predators and prey.Spring water temperatures have arrived at the warm-water discharge channels known as the hot holes, adjacent to the Marshall and McGuire power plants. Both areas have been teeming with fish seeking relief from the colder ambient lake-water temperatures.Weekends find the banks lined with anglers casting live and artificial baits for everything from bream to striped bass. Those new to “hot-hole fishing” are surprised to learn that live bloodworms (the same worms used in saltwater to catch stripers) are the baits of choice for hot-hole anglers. Spring also starts early along the sandy banks and in the boat basins at the southeast end of Ramsey Creek. Many have been catching limits since mid-February.Other historically good March hot spots are the backwaters of Reed Creek between the Williamson Road and Interstate 77 bridges, as well as McCrary Creek, across the main river channel from the Marshall Steam Plant. TipsDouble-bladed spinner baits, dressed with yellow or chartreuse skirts, are ideal for shallow-water spring bass. The bait’s safety pin design makes it almost weed-less, and the vibrations created by the turning blades will trigger strikes even in dingy water.Hot spotsLarge schools of bass and perch are feeding along the main river channel between markers 3 and 15. Diving seabirds, and at times a fleet of fishing boats, pinpoint their exact location. Deepwater jigging techniques are catching “schoolies,” while those using Alabama rigs are catching large bass and possibly an occasional striper.Crappie and cat fishing have been excellent, mainly due to murky conditions and higher than normal lake levels. Events• Boater safety training 8 a.m. March 9 at the Huntersville United Methodist Church, 14005 Stumptown Road, Huntersville. $45. Registration required. www.usps.org/lakenorman or 704 895 4994.• “How to Navigate Lake Norman Day or Night.” 6:30-8 p.m. March 13. Free. Morning Star Marina @ Kings Point, Exit 28, Cornelius. 704-892-7575.• “Best Places to Catch Fish on Lake Norman” will include instructions on how to read topographic maps and a discussion on why fish are attracted to structure and cover. 6:30 p.m. March 20 at Gander Mountain, Exit 36, Mooresville. 704-658-0822. Lake levelsThe water level on Lake Norman is approximately 2.6 feet below full pond, while Mountain Island Lake is about 3.1 feet below full. The surface-water temperature ranges from the high 40s to the mid-50s, depending on location or the proximity to a power plant.