I have had my best luck trolling wild shiners behind the boat while on the electric motor. You can use a bobber/cork weaving in and around the submerged timber ...more slowly. When you get more experience you can also free line a shiner but it takes more focus on what is happening below the surface. You will need a hook with a weed guard to keep from snagging, eagle claw makes a good one. I hook the shiner down though the top of the nose. The key is when your bobber goes under and you have a bite you need to make sure your reel is in free spool mode, I leave mine in free spool with my thump on the line while trolling, and count to about 20 before setting the hook. Before you set the hook make sure to reel down and get tension on the line. This may sound like a long time to wait before setting the hook, but it will save you from missing a lot of fish. Capt. Kenneth Walker is right about the water depth. When trolling around look for dept changes and holes on your fish finder. I have seen small areas with 1'-2'depth changes produce multiple fish. Hope this helps you have a successful trip..
Late February and early March is the best time. Wild shiners are the way to go for big fish. 8 ft of water is a good depth. And along the barge canal is a good bet. ...more Bet bet is to hire a guide for a day, and you'll get a good idea about the area. I'm a guide for Bassonline.com and my primary waterway is Rodman. I only live 10 miles from the ramp. Let me know if you're interested. Slots are very limited during that period of time, very popular time to fish because of the spawn. Either visit Bassonline.com or contact me soon, if ur interested in my services. Tight lines !