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Stick in Mud

What's up with all these panfish?

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Stick in Mud    289
Stick in Mud

So I've been fishing around St Cloud and Sartell for about ten years now, and I've never caught anywhere near the number of sunfish and crappie that I'm catching this year. I've caught panfish before, some of which were big, but this year I've caught tons of them. I'm using the same baits I've always been, in the same spots, only now there seem to be large populations of these fish.

I was up by the Sartell dam this weekend and kept about five, enough for a meal, but not much mroe than that. The guys next to us kept what had to be their limit of sunnies and quite a few crappies. Thsi seemed a bit excessive to me, considering the size of the fish and the what I assume to be relatively small population of fish up there.

So, first of all, where have these fish been all along? Have others noticed more of them this year than other years?

And secnod, are there lots of them that I haven't known about? And should I be concerned with keeping many of them because I'm worried that the population isn't large enough to support a heavy harvest?

Carl

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smartguy    7
smartguy

I know that up in Brainerd, the water is as clear as I've ever seen it. You can see 4-5 feet down. I'm assuming that you can locate the panfish easier because of the improved clarity.

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ASMOLEY    0
ASMOLEY

Those fish have always been there but with water levels this low the fish are really concentrated in certain areas. I spoke to a DNR CO that informed me the lower water really helps different species spawn better; panfish,bass,kitties and hurts the walleyes. You knows what next year will bring? That old mississippi is one mysterious body of water.

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Sartell Angler    0
Sartell Angler

carl, was this last evening? what color boat?

we've been fishing pannies on the river, virtually all C&R however. From my experience the meat isn't really firm enough for my taste this time of year...usually just take fish out of the river in winter and spring.

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Stick in Mud    289
Stick in Mud

I'm the guy paddling around in an old gray aluminum canoe. Makes it more interesting. grin.gif

I ate up the five I kept and they tasted just fine. Just like a 20'' smallie. Kidding...kidding.

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CNCMike    0
CNCMike

Not only have I noticed a lot more pan fish on the river this year, but they seem far more aggressive than usual. I fish well north of Brainerd on the Mississippi and they have been like that all year, even when the water was higher.

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shadow886    0
shadow886

panfish have always been on top of Sartell dam and below, There are several spots around st. cloud hospital area. more so crappies then sunfish. That’s why sunfish are limited to 5.

Wilson park boat launch during spring, Sartell dam fall, st. Cloud hospital summer (deep) winter dam or cathedral high school.

But please return all fish you can in the river, or future gens will not be able to catch the fish that make us happy. They will probably catch a boot or old tire instead.

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MSRiverdog    5
MSRiverdog

I've been talking to a couple different neighbors and they've been catching Crappies down here.

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fuzzyray    6
fuzzyray

All the crappies biting in the river sure make it hard to find the walleyes! I was out in the kayak Thursday night a caught 20+ crappie and a lot of smaller smallies. The panfish were a nice surprise but not was I was after. Didn't manage even one walleye. All the craps (and bass) are still swimming.

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