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JonnyD

Best Crappie Time

16 posts in this topic

Newbie here looking to plan my first trip to search for some big crappies. I've never been on the lake and this will be the first time for me. I'm wondering what time is the best time to come up? Mid December, late March? Any suggestions on bait shops to call to get fishing reports? The lake is huge and have no idea where to fish on it. A little help would be great as I start to plan my first trip up there.

I plan on taking my portable ice shack up, so won't need to rent a shack.

Thanks for any help.

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all you gotta do is go to one of the resorts. you pay them a fee to use their access and ice road. they will be able to tell you how far out to go and what depth to fish. with your portable, you can search around to find the fish once your in the right general area. don't forget about the pike, walleyes, and perch. enjoy! wink.gif

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Any suggestion on when to go? When would the ice be safe enough to drice a truck on the ice? Is early January a good time or any suggestion on dates to go?

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that depends. locate a resort and keep in touch with them as far as ice conditions. typically, resorts don't let vehicles out on the ice until they decide it's safe. these people know what they are doing so be sure to heed their advice! as far as a time frame goes, first ice and last ice is the general rule. keep tabs on this forum for info also. sometimes they go hot suddenly and you must drop everything and go! if you are locked in on a certain date to go up, either they are going or they aint. that's why it's called fishing and not catching grin.gif

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Jonny,

If I were only going to make one trip up there it would be Mid February through the end of March. January can be good and it was last year but generally for crappies February and March rule. December is very unpredictable for the slabs however the eyes and pike are generally putting the feedbag on.

I'd work the northern half of the lake if you're lookking for slabs. The places in Waskish have good access, good bait and good information as well.

Check in here for reports. This is as good a place as any for information on the bite and ice conditions.

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March Madness! Its not just for basket ball. Normaly the best crappie fishing comes in March, the rest of winter is just practice for March.

Check out this thread expalining it a little better.

Time of year

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So would I need to have an extension for my auger if I go up late Feb-March? If it is needed how much do they cost for a Lazer Xpress auger?

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Hard to say this time of year. Most years you'kk need one depending on where your fishing. Ice thickness varies a lot on Url especially if you're fishing rough ice. I'd bring one just to be safe as they don't use much space and run from $14-$20. It's tough fishing through a hole that doesn't go all the way through the ice. wink.gif

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I don't know if there is a "best crappie time" anymore on Red Lake... Any time during the winter is a great Walleye time. You can find Walleye anywhere on that lake 2+ miles out.

The crappies seem to be hit and miss. You'll hear about someone catching their limit of them 6 miles out, you go out there, and you won't catch a thing.

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And I'd reccomend Hillmans for your resort. It's a small, old shop, but they maintain the road well, have fresh bait, and will give you solid advice as to where to fish.

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JohnnyD

I would definatly buy an extension. I bought a 20" for my lazer mag express last year for Red and it was well worth it. 20" seems excessive but you would hate to come up a little short. A wise fisherman once told me, chance favors the prepaired.

-BPB

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Hey Borch, that avatar picture looks familiar smile.gif. You guys getting any ice yet?

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The best crappie time is whenever you can go obviously.

If you plan to go during a "peak" time, it won't pay off. confused.gif Been trying it for years now.

March is usually always good but a few years ago there was one heck of a December/January bite for crappies. I was absolutely stirring as I couldn't make it up there at that time and was reading reports daily here of limits upon limits being caught.

Last winter, we stumbled into one heck of a daytime bite for crappies and once dark came, we'd head on in to Tall Tales as the masses were hitting the ice for crappies not knowing they had already missed a great "bite window" opportunity.

What I've learned in my short time fishing the lake is every winter is different. 'JonnyP' has posted a lot of info in the past year that brings a little sense to the why's and when's but it is still a day to day thing.

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After five years it has been my experiance that the first part of Jan can be outstanding.With the early ice we may be looking at dec.18th as the first limit of crappies? March can be awesome depending on what mother nature deals us.I know in the past I have caught them as quick as we could get the bait down in March.What a rush watching them fly off the bottom. But come to think of it that has happened in Jan.and Feb. as well.I guess it all comes down to location,location,location.

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Quote:


Hey Borch, that avatar picture looks familiar
smile.gif
. You guys getting any ice yet?


Well it should, you were there. wink.gif

Some guys venturing out on the smaller lakes. I will be waiting a little longer. wink.gif

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I'll paste what I mentioned in a previous post, it is a general breakdown of winter in my eyes. Although ya never know, last year went pike fishing in the shallows at 10am and caught a bunch of crappies, then went walleye fishing that night and caught a dandy pike. Silly mother nature and her funny little jokes on us anglers. laugh.gif

Quote:

Well it is hard to hit a time when all three will be at a peak during their respected seasons. So lets break all three down and you can pick when you would like to try.

For pike you are going to see two major peaks in feeding during their winter season. The first one is early ice, normaly this time of the year it is foot travel only, maybe a wheeler or sled if you have already walked a safe path out that day. When the ice first covers Upper Red the pike go bonkers, they attack everything they come across, spoons, jigs, minnows, small dogs and even hands if you are brave enough to try it.

Then we will see a peak in pike activity around the first part of Feb into the end of pike season. My guess is they are slowly putting on the feed bags for presawn feeding. So for targeting pike look to first ice and early Feb.

Now the walleye are a little different, they peak hard in Jan, normaly about mid month they will drive guys with rattle wheels bonkers all night. Walleye action will be steady all winter but mid Jan definetly shows to be the peak of activity.

Crappies, these goofy nomads normaly start of a little slow in December and just keep getting better and better as the winter turns to spring. By late Jan early Feb you are starting to see some good action but by March they are on a rampage. This my favorite time to fish for crappies. The weather is nice, normaly the snow is melting off the ice and the crappies are ticked. Come March it often takes longer to drive out then to catch a limit of nice crappies and nobody is around, its great!

If I was to plan a trip for all three I would look at late Jan through mid Feb during the week. Once the weekend traffic and noise is gone off the lake fishing picks up, most locals do not fish to hard during the weekends due to this.

As for the full moon we can't figue it out other then when Red has heavy snow cover during a full moon fish bite during the mid day and when the ice is clear and snow free the full moon shuts them off at night hardcore...of course once I said that they will do the oppisite. They are still fish and very unpredicable.

ow all this can change due tom ice thickness, snow cover, heavy winds and even the temps. Best bet is to just come up every weekend, you'll hit em.

Jonny P


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