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markkstanley

Crappie bite west Metro

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markkstanley

I continue to do well fishing points and humps with 15ft to 18ft flats and then a break to 30ft. Crappies are roaming the flat areas at sunset and later as well as some gills. Ratsos tipped with a bit of waxie have been the best presentation.

I also hit a smaller lake on Sat. Several portables were already set up in 25ft depths and the guys told me fishing was very slow. Did a little drilling shallower and then deeper and found the crappies were suspending deeper (30+ft). My friend and I easily caught our limits of decent crappies in short order just hole hopping and staying on the fish. We probably moved about 50 yards in total and drilled about 20 holes to do it. Ratsos and Demons tipped with waxworms were the ticket.

The interesting part was the guys in the shelters stayed in their shelters, never moved and continued to not catch fish even though they saw us doing so. Moral is be flexible and find out where the fish are and then mix it up until you find out what they want to eat. For example, Saturday I had to mash the waxworms almost flat before tipping my plastics. A whole waxworm was just too much. The areas I am finding crappies on Tonka are away from the community spots. Haven't had anyone within a 1/4 mile of me yet. I always try a new spots every ice season - some work some don't but over time you find a lot of spots that aren't community holes and offer better fishing.

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Kodiak

any tips on depth and breaks that you can give me for minnetonka to find the eyes.

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Carp-fisher

Hey great post Mark. I've tried to be a "plastic purest" so far this season. This weekend I had no problem finding crappies, I just couldn't get them to commit. There's almost nothing more frustrating for me than to see a school of crappies aggresively rise 6 feet and then totally reject what you're offering. I'm definitely going to start tipping my jigs with alittle meat and get the juices flowing.

Are you driving your SUV out on Tonka?

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hanson

 Originally Posted By: markkstanley
The interesting part was the guys in the shelters stayed in their shelters, never moved and continued to not catch fish even though they saw us doing so. Moral is be flexible and find out where the fish are and then mix it up until you find out what they want to eat.

Too true!

A buddy and I hit a popular Tonka community spot for pannies yesterday and ran into a pretty phenomenal bite. I punched 20-30 holes in this area. Every single hole had 6' of fish at the bottom of them. I just went right down the line pulling 5-6 active gills out of each one and moved onto the next. It was boom, boom, boom, boom as fast as I could get my bait down.

I soon realized that we could camp in one spot and have just as much success and stay warm at the same time so we set the Otter up. Once I got my buddy clued into my lure of choice, we were doubling up on fish all afternoon. Wish the size was better but it was pretty incredible fast and fun fishing!

Thinking I could get these fish to go on big plastics, I switched and immediately proceeded to stop catching fish. Could only take that for a little while and went back to what was working and boom, boom, boom again.

We had plenty of other anglers stop by the house wondering how the bite was and their story was always the same... can't get them to bite! I told them all the same thing, gotta be fishing small baits and really pay attention for the bites. Really seamed like a lot of folks where struggling to tune into this "finesse" bite and were not sticking around very long.

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Flaco651

My buddy and I also found similar success of non stop crappies and gills suspending over 30 fow on saturday. Almost everyone else around us set their shacks up right away including a couple other buddies. Their success was limited, and they saw us hole hopping and hammering 'em. I guess they just liked the comfort of a shack. crazy.gif Out of 8 hours of fishing we only used the shack for maybe 2 hours, and that was around/after sun down. Genz worms tipped with euros was the ticket for me.

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Chode2235

I think people are reluctant to move/copy you for the very reason that they dont want to be seen copying you. They try to maintain the impression that they are also catching stuff and have 'no need' to follow you.

We did really well on small crappie minnows on a small eye dropper spoon.

We would scour the bucket for the smallest minnow and use that. The bigger ones were too much for them.

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Wookiee

I found the same deal on Tonka with both crappies and gills. I tried out a new knot and was rewarded with that presentation. It was a finesse bite.

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markkstanley

 Originally Posted By: Kodiak
any tips on depth and breaks that you can give me for minnetonka to find the eyes.

I look for the steepest mid lake structure breaks this time of year - my experience is the walleyes move out to the main lake. Look for a break that tapers off around 15 to 20ft then plunges again to 30. That shelf will hold walleyes come sunset. This is a big fish tactic - might get one a night but it will be nice. I don't fish for the teener eyes but any 20ft flat area between deeper water and some shallower weed flat will be holding them. Don't need to head out to mid lake structure for this.Bigger the flat the better.

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markkstanley

I am driving out but sticking to either plowed roads or follwoing heavy tracked paths. Have found the ice to be 14 to 16" thick in my spots.

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Flaco651

 Quote:
I think people are reluctant to move/copy you for the very reason that they dont want to be seen copying you. They try to maintain the impression that they are also catching stuff and have 'no need' to follow you.

Some of the other people might have been catching numbers of fish too, but I just didn't understand my other buddies that were there that were only catching a few here and there and still wouldn't move around. I guess they got lazy after we grilled Brats, chicken, and kabobs. grin.gif

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markkstanley

I'll bet half my strikes have been crappies hitting up. I've had to watch my spring bobber for the slightest motion in any direction. I have been using a Jason Mitchell meatstick as my deadstick rod because crappies won't pull even the smallest float down. The tip of the meatstick is so sensitive you will see every bite. All in all though you can catch a bunch of panfish with the right approach. Going to try some 30ft basin areas to see if larger crappies are suspending in them this week. Not had much success in the past doing this but then again I didn't have my Nilsmaster or an H2OC with a chip. Popping 30 holes with it is a breeze and the GPS keeps me right on my target depths.

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Kodiak

 Originally Posted By: markkstanley
I'll bet half my strikes have been crappies hitting up. I've had to watch my spring bobber for the slightest motion in any direction. I have been using a Jason Mitchell meatstick as my deadstick rod because crappies won't pull even the smallest float down. The tip of the meatstick is so sensitive you will see every bite. All in all though you can catch a bunch of panfish with the right approach. Going to try some 30ft basin areas to see if larger crappies are suspending in them this week. Not had much success in the past doing this but then again I didn't have my Nilsmaster or an H2OC with a chip. Popping 30 holes with it is a breeze and the GPS keeps me right on my target depths.

i wanna fish with you!!

absorb some of that wizardom.

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AceintheHole

I second that

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markkstanley

Guys it ain't rocket science just a lot of fishing, trying out new things and being willing to hunt for new spots. The only guy I know who has more "gear" than me is Hanson and that's only because I draw the line at catfishing. I am out at least 3 times a week during ice season (helps to live on Tonka)and at least one of those will be somewhere I haven't fished before. Read the forums, talk to guys like Matt Johnson (a real guru) and you eventually learn a few things that really work. Study up on the target fish, use a detailed map like Lakemaster and your success rate will go way up.

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CALVINIST
 Originally Posted By: markkstanley
Going to try some 30ft basin areas to see if larger crappies are suspending in them this week.
Mark, I'll be doing the same thing soon...got some 30 foot flats in WB I'll be scoping out in the near future. BTW, you misseda a great outing in GR. Cought some big gills. You'll have to make a point to get on board next year!

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Kodiak

 Originally Posted By: markkstanley
Guys it ain't rocket science just a lot of fishing, trying out new things and being willing to hunt for new spots. The only guy I know who has more "gear" than me is Hanson and that's only because I draw the line at catfishing. I am out at least 3 times a week during ice season (helps to live on Tonka)and at least one of those will be somewhere I haven't fished before. Read the forums, talk to guys like Matt Johnson (a real guru) and you eventually learn a few things that really work. Study up on the target fish, use a detailed map like Lakemaster and your success rate will go way up.

i have all the gear and lakemaster maps, i just have to get more ice time. i guess it all boils down to the time on the ice,,,and i never fish in the summer time so that has a hindering effect too.

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markkstanley

My weekly average goes up in the summer! Nothing beats time spent on the water in improving your catching ability. Location is 90% of the equation.

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Kodiak

in the summer i spend a lot of my time playing in the dirt...but would love to be fishing,,,no boat,,,have all my money spent on wheels.

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shakojdub1425

Black lake i have caught at least 30 crappies a night. I kept about 15-20 of those 30. Seems to be producing well.

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AceintheHole

I second kodiak with 3 kids and a nagging wife ice time has drop to once maybe twice a week. Summers are spent on the banks of the local rivers chasing cats. Guess I have to wait till the kids are older to get back to my old way. Kids first fishing second.

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hoggsback

I bring the kids and/or wife with me when the "warden" might put a stop to things. I am out at least once a week, luckily. Maybe 2 times when I take the kids. I don't get as much fishing done, but at least I'm fishing, and with the kids.

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Kodiak

 Originally Posted By: shakojdub1425
Black lake i have caught at least 30 crappies a night. I kept about 15-20 of those 30. Seems to be producing well.

any size to them?

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South_Metro_Slayer

yeah the crappie bite has slowed a little for me for weeks they were really agressive now i cant even get one to eat a crappie minnow i have been using white lunar grubs either tiped with a small waxie or a minnow head, jigging it im still catching fish but not left and right, i like when the fish make u fish for them, for a couple of weeks there it was just to easy i was catching them 1-6 feet down since first ice. i think now there starting to spread out in smaller schools, and they dont want crappie minnows by the way i have been fishing n.center, s.center so its pretty easy to catch fish there, this week im going for walleyes only good luck everyone

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markkstanley

I have five sons. Taught them to fish a soon as they could hold a rod. My fishing time went up a ton as they got older. By the time I got home from work my wife had had enough of them and demanded I get them out of the house so I would take them fishing. They are all out of the house now but my wife got used to me being out fishing. Sometimes life just works out.

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blackdog1101

 Originally Posted By: shakojdub1425
Black lake i have caught at least 30 crappies a night. I kept about 15-20 of those 30. Seems to be producing well.

Just an FYI - the current limit on crappies is 10. Don't want anyone getting in trouble. \:\)

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