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markkstanley

Crappie report

6 posts in this topic

Fished two west Metro lakes over the long weekend. With late winter fast approaching I went looking for daytime basin crappies. In both lakes I was able to find crappies suspending over 30 to 40 ft depths. The areas I keyed in on were the first deep water basins adjacent to areas I know crappies inhabit in the spring. This approach requires a bit of hole drilling to find the fish and then moving to stay on them. The Nils performed even in the cold weather. Two pulls to start, a little warmup period and away I went. The one lake required moving every 20 minutes or so but was worth it as crappie size ran consistently to the 10" size. The other lake allowed me to stay put for an hour or two before moving to get on the school again. I was using my underwater camera to check the flashes on the Marcum versus what was really down there. The camera revealed a lot more fish to be in the area than I thought by just looking at the flasher.

Once again the Ratso was the big performer. This time I used a #6 glow head with a pink body and didn't need to tip it with anything. Waxies did a lot better than minnows on the deadstick. The bite ranged from a very light tap to just a slight tick. Fish were neutral from my camera observations and needed to be coaxed by raising the lure with a very soft jiggling action. The actual sniff to bite ratio was in the neighborhood of 4 to 1. Tried downsizing to a #8 and even a #10 Ratso but the crappies were even less interested in the smaller profiles. That said the action was still good because of the size of the schools I was fishing.

One last observation. I could easily see the Fireline Crystal Ice on the camera even 30ft down. I did a little test and tied a 5ft leader with 3lb Pline fluoro (which was not visible) on another rod and switched back and forth. Crappies did not seem to mind either way. The Fireline makes hook sets very easy at these depths and ice buildup was very minimal. However, I am going to use a fluoro leader from now on just in case.

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Mark, why did you fish the other lakes? Has the bite slowed for you on Tonka or are you just expanding your horizons a bit?

And why did you ever use pink??? haha!

Anyway, thanks for the report.

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One of the lakes was Minnetonka and that was the lake requiring fairly quick moves. Perchjerker put me onto the glow head and since the pink head/white tail Ratso has been a go to I thought I would try a pink tail first. I had some nuggies and other Ratso tails ready to go but the pink color worked well. As for the other lake let's just say it has a nice population of white crappies. I did catch more black crappie than usual though. Didn't get anything over 12" but I caught a lot of nice sized ones. I'll be wandering around on Tonka this week. I am in full exploring mode. Might even fish for eyes for the first time this winter.

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Is the crappie bite on Tonka an all night thing till sunrise or does it taper off? My best time to fish is usually a couple hours before sunrise.

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Best at sundown until ~8pm then it gets spotty. Haven't fished past midnight but I would bet the sunrise hours are pretty good.

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"Good population of white crappies"

I think I know the lake. Did you go throught the channel or play it safe?

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