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Browning83

Whats the best way to target better quality fish(size wise)

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Browning83

Just wondering what are some good ways to target better quality of fish. I have been catching a lot of fish this winter but mostly smaller ones. Typically do same size fish school together or are they mixed normally? Is it better to try different depths, different structure, different spots? I know that certain lakes can have a stunted group of fish but I know these lakes I am fishing have had quality fish in the past few years. Well any input would be appreciated.

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charlie1959

fish about half way down,ie12 ft in 24 ft water,us the larger minnows,but the bite will be slower, this has been workin for me as far as the crappies go.

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harvey lee

Sometimes its just a matter of downsizing or increasing your bait size or a color change. Try using plastics and differnt action plastics to see if you can trigger the bigger ones to bit. If I'm just catching smaller ones and have tried deeper ans shallower in the spot I'm fishing, then I will move to another area.

Yes, some sized fish will swim together. If you have tried everything from the fish on the bottom to the top and changed lure size, then I would move to another spot. Sometimes a small move will give one the fish they are searching for.

I have found over the years that some locations will produce better fish at different times of the year and I usually hit those same locations every year. Many times I will find my larger fish in the deeper water closer to the bottom unless its early ice or later in the ice season.

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DoubleLunger

Bigger baits, bigger baits and bigger baits.

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mr marbles

Fish a lake that has a quality big fish in it and big baits and all the above, but the month of February is tough.

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Morneau132

I have found the bigger fish are the ones suspended above the group towards the bottom of the water column.

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Se Mn FishSlayer

big bait = big fish

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Scott M

Pretty good advice.

In top predators, big baits does equal big fish.

But it sounds like you are fishing for panfish. Sometimes they will take a big bait, other times they won't

If this is the case, I'd concur with someone else who said fish lakes with big fish potential. If your lake doesn't have big fish, it's time to move. Best measure of that is to look at a DNR lake survey report. That will give you an idea of how many fish are within certain length groupings. Those surveys aren't the best at surveying large fish, but they give you an idea.

If you want to stay on the lake you are on and catch larger fish, it's time to move and start exploring the lake. If they're there, given enough time you'll find them.

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1lkstage

Sounds like a Washington vs Duck lake problem. The size of the fish seem to be smaller at times. Both have still have big fish to catch. Finding the bigger ones is the key. Both lakes have suspended fish over the deeper water right now. At times taking as much as 15 ft of the water column over deeper waters. I've found that moving off/ tward shallower waters, to the edge of marking fish/or the school of fish, can be the answer your looking for. It may take a 10-100 yard move. The bigger ones have just seem to be to the top/shallow/outside of the smaller ones. But I have yet to go to a different bait to catch them. Bigger is not always better. But that continueus bite may slack off alittle. The bigger the fish the slower the bite! But it is always the most rewarding. Hope you practice c&r. Good luck.

Lonnie

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Bigeye30"

There's alot of great advice thus far, for me personally, I often target an area just for the specific fish,eg crappies, once I have accomplished finding them and catching a few then it's a matter of fine tuning, sometimes the larger ones are up higher, sometimes those are the fish on the bottem, but changing it up just a little, those subtle differences that we hear about, should help, granite you'll probably catch less fish and have alot of lookers, but most times for me anyway those lookers are the smaller ones that I'm not after, I usually will stay focused on the same bottem content and structure, but may move a little shallower or deeper until I find some consistency with the size, sometimes it's the lake and the overall quanity of what we feel is quality just isn't there, if i'm targeting larger walleyes, then it's definately larger baits, although I'm almost always sacrificing quantity here the end result is worth it for me. Good Luck and Great topic

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ec30_06

It won't be long now before those fish roaming deep water start moving shallow again to put the feed bag on.

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BezD40

Fish faster

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Team Otter

This is the time of year when those fish that were suspended out in the main basin areas of a lake move into shallower water and during low-light, will be right under the ice. When you find a school of fish under the ice, more often than not, it be the "right school".

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Browning83

Well thanks to all who relpied. I have been trying a lot of these tips out and have had both positive and negative results. But the best way to learn is to go out and do it. Failure is the first step to success I guess. Its going to be tough to beat the fish I caught this weekend up by Bemidji with 27 crappies coming in over 13 inches in one day (All released but 4 for a meal). Anyways thanks again

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CrappiesNCats

how? spend maximum time on the water. truth is fish don't follow rules. the most fun i ever had on the water was a day in mid july that was over 100 degrees. my dad and i went out to drown some bait and ended up hitting the walleye jackpot, we kept a few for dinner but mainly used catch and release. lots of big eyes that day that are still swimming (hopefully)

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Browning83

Spent the afternoon on a local lake today (didnt make it to class this morning....a bit of the alcohol flu) anyways did better with the quality of fish. I was targeting crappies today and had lots of lookers then I made just a sudden change in lure colors and that was the ticket. I usually fish with bright colors and glow jigs but then switched to an old dark jig with some spikes. I picked up a lot of 11-12 inchers that were suspended. Half the fun in fishing is challenge and once you figure out that little thing it turns into a great day. All but 5 for dinner were released. Anyways....I think with the warmer weekend coming up I am going to give the lakes another try. Thanks for all the input again.

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