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maxing45

there are no big gills left in the metro!!!!!

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maxing45

I've spent most of my winter trying to track some down. Tried all my usual spots. tried all different lures.LOTS of really small ones, but nothing to bring home and eat.

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polarsusd81

What kind of gills are you looking for? It is better to eat a few little ones and let the big ones go to reproduce than it is to take all the big ones out of the lakes. That is the main reason the fish are stunted in many metro lakes.

Just because you aren't getting into big gills doesn't mean they are not in the lake. I know quite a few people that have gotten into gills in the 8-10 range this winter on the ice in metro area lakes. You need to think like the fish if you want to catch the big fish. Find the right type of forage, cover, and areas with less pressure and you can get onto some decent fish.

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maxing45

I like to stay in that 6 inch range for dinner, keep 5 or 6 enough for my kids and me. hard time finding them though, don't fish as much as I used to due to said offspring.

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blackdog1101

How big do you consider an "eater?" We've had many meals of 6"er's this winter. I caught an 8 1/2"er last week.

I too would like to catch some real bulls though. I believe they're out there, I just haven't located them yet.

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maxing45

6" is the perfect size for eating.

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Maximum12

I caught a really nice bluegill on a small southern metro lake on Friday. They're still around!

In addition to the pressure on the bigger ones, I think it has to do with the pressure on the predators, too. If there more & bigger predator fish lurking in some of these lakes, I believe the stunted panfish populations would be thinned out & allow the survivors to grow to a more reasonable size...

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rockman

If the usual spots are not working, find 'secondary' spots.A guy has to think out of the box this time of the winter, with thicker ice, oxygen depletion, and fishing pressure, to find the 'gills.There are plenty of posts at the forum here, and at the panfish forum, to give any additional info. to help you out.

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gotcatfish

Have you tried Shallow water, I'm talking 6-8fow? We have been sight fishing big gills for a week now and we are getting plenty in the 7-9" range. We are fishing a large heavily pressured metro lake and could not fisnd the big gills in our usual winter spots. From what I understand nobody out here is getting into them in deep water. I'd love to post a pic of some we caught Friday, but I can't figure out how to post pics here????

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maxing45

have'nt really tried that shallow,have to wait next weekend my portable is an old clam jr. hard to set up in wind, and today is pretty windy and cold, makes it hard to move around.

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ole

I also noticed the decrease of larger gills. Yes they are still out there because I do get into them every now and then. What I have noticed though is that there are a lot more people out fishing now vs 25-30 yrs ago when a guy could really get them. Point being that we really do need to release the bigger fish to keep the size structure up there. Way to many people keeping all the big ones! JMO. ole

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gotcatfish

 Quote:
old clam jr. hard to set up in wind, and today is pretty windy and cold, makes it hard to move around.

I hear ya there! I use the same shack for sight fishing and the wind is the only thing keeping me inside today. The places we are fishing are small bays off the main lake. The best ones have very deep water just outside the bay. They also have lots of vegetation in them. The key is find the pockets in the weeds. I ususally go out a couple hours before I want ot fish to do some searching. Drill a bunch of holes, for me that's 15-20. Grab a dark towel, put your hood up, put the towel over your head and start looking down the holes. If the water is clear enough you should be able to see just fine. The darker you can make your house the better. I use a couple of buckets to mark the holes that I saw fish in or where there was a clean sand bottom surrounded by weeds. That way you don't waste time setting up over holes that aren't holding fish. There is nothing better than watching these fish. You would not beleive the amount of fish in shallow right now. I've seen bass, crappies, eye's, a couple very large northerns and of course gills.

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GoggleEye

Big panfish are hard to find in this area. There will never be a good amount of nice panfish in the metro unless fishing pressure goes down or the DNR imposes size limits or slot limits on panfish.....which we all know isn't going to happen anytime soon unless the public puts a great amount of pressure on them at public hearings. I would be in favor of it, but you know the bucket brigades won't be. And we all know the bucket brigade individuals are everywhere around here.

GoggleEye

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ole

I have to agree with Goggle on this, the DNR should start imposing size limits, but I really don't see that happening. Even if they did I would have to think some wouldn't adhere . Just the other night I was out fishing a lake with a size limit on the crappies and ran into a couple of guys who told me they just hammered the fish, when I looked in their bucket I can gaurantee you most of the fish wouldn't have made the slot! Just ignorant or not informed/ who knows,all I knew was it didn't work in that case. I do think it needs to be addressed because the number of people fishing just keeps rising and the lakes can't keep up with the pressure.

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Powerstroke

I've found 8-10" gills quite regularly in the last 2-3 yrs. The main thing is to try new lakes and to try to do some research. CHeck out the DNR surveys on the the lakefinder and see how the fish stack up.

Someone mentioned fishing shallower. Lately I've been finding them deeper since the shallow spots are getting less oxygen and the weeds are starting to break down.

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rockman

Here a link for putting photo's on here:

http://www.fishingminnesota.com/forum/ubbthreads.php/ubb/showflat/Number/1219014/fpart/1

I have to agree with Powerstroke's reply that a guy has to do the homework to find the lakes with respectable size fish.The fish are out there with the better quality size I see in a few photos here.

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gotcatfish

So basically what you are saying is, I have to start an account on another webpage, download my photos to that site and then I can upload them onto this website confused.gif

Any more hoops I can jump thru before I can post picture's?

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polarsusd81

Hey gotcatfish...

If you would rather have someone else post em up, you can email em to me and I can put them up for ya. Just send em to my screenname at yahoo.com. The website does not have the space required to host all the photos for everyone to post. It takes a lot of space when you start to host photos for the public.

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rockman

Whoa, take it easy,dude. \:\( If you want more detailed info. on this,post up and ask over at the photography forum.Otherwise, as polar offered, have him do it for you.That's the choices you have.

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gotcatfish

Polarsusd81-

Thank you!! I should not have posted my thoughts at that time:( Found out some bad news just before I posted and was not in the greatest of moods.

SORRY!!! bout that guys. didn't mean anything by it cry.gif

Polarsusd81- you should have mail!! Thanks again!!

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polarsusd81

nothing came through as of yet...did you send to polarsusd81 @ yahoo . com? I will watch for ya, don't worry about the outburst. I kinda laughed when I read it cause a lot of people think the same thing, but few have the cajones to post it.

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rockman

No harm done.Quite a few folks ask about how to do that here at FM.com,so that is the link that is usually provided.Only trying to help answer your inquiry about posting photos.

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gotcatfish

Thank you rockman and polarsusd81:) Stupid mistake on my part blush.gif

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gotcatfish

[Note from admin: please read forum policy before posting again. Thank you.]

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Matt Johnson

Fishing pressure and over harvesting has taken a toll on the Metro Area's panfish. Ice fishing is growing by leaps and bounds and the panfish usually takes the brunt of it because most anglers see sunfish and crappies as table fair. The bigger the better seems to be the reasoning for a lot of anglers. However, the mindset is getting better, but the amount of anglers is drastically starting to out-weigh that mindset once again.

Selective harvest plays a huge role here. Keeping a limit of fish is not necessarily frowned upon, but paying attention to the size of the fish you keep can make a big difference in preserving that particular fishery. The brute stock in the lake is oftentimes thrown in the bucket, and by brute stock I mean the fish over that 8-inch mark. Those are the fish that keep the genetics thriving in the lake, which in turn help preserve the abundance of larger fish. Smaller fish only over-populate the lake and cause stunting, which is what we're experiencing in the vast majority of our Metro lakes. The opportunity for the lake to grow larger fish is drastically decreased and we're stuck with monster pods of runty 3-5 inch fish.

While the lakes and habitat are changing slightly, it's the fishing pressure and over harvesting thats the main cause to stunted panfish in most of our Metro lakes.

But like mentioned above, there still are some big panfish throughout the Metro lakes, just not as many in numbers anymore. Even some of the lakes close to the Metro are starting to take a hit. The Chisago Area has been dropping in fish size over the last few years as well.

I think more of the Metro lakes need to be regulated in terms of panfish. Start dropping the limit on some of the lakes to 5 sunfish and 10 crappies. Also consider a size restriction on some of the lakes too. This would help bounce some of the panfish populations/sizes back to where they should be. This system has worked for many lakes up north. Many of the lakes who boast a 5 fish sunfish limit are now experiencing phenomenal sunfish fishing, for both numbers and size.

Dropping the limit to 5 fish will cut back the number of bucket-fillers who go to the lake because they can no longer keep their 10 fish and they will find a different lake to attack. Instead now we've developed a lake where anglers can go to catch a few big fish for the sport of it. Believe it or not, but panfish can be a sporty fish and are beginning to gain more trophy class recognition \:\)

The DNR is working towards incorporating more panfish regulations. The Metro has a few lakes where there are 5 fish limits, and if you track those lakes you will see that the larger fish are starting to come back.

With all this being said, I still wouldn't look past the Metro when looking for larger panfish. Many of the lakes still hold a fair number of quality fish. They are just in unusual spots and take a little more effort to find...

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Sandmannd

Great post as usual Matt, thanks for the info.

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