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Team Otter

A Recap of "Slabfest III"...

53 posts in this topic

If you don't have fun at an FM Get-Together, see your local physician. A big "thanks" to Kelly and Jon Petrowske, Buddy Hillman, Pat Foster and the rest of the staff at Hillman's, The Waskish Minnow Station and Tall Tales. Oh, Tall Tales; awesome food, cold beer and stories like you've never heard. What a great atmosphere. Mother Nature, thank you too. And, last but certainly not least; Borch makes a mean "apple pie"...

This weekend was sure to be a great time on Upper Red Lake with all the great company and cooperating weather and slab crappies! Overall, the bite was tough but over the course of the weekend, ~35 crappies found their way into peoples' buckets. Big plastics ruled the roost but some fish were taken on dead-sticks and minnows too. I did some bangin' around in some shallow water on Saturday looking for 'eyes and they were in there but I was lured back to the "crappie highway" by one of the members of the "Red Suit Society"; another long story. The first thing my auger and liver said when I got home today was "thank you".

You'll have to let Chris Hanson tell you about being stuck in "the triangle". Holy buckets, the way Friday went, from an equipment stand-point, I thought we were in for a real long weekend. I also didn't know my dad and cousin had karaoke-type talent until yesterday and I know everyone thoroughly enjoyed "story time" with my dad.

My dad went "postal" on the 'eyes Friday night

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14+" SLABS; Never get sick of seeing those come through the hole

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Chris and Darren with some of Saturday's catch

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It was great to meet some new people and associate with others I don't get to see as often. Until next time...

Chris Hanson, and others, will be adding to this recap with more photos and "banter" that will surely strike up quite the conversation.

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wish I could have been there, oh well next time. I had fun watching the classic on the web anyway.

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We missed you. It was a blast!

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My buddie spent last weekend on Red and between him and 4 guys they caught one fish in about 24 hours of fishing. With that being said, he didnt wanna fish Red again, so we went to LOW. Looks like I may have missed out on a good bite.

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The fish we caught were nice but the schools of fish were very tight and didn't seem to want to hang around long. On average, it took between 150 - 200 holes per day to find some fish that wanted to bite.

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Uff Da! Thats a capital Uff Da!

What a weekend!!

Thanks for starting the "Recap" Jamison but I've got to unwind before I can put up the serious info.

The bottom line is we had a tough bite, a really tough bite. The name of the game is mobility and determination. You have to move, you have to auger, you have to fish, and then you have to move again. Friday's scouting was pretty much fruitless. Jamison's dad popped those 2 crappies right off the bat Friday morning and I thought we were in the money.... Wrong! There was only one other fish worth mentioning on Friday and that was caught by 'Dtro'. Tough day.

It was hard telling all the Slabfesters who showed up that the lake stuck it to us on Friday. We went back to the same general area but tried a different spot on Saturday. Lots of holes were augered and the crappies showed us they were still around. After Saturday night, it should be real interesting to see what happens in the next couple weeks up there with the crappie bite. It could be ready to pop!

Weather was awesome and we all learned a little more URL folklore from Pat Foster and Kelly-P. The stories these guys have!

I really want to thank everyone who showed up. I think it was a great learning experience for everyone. We had some URL rookies who I think are anxious to return. I think everyone saw how augering and hole hopping pays big dividends. And fishing with plastics on URL? I think we have some converts after this weekend. \:\)

Big Thanks to everyone! Will have more to post tomorrow including photos.

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Too bad we missed it......glad you guys had a great time.....any hints for bites....I'm taking the whole famdamoly up this Friday....hoping for entertainment not fish fries....

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My first trip to URL was a success.

I was looking for the experience more that anything else. I think I pretty much got to see "the whole shootin match". The good grin.gif and the bad \:\(

Thanks to Hanson for organizing this event!

I caught 4 crappies that topped my personal best. 3 of which were 14" or greater....along with a bonus fish!

It's obvious that if you go out and put in your time you will be rewared.....sooner or later. Don't give up that last hole you try could hold 10 fish or more. When you find them, hold on! It's a ride you won't soon forget. cool.gif

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Great review guys!

It sounds like it was a great time and the images do not lie.

I missed this year, but have it on the radar for next year.

Those are some nice slabs.

Dtro,

I was glad Hanson could get you into some of those large crappies. It is a major plus for a first trip, that most people do not get until the third or forth trip.

Great post!

Thanks.

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Not sure that I was more happy with.....the craps, or the "bonus fish" ;\)

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We really should have taken some photos of us dragging our augers around. What a workout...

A ride you soon won't forget? Isn't that the truth. I think my dad was thinking the same thing when I was pulling him in my Otter Den behind my cousin's snowmobile. Oh, the memories...

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Bonus fish?

I read in your post about it, but I will wait to see this bonus fish. With you guys, it could be anything grin.gif.

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Team Otter,

Those are the images that keep us going until next year.

Again,

Good times..

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After my second trip to the Slabfest, it was a very tough and at times a very poor bite. I did land some crappies that were very nice and also some slot and larger eyes. Many holes were drilled and I would agree with all that one had to move around. To be truthful, this was one of the toughest bites I have seen in a long time anywhere but we did end up with some nicer crappies. I did manage approx 4 crappies that were all 14+. I also caught enough eyes for my limit but not to many others were had for our group for the hours spent fron sunrise to past sunset. The biggest suprise for me was the eyes that were taking the 4.5-5" suckers on my tip -ups.

All the reports that I have heard were anything but good except for a few anglers that did happen across a few nice pods of crappies. Congrats to DTRO on the PB and the bonus fish which was a good one. I also heard through the grapevine that Icehawk put the hammer down on the crappies on Saturday, way to go.

The fishing may have not been the best but the company was great and thats is what really matters most.

Thanks to all for a fun trip.

Jonny P and Kelly, thanks for the tips and thanks to Chris for putting together the Slabfest

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Had a great time at Slabfest. Didn't get out and kiss babies and shake hands, but I did meet a few people on Saturday night.

I think our group was just trying to maximize fishing time, especially considering that Boilerguy drove 8 hours to get up there. We also had troubles moving around too much with the snow and a 4 man house.

It was a tough bite, but when you are on Red you want to fish it hard.

It's always special to me for a variety of reasons to get to Red, so a huge thanks goes to Hanson for setting this up, JonnyP and kelly for helping us find some spots, and to Boilerguy and Harvey Lee for splitting up the costs.

Can't wait to do it all over again.

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Is this an FM get-together? What's Slabfest all about? (In nutshell)

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 Originally Posted By: bolan16
Is this an FM get-together? What's Slabfest all about? (In nutshell)

Yes, the Slabfest is a Fishing MInnesota get together held every year on Upper Red Lake. Saturday is the actual day but many come up for the weekend to fish. There is no cost to attend other than your expeenses to get there and your housing if you stay for the weekend and a road pass.

If you have never attended a Fishing Minnesota get together, its a great way to meet many new FMers and also have a good chance at a quality day of fishing. Watch next season on the URL forum and one will notice when this event is planned for. You could also go to the Ice Leaders page and check the listings for the get togethers for the entire ice season.

These are great events held throughout the state and are for many different specie.

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Its everything you read above.

For the last 3 years, Hanson has organized an informal get-together on URL for anyone interested. There's fishing, socializing, a little learning and a LOT of B S!!

I went to the first one and had a blast. I haven't been back since, but I try to make other ones. There are other FM GTG's planned in MArch so check it out.

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Yeah, that's pretty neat. Does it always occur in February?

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Nice fish, good reports. Sounds like a tough bite but hey, some fish is better than nothin! When it comes down to it, nice weather and cool guys to [PoorWordUsage] with makes it all good no matter what you catch, eh?

Did anyone catch any seals?

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Hey all, I want to say I enjoyed meeting a few of you at "slabfest". I'm a couple dollars short, with no lips to grip, but had a good time nevertheless.

I suppose I should consider it a success just finding you guys 3 hours late!!!

I had but one 13 inch walleye to show for saturday. Hung around Hillmans and learned plenty just listening to several seasoned "pros".

Saturday night I found myself on the south shoreline, with only an 1/16 of a tank, and it was past midnight. I had a very cold night in the truck, with no heat, but Sunday was worth it.

I tried my open water haunts on the south shore, somewhere between rogers, and JP's place (something or other beach road). Drilled 2 holes off the first break in 4 1/2 and 5 1/2 feet of water, and proceeded to catch 10 walleyes from 7-11. Missing 4 others. The first 3 all went 17 1/2, then the rest were between 15 and 21, with 2 good eaters. All dead stick and a plain hook.

It was a bit funny as I got the first 2 immediately, then after an hour of nothing... started to pack up, and both sticks almost went in the drink. Then another hour with nothing, started packing up again, and pulled 3 within 3 or 4 minutes.

Eventually I left for Blackduck. Mike from the Drake Motel was nice enough to put me on a perch bite (thanks mike!!), and I think it was meant to be.

I eventually settled on a spot a few hundred yards northwest of the Island. There was a big group that looked like they were having marginal success, so I drilled 4 holes a hundred or so yards north of them. Within 10 minutes I had 8 footballs flopping on the ice!!! This is where it got fun.

A young man named max, from Chisago, walked over to take a peek. Turns out it was his birthday, and he had gotten skunked the day before on RED, and was now fishless on Blackduck as well. He pulled up a seat a few feet away, and stuck his line in one of my other holes. Within an hour and a half, he had 10 jumbos on the ice as well.

His mother (mary)said it made his weekend! (she was nice and made me a sandwich, I guess that made mine).

I'd like to post a special thanks to Eric, the jig-man, for giving me two of his hand-made jigs. He puts a lot of time into them (multi-dipped, triple tied, double-glued, etc) and they're the finest quality. I can't wait to try them on open water. Thanks Eric.

I'd also like to thank the nice sherrif on 46 for the "administrative" ticket he issued. It could've been alot worse, and I'm certain I deserved it, but he showed nice restraint. Speaking of restraints, he was even nice enough to just say, "please put on your seatbelt" without ticketing that too.

It was nice to meet Chris Hanson, Eric the jigman, Johnny P, and some guy named borch, barch, Beer Brat, ahh, whatever his name was.

Thanks guys. See ya in late may/early june.

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 Originally Posted By: bolan16
Yeah, that's pretty neat. Does it always occur in February?

Yes.

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Perhaps next year? I would like to hit that lake! With the slow bite all the reports sound like good times had by all.

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????

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Well Slabfest "|||" is gone but definately not forgotten! Like Arnold would say I'll be back!

First off thank you Hanson for organizeing a great event. Next I want to compliment on the quality of people I had a chance to chat with and hang around with over the weekend. It was one of the best groups I have been around in a while.

Hanson,Dtro,Borch,we already have spent a few good times on the water together and we will have more! Jim and Lisa Tealz, Borchs wife Wanda thanks for all the good laughs! Jim next time I owe you a 2.am wake up call! (haha) Lisa you really impressed me out on the ice you are a real go getter. Boilerguy,da chise,analizer,harveylee,nice to put faces to names, I hope we get a chance to spend some more quality time together. Rick nice chatting with you we did hit some nice gills on the way back.

Team Otter got your voicemail and I aggree it was a great time fishing together and we will definately hook up in the future. Thanks for the good laughs. Jameison is a hard charger and a good time to be around I definately recomend his guide service if your looking for a great time!

I also got to meet some of the legends Jonny p, Kelly P,and Pat Foster. I tell you people it's impressive the knowledge and experiance these guys have on this lake.

Well as far as my fishing report, I will admit I was skeptical being of the slow reports but knew with a little hard work the Red Lake Gods would answer and answer they did! Friday was tough I punched holes in a area that Hanson,Dtro,To and group had hit some crappies and I found a few fish sniffers but not takers. I and others hammered (cut holes) in this area and managed a few walleyes but not any more crappies. Sat morning I tried a different area and got a few more eyes but the crappies were avoiding me. In the afternoon I stopped by the slabfest group and they were on some nice crappies but Knowing how tight these fish were schooled I opted to let some of the slabfesters fish them. By letting them have this area I was hopeing some dreams could be made by some of the Red lake newbies. By talking to the guys that evening it weas nice to hear the excitement some of the people had catching there first Red lake slabs. To me thats what it's all about.

In my quest I and my group moved West in search. After cutting tons of holes the Red lake gods answered. I hit a pile of crappies that were aggressive. The hot bait were definately power minnows Borch, Hanson you guys definately made a beileiver out of me. 24 crappies alot between 14 and 15 inch plus and 7 bonus eyes in a afternoon. In my opinion Red lake is still a quality fishery. IMO the fishing is only going to get better these next few weeks. If you want a trip and experiance of a lifetime head to Red freelanceing with a work hard attitude ( defiantely IMO power minnows) or contact some topnotch guys like Kelly P ,Jonny P and Pat Foster and they will set you up for a experiance you soon won't forget!

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