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Random guy

Lets not forget the minnows

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Random guy

Yes plastics will work when you are on very aggressive crappies. Now if you are with the other 90% of the anglers to fish this years slightly stubborn Upper Red Lake crappies you will still stop and get some crappie minnows before heading out onto the lake. I had to laugh at the idiosyncrasies of the modern ice angler. Yesterday I stop by the bait shop to shoot the breeze as this guy comes through the door, he walks up to the counter and ask for Power Minnows. “I’m going to Red and I need Power Minnows” the shop owner asks if he needs bait also “Nope heard live bait doesn’t work, need power minnows” and out the door he went. Well I have fished Upper Red Lake a couple times and power minnows do work for run n gun hole hopping looking for active fish, but if you plan on settling down for any period of time you better grab some crappie minnows for the deadsticks.

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FISHINGURU

lol i'd never step a foot on any lake without minnows...plastics are great for run and gun without needing to carry a bait bucket but once you find some crappies you still want a bobber or deadstick with a jig or plain hook next to ya. sitting in a portable or permenant without minnows is unheard of....the smart fisherman has it all to break out any tactics needed.

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Borch

I don't think I've ever hit URL without some minnows. Some days I don't use many if they are hammering the artificials. Some days they are the ticket. The jigging deadstick combo is a good set up when working the neutral to negative fish. The jigging brings them in and if they don't hit it they will often times hit the deadsticked minnow.

The bite is never so predictable that I'd hit the ice with only one option for catching fish.

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t rex

The poor blind man, I suppose that he heard that they were only hitting on one lure, so he left his tackle box at home to ? One thing i've learned is 2 come prepared.

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mnhunter 3815

lol the power crazy of plastic baits.any 1 who heads out on the lake and dont have REAL bait are in for a long day.

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GoggleEye

Look what you started now Borch!!! You posted your picture of how you were rigging your power minnows and the luck you guys were having and now nobody is buying minnows!! Ha, just kidding. I think it's pretty histerical also how a lot of people think the same thing is going to work that the next guy did well on! I am coming up this weekend though and I will probably find myself at Gander Mountain stocking up on power minnows!! It never stops. I wouldn't be caught dead on a lake without live bait though and my assortment of 76,345 lures. You never know, one of these days they may start hitting on peanut butter and ritz crackers. grin.gif\:D

GE

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t rex

Speaking of minnows....I like 2 use emeralds for the crappies.... That wont cause a problem with a c.o. if one swings by. Would it?

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harvey lee

I many times have only went fishing with plastics and have done very well. Once a fisherman learns to have confidence in them, they will catch many fish. The nice thing about plastics is one does not have to rebait as often and can get the bait back down faster without the school of fish leaving.

Now, I will also at times have a deadstick down just incase I jig those fish in and they want a minnow just waiting to be eaten. many ways to catch a fish and plastics are a growing option.

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Borch

When I go up I have rods rigged with bobbers, power minnows, ratsos, snaps for jigging spoons or darters. It's all about keeping your options open and when you're on fish you want to be fishing and not tieing on a new bait.

Don't be afraid of making some swiss cheese looking for those slabs. A lot of times even 10 feet makes a difference.

Good Luck when you get up there.

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DRP

Once you find them, it's hard to beat the real McCoy!

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FISHINGURU

you got that right borch...when i go out i got 7 rods and 2 rattle reels...i got a couple rods with 2 lb test, couple with 6lb, got 1 set up with 10 lb fireline....some with bobbers and jigs, some with bobbers and plain hook, couple set up with plastics like the ratso or shrimpo...got one ready with a gem-n-eye...one with a big jigging spoon. everything with different colors or the same couple colors if i know they are hot.

some days the fish want small and finesse...some days they want big and bulky....some days plastics...some days live bait...gotta be ready.

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eyehead

Yea I get a kick out of some of these guys that use plastics only. There missin out on alot of fish. Oh well, more for me grin.gif

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harvey lee

I started fishing panfish through the ice and open water a few years back. All I can say is that I have increased my catch with these plastics. Yes, sometimes I do use live bait but that is not very often. In the spring when I'm on the hot panfish gite, all I use is plastics.

Matt Jiohnson got me started on these and once one leaves the live bait at home and gets confident in using the right plastivc with the right presentation, one can do very well on plastics only.

Give it a try and one may be very suprised how well they do for you.

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HateHumminbird

No doubt plastics are a major part of any fisherman's arsenal, increasingly so with the micro offerings from Little Atom and others. The true benefits to plastics happen when fish are on a binge, and are not as selective regarding your presentation. Then the benefits as I see them are:

  • No cold fingers!
  • Faster response - line in the water longer
  • Array of color options - glow capable

However, like many others have alluded to, those that hit the water without the live-bait option reserved for themselves are severely limited, especially given tougher weather/pressure patterns.

For as long as we've tried, we simply cannot fully mimic a struggling baitfish, which are target prey for these predators 365/24/7. Until plastic can smell the same, taste the same, and look the same, live bait will always be an important presentation. And don't get me wrong, I own buckets of the stuff. It's an important part of my arsenal, especially for river walleyes.

Most importantly though, until plastic or any other lure can transmit varied frequencies through the water to the lateral line of a predator which indicate fear, panic, and all of the other natural feeding cues these fish learn to hone in on, I will always consider live bait my go-to option during poor bites or otherwise. Contrary to what tv shows, magazine articles, or what many tourney pros might tell you, that doesn't make you a poorer or less-sophisticated angler \:\)

Joel

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DTro

Joel is right on.

We are getting closer and closer, but in my mind nothing will consistently beat live bait.....yet.

My preference would always be plastics just for the benefits Joel has listed. If the fish are going to bite plastic, to me it’s a no brainer.

Also what people need to realize is that just because it might be said “you need this bait” or “you need that bait” there aren’t other baits that won’t work.

After seeing how well the Power Minnow worked for us, I did a little poking around and found plenty of baits that would probably work just as well.

If you get a chance, check out the Zoom Tiny Fluke ;\)

My thought is that you can never go wrong having live bait with you, but in some situations I’d rather have the plastic hanging on my line.

If you read Hanson’s recap of Slabfest, there was a funny story about me using minnows and running back to the truck to get more and he was catching fish after fish in my hole as I was rebaiting. This is one situation where I could’ve caught two or three more fish with a different presentation.

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