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fishuhalik

Biggest confirmed crappies

26 posts in this topic

Hey guys, I use to fish up on red alot, most every weekend, back in 2000-2002. I heard alot of reports of 15-16" crappies, but I've never seen one in person over 15". Just wondering if any monsters have been showing up lately, back in 2000 those fish were 13-14"

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The only two I can confirm is a 16 incher I measured last year and a 16 3/4" I had mounted several years back.

I'm sure some bigger ones have been caught but I haven't seen them with my own eyes.

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8 years of open water, about 40 days of fishing total, all at the end of may, early June, only one legitimate 15, and just barely. I saw one 16 1/2, but it came out of black duck. I've not personally seen any 16's out of red in those 8 years. Probably close to 4000 13+ inchers though!!!! Ya just can't beat the fishery.

There were a few really good years there where you could catch a couple hundred 13" crappies, another 100 1+ pound walleyes, and a handful of big pike, with 4-6 of us, in a single day. Fabulous! My kids and their friends had so much fun.

Forgive me for catching that many fish, I'm familiar with both sides of that issue, so please don't start in.

If I caught a true 16, I'd mount it in a heartbeat.

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last yr we came up and slayed the crappies pretty good...we caught about 60 of them in 2 days....smallest one was 13 1/2 inches and the biggest was close to 16....quite a bit of them were between 14 1/2 and 15 1/2.

i have an older buddy that used to go up to url alot and he claims he got an 18 incher out of there...he said he thought about mounting it but ended up cuttin it up with the rest of them he says lol

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I have seen numerous crappies over 15 but never one over 16. A few years back Ole was determined to land one over 15 for the wall. Being a true trophy hunter he caught and released over a 100 fish keeping maybe 3 or 4 for a meal or two as he stayed with it day after day until bingo he got his fish over 15. That was it and he packed up and headed home the same day. I lost a very big one a couple of years back but will never really no how big it was. It semed like it was over 16 but who knows. The big ones always get away thats how they get so big

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Been coming up since 2001. I think I've done as well as most. These were crazy times when a 50 fish evening was pretty common. Not one fish over 2 pounds. I brought home 15 fish limits that all went 1.8-1.9 on digital scale. Got checked by warden first trip up and showed him fish in cooler. He said "great you're catching 2+ pounders like the guys around you". Showed him on digital scale and he was amazed. Lot of the 16"ers were probably not properly measured. That fish grows alot with the mouth open.

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I have been fishing for crappies on Red since 1999 and although we were lax on measuring fish early on (no time??) I would guess we caught very few over 15". Most of the fish were in the 13 - 14" range. Now we are seeing some smaller ones caught. The difference in a Red Lake crappie is that they are so thick and the meat is so firm. They weigh much more that a crappie of similar size caught in most other lakes.

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I caught one last winter on the south shore that went 15 1/2 inches.

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I have a 16 1/4 on the wall from Red from 2005.I know as a kid we caught many over 15 and 16.We where always there to catch Walleyes but in the spring we would step out the back door to the channel and smash the crappies.We caught them coming into one the channels by our cabin.At that time we rarely measured them.

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Why aren't there bigger ones?

Seems like the size we caught 5 years ago should have grown 1.5-2"?

Biological ceiling???

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I'm still looking for the mythical 15 incher for the wall. Have caught lots of 14's but never one even close to 15 inches.

What is the 'correct' way to measure a crappie?

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"Biological ceiling???"

With less and less fishing pressure on them we should find out in a year or two.

In "99" one guy mounted a 15 fish limit all over 16 inches. The same year my Dad got a 17. Years ago when very few people fished the crappies some 18's and 19's came out of the channels.

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I've been fishing Red since 1999, I wouldn't even want to hazard how many thousands of crappies I've seen come through holes in that time... Tally?

1st trip up ever 3 barely over 16". Filleted them as we said the next trip we would be prepared to keep some for mounting. Next trip 1 right at 16", we filleted it as I wanted at least 2 if not 3 for the wall. Never caught another over 16" since and I lowered my standards to over 15". In that time I've not broken my 15" mark. Hundreds in the 14 3/4" - 14 7/8", 1.8-1.9#ers, but never another over 15". My son has a 16" from 4 years ago on the wall (learned my lesson, one is plenty to mount). I was in Hudecs having a beer on our second trip up (1999) and a local had a 17 1/4" in the bucket. We weighed and measured it right there in the bar... Believe it or not, it just barely broke the 2 lb. mark and was one skinny crappie! That was the biggest I've seen from Red.

Kelly tells of monsters they caught in the channels as kids, face down in the bucket and tails sticking out, but crappies were for eating and the record they thought had to be around 9lbs, so no thought was made on measuring or weighing them.

Good Luck!

Ken

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I have been going up to Red for the last 7, 8 years and the biggest crappie that I have seen measured was a 15 1/2 this year. Most of the time we never measured them but now that fewer are being caught we have started to pay more attention to the size.

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 Originally Posted By: Slabby
Why aren't there bigger ones?

Seems like the size we caught 5 years ago should have grown 1.5-2"?

Biological ceiling???

Doesn't surprise me that fish have hit the ceiling. Before the first years of walleye stocking they basically had the entire lake's forage to themselves. Once a fish hits that size the metabolic requirements just to keep the machinery running are enormous....to continue growth beyond that size is a difficult feat, let along having anything left for reproduction.

It all goes back to that ecological shangri la that allowed crappies to flourish in the first place. Once the walleyes returned growth slowed to a grind and now most fish will fit in a cookie cutter.

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The crappie as, I understand it, only lives to be a certain age... and that age is approaching or past- da chise has good points. Red lake is a big and fertile lake but with the former huge year class, their forage was not limitless and size was limited-- albeit nice size.

Other lakes with large year class populations have cookie cutter fish size too but usually not 14"!!

The much smaller numbers of year classes to come maybe have a better chance to get to the huge size of previous generations and trophy potential much like the northerns will be restored?

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they say white crappies live to be 10 yrs old....the oldest recorded black crappie lived to be 15 yrs old...but the typical life span is more around 7 yrs old for the black crappie...so that nice yr class from 95 is probably on it's last leg.

is anyone catching small crappies? i've personally never seen one under 13 1/2 inches....it would nice to hear about smaller crappies imo.

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I know about 3-4 years ago we were on the mother load and caught hundreds of crappies that weekend and we had a handfull maybe 5 that were under the avg 13.5 with the smallest around 10.5 inches.....since then we have run into our limits on many occasions but have not caught another that was under 13.5....but with all the craps we have caught I think we have only caught 1 maybe 2 that have legitamatly went over 15.......98 out of 100 seem to be 13.5-14 inches

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That's kinda what I thought. I know a buddy of mine called me up one time on his way back and said he got a limit of 16"s, I met him at his place when he got there and we measured 'em, not one was over 14 1/2". When a guy's use to catching 8-11" crappies, a 14" looks like it's 4 lbs

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New slant on the same question. We get 13/14 inchers year after year with just a few smaller ones mixed in. Same age that have grown all they are going too???? Or, do smaller crappies hang out somewhere else in the Red Lakes (deeper water across the line) until they are big enough to spawn when they migrate over to eastern URL to spawn?? confused.gif

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 Quote:
With less and less fishing pressure on them we should find out in a year or two.

In "99" one guy mounted a 15 fish limit all over 16 inches.

you should get a picture of that on here if you ever run into him again or something! that would be cool to see a mount with all these 16"+ slabs

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Now that is an interesting theory and there might be something to it. For years the majority of the crappies have been in that cookie cutter size of 13 1/2 to 14 1/2". Maybe most of the bigger,smarter ones stay back in the deeper water in the reservation and only venture East once in a while if the scouts say it is okay - like the queen been sending the drones out to do all the work and face the dangers.

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Look at pike, walleye, suckers during spring spawn and even whitefish in the fall. The males and small females are first to arrive then the big mommas come later.

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I'm sure this has been asked before, but is there anywhere I can find a map of the other half of upper and all of lower? I've never seen a map of either sections, and it might be interesting

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Nope, not unles you can get Kelly P to draw one out from his memory of a secret hand shake view of the south half. But he said that was back in the day, but he could still remember ?? ;\)

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