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Polar Bear

Shock & Awe and Crappies

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Polar Bear

March 2003, It seems like only yesterday ....

Photo from the first night of the bombing of Iraq - March 19, 2003.

Drove 3.5 miles out from Rogers resort, drilled our holes with nobody within a mile and caught crappies like crazy under a full moon. Had some trouble getting back to shore because the defense dept. turned off the GPS satellites that day! Didn't worry too much about getting lost because there was 4 feet of ice evereywhere and we could see shore lights.

I've caught thousands of fish in my life but never had as much fun as reeling in those 14 inch slab crappies. We knew it couldn't last, but for several years it was magic.

RedCrappies.jpg

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Spearing Machine

WOW!! Those were the days!! I bet we will never ever see anything like it again!!

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Jim Uran

Those were the days. Unbelievable fishing.

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fishuhalik

I know I never will. Thanks for the pic, brings back alotta memories. I have alotta hard photos from the early red lake days, I think we started hitting the crappies in 1999 or 2000, I was one of the lucky firsts. I was in the Grand Rapids area and from early Feb-ice out we hit it pretty much every weekend.

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fishorgolf

I have fished Alaska, Mexico, Canada etc etc. and missing out on the crappie boom on Red will always be a sore spot for me. It was just a bad time for me business wise with trying to keep my company going etc. that I just had to many other things I had to do. But if I could go back now I would have let a few more things slid with the business and partaked in the boom. Well enough sore grapes.

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cookie129

yes it was a hoot. What were we thinking letting all the fish go down hwy 72.I also have some photo's. One I have is a wheelbarrow full. That was back when you could keep 15 and I had 6 guys here. Unbeleavable you could set your watch to when they bit and you could not mand two lines. Those were the days.Just like kelly said made us all great guides. Were hopoing to find the mother load this weekend but we will see.

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fisherdog19

They certainly were the days. I remember my first trip up there in late March of 04, came up on a Wed-Fri. Kelly let me sleep in one of his houses on shore and took me to the crappies highway before it was officially titled. I was bout 7 miles out on my sled with no one on the lake that I could see until Friday late afternoon. I must have caught close to 100 crappies, 20 walleyes, and some monster pike including a 42.5" that ate a 15" walleye I had on, every day. My hands were all bandaged up with cuts and scrapes by the time I left, looked like I stuck them down the disposal. Some trips I'll never forget, and some unbelievable fishing.

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fishorgolf

Your killing me guys!

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mojogunter

Not sure why you guys think you will never see things like that again. It should be back in about ten years is my guess because you know that the walleyes will be netted clean again, and the crappie boom will start once again. I hope that when it does happen again the DNR leaves the lake alone and keeps Red as a world class crappie lake with little or no walleyes in it.

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GSB Ice Man

220 miles one way for me, and I made the trip 15 times one winter. You didn't need to be there till dark, and then you where done fishing within an hour, just crazy!

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kelly-p

Not sure why you guys think you will never see things like that again. It should be back in about ten years is my guess because you know that the walleyes will be netted clean again, and the crappie boom will start once again. I hope that when it does happen again the DNR leaves the lake alone and keeps Red as a world class crappie lake with little or no walleyes in it.

I'm afraid that you need to gain a little more knowledge about URL. Perhaps by taking the time to read some of the older posts. Here is what I posted 3-3-10 about a "crappie boom" happening again.

Crappies. I believe that they were stocked by the State. I feel that the crappie boom was a one in a million happening the result of many different things working out perfectly for the crappies. First we needed the crappies to be able to spawn without people catching them before they could spawn. The the lake needed to warm up fast enough for the crappies to spawn before they reabsorbed their eggs or the fry were hatched out to late in the summer to survive. Then the crappie spawn needed about 3 weeks of calm weather for the spawn to survive and not be smothered by silt. Most crappie lakes have a sheltered bay or cove for that to happen. The Red Lakes do not. Then the crappie fry had no predators, walleyes, to eat tham. Then there were very few fishermen fishing so the crappies had time to grow.

For it to happen again we need to have no fishermen catching them before they spawn. We need a very warm spring. We need to have the lakes calm for 3 weeks for the spawn to survive. We need to have very few predators/walleyes/perch to eat the fry. We need to have very little fishing pressure to give them years to grow up.

I do not think that that will happen again, I don't think that it could even be caused to happen again. We should be happy that it happened once. The void left by the walleyes could have been filled with stunted perch or sheepshead.

The spring after the big crappie spawn my Dad saw a lot of 1 to 1 1/2 inch crappies in his minnow traps. He had never seen that before and has not seen that again since. That is about 60 years of looking into minnow traps and it only happened once.

No I'm afraid that we will all have to look back at the crappie boom as the "good old days" when we were all great fishermen and guides.

"with little or no walleyes in it."

What would you like in URL? Sheepshead, small perch?

"because you know that the walleyes will be netted clean again,"

No we do not all know that the walleyes will be netted clean again. That is YOUR opinion. You speak for yourself there.

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Muskie456

March 03 was the first time we drove up from Walker. I had some friends tell me about it and I was luke warm to drive that far for crappies. Wow was it worth it. That first night we caught 17 of them before we hung it up. I couldn't believe how awesome those fish were. We had numerouse days and nights up there after that night where we caught a lot more fish but that first night was really unbeilvable. Those UR crappies were and still are so thick. My father-in-law and I mounted a 10 fish limit of 15" and have it at the hunting shack. I will never forget how great it was and can't imagine seeing anything like that again in my life.

Rogers and red jigs and you would generally have a great evening. Polar thanks for posting the photo it brings back a lot of good memories

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bturck

I think we should still find satisfaction that the memory exists. That can never be taken away....

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bak2MN

Hit it once I was living in SD at the time and I drove up to go. There was a storm and no rooms at the inns. A last minute cancellation and we went for it drove 3.5 hrs through a snow storm. Got up there at 7:30 or so. Just went out off Hillmans rd. Could not see anything out on the lake, snow blowing we fished for about hour or so and caught 26 crappies missed a lot more. Didn't take picturs never thought it was going to be once in a lifetime deal. That was the best trip me and my dad ever have together. Memories that will never be forgotten.

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Quackaddict9

Not sure why you guys think you will never see things like that again. It should be back in about ten years is my guess because you know that the walleyes will be netted clean again, and the crappie boom will start once again. I hope that when it does happen again the DNR leaves the lake alone and keeps Red as a world class crappie lake with little or no walleyes in it.

I laugh every time when someone says something like this...it would be nice and a ton of fun but it does not work that way....it has been a walleye lake and always will be. There were crappies caught before the crappie boom started. Crappie needs to have a perfect spawn each spring and the lake is so big that it is hard to get perfect conditions year after year. If leave it as a crappie lake, almost every guy will keep every crappie that comes up the hole if under the limit to take home then there will be "none" enough for the fishermen to drive up and work hard for them til another crappie boom starts. Plus the predators will eat some of them as well, which is normal like in any other lake. I like the way it is now, with all the trophy fish in there from Walleyes, Crappies, Northerns and soon to be perch... who knows? I've been up to Red since 2002 and have had good fishing through the years to now. Put a little work in it and you will succeed.

I think the DNR were stocking walleyes in there before we called it the crappie boom. Not positive though.

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traveler

"soon to be perch"...you think so??

I'm not saying there won't be, but do you mean to say you think there will be a viable perch fishery on Red in the somewhat near future, along the lines of Winnie or Mille lacs? That would be cool:)

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kelly-p

This past winter some the nicest perch then I have seen in years were caught.

The DNR says that the perch had one of their best spawns in years.

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traveler

Kelly, I didn't get out this winter as much as in years past (not nearly as much, sad to say) but I kind of figure i will from now on:)

I've done a fair number of perch-only trips over the years, mostly to Mille Lacs, and would love it if Red could get there. But my only perch from Red (over the past years) have been dinks...how big of perch did you see this year? Any numbers, or just onesy-twosy's?

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eyesonly

KP - "No we do not all know that the walleyes will be netted clean again. That is YOUR opinion. You speak for yourself there."

LOL !

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bak2MN

I caught one that went 10.5" and one a little smaller in Jan.

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Ogema

you know that the walleyes will be netted clean again,

I was wondering if you also knew what the powerball numbers were going to be tomorrow?

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kelly-p

Originally Posted By: mojogunter
you know that the walleyes will be netted clean again,

I was wondering if you also knew what the powerball numbers were going to be tomorrow?

I can let you know what the winning numbers will be because the ticket that will win is stuck up over the visor of my truck. grin

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Ogema

smile I hope you do win!!

What would you do with the money?

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Quackaddict9

"soon to be perch"...you think so??

I'm not saying there won't be, but do you mean to say you think there will be a viable perch fishery on Red in the somewhat near future, along the lines of Winnie or Mille lacs? That would be cool:)

No I don't think so, fat-wise smile but in length its possible. I've caught a few eaters that went over 9" but opted to throw em back. But there are nice perch indeed and if they mantain well in URL they can be he next "big fish" people target.

My best day since the crappie days was 21 crappies one night last year...so they're in there. This year its been decent, not high in numbers yet but satisfied and great to see them come up the hole.

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Ogema

I know where them kinda crappies still live? And its not in the big lake.

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