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    • Rick

      1st Please Post Your Fishing Report - Then Join the NEW - Private Fishing Report Clubs   01/24/2018

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IceHawk

Dog Days of Winter

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eyeguy 54

got out from 3 to 5 today to check a spot and color selection was the key. had lookers and after 4 different combos finally got 9 to commit. all growing up to get bigger. :) tried a combo from 3 days ago and they would not touch it!  that really surprised me. great info  chris. 

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Tom Sawyer

Another factor to contribute to the dog days of February definitely is fishing pressure. Was out on an area lake last week targeting basin crappies. A community hole that has seen a fair amount of pressure since the first wheel house set down. The fish still want to be in the basin to feed, but showing themselves during the day suspended half way up the water column is not happening anymore. They tend to huge bottom, or just a couple feet off at most. You can throw everything at them, and they laugh and swim away. They've been fished so hard for so long, that they change feeding activity times, and take insects closer to bottom it seems.

 As Chris mentioned, line diameter helps detect light bites and along with converting line wary fish. Live bait presentations can be the only way to go, or plan on going home defeated. Fishing away from the wolf packs with a small tail hooked crappie minnow just off bottom, at prime times and well beyond o' dark 30 will help ice fish from these same areas that produced crappie earlier in the season. Prime time for good fishing, usually coincides with a NHL, or NBA game on the radio, 7pm -10pm, or just before the sun wakes up. FISHON!;)

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monstermoose78

This whole winter has been a struggle for me. I fish away from crowds and use light line. I have never struggled like I have this winter. I have tried all kinds of plastics and tiny jigs to huge jigs. Live bait has not helped either. I have lightly pressured lakes and pressured lakes nothing wants to bite. This not just me many others are saying the same thing.Today was I was on lightly pressured lake and marked fish but could not get many to bite.

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Wanderer

We had to work a lot more today to get on fish than what we expected. And having a biting wind didn’t help.

I still wouldn’t say we crushed them but managed to sort out a dozen keeper crappies.  Once we found em, the first flurry was easy but that didn’t last real long.  We changed, and changed, and changed presentations to keep those lookers biting.  One thing would work for a half dozen or so fish and then it would die.  Make a change or two and get a half dozen more.  Lots of small ones to weed through.  Another thing I would do when they started ignoring my bait and disappear was just pull it out of the hole and wait until I marked fish again before dropping back down.  I don’t think you can ever over estimate the first drop on crappies.  

Later on, the thing that worked for us to draw them in was very aggressive jigging.  I mean 2-3 foot rips with small jigging spoons.  Blade spoons, rattling flyer, and forage minnows tipped with plastic at times but needing to be minnow heads at the tail end.

It turned into being a fairly odd bite but change kept us in the game.

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bassman186

I too went out all weekend with very tough results... I would see them all schooled up on the camera and couldn't get them to commit 

AQUAVU (2).jpg

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IceHawk

Great tips guys lets keep it going. 

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gimruis

Wait for the ice to melt then get out there during open water.  That's the best advice I can offer!

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Wanderer
7 hours ago, bassman186 said:

I too went out all weekend with very tough results... I would see them all schooled up on the camera and couldn't get them to commit 

AQUAVU (2).jpg

We saw the same thing in one area we tried.  They were perfectly content doing nothing.

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eyeguy 54
1 hour ago, gimruis said:

Wait for the ice to melt then get out there during open water.  That's the best advice I can offer!

haha!  :)   why wait?  fish on! :):) 

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backinblue

Your point about going to a lighter rod is very timely.  I was working thru my rigs and moving more toward my heavier combos thinking more about solid hook-set rather than feel.  I have found springs and walleyed didn't mix, but lighter tip action will get a try next week.  Based on your comments may start with light action on my jigger and medium on my deadstick.

Thanks

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Borch

I would add that mobility is your friend.  I can almost always pluck a few of the more aggressive fish out of the hole.  Then it gets tougher.  Sometimes switching colors or profile will get the bite going again.  But often moving just 20 feet will get you on fresh fish.  Do this enough times and it turns into a pretty good day.  :)

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  • Your Responses - Share & Have Fun :)

    • osok
      Been a brutal hard water season for me as well, figured it was a continuation of my fall fishing luck. 
    • Wanderer
      Thanks guys.  I checked out Modis for ice coverage and Navionics to help understand how things are laid out.  Knowing what areas certain fish prefer and those typical depths is a big plus.
    • urbaniceteam
      My wife and I are hoping to get up to Mille Lacs this Saturday and spend the night on the ice.  Does anyone have any last minute availability?  All the resorts I've contacted are booked. Thanks!
    • Borch
      Lots of nice fish!  Central Mn is cranking out some nice panfish.
    • eyeguy 54
      I did till about 2 then just had to go for a bit. LOL 
    • IceHawk
      Nice fish guys. Royce doesn't look like you took the day off 
    • IceHawk
      Great Idea Rick 
    • Borch
      A plus is that the forecast is for a much nicer day Saturday.
    • Tom Sawyer
      Thanks for your work guys! You were showin' some serious team spirit being out there today. I would have helped but I had a few appointments today I couldn't reschedule. I know I'm available Friday to do any last day scouting/fine tuning....
    • IceHawk
      Definitely a grind out prefishing cats today for the gathering.  Weather made it to tough but I Jeff  and his brother pushed through the elements to try and find a few active schools .   Locating the schools were tough took a pile of holes and the augers got a workout for sure,  but fortunately  we did find a couple active schools. Jeff and his brother found a few on one lake and I found a decent school on another lake. The good news was that both schools were cruising shallow flats in both locations and about the same depths. Great news as this is a good indication they are feeding on these flats.   Amazeingly both schools were found on a inside corner. Bingo looks like we have a pattern formed. We iced and marked  a fair number of cats in both locations so things are looking good for Saturday. Plus is we added a few for the fish fry already  Jeff I'll keep plugging away out there hopefully I can dial them in even more I have a hunch there are a few more close by where we ended. 
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