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hanson

Hanson's URL Report (Feb 17-19) - Simply Amazing!!!!!!

23 posts in this topic

I'm not quite sure what to say here guys...

Simply put, I think last weekend was THE BEST FISHING I HAVE EVER HAD ON URL!!

Lots of folks online are complaining about the bite and not catching fish. Lots of folks are saying Red is not worth fishing. Lots of folks are saying its not like it used to be.

I'm here to disagree! smile.gif There is great fishing to be had but you may, err... WILL have to work for it, or just be the luckiest guy in the world. smile.gif

On last weekend's trip, FM ProStaffer Jeff Borchardt (Borch) was my guest at the ice shack. With my Slabfest II gathering coming up, we wanted to cover some water and try and find some fish to put some folks on next weekend. And we covered water, and we found fish!

I jumped out of the truck and took off one direction with my Strikemaster. Borch headed the other direction with his Nilsmaster. We had about 50 holes cut in the ice before we even wet a line. When the rods did come out, the very first hole I checked with my Marcum had a fish in it! I dropped my search lure, a Go-Devil spoon tipped with a minnow head and nailed a fish right off the bat!

Are you kidding me? First Hole! First Drop! First Crappie!

02-17-07%201st%20Drop%20Crappie.jpg

Beginner's luck did not exactly mean continued luck. That was the last crappie we caught for the next 2-3 hours. We moved from hole to hole fishing each hole about 5 minutes. If there were fish there, we caught them. Walleyes and perch were very aggressive as we moved around looking for crappies.

Then it happened... Borch hit the GOLDMINE!

I was about ready to move to a different area and walked over to see what Borch was doing. As I approached him, he was unhooking a crappie! He had the most excited look on his face as he said the crappies were stacked up under him. And he was not kidding. When I looked at his LX-5, there were 4-5 different, distinguishable fish on the locator. When he dropped his bait down, these crappies were not fooling around. It was a race to see who would eat first! They were flying up 4-6' above the bottom to eat his bait on the drop. Simply Unbelievable!

Wanting to get in on this action, I ran back to the truck, grabbed my gear, and moved in on Borch. It was game on! We proceeded to catch crappie after crappie after crappie. There would then be a lull in the action and they would move back in and it would be chaos again! I've fished many lakes where you run into roaming & feeding crappies and thats what was happening. These crappies were up in the water column, 3-4' off the bottom and cruising. They had one thing on their mind and that was eating! Because of this, our tackle selection was waaaaaayyyy beyond ordinary for URL!

What did we use for bait? 1 word.... PLASTICS!!!!!

The preferred plastic was a Berkley 2" Power Minnow rigged on a Little Atom Optic Jig. The crappies absolutely devoured this presentation! We also mixed it up a bit and caught them on CJ&S Ratsos (size 4) with no bait. We caught them on Little Atom Optic & Optic Stealth jigs rigged with Little Atom Nuggie plastics with no bait. And the lure that I'm still shocked about... Salmo Chubby Darter! We pulled a Chubby Darter out to see if the crappies would hit that and they did!

Chubby Darter Crappie!

02-17-07%20Chubby%20Darter.jpg

Power Minnow Crappie!

02-17-07%20Power%20Minnow.jpg

Saturday was simply an amazing day! We left the ice early (before dark) worn out from augering holes and fishing outside in the elements. We ended up catching 42 crappies on Saturday, we kept 18 (short of a limit) and C&R'd another 24 along with a ton of walleyes and perch. The crappies were all running 14 to 14 1/2" long. We might have had 2 that were 14 3/4" but none around that 15" mark.

Saturday's Catch! Who kept that one walleye?? smile.gif

02-17-07%20The%20Catch.jpg

The game plan on Sunday was to try and find some more areas that would be good locations for Slabfest II. We tried 2 different "general areas" and were getting worked over with maybe a walleye or two to show for our efforts. I really wanted to fish the area we fished previously, but we also wanted to find more fish for the Slabfest. It was tough, that is leaving a good bite to search for more fish. It finally got to the point where I wanted to try out yesterday's spot, and guess what? It produced again!

The difference between Saturday and Sunday was wind direction. Saturday was a N/NW wind and Sunday was a hurricane force wind from the South. We didn't want to do it but we had to set up the Otter shack to escape the wind. Sitting in one spot definitely impacted our catch rate on Sunday. We had to wait for the schools of crappies to move under us rather than chasing them around. The bite also happened much later than Saturday, Sunday was a traditional sundown bite for some reason. When we decided to quit, we had iced another beautiful 18 slab crappies. All of them released to be caught again by the Slabfest folks... hopefully!

After punishing ourselves on Sunday, we went back to the exact same spot on Monday morning to hopefully finish off the trip with some fast paced action! And fast paced action it was! My first 4 drops all produced fish, although the wrong species - darn walleyes! Walleye #1 was about 14". Walleye #2 was about 16". Walleye #3 was about 18". Walleye #4 went 20". And Walleye #5 snapped me off!! Darn! How big was it? I don't know about you guys but four walleyes in less than 5 minutes is serious fun fishing!!

I don't lose fish very often and I lost 3 on this trip, all very large fish. I'm positive one of them was a big pike as I did not have a chance against him. Ice in the line guides, frozen ice on my line, drag too tight. Snap! The other two had some very serious head shakes that stressed the 4lb line too much.

After I recovered from my third break off of the trip, I got back in the game and the crappies started to bite, although very tentatively. We had to resort back to the traditional approach of a jig & minnow to entice a few biters. I still jigged my Power Minnow in one hole while my minnow did his thing in the other. Most of the fish were very finicky. Lots of lookers, a few biters, and a few kamikazees that flew after that Power Minnow. smile.gif

We iced another 10 crappies Monday morning, kept 4, and released the rest.

Borch with a handful of Monday Morning Crappie!

02-17-07%20Borch%20Double.jpg

Hanson with a handful of Monday Morning Crappie!!

02-17-07%20Chris%20Double%202.jpg

I've got to tell ya... it was really hard to leave the lake on Monday. We ran into some of the most incredible fishing I have experienced in a long time. I think between the size and amount of walleyes we caught, and the aggressiveness and numbers of crappies, it was probably my best trip ever to URL in the winter. When I say ever, that is going back to the winter of 1999-2000 when I made my first trip up there.

I think the reason for our success was determination and hard work. We worked our butts off! We augered lots of holes, probably near 200 total for the weekend. We covered water! And we were rewarded with really aggressive fish. Thats the secret. You have to fish where the fish are and you have to be mobile to find them. When you find them, the reward is incredible!

We also switched up our tackle to what I would consider non-traditional URL tackle. I bet 80% or more of our fish were caught with absolutely NO BAIT, just plastics. We adjusted our techniques to what we were seeing on the Marcum flashers. When they were aggressive, plastics ruled and allowed us to fish faster and more effeciently. When the bite slowed down, my hands got cold messing around with minnows and keeping bobbers from icing in the holes.

The grand total was 70 crappies for 2 1/2 days fishing. 42 on Saturday, 18 on Sunday, and 10 on Monday morning. 18 total crappies were kept for dinner and the rest released to be caught again! I couldn't even tally a count for the walleyes. It was just as many if not more!

By the way... Walleyes love plastics and Power Minnows too!

Good Luck folks! I can't wait for next weekend & Slabfest!

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I am speechless, WOW! Awesome report, great detail. Thanks for sharing.

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I'm pumped!!!! grin.gifgrin.gif

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What a fun weekend! The weather was brutal for fishing out in the open. But if you wanted to get on the fish you had to be out there looking for them. The Artic Armor really shined on this trip. Having it made all the difference with the elements.

When I started out I felt the 2" power minnows paired with a #6 Optic Jig would be a great search lure. I certainly couldn't have predicted how effective it would be for us. Even on those neutral to negative fish we were able to coax them to bite or get them aggressive enough to take a look and swim over and hit the bobber rig nearby.

These fish literally inhaled the bait. Walleyes, crappies and perch. That's something else, I think we caught 20 or so nice perch from 9.5-11" on the plastics and also jigging spoons.

It's amazing how 10 feet or so can mean the difference between catching nothing or hitting hte motherload.

Should be a lot of fun next weekend if it all holds together. But even if it doesn't we'll go into search mode again and have a blast. laugh.gif

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awesome report-- see ya saturday cool.gif

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Wow, I'll be up there in 4 short days, can't wait. Thanks for sharing.

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Nice work fellas. Great report Hanson. Hope the luck continues for SlabFest.

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When it's "on", it's "on". Nice report Chris.

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I will be on the ice by this time tomorrow and hope to have the same good fortune.

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I hope for the same Leaving in 6hrs!!!

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Ive been hitting red lake hard all winter and this seemed to be a fairly good weekend for catching those slabs. My group and I also had pretty good luck which brought back memories of years past. I also enjoyed my first winter in 99 and things definitly were much easier. Like you say you MUST be mobile otherwise have a horse shoe hidden somewhere unpleasant. We had 5 guys come up from the cities and join the local boys, man did we put them to work. 4 augers were run for about 30 minutes straight with about 100 holes being drilled in a big area all by ourselves. Its doesnt seem to be so much moving away from an area all together, but just small movements around an area will produce the prized crappies. We were out of rogers toward the south shoreline only about a mile from shore. I had done well earlier in the year in that area when it was just foot and wheeler traffic. It took about an hour for the first slab to come up my hole and man did it look nice. Once found they seemed to be very willing to bite but didnt stick around long. SO after it slowed it was time to try another hole. All in all we ended up with 53 slabs for 7 guys and enough walleyes fillers to keep ya happy. Definitly not like years past but like you say they are definitly still in there. Heading up again this weekend maybe we'll bump into each other in the endless search of those lamp lighters. Good fishing folks.

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Your the man Hanson!!!!

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H H H {holly hogs hanson}Nice catch you guys,Good luck at slabfest this weekend.

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Hanson and Borch, I think you guys did so well because you obviously know how to coodinate outfits... grin.gif

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Quote:

Hanson and Borch, I think you guys did so well because you obviously know how to coodinate outfits...
grin.gif


LOL! We obviously stick out but I was really, really happy with how well the Arctic Armor performed. It was my first trip wearing it.

Hopefully we didn't stick out too much though! Sounds like some guys just can't leave another guys success alone. blush.gif

We'll probably be on search and destroy mission again this upcoming weekend to find new fish, but thats OK, there were no true 15 inchers in that spot. tongue.gif

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hey hanson, since your not comin up till the weekend you might as well just shoot me those cords for that spot and i'll check it out tommorrow to see if it's even worth dragging all those people out to it on saturday wink.gifgrin.gifgrin.gif

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hey hanson, since your not comin up till the weekend you might as well just shoot me those cords for that spot and i'll check it out tommorrow to see if it's even worth dragging all those people out to it on saturday
wink.gifgrin.gifgrin.gif


Minimite you're soooo... helpful. laugh.gif

Unfortunately I left my GSP with the coordinates at home and my home computer is on the fritz.

Have fun looking though. tongue.gif

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Quote:


Hanson and Borch, I think you guys did so well because you obviously know how to coodinate outfits...
grin.gif


Happens all the time. I bet there will be a few of us with coordinated outfits at the Slabfest. Get minds think alike I guess. laugh.gif

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i'm sure i'll put a hundred miles on my truck lookin for the spot grin.gif

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Last time I was out "searching" for crappies, I didn't catch a single one...and I ran an entire tank of gas through my auger!! Grrr... tongue.gif But, then again I wasn't on the north end of the lake either! I can definetly say, I'm gonna fish the north end some this coming weekend.

Nice fish guys, looks like ya'll had lots of fun. It'll be interesting to see how everyone does this weekend at Slabfest? I'm guessing we'll see a fair number of Crappies caught.

Chris, are you keeping your house at Rogers? Where is it located approximately?? Do you have GPS Coords? I'll stop by and say hi Friday Night. My house is out on the road that "y's" to the right out on the lake all the way to the end and then north some around the rough ice.

I'll see if I can get my GPS #'s for my house and post them here for anyone who want's to stop by. Even if I move my house it won't be far.

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sounds like scouting might be a little trickier this time with ice conditions, but i'm sure i'll still burn up a good 50 bucks in gas on the lake this weekend (never fails). but it's usely well worth it smile.gif if you see a red supercrew ford with a couple portables around it, stop on by. i'll be in the otterlodge, otherwise pry see ya on sat. a.m.

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Chris, are you keeping your house at Rogers?


Hey Shannon-

You wanna give me a call or shoot me an e-mail. I can help you with directions then.

I probably won't be getting back to my shack until later on Friday night. We'll probably be stopping by Tall Tales or Westwinds for awhile. wink.gif

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Thanks for the report Hanson. Got my heart going a little there. I know of a couple FMers that will be there for Slabfest II. Me, putting together IKEA furniture under the eye of the activities director. tongue.gif

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