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JBMasterAngler

When The Crappies Are Gone

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JBMasterAngler

Did any of you guys fish red before that year class of crappies came from out of nowhere? Were any crappies at all caught before then? I'm just wondering what's gonna happen to the area when the crappies are completely gone in about 2 years?

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LABS4ME

#1. There have always been crappies in Red... there always will be.

#2. How did they come out of nonowhere? They had to come form somewhere.

#3. Why are they all gonna be 'completely' gone in about 2 years?

Believe it or not there are other year classes of crappies swimming in Red. Maybe not the numbers we've grown to know, but there will always be some available to fisherman. Even the DNR does not have conclusive proof how long the '96 year class will naturally survive. There are reports of crappies living from 11 to 12 to 16 and all the way up to 19 years.... Go up and enjoy them. If they aren't biting enjoy the walleye or pike action. If none of them are biting enjoy the area! In 2 years I'm still gonna be up!

Good Luck!

Ken

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Hookmaster

Last Sunday to Monday the crappies I caught were 14 1/2, 13 1/2 and 2 at 12 1/2. They were all loners so I think that represents 3 different year classes.

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JBMasterAngler

The other thing I guess I want to know is, how is it that it was the crappies that exploded when the walleyes were gone and not the perch?

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jerkbait

One thing I always remind people of is they say the AVERAGE life span of a Crappie is 10 years. That takes in to account predadation from other larger fish, which these year classes really have not seen until the word got out to the fishing community. Man has really been the only predator of these fish. Also there was not much competition for food either. Like Labs says you could see Crappies that are pushing 20 years old down the road. I know the Crappie hanging over the bar at West Wind is older than 10. As long as their biting I will be sneaking down to chase them. grin.gif

Is it Friday yet??? grin.gif

Will back back for one more weekend.

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kelly-p

Remember that the perch were wiped out too. When the size of the nets was dropped to 1 1/4 inch to get the perch it also took the walleyes fingerlings.

The crappies,,,,they are too blunt in front to go into an 1 1/4 inch gill net. Also they do not have a sharp point at the end of their gill cover. The crappie have a rounded gill cover. Crappies do not get caught in gill nets and the MN DNR uses gill nets to test with. One of the reasons that no one has an idea of how many crappies were out there in "99" or are out there now.

What happened is that the numbers of all the other species of fish were knocked way down,,,,except the crappies that then then pulled off a once in a lifetime spawn. smile.gif

As far as years past there were always crappies but nobody targeted them. In July 1986 Jon came off the lake with a stinger of 15 crappies that were just as big as what we catch now. I yelled at him and called him a stupid kid for wasting the day catching those stupid crappies. blush.gif

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Jimmy from Cottage Grove

Did anyone ever hear anything about the wind being a factor in the class of 95? Someone told me that on a typical year the winds on red stir up and ruin the crappie nests. Yet in 95 there was hardly any wind at all. That is why it is the only class. Because the walleyes were gone and the wind was low. Any truth to that? Sounds believable!

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JBMasterAngler

That makes sense, when the crappies were first being reported every article I would read in the outdoor news would always start out with something along the lines of "red lake isn't the typical crappie lake" or something of that nature. And obviously, red is more of a windswept lake than winnie or even mille lacs.

The fact of the matter is, crappies have always been there and will always be there. The point I was making when I started this was...after the '95 year class is dead and gone and the walleys are back to normal, the crappies will be a rare stray catch...and with no crappies, will that make the resorts/bait shops suffer because of a lack of angler interest in the lake?

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LABS4ME

my father in law fished the lake regularily before the walleye crash... they always caught crappies. It was their way of knowing they drifted to deep and had to motor back into walleye waters... they had no use for crappies! They were up to catch walleyes. I don't think they were nessacarily rare, just not sought after. Will we ever have a '95 year class again? Probably not... but the '91 year class sure provided some darn good crappie fishing before the '95 stepped up to the plate... and there were still walleyes around then!

Good Luck!

Ken

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united jigsticker

A "rare" catch isn't so true.

kelly's story of Jon and his 15 Crappies in 1986 is one I have heard from kelly before.

How did Jon catch 15 Crappies in July back in 1986 when there were no "cribs"?

Ohhh I bet there were a bunch of them.

I also was told by another long timer of Red that when the Walleyes were in their prime, nobody ever ventured out more then 2 miles, spring, summer, fall, or winter. He said 7 feet of water was the max they'd fish, and they'd cleanup well. But the only time they'd ever hook a Crappie was in the spring.

I would bet that if you dump some cribs in 13 FOW out 4-6 miles, you would have Crappies on them suckers every day after June. I can even say that most of them would be on the west side of the crib walls in the AM, and the east sides of the crib walls in the PM.

If you wanted to make the Crappies in Red REALLY easy to target in the summer, you'd drag out 100's of floating docks past the Walleye and Pike zone. Man do them Crappies love shade.

As kelly said, Crappies don't get caught up in the nets, and furthermore, they are one species the DNR has quoted to have the "ability to negotiate" the nets...I assume that means they can navigate them like an Albino Rat in a plexi maze.

I actually wouldn't mind of the Crappies were "forgetten" about for a while. Give them a chance to dumb-up some.

Then again, who can forget about a 15" Slab???

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Mike L

Quote:

my father in law fished the lake regularily before the walleye crash... they always caught crappies. It was their way of knowing they drifted to deep and had to motor back into walleye waters... they had no use for crappies! They were up to catch walleyes..."

Same with my brother-in-law's folks. And just to give ya a time frame, my brother-in-law is 72. shocked.gif

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hanson

I'm not an expert on the lake by any means but I've caught crappies of all sizes this winter, from 12" to 15". Most crappies are either 13 1/2" or 14 1/4 to 14 1/2". So what that means to me is growth rates are different on the same age of fish, or we are looking at different ages of fish. It seems like a couple times every year, we catch "small" crappies. My gut tells me this fish are finding somewhere to reproduce.

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Random guy

Quote:

How did Jon catch 15 Crappies in July back in 1986 when there were no "cribs"?


Jonny did not listen to his father...again. I was to check the Birches, the deeper rock piles and a few small areas for active walleyes to put clients on. I got bored with that in short order and decided I wanted to go to the north shore and catch some pike. Well I took off across the lake trolling a shad rap so I could tell Kelly that I did look for walleyes as I crossed deeper water headed for the north shore reeds. Next thing I know I had a bunch of funny looking rock bass. (Remember I was 12 and never seen a crappie before). The fish were always in the lake, just nobody fished deeper water before.

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WKSparrow

Now that's a good story!!!

... a 12 year old catching his first crappies and it's 15 of those monsters...

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JBMasterAngler

Honestly, I think that's about how old I was when I caught my first crappie...I'm used to fishing the grand marais area for smallies mind you so please don't make fun of me for taking so long to catch one.

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halad

The first limit of crappies i caught in Red was in the late 70s. Trolling for walleyes probably in 4-6' i caught one and put it back going back through the area i caught another. I didnt put it back dropped the ancor and caught a limit all about 6" long. Went back the next day and they were gone. It seems like we always caught a couple in the summer but never thought much of it.

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WKSparrow

I just meant that you'd be spoiled for life if those were the first ones you caught... not making fun of anyone!

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klecker

Well my six year old sure is. If he goes to any other lake they better be 14" + other wise he puts them back.

Klecker

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united jigsticker

Halad, did you forget the 1 on the 6"????

Were they 6" long or 16"? grin.gif

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brady_d

yea i don't know how much meat you could get out of a 6'' crappie? grin.gif

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halad

Hey it was close to 30yrs. ago about 6", hand size. I would much rather eat the small ones I have enough of those 13-16" hanging on the wall. Save them for the tourists.

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kelly-p

Quote:

I have enough of those 13-16" hanging on the wall.


What did you do????? glue some 6 inch ones together. grin.gif

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Random guy

Quote:

Quote:

I have enough of those 13-16" hanging on the wall.


What did you do????? glue some 6 inch ones together. grin.gif


Now that is funny, especially if you know Halad. laugh.gif

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halad

Glue two sixes together. I really did a good job setting myself up for that. Ok maybe they were bigger but not as big as the ones now. Hey Labs you sure those wernt Sheepheads.

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LABS4ME

Naw they were crappies... grin.gif he quit coming in the mid-nineties when he caught 5-10 sheepshead for every walleye... I got to see a couple of dandy crappies he brought home in '93... but I never thought to go up and try to actually target them... he said they were just flukes. Caught one every now and then...

Good Luck!

Ken

MMMM Sheepshead!!! grin.gif

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