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dragon81

Early Fishing

9 posts in this topic

Ive never open water fished before the regular opener, but have been getting more excited to fish crappies, panfish since getting my first boat a few years ago. Any tips for early fishing after the ice goes. Getting excited now !! THANKS

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I usually look for bays that warm up first. The crappies usually school right into these ones in the spring. I am also relitivily new to this but have had a few good seasons of early season crappies.

A. Shae

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usually NW corners of lakes warm up quicker or where a creek flows into the lake. Fish slower then during the summer and usually works great. Reeds usually hold a lot of fish.

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I have fished crappies closer to may and done ok.

Has anyone found/ caught fish immediately after the ice comes off say around early April or is it better to wait a few weeks for some warmer water?? I dont want to wait anymore!!

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Look for temp changes in the water during the day. once water hits a certain temp, you will notice an increase in fish activity. It usually seems like it needs one week after ice out to pick up. Crappies are usually found in 2-7 feet of water during this time. I usually use slip bobbers and tiny ice fishing jigs that glow, use some Berkly Gulp maggots or wax worms, sometimes minnows. Look for weeds such as lilly pads or underwaer grass. You should use a sneak attack. DO NOT use your big motor, use your trolling motor or a paddle and anchor away from the weeds and then cast into the weeks. And as it was stated earlier, look in the bays. My favorite lake has a really nice bay in it and it is really shallow getting in so you have to be carefull. I hit it every spring pretty hard since my work schedule is pretty hard on me June to Oct. SO April-June I hit lakes hard, still go after that but not as much. Fish are there if you work for them. My majic number is 60 degrees. It is kinda like a thermostat. boom instant hungry.

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I've found that you can catch crappies right after ice out, but pretty much a night bite. Kind of fun, small jig, crappie minnow, & lighted bobber two feet above the jig. Peaceful, usually not another person around. As the water warms, the crappies become more active during the day so by one to two weeks before opener, they are going strong in any shallow bay areas.

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You can and will find crappies in shallow, dark bottom bays right after ice out. They will move in and out, depending on water temp. to feed. Last year I fished the day after the ice went out on most lakes with Deadhead, and we found a HUGE scool of crappies in about 2 fow. We fished a small bay on the north end of a lake that varied in depth from .5-8 fow. Last year it was warm and sunny for quite a few days leading to ice out, and the day we went out there was a strong west wind. Well, the western part of the bay had water temps of 48 degrees, while the eastern part had water temps upwards of 57 degrees. I don't need to tell you which part of the bay we caught all of the fish in. Shallow, dark bottoms will warm quick and the food chain starts moving. My magic number is 50 degrees, once water hits that, the fish will start to move. Once you get to the upper 50's and low 60's the crappies will move into thier spawning areas to do their deed. If you know of a spawning area adjacent to deep water, the slabs will be "staging" there right after ice out. You just need to look for, and find them. They are not too difficult to find this time of year, if you know where they drop eggs, or what type of structure to look for in which they do drop their eggs.

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This is some awsome information, Thanks a lot. KEEP EM COMMING, I'm not an expert quite yet. But you guys are helping.

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My parents used to have a cabin on Lizzie. In that area you can try the bay on the NW corner of crystal, the north side of pearl lake, and the north bays right in the reeds on little pelican. Those were my favorites. Like the other guys said, until the water warms you'll be catching mostly bass and pike. I live in Alexandria now and if you want to catch them right after ice out head down to Minnewaska. People follow the ice out as it recedes from the shore and catch the crappies one after another. It is wide open now.

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