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dragon81

Early Fishing

Question

dragon81

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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shae1986

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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Code-Man

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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SM1

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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Paul

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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Cicada

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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fisherdog19

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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dragon81

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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Prairiefire

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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  • Your Responses - Share & Have Fun :)

    • Wanderer
      That’s pretty awesome! I’ve been keeping an eye out around the house but haven’t seen enough activity to coax me out in the temps we’ve been having.  We mainly have fox around the house, and only one good yote.  We had a young wolf do a lap around the house in the spring but haven’t seen him around since.  I know I couldn’t shoot him but I’d sit out just to see him if he started showing up again. Mainly turkey tracks as of late.  
    • Wanderer
      Probably two of the safest bets in the area. I haven’t fished Crooked off Bunker for several years but it always seemed to have plenty of fish. Have you ever been on the Moore lakes near 65 and 694?  Sometimes they get a lot of attention, and I’d have to think for good reason.   Twin Lakes in Robbinsdale used to be a favorite stop for us when we were young.  Did good on pannies and surprisingly well on pike. If you don’t mind traveling further west, Medicine is a pretty good lake.  Lots of memories fishing the crappie hole in front of the beach on the southwest side.
    • PRO-V
      Gulp spray seems to help also.
    • Wanderer
      I prefer ciscoes too.  I just don’t always have access to them.  They leave a better scent trail.  That’s part of the reason for a little kick of salt on the frozen suckers.  Anise could help too.
    • Hawg
      Not that I know of. First time I used one and constantly had to clear the shavings and drill kept cutting out. Drill is a 1200# fuel. 
    • PRO-V
      I always did best with frozen Cisco's suspended on a quick strike rig.
    • PRO-V
      I tried a few times during that 30 below weather. Saw nothing but thousands of wolf tracks. That night while we sat on the hunting shack deck having a cigar a pack of coyotes we're yipping out by our trucks 400 yds away. They were probably tipped off by our generator though and couldn't get them to come in. I did see 2 moose 30yds in front of me going into one calling spot. That was cool.
    • going4it
      Coon lake up 65 and off 22. Also Lake George. Both pretty good panfish populations to keep busy. 
    • Brandon Klatt
      Thanks for the replies guys. Usually target panfish and eyes so actually going for pike is kinda a whole new world to me. lol
    • mrpike1973
      Lots of little sunnies there is a spring in there in the deepest spot be care full. There are better lakes in my opinion.
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