Guests - If You want access to member only forums on FM. You will gain access only when you Sign-in or Sign-Up on Fishing Minnesota.

It's easy - LOOK UPPER right menu.

Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0
markkstanley

Tonka crappie report 4/16

44 posts in this topic

Main lake temps 45 to 47. Small bays/cove 50 to 52. Hit a couple of bays and you'll get on the crappies eventually. My next two areas held nothing but sunnies and bass the next was loaded with crappies so be prepared to move if you don't find crappies quickly. 1ft down in 4 to 6ft depths. Got most of my fish around docks. preferred baits last night were Culprit paddletails and Exude Micro shads (I seldom use live minnows FYI). Biggest crappie was 11" average was around 8" and I caught a lot of them. Bass and sunnies were also hitting. Bonus fish of night was a 22" largemouth which gave my drag and good workout. Fun night and the bite will be getting better.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Were you basically putting the plastics on small jigs under a bobber? Letting it sit? Or really in? Slow.. fast? I am a newbie for panfish!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

1/32 oz collarless jighead. Retrieve varied from a slow continous retrieve, a popping approach and just letting it sit. I start out with the slow retrieve and slow it down until I start catching fish. If the crappies are hitting the slow retrieve I will often take the bobber off. Once water temps hit high 50s I will speed up a little more. Just vary things and let the fish tell you what they want. I typically have three rods rigged with different plastics - Power minnows, Culprit paddletails, Exude Micro shads - and work my way down in size until I start getting fish. Again once the water warms up I will add small spinnerbaits and crankbaits to the arsenal. Hope this helps.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nice report Stan, seems like you were on some awesome fish. I was out Sunday on tonka, but could not manage to find fish above the 8" mark. They were all here and there, and omg, the sunnies drove me nuts on the Flu Flu. I went the flu flu route and my brother the plastic route, minnows were sold out just about everywhere on sunday by the time I got a chance to go out (FYI, purchase minnows ahead if you plan to, I wasted 1.5 hrs hauling boat here and there). His success came off a paddle tail also. Overall we manage about 30-40 crappies each, all catch and release ofcourse. Ticket was slow roll, my bro was catching them by frequent pauses, off the bobber. Looks like the water is warming up, on Sunday hight temps we found were 52 I believe. Good luck!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Anyone heard of any reports from Wayzata/Grays or Browns bay? I heading there tomorrow for the first time this Spring.

Thanks

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Quote:

Were you basically putting the plastics on small jigs under a bobber? Letting it sit? Or really in? Slow.. fast? I am a newbie for panfish!


Sly,

I have been using small, hand-tied hair jigs for panfish. (Hand-tied to order!) No need to worry about the plastics coming off your jig, and no need to tip it with live bait, just work it under a float. E-mail me at lemurpeloo@comcast and I'll send you the URL. wink.gif

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Mark,

Would you mind explaining your setup in detail? How you have your bobber set? Slip Bobber? How deep? ect.. I'm a total newbie to fishing crappies in the summer so any info would be greatly appreciated.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Kylersk, I am not Mark, but here is what we use on Tonka. Small slip bobber, split shot 8-12" above the hook. I use a small crappie jig/tube set up with a small crappie minnow. Red fleck or silver and chartreuse tubes seem to be the best for me. I would say generally keep it between 3 and 7 ft.

The trick is cast it in let it sit for just a minute or two. Then drag it a bit and set it back down. I have caught everything from Crappies to Walleyes to Muskies on that rig. A Muskie on 4# test and an ultra light gear is a riot.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Have U been to Crystal Bay?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Quote:

Mark,

Would you mind explaining your setup in detail? How you have your bobber set? Slip Bobber? How deep? ect.. I'm a total newbie to fishing crappies in the summer so any info would be greatly appreciated.


I use 1/32 to 1/16 collarless jigheads (you can buy them on this site from Scenic Tackle). For a slip bobber I use Thill Supreme mini stealth floats and Supreme super shy bite floats. These floats can be used as either a fixed float or as a slip bobber and are excellant for ice fishing as well. (The foam Ice Buster floats are also a good choice.) When fishing less than 3ft below the float I just set the depth I want using the fixed option. Deeper I switch to the slip bobber option. From now until the crappies leave the shallows in mid-May I seldom set the depth deeper than 3ft. If fishing shallow water - under 3ft or so - I don't even use a float just cast and slow retrieve varing the speed until I start start catching fish. In deeper water - 4ft to 8ft - I start fishing the lure 3ft down and vary the retrieve. I begin with a faster retrieve trying to keep the lure running about a foot down. No action slow down. Slowest retrieve is the pop and wait a minute or two and pop again. Watch both your float and the line. Crappies tend to hit up so your float won't always go below the surface. Any "unexpected" change in the float's action is a call to set the hook. Once you get the depth and speed dialed in -takes me about 5 minutes tops - you are good to go for that spot. If the bite dies move to other spot and start the procedure again. Don't know why but crappies in one cove/small bay will want the bait presented differently than the crappies in the next one.

Summer you will typically need to fish anywhere from 6ft to 10ft. I like longer rods for this approach. Minimum is 6 1/2 and I have an 8ft rod I use. Light or even medium light weights with an extra fast action will work nicely. I start out with the slip float set for 5ft and slowly reel the lure back. No action go deeper and repeat.

I use lures almost all the time. Culprit paddletails, Exude Micro Shads and 2" power minnows are my go tos. When crappies move deeper in summer I will switch to JB Lures Tadpole spins, small 2 to 2 1/2" crankbaits and twister tail grubs (all without floats) as my go tos. I feel these lures attract the larger crappies with the added action. I will also have my slip float rig ready for action when I zero in on a school of active fish.

Hope that explains it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks TrophyEyes and Mark,

That helps alot!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Went out yesterday evening and picked up a handful on the east end, they were not jumping into the boat by any means, but what I found, was found very shallow. The couple of people I talked with at the landing had a slow evening as well.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'll be trying the west end tonight and I'll post my results tomorrow.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey Stan, since you fish tonka a lot, I've noticed to grab slabs more without the bobber, do you get that too? or do you get them both evenly with bobber and w/o. From what I've experienced, the bigger slabs tend to be lower than the thriving school, I've always nailed the bigger ones slightly below the school by jigging instead of set length with a bobber. I don't know, might just be crazy... Anyways, good luck sergeant, hope to hear good reports. Will try to get out also on friday, hopefully work permits crazy.gif

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Been my experience that the bigger crappies are deeper. SO if I am catching the wrong size I move the slip bobber a foot deeper or go up a size or two in jighead/bait profile and go without the bobber and with a slightly faster retrieve. I also cast to a slightly different area. Crappies seem to sort themselves by size so the bigger ones will be close to the dinks but not in there with them. Had a good outing last night with about 30 keeper sized fish. Culprit paddletail and a YUM 2" tube where my best baits and the power minnow put a few fish in the boat. The fish were not shy and the lure had to be moving - no pop and stop retrieve last night. Pesky largemouth bass were out in force as well. Haven't really seen the big females in my spots yet so I am really looking forward to the weekend. I can feel that 15" crappie is close.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Awesome, expected. Good info stan. Now how bout those gps coordinates grin.gif j/k see you out there!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm having some serious issues catching crappies out there. I've been out twice anyways, and zero crappies. I've been fishing the east side of the lake from grays to giddeons. It was mentioned its better to fish darker water, so should I be fishing the west side of the lake? The waters I've seen have been pretty sparse weeds and pretty clear water.

I guess I'm going to get some some tubes, maybe those Yum 2 tubes, and some small jig heads, 1/32 and 1/16 and try it under a float.

I've been using some small mimic minnows, but that hasn't been working. I'm usually a bass fisherman so thats all I have for crappie stuff, but I'll pick some new stuff up tomorrow. Let me know if you have anything to add to my plan.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Crappies are looking for warm(er) water this time of year. That usually means north side of lake and especially any small bays/coves/inlets with dark bottoms. I am finding fish in areas where the water temps are 52. Did you try the rocks along the north shore of Wayzata Bay? On sunny days rip rap collects a lot of heat so baitfish head there and so do crappies. NOrth side of Grays Bay has several small inlets and coves that will hold crappies also.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Pretty slow last night for the crappies. I fished in Halsteads and Cooks and had very limited success. I did manage a few small crappies and plenty of sunfish could be had. I tried minnows,variety of plastics and some small spinners and they just weren't in their typical spots for me yet. Might be a little to soon, but give it a week of warmer temps and it should really pick up.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Had some decent success last night on my method mentioned above. We got into some big Crappies. I think we only ended up keeping 11, but they were all very nice size. We missed as many as we caught, must have been the first time jitters for the year.

The most exciting part about the night was a large Muskie that took us for a ride. I hooked into a very nice fish and it ran and ran and ran my 4# test all over. It almost spooled me, but we managed to get it close to the boat, but then the final surge into the weeds ended the battle as I got all hung up in the cabbage. It was nice to hear the sound of the drag going though.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What part of the lake were you on and how deep if you don't mind me asking. I'm assuming you were proably fishing deeper than I was.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Kind of by the Wayzata Bay area. Not going to get to specific because I plan on heading back. Seriously, we were in 6-7ft, hitting weed edges/clumps. Left the bobber stops at 4ft. We were staying out of the wind yesterday because we had two small kids with us. I would say the majority were about 10", one was significantly bigger. We lost a lot of fish because the kids were reeling in most of them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks T.E. I plan on getting out again next week after the rain subsides. Good to hear the kids were having fun...very important smile.gif

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey Trophy, I am also planning on taking my kids there today (Saturday 21st). - I'm up early to "prefish" (aka actual fishing time vs fishing with the kids).

I would really like to get them on some fun crappies as they have yet to experience that. I understand secrecy of hot spots but if you are feeling overly generous and see a white StarCraft with a couple of kids around Grays Bay to Wayzata bay - give me a hollar...

Thanks for all the info.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well the prefishing sucked - one bite and blown around allot. Should have gone to Waconia or Seton/Black where I know spots. Saw a few boats in a certain spot in Gray's but didn't want to crowd them. Looks like rain and windier conditions so the kid fishing may have to wait...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0



  • Posts

    • knoppers
      have to give this topic a bump since ice will be here soon. any reports will be useful, thanks in advance.    
    • Ray Berg
      Just got back from show,Picked up an ion x. Don't know if i have ever seen it so busy. Now the wait begins.....
    • river rat316
      I am definitely in! My boss also gave me permission to start looking at jet boats this spring. We have to get rid of a 3rd car first but I do believe a Lowe 1760 pathfinder with a 115/80 will also be in my future!
    • brianfisher
      You can use this Lake George Contour map for free.
    • river rat316
      Eskimo cs is top notch. I have had 2 different pop-ups and have a 949i now and love it. Wasn't overly impressed with the flip over pop-up at Cabela's though. It seemed to have less room out in front of you than the other flip over from clam and otter.