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Hammer Handle

Crappies Crappies Everywhere!!

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Hammer Handle

No, I am not complaining, but I find it hard to believe.

I am fishing in northern central MN and fished on three different lakes in the same area the last two weekends. I have been catching LOTS of crappies on all three lakes. On jigs, worms, spinners, and even large spoons while trolling for northern pike.

Wow, they are sure hungry this year and plentiful!

I am sure other people have noticed this too?

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Skeets

Don't complain, crappies are the finest fish that swims, in my opinion! grin.gif

Take a few for a meal, let the rest go, it will only get better and better each year!

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Hammer Handle

No, I am not complaining...and love eating crappies this time of the year.

It was my way of telling people to get out there and fish crappies now. This is one of the best years I have had with crappies in the last 5-10 years.

And yes, let the small ones go!

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LABS4ME

Actually with panfish, like other fish, the population flourishes when you let the big ones go. It keeps the genetics intact, they are better able to protect the young of the year, and they are the better spawners. That is how every 'trophy' panfish lake gets ruined... the big ones are cropped off and the little 'stunted' guys are left to carry on.

Good Luck!

Ken

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Hammer Handle

But, how do you know the small ones are "stunted" and not just small "big" ones?

So, it is better to save 3 small ones than one big one?

I don't fully agree with this and if the lake is overpopulated, then you should save them all.

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PikeTipper

Good point but another way to think of it is you KNOW that big crappie is a big crappie but you don't know if the small crappie is just young or stunted. Better safe then sorry especially on those smaller lakes.

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Hammer Handle

All I know is that they trapped northern pike on a small lake several years ago for it was overpopulated with northerns. They only took the small ones, and left anything over 6 pounds or so.

Well, for the last 8 years the lake has been overrun with small northerns. New hatchings? But for 8 years? You used to catch some nice northerns, and still can...but they are less of them and more of these 1-2 pounders everywhere.

Funny how a lake it said to be over populated with norhterns and sunfish, so they trap the northerns. Now it is overrun with small northerns, and the sunfish are smaller than ever. It should have been left alone....

On a differnet lake, when it comes to panfish, I always keep the "keepers" and toss back the small. I am sorry, but I don't see me changing this practice. The same lake I have fished on for years has always had nice sunnies, even though my whole family fishes this small lake a lot with the same practice. Many times I fish for food, not sport (even though I enjoy it). I have yet to meet an angler that keeps the small ones and tossed back all the big panfish. Although, I met some people that keep them all. "It they are big enough to bite, they are big enough to eat."

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Mikefrommason

If you don't mind my asking what is the lake with the overabundant small northerns. I'm from Iowa and would love to come up for a day and catch a bunch of 1 and 2 pounders.

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LABS4ME

I don't keep "small" ones. I take sunnies in the 7-8" range. Never a limit... just enough for a meal. Anything 9" and over definitley and ALWAYS goes back. Crappies I keep 10-11"ers and 12" and over go back... except on Red in which you don't have a choice... Then I keep no more than 4-5 per trip.... I release the rest. Selective harvest is the key... not zero harvest and not harvesting only the big ones. The reason lakes get out of balance in the first place is because all the bigger fish of a species are removed. Then the lake can 'handle' more fish, ie: 3 smaller for one larger. I know of many panfish lakes that in the past put out very nice panfish... then the masses fell upon them and took out the older - larger panfish and the lakes have never recovered. Many are smaller lakes in the Chippewa Nat. Forest.

If the lake you're fishing is sustaining the harvest it's recieving, keep it close to your vest and you should be alright. If the word gets out, it could very easily spell doom for it.

Good Luck!

Ken

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slipperybob

all fisherman are ecologists... laugh.gif except me, I fish for a meal here and there.

also consider the skinny ones,...lack of forage.

Big skinny fish, save'm

Little skinny fish, save'm (err that's gonna be a lot of cleaning) LOL's

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Bluegill1510

Exactly Labs, and I bet I know some of the lakes you are talking about in the Chippewa. I use to be keep everything big and through back the smaller fish but I have changed my ways a bit, unless I am on a meat run and want a limit of bluegills then everything between 7-9 inches is fair game. I usually through back anything 9-10" or up unless its weighs a pound or more then it gets put on the wall! grin.gif

But I know guys purposely rape lakes becasue they think they can get away with it or think no one is going to stop them, and that their way of thinking is that "I might as well keep all these nice fish, before word gets out and this lake is done." So you got that attitude as well, and I will admit I have had that attitude when I was younger and the reason was because a friend and I found a nice bluegill lake that was on the rebound from freezing out and then someone blabbed about it and then the masses came and fished it out! Heck even Babe Winkleman and Chip Leer did ice fishing shows on it 2 winters ago after word got out, so what do you do? I just keep my mouth zipped about fishing and play dumb when people start talking about lakes, hot bites, etc. I don't care if thats not a good motto to go by but it sure makes people leave me alone on the lakes! laugh.gif I just wish people would use some common sense when they talk about fishing and lakes in general, so that the lakes in our state can have a chance at least. It would be sad to see lakes in North Central Minnesota go down hill and turn into lakes like the St. Cloud area or Metro area, cuz then a guy might as well live in Canada eh!

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zepman

I have also experienced a way better crappie bite this year as compared with previous. It's been fun and I hope it continues.

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