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Shack

The Myth, The Legend, The Mille Lacs Crappie.

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JIGGIN'

FFAL-- I have seen your posts on a number of other areas on this board and you have good thoughts/ideas... I am not sure you truely understood the point of my response to this thread. You and I are not that far off. I am not for any additional regulations myself. But I understand the need to be responsible and only take what is reasonable as well, just as you stated. Read this thread from top to bottom if you haven't done so already, and you will know what I mean. We all know that Mille Lacs is riddled with yearly restrictions and it gets annoying if you like to keep an occasional fish fry. I don't want to see you choked off either.

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Fisherman For a Lifetime

Hey Jiggin'

I agree, nothing I posted is against you or anyone, just posting my thoughts. We should have reasonable options, but really police ourselves within it and never waste our resource.

My Father may be rolling in his grave if he saw how careful I am & how many I put back. He would not believe it seeing me riding & beating up my ATV all over Forest Lake for about 2 hours picking up trash a week ago, but that is how I am.

Best wishes.

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tom fellegy

i will give my opinion here, i think that shackbash just hurt mille lacs more by posting those pictures than if he just said he caught them. over the last 5 years that i have lived here on the lake, there has been more and more people icefishing for crappies on the lake. i think that this is due to forums like this one. do you really think that all the red lake crappies just died off, i think not. look back at all the people that were fishing that lake for all those years and alot were keeping double limits and more. because the mille lacs crappie population is not that large, it won't take long to wreck it. as people have stated, the average size has already dropped...........tom fellegy

shackbash, by chanch, do you drive a older blue ford pick-up???

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Coach1310

With all do respect.....no forum has ever caught and kept a crappie on Mille Lacs. It is up to the angler or sportsman/woman to decide that. Do we need to be better conservationists....absolutely, but to blame a website, forum or anything other than an angler is crazy. Keep up the good work Shack!! Remember it is always the new generation computer/internet game that is wrecking the lakes....not the folks of the good 'ol days who were always after limits and had never heard of the term catch and release

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JIGGIN'

Can you be more specific with this? What do you mean by the internet/computer game culture wrecking the lakes? Are you saying that forums that give out real time information may be to blame for passing on too much fish catching information and thereby applying undue pressure onto certain lakes/fishing areas? interesting thought..................

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Coach1310

What I am saying is some people who frequent these forums think that because we post reports/info on the internet it is wrecking fish populations, lakes etc. My point is, no forum has ever caught a fish. The people catching the fish and not practicing some level of conservation are to blame. You can compare it to the "Guns don't kill people. People kill people." argument. Hope that clears things up.

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SlamNFish

I remember back when i was 9 yrs old i'm 46 now, thats along time isn't it? \:D , my grandpa knew of the big crappies in millelacs he was one of the old timers that knew you should not over harvest fish he would never let us take more then we needed for a meal.

Back in the old days not many knew about the crappie hot spots i remember it was just a few old timers that did and i never saw them slaughter the fish. The majority of the fish in those days where over a pound my largest was 2.75 lbs when i was 10. I believe the information super hwy is partly to blame. And also i agree and believe each person has to be responsible for not taking to many , but thats easier said then done when people hear of the bonanza of big fish they naturally want to take as many as they can, there not thinking about tomorrow or years down the road what will happen to the lake. It's like a kid in a candy store they want it all.

I dont agree that it's like the old gun adage.

People over harvest because it's like a pot of gold everyone wants it and more. It's get while the gettin's good thinking isn't it? I guess we need to stop pointing fingers and just try and come up with a solution to stop overharvest on all lakes! Thats the most positive way to change something, and maybe this forum could take credit for helping restore the crappie to what it once was in millelacs? or maybe this forum could continue reminding people how important are fishing resource is everywhere on all lakes. Lead by example? Fight to spread the word.

Ive never fished red lake but from what ive heard there has been a big bonanza of fish slaughter going on which is human nature isn't it? Like Mr.Fellegy said if that lake is failing it must be overharvest. We are all to blame for it. Some people make there living off those fish. Do they preach not to over harvest maybe that would help?

Mr .Fellegy i remember reading a Fellegy's column in the millelacs messenger for many years , was it you or one of your relations? I'm getting kinda old myself now my memory fails me somewhat \:\) I enjoyed reading that column and paper very much.

My family and i had to sell our place a few years ago and it was a very sad day. I had so many good years on that lake.

Night All sleep.gif

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MuleShack

Many years ago, it was word of mouth and the hot tip at the local bait shop. Now you got instant information out there where people can jump on. That gets the crowds to show up, but yes, it is up to the angler to be responsible once they get there...and there lies the problem. If all people were sport fisherman, we wouldn't have these squabbles.

I liked Mille Lacs better when the Crappie was just a myth, now the reality spoiled the intrique. ;\)

And it's Bullets that kill people, not guns grin.gif

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SlamNFish

\:D bullets do kill people after a person fires it into someone grin.gif

Hey nice crappie in your pic muleshack how big was it? Is it a millelacs crappie?

I think it was a myth when i was a kid i never saw many people fishing them back then. My grandpa wouldn't let us keep more then like 5 or 6 fish it kinda ticked me off when i was young but i figured it out later in life. I remember my G-pa taking like 5 crappie into the bait shop to get weighed and they where just under 10 lbs.

Your absolutley correct people are the problem. And frankly i'm tired of hearing about it! No matter what any of us say we will tick somebody off so i'm done with this debate.

Tomorrow i'm going to Slam some fish with a buddy grin.gif

Later

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tom fellegy

i am not the writer, that would be couisns joe and steve, they both write a guest column in the messenger. these web sites are a double edge sword. there is alot of real good information that i and everybody else comes here to find. on the other hand it also lets thousands of people know about a hot bite instantly, and within hours, there are people there fishing that bite. by the next day, there is hundreds of people there fishing that bite. in the old days it took longer for the word to get out, and without seeing pictures, it was just a rumor. now with the internet, people bring the digital camra and the laptop and with in minuets reports and pictures are posted. i think that this could and will wreck some lakes. as far as red lake goes, i don't know for sure if over fishing is why the crappie are on the decline, but i think that it has alot to do with it. just think back and figure how many folks were there every week durning it's hayday, and back when it started, the limit was 15, not 10. put a pen to paper and figure it out, that would be more crappies that i care to count. if i remember right, there were alot of reports comming over the internet about the crappie bite there. red lake is a bigger lake than mille lacs, and if it can happen there, it can happen here at mille lacs................tom fellegy

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Shack

 Originally Posted By: tom fellegy
i will give my opinion here, i think that shackbash just hurt mille lacs more by posting those pictures than if he just said he caught them. over the last 5 years that i have lived here on the lake, there has been more and more people icefishing for crappies on the lake. i think that this is due to forums like this one. do you really think that all the red lake crappies just died off, i think not. look back at all the people that were fishing that lake for all those years and alot were keeping double limits and more. because the mille lacs crappie population is not that large, it won't take long to wreck it. as people have stated, the average size has already dropped...........tom fellegy

shackbash, by chanch, do you drive a older blue ford pick-up???

Hey Tom,

Thanks for giving me the idea I have that much power blush.gif. I’d like to think I have that much power and influence, but unfortunately I do not.

No, I do not own a blue older ford truck.

______________________________________________________________

I can not believe after I write a post about “catch and release” and selective harvest, this thread goes south. Go figure.

The crowd in the “hot spot” has been there for 4-6 years now and no matter if this thread has occurred or not, the crowd would still be their. This thread was about crappies in Mille Lacs, not crappies in a particular area. I tried and trying to keep it as general to the lake as possible. If I where to have influence on any thing, I would like it be to help the local economy around Mille Lacs this time of year. It is slow this time of year and if I can help get people in the area to buy gas, bait, goodies, lunch, dinner and stay the night I would feel good, but I do not think I have this influence, because who am I? To think everyone who goes up to Mille Lacs for crappies is going to get a limit, let alone see a fish is totally foolish. They are a very stealthy, hard fish to find, let alone get up the hole and they have been that way as far back as I can remember. I believe it is the lakes geological and nature structure that makes the fish hard to find. I looked back and counted only 3-4 people who said they where going to go up because of this thread, I am sure there are more lurkers who are going also. The number of people who read this thread, get up from their computer, pack up and head out is a very low percentage.

The first thing I posted at the beginning of this thread was I would like precise and exact information. No hear say and misleading info. I was slightly pertaining to negative posting. Opinions are one thing, but an opinion does not catch fish. To say a thread like this could make any size of a dent in Mille Lacs is a bold statement and it sure is not backed up by any evidence so far. Its been brought up all ready, but if the Mille Lacs crappie is on the decline due to over harvesting, this thread will be a great wake up call for the lake. What? We should be quite, not saying anything, cross our fingers and hope for the best. That’s what it sounds like some are saying. I have made a couple of calls and done some further research on the net and have come up with a blank so far, as the ML crappie being on the decline. I am going to further some investigation and will post what I find in the Outdoor discussion forum, not in here. If any one has info about this, click and paste or just tell us about this. Keeping this decline in the closet is helping nobody, only hurting the lake further.

Opinions are not fact and I would like to get the facts.

Thanks and Good luck..

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Fisherman For a Lifetime

If I went to Ml to fish Crappies, it would only be once. If I happened to get into some, I would only keep about 3. If I caught a mess of 'em, I would only keep about 3.

Do I want the freedom and option to rarely keep a nominal amount of fish like the rules currently say? Absolutely.

Some will try to turn America into China, but sorry, I will fight against it.

Good luck everyone.

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ozzie

I agree with both sides....Shack without your post who knows the crowd might not of gathered for another week or 2 and the way the Mille Lacs crappie bite is it might have come and gone before the crowds......also you tried to be secretive about the area but the second post figured your area out....some things are better left untold......Same time anglers are the final straw that have to show resistance in letting the bigger fish go no matter where they got their info!!!

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Shack

I was not going to post this here, but I felt it contained good info

I was able to have a lengthy conversation on the phone with the Area Fisheries Supervisor for Mille Lacs. We spoke about a couple of topics brought up in this forum.

First, I asked about a possible decline in the Mille Lacs crappie population, his answer was he had no knowledge of a sudden or any type of decline. O.K., fare enough.

Second, I asked him about any current or proposed special regulation changes for the Mille Lacs crappie. His answer was there are none as of now or any that would be purposed in the near future.

Third, I asked him if there was any current group or organization that is starting a movement to help preserve the Mille Lacs crappie. His answer was he never had heard of one or it’s never been brought to his attention. Then he asked me if I was starting one grin.gif. I kind of sounded like news reporter.

I think he was surprised at my phone call. I do not think anyone has asked these questions about Mille Lacs crappies towards him before.

I further asked him, if ML crappie management was to occur, what type of regulations would he think would be best. He stated he said a slot limit of length would be the most ideal. He gave me a pretty good explanation as to the slower bite in one of the “hot spots” on the lake in the last few years. He stated a couple years back, this area has seen a sort of natural phenomenon, where crappies where stacked like cord wood. People went out and had some of the best luck they ever seen. Then the fish moved else where’s on the lake and that bite has not occurred since. He said people that are believing a decline occurred, experienced or heard about this awesome bite and have not seen it since. He could not explain what caused this natural phenomenon.

We also talked about extending the creal survey (which currently ends at 5:00pm) a couple hours past dark later this winter/spring to include a crappie count in some of the lakes “hot spots”..

I pretty much went over all of the views in this thread with him, not only to ask questions, but to inform him of how fisherman in the area and other places feel about the ML crappie and its future. I figure someone should. In final a summarization of my phone call, the ML crappies is not high on the priority list and this office did not have any knowledge of any current or past over harvesting issues.

This guy was a cool dude to talk with. He also added something I found a little funny. When we where talking about tough fishing ML crappies for some fisherman, he said “they need to fish smarter”. I totally agree with this. Sounds like a lot of people got on a lucky bite a couple years back, fished with the kitchen sink and got fish. Now things are back to normal the last couple years, people have to work for them and (I will admit my self) people get lazy.

I encourage others, if you want to talk about this, call the local CO department. The only way things are going to get done, is if you do them.

I did not name the part of the lake that I was fishing not to hold a secrete, but to respect the views and feelings of others on this site. I could care less if somone wants to fish next to me, that never means they are going to get fish. That picture that I had up, showed a sliver of a tip of a point. Not enough to “go hay”. I think that poster was being funny.

Get up, go out and fish ML for crappies. I am convinced this ML crappie scare is a bunch of “hog wash”

Have fun!!!

P.S.,

He was not giving out names of spots, but he let a couple escape grin.gif. I know where I am heading the next time during this ice season or early spring ;).

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polarsusd81

Good to hear that you talked to a local CO Josh. Sounds like you had a pretty good talk with him and picked up a couple tips while you were at it. I would like to find them again, as I know I had a blast when I found em.

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Sandmannd

Nice job Josh, thanks for all the good info.

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Coach1310

 Originally Posted By: SlamNFish
I remember back when i was 9 yrs old i'm 46 now, thats along time isn't it? \:D , my grandpa knew of the big crappies in millelacs he was one of the old timers that knew you should not over harvest fish he would never let us take more then we needed for a meal.

Ive never fished red lake but from what ive heard there has been a big bonanza of fish slaughter going on which is human nature isn't it? Like Mr.Fellegy said if that lake is failing it must be overharvest. We are all to blame for it. Some people make there living off those fish. Do they preach not to over harvest maybe that would help?

I commend you and your Grandfather for practicing some solid conservation in harvesting only a few fish, but I do not think that was the norm years ago. You can blame the internet, GPS, Lakemaster chips, fancy boats, etc. etc. but it all comes down to the decision you make when you hook that fish. Handle with care, maybe take a photo and place back in the water or rip it off the hook, throw it in the box and try for another. We can have all the technology and information we want, but it all comes down to the anglers decision once that fish is hooked.

As far as Red Lake, it was quite a freak phenomenon that took place. Perfect spring spawning conditions, along with the lack of a walleye population led to a once in a lifetime boom of crappies. There are some other year classes, but I don't think we will ever see anything like it again unless the walleye population crashes and we get the perfect conditions. Sure, the reason most are gone now is because of angler harvest....If the DNR didn't stock so many walleye lakes in the state many would be suffering for walleye numbers too. Its a tough subject.

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Sartell Angler

adding a post about C&R doesn't do a thing to protect the damage information on the net about where to catch slab crappies could do

you think that when people who are set in their ways of keeping every legal fish they catch start pounding crappies out there, they are going to think "OH yeah, Shackbash told me to let 'em go"....

I think not.

Fellegy--good point man

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Coach1310

and by you posting as you did I am sure no one will ever post about a Mille Lacs crappie again, right!! C'mon, why do we always feel the need to crush a guy for starting a thread on anything. Keep up the good work Shack.... folks always want to punish the "good guys" because they share information and not the "violators" who do the dirty work with it!

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polarsusd81

Can we try to turn this post back into what it was supposed to be? It was meant to be an informative post about that facts and legends of the Mille Lacs Crappies. There is a lot of good information here, and there is a lot more out there to add. It seems some are trying to turn the focus of the post into people catching and keeping all the fish, and comparing it to Upper Red. There is a thread in the outdoor discussion forum on the same topic that was put there to discuss such things.

There are a lot of guys that go out there and sit in the crowds and don't catch a thing, I can pick on two in particular. My uncle and my dad. When they go ice fishing, they go out, and my uncle always tells the bait shop he wants to buy one minnow, cause it is all he will use all day. And it pretty much is. I try to get them to work the fish, and jig the lines, and use plastics and all the other fun stuff. Problem being, they are old school guys and just don't want to change. It is hard to watch them sit there in the house, not catching fish, while my buddy and I are putting fish on ice left and right.

Trust me, there are many more like my dad and uncle out there fishing, not catching. Not every one of the guys that goes out there is keeping a limit, or even one.

I personally don't see an opportunity coming up to fish the Mille Lacs Crappies this spring, but next year, I am going to plan a time to stop by and give them a little time.

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Shack

AHH, SA is just being SA. I give him a big grin.gif.

On forward!!!!!!!!!!!

I just found out from a fellow F.M.er this weekend is Easter Sunday. I was planning a comb perch/crappie run for that day. I have to do some checking, but Sat I might hit it up…

Tom,

You bring up a great point. Spring/Summer fishing for ML crappies. I like the wading thing, but I can not use my flasher grin.gif. I would assume people use regular pan fishing set ups, like a light action rod, slip bobber. What have others used for the presentation? Flu-Flu, bare hook and sinkers, what? Also I assume a crappie minnow would work. It seems summer is the time for meat.

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polarsusd81

The time I found them, was open water and they would inhale a flu flu with a wax worm under a slip float. I think wading out there would be fun, but it would have to be a pretty calm day to do that.

I plan to put on the waders for the rest of the late ice trips down here in the metro area as the ice isn't going to hold too well on the edges much longer. That and I can kneel on the ice without getting wet at all.

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HunterWinfield

Here was the crappie scene last Saturday - the crappie bite has been pretty good - there have been reports of fish in the other bays as well.

We suggest coming out mid week - our access is nice. If you come out on the weekend, come early to get setup before the crowd.

Good luck!

crappie2.jpg

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SlamNFish

\:D maybe the cost of gas will get so high no one will get out to catch the fish anyway?

Hey Tom, No ones trying to turn this into a red lake forum , but the overall fishermen are good enough to catch crappie in the spring. I'm sure you know some place where people line a river or a channel or a shore in the spring and everyone is catching fish? That potenetially could damage some lakes.

I'm Lucky to have had some fun with the ML crappie and learn some good spots and techniques from one of the best teachers of the outdoors a guy could have and that was my Grandfather and he was one of the best outboard motor mechanics ive ever known. He repaired several outboards for his neighbors on ML.

Good luck when ya fish ML Tom. I haven't fished the ML crappie in quite sometime but back when i did you would never just lift them in the boat we always netted them or they would fall off from the weight of the fish I hope the Crappies are still like that today.

Go Slam a few, and a couple for me grin.gif

Hey nice pic of malone island are cabin was very close to that island.

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MOBY RICHARD*

Looks like Red Lake a few years back...only 5,000+ plus views already...a new record in the making... crazy.gif

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