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Shack

The Myth, The Legend, The Mille Lacs Crappie.

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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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Shack

Good to see some people made it out :).

HunterWinfields,

I have never gone out of your resort before, but have heard great things about you guys.

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Shack

Moby,

I think it was me who clicked on this thread 5,000 times. LOL grin.gif

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Dances with Walleye

 Originally Posted By: 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

I've recently started doing some freelance writing for a Men's Website that has an outdoor section...

One of the articles I'm working on right now is about spreading the understanding about stewardship of the land & lakes.

It's one of those things that has to run via the snowball effect...

It has to start small and build up to a critical mass...

Creation and preservation are acts of slow progression... Where as acts of destruction and abuse are always fast and long felt, as scars upon the natural resources.

I believe that we as sportsman are reaching a critical mass of people who understand the preservation of the land or a fishery.

Still it starts with each individual... Every angler, spreading this knowledge and understanding to his friends, his family and co-anglers... Not by ranting and raving to great hysterics... Instead change is accomlished by acts of character.

Think about your life... Looking back and how small actions have steered the course of your reality. The same thing applies on the scale of your angling ethics... Small actions can have long term broad effects.

I had a single moment 3 years ago, where I was fishing with a bunch of guys from work on a pontoon boat... I caught a 10 inch blue gill, and said "Ooop... Gotta put that one back!"

Before you know it I've got guys asking me why, and I'm explaining it because they're interested.

Versus another time a few months later... A friend of a friend at Fish camp was bragging about the 14 inch Crappie he caught and how good it tasted to fry up... And having consumed a few adult beverages, I proceeded to laud over him with information about how he was hurting the fishery... Table Fare size... And Selective Harvest...

The guy wrote me off...

Flash forward 3 years...

Everytime I happen to go fishing with the guys from work... Selective Harvest is the Standard Practice... Last Summer I went fishing with Mr. 14-inch Yummy Crappie, and he still didn't get it!

If you want to affect change you have to affect change with actions of character and uphold change will well mannered vigilence.

Because in the end it's about connecting with people so they can understand the value of what it means to be a Steward of the waters.... Rather than blocking them out by ranting or shaking a finger at a 14" while your live well brims with 13 inch crappies.

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Guest

by the looks of the Hunter Winfelds photo, you must need a reservation on the ice

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jltimm

Yeah, and it will only get worse! Unless, you enjoy fishing with a few hundred people all crammed into the same area?

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bigdaddy1968

[Note from admin: Please read forum policy before posting again. Thank you.]

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The Grebe

We came by Scenic yesterday afternoon, on our way to a different location and Isle bay was a zoo! The one landing was shot and they had it blocked off, not sure where they were comming on and going off? Mud up to your elbows.

We were fishing perch and the area we went to was slooooow! The guys with the cameras said the big girls were down there, stacked up by the scores, but they wouldn't bite. For 3 of us with about 8 hours on the ice, we caught about about 50 perch and a couple of tulibees...of those, only 8 were jumbos to 12 inches. Last week we did alot better in the same area.

We tried everything from 35 feet up to 25 feet and everything in between....waxies, minnow heads, spikes, those stinky little red euros, fake bait, live minnows, stuff we got out of the perch we caught, different colors and sizes....I guess we were in the wrong place at the wrong time! We were the last ones off the ice, hoping for a mad rush at quitting time and that never happened.

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MOBY RICHARD*

[Note from admin: Please keep this thread on topic.]

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Shack

 Originally Posted By: The Grebe
We came by Scenic yesterday afternoon, on our way to a different location and Isle bay was a zoo! The one landing was shot and they had it blocked off, not sure where they were comming on and going off? Mud up to your elbows.

We were fishing perch and the area we went to was slooooow! The guys with the cameras said the big girls were down there, stacked up by the scores, but they wouldn't bite. For 3 of us with about 8 hours on the ice, we caught about about 50 perch and a couple of tulibees...of those, only 8 were jumbos to 12 inches. Last week we did alot better in the same area.

We tried everything from 35 feet up to 25 feet and everything in between....waxies, minnow heads, spikes, those stinky little red euros, fake bait, live minnows, stuff we got out of the perch we caught, different colors and sizes....I guess we were in the wrong place at the wrong time! We were the last ones off the ice, hoping for a mad rush at quitting time and that never happened.

Grebe,

Great report! I wish you had gotten on more fish though. Always next time.

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HunterWinfield

Next time you are in the area, stop by and check the place out...

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HunterWinfield

Grebe - the access you saw blocked off I think was at Chapmans - our's is great right now and we expect it to last through the weekend at least. If you are coming into Isle (past Chapmans and Scenic), go left at the Supervalu and go up 1 block - you can go left / then right into our driveway (look for the red cabins).

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HunterWinfield

I read your other post about the south end being over fished - yes, there are a lot of people out and not everyone is catching them - there are a lot of little ones being caught and released which means there is more than one year class. As long as people respect the limits, we'll be catching 'em next year out there for sure.

Here is a shot from today - 9:30 AM Friday, March 21.

Crappie3-321.gif

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Shack

HunterWinfieldsResort,

I sure will :). Thanks for the update.

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Fisherman For a Lifetime

Hunter,

Hey thanks for taking the time and updating us. It does matter. I will come there & do my business with you. See you soon!

FFaL

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DHanson

If someone was smart, they would put a hot dog stand out there. \:D Put the rattle reels down behind you and make some money while you're at it. Man, that's going to be a zoo out there this weekend.

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