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Aitkin County lakes are ice free and giving up crappies

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Well it's been a great 3 days of fishing which is about dat day 4,5& 6 after ice out.

Fri...was the best with over 100 fish caught...60 crappies,30 gills and around a dozen bass.








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i am heading up there this net weekend to get the boat in the water. have you heard anything about the pan fish on round lake? yet this year, if not where are the hot lakes

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I can't say ...which Round?If it's the one by Horseshoe then that access ramp is not fixed yet.

Most of the areas I'm fishing are very small areas ...so I'm not naming them.

If the lake has pannies ,then they are just starting to move in.

Get small and move a lot until you find them.

That's what we are doing.

Bigger lakes will take a bit longer to warm up.

If anyone knows the backgrounds please keep it too yourselves.

These pics came from 3 different lakes.

I have had to cover major water to locate these fish.

They were caught in 5-8 fow.

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I got lucky the last morning "4/20" of my 5 day Hunt. 22# 8 1/2" Bird!

Sometimes it's better to be lucky than good!

With a bird like that I'd be happy to be lucky....what a thrill!

We've been having some cold weather and if you plan on fishing slabs this weekend...make sure you downsize.

I saw 3 boat fulls of guys with nothing using minnows.

There were 4 of us in 2 boats that caught our limits plus using small baits.

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ck, that loon and its background is obviuos to me,can i spill the beans? wink nice fish, I tried your 1st pics spot on tues morning, with mixed results. would like to hit it in afternoon when the water temps rise a bit but work interfered again. frown

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If you want everyone in your lap...go ahead make my day.LOL

Sorry ...your day.

Either way it goes I'm sure boats will be crusing that area.

I'll be searching a gill lake this weekend and if they are not there then back to that area I'll be.

If that's full then I'll go to my plan C.

If that's full then plan D after that I'll just start singin...that should clear a few boats.

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Another great weekend fishing crappies.We managed around 150 per day.


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how is the channel getting to the smaller lake were your fishing?

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

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Good Luck everyone this weekend, be safe and dont forget your new license and bring life jackets! If you see 3 guys in a 20 warrior, wave.

Catch ya on the water, bart.

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

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TB...I'm not where I think you think I'm thinking we are at...

We tossed many slabs back bigger than 12" and many that were 10" that looked like fatter females.

95% of our fish were in that 10" range that we kept.

I will say that in a few short years there's gonna be a bumper crop of 12" slabs as there was a very good 10" and slightly under class represented by what we caught.They are very health and have wide shoulders already, which with ultralight rods provided some excellents fighters.




It's still very early and by the way it looks there are several more weeks of prespawn activity.

CrappieBart...it took a bit but I'm learning that there are many who just surf these forums for fishing spots and really could care about the fishery itself.

I do bring many from out of the area to our waters to catch nicer fish then what they could at home ,however I lay out the release slot sizes that I've self imposed to try to make sure these quality fish will be there for others to catch later,unfortunately there are many double dippers that live in the area that hurt these fisheries.Sure your gonna get the weekender out there and they will take some fish,but it's the locals that hit a pattern and beat it out every day that do more damage.

I used to be one of them until I saw these smaller lakes fisheries not put out what it used to.

So now CPR rules although if one of my guys wants to take a limit...I see no reason to say no.

Many trips I'm out releasing everything.

As to pictures showing backround posted on these big forums...I've learned.

Too bad that these areas get raped.It would be a lot more fun showing you all of the action on the videos.

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I hear you and agree with what you are saying...I am enjoying your posts more now...

It's not the Olden Days anymore, with only a mix of Rowers and 5HP and 10HP pull start motors....

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Now that I have laid out what we caught I will say that finese fishing was responsible for these fish being caught.

The guys with minnows went skunked over 2 days of fishing.

Downsizing was nessesary to get the bite to occur.

You can tell that we are many weeks away from the spawn as the males were really light in color.

Releasing these nicer fish over 12" will save the fishery.

For those that keep all of those big ones...your killing our fishery for a short lived feeling of victory.

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

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We used minnows and waxies this last weekend and caught a lot of fish. It seems the bigger females hit the minnow on a tube jig. I also notice a boat that was releasing smaller crappies out of the livewell and replacing them with much larger fish. They were fishing the same spot both days this weekend. I believe they are "Killing the population instead of killing their limit". Well good luck to everyone this weekend!

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herbie20 you can always call tip, its my understanding culling is illegal in Minnesota.

I'am glad to know there are people who relize the delicate balance of our resources, Regardless of hunting or fishing there seems to be a alarming trend of so called sportsman feeling some sort of entitlement for raping the resource.

Good luck to everyone this openor!!!!

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  • Your Responses - Share & Have Fun :)

    • LakeofthewoodsMN
      On the south end...   A great week of fishing with walleyes and saugers caught in good numbers.   The go-to presentation, again, was a jig and frozen emerald shiner.  Emerald shiners are a staple in LOW and walleyes love them.  Other minnows worked also, but emerald shiners are a favorite of anglers for good reason.   The Lighthouse Gap area, Morris Point Gap and just in front of Pine Island held nice fish in 17 - 21' of water.  Various schools of walleyes and saugers across the south shore.     A quarter ounce jig in gold, glow white, pink, orange, chartreuse, or a combo of these colors tipped with a minnow worked well again.   Some big pike and jumbo perch being caught by walleye anglers. On the Rainy River...  Some nice walleyes were caught on the river this weekend, although most anglers normally head to the lake.  12 - 15' of water is holding some nice fish.   Sturgeon fishing on the Rainy River is closed until the keep season starts up again July 1st. Up at the NW Angle...  Some nice walleyes being caught along with a mixed bag.  12 - 25 feet of water.  Points, neck down areas and bays with warming water were holding good fish this week.    The go-to presentation was a jig and minnow as on the south shore.  A mixed bag as is common around the Angle.  
    • leech~~
      Nice work!   Here's two words you hardly ever hear anyone say anymore.  "grateful and humbled"   
    • Brianf.
      RLG, thanks for the shout-out!     Jeff and I are still trying to wrap our heads around what happened this past weekend.  We are humbled and full of gratitude  for having won 'The Classic' for a second time.     We practiced through all the rain on Thurs and the wind on Friday and found six different spots holding big fish.  Fishing was good on both days with several 'overs' in our catch...but would it hold up for another day?   We didn't know.     On tourney day, we made a long run to our first spot where I lucked out on a 26.5"er on my second cast.  Jeff followed up with a thick 27" er a few minutes later, which turned out to be the big fish for the event at 7.26lbs.  We finished out our limit and weighed-in at 10:30 am for the welfare of the fish in our livewell.    There were some big weights in this event which would have won in most other years, but - for whatever reason - this was our day.  Everything just went our way.  Again, we are just super grateful and humbled by this success.  We also want to congratulate all the other anglers who did well and give a big 'thank you' to the tournament organizers who put on such a great event!  
    • SkunkedAgain
      I had a good start to the season on opener. Fishing was slow but consistent. I had four eaters in the box by lunch dragging perch raps. Crappies were biting. I haven't been up since so don't know how things have changed since then, but I'm sure the walleye continue to migrate out into the main basins.
    • redlabguy
      Let’s start this by congratulating Brianf and son for winning their second City Autoglass Walleye Classic last weekend. These guys know how to fish.  We just got to the lake for the season. Chores are almost done and I’m ready to fish.  red(new dog is more yellow)labguy
    • Jetsky
      I tried starting a 2024 Lake Vermilion Fishing Report topic but it doesn't show up on this board.   Maybe somebody else knows how to do it?
    • Mike89
      then use the BB gun after catching them!!!    and then enjoy rabbit dinner for revenge!!!   
    • leech~~
      Yep crazy. 🤪 I played goalie in HS and my two grandsons play hockey now.  
    • gimruis
      Hockey gear in general is very expensive.  I was in a Pure Hockey last month to get my skates sharpened and while they were doing it I looked around at gear.  A new pair of CCM/Bauer customized skates can easily top 1000 bucks.  Then you need everything else.  It would be several thousand before you had everything.  And then your kid grows like a weed so you need to buy bigger gear.   Then there's goalie gear.  That's enough to buy a small boat.   Nothing cheap about that sport by any means.
    • leech~~
      That's a good idea Mike.  But, my sweet wife who's never killed anything in her life, wants them all dead and their skulls on poles! 👹  🤣
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