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Steve, I haven't found that numbers of northern Minnesota black crappies come in shallow in fall.

In mid and late summer, they'll suspend over deep water off the deep edge of weedlines during the day and will come in and feed along those weedlines in evening, nighttime and morning.

As the water cools and the weeds die off, they tend not to come in and use the weeds, but mostly stay off into deeper water, with schools oriented along the drop outside the weed edge. Locations where the drop undulates in closer to the weed edge (so-called inside bends) are good places for crappies to gather, and as the water cools they'll congregate in some really large numbers and work minnow schools over pretty big vertical stretches of the water column. Drifting with the electric trolling motor to stay on the schools and working small jigs/minnows just above the schools will deliver some fantastic action this time of year.

If you can find significant pockets of shallow green weeds in fall near the drop, they will be magnets for many game fish, including crappies.

I've also had really good luck by staying upwind of the schools and casting a 1/16 jig head with 1- or 2-inch white Berkley power grubs in ultralight gear and letting the jig freefall toward the schools. A bite is signaled by the line twitching. If you hit them just right, you can pull in a fish a minute.

I don't know what temp triggers that movement, but checking the weeds to see how many are dead is a good place to start. Some of the weeds in lakes up here are dying now, and with this temp drop and rain and such (temp drop looks like it's going to last awhile), they'll be dying more quickly.

Good news is those schools are easy to see on the graph, and when you pinpoint a few fall spots that gather the big schools, you're in luck because they usually use the same locations year in and year out. smile

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There is one spot in the weeds I know in particular where they stack up in the fall about 10-12 feet of water... It is usually about the 3rd week in september... just thought of another spot too... shallow current area that should start about the same time..

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Being were remenising about when their used to be crappies on the big v i know of one shallow bay where they used to be in 3 to 7 foot range along and in the weeds , used to throw a white betts meat getter with a northland jig spinner added, or a northland gypsi jig in the fall a friend of mine would troll a clown no 7 floatin rap and get em along with a few walleyes

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Sorg i think those fish stay in that particular area all year but dont get me wrong they do get into big schools on the v and stack up seems like the surface temps were in the low fifties when we caught em deep congregated like that and then were fishin 28 to 34 ft deep.

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I know its a ways away but do any of you guys happen to know where they wonder off to in the winter on the west end?

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  • Your Responses - Share & Have Fun :)

    • Hookmaster
      Kudos for doing this. I'm sure a lot of fishermen would not have.
    • MikeG3Boat
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    • SkunkedAgain
      Those are some fine specimens. Great job
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    • leech~~
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    • Brianf.
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