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  • Connect, BE BRAVE - We Share Fishing Reports & Outdoor Information Here

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  • Your Responses - Share & Have Fun :)

    • gunner55
      So that's what you call all that MGL now?😉
    • gimruis
      I fish the crappie contest every year on Lake Minnetonka in early May and someone brings in a 15+ inch crappie out there every time.  Last year the biggest was a 16.5 incher.
    • ozzie
      I am sure Icehawks theory doesn't play out on all lakes, but my findings is more inline with what Icehawk stated.  It may have to do with after a lake is winterkilled pressure is usually nonexistent for a few years, and if there is a good year class hatch the next year, they tend to grow quicker as the competition is less and the forage can still be abundant.  When I was on the ice more often I used to keep an eye on lakes that winterkilled and would try to hit them 2-3 years later.  Not always a payday but often we found success with little competition for fishing spots.   Good read and discussion!
    • smurfy
      while i tend to agree with most everything you posted icehawk, i'm going to disagree to a degree regarding the winter kill and fish growing big faster. NOW i'm not looking for an argument!!!!!😂 the lake our cabin is on is what what i would consider was one of those trophy fish, sunfish, lakes back in the day. since 1965 when we first bough the place 3/4 to lb sunfish off the dock. this lake has had a winter kill 4 times since we owned the place. last year it had a severe winter kill, and i'd bet all the beer in my house that it will get finished off this year.   one year it had a winter kill, fish population decreased but was ok so to speak.  several years later it had another winter kill, and numbers and size went off on the wayside. it did rebound in numbers but never in size. it be a good outing if ya caught 3 to a lb fish.   now before you say it i will. i'm sure it has alot to do with it being a smaller up north lake. like itasca county north. the lack of weeds for food or cover where never an issues, actually probably is a main reason it winterkilled. there is a 50 ft hole as well as a good amount of 20-30 ft of water. but alot of shallow 6-8 ft of weedy bays!!!!   ok icehawk....give it to me!!!!!!
    • IceHawk
      Partial Winter kill  basically thins the population, eliminateing the stunting going on in a lot of lakes because of a over abundance of panfish.  Sort of thin the herd.  During a partial winterkill not all panfish will die and the ones that make it grow real quick.  This comes  from less competition for food and forage.  Another benefit is getting rid of high rough fish populations that frequent a lot of winterkill lakes such as bullheads carp. Rough fish  basically ruin the ecosystem by destroying weeds which in case create habitat and microorganisims that it takes to grow sumo panfish.  Sort of a full circle rebuild  in the underwater world.  
    • smurfy
      hoping to make it.....kinda far drive though!!!!!!!!!🤔 its also about that time of year when the wild game feed is in town!!!!!!!!!!
    • Getanet
      Really interesting advice. I'm especially interested in why you say to look for lakes with occasional winter kill. Why is that? Less competition for food?
    • IceHawk
      I would say Yes as Jeff talked to me earlier in the week and wants it to be a Cat Panfish gathering and we all know the Chain is catfish central.
    • JustinN
      I'll be there!
    • IceHawk
      There has been a lot of talk about trophy fish  on the site and in the fishing community as of late. So I thought I would try and give some advise maybe some tips to a approach that helps me up my odds of landing some quality fish. .Obviously there are different opinions on a trophy caliber fish to some who aren't as experienced or don't get out a lot  a 8 1/2 inch gill or 11 inch crappie is considered a trophy. My hats off to them and a congratulations goes out to them but IMO  in time with experience they will set the bar higher. Myself  and a few other experienced anglers I fish with set some pretty high goals for ourselves. I consider a 10 inch gill up and a 13 inch crappie up trophy caliber fish. I know that standard is high but its been achieved quite a few times and you have to set higher goals to work hard to achieve them. Here are some steps I recommend to help in your search. 1)  Well first thing is research, do some searching here and other areas on the internet and find out what areas counties are notorious for kicking out trophy caliber fish. You definitely up your odds and percentages by putting yourself in the right area.  You don't want to hit lakes that are notorious for small panfish AKA nursery's. And also be willing to put on some miles there's a reason trophy panfish come from far away less harvest and pressure. I will help your search Douglas, Todd, Beltrami, Ottertail and Kanabec are some bread butter areas that always produce trophy fish every year. 2) Go to MN  Lakefinder in that county you intend to target  and search lake  surveys. Look at two things number of fish netted and size netted. For Gills I look for high numbers of 8-9 and with any luck a few in the 10-11 in same lake.  For crappies I look for high numbers in 10-11 and a few in the 12-14 inch range. Next lakes with occasional winterkill and 5 -10 fish limit rules are worth investigateing. 3) Once a lake is selected do some research on it water clarity history etc. Pick the lake according to time you intend to fish. If daytime fishing stained moderately dirty lakes would be my choice. If fishing the evening  AKA wheelhouse dunking minnows a clear body of water will  normally be the ticket. I also like to chase trophy panfish in Known walleye lakes as they tend to grow some hogs as they often aren't targeted for that species  and get bypassed by the walleye fisherman. 4) Go out fishing an if all possible get out prime time very early before first light or right before the evening bite. IMO in all my years of fishing I would say 75% of the trophys I have caught Ice fishing have been at daybreak. My philosophy is noise really plays key in ice fishing. Ever notice how the Red Lake bite and many other lakes always die when the trucks and wheelhouses come out? Noise pushes them off. I like to have holes cut shacks set  well before dawn in prime locations and be ready.  Isn't that why there called sunfish 😂 And be quiet you cant realize  how many times I witnessed on my camera fish spooking from as much as a boot with cleats scraping ice. Lastly  when fishing on a piece of water get to know your neighbor fishing by you give a friendly Hello maybe start a conversation some small talk . You cant imagine how many leads locations on that lake I have got just by being friendly. Hopefully some of this advise tips will help a few in the Quest of a Trophy.😁
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