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MarkB

The weather today was a mix of clouds,sun,light east wind, and just enough cool to make a jacket feel comfortable. If I could be guaranteed next Saturday would be as nice as today, I would take it in a second. I figured it was about time to take an extended look at some of the spots I intend to fish this upcoming season. I checked out Daisy Bay, eastern Frasier Bay, the north side of Pine Island, and Big Bay. I checked lots of spots so I didn't spend alot of time at any one particular place. Water temperatures ran from 52.4 degrees to 49.4 degrees. In areas with

fairly shallow maximum depths(20' or <)I found fish scattered along steep shoreline breaks. 17'-20' seemed the best. I checked a couple spots that are a slightly deeper hole(24') on a point and both had fish. Deep water mud flats also had fish. I found fish in several areas and the optimum depths ranged from 30'-40'+.

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SkunkedAgain

I agree MarkB. Beautiful day on Saturday.

I saw lots of boats taking a "look around" in Black Bay. Only they were trolling lures and had bait buckets dragging behind their boats. Funny as I'm not sure what species are legal right now that can be caught by raps or minnows! I wish that more people were like you and truly just scouting instead of pre-fishing

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MarkB

Well, I guess until Minnesota changes the law to close and open all species at the same time, you have to assume people fishing before May 12 are fishing for species that are open. I've often wondered about the difference between C&R fishing during an open season with pictures, measurements, etc. and C&R fishing in a closed season with pictures, measurements, etc. I guess it comes down to ethics on the part of the fisherman. Although legal, it doesn't seem right to catch a crappie, bluegill, or perch, place it in the livewell and then catch big walleyes or other out of season fish and do exactly what would be done with that fish during a normal open season. Oh well, that all changes this Saturday! grin

Good Fishing,

Mark B smile

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NilesBayHusker

I've wondered this myself. What is the both the legal and ethical difference between "fishing for crappies" with spinners, tube jigs, live bait, etc. and catching/releasing walleyes and northerns? The walleyes and, it particular, the northerns are occupying the same warmer shallow bays that are the prime crappie spots right now. I think the ethical thing to do is, if you are only catching out of season fish, you should change tactics and or locations until you find this pan fish, then if you catch an occasional out of season fish, promptly release it while actually catching pan fish, you are fine.

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delcecchi

I've wondered this myself. What is the both the legal and ethical difference between "fishing for crappies" with spinners, tube jigs, live bait, etc. and catching/releasing walleyes and northerns? The walleyes and, it particular, the northerns are occupying the same warmer shallow bays that are the prime crappie spots right now. I think the ethical thing to do is, if you are only catching out of season fish, you should change tactics and or locations until you find this pan fish, then if you catch an occasional out of season fish, promptly release it while actually catching pan fish, you are fine.

Deliberately targeting out of season species is against the law in Minnesota. Since it is so difficult to enforce, and really probably doesn't have much effect, it doesn't seem to be a priority with DNR. So it is left up to the individual to make a personal decision. They know what their intent is, and what they think about obeying laws.

And they have to stay reasonable. Hard to argue you are crappie fishing with a 5 inch daredevle and a wire leader.

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James_R

We can't really prosecute morality when it comes to the law or at least we shouldn't. Since there really isn't a biological reason to close the walleye season in the first place I really don't see any harm in pre-fishing for whatever species if you have some extra time. C&R of course

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NilesBayHusker

Well,I just got back from a look around. Water temps are still running 51-52 degrees, even in the shallow bays. Saw fish on the screen stacked up pretty good around 14-16 FOW adjacent to deeper water. It looked like walleyes feeding on perch.

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MarkB

I haven't found any fish that shallow yet( at least I haven't seen them)and I certainly haven't seen any "stacked up". All of the fish I've been seeing are fairly scattered over a reasonably large area. With the enviable problem you guys have with tooooo many BIG walleyes, you're probably seeing walleyes feeding on walleyes laugh

Good Fishing,

MarkB smile

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Down Deep

The way I look at it out of season fishing is poaching. If someone is intentionally targeting out of season fish and playing the law they should get a ticket. With all the year round fishing opportunities we have in Minnesota I'm sure everyone can find a solution for their "itch to catch a fish"....

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NilesBayHusker

"The way I look at it out of season fishing is poaching. If someone is intentionally targeting out of season fish and playing the law they should get a ticket. With all the year round fishing opportunities we have in Minnesota I'm sure everyone can find a solution for their "itch to catch a fish"...."

I agree, intentionally targeting out of season fish should be ticketed, but we are talking about fishing for legal fish (pan fish). The crappies haven't turned on yet (at least not for me), despite the early ice out, and the only way to find when they turn on is to get out there and try. Using small tube jigs, small spinners and crappie minnows, is how I like to target crappies. In Southern Minnesota, there is usually a distinct window when you can find crappies when the shallow bays warm to the low 60s. This is usually in late April or early May. In Northern Minnesota, it's not that way (at least in my experience). Thus the lines get a little more blurred.

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SkunkedAgain

I'll just state that there were no blurry lines for the actions that I personally witnessed. Everyone knows where the crappies are in Black Bay. Everyone knows the creek that the walleyes come out of in Black Bay. The folks who don't know aren't the ones up here before opener. These folks were dragging rapalas and using minnows for bait.

I had no problems with the folks who boated straight over to the crappie spots and work those areas throughout the day.

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53orbigger

Pulling rapalas absolutely over the line, but not knowing where in Black Bay the crappies are and using minnows for bait automatically means someone is targeting out of season fish? That is a stretch. I don't know where the crappies are in black bay and I would be using minnows for bait if I was targeting crappies that does not mean I am targeting out of season fish.

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trolloni

Pulling small floating raps for crappie works! you will be surprized how well and the size of the crappie that hit em!And no Skunked im not smoking anything or blowing smoke either !

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FishinCT

Yes pulling raps definately works for crappies, caught many that way by accident on the Mississippi. That being said, absolutely not my #1 tactic for catching them this time of year...

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Chode2235

I agree, but I pull a lot of raps for spring crappies before they turn on. It can be hard to find them before they stack up.

I troll mini fat raps and #4, #5 floaters, etc. I also use a lot of crappie minnows too.

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SkunkedAgain

Well I guess that I learned some new techniques for crappie fishing. I'm still not going to use them myself though...at least not before the legal season for walleye/pike/bass begins. That'll just be my decision

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iceranger792

You know i got the itch to go too.. I sit and practice air jigging while relaxing on the couch! But i stay home, NO pre-fishing for this guy.. And i'll tell you all why..

5 yrs ago me and a couple friends went up to Red in search of some ice out slabs. After hrs of trying numerous spots we went shallow over some rubble and within 3 sec of wetting the line my friend had one on, but it wasn't a slab, it was an eye. I grabbed the net and as he was reeling it in their were 2 other eyes swimming, no dancing harmonically with the one that was being reeled in! We were all in a bit of amazement and confusion, but soon after i netted the fish and a entire SPEW of eggs come out when my friend picked up his fish we knew the other ones were males trying to spawn.. So yes, we were murders of hundreds of unborn walleyes, and we've never fished walleye spawning grounds ever again before opener..

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alski

What is the lake temp. at now?

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  • Your Responses - Share & Have Fun :)

    • skyking
      Was up last week on Kab and it seemed that your bait depended on where you were fishing. Some areas leeches did good, but others minnows were the go to. We lindy rigged the entire trip and on days when wind was gusty we did pretty good shallower with minnows in 13 to 20 ft....then some areas we were doing better with leeches 16 to 32 ft. No wind was like the dead sea.
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    • A Warrior
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    • Rick
      Angling regulations on Lake of the Woods and the Rainy River in northern Minnesota would change under a proposal being considered by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources to reduce the number of walleye and sauger allowed to be kept in the winter on the lake, and on the river allowing only catch-and-release fishing for those fish in the spring.  “We recently went through a public process of updating the Lake of the Woods Fisheries Management Plan and identified several potential areas of concern with regard to current levels of harvest,” said Phil Talmage, Baudette fisheries supervisor. “That’s why we’re discussing these potential changes.” The proposed changes would reduce the aggregate limit of walleye and sauger in the winter to align with the summer regulations on Lake of the Woods, and make spring angling on the Rainy River catch-and-release for walleye and sauger. The changes would go into effect starting March 1, 2019. Anglers will see yellow signs at public water accesses around Lake of the Woods and the Rainy River later this month notifying the public of the proposal. Future news releases will provide the details of a formal public comment period during the fall, and will include ways to provide comment to the DNR on the proposal. For more information on Lake of the Woods management go to mndnr.gov/lakeofthewoods. Discuss below - to view set the hook here.