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Swimming around in the shallows on most of the area lakes. Crappies haven't spawned yet it would appear and the sunfish are in pre spawn mode.

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cant disagree more TB..... crappies dont get that spawning mood until water temps hit the low to mid 60's. And thats very typically pushing Memorial weekend. This past weekend water temps were 62-66 degrees on area lakes in Ottertail County.

I am on East Battle Tonkabass, as are you. I dont know where you saw crappies spawning before opener or around opener. I was up there for the entire week before opening fishing and water temps were 54-60 degrees that week on the lake. Aint no spawning crappies in them temps.....

Boy did I find some pie plate sunnies on an OTC lake this past weekend..... No sunnie beds anywhere we caught them. Pre-spawn for sure. Sunfish should be on beds very soon up there. Need some nicer days though.... dang its been cool for a coupla nights!

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cant disagree more... The crappies have been spawning since before opener.
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This past weekend I was catching crappies in 8-12' water and they were full of eggs. The weekend before that on a different lake I was catching them in 2-3' and they did not have any eggs and they were extremely black. The lakes were about 10 miles apart but were in completely different stages of the spawning cycle. Of course one was a shallow dark bottom lake and the other was a deeper cleaner sandy bottom lake.

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Where da big crappies at? Where da big sunnies at?

Straight out from shore; triangulate the spot between the red barn with the green roof, the broken off cottonwood tree, and the dog barking on the dock. grin

I found ink-black crappies in about 3 ft of water on the northwest shore of a relatively small lake the weekend before opener. The wind was blowing into that area at the time. Some had mush eggs, but not all.

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It was such a nice night out yesterday that we went gill fishing just for something to do outside. Did not even bring a basket so it was C and R.

Caught a fair number of gills in cabbage in about 10 FOW. Some of them were just bulging with spawn yet. Saw a few beds around our dock as well.

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Quote:
I was catching them in 2-3' and they did not have any eggs and they were extremely black.

They didnt have eggs becuase those are the males. The jet black ones are most often the guys.

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cant disagree more... The crappies have been spawning since before opener.
u sir are correct. I mean after all its almost june of one of the warmest springs on record. if the crops havent spawed then they aint gonna
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Got sum 15 oz sunnies just north of ottertail. 12-15oz that is. Piled em up. good times.

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I know the smallies were nearly done on the lake I fished in OT county last weekend. Lots of empty beds and the ones that were still bedded were obviously spawned out. Usually fathers day weekend is when I see them on the beds....Water was too stirred up to see if there were any panfish on beds though...

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Hey Beefyeater,

Dont matter what time of year it is..... the water temp does the dictation. laugh

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Hey Beefyeater,

Dont matter what time of year it is..... the water temp does the dictation. laugh

Not to be a "know it all" because I for sure don't, but I have to disagree here. The temp is just one thing. Fish come in waves, some way early, some way late. To live and die by the temp theory is a recipe for missing out on major patterns that are happening. Obviously fish spawn in those temp ranges, but not all. The smallies in the Cabelas tank just had a successful spawn and the water temp is 78. It was during a full moon.

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I should have said temp is a very key factor. Doesnt matter how early or late spring comes. The temps are still needed for things to get rolling.

Just because ice out was a month early doesnt mean the fish will spawn a month early...

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That's awesome. I never thought they would actually spawn in there. Do they do that every year?

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No, the biologist there tries to keep the water around 55 in the sunfish and walleye tanks and the bass at 78. If the bass tank gets cooler they all start fanning within hours, same is true if the sunny tank get warmer. Not sure on the walleye tank. He tries to make them not spawn. There was actually two clutches that hatched both from the same male. You can tell the one female because she has some abrasions on her side from the male biting her. The fry are probably all eaten by now, but a few days ago they were still there.

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uuuuummmmm usually if its 80 plus degrees in april the water tempereture is going to warm much quicker then if it was 45 degrees in april. So???

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Got sum 15 oz sunnies just north of ottertail. 12-15oz that is. Piled em up. good times.

Soooo, Beefeater, now that you got the fish after asking advice, how about returning the favor? Not the lake, but maybe the conditions/ side of the lake/ depth/ method/ bait/ etc...

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Tuesday few sunfish roaming the shallows, with very few beds. Water is in mid 70s, so could be any day. For reference fairly shallow lake and usually one the first for sunfish to spawn. Expect beds action by the weekend.

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West side of the lake, 8-10ft, oarnge delong baits without the tail( i always use de longs preferabbly oarnge, that way u dont have to constantally rebate). Im sure crawlers would work just dandy too. just the delong and a split shot 1 foot up. No cork... They were ferousius im sure theyed ate just about anything. Actually got a few over a pound or more if u count Warmouths.... ride over the side of the boat. PLATES... I was throwin 8 inchers back like they were invasives.......

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Just checked the web. Its the DeLong Corn Borer- Orange with black eye. Delong mousies work aswell but i dont like the longer tail.....

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Got sum dandies over fergus way.. Ill tell ya what fergus is were its at for the pannies. Also got sum dandy eyes on lyda. lots of 24 ta 27 inchers... Get sum tremendous walleye numbers on my home waters in the metro tho now

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  • 2 weeks later...

We got into some nice sunnies this week at Star Lake. Definitely they were tougher to find than normal years, I suspect due to the lake foilage. Those that we found were definitely big fish. We hit a spot jigging for bass last night where the sunnies started hitting the topwater lure. We quickly switched to ultralight and small poppers and had a crazy 30-45 minutes just after sunset. I used a small torpedo and the sunnies loved it.

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  • Your Responses - Share & Have Fun :)

    • SkunkedAgain
      Luckily we don't have large open areas of ice that break away, such as on Red Lake.   Stay safe and warm.
    • JerkinLips
      Earlier this morning it looked like Vermilion froze over last night but now I see open water on the Hibbing Point webcam.  The strong winds must have opened the lake back up.  Tonight the temps drop to single digits and the wind dies down by 5am so it will freeze over tonight.  Expecting 1-2" of snow on Friday with high winds so hopefully the snow will blow off the new ice.  Saturday-Thursday looks very cold with no more snow, so the main lake should get a solid freeze.  Some are ice fishing in Stuntz Bay already, and some braver than I may walk out from McKinley Park this weekend.  I'm going to wait until the end of next week to venture out, although it will be very cold.
    • LakeofthewoodsMN
      On the south end... Ice is forming, but other than some back bays, it isn't ready quite yet.  Mother Nature is on track.  Some resorts are making the prediction of December 10th for day houses being out, give or take, but at this point, this isn't set in stone and time will tell.  There are cold temps in the forecast and things look optimistic.  Many resorts and outfitters have been checking ice conditions.  When the time is right, resorts and outfitters will slowly and safely begin marking and grooming trails for ice travel.    Please remember, ice conditions vary greatly in different parts of the lake.  One ice road can have good ice that has been checked and marked while down the shoreline there may be ice not suitable for travel yet.  Work through resorts and outfitters on the ice and stay on the marked trails for safety. Anticipation is high as the walleye and sauger fishing this fall was good and fish were staged in good numbers along the south shore.   On the Rainy River...   Much of the Rainy River is frozen up.  Things are progressing but it certainly needs cold weather and some time. Ice conditions vary and on the river there is current, so much like the lake, we encourage visitors to work through a resort or outfitter for safety.   Up at the NW Angle... Ice is forming nicely and is right on track for this year's ice fishing season.  There has been no ice fishing yet as resorts are simply monitoring ice conditions at this time, waiting until the ice is thicker before marking trails and getting fish houses out. Fall fishing was excellent with walleyes in good numbers along with some monster pike being caught.  All indications point to good fishing when the ice is ready as the fish are there. Driving through Canada to reach the Angle no longer requires COVID vaccinations or the use of the ArriveCan App (which is optional).   For those looking to access the Angle while avoiding customs, there are few options.   1.  When ice conditions allow, the snowmobile trail will be groomed and staked from the south shore up to the Angle. 2.  The Lake of the Woods Passenger service provides round trip bombardier service across the lake.   3.  Lake Country Air provides air service to both the south end and NW Angle.    
    • Wanderer
    • leech~~
      Was just going to post this!  
    • Wanderer
      At least they can all say they were there early!  
    • SkunkedAgain
      I'm still hoping for a sunny warm-up to melt all of the existing snow off of the existing ice, and then an arctic blast. After that, I'm hoping for a giant walleye to hop out of the lake and filet itself before skinny dipping in some batter and then relaxing in a hot pan of oil in my kitchen.
    • gimruis
      I'm planning to go later this week.  There's fresh snow coming tomorrow too.
    • gimruis
      I would highly recommend not doodling around out there at night time either.  When those cracks form, the piece breaks off from the main sheet or the land and you are then caught "adrift" with no way back.   The bite is not as good as it normally is from what I have read either.  We're so used to hearing that "its on fire" for the early ice bite but that doesn't appear to be the case.
    • leech~~
      Well, a new report for today talked about cracks opening up and ice piling up!  Better check the night before you head up.  😕
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