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Big Sandy Crappie Cribs


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I was fishing walleyes with a friend who has a cabin on the lake and a DNR surveyor asked us about our fishing. We asked him about the crappies we had caught in the spring and we couldn't find them anymore. Then he said they move to the cribs in the big part of the lake. No one we have talked to since said they know anything about the cribs. We catch huge crappies in the spring in the weeds and then in Bill Horn bay in the winter. I was wondering maybe Big Sandy would have the crib fishing like upper red lake in the winter? It would be nice to find those cribs. Does anyone know where they are?

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I will ask around and see if the bait shops know anything. I think the DNR surveyor heard this info from fishermen because he knew roughly where they were.( the large part of the lake, which doesn't help very much). I look into it further and let you know.
bf

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I have grown up fishing big Sandy lake and do very well in the summer on eyes in the main lake. I however notice that all the ice fisherman fish north end of bilhorn bay. I have never herd of cribs in the main lake, he may however be talking about the rock piles that are scatered threw that area. I fish these areas from spring to fall and do very well with eyes and large perch. in the summer i have not caught crapies in these locations, they tend to be under docks and in the weed beds. The winter may move them to these rock humps. I have never fished them in the winter but have always wanted to try them for eyes, maybe it would be good for slabs as well. In 20 some years i have never seen a person fish these areas in the winter, yet other lakes with this kind of structure will draw many anglers, everyone on sandy seem to like to beat their head against the same wall in the north end of billhorn year after year.

let me know what you find ou about the cribs

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hello, my name is eric and i live on big sandy. The cribs that the dnr was talking about are located in front of the Big Sandy Camp. It is only good in the summer though. I dont know why. The best ice fishing is on Bill horn bay. That is where i fish. The best time is at sun set. BUt not past it because in the night they dont bite. Email me for any other questions email me.

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Eric, I have always gone up the channel to Aitkin Lake for crappies. I'm not sure where Big Sandy Camp is. I have several good maps of the lake, but none at home here. Would it be marked on a map? I can probably ask around when I get back up. If convenient either post or email, I couldn't find your email address. thanks

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Oldmil How do you get on Aitkin Lake? was looking on a map but dont see a channel from Big Sandy , or road that access's the lake would like to find another place for slabs,have been On Minnewawa a few times this year but haven't done very well,any info would be appreciated depth and bait
thanx

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RC, if you have been to the dam/camping area you can get to Aitkin. After coming off the open lake but before entering the channel in front of the dam you can take a right (east?). You'll turn just before a small island, miss the turn and you are heading to the dam. The channel is difficult to see in the fall after the weeds get thick, but there is always a path open. Not sure on public roads in...I camped there 20 years ago but it looks to have gone private, yearly lease type.

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  • Your Responses - Share & Have Fun :)

    • Bobberwatcher
      I don't see ice going out til April. Some more 50 degree temps on the way, but still getting near or below freezing most nights and an extended forecast I saw is showing highs around 30 and even some single digit lows at night for the last couple weeks March. Little if any rain too. 
    • Bobberwatcher
      I don't see ice going out til April. Some more 50 degree temps on the way, but still getting near or below freezing most nights and an extended forecast I saw is showing highs around 30 and even some single digit lows at night for the last couple weeks March. Little if any rain too. 
    • CigarGuy
      Looks like there's plenty of ice still in Spring Bay! Kids snowmobile racing.
    • BWpineisland
      My wife is in total agreement with yours. I love the quiet and remoteness, my wife hates the ice travel!
    • SkunkedAgain
      There aren't a lot of cabins in the bay to begin with, a whole other bonus! For the folks on the south side of the bay, it's an access issue as well. People in general are less likely to go in the winter when you don't have road access, because now you introduce ice conditions, snow depth, darkness, cold, and other factors into the trip. While I have always enjoyed those challenges, it is much different to drive up on a Friday night and pull up to your place versus get there at 10pm, unload machines and gear, and go across the lake at night with gear in tow. I love it. My wife hates it. My daughter is in the middle.   Enjoy it up there.
    • smurfy
      yea that ice looks like its about on its last leg!!!!
    • Rick G
      Being we had a few hours of weather cold enough to make ice I decided to check out one of the small shallow lakes in the St Cloud area.  Ice was in surprisingly good shape this morning, had about 6-7 inches of hard ice again.   Found a pretty decent bite in 8-11 ft of water.  Crappies were riding high in the water colom while sunfish remained close to the bottom for the most part.  Best bait for me was a 3mm motoroil/chrome with a impulse mayfly. By mid afternoon we could definitely tell the ice wasn't as firm as it was in the morning. By the time we left at 4pm I had put all thoughts of returning tomorrow morning out of my mind.  At no point did I feel unsafe, we were prepared for whatever, floatation suits, ropes and ice picks at the ready😏😁.  Today was definitely my last day on the ice for the yr...next stop, spring carp/suckers😁   VID_20240229_150704553.mp4
    • Rick G
      Just trying to make as little noise as possible once holes have been drilled.  
    • CigarGuy
      I take my sxs all the way down Phillips Rd. road to Cains driveway and turn around at the entrance to Laura's and her son's Brian's driveways, Brian bought Davey Crockett's old place.(I think that was his name). You see them fishing on his dock at the beginning of the narrow part of the channel heading in Black Bay. They have the only 2 driveways that are plowed during the winter down Phillips Rd. My neighbor, whom you met, used to plow his boat house road so we access the lake easier in the winter for ice fishing, but he doesn't ice fishing much anymore, so just sleds down that road. I think I know who lets you access the lake, nice of him. I'm surprised more people in Black Bay don't use their places in the winter. I'm heading up in the morning!
    • chucker1101
      I drove on I-35 over Albert Lea Lake on Jan 5. It wasn't even partially frozen, and it's like 6-8 ft average depth or something like that. Those lakes in Sourthern Minnesota didn't even get 2 months of ice this year.
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