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Sportland_Bait

Open Water Updates & Crappie Reports!

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Sportland_Bait

We are really making some headway now on getting rid of that ice. All of the smaller lakes in the area are now open. Gull is about 20% open, North Long 50% open, Round 70%, Hubert 80% and so on. By the end of today Gull and the Whitefish chain may be the only lakes in the area with ice, the forcast is for 66 degrees.

Over the weekend I tried a couple of my early season hotspots but the crappies weren't there just yet. I expect a few crappies to start moving into the small channels and boat canals in the next few days. I'm going to hit the water this morning yet I'll report later on the crappie action.

Jason Erlandson

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Sportland_Bait

Well the open water season is starting out with a bang. Morning was better than the afternoon, the wind pick up later. There are lots of fish being caught in a few locations. One area that is really starting to produce some fish is the Bar Harbor docks, the lake fishing was really good today as well. Cabbage weeds are holding the most fish right now. The crappies are tucked down in the weeds, in 5-8 feet of water. Puddle Jumpers are producing the best results in. Look for this great fishing to get even better from here on out.

crappies04138bq.th.jpg

C & R Twin 14 Inchers

"Puddle Jumpers"

Jason Erlandson

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JP Z

Nice Fish Jason!!! Hmmmmm, I may just have to try for some Craps this evening or maybe tomorrow.........

Thanks for the update.

You know if the Channels are starting?

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Sportland_Bait

Sorry for the late response JPZ, I was swamped in the bait shop yesterday. The channels are starting to turn on. Seems a little early compared to previous years, but the reports have been favorable so far.

Also all of our lakes are now ice free! As far as I could see last night Gull was wide open. We are about 6-7 days ahead of schedule on Gull. Time to go out and chase the slabs.

Jason Erlandson

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bear204

just wondering if anybody was out this week, Thinking of coming up this weekend. What is the water temps in some of the shallows

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Toad

Water temps remain in the mid to upper 40s in most bays, maybe into the low 50s by late afternoon. At the real extreme back ends of cattail lined banks, you'll find bluegills. Crappies are layed off the first breaklines leading into bays, while a few fish have started to move up in the late afternoon / early evening. Remember, we're still in April, still pretty early no matter how much the weather lately has tried to fool us! smile.gif

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tonyjor

How is this cold front going to affect the fishing over the next couple days? I was hoping to catch a few. Also, what does a puddle jumper look like? Is it like a small popper?

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walleye4_life

Where can you find puddle jumpers? I have been looking to try these and am having a hard time finding them. Any info would be appreciated. Thanks.

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JP Z

I know Sportland Bait, Koep's and Reed's carry them. Puddle Jumpers are a soft plastic tail.

pjsolid.jpg

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EYEHUNTER10

Hi i am coming up this weekend to the mille lacs grand casino with the wife for our anniversary, we were wondering where would be a good spot to hide from the cold and catch some slabs from shore? Maybe a nearby marina or something?? I am from lake minnewaska area, and we have done pretty good around here lately, just looking for some friendly advice as we dont know that area. Any lakes within driving distance of the grand casino would be an option. Thanks in advance -- Eyehunter10

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walleyedan

I would say to stop at Garrison Sports and ask for the low down. They are up on what is up on the BIG lake. They are located just north of the Holiday gas station on 169.

Walleyedan

p.s. There are some monster crappies in Mille Lacs and I'm sure they are in the marinas and bays on the south end right now.

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Matt Breuer

eyehunter10, Mille Lacs has many fishing ops from shore, you just have to be polite and ask. The marinas provide some decent fishing, if you can get away from people and be sneaky.

I hit the big pond for crappies while I was down there this week and did quite well. I also spoke with several fisherman who didn't even see a fish.

Try some of the resorts and marinas, there are also several creeks with moving water where you can find a fish or two...

On a seperate note, I made it out Tues., Wed., Thurs., and Friday while I was in the area. Caught numerous crappies ranging from 7-14.5". JP Z even came out and hit some slabbers! Thanks for the company JP!

All of the fish I caught and saw taken were in 5' of water or less. Small jigs and a small crappie minnow was the bait of choice!

Good luck, and as usual, it was great being back!

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koeps

AS OF THIS COOL MORNING FISHING HAS STILL BEEN VERY GOOD ON THE AREA LAKES-HAD GOOD REPORTS OF CRAPPIES IN AS SHALLOW AS 1 FOOT ON MARGARET CHANNEL AND THE OTHER CHANNELS ON GULL CHAIN TOWARDS NISSWA LAKE AND ROY LAKE-WE WERE SELLING MOSTLY WHITE PUDDLEJUMPERS BUT THE SMOKE AND PINK WERE CLOSE BEHIND-ALSO ALOT OF FLU-FLUS ARE STARTING TO GO IN THE 1/32 OUNCE

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fishin magician

I was on the Whitefish Chain all weekend. The crappies are in the shallows. Caught tons of fish in multpile lakes and areas. If you find warm water the crappies will be there. Bigger females in a little bit deeper water

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Sportland_Bait

The crappies have been on and off with the unseasonal cold bump we're experiencing. The bright spot has been the bluegill bite has started to really pick up. We are catching some very nice gills in the shallow water bays and shorelines. Wax worms on a small flu flu has worked well. The crappies have been biting good in the early morning and then again in the afternoon. Puddle Jumpers are still the go to crappie lure for the Brainerd area. But when the crappies are a little off it may be wise to use a few crappie minnows. We been finding them in the bays and shallows now, 6 feet or less. Look for the warmest water you can find, that is where they are.

If you are looking for Puddle Jumpers, we have the largest selection in the area, 25,000 in stock. Stop in or email us if you have any questions. We've been using them for the last 10 years, so we know these baits fairly well. I'll try to help you out in any way.

As far as Mille Lacs, I second Garrison Sports more info on the crappies. Talk to Kerry, he is a straight shooter. He provides the best info when it comes to the Mille Lacs area.

Jason Erlandson

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EYEHUNTER10

Went to garrison sports and they had a sign on there windows saying they were closed until spring or something in that order so I went to the other bait shop in town and he was helpful in selling me some puddle jumpers but useles as far as steering me in the right direction. I didnt feel like driving around the entire lake looking for fisherman so I stayed at the casino where it was warm and drank beer, I hope I can return to mille lacs area someday and pound some slabs and of course some eyes. I dont want to pull my piece of **** boat that far so I will have to try again next year from shore, or maybe this fall from shore for the eyes. If anyone has any specific marinas or shore opprotunities I can try next spring for crappies or for eyes it would be helpful if you dont want the whole world to know email me at raasch580@hotmail.com Thanks in advance, and thanks for your help I'm back home now and found the fishing slowed alot why I was gone. I live right by minnewaska, so I dont venture to far from home as the fishing here can be really great too, but I have never fished mille lacs yet and am just dying to give it a try. We did try bay lake from shore without even a nibble. I hate tackle shops that are more concerned about what they sell than the poor guy that just drove 100 miles plus to get there and has no clue where to go. Oh well beatifull drive, and from the seventh floor of the casino I could see the fullmoon lighted up the lake it was such a awesome sight, oh by the way I noticed a huge rock sticking out of the water what would that be called?? Is it a sunken island or part of a reef or something looks fishy I tell ya I hope next time I get there I'm out there in that full moon fishing for some eyes, Instead of window shopping, It was great to visit the area Just amazed at all the woods around there, I hope you guys know how good you got it!!

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Sportland_Bait

Finally another beautiful day in Nisswa. It's been a while but I think we are back on track. We had some guide trips for crappies this week out of Maddens Resort and I think the crappies are getting back into their normal routine. Where we found a little warmer water the crappies were there pretty thick. The sunfish were also very aggressive. We found some active biters in the shallows, as soon as that bite slowed we just moved a little deeper and found some more active fish. With the sunshine we've had the last day or so look for the crappies to move up into the shallows in full force. Some of the better spots to try on Gull are Love Lake, Margaret Lake, and down in Wilson Bay. Pink and white was the color of choice for the better sized fish.

Jason Erlandson

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  • Your Responses - Share & Have Fun :)

    • PRO-V
      Calling them would be your best bet. Maybe you can reserve some on a card.
    • delcecchi
      starft you off.... https://www.dnr.state.mn.us/lakefind/lake.html?id=69066000 http://files.dnr.state.mn.us/lakefind/data/lakemaps/b0537011.pdf Status of the Fishery Ely Lake is located approximately 2 miles SE of the city of Eveleth. This popular lake is highly developed with homes and cabins. There is a small seaplane base and two public swimming beaches also located there. Water clarity is good and large amounts of aquatic vegetation can be found throughout the lake. 

      There is a concrete planked boat ramp and dock located near the NE end of the lake off Cedar Island Drive (CR629) for public access. The parking space is somewhat limited near the ramp. Several private accesses are also present. 

      Thirteen species of fish were sampled during the 2017 survey on Ely Lake. Gill nets, trap nets and night electrofishing were all used to sample the fish community. Small bluegill were common in the gill net catch (34%) and abundant in the trap net catch (57%). Other panfish species including hybrid sunfish, pumpkinseed, green sunfish and black crappie were also sampled in good numbers. Largemouth bass outnumbered smallmouth bass in the 2017 sample. Walleye (16%) contributed to the gill net catch and several were sampled in the trap nets. Yellow perch are present in average amounts and some good sized pike were again sampled during the 2017 survey. 

      Bluegill numbers in 2017 (72.1/trap net) were much higher than the long term average (31.6/trap net) on Ely Lake and greatly above average (7.9/trap net) compared to other similar lakes in the area. The average bluegill sampled was 5.6 inches long and about 6 years old. Approximately 66% of the bluegill sampled with the trap nets were under 6 inches with a maximum size recorded of 8.0 inches. Bluegill sampled with the gill nets had a similar size structure. Approximately 7% of the hybrid sunfish sampled in the trap nets were 8 inches or larger. Several pumpkinseeds were also in this size range. 

      Largemouth bass (92%) and smallmouth bass (8%) were sampled during the night electrofishing effort. The average largemouth sampled was 10.9 inches which is similar to the historic average of 10.6 inches. The biggest largemouth sampled was 18.5 inches. Approximately 33% of the largemouth sampled were 12 inches or larger. The average smallmouth sampled was 9.8 inches which is slightly larger than the historic average (8.4 inches). The largest smallmouth sampled was 16.8 inches long. Approximately 32% of the smallmouth sampled were 12 inches or larger. Largemouth bass were also sampled from the gill nets and trap nets in numbers above average. 

      Walleye numbers in 2017 (6.2/gill net) were similar to the historic average (6.1/gill net) on Ely Lake and slightly above average (5.0/gill net) when compared to other similar area lakes with walleye. The average walleye sampled was 15.5 inches and about 4 years old. Approximately 34% of the walleye sampled were 15 inches or larger up to a maximum of nearly 29 inches. Walleye fingerlings are currently being stocked during even-numbered years and in 2017 approximately 62% of the walleye aged came from years where stocking occurred. 

      Northern pike numbers in 2017 (1.1/gill net) were similar to the historic average (1.3/gill net) and below average (3.2/gill net) compared to other similar area lakes with pike. The average pike sampled was 26.8 inches which is similar to the historic average length of 26.3 inches. The largest pike sampled in 2017 was 35.2 inches long and sampled with a trap net. 
    • gizmoguy
      Yes they do. Many resorts are set up for summer usage. Understand you can't use your FH in the storage lots. Only in a summer use lot. You have to pay for it. The cost is in addition to your winter fees. Usually more $ but the season is longer. The county requires the resorts to have bathroom facilities within a certain distance. Mac's Twin Bay has summer lots as do many others. Hunter's Point is another. Doubt Brandt's is set up for summer.
    • DRAGFOOT
      Sweet! Heading back up tonight through the weekend. Bringing the wife and little one this time instead of my buddies, hopefully the weather cooperates.
    • Neutz68
      Heading up Sat morning and will be looking for Shiners. Anyone know if the Gateway and/or Kab Outdoors have them in stock??    Thanks for the input.
    • crappieslapper
      Hi Guys & Gals, My brother in law recently purchased a property on Ely Lake. All the boys are invited up this year on Memorial. Unfortunately nobody in the family has been on the lake before. I thought I would reach out to the pros here on the forum to see if anyone would be willing to give us a few tips on fishing this lake. Thanks in advance, Dan
    • crappieslapper
      Hey Forum, My brother in law just purchased on Ely Lake. Memorial weekend will be the first time on lake. Wondering if anyone has some experience/tips they would be willing to offer the Ely lake rookies. Thanks so much. Dan
    • huntnfish
      I made it out last Sunday and did some searching for walleye. The search didn't produce any walleyes, just northerns and smallies. The water temp on the main lake was 58-59 with the bays being about 5 degrees warmer. The people I have talked to have had similar issues finding the eyes. We missed some fish that left the shiner all chewed up. Most of the fish marked were out in that 18-21 foot range which seemed pretty deep for this early. It could have been Saturday's cold front that pushed them a little deeper though. 
    • Hoey
      SRJ - Thanks for the report.  I heard the bite was very-good to excellent, off the rocks/reefs, in the mud/sand.  I will be at the lake fishing this weekend.  
    • srj
      What a couple perfect days for LOW on Monday-Tuesday. Fish seemed to be biting well from shallow to deep and from the south side to up north.  Caught fish from 7 - 28 feet in good numbers and sized from small to large. There seemed to be a lot more fish on sand and mud than rocks. Quite a few males caught near rocks were full of milt. Biggest an 28 1/4. Most on jig and minnow but some on crankbaits. Sure a big pack of charters hanging around the Knight Island shoal. Warm, calm and no bugs!! Hope Memorial weekend winds stay light. My new to me Ipilot Link Bluetooth remote somehow changed to German, Dutch or some other language on the display. Anybody ever have that happen? Good luck this weekend.