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With the sun coming out in the early afternoon today, I decided to head to Washington and target shallow water crappies and 'gills at sun down. I was hoping that the light penetration going on this afternoon would move some bait fish into shallow transition areas that would also be holding some feeding pannies. Well, my assumption was right for the most part. smirk.gif

I started out in ~9' of water on a firm bottom of sand/gravel adjacent to a hefty weedline. The 'gills were in this area fairly thick but the quality was not there. mad.gif So, I continued to move shallower as I was working to position myself for the evening bite. I ended up "setting up camp" on the deeper end of a break line that went from 4' down to 7' rather quickly, with 4' of water being muddy and then firming up as the water got deeper. The bigger 'gills were in there! grin.gifblush.gif Many 8" up to 11" 'gills were caught from 4:15 - 5:00 pm before the crappies took over. It was almost like someone flipped a switch and just like that, the crappies started to turn on. However, the bite didn't last long so you really had to be "on your game". All in all, I iced about a dozen crappies but the quality more than made up for it. The crappies were all between 11 - 14" and thick. laugh.gif I fished until ~6:30 but all of the crappie action fell between 5:00 - 5:30. They got in the kitchen and then got the heck out! confused.gifgrin.gifblush.gif The presentation was about 50-50, minnows vs. waxies. You know what they say...fish are in shallow for one thing, to eat! grin.gif So, there were no light biters which made it fun. The area I was fishing has received very litte, if any, fishing pressure so I would expect that bite to hang in there as long as the sun shines!

All of the fish tonight were caught and released, so they're still out there!

Good luck and go get 'em!

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I have never fished Washington but might have to give it a try sometime. Is it more of a morning/evening bite or is it on and off all day?

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Low light is typically best (morning and evening) but fish can be caught during the day as well.

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Nice outing TO! Those are some real bruisers! Didn't happen upon any 'eyes though, huh? Our get-together at German is making me wonder if the 'eyes aren't in shallow also.

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T.O. you forgot to give us the location as to where you caught these monsters.A little help would be nice to help locate some of the bigger fish.

Shauncock: There have been people driving out on Washington for a week plus now.The day before yesterday,I talked to a guy that found only 5 inches of ice in one spot so I personally would not.The majority of the ice has 8-9 good clear ice with approx 3 inches of refroze slush.I would be very carefull.

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Only a handful of the 'gills were pushing 11" but they were some of the nicest 'gills I have ever seen. I can assure you they are in there.

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10 - 12" of ice. There were a few small cars out there and one Suburban but that was about it.

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Althought I do know where Matt was fishing, I was not there but obviously positioned in a similar area on a different part of the lake.

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Tom, this is one of those bites that I have to keep to myself or it wouldn't last long.

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TO better not be cleaning out my honey hole mad.gifwink.gif Only 3 people know where that spot is (or at least I've only told three people, I'm sure others know about it). Maybe I keep my mouth shut from now on grin.gifwink.gif

We didn't get any gills over 10-inches when we hit that spot, biggest were probably just under 10. 11-inchers are rare, and are without a doubt trophy fish! I would guess an 11-incher on Washington would go over a pound, probably even close to 1.5 pounds with the thickness and height I've seen out there. I'm still looking for that 10.5-incher this winter. Incredible fish TO, my hat goes off to you...

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I was a long ways from it, so have no fear! grin.gif

Those few that were pushing 11" were no doubt trophy fish and that's why they were released along with the others caught. I would say they were definite pound 'gills but not over that. The only other place I've seen 'gills as big as last night is on Bass Lake, Cohasset, MN. If 10.5"+ 'gills are what you want Matt, that would be the lake to go to. Incredible late ice bite up there. It's actually now managed as a trophy 'gill fishery.

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T.O.

I wasn't trying to get you in trouble or anything with MJ. Both of your posts looked almost identical from the shallow bites you have found. Good job. I have been looking for the shallow bites as well and have failed miserably on Washington. I can get em going out deeper but they are not the kind of fish I'm looking for out here. I have a few spots that I've wanted to hit but have not had the time so far this winter to fish much at all. I second your Bass Lake bluegills--the family used to vacation on this lake when I was 10-17 yrs old. We absolutely would kill the big gills every year we went up there. Haven't been up there since. Keep up the good posts.

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T.O. you need to hit gorman in the summer we have got into some big gills there some pushing 11.5 inches and some big perch its fun when you get into the hogs

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No sweat zepman. Definitely not in any "hot water" with Matt. It's all good. grin.gif

Trouble28, thanks for the information. I've managed some nice catches of 'eyes out there but never any 'gills or perch. I'll keep that in mind.

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Hey wats up Team Otter??? Hows the fishing down that way??? THis is Cody Warner (I hope this is who i think it is)

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I just told TO never to talk to me again grin.gifwink.gif

TO and I talked about shallow water patterns and he put two and two together and found a place of his own similar to where I told him I caught fish. I'm sure there are a few other spots on the lake like that as well.

Shallow areas can be key when deeper areas get a lot of pressure (as we all know Washington does). Even making small movements off the large crowds can increase your success. Moves of 100 yards is all it takes some days.

I encourage everyone to search out spots of their own. Try something new and branch out from the norm. Don't follow the crowds and don't be afraid to run through a tank of auger gas smile.gif This can go for any lake or body of water. With the conditions we've seen this winter, staying mobile is without a doubt the key to success.

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Hey Cody, welcome to FM. Nice user name! Good to have another Jack Rabbit on board.

Fishing is pretty darn good lately.

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Well sounds like Im gonna have to get down there with ya and see what we could muster up. That day we fished that little lake that I brought u to was a bust but that night i caught a lot of nice sized (11-13 inch) crappies on that lake that my brother was fishing on in my permenant house. I probably caught in the area of 40 that night, and i kept my ten all over 12 inches. That kind of fishing continued all through xmas break and needless to say i was down there a lot. Even last weekend they were biting pretty steadily and we ended up getting a limit for 3 guys. It has been fun. What does your schedule look like for March 4-12. It is my spring break and I know we talked about Red Lake but if that is going to be a bust i will for sure have to come down to your stompin grounds and see if anything is still goin. Hopefully the ice is still good, but with this winter so far, who knows???? If you want to email me my email is [email protected]

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Class of '99.

We should maybe have a get together for Jack Rabbits Only! grin.gif

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I knew there was something strange about some of you here. Too many Jacks on line. Go Bison- NDSU class of 92.

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Quote:

We should maybe have a get together for Jack Rabbits Only!


Or maybe the first ever "College Fishing Bowl presented by FishingMinnesota.com"! grin.gif (being that it's football season) smile.gif Everyone separates into teams from their old alma mater...whatever team catches the greatest length of fish wins (although there would have to be an equal number of fisherman/team so nobody has an advantage). grin.gif NDSU'ers might need a 24" handicap though...just to get them started. shocked.gifshocked.gifgrin.gif

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I fished washington this morning from 5-8:30 and found the crappies and gills in the shallows. Between me and my buddy we pulled 15+ crappies all over 11" and a few gills that were pushing 10". The shallow pattern seems to be holding true! grin.gif I hope to have some pictures up later this week. Thanks for the tips guys. I was in 7' of water.

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Right on!

Were the fish aggressive? Just kidding...you don't have to answer that. grin.gifgrin.gifgrin.gif

Glad we could help out.

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