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I hit the ice with harvey lee, danj, and the head baseball coach at Bethany College yesterday morning. We worked a shallow, soft-bottom flat area adjacent to a breakline. We fished from about 7:30-11:30am. The wind hindered our productivity a bit, but we still managed to hole hop and pick up some crappies and sunfish. Fished anywhere from 7-11 feet of water, with most of the emphasis on that 9-10 foot range. All the crappies were caught came through suspended about 4-5 feet below the ice. A good majority of the fish were tight-lipped, but got about 20-25 crappies to bite in the hour or two after sunrise, as well as a couple straglers towards midday. The sunfish were all relating to the bottom and they were also very tight-lipped and in a negative state. We watched several sunfish swim up to he jig (using an underwater camera) and they wanted nothing to do with it. And when they decided to bite, a spring bobber was crucial.

The cold and wind seemed to shut them down a little. We marked a lot of fish so the fish are still holding shallow, but the activity level definitely took a hit. Today should be a better day with the increase temps. Tomorrow we're going to see another cold front move in, which will probably put those fish in a similar mood as yesterday.

I caught all of my crappies on a size 8 pink/white Ratso without any bait. I believe danj and harvey lee used a combination of minnows and maggots to entice their crappies to bite.

One thing I did notice was that the sunfish that we did catch were larger in size on average. At least in relation to recent weeks.

Here's a pic of danj with a crappie...


Hopefully the forecast will prove to be true, and we'll get a week of colder weather. Ice conditions were still OK, ranging anywhere from 10-12 inches (not all clear ice though), but we could use more ice smile.gif

Enjoy the weekend!

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Nice report Matt! Good to see the shallow pattern is still holding. I'm headed out in 45 minutes to give it a go in shallow water. Gotta make up for my last outing! frown.gif I'll report back later tonight on what did or didn't happen.

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Just wanted to say it was very fun to watch Matt and Harvey Lee coax those panfish to bite. The NW wind was gusting to 20 mph that day. I didn't expect much.

As always, the fish I was holding was actually bigger than it looked on the digital....I think Matt shrunk it somehow.

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Dan: Matt probably shrunk you crappie,but the times I catch those buggers he is always away from the camera so he cant take a picture.The way I have it figured is he shrinks yours,doesnt take mine and that way his look like the biggest. wink.gif

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Got a little chuckle out of you talking about the spring bobber. My wife was dogging me today for using the spring bobber but I was kicking her butt. Sometimes with the light hit you just have to have the spring on.

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  • Your Responses - Share & Have Fun :)

    • smurfy
      kettle....have you chased around any sunfish lately???? kinda wondering if there done spawning???? the last time i was up the sunfish we did clean that had eggs in it didnt even look close to spawning. although i know they seem to carry eggs around most of the summer it seems!!!!!!
    • SkunkedAgain
      Maybe the bamboozler will end up being like every fish story, some old timers holding their hands out as wide as possible to demonstrate to a youngster just how big it was....
    • smurfy
      kettle, when are you going to fish for something decent to eat????🤔🤣🤣   nice batch of fish!!!!!!!!!
    • muskie-mike
      My wife agrees about the pizza...was the best...  
    • Kettle
      Fished a bigger lake, fish or at least the eaters are on the mid lake humps. Water Temps 68 degrees, freezer now has 6 total as I've been eating fish often. Tomorrow we chase the 30" walleye for catch and release.  
      Stuntz Bay Boathouse Historic District - Wikipedia   They have some info.  
    • smurfy
      👍that can be arranged!!!
    • MarkB
      I just returned home today from 4 wonderful days of fishing my favorite lake. We arrived late Saturday and was able to fish a bit that evening. Our group was comprised of my cousin, one of our very close friends and myself. On Saturday evening we managed to catch 16 walleyes on crawlers, leeches, and minnows. In spite of less than perfect weather conditions(95 degree heat and high to near hurricane force winds) we ended up with 103 walleyes boated and perhaps that many missed and lost during retrieval through Wednesday early afternoon. Minnows worked best one day, leeches worked great one day, and crawlers were the ticket Wednesday with our biggest fish of the trip coming that day. The bites ranged from very light to jerk the rod out of your hand. Our terminal gear consisted of jig/minnow, Lindy rig, to my old standby 4 ft leader, 1oz bouncer, 2 red beads, and a Gamakatsu size 8 orange hook. The bouncer rig outfished the rest by a wide margin. Speed was a huge factor and .4-.6mph was the speed that worked best. The high winds made boat control/speed a real challenge. We caught all of our fish from 8ft to 24ft with the optimun depth ~14ft give or take. When we got to the lake the water temp was 64.5 degrees and yesterday afternnon when we quit, it was 68.5 degrees. We did not see any significant amounts of mayflies except in the water columns in a few areas of the lake. The fish we cleaned went from stuffed with mayflies, full of crawdads, to full of perch minnows. We found the fish in the rocks and on mud flats. I looked for the fish with sonar and only fished where I found fish. I found our fish in the east end of Big Bay, Daisy Bay, Armstrong Bay, Portage Bay, and Bystrom Bay. We caught fish at every place we stopped. Wind dictated where we fished on any given day. On Monday, I had to cross the east end of Fraser Bay and in over 60 years, I have never seen it that rough.  We found the cheapest gas at Shamrock Marina($6.29/gal) and the best bait at the Y store. We have eaten pizza at the Vermilion Club for more years than I can count and, to put it bluntly, we were very disappointed this year. To us, it was definitely not the same quality of pizza we have become accustomed to. Suffice it to say, we will be ordering something different from the menu in the future. All in all, Lake Vermilion provided us with another lasting memory. Great fishing on the greatest lake in Minnesota. We will return in mid-September and we are already anxious. Pictured below is my cousin with two nice walleyes caught 10 minutes apart. They were caught on crawlers.   Good Fishing MarkB🙂    
    • Wanderer
      Maybe pay him in smoked pike so he can taste some fish instead just crunching down on walleyes all the time! 😉
    • smurfy
      Hey stay outta it.😫🤭🙄 😊   Thanks kettle I may take you up on that sometime.
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