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Bayport fishing tip...


Willy-C

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Fella's,

I've been out of town the past two weeks for work, and am anxious to get back out on the river this weekend now that I'm finally on my way home! Although I'm bummed to hear the fishing still seems a bit slow out in front of Bayport, I'm glad to hear there is at least still enough ice to get out there!

Anyhow, before I headed out on my trip I scored some luck on the river using a technique born out of frustration. Quite often I would set up my house in 30-40FOW and would have a ton of fish checking out my bait on the Vexilar, but couldn't get very many to hit (I used everything...minnows, maggots, waxies, etc.). I noticed that most of the fish that would hit (mainly small white bass) would rush up from the bottom (except the mooneyes, which came through suspended at 10-15 feet under the ice and always seemed eager to hit). Although there would occassionaly be a school of solid red-lines moving in and out which I assumed were roaming crappies (this was confirmed a short time later when I actually landed a few). Anyhow, I had the idea that if I could hold more fish off the bottom, and in the area, that maybe I could somehow keep them more active.

Thus, I rigged up one rod with a large crappie minnow that I would suspend 8-10 feet off the bottom, instead of a few feet off the bottom like I normaly do when walleye fishing. I rigged up a second rod with a very small ice-jig tipped with a few maggots (they seemed to be working better than the waxies) in a nearby hole. Lo-and-behold the minnow did indeed seem to keep more fish suspended off the bottom, and in the area (as determined by the Vex), and the result was that I had a bonanza of hits on the small ice-jig. Of course I picked up a ton of small white bass along the way, but I also iced 5 slab crappies (and missed a number of others), which all came on the maggots, except for one chunk which hit the minnow. Come to think of it I've only caught one crappie on a minnow all season and the rest seem more interested in the maggots.

I'm sure the information I just shared isn't very exciting (or insightful), but it seemed to work the two times I used it. At the very least if you get bored on the ice it gives you something else to try!

I'm always interested in any other techniques you guys may have come across over the years, if your willing to share?

Good luck!

Willy-C

p.s. I've had my best luck on crappies from around noon-3pm.

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Willy-c...I like you feel it is important to try to keep fish in the area.The area of the river that most people fish has little structure ,except for those who are fishing over sunken trees.One trick to try is taking a blade bait or rattle spoon and making some noise.This has drawn fish into the area for me in the past.I think too that pounding the bottom keeps fish around.Ill be going out sunday to see if I can stir up a little action .... grin.gif

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I tried a rattle spoon yesterday and had a sturgeon take it about 5 feet off the bottom shocked.gif I have never had one suspend to a bait that far. He almost had me fooled as a nice bass. We olny had about an hour and half to fish but atleast made it down.

I have tried using a dropper loop about 18"-24" above my jig and hanging a grub there. I have not had luck yet but may have to try the grub below like your saying. I have had luck with eyes doing this. You tie on a buckshot and use that to pound the bottom and get the eyes attention. Tie a dropper loop above the spoon and hook on a fat head by the tail. If the fish hits they usually charge the spoon but will hit the minnow above. This works good when the fish are a bit shy to a aggressive bait.

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was out Sat & Sunday, trucks drivin out all over the place. 12" of ice about 9" good.

A lot of sniffers and a few takers, all crappies 3 or 4 keepers.

No mooneyes, can someone point me to the hot mooneye bite?

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Azzclwn....

I may know of a mooneye guide but he aint cheap.Also youll have to pay extra to have your fish cleaned.They got a big mud vein grin.gifgrin.gif

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Guys,

Thanks for the tips! I'll have to give both a rattlin' spoon and the dropper rig a try in the near future. I'm hoping to get out on Saturday.

Happy fishing,

Willy-C

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Either 6 or 10-12ft off the bottom is always the place to be, way more crappie suspend at those depths than are ever at the bottom. large minnows are always key-fatheads is the only way to go, small shinners will also do the trick. But as always the river is always changing and every day can be different. Was out on Sat. very slow for crappie, got none. moved toward the high lines in 22ft on mn side and got 6 sauger and one very nice 15lb channel cat,good eatin.

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Quote:

Azzclwn....

I may know of a mooneye guide but he aint cheap.Also youll have to pay extra to have your fish cleaned.They got a big mud vein
grin.gifgrin.gif


So this "guide" will cost me two cans of blatz light, I think i can swing that.

Mmmmmm...... mud vein smile.gifsmile.gifsmile.gif

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What were you using for bait/technique. When you caught the saugs? and how big were they? Haven't ever ice fished the river and want to try some walleye/sauger fishin before season closes.

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TRZ you caught a 15 lb catfish. I caught a 20+ pound cat this weekend also. Man was my panfish pole and 2lb line screaming for help. I caught the catfish suspended around 25 ft, in 40 ft of water. I thought it was a crappie at first. I will post the pic as soon as I get it from my phone.

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Those cats are decent fighters, the sturgeon will give you more of a tussle. fun fight on 2 lb test, but that light of line is probably not needed with the dark stained water of the river. i got the saugers on fatheads and spoons, they ranged from 10-15 inches-they all hit the hot oil,crazy tastey. smile.gif

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I like using 2lb, because if the sensitivity of the line. Larger lbs lines usually have too much memory for my light jigs. I am going to be at the Croix this Sunday, in the deep freeze. Give me a holla if you see my Eskimo quick flip 3. Good luck fishing yalls.

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I'll be on the river tomorrow, the best days i have had on the ice down there have been cold as he**, I'll be in a 2 man frabill with a gold ranger. i might give the open water a try, I haven't had a mud puppie yet this year, and sturgeon soup is a good bet there as well. i always go with 6lb test down there, too many variables with large fish to risk 2 lb, plus i like big minnows-they catch big crappies. if i wanted a meal of avg. fish the last place i would go is the river, i want slabs. wink.gif

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i actually use my walleye and perch rig when fishing the slabs on the croix, a little heavier line and larger jigs will get you deep faster and take the current out of play. 2 lb line and tiny jigs you might get to the bottom but your jig will be 40 yards down river and you'll never see it on your flasher, it won't even be in the cone. it's a whole different game on the croix with the depth and the current. go big for the slabs wink.gif

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I've used walleye and crappie size demons with large fatheads and med crappie minnows and have done well on the SLABS both in size and numbers. had best luck b/4 3 pm all winter

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