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Went to Madison this afternoon & early evening. Searched for about 45 minutes then set up in about 23fow adjacent to a somewhat rubble bottom. Was looking for 'eyes, but when I drilled my last hole and saw the Marcum lit up like a Christmas tree, I just had to settle in and fish it.

I'm certain they were all crappies as I caught one (dinky 5") and missed another with some heft, but alllll the others just would not bite! I threw the tacklebox at 'em, let me tell ya. Shrimpos, ratsos, ratfinke's, ants, glow everything, jigging raps, you name it, I threw it at them except....I DIDN'T BUY CRAPPIE MINNOWS! I think crappies minnows may have been the ticket. I only had fatheads along, and I would use the head on the jigging rap and would have some hits, but I think it was too much. Tried subtle, tried agressive, but everything would come darting in and would stop and look, then dart away.

There were times when the fish were all over the place. I mean from on the bottom, to 4' up, to 8' up, 12' up, you name it. I even had a situation where the Marcum was SOLID red from 2' up to 12' up, no kidding. When the sun went down, I tried lighting things up and even that was working as the fish were coming through thick at 4'-6 below the ice, but I just didn't have what they wanted, and I think that might have been minnows. Tried all kinds of colors too.

I did do a little bit of jigging w/ spoon for walleyes and I also had a dead-stick down, but no walleyes. Might have seen a couple on the camera, but they were a bit too far away to get a good id on them, could possibly have been sheephead too, but they deffinitely were not crappies.

All in all a fun time to be out. Just watching the flasher was fun. Fish were thick on the flasher from the moment I started at around 4:30 to the time I left at about 7:45.

You'd think I would have known better to have crappie minnows along. Only had fatheads and waxies. Oh well, maybe next time.

bc

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The 3 times i've been out there i've had that same expierience. Threw everything at them and couldnt get them. I assumed it was piles of baitfish.

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basscatcher, I feel the pain confused.gif!! Those crappies are ultra finicky and can frustrate a guy. Look for them crappies late ice in shallow and they should be somewhat more coopertive for you.

Nice report anyway!!! cool.gif

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Nice report Eric. I would bet a lot of the fish you were seeing was bait fish with other species mixed in. In those cases, the bite can be darn tough. It's tough to compete with the real thing.

Were you in the area I suggested?

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I was wondering if what I saw might have been some baitfish, especially when the locator was so darned red and stacked thick the way it was a couple times. There were a number of times though that I had 2-4 marks on the locator, and in those instances I'd assume they were gamefish.

I'll send you an e-mail tomorrow with more info.

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First time responding; been browsing for quite a long time, after hearing about this forum from a friend. It's been very informative. I was on Madison about two weeks ago and expirienced a similar Christmas-tree pattern. I used a crappie minnow head on the bottom treble of a number three jigging rap and caught about 30 -2 to 5 inch crappies. But periodically mixed in were 10 to 12 inch whites, 1 small walleye, and 1 small northern. Fun day and the first time all season that a jigging rap caught fish for me.

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Welcome aboard! Great to have you a part of the FM family.

Maybe those 'eyes on Madison this summer will be feeding on small crappies instead of gizzard shad. confused.gifgrin.gifblush.gif

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it's good to hear there are some potato chips in there, haven't seen those small crappies out here for a few years, was starting to wounder what happened. No doubt madison has some really nice crappies in it right now, can't hardly wait for the crappie tourny come april.

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  • Your Responses - Share & Have Fun :)

    • redlabguy
      Mark, Glad your crew had another great outing. It’s always good to read your reports. Just wish there were more of them like the old days. Sorry you hit the storm. One of the worst in our 14 years. We’ll be dealing with dock issues for a long time but nothing like the good folks in Cook have.  The fishing has come around a little since the storm. Definitely nightcrawler now. I don’t get far out of Frazer but the reefs are where the action is. Looking forward to hearing from you in September.  My best to you and Linda, RLG p.s. Our good old red lab, Ole, cashed it in last summer, but we have a 6 month old lab now who is learning the ropes up here (and teaching us we’re older than we think we are!)
    • Mike89
    • leech~~
      No can see?  
    • smurfy
      yeppers......nuttin more aggravating the boat motor issues!!!!!!!   what was the problem the first time???????
    • Hookmaster
      Nice fish Kettle. Hope it's really "fixed" next time.
    • Rivergroup
      Our group will be returning in September as well. Wish we were able to be there now to lend a hand.
    • smurfy
      dang...tough to hear..........hope the good people up there recover soon!!!!!!!!!
    • MarkB
      We just returned this afternoon from 6 days on Vermilion. We arrived Saturday and enjoyed 3 fantastic days of walleye fishing. My cousin, our friend Greg, and myself fished several of our spring spots and found fish on all of them. Water temperatures were pretty much 65-67 degrees everywhere we fished. The wind was variable and made boat control a challenge at times. Bait was not an issue and we had success on crawlers(Tim), leeches(Greg), and minnows(me). If I had to pick one of those as catching the most fish, it would be crawlers. Our best day totalled 48 walleyes, 4 smallmouth, and 2 big JUMBOS. We ended up with over a hundred walleyes, 12 jumbos 11"-13", and 10 smallmouth to 18". Our biggest walleye was 24.5" and the balance went from 13"-22". There are lots of 14"-16" walleyes this year which are perfect eaters. The mayfly hatch was in full bloom in some areas but we found very few mayflies in the water column over rock reefs. We caught our fish in depths ranging from 10' to 32'. I didn't fish in any area where I could see mayflies top to bottom in the water column. Slow trolling in the .3mph to .6mph worked and we caught nothing using slip bobbers. Terminal tackle was a 3'-4' 10# flurocarbon leader, 2 lime colored beads, and a plain #6 Gamakatsu walleye hook . Snags are always an issue when fishing in and around the rocks and when the fish are biting they are acceptable. NOW, for the bad news.......Tuesday was a day I won't soon forget. The area suffered devastating torrential rainfall. Lightning was non-stop for several hours and when things settled down, flood damage was everywhere. We checked our rain guage on the side of the cabin and we got 7 3/4 " in a little over 4 hours! Breezy Point road washed out, Mud Creek road washed out as did several others in the area. Cooke business area was completely covered with flood water. I would consider it a disaster area and should be declared as such. We couldn't find a dock anywhere that wasn't covered with water. People were stranded behind flood covered and washed out roads. Dock decking, limbs and such were floating everywhere in the big water. My group sends our prayers to the people of that beautiful country that lost their businesses, homes, and suffered damage to their lake properties. The people of that north country are resilient and we have confidence that they will recover. We stayed our final 3 days but didn't fish at all Tuesday. Our last 2 days showed the effects of the storm. Water temps dropped to 64 degrees and our premo fishing became 10 walleye days. We did manage to catch a dozen really nice jumbos. We plan on returning in September and we pray the area will have returned to normal by then. I haven't figured out how to transfer photos from my phone to my computer yet so no pictures at this time. Good Fishing and God be with you. MarkB
    • SkunkedAgain
      Word is that the river has peaked and therefore the town can start the process of recovering sooner.
    • smurfy
      Heard that too. Also heard 38 was closed for a but north of rapids due to flooding.    I know the water really came up when I was up last week compared to when I was there in April. 
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