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I'm gonna be down in the Kato area tomorrow, curious what would be a good choice to get out and drill a bunch of holes and jump around looking for suspended crappies and gills during the day? I know Washington would be an option,not sure on where to start, but what about Frances, Madison...others? Also I will have my car, any landings that I would have trouble getting on and off?? any info would be great..thanks!

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The east end of Frances would be a good place to start. There is a nice area directly across from the public landing out in front of the city park. This section of shoreline is typically loaded up with panfish throughout the day but the crappies will "take over" during low light.

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Otter, thanks for the response. Looking at the Lake map it shows 2 public accesses on the east end. Curious if your talking the one right off Hwy 11 or the one on the south shoreline? Also is there a good population of nice sized bluegills in Frances? Fished it only a few times on the west end. Also what depth would suggest to start in Midday?? thanks for any more help, I will post results if I make it out there!

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The public access I'm referring to is on the same county road that travels past the public access to Rays Lake. The public access is on your right hand side at the very east end just before you pull into Elysian.

You can expect plenty of 7 - 9" 'gills and if you find the right school, the crappies can be very nice (i.e. 12+").

I would start in 14' and move my way up. Don't be afraid of 6 - 7' of water either.

Good luck.

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I hit Francis for about 3 hours on Sunday morning and we could only muster small gills. Fished anywhere from 5-16 feet of water. All the gills we landed where shallow, and we could sight fish for them in the weeds.

My group was on a pike hunt and had tip-ups out, so we didn't run and gun too much for the pannies. My guess would be to move out deeper if you're looking for a more consistent school of fish.

We fished a good portion of the west end of the lake around Carpenter's Point...

Washington has been pretty consistent most of the winter. A lot of good spots out there and some above par crappies and gills...

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Got out today and fished a few hours on Washington and Frances, Not much luck for size on either but caught quite a few fish. Fished anywhere from 7-15 feet on Frances (east end) caught tons of sunfish, however nothing close to keepable, 7 inches was the largest..maybe, also caught a handful of crappies with nothing being over 9 inches. Lots of fish in the area, nothing huge either the way it seemed. I could have gave it a little more time and searched a little more but I was getting impatient with those runty sunnies.

Then Headed to Washington, decided to fish in Bakers, fished 8-32 ft, caught a handful of keeper size gills 8 - 8 1/2", which were released and caught quite a few smaller gills in the 6-7 inch range. Also caught a few Crappies in 22ft. which were absolutey tiny. one a bet was an inch and half long, the vex was just lit from 18-10ft. and i finally caught one, tons of tiny crappies. Thats a good thing, but not what I was looking for.

I left at 5 when I probably should have been staying for crappies, but oh well, it was a beautiful day out there, lots of water on top, but plenty of ice too.

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Thanks for the report lindylittlejim. I expected you to do better on Frances. Maybe we're just a touch early for that bite...time will tell.

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Had the same luck in the same area of Frances last week. Made for some fun sight fishing at least.

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I was out on Washington yesterday, did pretty well, but had to stay mobile to find them. I filled out on decent sunnies and kept 7 crappies in the 11-12" range. I did the best in 5-7' of water. The panfish wouldn't hit a waxy, only wanted spikes on a hortizontal jig (like a genz worm). The crappies hit a teardrop with a small minnow. The crappies were crusing 2-4 ft down. I had one spot not more than 10-20' wide where they were stacked up. I'd catch a few, move to another spot, catch another then go back to the original hole and catch a few more after I let it rest for a half hour. I only caught smaller fish 10' and deeper. At least now my wife believes I go fishing when I tell her, this seasons been pretty slow up until the last couple of trips. It didn't sound like the guys who weren't moving were doing very good from the people I talked to.

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Nice report borchawk! Was that a daytime bite or did you get out b-4 the sun came up (or after it went down)?

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Basscatcher, it was a little of both, I got started about 7:15 and did well right off the bat, dropped the line with a minnow and it kept on going. I caught a nice crappie and broke off on another (line was caught on the bale). I thought I was going to be done by 9:00 but it really slowed down after 8:30 or so, a fish here and there until it picked up around 2:00 when the clouds rolled in. I had to leave at 3:00 to pick up my kid but I bet they would have turned on at dusk.

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  • Your Responses - Share & Have Fun :)

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