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  • 'we have more fun' FishingMN Creators

We have been having a blast catching nice crappies.

dennissteele-crappiejigdemon022706french

Dennis Steele Knows Crappies Too!!

We've caught a few very small ones or I should say Matt Johnson has.

mattjohnson-crappietiny022006french.jpg

You guys all believe him with his finesse set-up well now you see what it gets him wink.gif

Seriously though if you look around and are not stuck on trying the same old you can get into some very nice fish and a very good bite.

I kid you not. I seriously am tring differant lures but that Gold Jigging Demon still keeps bringing in the best and most. The best time of year is upon us and likely to be short. Get out while you can.

Here are a couple more pictures:

rick-crappiejigdemon022706french.jpg

matt-crappiet022706fatfryfrench.jpg

Matt Paquin -Crappie Caught with Fat Fry

If you see any of us out there be sure to stop by and say hello and share all y9our secrets cool.gif

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Is it the famous catfisherman with a crappie?

Matt: You never catch little fish like that when your fishing with me.Guide problem? confused.gif

Nice fish guys.

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Matt, Do't let them guys kid you. it takes great skill to catch fish like that. wink.gif

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Nice fish Rick! Looks like you've got yourself on a hot pattern on some nice fish lately. Are you tipping those Demons with anything and are the fish coming over deep or shallow water?

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Nice fish boys!

Matt looks to be so proud of that fish. Good thing you had the "training wheels" (spring bobber) on for that one.

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Believe it or not, but that fish put up quite the fight! grin.gif

The picture doesn't do it justice either... it was a lot smaller than that grin.giftongue.gif

Dennis knows all species! This guy is a fishing machine! Catfish, walleye, panfish... it doesn't matter, he catches them all!

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  • 'we have more fun' FishingMN Creators

We have been fishing in various depths from 6' down to 50' and the funny thing is there have been very few crappies suspended more than 3' off bottom. Many have come right off the bottom.

The key is finding a depression or deeper basin from the surroundiong area with a mud bottom.

We have caught most tipped with a crappie minnow with waxies coming in second and difficult to get anything but a small crappie on eurolarvae (see Matt's pic).

I do keep changing around although in all honesty I keep the one rod rigged with the Gold Jigging Demon and will continue to do so until another set of lures outfish it.

harvey lee, what does Matt have on you?

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Thanks for the info Rick. I've been looking for some of those Jigging Demons, but they must be a hot comodity because they're tough to find! Might just have to order off the web.

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Rick: I dont think Matt has anything on me except he catches more and BIGGER fish.

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Team Otter

I dont give up,but this winter Matt usually outfished me.I like to let these younger guys feel good. grin.gif

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Thanks. I do feel better. grin.gifgrin.gif Will you let us catch all the fish in June on Tetonka too?

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T.O.

When the get-togethers happen and I just happen to have a bad day,thats not by choice,its just a bad day.But,at the next one on Tetonka,if I happen to hook into a big one,I will shake it loose so you can have the bigger fish.

grin.gif

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  • 'we have more fun' FishingMN Creators

You might want to try 1/16th oz Go Devils on those bigger crappies as well. I've been staying with the smaller lures on the other rod and don't know why I didn't try the 1/16th oz Go Devils as well.

I am definitely going to give those bad boys a try soon.

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I will have to give them a jigging session this weekend.Thanks for the info Rick. smile.gif

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Is a "session" different than a "clinic"? grin.gifgrin.gif

Good luck this weekend Tom.

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Team Otter

A session is when I try to catch fish.A clinic is something Matt puts on when he goes fishing or shall we call it catching.Now,you probably know the difference.Glad to help. smile.gif

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  • 'we have more fun' FishingMN Creators

Well, I had a competition with the Go Devils vs the Jigging Demons today.

As you likley know by now the Jigging Demon has been the hot lure for crappies outfishing all others and I thought I had tried everything to compete with it and it won hands down - UNTIL I remembered the 1/16 oz Go Devil.

Well, the Go Devil outfished the Jigging Demon 8 fish to 6 Fish today.

1/16th oz Go Devil Crappie

matt-crappiet030306go-devil-french.jpg

For those who think you have to finesse Crappies, here is a small crappie caught on a 1/16th oz Go Devil

go-devil-smallcrappie.jpg

1/16th oz Go Devil Crappie

rick-crappie-go-devil-030306french.jpg

DO NOT be afraid to upsize when going after crappies. We also had a waxie and Optic Stealth Jig going and only 1 crappie was caught on it. The Optic Stealth has a time and place for sure and I wouldn't go out without it. But for now

The 1/16th oz Go Devil Should be in your bag of tricks for March Crappies.

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Nice job again Rick. Nice to see the owner getting out too. grin.gif

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The 1/16 Go Devil has been my go to crappie catcher all year! Glow red works good if you can find them anywere. Firetiger is my #2 color.

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  • 'we have more fun' FishingMN Creators

Well we found another bunch and following are my observations along with some pictures.

There are no absolute rules to crappie fishing. There are some general things we can do to up our odds to find and catch when crappie fishing.

Matt Johnson fishing and catching crappies with plastics only is a very good example of what can work in the right conditions AND be very successful given those conditions. Those conditions occur very often in cold water periods.

There are a couple of absolute controls in any fishing situation and they are ones you will always want to pay attention to.

1. The depth you are fishing. Every fish has a strike zone or area where they will strike a bait. If you are out of that zone you won't get the strike. That zone or the size of of it will change when conditions change. Be willing to look for this zone. Do not overlook this as often we get it correct and think we have it down all the time.

2. The speed and action of your presentation. Along with depth the speed and action will be the main deciding factors on if you get a strike.

In the winter often times we tend to be too agressive in our jigging techniques. Especially if you are using just plastics. A very subtle quiver motion or at times even trying to hold your hand still with your normal hand shake while slowly raising the bait is what it takes to trigger a crappie bite when using plastics.

Other times it may be the bigger faster motions a heavier jig helps you maintain with precision to attract crappie.

Because we often times are so good at getting strike zone depth correct and so poor at controlling the speed and action of our baits that it's often helpful to call in an aid. A struggling crappie minnow hooked in the tail on a Go Devil can be just the ticket.

The Go Devil jigged attracts them in and the struggling minnow triggers the strike.

go-devil-030306french.jpg

Crappie caught with Go Devil and Crappie Minnow

Crappies are lazy feeders. They want to get as much food in them as easily as possible. Many times a crappie minnow struggling on a bigger bait is just the ticket for that lazy dominant crappie in the school.

Most of the ice fishing season that easy meal will be small bugs and they will be keying on them. For example daphnia, a small crustacean, starts to rise and feed as the light comes out.

The crappies key on the small crustaceans and other bugs or minnows that key on them at first light as they start rising out of their hiding places to feed predominantly on algae.

It's a prime feeding period that is affected dramatically by the light conditions.

Often times this can be the very best time to go to a plastics only approach such as a Custom Jigs and Spins Ratso.

matt-crappiet030306ratso-french.jpg

The key is to be versatile and do not be stuck on one approach and change to whatever is working best.

I got stuck on an approach that was working for me with the Custom Jigs and Spins Jigging Demon.

rick-crappiejigdemon030606french.jpg

It worked great taking many crappies in the 11"-13" range prior to today. Today it was ok but not AS good.

Paul listened to me and you can see what happenned to him :

030606-waldowski-smallcrappie.gif

The point is be prepared and when you find a pattern that works use it to full advantage. When it stops working, experiment.

Remember, the key to your experiment must have the bases of depth, speed and action covered first. The lures are just aids in helping you accomplish that.

I did not mention location because that I'm assuming most of you who are or want to be good anglers and will spend a great deal of time learning or the others will be following the good anglers to find them. If you're a good angler it goes with the territory.

Remember too, more often than not the good angler will be catching more fish and they will also be releasing more fish.

Have fun and do not take the controls I've talked about lightly.

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Great report and advice Rick. Now, if all of us had the time to fish as much as you guys seem to have we'd really be in business. grin.gifgrin.gif

Paul, I love the "cinema-effect" of your photograph. Very techno! grin.gif

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  • 'we have more fun' FishingMN Creators

Thanks TO. We had a lot of fun yesterday.

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  • 'we have more fun' FishingMN Creators

ATV or Snowmobile travel only coming soon.

Went out this morning and caught a number of 10" crappies on a Custom Jigs and Spins Ratso - NO LIVE BAIT.

JUST PLASTICS

Very slight jigging motion triggered them to bite very softly.

Then caught a couple nicer ones on Custom's Jigging Demon tipped with a small minnow, letting the minnow do all of the attracting.

Here is a 11.5" Crappie caught this morning.

rick-crappie11halfjigdemon030906french.j

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Rick, would you consider swapping work schedules with me? grin.gifgrin.gif

I'll hopefully get my "crappie fix" this weekend. I'm headed to URL tomorrow and staying through Monday.

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  • 'we have more fun' FishingMN Creators

I bet you would. Take the gamble that it will even pay off and invest your money for 6 years with little money coming in and working 12-18 hours per day and NOT FISHING much at all. It's still not the worlds greatest job but I'm hoping to get there in the next 10 years smile.gif

I'm hoping to get out fishing another time or two next week as well.

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  • Your Responses - Share & Have Fun :)

    • Rick G
      St Cloud has a good access at Wilson park,  Sartell has a nice access off NE River Rd,  another access above Blanchard dam on East side off Hilton Rd  and at Lindbergh state park...Little Falls  has a access right above the dam.   Water is pretty high and dirty.  Crayfish colors have been good again this week.  Smallies have been using anything available that breaks the current so finding them most days has been pretty easy
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    • LakeofthewoodsMN
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