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For the 5 inch crappies!! Drilled alot of holes tonite but could only find the dinks. Fished from 10 to 27 ft of water where all the perms were. Anyone have luck out there tonite?

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I was out there a couple weeks ago fishing 'eyes and got a dink 5"er. I'm certain there are nice ones in there as others have said, but I do admit it's nice to see the dinks too...good news for the future!

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I hit up Madison yesterday from 3:00pm-8:00pm for crappies and ended up getting a few smaller 5"ers, two at about 11" & 12" ,lost another one at the hole that was a dandy, probably 13"+, definately wish I could have that fish back!! I drilled probably 60 holes and marked fish in about half of them but most were lethargic and inactive fish. The fish were EXTREMELY finicky and bit very light.

I was having my best luck on a size 12 ratfinkee and half a wax worm in shallow er water towards dark. I markd a ton of fish but probably 98% of them would just look at or ignor my presentation. Very frustrating to say the least!!

Still a fun outing and it did teach me a little more about finessing these picky creatures!!!!

GOOD FISHIN!!!!!!!!!! smile.gif

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Hey Otter do you start the opening weekend out on Madison by chance??

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No. My dad continues to twist my arm to get my rear-end up north for each opening weekend. smirk.gif

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Do you go too Winnie for opener then? I wouldnt mind going too Winnie some year for the opener but i do so well on Madison i havent got too it yet. I'll be on Winnie for 2 weeks this year though.

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Yes, typically Winnie, but I think we're going to give Mille Lacs a "go" this year.

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We'll have too see if your going too be up a Winnie any of the time that i am so we can exchange some info. Its always nice too know someone else up there. Kind of like covering 2 bases at once when you can exchange info. I would expect Winnie too be great this year with alot of fish right at that 17" mark.

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James Walleye - you sure are correct about the opener on Madison. My buddy and I have been doing it for the last 5 years or so and it has always been good.

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Gerty do you do the midnight thing? Thats what we've been doing. Its funny though, back about 8-12 years ago it was always a big fish thing for me, but the last 3 years its been totally a numbers game. Used too be it would be easier too catch a fish over 22" than under 18". Now its just alot of nice eaters. I was wondering what your expieriences have been.

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James Walleye

I have fished Madison on the opener for probably the last seven years. My experiences are in line to what you have seen over the last couple of years. It's been over five years since I've caught a really nice one out there (28+) but the numbers have been more than enough to make up for it. I have also noticed that there is a great number of fish in that 19-24" range that I used to have a hard time catching. Years past seemed you either caught a dink or a pig. I think the lake is in much better shape now than at any other time I can remember. I'm really looking forward to this spring.

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No doubt zepman. Last year was the best I've seen in a few years for sure. Not only is there a healthy population of eating size fish in the lake, I think the "piggies" are on their way back!

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James Walleye - we usually hit it about 4:00a.m. or so. It is nice to get out there between the midnight people and the sunrise people. Usually not that many boats around for the first couple hours. We have seen real good numbers of the 16" to 20" fish. Last year was really fun as even later in the morning after the sun was up we were catching fish right in the middle of everybody else while they were not catching any. Just a little different set up tends to make a big difference some times. wink.gif

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Looks like i need too try a few different things this opener. The last couple openers we've caught all the 14-16" walleyes we could imagine but nothing approaching 20". I might have too go back too what i used too do too catch the big pigs out there. Things have changed on that lake in the last 5 years, some of you might know what i mean, but the same tactics should produce fish in other areas. I used too get a ton of 20-24" fish with a fair amount of fish in the 26" range out of there but like i said things have changed. I once had a night where my biggest 6 fish weighed 36 lbs, of course all released, and oh so long ago it seems. I might have too break out the #13 blue/silver jointed raps again instead of the lighted slip bobbers. Change in presentation, change in where i fish.

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Gerty,

We must have run in to eachother at the ramp a few times because my brother meets me every year at 4 a.m. at the dnr access. We used to go out at midnight but have since learned to hold off a little and save some energy for the entire day on the water. Our best luck almost every year usually happens between 10 am and 2 pm anyway.

James W-- you mentioned things have changed out there the last few years or so. Elaborate please. Were you talking about the size structure of the fish or something else?

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T.O.

I honestly don't think the piggies ever went away. I have always felt that they have been just a tad tougher to catch recently due to two factors. One would be the tremendous amount of shad swimming around this lake in the past few years. The other IMO would be the large amount of smaller (10-14") fish that just plain outhustled some of those bigger fish to the hook. I'll tell ya what though, with all that food in this lake these past few years and with a little good luck a guy has a real shot at a 30"+ piggie.

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Zep the inlet/outlet system in the lake has changed in the last couple years. Where i used too fish used too be about 3' of water and now its lucky too be a foot and a half. As far as i can tell the eyes dont use my honeyhole like they used too.

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Oh, I know they're still in there, but you're right in syaing that the bigger fish were slightly tougher to come by. But, when the right pocket of fish were found last year, the bite was drop dead for quality of fish. I would expect nothing short of that this year. And, if the shad population is down, watch out!

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Zepman - you may be right. We usually go out of the town access though. Seems to be a little more light! cool.gif

I see your from North Kato also. Maybe we can hook up sometime.

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Gerty,

I would like to get out sometime-that would be great. I have a pretty flexible job so let me know when would be a good time for you. Honestly, I do most of my serious fishing during the middle of the week when I can get out by myself or with a friend from town. Weekends I'm almost always tied up with the kids and sports and they will also join me in the boat for bass and sunnies. Have to keep em busy ya know. Look forward to hearing from you when the time gets closer.

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James Walleye,

I know exactly where and what you are talking about. You're right. I remember when that area used to be fished very hard in the spring and people would pull some monsters out of there. You just don't see it happening anymore. I'll bet they're still in that area just maybe not as concentrated like they once were. I'm going to make it a point this year to get out and long-line and throw some cranks in this general area at night. Sounds like you may have the same thing in mind.

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Zep i probably fished with you back in the day. I fished religiously every weekend the first 3 weekends of season.

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Zepman - I look forward to it. My schedule is not so flexible, and I have the kid things on weekends too. But, hopefully we can work something out. Maybe a week night or two. Although the kids activities seem to take up alot of those evenings too!!!

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  • Your Responses - Share & Have Fun :)

    • leech~~
      I think you got it! Nice Eye and hog Perch! 👍
    • MarkB
      I'm gonna try this picture thing again. Please bear with me.      Our buddy Greg with his best of the trip.     Above: Pike River bridge the morning we left.        Below: My cousin Tim caught these the morning after the storm.  
    • 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
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    • smurfy
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    • 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.
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    • 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
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