Guests - If You want access to member only forums on HSO. You will gain access only when you Sign-in or Sign-Up on HotSpotOutdoors.

It's easy - LOOK UPPER right menu.

  • Announcements

    • Rick

      Members Only Fluid Forum View   08/08/2017

      Fluid forum view allows members only to get right to the meat of this community; the topics. You can toggle between your preferred forum view just below to the left on the main forum entrance. You will see three icons. Try them out and see what you prefer.   Fluid view allows you, if you are a signed up member, to see the newest topic posts in either all forums (select none or all) or in just your favorite forums (select the ones you want to see when you come to Fishing Minnesota). It keeps and in real time with respect to Topic posts and lets YOU SELECT YOUR FAVORITE FORUMS. It can make things fun and easy. This is especially true for less experienced visitors raised on social media. If you, as a members want more specific topics, you can even select a single forum to view. Let us take a look at fluid view in action. We will then break it down and explain how it works in more detail.   The video shows the topic list and the forum filter box. As you can see, it is easy to change the topic list by changing the selected forums. This view replaces the traditional list of categories and forums.   Of course, members only can change the view to better suit your way of browsing.   You will notice a “grid” option. We have moved the grid forum theme setting into the main forum settings. This makes it an option for members only to choose. This screenshot also shows the removal of the forum breadcrumb in fluid view mode. Fluid view remembers your last forum selection so you don’t lose your place when you go back to the listing. The benefit of this feature is easy to see. It removes a potential barrier of entry for members only. It puts the spotlight on topics themselves, and not the hierarchical forum structure. You as a member will enjoy viewing many forums at once and switching between them without leaving the page. We hope that fluid view, the new functionality is an asset that you enjoy .
  • RECEIVE THE GIFTS MEMBERS SHARE WITH YOU HERE...THEN...CREATE SOMETHING TO ENCHANT OTHERS THAT YOU WANT TO SHARE

    You know what we all love...

    When you enchant people, you fill them with delight and yourself in return. Have Fun!!!

Sign in to follow this  
Vitreus

Sizing Up a Good Crappie Lake

Recommended Posts

I am constantly exploring new areas in search of those lakes that produce consistent good quality fish, using google maps in combination with the dnr lake finder page. What I've begun to realize is that the surveys can be misleading. The dynamic of a fishery is fluid and the balance of power is constantly shifting between species based on weather, stocking, netting, fishing pressure, and other factors. Also, it has become obvious that I'm not the only fisherman utilizing these surveys. The lakes with high populations of fish surveyed tend to have high populations of fishermen. This predicament has led me to explore other factors to determine whether a lake will produce despite potentially misleading surveys. The size, depth, flow, and species diversity will inevitably have an effect on panfish population sustainability. Lakes with a large predator population will leave a smaller niche for panfish and vice versa (Upper Red). What techniques do you use to determine a high probability fishing destination?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For crappies I look for lakes that have a decent depth basin, mid-lake humps or islands, and a key is mud bottom bays that have a deep area and come up sharp and have large areas of 8ft and up with cabbage weed and or reeds. A lot of that stuff can be found on lake finder. Also one thing I've noticed but never heard is that lakes with a healthy size largemouth population almost always is a great crappie lake.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Also there are lakes that consistantly kick out big slabs and those that have big swings in the recruitement. For example, those lakes that are shallow drainage type lakes that are subject to winterkill can have a few years of phenominal crappie fishing (weather permitting) lakes like this grow fish fast and crappies can be one of the only desireable fish species that can survive these low oxygen lakes.

On the other side I like and prefer to fish lakes that are larger in size 500+ acres that have lots of open water, or basins. Dishpan lakes, only large. These types of lakes also seem to have ups and downs in the population but are less drastic. these lakes typically have consistant year classes. The deeper eutrophic lakes. ie big sandy, artichoke etc. Darker water.

Last I look for lakes that are a little more remote. Have slabs? will travel! again they are bigger lakes and have larger basin areas, or sections of the lakes that have what I am looking for. There are areas in the state that have more water than land. too many lakes to choose from. ex. Bemidji, Detroit lakes/Pelican rapids Ely area Leech lake area. These areas may have several lakes that produce big slabs but because there are many, no single lake gets an abundance of pressure keeping these populations a little more stable and keeping the fish and the genetics in the lake.

Its been said many times before. If you hear about a "hot" crappie bite its probably second or third hand information and that "hot" bite has come and gone. The grass is always greener mentality rarely works for me. I use all the tools you listed. lakefinder is great! maps etc. But doing the research and looking and more importantly FINDING fish is more rewarding than anyting.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The 2 best Crappie lakes I have ever fished were 160 acres and just over 300 acres. Boom and Bust species only because loose lips sink ships. You can find water that will produce year after year if the lake is set up right (mud bays that heat up in spring with cabbage weeds for protection)and pressure stays low because there are no talkers.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

amen to that! Nothing will hurt a population more than hundreds of anglers flocking in. there are too many examples to name but a small population of big fish doesnt last long when limits are being taken from the resource. I also used to fish a small 260 acre lake that had monsters in it but for the most part i like to focus on the larger lakes. the larger the lake the more fish it can potentionally hold.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I use those same tool and have found several great lakes with them. I look for bigger lakes with decent populations and hit spots most other fisherman would skip in looking for other species or smaller lakes with limited access.

It's a boom or bust approach.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No kidding, I've seen a couple good crappie lakes in my general area get completely wiped out. One is happening right now. A year or two ago you could go out to this place and see a dozen shacks, now there's got to be 60 of them out there all because someone had to brag at a bait shop. I just want to know if it was worth it to kill that lake just for that moment of glory.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

yes I think we all have seen a good crappie lake go to the masses. Its unfortunate but it happens.

Borch, I sent you a PM

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I fish a clear lake in Pelican Rapids that for some reason gets ignored. I catch crappies consistently that are 11'' to 12"(I throw back the 12s)

My best theory is the lake does not yet produce huge crappies,and is in an area with so many other great lakes. Also these are weedline fish I catch them here and there in the weeds I think people would rather go to a lake throw out the anchor and catch fish from a big school. Thoughts?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Depends. I think people will fish where fish are (or where they think there are). I had a spot on WBL that no one fished. I fished it a couple weeks and someone ended up following me over there. Next thing I know there's a town out there. That was a weed spot that you wouldn't think held fish unless you stayed til dark. Then it got hot. Soon as people figured that out, they left the basin and came over to me. Good ol' city fishin.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Depends. I think people will fish where fish are (or where they think there are). I had a spot on WBL that no one fished. I fished it a couple weeks and someone ended up following me over there. Next thing I know there's a town out there. That was a weed spot that you wouldn't think held fish unless you stayed til dark. Then it got hot. Soon as people figured that out, they left the basin and came over to me. Good ol' city fishin.

Yeah Centerville was a flyer for a time and now (past 3-4 years) WBL is getting pounded. I have my fun and move on. It's always inevitable that people find out. What fun is catching 10 qty. 10 inch + fish night after night?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I never had to deal with the "metro" lakes. When I did live there I was more than willing to drive an hour or two to go fish somewhere else. Or find a cheap motel and stay for a weekend. The funny thing is no matter where I went, someone was always there as well! Locals, cabin owners etc. But without question finding those lakes that are surrounded by other lakes and seem to be a little more complex and intimidating are the ones that produce the most for me. BTW guys if you are in the northeast metro, Pokegama is just 45 mins away. Very good lake! big whities!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That lake I mentioned is ignored for a combination of reasons (oh also the DNR did not report a lot of crappies that helps too)Yep a good weedline bite on a metro lake will get sniffed out I get that. Also throw in a few 14 inchers and that would help to get the word out.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

Sign in to follow this