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Early fishing????

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Hey everybody,
Ice is out up here by leech on my little lake. I was wondering if you can get out this ealry to be catching fish. What I mean is will they be biting this ealry or should I wait to put my boat in until about middle of may. Temps have changed from like 80deg. to 30 deg. in about 2 days. Any info. would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks guys.(and gals)

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If the weather isn't too terribly horrible, this can be a very enjoyable time to be out. Crappies move in shallow almost immediately after the ice is out, and often they'll be aggressive.
We had such an odd winter and marginal ice, most have had the open water itch for weeks. Don't put it off smile.gif

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Northeast Outfitters
915 Hwy 29 N NE
Alexandria, MN 56308
(320) 763-9598

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With this cold front, I wouldn't expect to find any fish shallow.

Crappies bite good this time of the year, but you may need to go back to your winter spots and look for suspended fish to be successful.

Crappies don't move shallow right away on all lakes.

Best advice is to go to winter basin areas with electronics and then work your way up the breaks to where you know they are in mid May....They will be somewhere.

Last night I was getting Crappies out of 32 feet of water. The weather hasn't been cooperating.

Good fishing,

PCG

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My Advice is that if the ice is out, get the boat in! Its kinda A contradiction to pro's comment, but From what I've experienced the crappies are in action as soon as the ice goes. Even though they won't be up in the shallows for a while you can check out areas close to winter holes or I've had the most luck finding fish in prespawn areas about 10 to 20 feet. I've found a bobber doesn't work yet cause they're not crazy yet. Try some small jigs that drop really slow. i found this year that color made a difference. Yeah everybody knows pink is supposed to be hot but not yet. If red or pink doesn't cut it I found a black or gray works provided its being jigged. oh yeah. wax worms or larvae. Worked last week

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try using small jigs in the sizes of 1/100 (or even small) and using 1-inch white twister tail. After using this method you should never buy minnows for crappies again. Oh ya you must also use only two pound test line.

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If the weather had stayed warm a guy could be in 2 feet of water slaying the slabs...

But rightly like...25 feet of water had me on some good action.

PCG

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  • Your Responses - Share & Have Fun :)

    • Good luck on your hunt, let us know how you do!
    • I have another weekend in me to fish and fight the winds and weather and then the boat will be done for the year.  Guess it is that time of the season but would really love to get another couple outings in but such is life! 
    • who uses flashers now days haha; I'm a helix convert now too, i was hesitant at first as the Lowrance had a LCD screen a few years ago for ice fishing but the lag was unusable, but hbird figured it out. Mapping, flasher screen if wanted, and sonar all in one, its like a smartphone; everything in one.   also, I have not had any interference issues with others using the helix, especially with all of hte chirp setttings
    • Looks like a good time 
    • I love my Helix unit also, and GPS has been a game changer for me. No more fumbling with my phone in the cold with apps eating my battery and trying to keep it out of the elements.    I miss the simplicity of my Marcum VX-1 but after getting my Helix dialed in I have no complaints.
    • SD resident opener was a wet one. Saturday I didn't go out. Sunday morning woke up with 4.5" inches of snow at my place a few miles south of Sioux Falls. Never would I have imagined we would be able to hunt in snow this early! The other odd part is that none of the weather people even hinted at any accumulation or even predicted any chance of precip. It literally just came out of nowhere.   Yesterday I hunted the entire day from noon to sundown and was fortunate enough to still have some snow stick around in areas.. My only summary is swamp country. I wore the wrong boots, wrong pants etc. Should have just wore waders would have been able access things better. My biggest mistake was not going far enough west and not far enough north. But there is a ton of public land where I headed and I hadn't been able to scout that way yet this year. Everything that looked walkable was wet it didnt matter how high or low it was. If it looked good at knee level it very likely had ankle high standing water under it. Ditches were full of water, some roads were underwater it was just wet everywhere and I don't see any signs of any harvesting starting any time soon. The water just made things difficult to walk as some areas I am familiar with. I could walk one side and work it good, but then get land locked because of water and have no way of getting to the other sides and ended up back tracking and walking a lot of same areas twice  which usually isnt productive.   I only managed 1 bird all day. I missed 1 bird my first walk probably at 12:01pm right after getting out of the truck. Just was slow to get the gun up and was way behind it. Typically early season lull, I think I just stared at the bird before I even realized I should be trying to shoot it. I downed another bird early afternoon and I knew it wasn't hit hard. Made a good mark on it and then my dog got a good track and pinned it down. As I went to grab it with my hand the dog released and the bird took off like a bat out of hell and we never were able to recover it because of all of the water. As soon as I put my hand on it, it just exploded and was gone. Was just an odd scenario.   Saw a few other hens but otherwise a very very slow day. I had spotted a bunch of birds coming out of some CRP earlier in the day that headed for corn. I came back an hour before sundown and hunkered down hopefully to get some pokes at them during the golden hour and they never showed up. I know the birds are around but all the crops in makes it difficult to hunt during the day.   I dont know what to suggest for people coming for the big opener this weekend. Its going to be difficult with so many crops in. I would say anywhere north of HWY 14 should be a little drier in areas but they have still seen some moisture the last couple weeks. Up near Brown county they are basically in a drought and down in the south eastern part of the state we are breaking yearly precipitation records. Harvest is off to a slow start all over. I know this weekend is the big opener everyone gets fired up for but if it were me I would be coming back for late season hunts and skip the circus this weekend.   I wont be hitting it hard any time soon will probably just stick to some sundown hunts closer to home for now. I have some gopro footage I need to get edited from yesterday got alot of good stuff on video including the bird that got away.   Good luck to those heading out this weekend!
    • I'd like to see how the Helix handles interference.   Interference was the reason I went from my Interphase Video to a flasher. Currently using HBird Ice 45 and MarCum LX5.
    • I put all the boats put away,  subsequently the rain stopped.  I'll take that and finish pulling the dock in.
    • Posting.  Cuz I can’t sleep worth a dump.  Gonna be a MEA yahoo for most the rest of the week.  I’ve heard good reports from the friends that are already out there. They took the whole week so I’m driving myself out Tuesday night.     Just getting the the back of the truck filled with dekes got me too revved up.  Gonna be hard packing anything else besides waders, layout blind, guns and shells!  Who needs food and more than one change of clothes for 5 days anyway?!
    • I was ALMOST headed to Ely as well but opted to stick to “productive” pursuits at home, figuring I probably missed the October window this year.  That only lasted a day though before I headed west.   It looked really cool though.  Quiet too I bet.
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