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th64

Anyone fishing right now?

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So where and how are you catching crappie or bluegill right now? I know it will be a lot better when the water warms up but I am not going to sit around and wait. I have been catching bass walleye and pike as I have been fishing for crappies so I cannot complain too much-I never even hear about anyone catching gills this time of year-they bite late ice must be bitting now. Crappies? 

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I'm in the same boat as you, so far mostly pike and a couple of bass when I'm not getting skunked.  I did catch two small sunfish and missed a bunch of bites before the cold weather blew in this past weekend in really shallow water.  I made the wrong call and left them hoping to get crappies somewhere else.  I found some sunfish in the same lake yesterday in a bunch of thick bullrushes next to shore.  I would have needed a 10 foot cane pole to reach and  catch them.  Mostly I'm shore fishing.  I do have a 10ft jon boat that I paddle around that I've gotten out twice with and been skunked both times. 

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My dad has been catching crappies in the southern tc suburbs. I've been unable to find them in the northern suburbs. Found one culvert just packed with 4-inchers that were happy to play, but that doesn't really count. 

FWIW, his fish have come in really shallow connecting channels in between different bays and/or different lakes.

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I used to carry into a lake that had a channel and on sunny days it was crazy good-then the water level receeded the channel and the legal access disappeared. I found great channels on Tonka when I looked at a map but they post them 'no fishing' because they are spawning areas, they are posted from like April 'till July. Found one small out of the way backwater on a lake I like. got to a spot about the size of a small parking lot,and i got the guy in the boat sailing casts just to keep people out. So I guess I am still looking for a channel I like to fish. Sometimes wish I lived in Park Rapids, so may great panfish lakes that you could always get a spot or lake to yourself. Hate to sound negative, love fishing and when bass and walleye open up fishing will be a lot better.

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Furious bite the last few days on local lake.  Shallow , back bays.  Tube or twister- didn't seem to matter, under a bob. No minnows. Water temp was 58 +-.   Kept a few to eat, most went back.

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Northern MN

I got out for the sunset hour on a tiny backwoods lake in my scrappy row boat with vexilar and trolling motor. It gets 40' deep but I didn't mark anything in the deep water or up the breaks toward shore. Tried pitching to emerging lily stalks and wood in really shallow along the shores, nothing.

Found some fish between 6 - 12 ft. Caught 5 or 6 crappies, pretty small, and a bluegill in that depth range. May have done better with live bait but all I brought were jigs and plastics. Had to use the tiniest jigs (they wouldn't eat 1/16 or 1/32 oz), which made it tough to cast any distance or to fish vertically under the transducer.

Couldn't tell you the water temp but I'm guessing mid-40s at most. The ice just went out like 4 days ago and we had only two warm days since then.

Didn't expect much out there so it was fun to reel in a few. Felt good to scratch the itch.

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I need to get out to other lakes more, or maybe not.  Always shocks me when people say sunnies are or are not biting.  We're on a small lake up by Alexandria and I dont think there is a day of the year or time of day that you cant find sunnies.  They are always out there.  Is that normal on smaller lakes?

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5 minutes ago, Moon Lake Refuge said:

I need to get out to other lakes more, or maybe not.  Always shocks me when people say sunnies are or are not biting.  We're on a small lake up by Alexandria and I dont think there is a day of the year or time of day that you cant find sunnies.  They are always out there.  Is that normal on smaller lakes?

Not normal. Although I agree that on lakes with lots of sunnies and for fishermen who know what they're doing, sunnies can be caught in almost all conditions and most times on most days, those first two qualifiers are significant enough to rule out "normal on smaller lakes."

To my disappointment, the lake on which I live has just a modest population of mostly small sunfish. It's weird. Most days you can't find any of them, and when you finally do find them, they're mostly small. I know of a lot of lakes like this.

There's another small lake that I fish a few times per year that puzzles me. Typically during late ice and early spring, it's very hard to find the sunfish. Some days you can't find them at all - not even on the graph. But mid summer and mid winter they're easy to find and easy to catch.

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Gotcha... Yeah ours is a fun little lake, surprising how many panfish with how many pikes are in there.  That have also been stocking Eyes for the last few years.  no good spots for them to spawn so we don't anticipate them breeding but the DNR matches what we throw in so as long as there are some for us to catch were happy with it!

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Took the boat out for its first 2016 crappie search - NOTHING! Fished from 2:30 to 7:15 (didn't stay til sunset) with my 4 and 2 year old kids. Small lake, ~ 100 acres, max depth 25 ft, semi-dark water. Main lake water temp was 49 degrees but I found one influent creek that brought 54 degree water to a shallow flat, one sheltered northern bay with nice crappie-attracting features, 52 degree water, and one small sheltered bay with 55 degree water and fishy-looking features. No fish in any of those spots. Used the sonar, down, and side imaging around the basin and the breaks near those warm water areas, didn't graph anything.

What did I miss? I know many, many times I've seen lakes go from dead sea during the day, to feeding frenzy at sunset, so maybe just my timing was off, but it was getting late for the kids and I didn't pack a dinner.

One the bright side, the boat's working great and the kids had a lot of fun, as did I. We're going to have a great summer if they stay as excited for fishing as they were that day.

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I think the missing puzzle piece Saturday was timing - HAVE to fish to/through sunset. 

Went out again and kind of redeemed myself. Fished from 6 to 9 pm with wife and kids, but the bite was only 8:30 to 8:50 (sunset to about 20 minutes after). I couldn't find a fish (other than bass and pike) or buy a bite before that time. Found the fish when they started surfacing near a shallow point that I had fished earlier and to which I was returning to fish again. they were feeding in 3 - 6 feet of water, near surface. Best presentation was a 1/64th oz hair jig tipped with a small crappie minnow or a 1" piece of crawler - either one. Bigger jigs didn't get hit. Crappies and bluegills. big ones. Wish I knew where they were and how to catch them earlier in the evening. 

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Gotta fish till dark-look at a crappie, does that look like a predator? No teeth, no big powerful jaw, fast and bullet shaped like a pike? Nope-great low light vision is all it has going for it. Even in lakes without a classic night bite you should be out there till dark-as in dark I see stars dark. Fewer misquitios at dark compared to dusk. 

Good Luck-----next 2 weeks should be great for crappies, BTW

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Hey Deet, you been out since your last post?

wondering if you have any water temps for the rapids area?

I'm heading up to my in laws place near Bovey over Mermorial day. Crappy is going to be my

target species and I'm wondering what depths people are finding them now or what the water temps are at.

Thanks.

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On 5/19/2016 at 8:06 PM, MCI said:

Hey Deet, you been out since your last post?

wondering if you have any water temps for the rapids area?

I'm heading up to my in laws place near Bovey over Mermorial day. Crappy is going to be my

target species and I'm wondering what depths people are finding them now or what the water temps are at.

Thanks.

Haven't been out by GR but I was further north (BWCA) this weekend and found big crappies one morning. They were in the warmest water available (shallow, narrow bay with river inlet) near a beaver lodge that offered more cover and "deep" water adjacent to the lodge than other woody spots. By deep I mean 4 - 6 ft. Other lodges that were surrounded by shallow flats had zero crappies. Didn't have a thermometer but I bet that dark, sheltered bay was dang near 65 degrees. Rest of the lake was probably closer to 60. Just an educated guess.

This weekend could be about the perfect time to find crappies shallow, so long as the weather isn't too wild.

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Here in the metro the spawn should be over-still a great time to fish though (course I always say that!)

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