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Right after ice out and earlier even, if the sun is out. They will head back deeper if colder and lower light conditions slow the insect activity. It keeps getting progressively better with longer stays as the spring and warmer conditions progress. 

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Thanks Rick, while I do good on crappies/ sunnies early ice and mid winter. I struggle to catch them late winter. I hope to fix that this year. I have moved back to the area I grew up (lots of small lakes) and lots of time to fish.

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Look for current areas and the slack water/eddies next to it. Also on each side of where a current area hits shore. It can be dynamite open water fishing even when ice can almost be cast to. Plastics can really shine here fished on a small jig, possibly under a bobber as well.

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Right now sunfish are pushing up onto the shallower flats.   Depending on the lake will determine how shallow.  Last weekend I was doing well in spots with 6-10 fow under the ice.  Crappies have continued to hang in deeper basins but have caught a couple mixed in with the sunfish. If you have good cabbage on the edge of flats you might find some there right now as well.  

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21 minutes ago, Borch said:

Right now sunfish are pushing up onto the shallower flats.   Depending on the lake will determine how shallow.  Last weekend I was doing well in spots with 6-10 fow under the ice.  Crappies have continued to hang in deeper basins but have caught a couple mixed in with the sunfish. If you have good cabbage on the edge of flats you might find some there right now as well.  

yep.ya cant beat a good bed of cabbage weeds for sunfish!!!!!!!!

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