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What would you suggest?

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Okay... So here's the deal...

I leave on the 11th for a small 105 acre crappie lake in Northern MN...

The game fish on the lake are only Pike and Crappie...

I've been there once before and brought home a decent catch of slabs... But I know we could have done better...

At the time we didn't have any real electronics or investigation...

We simple went out where some of the locals had their permanents... popped some holes, set up the house and just let the bite meander in.

Now this time going up... Between the three of us we've got a power auger, Hand Auger, 2 FL-18 Vex's and 2 Aqua-Vu's... And a pair of ATV's to get around...

I don't usually shoot for Crappies through the ice as I'm more of a Walleye and perch guy...

I'm trying to come up with a plan of a plan of attack...

What would you suggest...

Popping a bunch of holes and moving...

Setting up over the weeds... On the weed edge... Deep basin (Around 30 feet.)

My current "Gut" reaction... There's an inside turn on the north end where according to the map it drops from 10 feet to 20 feet in the span of about 15 feet... Bottom is muck... I'm thinking about setting up the houses on the weedline there, and then baiting the tip-ups on the weedside.

But by all means... Give me some suggestions.

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Crappies will roam.. I would hit the deerper basin and punch holes and see if you mark anything.. Your area sounds very good as well. Punch holes on top, part way down the break and then dont be afraid to punch a few out in the basin of that drop as well... A fast moving jigging spoon and a minnow head or waxworm should be able to pull in any active fish.

From what you describe I would be willing to bet the pike own the weed areas.. I think you can catch crappies in the weeds, but you would be better to find the crappies in open water!

Good luck!

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I second Dietz's info and would like to offer some more. When searching, don't be afraid to put some water on the ice and shoot through it to locate suspened crappies. It is a fast way to look and you don't have to disturb and do all the work of drilling holes. We do it quite often now and being there really isn't much snow on the ice, it makes it a lot easier. With the lake at only 105 acres you should be able to cover a lot of it in a day, especially if you split up during your search. As far as the pike, I can never beat the deep weedline or the first break, but thats just me!

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One big thing you have on your side is the size of the lake. 105 acres should be relatively easy to cover with a set of ATV's and a few guys.

Deitz's basin idea is very good, and I would have to third (since Coach already second it wink.gif) that idea. If those crappies have moved off the weeds then I would look towards the more expansive areas.

Those smaller lakes can oftentimes find crappies right amongst the deepest part of the lake just cruising around. I would fish larger presentations, like a 2-inch Power Minnow, jigging spoon, or a larger Ratso... something of that nature. You want something that will drop down quick, yet still allow you to fish effectively for panfish.

Look for any apparent structure over the basin area, or else larger flats leading out from the shallower first ice areas. Deeper holes are going to hold fish, but oftentimes you'll encounter the schooling pods of smaller fish out there as well. Those fish are also more pressured and can be more difficult to coax into biting. Try moving up to shallower flats and areas with possible scattered weeds or soft bottom.

Look for areas where you have steep breaks leading up to a flat or transition change. I like these areas because you can utilize them for both daytime and low-light crappies. Those fish will slide up and down as the time periods change.

If you also have a lot of light penentration and still standing green weeds, then I'd look to the deep weed line to hold a few fish. Also keep in mind water clarity, which will also play a huge role in the fish location throughout the water column...

Sounds to me like you have a fun little lake on your hands smile.gif

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