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irishwalleye

Panfish slot limit??

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My dad will keep anything that comes out of the lake but I usually self impose a slot limit on crappies and sunnies. Whats a good-cleanable size limit where I'm still able to toss the big females back?? any suggestions?

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I Think this really depends on the lake. For me, I can still get a pretty decent fillet off a sunfish that is 7.5" or even slightly less.. For me personally I usually put back all 8's or better.. Crappie wise.. I think a 9-10" is a good cleaner range... anything close to 12" gets put back.

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I would agree with the slots that Dietz has posted. Once in awhile I am a little guilty of keeping some slabs that I later believed I should have returned to grow . If we all can have some control on the bigger ones then we may find some real trophies.

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don't feel too bad about keeping some slabs. Granted they are effective spawners until they go belly up, They live to around 11 years, that's a 13 plus inch fish, depending on growth rates. The main factor in crappie reproduction is the right conditions for the spawn to hatch. If the conditions are right, a few crappies can have a huge hatch, if the conditions are wrong a lot of crappies will not produce many fry.

It is important to limit your take, but if your looking for a long term spawner, the 9 inchers have many more years of spawning than the 14's. Then there's the fact that a 14 incher will produce more spawn than a 9 incher. So inevitably it's a choice that you will need to consider on your own. Do you like to eat 9 inchers, or do you like the 14's? It will take two times the 9 inchers compared to 14's for a meal. Relatively speaking you will get the same amount of spawn loss from this practice, however you will get more years of spawn from a 9 incher, provided the 14 is close to mortality. It boils down to what makes you feel better, did I do the right thing for the body of water I am fishing?

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For gills I like to keep 8-9"ers, bigger ones go back.

For Crappies I like 9.5-11.5"ers. I will keep a few bigger ones to get a meal if need be, but there is no reason to keep 13"+ when you can take home some 11"

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I would like to see a state wide slot limit on crappie. 9" minimum. Sunfish are so stunted in many lakes, that it would have to be a lake by lake thing which can be confusing.

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Ron you have a valid point about so many lakes being stunted in this state for bluegills that I think if there was a slot for bluegills it would have to be lake by lake for regulations. Also I believe predator have something to do with stunted fish, in that they keep the sunfish and crappies overall population balanced. When you get lakes with a lack of northerns or bass the bluegills and crappies can boom and then you have a lake ecosystem that is like this state's deer herd with an overabundance of fish that eat the same forage, and there is only enough forage to support a certain number of fish. Like the over populated deer herd overeating the small vegitation and plants that grow on the forest floors that are needed to substain well balanced forest ecosystem for other animals. I think the solutions to solve stunted fish in lakes is to have fisherman take smaller fish to eat and restrict bigger fish to be taken and must be released (like a maximum length of 9" and anything over that has to be thrown back) or to restrict fisherman to catch and keep northerns and bass in certain lakes and make it C&R. I personally think if there was a state slot limit on bluegills and crappies, they would need do more studies on lakes in different areas of the state first. But one way to restrict bluegill and crappie fishing is drop possession limits and put a minimum size and a maximum size of what can be kept and what cannot be kept. For example, some lakes in this state have restrictions on only taking 5 crappies and they have to measure 10" or longer to be kept, and the smaller ones get released to have a chance to grow up. So rules and regulations to that sort would be the way I see the DNR enforcing the issue on panfish slot limit. Me personally I mainly fish for bluegills and rarely for crappie but I do impose a slot limit on myself now, (I never did before, and just kept the big ones, but I changed) for bluegills I keep everything up to 9" and I release back anything over 9" unless I am going to put it on the wall, for crappies I am not so strict but depending on the situation I will keep a few big ones for a meal 12-14" and release anything under 10, but if all I am catching is smaller crappies 8-11" then I will keep a meal of those size.

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I am absolutely in favor of a slot. i think craps should be nothing b/t 12" and 14", one over for a mounter. gills are different. like you guys said, most lakes down here in the metro are stunted. i don't think it'd be a bad idea to draw a line from mille lacs south and open the limits on sunnies. there's only one lake i know of around here that produces decent gills consistently. i also don't think it'd be a bad idea to legalize netting gills in a few select lakes and use them for crow food. it wouldn't only help improve gill size, but craps would benefit from less competition for food, too. just my .02

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DO WE REALLY NEED A SLOT LIMIT FOR A CRAPPIE????!!!!! THIS IS ABSURD!! Don't we have enough slot limits and regulations for everything under the sun? Is there really that much pressure on crappies on any given lake? A 10 crappie limit isn't going to put any kind of a dent in the lake. Why not close the season when the crappies are spawning in the spring when you can catch 10 fish in 5 minutes? Because nobody goes out there except for 3 people in the entire state wanting a meal or some clown who is poaching 200 fish and they would do regardless if the season is on or not.

Crappies tend to have boom or bust cycles over the years in any given lake. Just because a person hasn't caught a fish in their favorite crappie hole in 2 years-the first thing they start crying is slot limit!

And yes there are many, many lakes out there where you can't catch a crappie UNDER 11"

The best thing a person can do when they catch a crappie is to keep their mouth shut about it and not broadcast it to anyone!!! Damage is done to small crappie fisheries when someone goes out on a 40 acre lake, catches fish, then proceed to tell everyone he knows about it. The lake then gets turned into a village and every crappie gets yanked out of there. That same person will wonder why he/she can't catch a fish the next year!

Justin

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Calm down Justin. This a forum for discussion.

Quote:

Why not close the season when the crappies are spawning in the spring when you can catch 10 fish in 5 minutes? Because nobody goes out there except for 3 people in the entire state wanting a meal or some clown who is poaching 200 fish and they would do regardless if the season is on or not.


If you think only a few people go out during spawning, and/or early spring crappie fishing when they are in the shallows looking for food I beg to differ with you. People fish for species most when they are easy to find and catch

1. Early spring when they are in the shallows finding food.

2. Later spring when they are spawning.

2. Fishing through the ice.

Quote:

Crappies tend to have boom or bust cycles over the years in any given lake. Just because a person hasn't caught a fish in their favorite crappie hole in 2 years-the first thing they start crying is slot limit!


The main reason for boom and bust years is over harvesting of adult and semi adult fish. I can give you many examples of it. Larger lakes may be more cyclic because of nature and less effected by fishing pressure.

There are lakes nearby here that get pounded for a couple years and then they are dead for 3 years until they start growing again.

I wouldn't let anyone know my double secret hotspots. I'm with ya there.

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Well, there is alot more going on with why a lake is producing fish other than fishing pressure. It may have to do with forage, competition for food, spawn, pedators in the lake- alot of different factors other than fishing. I like to catch fish, sure, who doesn't-I also like to bring some fish home to eat and I only keep fish that I intend to eat. There are just way too many factors in crappie lakes to say that I can only keep one fish over 11 inches-maybe in some lakes you can only catch 8" crappies-but, there are alot of them that a 10"-11" fish is average. Fish cycles change from year to year and the size along with numbers of fish will also change from year to year. My honest opinion is an 11" crappie is for the dinner table and is not a trophy fish by any strech- a walleye over 19" isn't really too good for the frying pan, so they go back.

Just my opinion

Justin

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I think people underestimate just how man fish people keep. I know people that keep fish every time they go out. They are not alone. I don't think there should be drastic limits on pannies...but I would like to see people throw more fish back.

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Maybe the answer then is a numbers limit rather than an inch limit... think about it. It seems to make sense to me. I know of alot of double dippers on west metro lakes that in the last few years have turned small lakes that were kicking out near trophy size crappies into near dead seas. Justin is right in the fact that loose lips sink ships. As far as size limits... I think that putting more on the plate of a DNR force that is under maned is sensless. Lowering the limit a tad would simply be easier an probably better for all fisheries. It does upset me a bit though that people have to keep and keep and keep then they just move on to the next lake all the while (Contact Us Please) about why the previous well went dry. There seems to be no end to the greed. Sorry for the negativity. smirk.gif

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Fever I couldn't agree more in that perhaps the only way to keep good populations of big bluegills and crappies is to lower the possession limit. I just wonder what the limits will be when I take my grand kids fishing 30-40 years down the road? Maybe we will have a one bluegill or one crappie limit?? But both you and Justin hit it right on the nose and I have preached this before, that if you don't keep a tight lip and open your mouth about a hot bite or about catching fish, even to someone who doesn't fish your lake or spot will be done. No offense to you Fever, but after you commented on your statement, "I know of alot of double dippers on west metro lakes that in the last few years have turned small lakes that were kicking out near trophy size crappies into near dead seas." Then you wonder why some people up north are very protective of their lakes that they live on or by and fish when people from your area of the state come up north to Brainerd, Bemidji, Grand Rapids, etc. because of the lakes in the area you live in are fished out and people up north they do not want their lakes to be turned into dead seas as well. You don't see northern minnesotans coming south to often to fish lakes by St. Cloud, southern minnesota or the metro area. The reason I am commenting on that issue is because I grew up in central minnesota and I have lived in northern minnesota too, so I understand the aspects and attitudes of the people in each area and they are different. One area of the state can't keep their mouth shut about a panfish bite or lake (couldn't keep a secret to save their soul) and the other area you ask a bait shop or local about how the bite is going or where are the fish biting and first question that comes is "where ya from?" or "we don't talk crappie or sunfish lakes or bites" Its just how it is I have found out and you learn what to say and what not to say.

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While I'm not sure if slot's would be very helpful, I think minimums and limits would be. Word of mouth will keep fish from over populating, hot bites attract fisherpeople. Minimums, IMO, are manditory on ALL fish. We had a person bringing sunfish to the farm for the other halfs parents, becouse they cought so many. These fish were so small, there was basically no meat on them. Needless to say, they don't bring any around anymore...by request. For me, I'm not really out for the "trophy" fish, but I do like to keep a couple good size eaters, and that's about it. That goes for any species of fish I catch. Most of the time it's C&R.

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No, i'm waiting for the ice to clear so I can start fishing from my boat!

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We have both regulations in NE and they have worked fairly well but we still need more CO's to enforce the laws, otherwise they are all for not.

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lookincalifornia,its actually real good fishing here now.limits of nice eatable crappies are coming in from shallows in nearly all lakes in my area.Sunfish are breaking state records and luckily we know ahead of time that they taste like the dirt they were raised in so they all go back.Was at a club meeting last week proud to tell of a coupl 1 pound 14 ounce sunnies by picture only to find that other end of county they stock adult sunfish because large northern population wont leave any little ones.2 pounders was the common response.My bragging rights were instantly deminished.Come back to Minnesota and will take you out .Best time is now or late September.

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Bluegills1512,like the post.Around here tight lips keep a small crowd on a great bite for bigger fish.When its bigger fish they usually get realeased.As far as going up north to fish,my wife and myself thought it would be nice to hit some lakes around Brainerd area,Park Rapids etc.Two different times when we were somewhat short bucketed on eatable sized or larger pannies resort owners when asked would mention that when they get to leave to fish they go to lakes where we live.I live in heaven when it comes to panfish and both smallmouth and largemouth fishing.

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I'd be the first to admit, I keep crappies bigger than 11 inches. But it's like this. If I catch only two of them, then they go back in the water. Probably mean there aren't many of them. If I catch like one right after another of all little one's under 10 inches, I tell them, "go find your parents." LOL's

Good midsize fishes are good reproducers. Plus I've been Upper Red Lake conditioned.

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I don't want everyone to get mad at me but I do the same thing. One day I spent over an hour cleaning about 30 smaller (<10") crappies. It gave my family of four enough for a meal but I can catch 13 or so 11+ inchers and get a meal out of it. I guess its just preferece and doing what you think is right.

P.S. I don't ever keep a limit of large crappies. Just enough for a meal. And slipperybob is right, those 10's do spawn pretty good.

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I'd rather catch four or five of the big ones for a good meal rather than ten smaller ones, which I could catch for two meals in the future. Plus they get to spawn that year, then the following year should mean that I double my chances of bigger fish. I have never gotten my limit of crappies in a single day, wish I could, but I'd much rather have a reason to go fishing.

Sometimes people look funny at me as I throw back those nine to ten inchers. I want them to become 11+ inchers. It's the same if I get four or five 12+ inchers, all the 11- goes back. Now I'll be looking for a 13+.

I see lot's of people keeping crappies from 7-10 inches, that just means a lot less fishes with a chance to grow to 11+

I suppose it will vary from lake to lake of what's going to have a chance to become a big crappie, mostly easily accessible public lakes will mean smaller crappies, under heavier fishing pressure.

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