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Catching more fish more often


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We all want to catch more fish more often right?

Well let's think about what makes a fisherman successfull on the ice

more often then not.

I believe a plan is needed to start.

Identify your target species for that day.So if crappies are the target for the day.

What are we going to do to catch them?

For starters picking a lake that has them .Seems simple enough ,however this is where some fishermen get lost.During the ice season we will go to the places where fish houses are right?

There's got to crappies there !

It takes more planning then that to score on those slabs.

Making a plan should involve several actions on your part to make the big score.

This can include talking to the locals,baitshops and the area DNR.

Studing lake maps also can shorten your search and dial you into those go to spots that crappies will hold to.

Learning a lake can be a daunting task at 1st.A puzzle just waiting to be put together if you will, but some intial time being spent drilling holes and using locators we can identify depths and maybe we can start to mark some fish.

Reading articles can help in understanding their habitats and what they relate to over the coarse of the year.

This will help pin pointing those certain areas you'll identify on the lake maps you have been studying.

Once we have located those schools it is time to hunker down and catch them.

Trial and error is the most common method.Changing lures,colors of lures.Then lure sizes and should we go with verticle or horizontal prentations?

Most often to hit a new lake you should never just expect to hit the mother load.For me it takes several trips to a body of water to understand it's pattern.

Crappies may bite in the day or at night with a certain hot time in one of those time frames.

The water may be stained or clear which usualy dictates certain color choices.

Different times of the year oxygen will be low or high dictating a better size bait to match the fish's aggresion level.

Then we apply the barometric pressure level with the moon phase to help us in choosing how are

we going to start out for any given trip.

Since we have our flasher buzzing away we then can see how they react to what we are doing.

I believe fish will feed most every day.So if that's true then what do I need to do to trigger that strike sence fish have?

Making a plan and working that plan I believe will help you pattern those fish.

Sometimes we get lucky and fall into what they want .....well we really make our own luck I believe.

This comes from past expierences.Remembering what happened on the last trip that will help you get better on the subsequint fishing trip.

Adding all of these expierences to your bank of fishing history will enable you to dial into that pattern sooner then later.

Sometimes hiring a guide to shorten your learning curve works well for some.

Tossing darts blind folded at the target usually will net you out nadda,however taking aim.Using a good follow through and time practicing will prove out in the end that you hit your target.

Fishing is a puzzle.Puzzles are meant to be put together.

Make a plan and work it,you'll enjoy the outcome way more and those catches will be more often.

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Getting more specific for this time of the year the fish are sluggish because the oxygen content is about at the lowest point it will be all year.Generally you'll find them in deeper water.

So yes ,downsizing will trigger more bites then those bigger baits that some call confidence baits.

In about 3 weeks or so our snows will start to melt off up here.Maybe sooner down towards the TC area.

During this time of the year the melt off will return some much need oxygen and those fish which will energize them to pick up with their aggression level.You may find them up on the cabbage or weed edges at this point keying in on foods being released from the bottom.

Many forms of foods will also become active.Triggering this late season feed we all know happens prior to open water.

Since these food sources are small our baits should remain small.

It's a great time to fish again

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With that late ice season approaching ,nows the time to plan out hitting our favorite lakes to take advantage of those fish that will be energized with the new found oxygen levels.

Good luck working those basins,breaks and cabbage patches.

I'd say to start in about 2-3 weeks.So get out there,it will not last long.

Have fun rearing guys!


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Targeting pannies next to cabbage beds or in the transition areas

are where I'm finding those fish.

The main basins are still holding some fish .For those fisher's in the southern part of Mn. ,you could expect that late season bite to start any day now.Up here in northen Mn. we will still have about 2 weeks yets.

It will all depend on the temps and getting that snow to melt will be the key.

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When the winter blues hit, people may want to target panfish on larger lakes. These lakes would seem to hold more oxygen especially if they have deeper water basins. Larger lakes with inlets and outlets will probably re-energize quicker too.

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Good stuff CK. If I cannot get to the ice, at least I can count on picking up a couple of tips here. Thanks.

Gives me a chance to watch the hard ice in St. Paul for a little while too. C'mon Wild!

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Hi crappie keith. Thanks for all the great info. I always enjoy your threads.

I have a question maybe you can answer, ive been fishing a lake this winter that has alot of the pannies suspending around artificial structure in 15 ft of water and alot of pannies suspending over the lakes deep basin 30 ft this has been going on all winter. When looking at them with the camera they just look like a picture barely moving with there heads slightly tipped upward they are almost motionless. Why do you think the fish in two different depths seem to be doing the same thing?Although the fish in the 15 ft have seemed to react to my jigging and lifting technique more then the deep fish.

And it seems theres been more activity around the full moon period.

How do i get these fish to bite more frequently? Ive tried many presentations the best so far has been a very small moon glow white with a red dot it has a short shanked hook which ive covered with a wax worm to hide the hook its the best ive found to catch any of them at all.These fish have been fun to try and catch its tested my patience i love it. Most the guys on this lake cant even catch one. Whats going on with these fish do you think? Any help on what to do to get them to be more aggressive would be great.Also the water is fairly clear.

Theres atleast 2.5 feet of ice and snow covered.

Thanks C.K. for great threads you post.

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I'm thinking that those fish up shallower are looking for food source.Those deeper areas maybe a place they are resting.

I'm certainly no expert on the moon,however I believe the bite is stronger around the times when the moon is full.

Do a google search for info on the moons effects for fish maybe.

It' seems to me that you are fishing in what I'd call a finesse presentation.

Since those fish are not too active your smaller baits are whats catching fish.

Fish on days that the barometer is diving.You'll see more aggresion from those fish.

Thanks for your comments.

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