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aquafang

finicky crappies!

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Does anyone have a secret weapon they pull out when the crappies won't bite? I have a spot that I mark crappies constantly and I will get maybe 5% of them to bite. Minnows and a bobber work ok but they seem to get off. I have used Marmooshkas with spikes, waxies and both. A secada lure seems to work well but like i said. It has been tough to get them to bite.

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i would try switching to either a spring bobber or a sponge bobber.This time of year i always downsize everything,from line to bobber to the jig or hook, i'm going to use.
Try changing colors often and move when they arent biting.Patience is the key in the winter time.they will bite eventually.Good Luck this year!


CM

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When the crappies do this to me I find that a plain hook and minnow fished up higher on a dead stick usually will get a little more action. wink.gif

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As winter progresses the fish slow down on their eating. You could try presenting smaller amounts of food such as waxies or even minnow parts. I like to use the middle section of a minnow. Also if using an ice buster trim to neutral boyancy, as they like to suck it in and spit it out and you have to react as soon as you see bobber movement.

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Tried almost everything today, and the only thing that worked was as previous posts stated, dead sticking a small minnow on a very small hook. Split shot about 18" up from minnow and fished about 6" above where the fish were marking. Caught some nice crappies as well as a 7lb northern.
Andy

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SILVER swedish pimple or small forage minnow with hali dropper chain tipped with 2 spikes and one waxie. jig them up off the bottom and jig subtly or lift to 2-4 ft. off bottom. if they don't hit and just look for a min. or two drop down below them and raise back up. if this does'nt work go back down to bottom and look for more aggessive fish on vex.

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I agree with Outsider. A plain hook is oddly a great choice when fishing is slow while seeing the numbers. I stay really small with a #8 red octopus hook. (The secret to Mille Lacs) Almost always use as small of a minnow as possible. I wouldn't bother with waxies 90% of the time however, always have some on hand to try.

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searchin skys for eyes

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How do you know you're marking crappies (unless you're using a camera instead of a flasher?) I've known rock bass, sunnies and perch to occupy the same territory as crappies, and all of them will suspend in the water column at times, sometimes all at the same time.

As far as I know, no flasher can tell the difference between species. So all those marks may be a few different species. Then, if only a percentage of those marks are crappies, maybe you're actually catching a decent percentage of the crappies you're marking. If that's the case, you're batting pretty good, eh? grin.gif

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"Worry less, fish more."
Steve Foss
[email protected]

[This message has been edited by stfcatfish (edited 01-13-2004).]

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I agree with the previous two posts. All them fancy jigs we have in our collections are nice, but when they aren't biting I go with a green octopus hook and a minnow tipped with a waxie and that will usually produce some results when there's fish in the area. At least for me! smile.gif

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A plain #6 red short shank bait hook,and a split shot a foot above the hook, baited with the smallest lively minnows you have in your bucket. Keep your bait above the fish and make them come up for it.
If this doesn't work move often and pick off an active fish here and there.
I have also gotten inactive fish to bite by using a 16" to 18" plain hook dropper under a small Sweedish Pimple.

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Cliff's Guide Service
CliffsGuideService-LakeVermilion.com
Lake Vermilion
Phone: (218) 753-2005

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My lure/bait selection depends on what lake and species I target that particular day. I don't know what species are on the vex but atleast I know when a fish is interested in my presentation. The proof in the pudding is whats on the ice. I was targeting crappies the last 2 days in a lake that holds a strong population of them. I know they are there. Did I catch just crappies? NO I also caught bluegills. Did I catch every fish that look at my lure? NO I was fishing in 22ft. of water and had fish in and out of the colume from bottom to 10 feet. Were they all craps and bulls? I don't think so but how can I say for sure? I don't have a camera and don't need one. My vex suits me fine . I use plat books, lake maps, and the internet to improve my odds. For an amateur angler I do very well.

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I think you mentioned some were biting, but getting off. One thing I picked up on a video I just watched was to hook the minnow backwards as Crappies often bite from the front.

When hooking behind the fin, start from the tail and hook it lateraly towards the head.
When hooking at the head, start the hook down from the top, then out the mouth or bottom of the fish.

I have not tried it myself yet as I watched the video last night AFTER I was done fishing, but it makes sense to me.

Good Luck.

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A trick I like to use when the crappies are finicky, is to cut the tail of the minnow off so there isn't so much action. This is especially good on the tail of a cold front when fishing is tougher. The fish still want meat, but a real lively minnow will hurt you more than it will help you. Give it a try, I think you'll be surprised.

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Good Fishin!
Crossin

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well, i've only tried this on one lake and it was clear so i could see the fish. but i had good luck catching large suspended crappies and gills by taking all the weight off my line, just plain hook and plain waxy, i bet a minnow would work too, and bring it up to about four feet above the fish and let it sink down at a a rate just slower than what a plain waxy without a hook would fall, watch the fish cus they wouldn't hit it but merely suck it in as it fell in front of them. but like i said, it was very productive.

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