Winter gives ice fisherman an advantage for catching Crappie over summer fishing since in the summer they're more spread out and more difficult to find. In the winter they tend to school up more often and suspend over deep water.
In early winter Crappie can be found in the same places they were just prior to ice up. Look for them in shallow weeds and just off the weed line. Especially when the weeds are combined with shoreline breaks and points. By mid winter the Crappie will have moved off the structure, usually to the nearest deep basin. On Kabetogama Eks Bay and Blue Fin Bay are two spots to try. Sullivan Bay on the Ash River can also be outstanding. Start by looking for them suspended in the basin near the structure and at the same depth of the structure.
Late winter they'll begin to move in closer to the bays and weed lines. Crappie spawn in shallow, dark bottom bays after the ice is out. You'll find them moving closer to these spawning areas as spring approaches.
Velixar FL-8SE Genze Pack with
Ice-Ducer Fish Finder
Using modern electronics can also help you find fish faster. Depth, fish and structure can all be seen using a flasher (Vexilar or Marcum). I also like to carry an Aqua Vu camera to verify that what I,m seeing on the flasher is indeed Crappie or Walleye.
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