Crappie Fishing On Lake Kabetogama

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.

June Crappie’s

We were able to find some crappie yesterday, June 7th between the storms and wind.  We ducked in behind Cutover to get out of the wind and anchored just off Nagurski Point in the Rock Garden area.  We were fishing in about 20-25 with slip bobbers waiting for the weather to calm down and started catching crappies on a jig and fathead.  Another spot that has started is along the SW side of Bittersweet Island right at dark.  Try an Uncle Buck Crappie Killer and bobber right in close by the weeds.  Some nights are really good, with some occasional 14-15″ fish.  Bittersweet is real close to Woodfrog campground.

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Fishing Opener On Lake Kabetogama……………

Fishing season has begun and it is a great one, weather is absolutely beautiful and the walleyes are hungry.  We started out at the east end of Three Sisters Islands and were catching walleye in 15-18 ‘ using a gold jig and a minnow.  We kept 3 in the 15-16″ range and release at least another 12-15 that were over 17″.  We also tried along the south side of the Grassy Islands with some success and also fished in the bay by the Woodenfrog landing just to get out of the wind and found lots of fish their.  We had 2 limits of keepers before 10:00 AM and we didn’t get out until 7:30 AM.  Best opener I can remember in years.

Sunday was real windy and fishing was a little tougher.  We went back behind some islands for protection and caught a few walleye, but mostly it was a northern day.  Fished some off the dock Sunday evening, but that was also nothing but northern.

Monday was a perfect day with no wind and temps in the high 70’s.  We went up into Tom Cod Bay for a few hours and did OK on walleye, although they were pretty small, 10-12″ fish that we threw back.  We fished the north side of the lake later in the afternoon and caught a few more fish.  After supper we went out to Harris, anchored in 8’ of water and fished with slip bobbers.  Big fish were in shallow and the keepers were out deeper.  We caught 11 walleye total (most over 17″ and released) in about 3 hrs. of fishing.  Spottail shiners worked the best.  Looks like the eagles are sitting on eggs in the nest on the west end of Harris.

Lake Kabetogama Fishing

With the walleye season ended, it’s time to chase crappie in earnest. We have tried the usual spots, Lost Bay, Deer Island, Sullivan Bay, etc. Best fishing has been in Lost Bay at the mouth of Eks Bay. That has been a pretty consistent spot all winter. We did pretty well last weekend at the mouth of the Ash River, picking up 12 crappie one evening. Some friends have been fishing in the Gold Portage area with pretty good luck although the big northern are a problem, biting off the small crappie jigs. There seems to be an awful lot of BIG northern over there this year. It’s getting pretty tough riding on the SkiDoo and it’s about time to break out the Polaris ATV as the lake is almost completely snow free. It’s still cold enough at nights to be making ice, so I may even drive my pickup out to Lost Bay.

Opening Day Walleyes On Kabetogama

Fishing opener is fast approaching so I’ll share some ideas for catching Kab walleyes and sauger. The early season walleyes are in shallow water like you find in Tom Cod Bay, Moose Bay and a smaller overlooked bay, Bald Rock. Kabetogama walleyes can also be found relating to shallow water structure, includes rocks, weeds, timber, as well as sand flats and breaks, depending on what’s available. The area between Cemetery Island and 3 Sisters is always good along with the east end of 3 Sisters(you’ll always see lots of boats on this spot). Trolling from the opening into Gold Portage to Windigo Bay campsite is also good early in the season.

One of the keys to early season success on Lake Kabetogama is finding the areas that hold the largest, and most active schools of fish. A lot depends on ice out, the earlier the ice out the faster the water warms before opener. Some of the best fishing opener spots can be right off the docks at some of the resorts. Park Point sits right on the end a Peninsula and can be good, I’ve fished from the dock at Driftwood on opener and had great success and I know some people from the Twin Cities who go to Grandview just for the dock fishing. They always get a bunch of nice fish. Use a slip bobber and a minnow just off the bottom.

Everything being equal, look for areas that may be warmer than the rest, even if it’s only a degree or two. That would suggest northern and western most shorelines like Tom Cod and Bald Rock, as they receive the largest benefit of a warming sun.

 

Removing Y-Bones from a Northern Pike Fillet

Rating: 4

This video demonstrates how simple and easy it is to remove Y-Bones from a Northern Pike fillet. It is good quality and easy to follow.

Lost Bay Crappie

Right now the crappie are scattered out all over Lost Bay.  What we found is that were stacked on the sharp drop offs.  We found an occasional fish in the deeper water but caught most of our fish in 15-20 feet of water using white jigs and crappie minnows.  Best fishing was from about an hour before sunset to an hour after sunset.  Park service should be stacking trails and grooming trails pretty soon.  I’d follow tracks if going by snowmobile as there is still some spots that aren’t real good ice.  We found anywhere from 6 – 10 inches of ice.

 

DNR places burning restrictions on additional counties

Statewide fire conditions have led the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to place burning restrictions on additional counties.

Burning restrictions take effect Monday, May 13, at 8 a.m. in the following counties: Becker, Beltrami, Carlton, Clearwater, Hubbard, Itasca, Kittson, Lake of the Woods, Mahnomen, Marshall, Pennington, Roseau, and parts of Cass, Polk and St. Louis counties.

The portion of Polk County is south and east of County Road 6 from the Manhomen County line to state Highway 92 east to the Clearwater County line. In Cass County, the restrictions affect that portion of the county south of Highway 200.  In St. Louis County, the restrictions affect the area south of a line running from Silica on the west to Central Lakes and Brimson on the east. The exact line is a township line between 55 and 56 north and includes all of township 56.

The following counties are already under burning restrictions:  Aitkin, Anoka, Benton, Chisago, Crow Wing, Dakota, Douglas, Hennepin, Isanti, Kanabec, Mille Lacs, Morrison, Otter Tail, Pine, Ramsey, Sherburne, Pope, Stearns, Todd, Wadena Washington and Wright  and southern Cass (that portion south of Highway 200). (more…)

Crappie Fishing Strategies For Kabetogama and Namakan

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Crappies are one of the most sought after species of fish in Minnesota. There are a couple of reasons for this. One is because they are always so eager to take the bait and then they put up a nice struggle for their size. This makes fishing for them fun, entertaining and perfect for anglers of all ages and skill levels. The other reason they are so popular is because the sweet-tasting fillets of the crappie are simply delicious.

The state record for the black crappie in Minnesota weighed five pounds and the white crappie
was a little less than four pounds. These catches were very impressive for this species of fish because crappies normally don’t grow much larger than two or three pounds. A little less than two pounds is the average weight for a crappie.

 

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Cold and Snow

We had a temp of -22 last night and NOAA site says -24 tonight, great for making ice. Ice fishing is just beginning, and I’ll be out this morning around Bittersweet, Three Sisters and Pine Island. These have always been great early season walleye and sauger hotspots. Crappie can sometimes be good at Bittersweet right now. I have a new Otter Outdoors Pro XT1200 Cabin Ice Shelter that I can tow behind the Ranger or, when the snow gets deeper, the Ski-Doo Cross Country snow machine. I’ll post some pictures of todays catch later this evening.