Monday, April 11, 2011

Spring Time Ice-Out Crappies Are Frantic!

Photo Taken By: Alex Larson (Larson Guide Service)
  Spring time is here once again anglers, and as we see progress in the ice melt there's one thing all anglers have on their minds.  PANFISH, PANFISH, PANFISH!! Before the ice is even off the lakes crappies are on the move.  Crappies will begin to move shallow during this time period because their forage is moving shallow as well.  With sunlight being able to penetrate the water column, weed growth has already began.

In classic crappie lakes, weeds are present in 1 to 15 feet of water.  Broadleaf cabbage and Eurasian water milfoil are two weeds that grow fairly quickly once water temperature warms and sunlight is able to promote growth.  Crappies will move along these contours seeking out easy meals of minnows, bloodworms and other aquatic insects. 

CRAPPIES ARE NOT IN SPAWN MODE YET ANGLERS!  Many anglers feel that spring time brings with it the spawning for all fish species, however fish respond to water temperatures, and although crappies may be shallow in the spring time, that doesn't dictate that the spawn has began.  Spawing for crappies occurs when the water is around 65 degrees.  In some more northern lakes this temperature can be lower, because the fish have adapted. 

Immediately after ice out popular baits to use include tube jigs, tinsel head jigs, and any 1/32 to 1/16 ounce jig head tipped with a popular synthetic plastic imitation or live bait.  Colors range from lake to lake, however pink, charteuse, and electric blue tend to be the most popular among anglers.  GOOD LUCK! with the spring time bite anglers and I look forward to a safe open water fishing season!!

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