Sunday, April 8, 2012

Brainerd Lakes Crappie Report

April 6th, 2012  

Brainerd Lakes Crappie Report

My good buddy Pablo Manecke and myself launched on a crisp April morning in the Brainerd Lakes area on a smaller lake in search of crappies.  The temp was 41 degrees and the wind was from the SSE blowing from 10-20 MPH.  We started out  with a plan to target northern bays, working anywhere from 5-12 feet of water.  I used my bow mount Minn Kota to help us work near old weeds clumps utilizing both fan casting a spinner and a jig and making long casts in front with a jig and slip bobber.  We were methodical in covering water however, it quickly became evident that we needed to make a move; the bottom was too sandy and we weren't seeing fish.  We next targeted an area that had darker, muckier bottom and was somewhat protected from that blasted wind!  Here we found big clumps of reeds and cattails that formed almost a backwater area.  The water temp difference went from 44 degrees on the main lake shoreline to 48 degrees in this little backwater area.  Boat control was tough, but when were blown into a giant clump of old cattails, the fish exploded out of there and we knew we were onto something.  It was a lot of work and took some careful casting but we managed to work some crappies out of those weeds.  The ones we caught were aggressive and big, 12 inches the smallest and 13.5 inches the biggest.  We were fishing in about 4 feet of water and our bait was suspended only 2 feet down.  If you went closer to the bottom, the bass would pound your bobber, while that was fun, not what we wanted.  We tried some plastics with jigs and that resulted in crappies grabbing it and dropping it. Plastics are usually a go to for us, but not today.  What they wanted were lively minnows on a green jig with 4 lb test line combined with precision casting thanks to Jason Mitchell's 5' ultra light rod. If you have not tried this rod or his 6' foot 'meat stick' rod, you are missing out, ( The wind was also a key, when it blew hard and stirred up the bottom, the fish bit; when it calmed down and you could see the bottom, we caught nothing.  Another factor in our success was the fact that we were the only boat on the lake! We knew there were other more popular lakes in the area, but we chose this one to stay away from the crowd.  Now is the time to get out in LOA country to chase crappies! If you want to book a trip, contact us at: 1-855-LOA-HOOK or visit our website

Get hooked!
Jim Ernster
Leisure Outdoor Adventures

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