Sunday, May 6, 2012

Brainerd Lakes Fishing Guide Slab Crappie Report

This week I was able to get out in the boat and chase some slab crappies.  There are so many great lakes to fish in the Brainerd area that it can be like picking a needle out of a hay stack at times.  Instead I chose to pick one of my favorite lakes, that typically doesn't heat up until later in the spring when water temps reach 55-60 degrees.  The theme to this report is simply dealing with "mother nature".  Thursday was an awesome day to be outside, I was met with high skies and calm waters.  Crappies love a little ripple on the water or waves.  I was still able to locate some fish and put some in the boat.  The key was to be as stealth as possible.  By the end of the day, I was sight fishing them in 4-5 ft of water and waiting to set the hook when I saw the plastic disappear.  I left the day optimistic because I had found a really nice school of fish that were going to turn on with the right conditions.  I was able to get back out today, mother nature provided me with cloudy skies and a nice little wind and within minutes we were putting crappies in the boat.  It was non stop action for awhile and then she threw us a curveball.  The wind died down and the crappies went silent again.  Instead of getting frustrated and being stubborn using the same presentation, we changed things up.  What was working for us was a small light bite bobber, green or pink 1/32oz jig, and either a green or white plastic body.  Often times in shallow water and calm conditions the splash of the bobber hitting the water can spook fish, so we took out another rod rigged with just a jig and plastic and began searching for crappies.  The key was using our polarized sun glasses and using a longer rod.  I found that using my Jason Mitchell 7' medium light rod was great for dropping the jig into the different weed pockets.   once we found a school of fish, we could cast to them and work the bait slowly back, literally teasing the crappies with the plastic, and often times it was too much to resist.  We found a new school of fish in 6-8ft of water, scattered in clumps of cabbage, and they were big ones, with the biggest of the day was just shy of 14".  The key was finding ways to get the crappies to react with their natural aggression bite, which at times meant a snap of the jig or others times a slight lift and fall.  Either way, mother nature could have frustrated me to the point of being stubborn and trying to gut things out with what I was doing, but instead I decided to change things up, adapt, and find an alternative way to put fish in the boat.

Going to be a great week, get the rods rigged up, reels spooled, and the boat ready for Walleye Opener!  Simply one of the best times of the year!

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