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Thread: Late summer pattern

  1. #1
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    Default Late summer pattern

    The crappies here in the Twin Cities are starting to show late summer patterns, moving up on the docks to feed in the evenings and at night, even with the recent heat. This evening my partner and I will be testing one of our favorite fall crappie docks to see how far that has progressed. Last evening I hit another and for quite a while it was a fish on every cast. Once this pattern starts to work, it generally continues for us until the Park Board and the DNR de-install the docks around the beginning of November. For us late summer and fall are every bit as good as pre-spawn and bedding time.

    I normally expect this to start around here when the tomatoes start to ripen and the potato vines start to die off. Both are happening in my backyard garden.

  2. #2
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    We found a few fish at the dock this evening. Different lake than yesterday, one with a consumption advisory and so less intense harvest and a bit larger average, although still not really slabs. Between the two of us we put back about 2 dozen crappies in 2 and a half hours up to just under 10", mostly on the tiny white tails again. We tried white a number of different sizes and colors, but most of them struck out. Once again the size improved as it got closer to full dark, but the numbers were off. We had smaller fish pretty regularly earlier, but as it got later they seemed to move out and different pods of a bit bigger crappies would pass through but not stick around. A whole lot of our fish came from close to the bottom again, but they are now moving up on the breaks better than earlier when the summer heat really kicked in.

  3. #3
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    No crappie update from me tonight. My son's fishing buddy wanted to find some "other" fish on tnka tonight. We found some bruisers...which will make it tough to get him to go out for crappies any time soon. :p

    Click image for larger version. 

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  4. #4
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    Nothing at all wrong with walleyes like that.
    I wouldn't worry. I sorta doubt he will forget the crappies, but then it's all good, when you get into that quality of the fish you target.

  5. #5
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    Good report no1. Man, our seasons are WAY DIFFERENT from each other. My maters (and the rest of the garden) have all but burnt up now, the water temps are @ 85* at daylight every day. Strange enough though...I'm till catching fish in 10'-12' of water with them hugging the bottom. I tried some deep water docks earlier. Maybe it's time to check 'em again. Thanks for your post.

    IMF, I'd say that young man was excited! Congrats to you guys on the "eyes".Thumbs Up
    Health nuts are going to feel stupid someday, lying in hospitals dying of nothing.

  6. #6
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    What were you catching the crappies on? I am back into fishing after many years! I had a similar experience Wednesday night. I fish from shore where an old abandoned road divides 2 small lakes One side is deep and open water where I have been catching a few nice fish. The other side has is covered with weeds and has a few open spots were the weeds are a 1-2 feet below top of water. I was catching no fish, in frustration, I threw a tube into the weeds at dark and caught one sub-9" (legal is 9"+) after another with a couple of keepers.

    Any suggests on how to fish this area? I was thinking of trying some larger tubes if I have the same experience again.

  7. #7
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    This year the seasons are not so different. I would have lost my entire garden already to the heat, if it were not for the water hose. I cheat a bit on that planting my vegetables in about 2' wide trenches, which due to the sandy nature of my soil allows me to fill them to three or four inches directly where my plants need them. I do that a couple or three times in the evening every couple of days. They are due for a good feeding now too, since that kind of watering leaches nutrients so badly from my beds. The rest is generally pathways between and sprouts few weeds in this kind of weather. I raised the trenches last fall when I started to get ready for garlics and set up early beds for this spring's plantings. That was a mistake requiring even more water than I should have needed, but I am not sure how to address it and still have the necessary foot paths.

    My longtime established daylilies have been hit hard this summer by our combination of heat and lack of enough rain, but I am a bit too cheap to water everything, while the limited water has made weed control much easier than otherwise in those portions without wanted plants in them. I worry a bit more about my Siberian irises than the daylilies that normally take care of themselves very well.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by snowbird View Post
    What were you catching the crappies on? I am back into fishing after many years! I had a similar experience Wednesday night. I fish from shore where an old abandoned road divides 2 small lakes One side is deep and open water where I have been catching a few nice fish. The other side has is covered with weeds and has a few open spots were the weeds are a 1-2 feet below top of water. I was catching no fish, in frustration, I threw a tube into the weeds at dark and caught one sub-9" (legal is 9"+) after another with a couple of keepers.

    Any suggests on how to fish this area? I was thinking of trying some larger tubes if I have the same experience again.

    Right now I am to best on 64th oz jigs tipped with about 1" rattail shads.

    For your situation you will probably do best with different presentations to the different sides of the roadway. Bigger on the deeper side and smaller on the weedy side. You will also find that different spots along that roadway will do better, some days here and some days there, but over time specific spots will stick out on both sides.

    Work what holes and slots there are in the weedbed, sometime a tiny slip bobber allows both extended casting reach and better weed avoidance of tiny offerings. GULP works as well as plastics at times, under a bobber. Do not be too quick to move the offering either.

    On the deeper side, do not overlook close in drops and edges that go rapidly to 8 to 10 feet of water. Vertical jigging in those spots can be dynamite since schools of crappies and other game fish will often pin forage against the breaks. For casting look more to the larger shads 2" or so and the bigger tubes, and active lures like Road Runners and twister style grubs. If you can reach over the first break, you have an area to examine pretty closely, especially the edge where the inside bends start to reach out into the lake, but any finger along that may also be prime holding territory for feeding schools. A lot of times crappies don't take all that much of a change in structure to orient on, especially the black species which moves more up and down structure than the whites who tend to move more horizontally.

    For black crappies which is what I mostly have available, I start at the bottom following a controlled settle and move up in the water column. If they are active I hit them right away on the settle, but if not they will be more bottom oriented as they rest or start to move up to feed. Most of my crappies come more bottom oriented as a result, but I am still able to identify strata above that. You fish them down as well as on the retrieve. I watch my settling line very closely to see what level I need to be at and then how that changes, if it does.

    Luck to you. And don't be worried about the dinks. You can and should learn something about where you are fishing from every fish you catch, and there is no limit on those you release in most areas.
    Last edited by no1son; 07-13-2012 at 02:58 PM.

  9. #9
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    Thank you for the information! On the deeper side, I was using tubes, road runners, Blue Fox flash spinners, and shad ... catching a few fish, but nothing worked on the deep side the last couple of trips. There are a couple of places I caught crappies while fishing for bass last fall after the top weeds died ... may try a few holes in the weeds now for crappie.

    Thanks again for responding to my questions!

  10. #10
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    no1son,

    Are you still catching crappies around the docks? I have not caught a crappie in the last 3 or 4 trips (since July 13th). I was thinking that the problem was the water is clear and bright sun, therefore, the crappies may have moved beyond my reach. However, this afternoon and evening, it has been cloudy ... still no crappies! I have had fun catching nice bass on light tackle ... but hungry for a mess of crappies

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