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The ice is melting, the temperatures are rising and the season is almost here! I think I'm going to grab my boat this week because we're going to be well into the 50's this weekend and next week. I'm going to get out and chase some crappies very soon! 

 

Here's a question for the MN folks to start the thread off: 

 

What new techniques & baits are you going to try to learn this year? 

 

 

Personally, I'm going to give spybaits a whirl this year. The last few years I've learned that I really enjoy finesse fishing and I've added a few spybaits into my arsenal that I'm excited to try. 

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I was wondering who was going to start the 2017 MN thread.  I think a lot of ice will fully melt this week in and around the metro if it already hasn't because its supposed to be in the 50's near 60 all week.

 

I'd like to try fishing deeper this season.  I so often get lured towards shallow water cover like weeds, docks, lily pads, etc where I've caught fish before but I know I should try fishing deeper, offshore structure too.

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I plan to fish more docks, but using a baitcaster this year to horse more big fish out.  Still plan to skip lighter wacky worms but heavier skip jigs too.  

 

Also bought a better Frog rod to spend more time on mats and pads.  Have had 5 wrist surgeries now but hope the new rod and some recovery time will allow me to get into some heavier stuff.  

 

Also bought a new boat that has Panoptix and I want to get better at finding some deeper structure where the fish hang out and doing some drop-shotting.

 

... so many lakes, so little time !!!  I need to retire but can't quite yet --

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5 hours ago, gimruis said:

I was wondering who was going to start the 2017 MN thread.  I think a lot of ice will fully melt this week in and around the metro if it already hasn't because its supposed to be in the 50's near 60 all week.

 

I'd like to try fishing deeper this season.  I so often get lured towards shallow water cover like weeds, docks, lily pads, etc where I've caught fish before but I know I should try fishing deeper, offshore structure too.

 

I've been fishing deeper the last few years, especially in the late summer/fall. Basically drop shots, deep cranks and swimbaits on heavier heads. I know how tempting it is to go bash the banks every time you go out, but everyone does that.. sometimes you gotta go where people aint. 

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I'm new to this site but I'm going to be getting the boat wet this weekend chasing crappies, it'll be nice to finally be able to cast in the boat again.  I'm going to experiment with a drop shot this year and skipping docks with wacky worms and jigs. 

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Been trying the finesse more and more, picked up a spinning rod with some spoons along with a blade bait. Spybait sounds like fun, watched a few videos on them recently. 

 

Just excited to get fishiny again! Was out yesterday at Grey Cloud and skunked. Twice now on the river. That's challenging Fishing the river. 

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Going to try swimbaits ,Texas rigged worm and football jig.  I haven't really used any of them much.  Also I need to be more versatile on days when I am not catching them.  My first action will probably be at Devils Lake, ND.  If I guy hits it right, you can catch walleye, pike and white bass up shallow with a good chance at some really big fish.  I love chucking spinnerbaits and catching big pike.  Great way to get all the equipment ready for MN opener. 

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I'm going to try Bubba Shotting this season.

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On 4/1/2017 at 3:05 PM, Tlauz said:

Going to try swimbaits ,Texas rigged worm and football jig.  I haven't really used any of them much.  Also I need to be more versatile on days when I am not catching them.  My first action will probably be at Devils Lake, ND.  If I guy hits it right, you can catch walleye, pike and white bass up shallow with a good chance at some really big fish.  I love chucking spinnerbaits and catching big pike.  Great way to get all the equipment ready for MN opener. 

 

I've always wanted to fish Devils.. on the ole lake bucket list. Sounds fun! 

 

Surprised you're on this forum and haven't used a texas rigged worm! That's like bass fishing 101 haha. 

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Anyone been down to Pool 2 yet? 

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12 hours ago, punch said:

Anyone been down to Pool 2 yet? 

Or Pepin? Planning on getting down there in the next two weeks if I can. The boat's ready to go now though.

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I'll be starting the season over in lake city south Dakota hopefully the weekend of April 23 will just the right time to get a good pre spawn bite

My goal get better with a jerk bait 

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Skipping docks with a baitcaster is my weakest link. I've been trying to force myself to practice out in open water to get the basic mechanics down, then start target practicing on things that don't make a big CLANG. 

    I need to get better and gain more confidence at drop-shotting. Don't like doing it, but need to be good at it when it is needed.  My deep game is getting better and had good success last year throwing 5" swimbaits on 1/2oz  jigs, slow swimming near the bottom. I will spend more time slow rolling a spinnerbait in similar situations.      Right now, it's trout fishing.  April IS trout fishing, and it's been pretty good.

 

   BTW, Frydog that is a nice rig.  Did you get the bench seats?  Dual or single console?  That MK ultrex is a real game-changer and someday I will have one.  Please keep us posted on how you like the boat and trolling motor.

  

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16 hours ago, rascalP said:

Skipping docks with a baitcaster is my weakest link. I've been trying to force myself to practice out in open water to get the basic mechanics down, then start target practicing on things that don't make a big CLANG. 

    I need to get better and gain more confidence at drop-shotting. Don't like doing it, but need to be good at it when it is needed.  My deep game is getting better and had good success last year throwing 5" swimbaits on 1/2oz  jigs, slow swimming near the bottom. I will spend more time slow rolling a spinnerbait in similar situations.      Right now, it's trout fishing.  April IS trout fishing, and it's been pretty good.

 

   BTW, Frydog that is a nice rig.  Did you get the bench seats?  Dual or single console?  That MK ultrex is a real game-changer and someday I will have one.  Please keep us posted on how you like the boat and trolling motor.

  

I used to just tinker around with drop shotting. Just use it in the dog days of summer when the bite can get a little slow. Now I basically use it ALL year. I have a dedicated rig for it now and basically keep it available all season. It just flat out produces. Shallow, deep, clear, muddy.. seems to never NOT get bit. I've even done well catching crappies with it (with gulp minnows). 

 

What don't you like about it exactly? Just curious. 

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I guess it's the slow pace of working it.  It's not a search method. Which brings up another area I need to work on.  I tend to move on too quick after catching a fish, thinking they're somewhat scattered.  Even when I have a spot the size of a house dialed in, I figure i can cover a little more of that area with jig or t-rig, or repetitive casts with a crank or swimbait.   I figure I need to have a spot narrowed down to the size of a car before I pull out the drop shot.  Maybe I need to re-think my thinking.    I tend to lean to the power side of fishing - flippin and pitchin, casting and cranking is what feels good, so I need to break out of that comfort zone and slow down.  What's your 1,2 and 3 choice of plastic on a drop-shot?

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On 4/9/2017 at 7:38 PM, rascalP said:

I guess it's the slow pace of working it.  It's not a search method. Which brings up another area I need to work on.  I tend to move on too quick after catching a fish, thinking they're somewhat scattered.  Even when I have a spot the size of a house dialed in, I figure i can cover a little more of that area with jig or t-rig, or repetitive casts with a crank or swimbait.   I figure I need to have a spot narrowed down to the size of a car before I pull out the drop shot.  Maybe I need to re-think my thinking.    I tend to lean to the power side of fishing - flippin and pitchin, casting and cranking is what feels good, so I need to break out of that comfort zone and slow down.  What's your 1,2 and 3 choice of plastic on a drop-shot?

 

 

I use the drop shot in a few different scenarios, the nice thing is it's very versatile. I use it fishing "deep" like 15 feet or more, to target structure or deep vegetation/rocks. I use it around docks.. it's a great dock presentation believe it or not. Just put it on the edge of a dock and wiggle wiggle wiggle.. bass will pull out and grab it. It's also a great followup bait when you do get bit on a search bait. I find that when i'm not getting bit on cranks/swim jigs/chatter/spinners I start tossing the dropshot around and usually get bit in places where fish SHOULD usually be. I'm no expert by any means, but i'm very confident in it these days. 

 

As far as baits.. man there's a TON. There's a bazillion "finesse" worms. Roboworms and zoom finesse worms seem to be the most popular. You basically want a smaller worm that will suspend and move a LOT with very little twitching. Plasma tails are great also. I've found a lot of big bites with 4" senkos on a dropshot. 

 

The funny thing is you can fish any 'minnow' profile plastic baits too.. like I do really well with Gulp minnows or little 3" swimbaits. A LOT of people don't seem to do this, almost everyone just tosses worms. Berkley makes some cool finesse twitch minnows that I like. Live leeches can be pretty deadly in the summer too. 

I've actually caught a bunch of crappies dropshoting little plastic minnows. Walleye will bite too. 

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I don't have anything new planned but I'll probably be trying to crank more often when/where I can.  I'll be on some new water where that will factor in more so I've added 2 more cranking combo's to the lineup.

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Rather than trying new baits, I will be working on establishing a pattern. Also improving my jig fishing skills. 

 

 

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I bought a new boat this winter (tracker pro team 175) and I purchased some graphs to go along with it, two Lowrance HDS7's. I'd like to end the year fully understanding these graphs and be able to find fish. I'd like be more adapt with soft plastics in general. Specifically dropshots but not just that rig. I plan on having outings where all I bring are plastics, force myself to fish them and get comfortable with it. 

 

My season started April 1st. I went down to Okoboji Lake in Iowa. It was a great day as well, caught 25 total. LMB, Smallies and Northerns. Caught mostly everything on a jerkbait but got a lot of the LMB on a squarebill. I was surprised they were hitting a squarebill, water temps were around 43. Biggest LMB was just under 4# and the biggest smallie was a little over 3.5#. 

 

On 4/5/2017 at 10:43 AM, punch said:

Anyone been down to Pool 2 yet? 

 

I went today and I was not prepared for the adventure. I've never been and all the info I found online wasn't very helpful. Didn't help I didn't expect to be doing a bunch of driving (stupid of me) and my tank was pretty low. By the time I got somewhere that I though would be good i as so low on gas I felt the need to head back. I was out on the water for almost 4 hours and I made maybe 75 casts. I spent most of the time driving around trying to find fishable backwaters. 

 

I'd like to go back, if anyone has experience on pool 2 and wants to join let's make it happen. It was a bit overwhelming for me today. 

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7 hours ago, geneoh said:

I bought a new boat this winter (tracker pro team 175) and I purchased some graphs to go along with it, two Lowrance HDS7's. I'd like to end the year fully understanding these graphs and be able to find fish. I'd like be more adapt with soft plastics in general. Specifically dropshots but not just that rig. I plan on having outings where all I bring are plastics, force myself to fish them and get comfortable with it. 

 

My season started April 1st. I went down to Okoboji Lake in Iowa. It was a great day as well, caught 25 total. LMB, Smallies and Northerns. Caught mostly everything on a jerkbait but got a lot of the LMB on a squarebill. I was surprised they were hitting a squarebill, water temps were around 43. Biggest LMB was just under 4# and the biggest smallie was a little over 3.5#. 

 

 

I went today and I was not prepared for the adventure. I've never been and all the info I found online wasn't very helpful. Didn't help I didn't expect to be doing a bunch of driving (stupid of me) and my tank was pretty low. By the time I got somewhere that I though would be good i as so low on gas I felt the need to head back. I was out on the water for almost 4 hours and I made maybe 75 casts. I spent most of the time driving around trying to find fishable backwaters. 

 

I'd like to go back, if anyone has experience on pool 2 and wants to join let's make it happen. It was a bit overwhelming for me today. 

 

Congrats on the new boat! I use a HDS7 so if you got any questions let me know. Cool finder.. I really like using the community maps on the Insight Genesis platform. There's some great maps for lakes around the metro. 

 

What transducer are you running? I upgraded my boat to a Total Scan this year and so far I dig it (just been out twice). 

13 hours ago, Jeff H said:

I don't have anything new planned but I'll probably be trying to crank more often when/where I can.  I'll be on some new water where that will factor in more so I've added 2 more cranking combo's to the lineup.

 

What are the new combos? My Dobyn's cranking setup got stolen last year and I've replaced it this year with a duckett 7'4 white ice cranking rod and a 6.3 duckett 360R reel. Haven't used it yet but i'm excited to. Going to run 12lb floro.

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4 hours ago, punch said:

 

Congrats on the new boat! I use a HDS7 so if you got any questions let me know. Cool finder.. I really like using the community maps on the Insight Genesis platform. There's some great maps for lakes around the metro. 

 

What transducer are you running? I upgraded my boat to a Total Scan this year and so far I dig it (just been out twice). 

 

Nice! I have the totalscan as well. However, I'm having some issues. I get a rooster tail at plane and I must be getting interference because the picture quality isn't as good as it should be. I'm thinking I'll have to move the transducer. I works and has helped me catch fish my first time out with it but it can be better.  Where is yours installed? What kind of boat do you have?

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Congrats on the new rig and good luck to ya.  I am also using an HDS7, although I do not have totalscan.  I sure do like the high def maps on the GPS though.

 

Make sure you post a picture of your new ride on the "show off your ride" thread!

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I should show off my "old but paid off" ride... haha. My boat isn't anything fancy but I love it. Instead of getting a fancy bass boat we bought a new camper/travel trailer this year. 

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Haha.  If only there was a "show off your new camper" thread for that one.  You can still post a photo or two of your boat even if its old.  I see people do that all on the time on that thread.  People are always posting jon boats, kayaks, canoes, etc.  Clean up your old boat for a photo one day and post it!

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On 4/7/2017 at 7:51 PM, sully420 said:

I'll be starting the season over in lake city south Dakota hopefully the weekend of April 23 will just the right time to get a good pre spawn bite

My goal get better with a jerk bait 

 

On 4/8/2017 at 10:57 PM, rascalP said:

Skipping docks with a baitcaster is my weakest link. I've been trying to force myself to practice out in open water to get the basic mechanics down, then start target practicing on things that don't make a big CLANG. 

    I need to get better and gain more confidence at drop-shotting. Don't like doing it, but need to be good at it when it is needed.  My deep game is getting better and had good success last year throwing 5" swimbaits on 1/2oz  jigs, slow swimming near the bottom. I will spend more time slow rolling a spinnerbait in similar situations.      Right now, it's trout fishing.  April IS trout fishing, and it's been pretty good.

 

   BTW, Frydog that is a nice rig.  Did you get the bench seats?  Dual or single console?  That MK ultrex is a real game-changer and someday I will have one.  Please keep us posted on how you like the boat and trolling motor.

  

As luck would have it Sully, I'll be fishing that area tomorrow so if you send a PM I'll see what I can tell you in terms of water temps, catches, etc.   And rascal it will be my maiden voyage in the Pro-V Bass.  I have the bench seats.  And a whole bunch of new electronics to get used to.  But I'm looking forward to the challenge and thankful the SoDak season is open.  After recovering from my 5th wrist surgery all winter and counting the days to try out the new rig, I feel very fortunate to be back on the water --

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