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2024 Minnesota Season Thread


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  • Super User

Being that its now late January, and our fake winter looks to continue, it could be an early ice out.  I know we can't legally target a bass until May, but there are other options/species to fish for until then.

 

Post your thoughts, success, failures, and anything else on your mind right here for 2024.

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  • Super User
21 minutes ago, gimruis said:

I know we can't legally target a bass until May,

Unless we get open water before Feb 25 - season doesn't close until midnight of the 25th/26th

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  • Super User
16 minutes ago, gimruis said:

 

That's true!

I'm at least gonna get the crappie rigs ready in the next couple weeks...I'm thinking my prediction for ice-out in A-Jay's thread is gonna be conservative.

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I've gotta be in St. Cloud for work tomorrow, so I'll be checking out a few spots I usually launch from.  Depending on the river flow and amount of ice on the shore I just may be getting the kayak out this weekend.

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I have a naive question - I have learned that bass season here in MN does not start until May 1st (thank you @gimruis) -- so if the water opens up, atleast enough to fish from the shoreline,  what are we allowed to fish for here in MN at this time of year ? What would you recommend for baits/lures at this time of year ? I would be doing catch/release only. 

Thank you !

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  • Super User

Any panfish (sunnies, crappie, perch) are fair targets...as are bullhead.

 

Some of the lures I use for crappie/bluegill

Rapala X-Rap 04

Rapala UL Shad 04

Z-Man Flashback Mini 1/8oz

Creme Tiny Lipless cranks 1/10oz

Then 1/8oz or less jigs with 1"-3" plastics suspended under a bobber are always a hit.

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7 hours ago, WaskaCrank12 said:

I have learned that bass season here in MN does not start until May 1st

It’s actually May 11 this year. Not May 1.

 

@MN Fisher gave you some good ideas to try. Just keep the presentation on the smaller side. Using bass sized lures to target panfish isn’t gonna fly with the law.

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  • Super User
14 minutes ago, gimruis said:

It’s actually May 11 this year. Not May 1.

Pretty much figure the Saturday of Mother's Day Weekend - so there's lots of lonely mom's that weekend.

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I have a hunch it is going to be a very early ice out.   I hope to be slinging for crappies and scanning lakes sooner than ever.  

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2 hours ago, Fishin Dad said:

I have a hunch it is going to be a very early ice out.   I hope to be slinging for crappies and scanning lakes sooner than ever.  

Looking at the forecast this week, the ice still out there is going to take a major hit. Temps near 50 until Thursday, and then rain for 2 days.

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22 minutes ago, gimruis said:

Looking at the forecast this week, the ice still out there is going to take a major hit. Temps near 50 until Thursday, and then rain for 2 days.

That’s what I thought.  This could be a wild Spring!

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I think this winter has probably been good for the fish.  There has not been much pressure on the lakes this winter.  Don’t get me wrong, I do fish on the ice, but it might be a good break for the fish who have been pounded on since COVID!   I have also seen first hand how FFS gets limits on ice like crazy.   Thoughts?

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19 minutes ago, Fishin Dad said:

Thoughts?

No doubt live sonar cuts down on the amount of time required to find active fish. People would have to drill holes to look for fish before. Now they drill holes and look for fish with live sonar, and then move on those fish. Crappie and sunfish schools are especially vulnerable over main lake basins.

 

There are usually two types of ice anglers: the mobile crowd in portables that move to stay on active fish, and the wheel house crowd that parks in one spot and waits. The wheel house crowd is lazy and drinks a lot of beer but they add an immense amount of pressure. This season has been a complete bust for that crowd because of a lack of safe ice. Those houses have been on dry land all winter.

 

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53 minutes ago, gimruis said:

Those houses have been on dry land all winter.

Actually - I did see one wheel-house on the ice on Tonka for about a week a bit ago. Wasn't a huge one, but still a 'towable'.  Carman Bay - just south of where the Narrows Channel enters.

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10 hours ago, MN Fisher said:

Wasn't a huge one, but still a 'towable'. 

My guess is that it was small enough to tow out there with an ATV or side by side.  The full size ones are too heavy and need a truck or SUV to do it.

 

The other issue is that when you get a prolonged period of warm weather, there's lots of standing water on the ice too.  And if there is a re-freeze period, the house is sometimes "frozen" into the ice.  Then its a real pain in the rear to remove it.

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I have seen a couple crazy dudes pulling out Ice Castles with pickups on 12 inches of ice.  Can’t figure it out.  But the lakes have been very under fished this season.  I think it is awesome!!   

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On 2/5/2024 at 8:05 PM, Fishin Dad said:

I think this winter has probably been good for the fish.  There has not been much pressure on the lakes this winter.  Don’t get me wrong, I do fish on the ice, but it might be a good break for the fish who have been pounded on since COVID!   I have also seen first hand how FFS gets limits on ice like crazy.   Thoughts?

 

Where's the setting on my livescope that apparently makes fish jump out of the hole?  I haven't found it yet... :D

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Hello @MN Fisher  @Fishin Dad  @gimruis

 

It is looking more and more like an early ice out here in MN. MN Fisher and gimruis gave me some good info. on potential lure/baits. Now I have some questions about rods/reels for Crappie fishing. (I know this is a bass forum - but my hope is this is relevent to this being a MN Thread)

It appears that small (1/8oz -- 3/32 -- 1/16) baits would work the best -- as of now I have the following rods/reels that might work (but I am looking for your feedback).

 

-St. Croix Mojo Bass - 6'10" ML-XF - rated for 1/8 to 1/2oz lures/baits

-Shimano FX5 - 6' - M-F - rated for 1/8 to 1/2oz lures/baits (I got this rod at a yard sale)

 

For reels I have -

-2500HG Stradic/2500 NASCI/3000 Sedona/2500RevoX and on the Shimano rod an R2000

 

Are any of these appropriate for fishing Crappie ? 

If I were to seek out a Crappie rod/reel do you have suggestions for me ? (since I would just be entering into the Crappie world I am ok getting mid/lower end gear to start with)

 

Thank you in advance for your time and expertise. 

 

 

  

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  • Super User

I don't specifically have a "panfish" setup.  Primarily because I don't do much of it.  Usually for a couple weeks before the other seasons open in mid May.

 

I use a couple of my walleye setups.  They are ML spinning rods/reels spooled with 6 pound mono.  One is for a slip bobber setup and another is for small plastics.  I use both of them each spring.  Walleyes fight about the same as panfish, they're like wet socks coming in.

 

Those setups you stated would probably work fine.  If you start to get really into panfishing you might consider buying a dedicated panfish setup.  I can't help you with that, as I don't have one.

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  • Super User

I would say any of the 2500 reels on the Mojo 610MLXF would be your best bet

 

For new purchase:

Rod - any decent UL to M power

Reel - any decent 1000-2500 reel - 1000 on UL or L rods, 2000-2500 on ML or M rods

Line - 4# on the UL to 8# on the M - mono or FC

 

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3 hours ago, WaskaCrank12 said:

Hello @MN Fisher  @Fishin Dad  @gimruis

 

It is looking more and more like an early ice out here in MN. MN Fisher and gimruis gave me some good info. on potential lure/baits. Now I have some questions about rods/reels for Crappie fishing. (I know this is a bass forum - but my hope is this is relevent to this being a MN Thread)

It appears that small (1/8oz -- 3/32 -- 1/16) baits would work the best -- as of now I have the following rods/reels that might work (but I am looking for your feedback).

 

-St. Croix Mojo Bass - 6'10" ML-XF - rated for 1/8 to 1/2oz lures/baits

-Shimano FX5 - 6' - M-F - rated for 1/8 to 1/2oz lures/baits (I got this rod at a yard sale)

 

For reels I have -

-2500HG Stradic/2500 NASCI/3000 Sedona/2500RevoX and on the Shimano rod an R2000

 

Are any of these appropriate for fishing Crappie ? 

If I were to seek out a Crappie rod/reel do you have suggestions for me ? (since I would just be entering into the Crappie world I am ok getting mid/lower end gear to start with)

 

Thank you in advance for your time and expertise. 

 

 

  

I actually have 4 or 5 ultralight panfish rods.  I really like them for casting light lures and fighting fish with paper mouths.  I actually use a 1/32 oz. Jighead and cast it.  You have to have a very light parabolic rod to do this.  I really don’t do a lot of bobber fishing for panfish.  It is just so much more fun to cast and jig for them.  I ordered 2 St. Croix panfish rods on a sale last year.  They are very nice for this application.  You can sure use any L or ML rod if you are not casting that light of lures.  

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19 minutes ago, Fishin Dad said:

I actually have 4 or 5 ultralight panfish rods.

I've only got one UL rod for panfish - an Okuma Celilo 762UL...sucker will toss a 1/32 jig with 2" plastic a country mile on 4# test Siege.

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3 hours ago, MN Fisher said:

I've only got one UL rod for panfish - an Okuma Celilo 762UL...sucker will toss a 1/32 jig with 2" plastic a country mile on 4# test Siege.

🤙   That’s a solid rod.  They do fling a 1/32 well. Siege is a solid choice too!!  I really think people fish too heavy for panfish most of the time.  I also find that color choices of both the Jighead and plastic make a huge difference on some lakes.  Let’s hope we get to fling some of these rigs sooner than later. 

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On 2/5/2024 at 9:18 PM, MN Fisher said:

Actually - I did see one wheel-house on the ice on Tonka for about a week a bit ago. Wasn't a huge one, but still a 'towable'.  Carman Bay - just south of where the Narrows Channel enters.

We had about 100 on Carson's but only for a week.  Got warm and bam, gone.

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