Crappies turn on in area lakes

by Nick Wognum

Shhh. Don’t tell anyone…the crappies are hitting. <BR><BR>Secrets on the level of trout fishermen were circulating through town last week as the crappie population decided it was time to eat. <BR><BR>Word spread fast despite the best efforts to keep boats and canoes off area crappie hot spots. When the crappies are hitting, all bets are off and fishermen come out of the woodwork to fill their stringers with slabs. <BR><BR>Walleyes are great to eat, and a pike sliced up right is mouth watering as well, but crappies have a special place in the hearts and stomachs of most fishermen.<BR><BR>We’ve been known to eat most of what we’ve caught when the crappies are hot and go out the next day to do it all over again. That’s a fun kind of fishing. <BR><BR>This week there were five, that’s right, five crappies weighed in that were over a pound. Mmmm. You can almost taste ’em.<BR><BR>Top crappie of the week was a 1 lb. 8 oz. frying pan filler that measured 14.5 inches. Caught by Monica Bushinski of Denver, CO in Fall Lake on a Rapala, the fish was weighed in at Voyageur North Outfitters.<BR><BR>A pair of 1 lb. 4 oz. crappies also came in. A 14-incher caught on a minnow by Michele Wathier of Tempe, AZ in White Iron was entered at Skube’s Bait and Tackle. Ralph Stevens of Minneapolis, MN went to Spirit of the Wilderness with a foot-long crappie he caught in Birch Lake on a plastic grub. <BR><BR>Whopper walleyes continued to line up for the leader board as well, including a 9 lb. 8 oz. 28-incher that hit a leech for Tom Grigolet of Rochester, MN and was brought in to the Great Outdoors for registration.<BR><BR>Eagles Nest has been known to give up big walleyes and that was the case for Steve and Jenae Eddy of Linwood, MI as they reeled in an 8 lb. 8 oz. 31-inch fish caught on a leech and checked in at Skube’s Bait and Tackle. <BR><BR>Rick Ellstrom of Denver, CO was fishing with worms when he hooked a 31-inch walleye that weighed 6 lb. 15 oz. out of Basswood Lake and entered at Skube’s Bait and Tackle.<BR><BR>On big lake trout and one nice-sized one came out of Snowbank Lake.<BR><BR>Weighing in at 15 lb. 1 oz. was a laker caught on a spoon by Bill Robillard of Eveleth, MN in Snowbank Lake. The entry was made at Vermilon Fuel and Food.<BR><BR>Smitty’s on Snowbank brought in an entry for a 7 lb. 8 oz. lake trout caught on a Smitty Special (you have to ask them) by Jenny Latzke of Hamburg, MN. The fish went 27.5 inches on the ruler. <BR><BR>Best smallmouth of the week went to George R. Anderson who caught a four-pounder that met the requirements for the 20-inch club out of the South Kawishiwi. He used leeches for bait and checked the fish in at Voyaguer North Outfitters.<BR><BR>A Shad Rap used in Lake Vermilion put a 3 lb. 7 oz. smallie on the stringer for Ronald Hajek of Tower who stopped by Vermilion Fuel and Food to make the entry.<BR><BR>We had Catch and Release entry in the smallmouth division that measured just over 21 inches and weighed just under five pounds. The bass was caught by Bob Adams in Good Lake and entered at Voyageur North Outfitters. Good Lake, good fish.<BR><BR>Justin Ludwig of Babbitt caught and released a 40-inch northern pike in Bear Island Lake, noting the entry at Voyageur North Outfitters.<BR><BR>Gary Adams found Good Lake to his liking as well, releasing a 36-inch northern in the lake located just off the end of Four Mile Portage. A barbell shaped lake with a nice campsite in the middle, Good Lake is a nice day trip destination.<BR><BR>Many motor and paddle through Moose Lake but Ray Field of Smithfield, PA knows you can fish there as well, catching a 25-inch walleye and releasing it. Entered at Spirit of the Wilderness. <BR><BR>Sarah Paulson of Ottumwa, IA (the home of MASH’s Radar O’Reilly) was fishing Crooked Lake with a Rogue Deep Diver when she hooked a 24.5-inch walleye. The fish was released and a contest entry was filled out at Skube’s Bait and Tackle. <BR><BR>But if you’re interested in doing some crappie fishing, you’re going to need Radar-like hearing to tune into where they’re biting. Unless you already know where to go in which case let us know how to get there, won’t you?<BR><BR>Good luck!