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Ice Out Crappies.

Location: Alexandria Area Conditions:Party Cloudy Target: Ice Out Crappies

Let the Games Begin. It's funny how each year starts out different and of course,this year the ice came off early and quickly. Especially on the smaller to mid-sized lakes in the Alexandria Area. Yesterday I started to scout lakes by shore fishing and it was a bust. The thought went through my head, what is the water temp.? So, I decided to just get home and get the "red rocket" ready for today so I could get a better idea where we were at as far as water temp.goes.

With the mornings colder, I started the day around 11:00am to let it warm up some and after reading my fishing journal, I knew where and what lake I wanted to hit. But before that,I had to make a trip in to bait store to get a few things. After a stop at the bait store, I got to the lake and headed to the spot where I had luck last year. I was nervous when I got back there and saw the water temp. at 40 degrees. It might be too early, and again it might not .

The first cast; bobber down! Nice crappie and I cast again; bobber down. Oh boy, this was positive and for the next 3 hours it was non-stop action. They weren't the biggest crappies, but it was just a great feeling to feel the tug of a fish on a long rod again. There's a few things to think about when searching for ice out panfish.First your presentation- Don't put those ice jigs and plastics away. They are the right size for this time of year until the water warms. Look for bays at the northern parts of the lake your fishing. Why? It gets the most sun and will warm nicely which draws fish in to feed. Second your bobber- I can't say enough about the 'Rocket Bobber'. You can cast long distances with no problems. I'll anchor up in shallow and work a 90 degree of the lake where fish could be. Today was like this. I anchored twice and worked depths of 4-7FOW. The main reason I use the 'Rocket Bobber' is so that I can stay outside of the area that the fish are in so I don't spook them and it allows you to cover ground and catch fish.

The one thing to remember; its never to early after the ice goes off the lake. It's just finding those spots that fish will come into. I was told today by a gentleman at the bait shop,"It's to early for crappies and it needs to warm up." Well, I guess I'll stop in tomorrow and let him know that it was a good day on the water. Until next time, be safe and we will see you on the water.

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