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Crappies and Conservation

May 19, 2013

I had the opportunity last Sunday to sneak in an hour or so of fishing with my son at the Boat Works on Lake Minnetonka and had a pleasant time catching sunfish and crappie.  They were all too small to keep but there was plenty of action to keep us occupied.  The Boat Works is comprised of two small lagoons in Wayzata, MN, that provide ideal spring crappie habitat in that they are shallow, dark bottomed, and contain large wood pilings.  Surrounded by a park, the Boat Works presents one of the few accessible locations for shore anglers on Lake Minnetonka.  The size of the fish seems to be smaller than when I first went there 30 some years ago with my dad, although you sometimes catch the occasional keeper.  In fact, one of the childhood memories that sticks with me is the time I was there at the crack of dawn with my dad and one of my hockey buddies.  It was so cold that our rod tips would freeze.  But boy, did we catch fish.  I also remember gorging ourselves on Girl Scout cookies.  Savannahs, my favorite.  Especially, when frozen.  Hmmm….I may have to have one from my stash in the freezer.  Too bad they are so dang expensive these days.  If it weren’t for the fact that my daughters are Girl Scouts I most certainly would not buy them, especially from a super mart.  Do we really need access to Girl Scouts all year round?

Anyways, I digress….back to fishing.  I always try to make it a practice to pick up stray pop cans, bottles, or other debris when I’m out on the water.  What made me happiest was that before we had even wet a line my son said, “dad, we need to pick up the pop can holder so nothing get’s caught in it.”photo

Lying down on the pier, I scooped it up and tossed it into our bucket.  As I said, the action was steady and we proceeded to catch a fish on nearly every cast.  I like to keep things simple when I’m out on the water.  Well, as simple as possible given all the options that are available.  Lately, my favorite rig for crappies has been a 1/32 oz. pink headed, yellow-feathered jig from JB Lures tipped with a Berkley power minnow.  photo This has always been an effective combination.  However, it has become my go to having read Crappie Fishing: Secrets and Tips of a Game Warden. A nice little book, it offers a few other tips that are time tested.

photoSo, even though the fish weren’t a keeper, the memory of my son wanting to keep the waters clean was as sweet as a Savannah.

– Hats

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