Rondeau bay winter crappies

Let's talk Ice Fishing in and around Erieau and Rondeau Bay.
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jstuebing
Posts: 116
Joined: Sun May 01, 2016 3:41 pm

Rondeau bay winter crappies

Post by jstuebing » Thu Dec 06, 2018 1:43 pm

Just wanted to start a thread about crappies through the ice.

I typically have no problem find the perch (eventually) - sometimes pike and I've found the odd bass hole or two unintentionally on Rondeau through the ice, and the occasional bluegill.

But I never seem to see crappies or catch them but they are my favourite fish to eat.

Anyone have any insight on where they might school up in the winter months? More shallow? Deeper water? Near the edge? lol

They seem to be more elusive than the other fish but I'd like to try and find some.

My buddy slams them on spoons back home in KW area, was going to try a few slab grabbers and try to wait them out.

Any tips folks?

Tight lines!!!

huntnmachine
Posts: 367
Joined: Sun Mar 13, 2011 3:29 pm

Re: Rondeau bay winter crappies

Post by huntnmachine » Thu Dec 06, 2018 2:15 pm

I have never had much luck finding them either. One year many years ago Rondeau Bay Estates cut was full of them in January but since then no luck.
I always wondered if they winter in the Lake.

jstuebing
Posts: 116
Joined: Sun May 01, 2016 3:41 pm

Re: Rondeau bay winter crappies

Post by jstuebing » Thu Dec 06, 2018 5:22 pm

Yeah perhaps - I know blue gills are a lot more sensitive to sound, so maybe crappie are as well??

I'd love to find some!! lol

jstuebing
Posts: 116
Joined: Sun May 01, 2016 3:41 pm

Re: Rondeau bay winter crappies

Post by jstuebing » Thu Dec 06, 2018 5:27 pm

Or maybe they are clever, and hide out right where the current comes into the bay etc and out in the channel/by the marina because they know anglers can't get them there as the ice stays open ;) lol

Aroc11
Posts: 819
Joined: Thu Jan 07, 2010 9:53 pm

Re: Rondeau bay winter crappies

Post by Aroc11 » Sun Dec 16, 2018 5:29 pm

I consistently catch them but rarely more than a handful of them. I find I can catch them by patterning them more so than locating them.

Green weeds and clean water is good, but rock piles or logs are in the green stuff is best. But unless you already have waypoints it's pretty much needle is a haystack hunting to find those spots. So your best bet is to try using patterns to selectively target them.

Find an area with scattered clumps of bright green cabbage weed. Or hard bottom holes in the thick milfoil patches. A good tell for a potentially productive patch is getting into gills right away. The crappie usually show up later. I haven't figured out how to get numbers of them, but I will normally finish most my days getting 3-6 good slabs doing this.

For me my best success is on live minnow tipped glow jigs after the sun gets low. 5pm - 9pm typically. Northland Forage minnow jigs work the best IMHO. They might bite later but the wife don't like me out that late on my own so that could be the last piece of the puzzle I'm missing out on to get good numbers of them.

jstuebing
Posts: 116
Joined: Sun May 01, 2016 3:41 pm

Re: Rondeau bay winter crappies

Post by jstuebing » Tue Dec 18, 2018 5:39 pm

Interesting information, thank you sir.

I have a few spots in mind but haven't marked them yet for waypoints so you're right, that is an uphill battle.

Got navionics on my cell now and plan on using that for waypoints this winter.

I will keep the gills thing in mind, they're a better fight per pound than perch anyways and filet up nicer too IMO.

Looks like I could be taking my tinny out for them this weekend if I wanted to

:( lol

oh well - January it is!!

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