January 4, 2007 at 8:09 a.m.
Because of the sustained mild temperatures, area lakes and the fish still seem to be in the early ice stages, so finding the crappies remains a cinch for anglers.
Areas near the A-frame and eagle nest on Chisago Lake have been red hot as of late, with crappies consistently coming out of the breakwaters and outside weedlines. Watch your flasher and adjust your depth accordingly, as the active feeders are oftentimes suspended a mere 5 to 8 feet below the ice. Also, look at the deep-water breaks off the "saddle" between Sunset Point and Park Point during the late afternoon and on top of the saddle itself during the evening hours.
How easy is the crappie fishing? Let me put it this way. We had a group of anglers out on North Center last weekend and it took us no more than an hour to ice 70 fish. Augie, my 4-year-old, took "most fish honors," tossing eleven crappies in the bucket within a 15-minute period of time. I'd no sooner get a fresh minnow on his jig, turn my back and he'd be onto another fish. Yes, it is a good time to get out and enjoy the fast-paced action.
Dan Brown's weekly outdoor column is brought to you by Frankie's Bait and Marine, in Chisago City, and St. Croix Outdoors, in St. Croix Falls, Wis.