Steve Carney

The first fishing excursions of the open water season here in central Minnesota are almost always the ice-out, shallow water crappies which usually signals the beginning of our open water exploits. I look forward to this early season because we are all eager to hit the water and crappies are abundant and easy to catch, especially during the early period of May.

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After this unbearable winter, we have finally made it into April and we all anticipate open water and the fishing season to come. Because this winter was such a bear, you can expect some hitches in the open water dates and possibly some complications with lakes that are still ice locked.

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I will admit my fascination with crappie fishing through the ice has begun to take precedence over walleyes the past year or so and I have learned many tricks from spending a ton of time on the ice. Here are some tips and tricks I have picked up from fishing many prime crappie lakes through the Midwest. In a nutshell, these tips will work anywhere in the country.

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As we head into the early ice period here in central Minnesota, we are faced with some uncertainty such as less than ideal ice conditions and unfortunately a lot of snow to boot. Lots of snow with iffy ice conditions require anglers to pay special attention to ice safety.

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