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Fishing for a Bounty

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Fishing for a Bounty

There's a very healthy panfish population in this lake both in terms of quantity and quality. We caught many large crappies along with fish of all sizes to show a healthy future fishery. • Credit: Leo Stakos

Fishing for crappies in Land O'Lakes



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As much as we love to ice fish, when the ice thaws in the spring, spring crappie fishing immediately comes to mind. We are always anxious to get the boat out of its winter storage and get out in search of black crappies as they move to their shallow spring feeding areas. This past spring, Leo, Ron and I had the pleasure of fishing Bob’s Lake in the Land O’ Lakes region. It is located just 45 minutes north of Kingston, Ontario and while so close, we had never been there before. We had been hearing a lot of good things about it from our friend BS. Sebastien guides on this lake and knows it very well. He was confident that we would have a great day, and he was right! I went there a day ahead to spend some time scouting around the lake with Sebastien and get a feel for where the fish were positioned as well as what presentations would be effective. Sebastien and I had a great time and it was evident that he knew what he was talking about. That night Leo and Ron arrived at Bob’s Lake Cottages. We stayed in two lovely cottages that looked out over the lake. There is a boat launch right on site and ample docking as well.

The next morning we enjoyed a beautiful sunrise over the lake and were eager to get fishing. The lake is very scenic and driving the Lund around the many coves with the signs of spring all around you is really a breath of fresh air. We idled up to our first spot, a little cove with a mud bottom that held some warmer water. In the spring, water temperature is everything. The slightest increase in temperature can draw the fish right in. Very quickly we started catching both large bluegill and crappies and the day was off to a great start.

There is a very healthy panfish population in this lake both in terms of quantity and quality. We caught many large crappies along with fish of all sizes to show a healthy future fishery. Most of our fish were caught suspending a Trigger X minnow on a small jig head below a slip float. The slip float allowed us to set the depth at which our bait would be suspended below the surface so that we could adjust it as needed. Lots of fish were set up in shallow coves, in front of points and around any shoreline structure such as fallen trees. Another technique that produced many of the larger crappies was a Rapala Ultralight Minnow crankbait. This lure, retrieved slowly with the occasional twitch, was getting the bigger fish fired up.

Bob’s lake is known to produce large crappie year round and I hope to return soon to try both mid-summer and fall open water fishing, and definitely on the hardwater over the winter.

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