By Dan Johnson

When location and presentation come together, the results can be a beautiful thing. Such is the case today on a non-disclosed north-central Minnesota lake where I’ve joined Lindy pro-staffers Jon Thelen and Jeff Sundin, along with veteran fishing writer Jeff Samsel, for an old-fashioned crappie throwdown.

A welcome dose of sunny skies, along with air temps around 10 degrees and a light north wind, set the stage for comfortable fishing without a shelter. Sundin led us to a textbook depression on a deep offshore flat where crappies have been gathering since late fall. Here, where the depth falls off to around 20 feet amidst slightly shallower water, we hit the crappie jackpot.
ice blog
Hot presentations trend toward the horizontal side of the spectrum, with a small Lindy Slick Jig tipped with a Watsit Grub being my favorite combination so far. That being said, the rest of the crew has hauled in slabs on a variety of presentations, including a Foo Flyer and Watsit, and a small Frostee Jigging Spoon adorned with a trio of waxworms.

The fish are decidedly aggressive, rising 3 feet or more off bottom to inhale our offerings. As midday approached, pike began making frequent appearances on my underwater camera, but so far we’ve suffered no bite-offs.

While our arsenal of Lindy lures is certainly integral to our strategy, we quickly discovered that if we strayed too far from the slight depression, fish numbers tanked. All of which reinforces the need to find prime lies no matter what species you’re after.

In the case of this lake's “Great Depression,” that meant finding a deep pocket that collected schools of hungry crappies. On your lake it might be another type of structure, or even slight current or a stand of healthy vegetation. Finding such sweet spots might take a little searching, but the rewards will be well worth the effort.