Where would you go to fish crappie that are slabs?
I've heard Minnetonka can crank out some big crappies.
Lots of lakes in Northern MN but since you said near the metro, I still say Minnetonka.
Tip-For the kids, the Vince Shutte Bear Sanctury is nearby and truly an amazing once in a lifetime experience to see bear in their natural habitat.
We've got big Crappie fishing in the fall up here on Lake Kabetogama in our chain of lakes for Voyageurs National park. But people don't target the crappie much in the summer, not sure why. Our favorite fishing guide always looks forward to the crappie fishing in the fall! But I'm not sure where you live, so fall fishing might not be an option with the kids (that's why I recommended Pelican lake first). I think up here everyone is after the walleye! We are more known for the large game fish -- tasty Walleye, huge playful smallmouth bass and the northern pike. In Voyageurs National Park there is alot of great camping and get your own island, try Woodenfrog State camp ground that's accessible by car is right on the lake with a beach and public boat launch, or there is a historic resort area on the south shore for cabin and boat rentals too.
Happy Fishing in 2016! Tracy Dee - Kabetogama resident