A Crappie Report from south of Chicago

I received a couple fishing reports from southern and central Illinois.   Seems like Crappies is the name of the game.  Check them out...and the photos.

From Ron DaRosa...

Well 65 degrees on December 1st means only one thing, to heck with the ducks hello crappie !  Hunting has become very slow with warm temps and a full moon to boot. Large numbers of ducks have been using our field but at nite during the moon. Rather than sittin in the pit and getting mad at em, we decided to get even with the crappie.

Kevin and I cleaned 55 beautiful slabs out of Crab yesterday. The bite was steady all day as we fished from 9:30 till almost dark. Strattman  joined the fun midday and caught 10 or 15 also. South winds about 15 mph were managable as we fished sets on the south half of the lake. Water temps were right at 49 degrees and am sure are 50 by now.

All fish were caught on jigs vertically presented with no bobber in 10 to 12 feet of water. Pink seemed to be the color of the day. For those new to the crappie game like I am, I strongly suggest resisting the temptation to use minnows. Once you learn the "jig thing" you can always use a minnow, but doubt you will ever have to.     Ron DaRosa - www.RD Outdoors.com

From Steve Welsh

We are still doing very well on crappie. They have started moving to deep water since our water temps have bounced around last week from 40-47. Once they all get into deep water they will bunch up and this is the best time to go after them. You find a deep main lake down tree on a river channel that still has most of it's original branches in the fifteen foot range and deeper you will hit the mother load. I have been concentrating on channel banks all last week from Findley Bridge to Opossum Creek and fishing anywhere from 11-15 feet of line out over deeper water and vertical jigging my 1/4oz. Deep Ledge Jigs either white or chartreuse with a Midsouth 102 white sparkle tube and filling it with Powerbait Crappie Nibbles using my bait pump. I think the nibbles or sugar bites as we call them are really helping. I am trying to keep us in some wind this helps us to hover over the top of spooky fish in very clear water. That little hint is very important.

I am still out most every day since the weather hasn't been to bad.  Picture 108 is of John Mueller and Caleb Kuenzi holding up a three man
45 fish limit.

Picture 120 is of Ivan Gingrich, Matt Rocke and George holding up some of our biggest crappie from our four man 60 fish limit. These fish are all 13-14 1/2 inches and weighing anywhere from 1 1/2 to 1 7/8 pounds so not bad fish.
Steve Welch - www.lakeshelbyvilleguide.com

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