True Fish Stories: The 4-pound 6-ounce Monster Illinois Crappie
How big is big? How large, how long, or how heavy does a crappie have to be to be considered a trophy? The answer is completely subjective, and depends on where you live, how often you get to fish, and the size of the fish you normally catch.
For many anglers, the three-pound mark is the magic number, and when Mike Zimmer caught a crappie just over three pounds on Kincaid Lake in Southern Illinois, he wanted to put it on the wall. His wife was firmly against it. “I already had a lot of mounts, so I didn’t put up much of an argument,” said Zimmer. “I’m glad I didn’t.”
The next week, March 15th to be exact, Zimmer was back on Kincaid fishing the same area as the week before. “It was cold that morning, 26 degrees, and being the middle of the week, there weren’t very many boats on the lake,” said Zimmer. “I was fishing big treetops on a shallow ledge, pitching a slip-cork 18 inches above a 1/32-ounce Kelly Green Grizzly Jig tipped with a minnow. I pulled up to the first tree and caught ten keepers immediately. The bite was so good I started culling out the smaller fish.
Where to Successfully One-Pole for White Crappie at Any Lake Right Now
The spring crappie spawn is easily the most popular time of year for weekend warriors. Although Facebook would have you believe that every fisherman on Earth is equipped with an eight-pole spread and six grand worth of electronics, at most lakes, the majority of anglers are still just holding their rods, and occasionally glancing down at a 2-D sonar to check the depth. Some of these purists, even without the latest electronics and a pile of 16-foot graphite rods, will still catch fish, and many times they’ll catch more than you.
Right now, most of the country is enjoying the colossal temperature swings, toad-strangling rain, and frontal changes sweeping in from all directions, accompanied by gale-force winds indicative of prespawn fishing. Even with all of Mother Nature’s shenanigans, there is still one area in most lakes that will hold fish morning, noon, and night, and that, my friends, is the channel ledge.