Southern Illinois Fishing Report – December 28th, 2012
Crab Orchard Lake
Wind and cold hampered anglers, but bass fishermen got in some good catches right before Christmas. Spinnerbaits were the best bet. Otherwise, bluegills have slowed, although some fish are still being caught along the rip-rap on crickets and wax worms. Catfish action is good on a variety of baits fished around shore.
Bluegills are slow but will hit on meal worms or wax worms occasionally. This warm-water lake is holding some large catfish, and fishing for them is expected to pick up next month. Bass slowed down right after Thanksgiving, and are expected to remain slow through January.
Water levels have played havoc with anglers, but winter fishing is picking up. Bass caught near shore on spinners. Channel cats are good on the lake for anglers drifting or jug fishing with cut bait or leeches. Good catches reported near Keyesport and Boulder. Cut bait also working as are slab spoons thrown up along the wall. Crappies good below the dam.
Anglers continue to report good muskie action, though the fishing has slowed down as the water temperature drops. Spinnerbaits and shallow running baits are still the most effective. Crappies are rated fair. Anglers are taking fish at varied depths, from 2-18 feet. Minnows are the primary bait. Catfish and bluegills action has been slow. However, bass anglers are reporting good success on spinnerbaits.
Crappies have been fair on minnows and jigs. Bass action has been good, with a few nice ones taken on spinners. Catfish slow.
Bass being caught along rip-rap on spinners, mostly on north end of the lake. Crappies have slowed, with some being caught on minnows, white jigs and pink/green jigs. Catfish good on shrimp, nightcrawlers and stinkbaits.