Southern Illinois Fishing Report – August 24th, 2012
Crab Orchard Lake
Despite the heat, some anglers were still catching crappies. With cooler air in mid-August, fish are holding in 12-14 feet of water and can be caught on minnows and jigs. Bluegill action is still steady on a number of natural baits. Catfish action is good on leeches and cut bait. Some bass anglers are still taking fish early in the morning and late in the evening. The best action has been in deeper areas off the points.
The few anglers on the lake are targeting crappies and catfish. Some crappies are being caught at the base of single trees. Minnows and jigs are equally effective. Catfish anglers continue to catch fish by drifting night crawlers or chicken liver just off the bottom.
White bass are the best bet in the lake. Anglers are taking good numbers of fish near the silos, humps and flats. Slab spoons or Little Georges combined with a curlytail are the most productive baits. Whites also are being caught by trolling crankbaits. Catfish are rated very good on night crawlers, cut shad and stinkbaits. Saugers are being caught in good numbers by the island and silos by anglers trolling crankbaits. Crappie action has slowed considerably. Catfish are rated very good in the spillway on cut shad, night crawlers and stinkbaits. White bass are good on rooster tails, jigs or minnows. Crappies and sauger fishing is fair. Sauger action improves on overcast days.
Some crappies are being caught in depths from 12 to 20. Anglers are looking for submerged cover. Jigs are effective at shallower depths. Minnows are preferred by anglers fishing deep areas. Bluegills are slow. Some bass are being caught, but action is spotty. Catfish are rated fair. Chicken liver, night crawlers and stink baits are effective.
Lake of Egypt
A few anglers are taking fish at night. Anglers are using soft plastics and jigs off the points. Other species are slow.
Bluegill action remains steady on a variety of natural baits, although fish are running small. Catfish have slowed recently, but some fish are still being caught on liver, night crawlers and stinkbaits. Bass and crappie action is slow.
Bluegill anglers are taking good numbers of fish in 4-5 feet of water. Crickets and worms are both effective. Some anglers are also finding crappie in cover 4-5 feet of water. Minnows and jigs have both been effective. The best action for catfish has been in the evenings. Worms and cut bait are both effective. Bass action is spotty.
The lake is nearly a foot below normal pool and water temperatures are hovering near 83 degrees. Crappies and catfish are still rated excellent. Crappies are being caught in 6-12 feet of water on jigs and minnows. Bridges and the Route 154 rip rap are hot spots. Catfish anglers are reporting success drift fishing shallow humps or working rip rap areas. Night crawlers, cut shad, shad gut, shrimp, stinkbaits and large minnows have all been effective. Bass action is steady in 6-10 feet of water around bridges and rip rap. Rat-L-Traps, soft plastics, crankbaits and spinnerbaits have all been producing fish. Bluegills can still be caught in deeper water toward the back of necks. Crickets, red wigglers and meal worms are all effective. White bass can be caught around bridge piers and rip rap on spinnerbaits and crankbaits.