Any ice updates? Planning to ice fish on Saturday. Never been here before, any recommendations on some decent spots to try? Thanks
MOON PHASE (0%)
11° - 15° F
late report... Went out Saturday AM with a couple of buddies. Fished some rock piles on road bed where I have found some decent gills in years past. Used Tungsten jigs tipped with plastics and waxies or spikes Marked a few fish caught one small 7" gill. fished the top of pile and a couple of the deeper sides.....too cold to hole hop. Nothing like it has been in years past. Moved to trees around noon. Set up in 30' of water away from everyone and found a fairly aggressive school of crappies. Stacked up From 5' to 10' off of bottom and no huge schools of shad running around. We managed 3 dozen or so fish for 2 of us, but no size ( this spot has always held big fish). Lots of 8s and some 9s. Fish caught on tungsten Mooska with finesse plastics. When It got dark fish were caught on a glow Swedish pimple tipped with a waxie. We left around 8 and took five, 9.5 " fish for me and my son to eat.
Current report... Went out with my father yesterday. Took him back to the spot in trees we fished on Saturday. Hoping for a good time and maybe a few bigger fish that were marked but not caught on Saturday. We were fishing by 830. We marked fish right away and got to work. Then the schools of shad came in and seemed to ruin it all. In between clouds of shad on the graph we would catch a couple bt the shad seemed to disrupt the school of crappies every time they came through to the point that we weren't marking many suspended crappie at all by mid afternoon. We may have managed a dozen fish. Should have moved bt was pretty cold to go hunting and hoped that things would pick up as we had only fished this spot PM on Saturday.
Most of the ice is snow covered now but spikes were still a must to pull gear out on the light fluffy snow. Hope to get out there a few times next week when we get some better temps for moving around to find the fish.
Good luck out there!
I obviously acknowledged that from the beginning so thank you for reinforcing my admitted lack of knowledge.
But,this is from DNR website on Mill Creek Lake in Marshall Il and where I got my idea.
"Both white crappie and black crappie are abundant. Growth rates have been good. Anglers may catch crappie up to 18 inches and 3+ lbs! Fishing quality is rated as excellent for 2016! Note: Regulations allowing the harvest of only 2 crappie, 12-inches or longer are in effect to maintain the high quality of this fishery. Remember, culling is illegal outside of tournaments as culled fish are more likely to die after being retained on stringers or in containers and handled multiple times. Site Regulation: 25 daily creel limit, of which only 2 fish can be 12 inches or longer. "
I would maybe suggest a size limit of ten inches and keep the keep limit at 10.
I think Shabbona has a healthy population of crappie in the lake. I hardly ever have a problem finding crappie. The big Crappie (12 inch on up) are few and far between though and I think anything much smaller then ten inches should be tossed back anyhow.
A few years back I could catch all the smaller crappie I wanted. But I chose to fish away from the crowds for the Bigger crappie.
Here is a picture of one of my days out. All fish about 12 inches and a few a little over......F.P.
MOON PHASE (2%)
I have to agree with fishin pole . Not The quality or size crappie they used to be. It is the most targeted fish in the lake Shabbona,and while I don't believe that guiding services are all of the problem but they certainly don't help. You can only take so many fish out of the lake on a regular basis, Without it affecting the population. Some of the bigger southern Illinois lakes can take that pressure but Shabbona is just not that big. I believe in time you will see nothing but small Crappie out of there. I think they should consider they being the DOC should consider smaller limits. Just my opinion.