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farmpond1

Illinois-Crab Orchard NWR

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I'm heading down to Southern Illinois soon.  Anyone fish any of the lakes in Crab Orchard?  Are there any patterns/techniques you'd recommend.  Please, if you can, be more specific than lure selection.  Thanks in advance.

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The fishing report from www.thesouthern.com.

I don't fish Crab, but Little Grassy and Cedar Lake are fun, but both have a 10hp limit.  Since the storm, I'm sure that there are a lot of trees that blew over that provide good cover.

Friday, June 5, 2009 1:21 PM CDT

Crab Orchard - Anglers are still catching some nice crappie, although number are down. Fish are being found over cover in 6-12 feet. Minnows and jigs are equally effective. Catfish anglers are still reporting good success on leeches, stink bait and cut bait. Bluegill are on the beds and can be caught on a variety of natural baits. Bass are scattered, but still being caught over shallow cover.

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The fishing report from www.thesouthern.com.

I don't fish Crab, but Little Grassy and Cedar Lake are fun, but both have a 10hp limit. Since the storm, I'm sure that there are a lot of trees that blew over that provide good cover.

Friday, June 5, 2009 1:21 PM CDT

Crab Orchard - Anglers are still catching some nice crappie, although number are down. Fish are being found over cover in 6-12 feet. Minnows and jigs are equally effective. Catfish anglers are still reporting good success on leeches, stink bait and cut bait. Bluegill are on the beds and can be caught on a variety of natural baits. Bass are scattered, but still being caught over shallow cover.

Thanks for the advice.  This might better belong in a different section but wanted to let you know how I did.  I fished both Devil's Kitchen and Little Grassy.  Devils kitchen was tough for bass.  All told, I caught 2 and lost 1 on Rapala glass raps in 12 feet of water.  There are some big bluegill and scrappy longears in Devils kitchen, though.  The southern half of Devils Kitchen is a minefield of stumps.  What a pain!  I slid on submerged stumps and got stuck on at least 3 of them.  If I hadn't also had my 25 horse motor on the boat to pull me off, I might still be out there.

Little Grassy was great in the morning.  I caught two really nice bass around shallow fallen trees on top water and then, when the sun got a little higher, I switched to X-raps and caught about 3 more.  Past 10 a.m., though, the bass stopped biting and I couldnt find them in deeper water.  So I switched to panfish.  There are still bluegill on the beds but only the deeper beds.  The shallow beds have largely been abandoned.  Anyway, though it wasn't the most productive trip, I didn't get skunked and I only lost one bait.  Considering what a lure trap Devils Kitchen is, that's a miracle!

p.s., I didn't find any fish in the newly fallen tree's-though there were plenty of them (trees).  They will, however, provide great cover in the future.

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