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What's biting: Crappies back at Evergreen Lake

What's biting: Crappies back at Evergreen Lake

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HUDSON — Crappies in summer? That's the report from Mike Steffa, operations supervisor at Comlara Park/Evergreen Lake.

Earlier this year, Illinois Department of Natural Resources biologist Mike Garthaus proved he knows his stuff when he predicted a banner year for crappies at the 900-acre Evergreen Lake.

The bite actually began late last fall and continued right through the winter into the spring. They took a brief hiatus after spawning. That was probably when they were migrating to summer haunts and were harder to find in the transition.

I'm off this week, so I rode by bike to Evergreen Lake to say, "Hi." That's when Steffa told me the crappies are back.

The great-tasting panfish, more suitable for catch-and-grease rather than catch-and-release, are holding on deeper brush piles. Best spots are well-known, around the pumphouse and the north shore of the point featuring the swim beach. But don't limit yourself to community spots. Get a copy of the lake map featuring the locations of fish cribs placed around the lake and go find your own spots. It's likely if you target the right depths, fish will be there.

Steffa said anglers are reporting catches on light line, small jigs and twisters. No live bait is needed at all, he said.

What's biting

Crappie — Good at Evergreen, Dawson, Shabbona, Clinton. Fair at Sangchris, Shelbyville, Banner Marsh, Spring Lake, Weldon Springs, Lake Bloomington.

Saugeye — Fair at Evergreen.

Sauger — Fair trolling lures on leadcore near Henry.

Walleye — Fair at Shelbyville, Dawson.

Largemouth bass — Good at Evergreen, Mississippi River pool 13, Dawson, Shabbona. Fair at Sangchris, Weldon Springs, Spring Lake, Shelbyville, Banner Marsh, Clinton. Slow at Lake Bloomington, but for a reported 7-pounder.

Smallmouth bass — Fair at Shabonna, Powerton.

Striped bass — Fair in spillways at Clinton and Decatur.

White bass — Good at Shelbyville, Clinton. Fair at Decatur, Illinois River at Starved Rock.

Catfish — Good in the Illinois River, Clinton, LaSalle, Sangchris, Shabbona, Powerton, Evergreen, Lake Bloomington, Weldon Springs.

Muskies — Fair at Shelbyville, Shabbona, Evergreen.

Bluegills — Very good at Sangchris, Shabbona, LaSalle, Spring Lake, Banner Marsh. Fair at Evergreen.

Got a fish story, a hot spot, big fish or lots of them? Something funny happen? Phone Pantagraph outdoor editor Scott Richardson at (309) 820-3227 or e-mail srichardson@pantagraph.com . Read past fishing reports and outdoor columns and take part in online discussions at www.pantagraph.com /blogs.

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