The lake is about a foot and a half low and water color very clear. Water temps are bouncing around from 51-53.

Not much has changed since last report the fish are not bunched up and you need to move often picking up a few here and there and going through a lot of smaller crappie. They are shallow 6-10ft. which makes it fun and we are catching at least 75 a day to get a nice three man limit of 45.

I am fishing all over the north end from Bo-Woods over to Wilborn on mostly wood. Cubes have been hot and cold. I think wind and cold fronts have a lot to do with fish movement this time of the year. They prefer thick wood on cold fronts, stumps and big lay down trees.

Long gone are the minnows and I am strictly using 3/32 or 1/8oz. Deep Ledge Jigs in chartreuse, orange or pink and a Brushpile Hammer in about three colors. Light blue and chartreuse, dark green and chartreuse or lime and chartreuse always tipped with a wax worm.

I have three seats up front to tight line these jigs on 12ft. BnM Diamond Series rods spooled with 8lb. Suffix braid. I can watch everyone’s jig on my Livescope and know if they are at the right depth and when a fish is coming towards their bait. They hit it you hit them back immediately and then just lift no need to reel. I then tap them on the forearm you feel that then set the hook no hesitation.

When will they bunch up I am asked. Once I put on my winter clothes and all these boats have quit for the year. The last two weeks of November and first two of December. Very little traveling done with three limits in couple hours. Until then move, move, move it is still pretty good.

I hope to see many of you at the Collinsville fishing show January 6-8 I am doing a couple seminars on rod rigging and fishing for crappie, white bass and walleye on Shelbyville year round. Then I will be at the Schaumburg show January 26-29 and giving seminars there as well. I am returning to full time guiding in 2023 so get your dates as I have booked several already. Just give me a call at 217-840-1221 and nail down your date. I start crappie fishing early March then switch over to walleye/ white bass May 15th and stay with that until end of June then back to crappie/ white bass until mid October then back to just crappie until Thanksgiving. I am also planning on doing catch and release trips on Clinton Lake in April for the big stripers. Then trying to work out the last of April guiding on Kentucky Lake for two weeks for the crappie spawn then back again in June for the pendulum stakebed bite on mid depth stakes. Both are a ball. Heading down there right after Thanksgiving dinner for several days can’t wait always get some big ones.

Steve Welch
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