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Wayne Schneider’s 3-10 crappie

March 27, 2009

Illinois hunting and fishing

Big Fish Info

Species: Crappie

Size: 3 pounds, 10 ounces; 18 inches

Date: March 27, 2009

County: Peoria

A wet spring has been good news for Wayne Schneider of Bartonville.

Schneider is a hard-core crappie angler who frequents Banner Marsh near Peoria, where high water typically means good panfishing.

This year has been no exception, as Schneider proved on March 27 when he caught the 18-inch slab pictured above on a minnow while fishing Johnson Lake (accessible via the Main Access). The huge crappie weighed 3 pounds, 10 ounces on a certified scale at Presley’s Outdoors in Bartonville.

“The water is up this year in Banner the way it used to be about three or four years ago when we slammed (the crappie),” Schneider said. “I’ve had lots of 16- and 17-inchers out there in the past, but this is my biggest.”

That said, Schneider doesn’t believe this is the largest crappie swimming in Banner’s flooded stip mine lakes.

“There are bigger fish than this out there,” he said. “I want to get a state-record (crappie). That’s my goal. And at first I thought that one was it maybe. I’ve had lots of 2- to 2.5-pounders, but this was my biggest.”

This wet spring has made up for two relatively slow years of crappie fishing at Banner.

Schneider said fish aren’t the only attraction at Banner, which is also home to a thriving otter population and now features active bald eagle and osprey nests. Since moving back to Illinois from Colorado he has fished the popular public spot three to four times per week.

“I’ve had stringers of 15-inchers out of there,” he said. “One year alone we caught about 60 fish that were over 15 inches.”


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