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Illinois hunting and fishing

Ice bite still fair to good

February 18, 2010 at 08:45 AM

While first ice is long gone in central Illinois and last-ice shows no sign of arriving any time soon, hard-water fishing has remained good.

That was certainly true last Saturday for Reed and Melinda Cooling of East Peoria, winners of the Big 25 Club’s tournament on strip mines near Victoria.

The Coolings caught 22.2 pounds to win the event, which was the last leg of the Triple Crown of central Illinois ice fishing. “We were able to get some big bluegills to really help out our weight,” Melinda said.

The Cooling’s victory was no shock, since they are all hard-core ice anglers who fished every stop on the tournament circuit and have plans to head north to Orr, Minn. For an outing with hard-water guru Dave Genz. This will be a repeat trip for the Coolings.

But there was no Triple Crown winner, as Nate Eckhold of Peoria—who had placed at Lake Camelot and Wildlife Prairie State Park—was shut out of the top five.

Those other top anglers at the Big 25 were: 2. Ryan Bradford and Craig Sherwood, 19.12 pounds; 3. Jeremy Stephens/Gary Schooley, 18.9; .4. Frank Bury/Mark Rosenak, 13.1; 5. (tie) Jason Schreiber/Rick Puckett and Tom Schultz/Shawn Johnson, 12.15.

Elsewhere in central Illinois, reports have been mixed. Bluegill have been most consistent biters in lakes and strip mines.

Crappie are tending to be better at dusk or in the evenings.

In northern Illinois, Dale Bowman of the Chicago Sun-Times reports fair fishing and has plenty of details on tournaments being held in that area.

Click here to read his report.

 

Your CommentsComments :: Terms :: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

When’s the fish fry?

Posted by HawgNSonsTV on 02/18 at 09:32 AM

We’re gonna have a fry here soon w/ the fish from WPP.  We didn’t do to hot at BIG25.  Marked fish all dang day, but few would bite.  It was a good time.  They weren’t kidding about recomending 4wd.  Hats off to the winners.  I wonder if they fished the 8acre lake or smaller lakes that were open too.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 02/18 at 01:05 PM

It was a great time, thanks Big 25.  Caught a bunch of small to medium gills in the tournament.  We stayed and fished another lake in the evening, thanks to a member and caught some monster gills.  I wonder exactly how many got stuck.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 02/18 at 01:48 PM

Congratulations to Reed and Melinda or should it be Melinda and Reed. It is great to see a male and female competing together on the Ice. A job well done. Again Congrats.

I’ve been waiting for these results to appear. I had emailed Tom at the email address provided and had not received a response. I had fished the Big 25 in the ‘50s era and was hoping to have a chance to give it a try again some 50 years later. I realize that Tom must have been overwhelmed with entrant inquiries and couldn’t cover everyones request to fish. I commend the Big 25 Club for offering the general public a chance to fish their waters and I will definately apply for the oppourtunity again next year if it is offered.

Fish On everyone—-The season is nearing the End.

Loner.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 02/18 at 02:20 PM

Congratulations to Reed and Marinda. We finished 6th with 12.2 pounds. We caught about 40 gills but all were within the first hour and a half. We fished the main lake and did not have any electronics. Just drilled some holes and got lucky, A little dissapointed that we did not catch any crappie. Most of the guys around us who were using electronics were marking fish just could not entice them to bite. We had a fun time and met alot of good guys.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 02/18 at 05:16 PM

congratulations Reed wax worm Cooling and Melinda   could you please return bluegill decoys?

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 02/19 at 05:12 PM

The Triple Crown was a blast! We would also like to thank Lake Camelot, Wildlife Prairie and the Big 25 Club. You all did a great job organizing these tournaments and they were all unique. It was good to see such a strong showing of ice fishers in Central Illinois ( take note retailers we like to ice fish here). Some of the pro’s up north call the folks that fish the south end of the ice belt ice fishing hillbillys. If that’s the case then we were in hillbilly heaven the last few weeks!

Loner, You should definately try the Big 25 Club next year. The lakes they shared with us are very nice. I know you could do well with your ice fishing skills. My wife is still telling stories of how she out fished me.

Bob, we didn’t use the bluegill decoys we used the 6” wax worm decoys instead. I’ll give you a call.

If you guys fish last ice remember to bring your safety equipment and don’t fish alone. We want to fish with you all again next year.

Reed & Melinda

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 02/20 at 07:36 AM

Probably one of the worst days of fishing I had, couldn’t get em to bite but hopefully next year they have more than 3 tournaments because this years tournaments were awesome!!

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 02/21 at 04:53 PM

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