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Illinois hunting and fishing

Monster crappie out of Kinkaid Lake

March 24, 2010 at 10:26 PM

Anglers at Kinkaid Lake are buzzing about two near-record fish caught already this spring at the southern Illinois lake.

The latest is a monster crappie caught by Mike Zimmer of Waterloo (pictured abvove). Zimmer caught his 4-pound, 5-ounce crappie out of Kinkaid on a chilly March 15. The fish, believed to be a white crappie, is just two ounces short of the state record.

The Illinois record white crappie weighed 4 pounds, 7 ounces and was caught by Kevin Dennis in a private pond in Morgan County on April 8, 1973.

“It was unbelievable,” Zimmer told Rod Kloeckner of the Belleville News-Democrat. “It’s probably like catching an 8- or 9-pound bass or a 70-pound flathead (catfish). Crappie fisherman know just how big something like this is.”

Zimmer said he was using a 12-foot crappie pole, a slip bobber and a Grizzly jig tipped with a minnow near some flooded trees in 2-10 feet of water.

The fish was 19 inches long and had a 16-inch girth and was one of 25 Zimmer caught that day. Kloeckner reported that Zimmer also had a 3-pounder and one that weighed 3 pounds, 8 ounces. Click here to read the rest of the Belleville story.

Illinois hunting and fishing

“It was huge, I’ll tell you that. I about fell over when I saw it,” said John Wanless of Frank’s Real Bait Shop in Gorham. “They weighed it at home and then what I heard they took it to (Bass Pro Shops) in St. Charles and had it weighed there, too.”

This is not the first big crappie out of Kinkaid. Wanless said Ron Kumke of Chester caught a 3-5 slab last year on March 10 and this year had fish of 3 pounds on March 10 and then a 3-8 slab on March 11.

“There’s numerous 3-pound plus fish coming out of Kinkaid,” Wanless said. “And most of them are coming from the upper end of the lake. But it’s muddy up there sometimes, so I don’t know how far up they are going.”

Illinois hunting and fishing

The Illinois record black crappie weighed 4 pounds, 8 ounces and was caught by John Hampton in Rend Lake on May 15, 1976.

The record hybrid crappie was 4 pounds, 8.3 ounces and was caught by teenager Marcus Miller on May 14, 2008 out of a farm pond in Jefferson County. Click here to read his story.

Illinois Outdoors

While many observers have been waiting for Kinkaid to produce a record muskie, the lake also has a very good crappie fishery, according to long-time Kinkaid Lake guide Al Nutty, who said:

“There are three things that have made the crappie fishing that good. One is the forage base, in combination with the muskies. I think the muskies are the catalyst on the whole thing. Before the muskies came along those gizzard shad got 8-12 inches long, far too big for a crappie to eat. But the muskies target the larger shad and that leaves more little ones for the bass and crappie and walleye.

“The second thing, when they put a 9-inch limit, 25-fish bag on it, we started catching quality crappie two years later. Now some of my buddies who were infuriated they had put a crappie limit on the lake, they are starting to push to raise the limit to 10 inches to restrict the harvest more.

“The third thing I think is angler cooperation. Most guys abide by the limit.”

Nutty has fished Kinkaid said 1983 and has guided since 1991 and said the crappie population has been on the upswing for several years.

“I can sometimes catch more numbers in Crab Orchard or Grassy Lake, but I can’t find anything that holds a candle (to Kinkaid) as far as maximum size of the crappie,” Nutty said.

Earlier this month, guide Chad Cain caught a muskie out of Kinkaid that measured 49 7/8 inches and had a girth of 25.5 inches and weighed 37.4 pounds. While that was not enough to break the state record of 38-8, it was large enough to resurrect talk of Kinkaid being a likely lake to produce the next record.

Now those record conversations will apparently also need to focus on white crappie.

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

Awesome fish. Wish there was a better picture.

Posted by illin on 03/25 at 08:28 AM

Wow, dang nice fish! good eatin my friend. just a quick question. you think there is anyway you could extend your arms out anymore? LOL! dont worry, thats how I hold my bucks for pics wink

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 03/25 at 09:06 AM


Your wish is our command. Better pictures were located courtesy of the Belleville News-Democrat,

Posted by Jeff Lampe on 03/25 at 10:02 AM

Holy Slabs!

Posted by HawgNSonsTV on 03/25 at 02:50 PM

Now thats what i like to see! I like to catch one like that on my fly rod.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 03/25 at 06:42 PM

Bet the lake will look like a naval exercise until the spawn is over.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 03/26 at 01:43 PM

Kinkaid is hardly a local honey hole, it is 2750 acres has camping, 4 boat ramps etc. I didn’t see any gps coordinates or maps with a X. How in the heck else do you suppose people decide where to spend vacation time and support local IL. Communities. I see nothing wrong with the report and I do appreciate the information. Some outdoors sites are about sharing some tips and information not just whining about deer hunting.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 03/27 at 08:18 AM

Awesome!! Congrats to the fortunate angler. That is one heck of a fish.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 03/27 at 09:35 PM

Poor angry little man.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 03/28 at 07:24 AM

Not crowded yesterday, or this morning.  About 20 - 30 boats at the Marina launch.  I caught 8 yesterday using red minnows and 4 this morning in about 3 hours both days.  Unfortunately, none close to a record!  Fishing is good. Everyone is talking about the record.  I caught all of mine up in Cochran bay, but I always fish there.  Lots of boats heading up toward Johnson Creek in the early hours.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 04/02 at 01:02 PM

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