From ice to open water

March 06, 2010 at 05:59 AM

A few brave souls are still ice fishing in central Illinois. But not for long.

Deep strip mine lakes had open water Thursday. Standing water covered the ice of many others. And edges are nasty enough to require a board to get onto remaining ice.

Despite all that, there are reports of good catches. That includes a 6-pound largemouth bass hauled to Presley’s Outdoors on Wednesday.

Of more interest to some is the open water. The Pike Hole is open on the south end of Spring Lake and Jason Grider of Riverside Bait reports anglers catching “tons of crappie and some nice ones.”

Powerton Lake has yielded a few big smallmouth bass and several blue catfish ranging from 8 to 40 pounds.

Farther afield, guide Todd Gessner reported some excellent crappie fishing on Sangchris Lake.

Up north, Dale Bowman of the Chicago Sun-Times writes:

This weekend is probably the transitional one, especially on southern lakes and ponds where there may be some ice-out fishing from northern shorelines. West and north, safe ice should hold into at least next week.

Click here for the rest of Bowman’s report.