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silverside
02-01-2017, 07:21 PM
I have been signed up for a small, local, crappie tournament with friends. Here is the problem: it is in mid-MARCH in central ILLINOIS :scratchhead. I've never fished for crappie in Illinois until early May. Never been to this place before but it is an old stone quarry with most water less than 15-20 fow. How would you experts do it :help

Crestliner08
02-01-2017, 07:29 PM
Are you talking ice fishing or open water? The individual forums below (state by state) should be of help. Being from MA, I can't give you anything relevant to your state.

Kevin22
02-01-2017, 07:47 PM
I'm not too far away from ya. Hope I can help a little. You will be well into open water, probably pushing prespawn even. Bigger fish are going to be feeding heavily to finish making those egg sacks, so finding the baitfish is going to be key. Quarry means hard bottom, warmer water faster. Most likely they are going to be in the shallower bays where the sun can hit the bottom and warm the water. Quarry also usually means clear water, as they are spring fed from when they abandoned the quarry due to running out of product or hitting too many springs. I assume minnows are allowed??? Small bronze hook in the minnow, with a split shot a foot above it, to a small bobber... your standard crappie rig. Probably have to use thin clear fluorocarbon line and downsize your split shot to a B or BB and bobber to a 3/8 pencil if it is like the quarry's here.

Hard to guess water temps for that time of year, but being it is PROBABLY spring fed.. I would guess you would be looking at mid 50's water temp at least.

silverside
02-01-2017, 09:04 PM
Crestliner: open water

Kevin22: Minnows would be great (and allowed) but I would have to drive 50 miles to get some. My area just doesn't carry minnows anymore. I like the water depth/temp prediction. Other quarries that I fish are about the same.

After my oh no not March tantrum, my first thought was this. Use my drop shot rod with 4-6 lb line and GULP fish fry in orange or chartreuse. Other rod would be my ultra-lite with a 1" twister tail grub. But that is just my instinct kicking in... whether right or wrong. It's only 4 hrs long. I guess 2 fish in march might be the winner :biggrin

Thank you both.

Kevin22
02-01-2017, 09:26 PM
Heck march is some of the best crappie fishing there is! Water is usually still clear from winter, and being a quarry like I already said.. Use natural colored baits, gulp in smelt, black shad, watermelon pearl. Even drop shotting with a small larvae imitation using your electronics if you can get on top of them without them spooking.

I've had some very good days using a gulp 1" minnow in natural colors on a 1/32 jig head under a small clip on or slip float.