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Discussion Starter · #5,523 ·
At GLSM Tues from 11:30am until 4pm with a couple of errands to handle. Got in a late morning session of an hour, then a late afternoon one.

From bank fished only 1 spot in the AM catching 9 crappie. 1 keeper but can say the short ones are getting less short. Majority of fish were 15-20' off the bank on submerged cover. Water depth there 4-5' and you had to be down within a foot of the bottom to entice a hit. Water temp was a chilly 36.7 degrees. No wonder channels are regularly seeing skim ice in the morning. 3-4 hours of sun required to clear the ice.

Afternoon session hit 3 spots, the first of which consists of a submerged Christmas tree, some blue spruce limbs, and a few miscellaneous sunken wood piles. All the cover is within 6' of bank/seawall. Caught 4 at that spot, 1 keeper.

Next spot has similar submerged cover, but less of it. Cover is all within 5' of seawall. Found 9 crappie there, decent ones, none keepers, then noticed it was time to head home. Walking toward my lakehouse I passed a backend of a channel. It's a favorite spot for winter/spring schooled crappie but not been productive yet this fall. Maybe time for a few casts out into the middle to test it? 2nd cast with plastic 2' down under bobber the float disappears. A fat crappie, just short though. In 20 minutes I made maybe 20 casts, caught a crappie every other cast. Definitely sitting on a school but couldn't hang around to see how long it would last. 2 keepers there from the 10 caught there. 23 caught during the afternoon event, 3 keepers. 32 total Tues, 5 keepers. That last backend spot will provide lots of action until ice takes over. Hope I can get back soon.

Plastics were shad bodies, Monkey Milk or a color called Glacier. However, when you hit a school of shallow fish chasing shad, they will hit nearly anything that swims. Great action when you can find it.
 

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Water temp was a chilly 36.7 degrees.
I am just amazed by just how cold your water temps are already. I was out yesterday and down here the main lake temps are still in the low 50's and the backs of the bays & creeks is mid-upper 40's. Most years we won't see those temps until after Christmas. I'm sure the depth of these lakes down here makes a huge difference in the temp difference.
It's good to see you're still catching. I really don't know why but this is the time of the year I switch to tubes. Shad bodies still work just fine but I prefer the tube body profile.
Nice report by the way.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5,525 ·
I am just amazed by just how cold your water temps are already. I was out yesterday and down here the main lake temps are still in the low 50's and the backs of the bays & creeks is mid-upper 40's. Most years we won't see those temps until after Christmas. I'm sure the depth of these lakes down here makes a huge difference in the temp difference.
It's good to see you're still catching. I really don't know why but this is the time of the year I switch to tubes. Shad bodies still work just fine but I prefer the tube body profile.
Nice report by the way.
C-dude......easy to make a case for tubes this time of year. One of my fishing friends at GLSM, a longtime tournament trail veteran I highly respect, switches to tubes when water temps get to these levels (37-38 degrees Tues-Thurs this week). The bite has slowed dramatically. Fish aren't moving even when you get a bite. They move away at a snail's pace. Reaction bites almost disappear....chasing baits not in the fish's arsenal. Dying shad flutter slowly in the water column and don't require predators expend much energy to get a meal. Presentation of a bait is slow, slower, and slowest. Under these conditions those multi-filament tails of tubes, twitching/fluttering even at standstill, closing the deal saying "eat me". That same veteran crappie master I previously mentioned is pushing the tube theory farther. This week he switched to a squid tail, even more tentacles to flutter. No final verdict yet, but he's having a good week.

Tues I caught 30 and saw no evidence that GLSM's small fish syndrome is improving. Just 2 keepers from the 30 and both barely legal. Crappie were out farther from bank, 15-20' on submerged cover, rather than 6-10' out. Weds I fished just 2.5 hours catching 17, getting 4 keepers. Thurs was a late afternoon session only. Weird that my bank fishing spots were occupied by fishermen nearly all day. I caught 6, 1 keeper, before heading home in Indiana.

In general I feel fishing cover well off the bank is more productive than the same near bank/seawalls. You'll catch some close in, but we found those to be really dinks. Shallow lakes most guys fish 18" under bobber most of time. Fish how you feel comfortable, but in cold water spend some time fishing closer to bottom. If they are down there, more likely they will move 6" to bite than move 3-4' to take a look.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5,526 ·
Chores to handle at my lake place so ventured there mid-morning Sunday. My routine is complete a chore then get a reward....fish for a while. Got in close to 3 hours fishing for the day. 10 crappie in first session then 16 in afternoon session. Few keepers, just 2 but catching crappie in Dec is reward enough. Plus, a bonus Sunday, a fatty girl, 10.5" yellow perch! Definitely looked overstuffed.

Hung around overnight to fish Monday in 20-30 mph wind and 34 degree temps....that gets your attention! First spot for an hour, more punishment, not a single bite. Took a break, fed my face, warmed and finished my 1st cup of coffee and tried another location. 6 crappie in an hour removed the skunk. Back to the house to thaw, an hour in that wind is all I can handle. Some soup to warm the belly and back out for a final time. A different spot and a little better bite. I lasted 90 minutes, coaxing 10 more crappie to shore. By the way, water temp today 39.2 degrees, actually higher than last report. I believe my channel my channel will be mostly iced over by Weds, Thurs at the latest.

If you get to fish, fish slow and small baits. The bobber will barely dimple the water for most bites and don't be surprised if horizontal movement is nearly non-existent. They aren't in a hurry, have to be patient. I'm fishing from seawalls and caught most 15' out just beyond submerged cover, 2.5-3.5' under bobber. Key Lime color better today, Monkey Milk the winner day #1(including the 10.5" perch).
 

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Discussion Starter · #5,528 ·
nice work zara! i always like to hear about the perch.
RMK....didn't have a bucket or my phone when I caught the perch. Put the perch on the ground and wanted to get right back in the hole where perch was, trying to get its brothers and sisters. That plan didn't work out...just more short crappie. Felt like I either had to get a bucket or put the perch back into water. Back into the drink it went and I realized not even a photo.

My adrenalin gets going each time I get a perch. Hoping you're on a school of them, but it never happens. Instead I catch more crappie, not perch. Shows I don't know how to specifically attract perch. I can catch a rogue one a few times a year but only once caught 2 the same day. Frustrating when you know should be others there, but can't prove it. I've probably caught 8 perch at this exact spot or within 15 yards away.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5,529 ·
Friend and I fished GLSM Friday late in advance of high wind/storms and Saturday morning till mid afternoon. In 2 hours Friday before dark I caught 22 with a pair of keepers, buddy caught 9. The closer it got to dark, the better the bite was. My crappie were generally 15-20' off the bank near submerged cover. Wind was strong before the bad weather came thru, but not nearly as tough as we fished in Saturday. Saturday we caught 65 crappie, but 49 were taken by my fishing bud. He was sitting on a pile of crappie stacked up right at the bank in 2' of water at a channel back end. He got 37 of his 49 from a 10' section of the bank. Wind was wailing 30-40 mph and he had limited control of rod/line/bobber but to his credit made it work. 6 keepers between us Saturday.

Water temp was 37.7 degrees. Clarity good and a ton of surface leaves where my friend was trying to fish. December can by wild for those crazies who fish it. Hopefully we aren't done yet for 2021.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5,530 ·
Tues 3-5pm at GLSM for a little December open water fishing. Caught 2 crappie quickly at first spot for an optimistic start. Spent the rest of the hour catching nothing but gills. Entertaining but not my target and finally got the message.....time to move. Tried 2 brief spots that were empty before reaching next destination on the agenda. It's a shallow back end of a channel with mostly 2-3' of water that attracts piles of shad.. I worked along a 40' section of gravel and small rock bank. Picked up 1 here, 1 there at a pace that accelerated as light faded. Pulled 13 crappie by dark, 3 keepers, and a the star of the day, a 10" perch. All fish caught on small plastic shad bodies, Itty Bits, in Monkey Milk or similar colors and in 2-3 fow.
Perch in the attached photo. Late day, last hour or 2 before dark, has been a good time to be fishing.
Fish Wood Plant Fin Salmon-like fish
 

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Discussion Starter · #5,531 ·
Weds this week a banner day for catching crappie. Bank fished just one spot but hit it 3 times during the day. Caught 67 crappie, 12 keepers. Casting left, right, or center from my bank position, I caught crappie. Some kind of fun when you get into a school like that and an aggressive bite.

On Thurs it only made sense to return to the same hotspot. School was still there, bite a little less aggressive. Caught 49 with 8 keepers. On this day, however, an added bonus came my way. Whenever I catch perch, it's one and done. Once I'd caught 2 in the same day, but pulled the pair from different channels. Thurs I pulled a pair from the same spot, same channel and they were mixed right in with the crappie school. Have to admit it sidetracked me for awhile. Tried to turn a hat trick, get a 3rd perch for too long. Photos of the 2 perch, 9.5" and 10.5" attached. Nice icing on the cake.
Plant Fish Grass Fishing rod Grass family
Fish hook Fish Bait Fishing lure Jigging
 

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Discussion Starter · #5,532 ·
After a good run since Tues, had hoped the crappie would hang around for 1 more day. Wasn't in the cards! Eventually caught 7 Fri but it wasn't easy. The few bites I got they just wouldn't eat it. Good thing you don't have to catch a pile to have fun! Caught 138 crappie and the 3 bonus perch during my 2 partial days and 2 full days at the lake. 😁
 

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Caught 138 crappie and the 3 bonus perch during my 2 partial days and 2 full days at the lake. 😁
Very impressive numbers. It's crazy how they can move so much.
Friend of mine fished Mon & Tues last week and he did very good, I went out Wed and fished the same rigs in the same locations and we struggled to even get a hit. After 4 very small fish I gave up on those spots and headed to some new places on the other end of the lake. We caught 20 in the next hour.
Great seeing your posts.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5,534 · (Edited)
Quick trip up and back today. 2.5 hours fishing, 1/2 hour lunch, and headed home. Water temp 37.2 degrees which is relatively steady.

Started at last week's hotpot. Last week final fishing day it wasn't good. Hoping fish were around and hungry. Nothing home, no bites in 1/2 hour. 3 of the four next spots each produced fish, as many as 11 crappie from the most productive. At my last spot I'd caught 3-4 short crappie, then the bite stopped. I was fishing submerged wood and an aging Christmas tree in 3-3.5' of water. Decided I go deeper, fish 3' down at the bottom of the cover, swimming the bait along slowly with frequent stops, raising and lowering the bait as I brushed against limbs. Felt a twitch pickup by a fish, it moved off a few feet. Confident the fish had the bait, I set the hook and felt more weight from a good, solid fish. Only 4-5' from my feet I lifted the 12" yellow perch ashore. It was a lady, definitely packing eggs. Interesting that my first perch of the fall was at this same spot, also a fat female, and about an inch shorter than this one. Not catching big crappie this fall/winter, 22 crappie today with 1 keeper, but this is my 5th solid perch keeper this month and 4th in the last 5 days I fished. Maybe I should back off the crappie and focus on the piggy perch? Sorry for the less than perfect photo. In bright sun/glare thought I had the entire fish in the photo. At least you get a sense of the girth of the perch.

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Quick trip up and back today. 2.5 hours fishing, 1/2 hour lunch, and headed home. Water temp 37.2 degrees which is relatively steady.

Started at last week's hotpot. Last week final fishing day it wasn't good. Hoping fish were around and hungry. Nothing home, no bites in 1/2 hour. 3 of the four next spots each produced fish, as many as 11 crappie from the most productive. At my last spot I'd caught 3-4 short crappie, then the bite stopped. I was fishing submerged wood and an aging Christmas tree in 3-3.5' of water. Decided I go deeper, fish 3' down at the bottom of the cover, swimming the bait along slowly with frequent stops, raising and lowering the bait as I brushed against limbs. Felt a twitch pickup by a fish, it moved off a few feet. Confident the fish had the bait, I set the hook and felt more weight from a good, solid fish. Only 4-5' from my feet I lifted the 12" yellow perch ashore. It was a lady, definitely packing eggs. Interesting that my first perch of the fall was at this same spot, also a fat female, and about an inch shorter than this one. Not catching big crappie this fall/winter, 22 crappie today with 1 keeper, but this is my 5th solid perch keeper this month and 4th in the last 5 days I fished. Maybe I should back off the crappie and focus on the piggy perch? Sorry for the less than perfect photo. In bright sun/glare thought I had the entire fish in the photo. At least you get a sense of the girth of the perch.

View attachment 480454
I know your probably not into playing the live bait game. But if you really want to go down the perch rabbit hole. Some live minnows fished just off the bottom would probably give you a good idea of how many perch you’ve got hanging around.

Thin wire gold #4 hook with a bb split about 6” above to keep the little minnow in the zone is money for perch in numbers around my area. When it’s frozen we use Minnowheads on Swedish pimples or spoons.

Maggots and a pinmin with a little flash works well too. But you’ll have to contend with dink gills with that route.


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Discussion Starter · #5,538 ·
Unless you are a GLSM perch expert, if there is such a person, here's how I'd recommend going about running into a GLSM perch. Perch are clearly in channels now. All of the 5 I've caught this month were hooked from the bank, no further off shore than 5', more like 3'. All have been mixed in with crappie, in crappie kind of cover, or off gravel/rocky bank areas. Fish crappie cover, brush, limbs just as you would for crappie. You'll pull a few crappie out, then adjust bobber depth to get your bait to the bottom or within inches. Slowly swim the bait to feel all twigs, limbs. Back away over the snags you sense, and lower bait back down. The perch have come from below. Work gravel banks as close as 2' from waters edge and keep bait close to bottom. On seawalls, particularly around brush/cover, work within 1-3' of the seawall, but get your jig down near the bottom.

No way do I suggest live bait won't be effective, or not to tip a jig with meat. I fish with small plastics like Itty Bits, occasionally 1.25" Gulp minnows. They are effective. I catch a few perch and acknowledge meat could catch more. If you want to locate a few perch, my method will work. They are more accessible now than ever, and should be through March when open water exists. Monkey Milk color is proven at GLSM, but I'm confident other colors are likely effective. Don't shy away from water as shallow as 18". If you try, give feedback and post photos, please.
 
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