A Great Day Crappie Fishing Ten Mile Creek Illinois

Ten Mile Creek Illinois Fishing For Crappie

A Perfect Morning To Fish The Ten Mile Creek Strip Cuts.

Back in the late 80’s the state purchased nearly six thousand acres of land that had been strip mined.  All across Southern Illinois these areas exist but either due to fishing pressure or private land owners taking over only a handful provide great fishing opportunities. 

Just a few miles southwest of Belle Rive sits a handful of strip cuts ranging in size from a couple of acres to over hundred acres. The smaller ones you must walk to but they tend to contain the most aggressive fish and sometimes very large bluegill.  As far as the larger ones go a couple contain really nice concrete boat ramps with boat docks, while others have gravel boat ramps that show little signs of wear and tear.

Planning A Day Fishing Ten Mile Creek.

As typical with me I woke up at 4:00AM to do my exercise routine.  Afterwards I finished a cup of coffee, poured a thermos full of the remaining drink and headed off into a slow lighting of the sky.  Clouds were thick and sprinkles were in the forecast, perfect for fishing clear strip cuts!  

The 40 minute drive goes by quickly.  Old backroads, Amish communities, and abundant farm land will keep your eyes wondering around.  The excitement of fishing a strip cut is hard to beat as well.  If you want to teach a child to fish, or you’re in the beginning stages of becoming an angler this is where I recommend you start.

Launching My Kayak At My First Strip Cut

Ten Mile Creek Boat Ramp
Ten Mile Creek Boat Ramp

My favorite cut had always been the largest that has a really nice boat ramp located right in the middle which I had considered fishing, but instead opted for the first cut I pulled up to.  Since I’d never fished it before and had no idea of the depths I knew I would have to work my way around quickly so my trolling strategy was what I opted for.

After pushing off I used a typical rig consisting of two Shelton’s Lures Curly Tails (one in lime, one in minnow flash) on my left pole in 1/16oz.  On my right pole I used a 1/8oz hand tied jig.  I casted out my left pole about 60 feet in front of me with my right pole around 30 feet and began back peddling.  Staying about 40 feet off the bank I cut back into the main cove to see if Crappie were hanging back there chasing shad that could be seen busting the surface.

The Crappie Action Was Quick And Vicious

It did not take long at all before my right pole bent over.  Upon hook set the largest crappie of the day came in with little resistance.  The size of the fish in a strip cut is predicated upon available food and predators.  These cuts don’t get fished nearly enough so I had planned on keeping every fish I pulled in as to help the lake make room for bigger fish.

Ten Mile Creek Illinois Crappie Caught While Fishing
Ten Mile Creek Illinois Crappie Caught While Fishing

The crappie bit so well that I would no more take a fish off of one pole and cast it back out that my other pole would be bent over for the first half hour.  After making a couple of laps it was getting obvious that the fish were getting a little timid.  I was still getting bit but the hook up ratio had fallen off.  After the first hour the Curly Tails really started to shine and outpaced the hand tied jig for the rest of the day.  Minnow Flash (pictured above) was without a doubt the color of choice as about 75% of my fish came from the top jig.  Given the clear water it was no surprise to me to see such a natural presentation work so well.

Moving To Another Strip Cut

There’s no doubt that if I had stuck it out I could’ve caught over a hundred Crappie but I wanted to do some more exploring and fish cuts I’d never been to.  After loading up the kayak I moved onto another cut driving up a rather rough road coming to a more open style lake with a gravel boat ramp.  Hopes were high after launching but I soon discovered the lake was plagued with grass sitting just under the surface.  Having no issues at all with grass, I was not well prepared with bobbers to deal with it so one lap is all I could make.  For the efforts one small Black Crappie was caught.

Another Great Day Of Fishing Ten Mile Creek In The Books

It had been a beautiful morning with nothing more than a light mist coming down and calm winds.  Plenty of fish hung off the side of the kayak which would soon be cleaned to make a great meal.  The coffee had been exhausted and I was getting a little hungry so it was time to head to the house.

When visiting Ten Mile Creek to fish, prepare for a little walking.  Bring a small tackle box an a roll of line.  A machete is a good idea as well as most smaller ponds are lined with thick cane.  This is actually a great thing because if you take the time to cut it down there’s a good chance you’re the first one to fish it in months upping your chances of catching low pressured fish.  If you’re looking for the baits used today look no further than Blackout Bait and Tackle in Crossville Illinois as well as Rend Lake Sporting Goods!

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