Crappie Fishing Christopher IL Reservoir

Christopher Illinois Reservoir

Catching Crappie From A Kayak On Christopher IL Reservoir.

Back in July I was talking to a local resident in Christopher Illinois bragging about the trip I had made over in neighboring Buckner, and the size Bluegill I caught.  I received a quick reply “Why haven’t you tried the Crappie on Christopher Reservoir?”  To be honest I had no idea that the town used to have a reservoir but it does make since that a mining town would need a stable water supply.  After confirming on google maps of its location I knew I would put it in my late summer or fall calendar.

September 17th just after noon I would load up my kayak and head that way.  Driving the backroads the first song to come on was “You know me better than that” by King George.  Funny how the older you get the more relatable songs are isn’t it?  It only took me about 15 minutes before I entered the city limits.  A friend of mine and former co worker happened to be the acting Postmaster at the time so I stopped in and said hi and talked for a few minutes before driving the last four minutes just to the northwest of town and up to the shoreline.  

A handful of lakes make you excited as soon as you pull up because you can see their potential and this was one of them!  Trees aligned all the way down the bank as far as I could see stretching out several feet at a slant indicating the potential for some crappie hiding spots!

Launching My Kayak And Quick Action To Start

I launched away smoothly and came up upon some laydowns but found them to be in less that two feet of water.  While this can always hold fish, I was still in the hot part of the day and wanted to keep the odds in my favor.  I used my favorite summer technique which is basically bicycling for them.  I launched a 1/8oz hand tied jig head out and saddled it into my rod holder and then began tying my 1/16oz Shelton’s Curly Tail on the bottom and put another hair jig above.  Before I could cast out the latter my right pole bent down viciously.  As I went for the hook set I came up with nothing and quickly cast back in.  Not ten seconds later I would get another hit this time landing a really nice white crappie! 

Catching Crappie Christopher IL. Reservoir
Catching Crappie Christopher IL. Reservoir

I headed east toward the dam where I knew the deep water would be in hopes of finding a school or two.  Fishing between eight and twelve feet deep I had to make my way almost three quarters across the dam before I got into back to back black crappie catches. 

Typical to Illinois shallow dirty water when you have both Black Crappie and White Crappie, your Black Crappie will usually be smaller and in deeper water, while the opposite is true of the White Crappie.  You will find them hanging on laydowns in the shallower waters usually between three and six feet. 

Once I got back into the shallower stuff I caught two more nice White Crappie off of twin points which sat just off of a shallow flat.  Once again this is a pretty typical set up.  The fish will hold off of the drops waiting for low light conditions in the evening to go up and feed.

The Jigs That Brought Home The Bacon.

While the homemade hair jigs were no doubt responsible for my two biggest fish, I caught way more with the Shelton’s Curly Tail in Minnow Flash and Lime.  Minnow Flash represents a mirror image of a minnow and Lime works in almost any condition.  Each were in the 1/16oz creating nice lift up off the bottom and avoiding hang ups.  A local sporting goods store Hoods Guns and More located less that five minutes from the lake carries a very nice selection of the baits.

Circling the lake four or five times I was able to establish a pretty consistent pattern. I knew when I would get more bites from the Black Crappie and then how far to stay off the bank for the Whites.  I did get some other action for a couple of Bass, a Bullhead Catfish, and a huge Soft Shell Turtle!

Christopher Reservoir Was An Excellent Experience!

I came in with high expectations and I wasn’t disappointed!  While I never caught any Crappie over ten inches, I had plenty of fish to go home and fillet for a nice meal with my Fiancé and our dogs.  I will release a YouTube video later this fall when fishing slows down a little bit but until then I will be hitting more hidden gems in Southern Illinois.  

Catching Crappie Christopher IL. Reservoir
Catching Crappie Christopher IL. Reservoir

A few notes here, Christopher Reservoir does not allow gas power motors at the time of this writing.  I highly recommend using a kayak.  It is not a big lake at all and you can cover it in no time.  The access ramp needs a little work due to wash out but it’s still accessible.  Please check regulations before fishing in order to comply with the law. 

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