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Grand Lake St. Mary's Crappie Bite

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Old 10-03-2011, 07:49 AM   #1
zaraspook
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Default Grand Lake St. Mary's Crappie Bite

Fished from shore Saturday 10/1 in the afternoon and evening in between doing chores and watching as much of the Buckeyes as I could swallow. In the first 90 minutes caught only 3 crappies and 1 bluegill, but 2 of the crappies were 10.5 and 11.25. Those fish were caught on triple tip grubs.

I figured the bite was slow so next session started to play with fishing depth and cycled thru 3 different baits and 6 different color combinations. Once locating depth and tube color, the bite was very active with both crappies and bluegills willing to play the game. By the end of the day Saturday, catch was 23 crappies, 18 bluegills, and one 10" bass. I don't tip with wax worms but many GLSM fishermen do.

GLSM has a very impressive class of crappies. 16 of the crappies were legal.....very few short fish. 11.25 was biggest, most 10.25-10.5". Bulk of fish were white crappies although just before dark I found some fast action for black crappies in the 9.5-10" range.

More than 1/2 the bluegills were keeper size, thick 7-8". When I arrived Saturday around noon my neighbor was just quitting.....in a bucket he had 13 great looking gills to clean. He said he kept 18 earlier in the week and he and a friend quit at 50 gills the prior weekend.

I fished for an hour and half Sunday morning. Bite was slower but caught 6 crappies, 4 bluegills, and another small bass. 4 of these crappies were 10+ including one 11.75. 70% of my crappies were legal......impressive and says something for the impact of the state's 9" size limit.

The real key to catching fish was depth. Fish were holding around brush/cover, but right off the bottom. They weren't aggressive and required you pretty much hit them in the nose fishing within a few inches of the bottom. Water temp was 57 degrees (earlier in the week I was at Brookville and water temp there 67 degrees......big difference).

Below is a pic of an 11.25 inch crappie caught Sunday by my nephew.
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Old 10-03-2011, 08:35 AM   #2
Lowell H Turner
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Zaraspoon, sounds like the fall bite is ON ! Well done, sir ! And AGREE whole heartedly, in coming yrs the 9" limit will more and more have a impressive effect on MANY lakes. You the MAN !
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Old 10-10-2011, 07:20 AM   #3
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Saturday 10-8 fished about 2 hours for crappies at daybreak.....bite was s l o w. Just two crappies and a single bluegill. But the crappie size is till holding up. One was 1/2 inch short and the other 10". A couple times thru the day I tried again for 15-20 minutes each time with only a gill to show for it. Just before quitting my chores to go home at 6:15pm tried again for 20 minutes. Caught 4 quick crappies with 2 a bit over 10". Went home. Watched the Buckeyes fold.......shoulda kept fishing.
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Old 10-17-2011, 07:34 AM   #4
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Pan fish bite at GLSM was very active Saturday, but not for the crappies I targeted. Fished for about 3 hours Saturday and only managed 4 crappies, two were legal. Bluegills on the other hand were much more cooperative. Caught 23, more than 1/2 were hand sized. That's a good sign for the crappies......when the big gills are in the channels, the bigger crappies are usually not far behind.

Water temp was 58 Saturday, warmer than the air when I was fishing in the morning. Cool days and cold nights this week should be a catalyst for the fall bite to shift into gear.
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Old 10-24-2011, 07:33 AM   #5
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Fished a little over two hours Saturday morning and found a better crappie bite than previous weekend. Caught 11 crappies, 6 were legal size and a few bluegills. Three hours more fishing on Sunday produced 19 crappies with 12 over the 9" minimum. For the two outings 18 of 30 fish legal size......that's a great ratio and consistent with the fall class of fish. Most are 9.5-10.5 length. Biggest one this weekend was 11.25.

It was a subtle bite........fish would take the grub and barely move, very slowly if at all. The majority of fish were taken on a triple tip grub.....color called "motor oil". When the bite slowed down on Sunday I up-sized baits after noticing the guys throwing really small baits weren't catching much. About 10 of the 19 were caught on a Southern Pro "hot grub", which is a a bit larger than the triple tips. The color I used was ugly.....I think called June bug/acid rain.
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Old 10-31-2011, 07:37 AM   #6
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Sunday 10-30 bite was better.......water temp down to 48.3. Fished on and off between noon and 5PM while cutting grass and playing the fall battle with leaves. Crappie bite was better noon to 3pm......bluegills better later in the day as the crappies seemed to slow down. Caught 25 crappies but more of a mix across the size spectrum......some were as short as 5" with 11 fish at 9" or better. Largest was 11 1/4. All fish 10" or better were very chunky black crappies.

Also caught 17 bluegills of which very few were dinks. All the gills and crappies were caught on plastics......grubs, although I switched size and colors a couple times when bite would slow. The 25th crappie took more than an hour to catch.......crappie bite really fell off as the afternoon progressed. Ran into one other angler who had 20 big gills in a bucket but only 5 crappies. He was using a smaller plastic but tipped with meat (wax worms) and said he only kept about 1/2 his bluegill catch. I don't use meat unless I'm desperate for a bite.
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Old 10-31-2011, 08:15 AM   #7
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Zaraspoon, if you keep reporting catches like that soon it`ll be "shoulder to shoulder" like the Maumee ! Again, glad to hear it`s doing that well !
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Old 11-01-2011, 07:58 AM   #8
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LHT.......Local food proprietors and bait stores would love to see some shoulder-to-shoulder action. I'm selfishly content with the present day status of only sparse competition fro crappies.

GLSM still needs another species of game fish to bring in the anglers. The bass guys know our largemouth population is more than respectable. Cat fisherman are well aware the channel cat concentration is attractive. Crappies have been steady the last few years and the 9" size limit is a positive boost in my opinion. With the good class of 10-11" crappies currently, next year we could see 13-14" fish with regularity. Saugeye could be the catalyst for GLSM if the DNR would make a sustained commitment. Battelle Institute brainiacs more than once recommended another gamefish is needed, but DNR is dragging their feet.
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Old 11-07-2011, 07:38 AM   #9
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Got to GLSM at 8:30AM Saturday morning. Air temp on my thermometer was 28 degrees. Gotta say this was one my best crappie days in recent years at Grand Lake. By 9:30 I took a break to make some sausage an eggs. Caught 13 in that first session......damage could have been more severe but lost an unusual number of lip-hooked slabs lifting them from water to bank. Fish were too heavy for those paper mouths.

Went back to fishing about 11am. I was bouncing between two spots about 75 yards apart and fishing a bit shallower than I had since September. Odd that even though cover was similar, one spot produced all black crappies, the other was mostly whites by a ratio of 3:1. Stopped at noon to watch the Buckeyes. Crappie count was up to 29 now. Fished during 1/2 time and had to shift a little deeper when the bite slowed a bit.

With the Buckeye game over it was back to serious fishing (and catching). Stayed a one spot 'til 4:30 and at one point caught 9 consecutive blacks between 9.5-10.5". Tally was now 50, a good number to quit on, so stopped to do dishes and straighten up my place before heading home. Car loaded, decided to take one more shot at it and grabbed my crappie rig for a final 20 minutes. Six more crappies before leaving. Water temp was 48.3 degrees Saturday.

Of the 56 crappies 4 were 11"+......33 were legal size and most of those right around the 10" mark. Great fun it was.....all fish caught on twister tail grubs. Each time the fishing slowed I fished a bit deeper and the bite picked up. I didn't tip the grub....no meat. Also caught 8 nice bluegills.

Great class of fish at St. Mary's.......next year could be awesome for 12"+ slabs.
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Old 11-07-2011, 04:09 PM   #10
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Gonna leave this open but leave the nonsense out or i'll have to close it. Great reports Zaraspook. Keep them coming.
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Old 11-08-2011, 11:03 AM   #11
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I humbly apologize if anyone (fish included) took "offense' to my deleted post...goes back to several jokes from some wet miserable days in the service...(I voted for Obama)
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Old 11-10-2011, 07:16 AM   #12
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Made it to GLSM for a quick two hours of crappie fishing Weds evening. Was hoping with the full moon and low pressure system barreling thru, the hot bite from last Saturday would still be on. It was 62 degrees when I arrived. 20 minutes into it and just a single timid bite gave me the answer........the bite sucked.

Caught 9 during the 2 hours but most were well short of legal. Only 2 fish were better than the 9" mark. Majority of fish were black crappies. I switched soft plastics a number of times, varied presentation, moved to other types of cover but never found a recipe.

Last Saturday water temp was 48. Incredibly, surface temp Weds was 53 in my channel. I know the nights have been warm all weekend and thru Tuesday, but a +5 rise in water temp is hard to believe. Hope water temp is back down to upper 40's this weekend. When I departed for home the air temp had fallen from 62 earlier to a nippy 46.
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Old 11-13-2011, 08:11 PM   #13
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Sunday 13th fished GLSM from 9AM to Noon. With water temps back into the upper 40's, the crappie bite was back on track. Caught 35 crappies and 7 gills. 17 of those crappies came in the first hour but only 4 of those legal size. I upsized baits and the pace dropped off but size improved substantially. Of the last 18 crappies 9 were legal and most fish in the 10-11" class. For the day, 3/4 of the keepers were black crappies.

My neighbor reported crappies were on fire Friday and Saturday...............said he caught 150+ crappies and more than 40 keeper bluegills and appreciated my tip last week to fish deeper than normal for GLSM.

Using my thermal probe, water temp Sunday was 47.3 after climbing to 53 on Weds. Key at GLSM for bank fishing now is jigging on or just off the bottom, usually in water only 3-5 ft (that's most of the lake). Majority of fish are pretty tight to submerged brush/logs/wood at those depths. The bite is subtle and fish don't move fast or far with the bait. I like to see night time lows remaining in the 30-40's to keep water temp in 40's. Also noticed a minor improvement in water clarity. Lake still has plenty of chlorophyll matter in it, but thinning somewhat. Lots of good crappie fishing yet to come!
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Old 11-13-2011, 10:48 PM   #14
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For a 'less than ideal day" (winds a-blowing) you did VERY well sir ! What sizr jigs and how rigged?
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Old 11-14-2011, 07:37 AM   #15
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Used a twister tail grub called a Triple Tip by Southern Pro on a 1/16 oz red grub style jig head. It was a color called "motor oil". When I up-sized the bait I stayed with same jig head, but used bait by Southern Pro called a Hot Grub. It's thicker and longer than Triple Tip. Body is 1/2 white, other half yellow, and twister tail is purple fleck. Official color is called Acid rain/Junebug and it is butt ugly to me. Crappies don't care about my opinion....they like to eat it.

Though many tip the bait with wax worms, I don't. Can't keep the bluegills away.
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Old 11-14-2011, 11:03 AM   #16
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Zaraspook, as they say, "beauty" is in the eye of the biter...again, well done, again !
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Old 11-21-2011, 07:41 AM   #17
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GLSM crappie bite continues solid. Saturday 19th fished from 10:30-1:30PM. Pulled in 29 crappies of which 9 were legal. Most of keepers were black crappies 9.5-10.5 inches with largest 11.75 (a white crappie).

Again, bigger baits were more productive than smaller ones and color was a factor. My neighbor was fishing 20' from me in the same kind of cover, but using a very small stinger type plastic only an inch in length. He tipped with wax worms. During the 1.5 hours we fished together, he caught 4 crappies (one keeper) and 10-11 bluegills. I caught 16 crappies, one jumbo gill, using a Hot Grub which I think are 2.5-3 inches in length. When my June Bug/Acid Rain color grub got beat up, switched to same bait but different color. It produced one bite and no fish in 30 minutes. Switched back to the June Bug/Acid Rain and bite was once again lively.

Water temp is 46.5.......down a couple degrees from prior weekend. Water clarity is improving, maybe 10-12" which is clarity we haven't seen since early May. As stated before, we have a great class of 9.5-10.5" crappies. Good chances next year will produce solid numbers of 11-13" slabs. Crappie tournaments at GLSM next spring may take a big bag to win..
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Old 11-21-2011, 07:16 PM   #18
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Zaraspook, I would guess the ice fishing might be pretty GOOD; keep those GREAT reports coming, sir...
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Old 11-27-2011, 08:52 PM   #19
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Got in a 90 minute crappie session late afternoon on Weds before Thanksgiving. Changed baits 3 times and finally got it going. Caught 13, only 3 keepers but they were each 11"+. That ugly June Bug/Acid Rain "hot grub" is still the best ticket. More than 1/2 the fish and all the biguns fell to it. Water was 46.5 but very stained to downright muddy. I'm wondering how much longer the bite will last from shore. Guess I'll find out.
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Old 11-29-2011, 12:38 AM   #20
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Time will tell sir. But as soon as ice up occurs, would expect to find them deeper.
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