Indiana > Ice Fishing Indiana

Wawasee Channels? How soon Crappie?


When and if are we going to have ice in the next month on the channels? I have a
short shut-down from work over Christmas. I would like to be on the ice if at all possible.
Later Greg

The Chinese Garden channel area is the first to freeze over, it only take a few days of below freezing weather to get a few inches of ice on there, because most of the channel is relatively shallow.  Only drawback is that I myself haven't ever really caught anything of great size out of there, average to small gills, a few average crappie, and did have a breakoff two years ago, probably was a green carp.  But when I can't take it anymore I go there just so I am getting out.  I would say definately within the next 2 weeks.  The North Channel freezes up usually at least three days later.  The North Channel is deeper, but the main factor is the wind, the wind blows right into the mouth of the channel and will just break up any ice that has formed or is forming, so if the wind is dead or to a minimum there will be no problem.  I am sure everybody knows about the monster crappie that can come out of the North Channel in big numbers, I have seen people catch damn near a limit if not a limit of 14 inch plus crappie.  The key is following the schools as they cruise back and forth through the channel, they are usually only a couple feet below the ice and you can see them.  Minnows usually won't do the trick, you might pick up a couple, but the key is an ice fly. 

Last winter after work I had an itching to go ice fishing, so I got off at midnight, and was on the ice around 1 am.  When I got there to light my lantern, one of my mantles was broken, so I had one working mantle and the other side was basically a flame thrower.  I caught about a dozen crappie in about an hour and a half of just fishing minnows under a small float.  I started to get tired, and the lantern was starting to scare me, so I packed up and left with enough fish for a couple meals. 

I am ready for the ice.


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