Mike Zimmer of Waterloo caught this 4-pound, 5-ounce crappie out of Kinkaid Lake on a chilly March 15. The fish, believed to be a white crappie, is just two ounces short of the state record.
The Illinois record white crappie weighed 4 pounds, 7 ounces and was caught by Kevin Dennis in a private pond in Morgan County on April 8, 1973.
“It was unbelievable,” Zimmer told Rod Kloeckner of the Belleville News-Democrat. “It’s probably like catching an 8- or 9-pound bass or a 70-pound flathead (catfish). Crappie fisherman know just how big something like this is.”
Zimmer said he was using a 12-foot crappie pole, a slip bobber and a Grizzly jig tipped with a minnow near some flooded trees in 2-10 feet of water.
The fish was 19 inches long and had a 16-inch girth and was one of 25 Zimmer caught that day. Kloeckner reported that Zimmer also had a 3-pounder and one that weighed 3 pounds, 8 ounces.
“It was huge, I’ll tell you that. I about fell over when I saw it,” said John Wanless of Frank’s Real Bait Shop in Gorham. “They weighed it at home and then what I heard they took it to (Bass Pro Shops) in St. Charles and had it weighed there, too.”
This is not the first big crappie out of Kinkaid. Wanless said Ron Kumke of Chester caught a 3-5 slab last year on March 10 and this year had fish of 3 pounds on March 10 and then a 3-8 slab on March 11.
“There’s numerous 3-pound plus fish coming out of Kinkaid,” Wanless said. “And most of them are coming from the upper end of the lake. But it’s muddy up there sometimes, so I don’t know how far up they are going.”
The Illinois record black crappie weighed 4 pounds, 8 ounces and was caught by John Hampton in Rend Lake on May 15, 1976.
The record hybrid crappie was 4 pounds, 8.3 ounces and was caught by teenager Marcus Miller on May 14, 2008 out of a farm pond in Jefferson County.