Illinois fishing report 5-27-10
More fishing information
Give us our choice of anywhere to fish in Illinois right now and we’d pick…
• Bluegill in farm ponds, strip-mine lakes, Kinkaid Lake and many other smaller lakes and ponds.
• Channel catfish at Clinton Lake, the Illinois River, the Mississippi River, Kankakee River, Rock River, Spring Lake in Tazewell County, Charleston Side Channel and Sangchris Lake.
• Crappie at Lake Glenn Shoals, Crab Orchardf Lake and Rend Lake.
• White bass at Lake Springfield.
• Bass at Lake Mattoon and the Emiquon Preserve.
• Zander Martin of Pekin caught a 57-pound blue catfish at Powerton Lake last Friday.
• William Winchell of Chillicothe caught a 28-inch walleye with a 15.75-inch girth at Snakeden Hollow’s McMaster Lake on May 18. The fish weighed 11.25 pounds and hit on a crappie minnow.
• Scott Eckert of Naperville caught and released a 47-inch muskie last Sunday at Lake Storey at 8 a.m. on a 6-inch shad-colored twitch bait.
• Robert Geiken, (pictured at right below),13, of Oregon caught this 40-pound flathead catfish on a bluegill while fishing at the Oregon dam on the Rock River on May 25. Tyrus Trample is at right helping to hold the fish.
• Jerry Martoglio of Bloomington (pictured below) caught this saugeye at Evergreen Lake on Wednesday, fishing a jig and crawler off main-lake humps.
NORTHERN ILLINOIS North of Interstate 80
Apple Canyon Lake
SOURCE: Tom Calam, Tom’s Bait & Tackle, Freeport (815-232-3337)
Overall, fishing very strong here. Calam says he’s had the best week he’s had in a long time, with anglers cleaning him out of bait. Bluegills, around 10-12 inches, biting on waxies, leeches. Not surprising to pick up 60 of 70 gills in an outing. Bass also very good. Some smaller walleye and muskies also being caught. Walleye taking leeches. Muskie taking bigger crankbaits or sucker minnows.
SOURCE: Tom Calam, Tom’s Bait & Tackle, Freeport (815-232-3337).
Fishing also good here. White bass and stripers biting on lead head jigs tipped with minnows. Plenty of small walleye also being caught on jumbo leeches. Muskies taking suckers.
Forest Preserve Lakes
SOURCE: Lee’s Bait and Tackle of Elk Grove Village (847-593-6424); Henry’s (312-225-8538)
Bluegill are on the beds in many lakes. Look for honeycombed beds in lake bottoms close to shore or on flats.
• Click here for a Cook County Forest Preserves lake fishing forum.
• Here are links to information on various forest preserve lakes. Cook County, DeKalb County, DuPage County, Kane County, Kendall County, Lake County, McHenry County and Will County.
Fox Chain O’ Lakes
SOURCE: Greg Dickson, Triangle Sports & Marine, Antioch (1-847-395-0813).
Walleye are good in areas where there is current says Triangle, like bridge areas. Anglers using large fatheads, orange and chartreuse jigs orleeches. Marie good location for walleye. Channel Lake producing crappie and bluegill. Crappie have slowed but can be found with small fatheads or hair jigs in shady spots. Bluegill biting on waxworms, crickets. They rank as the best bite. Bass are slow. Catfish are shallow and biting on dipbait.
• Click here to check updates on no-wake status and water levels or call 847-587-8540 .
SOURCES: Henry’s (312-225-8538), Vet’s (773-734-6720) and Dale Bowman of the Chicago Sun-Times.
• On the Chicago lakefront, perch are picking up around the shore, rocks, piers or jetties. Minnows, crawfish, jigs, spinners all working. Dale Bowman reports that the key to success is moving around to find fish and using lighter line. Fish are at Montrose, 31st, 39th, at the Planetarium and inside Monroe Harbor. A few smallies are also biting on leeches or minnows with an occasional nightcrawler bite. Salmon slow. Bowman reports some coho at Chicago Light in the gap and between the T marker and the car ferry in 50-75 feet of water.
SOURCE: The Salmon Stop (847-244-2525 or fishing hotline 847-244-9876); Capt. Nick Ganzer (847-234-7208).
• Near Waukegan boaters are catching spring cohos in about 30-60 feet of water straight out of the harbor or a little south. Otherwise, anglers are going deeper to 90-130 feet of water. Flies and dodgers working. Perch can be found in 20-30 feet of water using large fatheads or soft shell crabs.
SOURCE: Mik-Lurch (219-989-0575)
• Near Indiana salmon and trout can be found by the wreck and smallies are bedding.
SOURCES: Pam Minihan, Dora’s Bait & Tackle, Rockford (815-963-1795).
Crappie starting to pick up on minnows or redworms around Rock Cut State Park.
SOURCES: Guide Jay Angel (815-739-7030) and Denny Sands, Shabbona Lakeside Bait & Tackle, Shabbona (815-824-2581).
Water temperatures are in the mid 60’s and the clarity has dramatically improved. Crappies are being caught over the campground and the cribs that surround all of the land piers on the west side of the lake. There have been no reports of crappies in shallow water recently. Crappie fishing is good. Bass are up in the shallow water on their spawning beds. As soon as they are done spawning large numbers of them will be caught using topwater baits in the spawning bays.
• Park hours November to January 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.; February to March 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.; April 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.; May to October 6 a.m. to 10 p.m.
•Click here for a Shabbona Lake fishing forum
SOURCE: Mik-Lurch (219-989-0575)
Crappie fair here. Some nice size bass and walleye being caught. An anglers picked up a 10-pound walleye last week using a No. 9 black-and-silver Rapala. Jumbo leeches also working for the walleye.
NORTH-CENTRAL ILLINOIS South of Interstate 80 and North of Interstate 72/U.S. Route 36
SOURCE: Site manager Ed Oest (309-759-4484)
Trot-line fishing was good last week but few anglers have been out this week. They were catching mainly channel catfish toward the end of the week on dew worms. A group of anglers did catch 47 keeper channel cats last Sunday on rod and reel in two hours. Most of the fish weighed 3 to 4 pounds. The site is flooded, so there is very little shoreline fishing. And the campground is closed until further notice.
SOURCE: Adam Jaegle, Presley’s Outdoors, Bartonville (309-697-1193); Merle Keefer, Pekin Bass & Bow (309-347-3334); Jason Grider, Riverside Bait, Pekin (309-347-3793)
A few bluegill are biting, but fish here are mostly smaller. The bass are still slow, as Monday’s Presley’s tournament managed just six fish over 18 inches for 30 boats. Decent numbers of 15- and 16-inchers but bigger fish are hard to find. Brig Hennessey and Mike Vaughn managed a 5.77-pounder on Monday. Senko bite is the best bet.
SOURCE: Larry Dozard
Bluegill are fair to good on small jigs and waxworms or crickets along shore says Larry Dozard. Bass are fair out from shore on mid-level crankbaits and plastics. Catfish are starting to show up in coves. Crappie are slow to fair on jigs and minnows with a few small fish in the shallow brush earlier in the week but most now in 8-12 feet of water.
SOURCE: Del Colvin, Bert’s Bait, Essex (815-365-2103); Jon Meder, Jon’s Bait & Tackle, South Wilmington (815-237-2822)
Fishing starting to taper off here with warmer weather says Colvin. Anglers found the going tough during the Fish For the Cure tournament over the weekend. Only 15 brought in fish out of slightly more than 100 boaters.
SOURCE: Joanne Lowe, Mike’s Tackle World, Decatur (217-423-0730); Clinton Bait and Tackle, (217-935-3851)
Catfish are fair to good on nightcrawlers under a bobber in coves last weekend according to Larry Dozard. Below the spillway hybrid stripers were hitting top-water baits early, but most of the bite was jigs and crawlers, shrimp or cut bait. During the day pieces of shrimp were working well, as was cut bait. Fish 2-3 ounces with a leader and cast up as far into the spillway as you can. You never know what you might catch here, even a smallmouth bass like the one pictured below caught and released by Chef Todd of Peoria last Sunday.
SOURCE: Leon and Judy Gibson, Moraine View Concession (309-724-8295)
Crappie slowed down some but fish still biting on jigs or minnows. Bass hitting on top water baits, buzzbaits or spinners. Catfish also good on cheese baits or chicken livers. Bluegill action remains strong on waxies or pieces of dew worm. Walleye taking dew worms off the bottom.
SOURCE: Paul Dinkheller, Dink’s, Lewistown (309-547-1094); The Nature Conservancy (309-547-2730)
Bass are very good on a wide variety of lures, from spinnerbaits to crankbaits to soft plastics. Numerous reports of encounters with big bass this past week, including a 24-incher and a 22-incher. Anglers who know where to find bluegill and crappie have been catching good numbers but the general public is struggling to catch panfish. A few reports on pumpkinseeds caught on a fly rod. Anglers must obtain a free permit at Dickson Mounds Museum (open 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.) before fishing here.
SOURCE: Brad Wood, operations supervisor, (309-726-2022) or Larry Dozard
Crappie reports have been fair with most fish being caught away from the shore in 10-15 feet of water. Water is at 71 degrees and clarity is 6-12 inches. Saugeye fishing has been good the last week with many reports of fish being caught. Guide Paul Center said a few saugeye have been caught on points at coves with mid-depth crankbaits. The bite was also good on humps in 3-6 feet of water on chartreuse jigs and minnows or crawlers with fish up to 5 pounds reported. Otherwise crawlers and leeches have been working the best with the saugeye. Bass reports remain fair, with many smaller ones being caught. Catfishing has been slow. The boat rental and bait shop starts extended hours this weekend.
• NOTE: The Main Recreation Area (East) Boat Launch will be closed from Friday, June 4 at 6 p.m. to Saturday, June 5 at noon for a triathlon. Anglers are asked to use the White Oak (West) Boat Launch during these closure times. Campground facilities remain open. Also, a portion of Evergreen Lake will be closed to all watercraft traffic. The area from the Boat Rental south across the lake and east will be closed from Midnight to approximately 10 a.m. Saturday, June 5th, 2010. This includes the area around Deer Island, Six-Mile Creek Bay, and around the Boat Rental facility.
• Click here for up-to-date lake reports.
SOURCE: Don Stephens, Greybeards (815-941-1504); Guide Mike Lynch (708-655-7667); Guide Greg Heath (815-258-9136)
Walleye fishing is fair. Look for better fishing on windy days. Walleyes are being caught by anglers drifting live bait rigs through the deeper holes and on wind blown shorelines. Crappies are being caught by anglers drifting minnows through the deeper holes. Striper fishing has been slow. Mike Lunch reports that water has been in the upper 60s and very clear. Most walleye are small. Whites and hybrids are most consistent in 4-8 feet of water.
SOURCE: Dale Bowman of the Chicago Sun-Times; Guide Mike Lynch (708-655-7667)
According to Dale Bowman, catfish are OK here and other action is fair.
• Click here for a LaSalle Lake fishing forum.
SOURCE: Del Colvin, Bert’s Bait, Essex (815-365-2103)
Action very strong here says Colvin. Bluegill and crappie both excellent, with anglers catching their limits each time out. Good live bait action here. Plenty of bluegill 12-inch range. Top water baits working for the bass. South unit providing best action.
SOURCE: Merle Keefer, Pekin Bass & Bow (309-347-3334); Jason Grider, Riverside Bait, Pekin (309-347-3793)
The lake has been closed for levee repairs but reopens Friday. Last Friday Zander Martin caught a 57-pound blue catfish. Blue cats have been on a very good bite.
Snakeden Hollow SFWA
SOURCE: Nellie Thorne, Depot Bait and Tackle, Victoria (309-879-2401); Site office (309-879-2607)
Walleye are still biting with fish up to 24 inches in the past week. Evenings have been good. Bass are starting to bite again. Bluegills have headed back to their beds and crickets are selling well. Chicken livers have produced some decent catfish catches.
SOURCES: Troy Galvin, Galvin’s Spring Lake Market (309-267-6538) and Larry Karnes, Larry’s Restaurant and Family Bar, Manito (309-968-9500)
The bluegill are biting very well, mostly on waxworms at the turn-offs. They are just about hand-sized but are nice and thick. Catfish are also good on turn-offs along the park road on shrimp and nightcrawlers. Bass are catchable but not easy to find. Weeds are up and nothing has been sprayed, so weedless baits or soft plastics are a good option.
SOURCE: Al Hayden, Al’s Sporting Goods, Galesburg (309-342-7776)
Bluegill have been biting and are on the beds says Hayden. Crickets and waxies are both working. Crappie are still biting, not quite as strong but fish are hitting within 10 yards of the bank. Bass have slowed some but should pick up with the spawn done. Plastics have been best with a few on jigs. Scott Eckert of Naperville caught and released a 47-inch muskie last Sunday at 8 a.m. on a 6-inch shad-colored twitch bait.
(Fulton, Knox, Peoria and Stark counties)
SOURCE: Presley’s Outdoors, Bartonville (309-697-1193); Dink’s, Lewistown (309-547-1094); and Larry Dozard; Jason Grider, Riverside Bait, Pekin (309-347-3793)
Bluegill are up bedding and shallow with big fish coming on waxworms and crickets or pieces of crawler. Tube jigs a good bet but bare hooks tipped with bait and even Road Runners will catch fish. Crappie are still biting, though the fishing has tailed off except in deeper lakes where they are still good to very good. Some are shallow and bedding, others have backed off into 8-10 feet of water around brush. Bass are post-spawn most places and improving. Fish plastics or jigs, with Senkos, wacky worms and shaky heads shining right now.
SOUTH-CENTRAL ILLINOIS South of Interstate 72/U.S. Route 36 and North of Interstate 70
Beaver Dam Lake
SOURCE: Gwen Gilmore, Gilmore Bait & Marine, Carlinville (217-854-8136); Kim Eggers, Beaver Dam Bait Shop, (217-854-6688)
Bluegill and crappie both biting good and catfish beginning to pick up. Waxworms and crickets working well.
SOURCE: Gwen Gilmore, Gilmore Bait & Marine, Carlinville (217-854-8136)
Not much to report here as action has slowed way down says Gilmore.
Charleston Side Channel Lake
SOURCE: Rick Cuddy, Prairie Outfitters, Charleston (217-348-6770)
Catfish bite picking up on cut shad or cheesebaits says Cuddy. Some saugeye still biting on white 3-inch twister tails. Bass taking top water baits, poppers or buzzbaits.
SOURCE: Joanne Lowe, Mike’s Tackle World, Decatur (217-423-0730)
Crappie being caught on minnows and jigs on the lake. Largemouth bass also good on spinnerbaits. A few channel cats being picked up on shad guts or mud leeches. Below the spillway, a few Asian carp biting. Catfish and crappie also biting below the spillway.
Lake Glenn Shoals
SOURCE: Jack Rebman, Kink’s Corner, Hillsboro (217-532-5442)
Crappie still going very good, mainly on minnows shallow in about 6 inches to a foot and a half deep. Spawn should be winding down soon. Channel cats moving into the banks and biting good on chicken livers, mud leeches and a few on shrimp. Bass action is so-so, with fish biting on plastic worms or a few on crankbaits.
SOURCE: Jack Rebman, Kink’s Corner, Hillsboro (217-532-5442)
Bluegill fair here. Bass biting on plastic worms. A few anglers have been out jigging around brush areas.
SOURCE: Tom Holmes, Military Surplus Outlet, Jacksonville (217-243-6161) and Lake Jacksonville Campground (217-479-4646)
Fishing very slow here. Fish are being caught but most small.
Lake Lou Yaeger
SOURCE: Denny’s Bait Shop, Litchfield (217-324-2628)
A 10-pound channel cat caught recently but most action very slow lately here.
SOURCE: Rick Cuddy, Prairie Outfitters, Charleston (217-348-6770); Joel Pittman, Mattoon Parks Department (217-254-6680)
Bass good here on creature baits, like baby brush hogs or poor boys.
Mill Creek Lake
SOURCE: Dennis Shiley, Mill Creek Lake Park (217-889-3901)
Crappie spotty but anglers are picking up some good ones some days. Crappie taking minnows in about 10-12 feet of water in laydowns. Channel cats biting on chicken livers. A few muskie being caught in the morning. Morning bite also best for bass. Buzzbaits and rats working here. A 48-inch muskie caught a week ago.
SOURCE: Jack Raymond, Peter’s Bait, Springfield (217-528-9500); Trevor Miller, Big Red’s Bait and Tackle, Springfield (217-820-9674)
Crappie and catfish best bet here. Crappie taking minnows fairly deep, in 6-8 feet along the dam or some by brush pile areas. Cats “running hard” says Raymond on nightcrawlers and stinkbaits.
SOURCE: Tony Niebrugge, Anthony’s Acres Resort, (217-868-2950)
Some big bluegills being caught on waxworms, pieces of nightcrawler or redworms. Crappie have been small but still biting on minnows. A 20-inch channel cat caught by angler fishing with worms.
SOURCE: Guide Ken Wilson (217-774-5756 or 217-454-2672) at Lithia Springs Guide Service; Margie Oliver, Marv and Kathy’s Bait & Tackle, Sullivan (217-728-4044); Guide Steve Welch (217) 762-7257 or (217) 840-1221
Fishing good overall here other than muskie bite slowing down. White bass good on main lake flats trolling crankbaits. Walleye also good on points 3, 5 and 6 casting small crankbaits on shallow flats. Nightcrawlers, leeches, Lindy rigs working. Crappie good and should be even better with full moon scheduled for May 28. Small size bluegill biting on nightcrawlers. Largemouth bass can be found both shallow and deep using spinners, small crankbaits. Worms and jigs working on deep points.
• For a daily report on Lake Shelbyville call (217-774-2020).
SOURCE: Jack Raymond, Peter’s Bait, Springfield (217-528-9500); Trevor Miller, Big Red’s Bait and Tackle, Springfield (217-820-9674) and Tater’s Bait, Springfield (217-528-2208)
White bass biting like crazy here says Raymond. Crazy blades and minnows working. Some being picked up off the banks, others via boats.
SOUTHERN ILLINOIS South of Interstate 70
SOURCE: Site office (618-785-2555)
Overall, fishing slow here. Anglers were catching catfish on shad, crappie on minnows, bass on crankbaits and soft plastics, and bluegill on crickets.
SOURCE: Josh Adkins; Buddy Langenhorst, Lavish’s Bait Shop , Carlyle (618-594-4413); Henkel’s (618-594-4818)
The lake is still stained with the recent heavy afternoon showers we have been receiving daily, but should clear up this weekend as they are calling for hot temps in the upper 80’s and clear skies. Lake temps are on the rise and were at 74 on Monday.
LARGEMOUTH: bass are still shallow and tight to cover. Anglers are still having luck with good numbers and size of largemouth hitting shad like crank baits/chartreuse spinners/ chatter baits/Crawdad colored jigs with c-dad trailers. With the stained water, white or chartreuse seem to be working best.
WHITE BASS- white bass are picking up a little on the main lake as the water temps are on the rise. If you can’t follow the birds to the shad, check creek mouths or flats, double jig rig with your personal favorite will work just fine(grubs, little George’s, sassy shad) chartreuse/black or white. Chartreuse seems to be working best..
CATFISH: Cats are really getting hot, good numbers being caught on the windswept rocks on just about anything, minnows/crawlers/ cut shad/dough baits. Cats are up shallow. There are some good flatheads also being caught shallow so the spawn is near as long as the weather pattern holds. Also drifting rocky points with same baits listed above is producing. Backwater areas are also producing some good catches
CRAPPIE- crappie fishing has is still solid even with the high/murky water, best luck is any brush pile /shoreline wood structures, or the wood shallows on the north end of the lake. Crappies are shallow in 4-8 feet of water. Anglers are having their best luck with bright colored jigs (chatreuse, red, yellow) or just plain old minnows.
Carlyle dam/Kaskaskia River
All species were still solid this week at least 2 gates were open most of the week still bringing fish up the river. With the recent rains, release rates should be stable most of the weekend and it should bring good fishing. White Bass are starting to pick up.
WHITE BASS- with 2-4 gates open the Whites are starting to run up river. Good numbers and sizes were being caught this week on any double jig combo (curly tails or sassy shad), Black and chartreuse, white/red seem to work best. Fish are starting to spawn and can be found shallow from the dam past the swinging bridge. If you can find any crawdads to seine, use them on the bottom with a small hook and weight. People are also picking up a good number of keeper size whites on floats with cut Asian carp or shad which seems to be catching on as the” go to” white bass method. With the recent rains and temps warming up the big spawn run is on now and should continue for awhile.
CATFISH- both channels and flatheads are biting. Flatheads are moving up shallow. Anglers catching decent amounts of keeper channels on cut bait (Asian carp/shad), worms and your favorite stink baits in the backwaters and side channels. The warmer weather will heat up the fishing for cats as well and they are moving up shallow early and late in the day. Trotlines with shad/crawdads and leeches will also do the trick.
SAUGER- the sauger bite was fair this week even with the water on, the hotter temps have slowed the bite a bit. Anglers still catching them vertical jigging chartreuse/black and good old white jigs tipped with some meat. Better size saugs can still be caught trolling crank baits in between the dam and swinging bridge.
ASIAN CARP- both huge numbers of bigheads (10-40 lb range) and silvers (5-20 lb) range are being taken with the water on. Bow fishers are having lots of success as well as anglers using Spoons and double jig rigs.
BOWFISHING- no problem finding numbers with the water on or off. Gar, buffalo, carp and Asian carp are everywhere ,all shallow and are abundant as well as great sizes and numbers. Main channel against the rocks and all backwater areas are producing fish.
• For the latest water level information call (618-594-4637).
Crab Orchard Lake
SOURCE: Ron Reed, Cooksey’s Bait, Marion (618-993-3366); Guide Matt Strobel (618-922-0354); Kyle Garner, Crappie Pro Shop, Carterville (618-985-8277)
Crappie, bluegill, catfish and bass all biting here. Crappie taking jigs and minnows. Bluegill being found using waxworms, red wigglers, crickets and tube jigs. Best colors for jigs have been blue and chartreuse, black and chartreuse or solid black. Look in weed beds, laydowns, beaver huts and around Rout 13. Cats caught with leeches, cutbaits, cheese baits. Bass biting on just about anything in shallow water. Top waters best early. Spinners and plastics good up around lay downs and weedbeds. Crankbaits good around Rout 13. Bass in 6-7 foot range. Crappie finished with spawn and in 6-8 feet of water around brush piles and stumps.
SOURCE: Ron Reed, Cooksey’s Bait, Marion (618-993-3366)
Bluegill best here on waxworms, redworms or crickets.
SOURCE: Site manager Glenn Wegener (618-547-3381); Mike Polcyn, Mike’s Bait & Tackle Shop, Louisville (618-665-3209)
Some bluegill are still on the beds here and are rated as good on small worms and poppers. Water is slightly murky and ranges from 80-85 degrees. Channel catfish are good on weedlines and rip-rap and are taking chicken liver and crawlers. Crappie of 6-12 inches are fair in treetops and brushpiles in 2-8 feet of water. Carp are up and spawning and now is a good time for bowfishermen to get out.
Horseshoe Lake, Alexander County
SOURCE: Jim Melton, Melton’s Fish Camp (618-776-5504)
Crappie still spotty but anglers are catching a few in the tupelo clumps on minnows and/or jigs. Catfish also good drift fishing the middle with a nightcrawler.
SOURCE: Janet Graeff, Top of the Hill Bait Shop, Muphysboro (618-684-2923); Guide Al Nutty (618-694-4897)
Bluegill are hot here with anglers catching good sized fish using crickets, waxworms, mealworms, red wigglers or nightcrawlers. Fly rod fishermen are hitting with poppers, spiders or crickets. Catfish are real good on chicken livers, nightcrawlers, crickets, cut shad or large minnows. Largemouth bass also good on crankbaits off secondary points or longer weed points. Crappie can still be found in the outer edges of the weed beds using tube jigs and minnows. Muskies being picked up casting or trolling in the early morning. Top waters working in low light periods or over cast days.
Little Grassy Lake
SOURCE: Shirley Lowery, Little Grassy Boat Dock (618-457-6655)
Bluegills going up on their beds and biting like crazy here says Little Grassy Boat Dock. Gills taking crickets, waxworms and mealworms. Crappie are off their beds and feeding. Minnows best. Cats are up on beds and biting on liver or nightcrawlers. Bass bite has slowed but some anglers still catching yellow or black bass on minnows. A 20-pound channel cat caught Tuesday using livers.
SOURCE: Shawnee Bait & Tackle, Creal Springs (618-996-3089)
Crappie best here on waxworms. Redear also biting good.
SOURCE: Ruth Rauch, Rauch’s Bait & Tackle, Newton (618-752-2151)
Bass bite is excellent here. Bass are running 10-15 feet deep because of the hot weather, so deep diving baits best. Catfish taking shrimp, Geno’s stinkbait or large minnows. Plenty of bluegill can be found but most very small.
SOURCE: Todd Gessner (618-513-0520); Jason Johns (618-927-3432); Bill Hudnall, Rend Lake Sporting Goods, Mount Vernon (618-242-2191)
Bass are biting well says Jason Johns, with numerous limits weighed at last weekend’s paralyzed veterans tournament. Fish are shallow and can be caught on spinnerbaits, brush hawgs and various soft plastics. Crappie are biting everywhere, from the shallow bushes to deeper sets. Johns rates the crappie as better than excellent, with many of 14 to 16 inches.
• Click here for water level information.
Des Plaines River
SOURCE: Andrew Ragas
With the warm weather followed by high humidity, practically everything in the river right now is in summer-mode. That means two or three things: 1) Focus on mid-river structure; 2) Locate the deeper pools with current; 3) Get out there early or late in the day. But it’s not as easy as it may seem. Since my last report two weeks ago, very few notable catches other than the occasional floating remains of humans have been made from the river. Sad, but true. This may have deterred some anglers from fishing the river and I cannot blame them. This may attribute to the lack of any fishing reports.
Nothing much from the creeks. Fishing is tough right now but if it ever cools down, things should pick up once again. Water temperatures approaching 70-degrees, water is stained and dirty, and USGS at 1,000 in Riverside area with a gauge at 3.90. It’s barely wadable, so use caution if you’re in the water.
For the most part, Northern Pike have been running on the small side, 15-20 inches, but the bigger fish are still around if you try early or late in the day. Bucktails, shallow running crankbaits, jig and plastic, and spinnerbaits have been scoring up some fish. As usual, the north stretches of river in Lake County have the small fish while larger ones and the chances for them increases the further south you go. Walleye and Sauger = None.
Largemouth and Smallmouth Bass = Few reports of Bass are out there right now, but some anglers are catching fish up to 14-16 inches on spinnerbaits and crankbaits, and topwaters. For the most part, things are really slow out there right now. Look for deeper pools with current, laydowns, and the edges of weedbeds for any possible action. Channel Catfish have been active throughout the day as are Common Carp - especially in the shallows and flats. Practically everything working for Catfish while the Carp are there just sitting and waiting to be caught.
• Click here for a Des Plaines River fishing forum.
SOURCE: Jim Hardy, Big Jim’s Bait & Tackle, Ottawa (815-434-3921)
Walleye biting, some in 20-inch range, in Dayton area on lead head jigs tipped with minnows. Catfish also can be found here using cutbait, stinkbaits or nightcrawlers.
• Click here for a Fox River fishing forum.
SOURCE: Jim Hardy of Big Jim’s Bait & Tackle in Ottawa (815-434-3921)
• Above the Starved Rock dam, plenty of catfish being caught by boat anglers using cut bait, stinkbaits and nightcrawlers. Some also finding smallmouth bass.
SOURCE: Carol Culjan at Cajun Sporting Goods in Utica (815-667-4222)
• Near Utica the river is finally dropping and water is at 65 degrees and still stained. “They’ve finally closed the gates” at the dam said Buster Culjan. Smaller catfish are biting on dipbait and bigger fish are taking herring and shad. A few are also coming on crawlers and redworms. Most of the catfish are shallow. Look for them in the trees or on the edge of trees. Stripers are slow due to the high water.
SOURCE: Jordan Hubinsky, Time on the Water Marina, Spring Valley (815-663-1000)
• Near Spring Valley catfish are best with fish hitting shad and herring. Herring are easier to locate than shad right now. Fish up to 15 pounds have been caught in the past week but most are 8-9 pounders. Stripers are starting to bite again around streams, on the flats and anywhere you find rock.
SOURCE: Merle Keefer, Pekin Bass & Bow (309-347-3334); Tim Presley, Presley’s Outdoors, Bartonville (309-697-1193)
• Near Peoria, bass are biting well, with 10 out of 16 boats fishing last Saturday catching limits in an Illinois River Team Trail tournament won by Bob and Dave Thompson with15.20lbs and two 5-pounders, including big bass of 5.35 pounds. Some good reports of white bass and channel cats at Duck Island but also some who blanked out.
SOURCE: Paul Dinkheller, Dink’s, Lewistown (309-547-1094)
• Near Havana the best fishing has been in backwaters for channel cats on leeches and some on dipbait.
SOURCE: Ed Mullady, Sportsman’s Letter (815-932-7285)
• Near Momence, Ed Mullady reports: Catfish good on *minnows *crawlers *cheesebaits on plastic catfish grub or crawler. Smallmouth Bass good on minnows *crankbaits *Mepps #3 Spinners. Pike may be along shorelines, mouths of ditches on *large minnows *spoons *#5 Mepps Spinner.
• Near the Kankakee River State Park: Smallmouth Bass good on *minnows *Rattlin’ Rogue * Mr.Twister Wtd.Keeper Hook & Twister tail *Jointed lures *Catfish good on above baits. Rock Bass good along shorelines on *minnows *crawlers *#2 Spinners *fly rod spiders *streamer flies.
• Near Wilmington: Catfish good on minnows *crawlers*chicken liver. Smallmouth Bass good on #3 Spinners *Keeper Hook & Double Twister tail *Shorelines offer good fishing now.
• NOTE: The Momence Family Fishing Tournament is being held by Frank’s Bait Shop and the Momence Park District in the Kankakee River at Momence Island Park on Memorial Day weekend, May 29 through May 30. It is called “The Big Cat and Carp Quest.” here is a $10 fee per family. Anyone serving in the military and our Nations Veterans may enter for Free! Proof of service will be required upon registration. All Participants must adhere to all ILDNR Regulations.Prizes for 1st,2nd and 3rd Places will be awarded for the Big Catfish and Big Carp. For complete info and entry forms, you can get them at Frank’s Bait Shop, 621 N. Dixie Hwy,Momence, IL. and the Momence Park District Office in Momence. More info available at the Momence Park District by phoning 815-472-2670.
SOURCE: Iowa DNR
Mississippi River Pool 11
Water levels are at 7.5 feet and expected to drop slowly over the next week. Water clarity is improving but still a little stained downstream of the Turkey River mouth. Good shoreline bank fishing can be found at Guttenberg below the DNR fish hatchery and at Mud Lake Park, just north of Dubuque. Northern Pike - Fair: Some pike are being caught in the Mud Lake and Sunfish Lake dredge cuts, using gaudy spinners. Channel Catfish - Excellent: Catfish biting well on stink bait or worms near woody debris and rocky areas. Flathead Catfish - Good: Some nice flathead catfish have been caught near the dam. Smallmouth Bass - Good: Some smallmouth being caught fishing near rock in good current. Largemouth Bass - Good: Largemouth being caught along shorelines with woody debris. Bass are bunching up in the pocket and in the emergency spillway. Yellow Perch - Fair: A few nice Yellow perch being caught on worms. Walleye - Good: A few walleyes being caught trolling on wing dams. Some large fish were reported this week although not always a lot of numbers. Freshwater Drum - Excellent: A lot of drum being caught along shoreline in the Guttenberg area fishing a worm on the bottom. Drum are excellent eating fish especially when prepared fresh.
Water temperature at Guttenberg has warmed into the lower 70s. River levels are expected to fall slowly over the next week. Water clarity is still pretty good above the Turkey River. Lansing 8.6 feet, Lynxville 16.0 feet and Guttenberg 7.5 feet.
Mississippi River Pool 12
River stage at Dubuque is 9.7 feet and falling. Water clarity is fair and water temperature is in the low to mid 70s. Anglers should be on the look out for radio tagged white crappie in Pool 12. Tags are attached externally to the dorsal fin and we ask that these fish be released or the tags returned from harvested fish. Channel Catfish - Fair: A few catfish being caught in deeper water in side channels and sloughs on crawlers, cut bait, or stink bait. Largemouth Bass - Fair: Bass are biting shallow in the backwaters around wood. Yellow spinners and white flukes have been producing. Crappie - Fair: Reports of crappie being caught in 2 feet of water in the backwaters around vegetation and snags. Walleye - Fair: Walleye fishing has slowed with the increased turbidity, but a few are coming off of wing dams on crankbaits and three way rigs tipped with leeches. Freshwater Drum - Good: Drum have been biting on crawlers fished on the bottom in areas of current in side channels, sloughs, and around wing dams.
Mississippi River Pool 13
River stage at Bellevue is 8.4 feet and falling. Water clarity is fair and water temperature is in the mid 70s. Channel Catfish - Fair: Catfish are biting on crawlers and cut bait in side channels and sloughs around snags. A few fish are coming on leeches under a bobber along rocks. White Bass - Fair: A few white bass are being caught in Middle Sabula Lake on jigs or small spinners. Bluegill - Fair: Bluegills are biting in South Sabula Lake on crawlers or jigs. Crappie - Fair: A few crappies are biting in south Sabula Lake. Walleye - Fair: Walleyes are biting on the wing dams on crankbaits and three way rigs tipped with leeches. Freshwater Drum - Good: Drum have been biting very well on crawlers on the bottom in the sloughs.
Mississippi River Pool 14
River stage at Camanche is 11.55 feet and falling. Water clarity is poor and water temperature is in the mid 70s. Channel Catfish - Fair: Channel cats are biting on leeches fished under bobbers along rocky shorelines in side channels and sloughs. Bluegill - Fair: Bluegill have been spotty in the backwaters, but people that are finding them are catching a lot. Walleye - Fair: The walleye bite had been good the past week, but with the rise in river level and increased turbidity the bite has slowed. Fish can still be found on the wing dams and mussel beds.
For fishing information in Pool 12-15 of the Mississippi River contact the Bellevue Fish Management and Research Station at 563-872-4976
Mississippi River Pool 16
Tail water stage at Lock and Dam 15 is 9.05 feet and falling. Channel Catfish - Good: Channel catfish are biting on crawlers and dip baits. White Bass - Good: White bass are being caught in Sunset Marina, the mouth of Sunset Marina, and up in Sylvan Slough. Fish are being caught casting shallow running crankbaits, Rat-L-Traps, and jig/twister combinations. Bluegill - Good: Bluegill fishing has been good towards evening in Sunset Marina. Most fish are being caught floating pieces of crawler or wax worms under a bobber. Crappie - Good: Crappie fishing has picked up in Sunset Marina. Most crappies are being caught floating minnows under a bobber or drifting with a split shot and minnow. Sauger - Slow: Walleye - Slow: Some walleyes are being picked up trolling crankbaits on the wing dams or using crawlers on three-way rigs. Some walleyes are also being caught in Sunset Marina on crankbaits.
Mississippi River Pool 17
Tail water stage at Lock and Dam 16 is 9.69 feet and falling. The Big Timber ramp is open. Channel Catfish - Fair: There are reports of some channel catfish being caught along the Muscatine riverfront fishing night crawlers on the bottom. White Bass - Fair: Some white bass are being caught casting crankbaits or jigs/twister at GPC. Bluegill - Slow: Crappie - Slow: Walleye - Fair: Some walleyes are being caught casting crankbaits or jigs/twisters at GPC.
Mississippi River Pool 18
Tail water stage at Lock and Dam 17 is 10.88 feet and falling. Channel Catfish - No Report: White Bass - No Report: Bluegill - No Report: Crappie - No Report: Walleye - No Report:
Mississippi River Pool 19
Tail water stage at Lock and Dam 18 is 7.55 feet and falling. Most fishing reports are coming from area lakes and ponds. Channel Catfish - No Report: White Bass - No Report: Bluegill - No Report: Crappie - No Report: Walleye - No Report:
Mississippi River Pools 16-20: River levels continue to slowly fall. Main channel water temperature has risen to 74 degrees. Main channel water clarity is still fairly muddy. Watch for floating debris when boating. Most fishing reports are coming from area lakes and ponds. For more fishing information contact the Fairport Fish Hatchery at 563-263-5062.
SOURCE: Tom Calam, Tom’s Bait & Tackle, Freeport (815-232-3337)
Anglers using walleye minnows, leeches, suckers and nightcrawlers to catch channel cats, walleye, northerns and bass here. Second annual catfish tournament June 12 at DeMascus Landing, from 6 a.m.-2 p.m. Entry fee is $20. Entry forms available at Tom’s Bait & Tackle in Freeport. Rain/flood date June 26.
SOURCE: Tom Calam, Tom’s Bait & Tackle, Freeport (815-232-3337)
• Near Rockford fishing hit and miss says Calam. Some catfish have been caught using dipbait or nightcrawlers. White bass and carp also being picked up.
SOURCE: Jan Prose at TJ’s Bait/Tackle & Canoe Rental in Oregon (815-732-4516)
• Near Oregon most reports focus on channel catfish, which have been biting shrimp, dipbait and nightcrawlers. A few flatheads of up to 20 pounds have hit on suckers in recent days. Sheephead are also taking crawlers. Smallmouth and some walleye are biting along the rock walls and in backwaters.
Pictured above is Adam Quick of Oregon with a 5-pound channel cat he caught May 21 on chicken liver. Below is Tyrus Trample with a 4.5-pounder he caught on dipbait.
SOURCE: Ray and Irene Hays, Bunny’s Bait Shop, Dixon (815-288-3812)
• Near Dixon catfish picking up on chicken livers and cheese baits. A few crappie and white bass biting below the dam on minnows. Smallmouth also biting but they are catch and release. Water has been high with some debris.
SOURCE: Al Hayden, Al’s Sporting Goods, Galesburg and Paul Dinkheller at Dink’s in Lewistown (309-547-1094)
High water has fishing basically shut down for now. Some channel cats are being caught in flooded areas, though the river is dropping and muddy most places and needs to clear up for fishing to improve.