Illinois fishing report 8-12-10
More fishing information
Give us our choice of anywhere to fish in Illinois right now and we’d pick…
• White bass at Lake Shelbyville, Fox Chain of Lakes, Lake Springfield or Lake Decatur.
• Shabbona Lake. Lots of big fish this week.
• Chris Appel caught an 8.5-pound bass on a chicken liver this week while fishing at Oak Run near Dahinda.
• There are reports out of JoDaviess County of a very large catfish caught on Tuesday. Stay tuned.
• Shabbona Lake has a new record channel catfish—a 35-inch, 22.75-pound chunk pictured below and caught by Dave Todd of Shabbona. He was fishing chicken liver in the northeast bay when he hooked into the lunker. Todd was fishing out of a rented pontoon boat from Lakeside. The former record was 35.5 inches and 21.1 pounds caught in 2005.
• Another unnamed Shabbona Lake caught a 49.5-inch, 30.65-pound muskie near the entrance to the no-motor zone.
NORTHERN ILLINOIS North of Interstate 80
Apple Canyon Lake
SOURCE: Tom Calam, Tom’s Bait & Tackle, Freeport (815-232-3337)
Average fishing overall. Anglers are catching a few decent crappie; most are in deeper water, 6-8 per outing. Bluegill are good to very good along the weed edges. Fish are suspended in 10-12 feet of water. Any live baits are producing. A few catfish are biting at Lena Lake. Action had been very good last Friday and Saturday prior to last Sunday’s storm.
SOURCE: Tom Calam, Tom’s Bait & Tackle, Freeport (815-232-3337).
Smallmouth bass have been fair with a few anglers catching walleye. Walleye are best later in the evening. Stripers have turned back on also. A few channel catfish reported.
Forest Preserve Lakes
SOURCE: Lee’s Bait and Tackle of Elk Grove Village (847-593-6424); Henry’s (312-225-8538)
• 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).
White bass are very good according to Triangle. Fishing was very good when the no-wake restrictions were in place but those have been lifted except for a no-wake downstream of the Stratton Dam. Channel catfish are good on nightcrawlers and dipbait. Bluegill are fair along weed edges and in shady areas. Walleye are best in current and near bridges. A few are off larger points.
• 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 Dale Bomwan reports that shore anglers are catching perch at Montrose, Diversey and Northerly Island. Lots of small fish. Boaters are faring well off Navy Pier with lots of sorting there, also. Salmon are a mixed bag.
SOURCE: The Salmon Stop (847-244-2525 or fishing hotline 847-244-9876); Capt. Nick Ganzer (847-234-7208).
• Near Waukegan, perch are fair off the government pier according to Salmon Stop. Salmon and trout fishing continues to be good says Capt. Nick Ganzer. August continues to be a very comfortable time to fish Lake Michigan. Westerly winds have kept our water temps cool and fishing continues to be within 100 feet of water. Most fish are being taken in the top 60 feet of water early/late on downriggers, dipsies, leadcore. Saturday, my fishing group came to the boat later than planned. Most boats had been fishing since 5 a.m. and were working 40-60 feet. Knowing that we missed the early bite, I decided to go deep. At 190 feet I noticed fish marks on my graph in the top 40 feet, so we began fishing. I kicked up the speed (3-3.5 mph.) and the rods started to pop. We had found a school of rainbows. We had great action the entire trip, boating 13 out of 21 fish. Pictured above is a 10-pound rainbow and below is the Frank Kranik party with their fish.
SOURCE: Mik-Lurch (219-989-0575)
• Near Indiana fishing is slow and most perch anglers have moved into Illinois says Mik-Lurch.
SOURCES: Guide Jay Angel (815-739-7030) and Denny Sands, Shabbona Lakeside Bait & Tackle, Shabbona (815-824-2581).
Shabbona has produced plenty of big fish in the past week according to Denny Sands. In addition to a new lake record channel catfish of 22.75 pounds, the lake yielded a 49.5-inch, 30.65-pound muskie and several 20-inch bass. Perch have also been good in the weeds, outperforming bluegill for many. Bass and channel cats are in the weeds.
• 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
NORTH-CENTRAL ILLINOIS South of Interstate 80 and North of Interstate 72/U.S. Route 36
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)
Bass fishing has been tough says Adam Jaegle, with weeds dying off and bass scattered and hard to target right now. A much better bet are channel catfish on shrimp. Bill Hurst caught six nice fish Thursday morning. Muskie are also active.
SOURCE: Larry Dozard
Bass were fair to slow along deeper weedlines on plastics or crankbaits said Larry Dozard. Bluegill are fair but running mostly small. Use crickets around weeds and docks. Crappie are slow.
SOURCE: Joanne Lowe, Mike’s Tackle World, Decatur (217-423-0730); Clinton Bait and Tackle, (217-935-3851)
Very few reports of fish here says Mike Lowe, though a few anglers have done well on white bass on the main lake.
SOURCE: Leon and Judy Gibson, Moraine View Concession (309-724-8295)
Fishing pressure has been very light. Anglers are doing best early and late for channel catfish. Shrimp, chicken livers and dipbait are working says Leon Gibson. Bass are strictly late and early.
SOURCE: Paul Dinkheller, Dink’s, Lewistown (309-547-1094); The Nature Conservancy (309-547-2730)
Before fishing here anglers must obtain a free permit at Dickson Mounds Museum (open 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.).
SOURCE: Brad Wood, operations supervisor, (309-726-2022) or Larry Dozard
Crappie are also biting in 15 feet of water and have been suspending at 3-4 feet deep. Saugeye are fair.
• Click here for up-to-date lake reports.
SOURCE: Del Colvin, Bert’s Bait, Essex (815-365-2103)
Mazonia water temperatures are running in the mid 80s and few anglers have been out lately. Bass are best toward evening.
SOURCE: Merle Keefer, Pekin Bass & Bow (309-347-3334); Jason Grider, Riverside Bait, Pekin (309-347-3793)
Very few reports says Merle Keefer, other than unconfirmed word that water temperatures were nearing 100 degrees early this week.
Snakeden Hollow SFWA
SOURCE: Nellie Thorne, Depot Bait and Tackle, Victoria (309-879-2401); Site office (309-879-2607)
Channel catfish are fair to good on minnows and dipbait. Fish are ranging from 3-6 pounds. Crappie are still biting in 9-15 feet of water. At Oak Run, fish deep under docks. Bluegill are fair in 7-10 feet of water on waxworms. Walleye have picked up in the evenings.
SOURCES: Troy Galvin, Galvin’s Spring Lake Market (309-267-6538) and Larry Karnes, Larry’s Restaurant and Family Bar, Manito (309-968-9500)
Very few anglers out this past week. Channel catfish decent in the evenings on the west side of the south lake. Shrimp always a good bet. Bass fishing has been slow. A few on lizards and weedless top-waters. Not many, though.
SOURCE: Al Hayden, Al’s Sporting Goods, Galesburg (309-342-7776)
Some reports of bluegill on waxies and redworms and a few crickets. Oak Run has also been producing bluegills. Weed edges are best. Few bass reports. This has been one of the slower weeks I’ve had out here. Last weekend anglers were catching some walleye on outside weed edges on a jig with a minnow slow trolling or a spinner rig. Some catfish reports.
(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); Jim’s Bait and Tackle, Hanna City (309-565-9960)
Bluegill are fair but most are smaller fish says Adam Jaegle. Bass have been slow for bigger fish. Most being caught are 12-14 inches long. Catfish are fair to good on dipbaits says Larry Dozard. Many smaller fish this week and on deeper spots. Crappie have slowed, with a few caught by anglers trolling.
SOUTH-CENTRAL ILLINOIS South of Interstate 72/U.S. Route 36 and North of Interstate 70
Charleston Side Channel Lake
SOURCE: Rick Cuddy, Prairie Outfitters, Charleston (217-348-6770)
Best reports have come from the river where bass are biting. Not very big fish, but decent numbers on smaller plastics (Wooly Hawg Tails and other creature baits) or small jigs. Evenings for catfish are good with cheesebaits. Day-time sees few anglers.
SOURCE: Joanne Lowe, Mike’s Tackle World, Decatur (217-423-0730)
White bass are good on the humps and around bridge corners says Mike Low. Gay blades have been the No. 1 lure. Best results are from 6:30-11 a.m. and then again after 6 p.m. Anglers are catching 20-25 whites in the range of 14-16 inches along with 30-40 smaller fish. Catfish are fair. Water is shut off at the dam for repairs so action below has been slow. No crappie reports.
Lake Glenn Shoals
SOURCE: Jack Rebman, Kink’s Corner, Hillsboro (217-532-5442)
Bass are fair on crankbaits, with the best bite later in the evenings. Catfish are fair on dipbaits, mostly in the evenings. A few anglers are fishing early but most are out toward dusk.
SOURCE: Jack Rebman, Kink’s Corner, Hillsboro (217-532-5442)
Catfish are fair, mostly on dipbait in the evening.
SOURCE: Rick Cuddy, Prairie Outfitters, Charleston (217-348-6770); Joel Pittman, Mattoon Parks Department (217-254-6680)
Bass are fair on jigs and plastics. Evenings are best.
SOURCE: Jack Raymond, Peter’s Bait, Springfield (217-528-9500); Trevor Miller, Big Red’s Bait and Tackle, Springfield (217-820-9674)
Bass fishing is fair, with good numbers but not much size. Scott Montgomery and Dave Snider of Manito won a Peoria Bass 25 tournament Sunday with six fish of 11.5 pounds and one kicker fish of 4.35 pounds. Spinnerbaits produced plenty of 1-2 pounders. Water is running up to 94 degrees. Jack Raymond says a few anglers are catching crappie along the dam in 14-18 feet of water.
SOURCE: Tony Niebrugge, Anthony’s Acres Resort, (217-868-2950)
Bluegill are biting well and channel cats are fair on dipbait and crawlers. Fish up to 10 pounds have been reported. Bass are slow.
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
White bass here are good says Mike Lowe, who spoke with an angler who had 80 this week (in addition to several small fish). Sand blasters are the top lure here, with anglers working them in 12-14 feet of water and along ridges in deeper water. Let it go down then jerk it up and be ready for a hit. Guide Ken Wilson said the top-water bite is also good early and he also has been trolling for whites and crappies. Catfish are good on the north end. Drift cut bait or dipbait.
• 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 are running well here says Jack Raymond, who advises anglers use blade baits and fish early or late. Crazy blades are a top choice and anglers are following the shad-eating birds to find schools of fish. Most are 10-12 inches. Catfish here are fair, but are biting much better on the Sangamon River where leeches are producing well.
SOUTHERN ILLINOIS South of Interstate 70
• 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 are still biting says Ron Reed. Target 10 feet of water and fish 5-6 feet deep over brush with small minnows and jigs. Catfish are biting well, in toward the bank and deeper. Dipbait and dough bait and leeches or cut bait all producing. Bass are very good and are in the super shallow water in the weeds says Jason Johns.
Lake of Egypt
SOURCE: Guide Matt Strobel (618-922-0354)
Bass fishing has been real good early and late and bass are in schools. So keep a top-water handy because when they come out and start busting you can catch them well says Jason Johns. Otherwise 11-inch worms, shaky head worms and finesse baits are good. Crappie are decent and have been taken by anglers trolling crankbaits in 17 feet of water or less
SOURCE: Janet Graeff, Top of the Hill Bait Shop, Muphysboro (618-684-2923); Guide Al Nutty (618-694-4897)
Catfish are on a decent bite right now, better at night once it cools off some and they come shallow to feed on nightcrawlers, cut shad, stinkbait and large minnows. Largemouth bass are also pretty fair early and late on top-water in the weeds, some, but most are on Carolina rigs and deep-diving crankbaits; a few on Texas-rigged worms. Bluegill are decent around docks and fallen trees. Bluegill are 8-10 feet deep. I heard a report of walleye at 26-28 feet deep. Surface temperatures were ranging from 90-92 degrees this week. Crappie have picked up some on jigs and minnows, smaller minnows are producing best. Try in 14-20 feet of water. A few white bass reported. Otherwise this has been a pretty poor season.
SOURCE: Todd Gessner (618-513-0520); Jason Johns (618-927-3432); Bill Hudnall, Rend Lake Sporting Goods, Mount Vernon (618-242-2191)
Crappie are starting to bite again says Jason Johns. They’re not tearing up the water yet but you can go out and catch a good mess. Fish are best in 4-8 feet of water in brush—more brush than stakebeds. Bass are very tough, with a few being caught on spinnerbaits and crankbaits in the shallows where you find shad. Catfish are good. White bass are actually biting real well and are busting on main-lake flats and near bridges. Try rooster tails and white jigs.
• Click here for water level information.
Des Plaines River
SOURCE: Andrew Ragas
The flood waters from two weeks ago have finally subsided and the river is finally back in shape for some wading and boating. However, the fishing remains poor and we are having trouble catching a break as far as good fishing conditions are concerned. Few reports are out there, and those who may be fishing right now remain quiet. Hopefully heat stroke has nothing to do with it.
Despite that, best bets are for Pike (small), Channel Catfish, and Largemouth Bass. All three species are being found from the same areas right now. Deeper pools with current, weedbeds, downed wood, bridge areas, and places that are in direct shade from the hot sun. Pike and Bass are responding to spinnerbaits, in-lines, buzzbaits, and crankbaits with a fast retrieve. For Cats, you can probably catch them on anything right now because they seem to be everywhere.
Early mornings before it gets hot, and evenings, and middle of the night offer, by far, the best angling opportunities and feeding windows. If daytime fishing, look for shaded areas near shore. A degree or two difference could make all the difference in the world right now.
USGS gauge showing a 3.75. In other words, the river is saturated and soggy, but good, with poor water clarity. Water temperatures also registering at 80 degrees.
Lastly, few reports of Smallmouth Bass on the DPR creeks such as Hickory Creek. Small, but fun action size. At other places like Salt Creek, few reports other than an abundance of Carp.
• Click here for a Des Plaines River fishing forum.
SOURCE: Carol Culjan at Cajun Sporting Goods in Utica (815-667-4222)
• Near Utica white bass have started biting well at the dam on blade baits from 6-9 a.m. Water has cleared up and dropped to normal says Darrell “Buster” Culjan. Channel catfish are also good at the dam on dipbait, leeches and cut shad if you can find cut shad. Sheephead are good on crawdads.
SOURCE: Jordan Hubinsky, Time on the Water Marina, Spring Valley (815-663-1000)
• Near Spring Valley 129 pounds for six carp won last Saturday’s first tournament but the Big 30 event that followed went to a 189-pound sack after a cold front rolled through the area. Sauger are starting to turn on according to Jordan Hubinsky, with anglers doing best by trolling crankbaits. Some fish on the St. Bede flats. Catfish are good on cut bait with fish up to 12 pounds. White bass have started hitting well on blade baits and anglers are also catching decent numbers of largemouth bass on dark-colored worms.
SOURCE: Merle Keefer, Pekin Bass & Bow (309-347-3334); Tim Presley, Presley’s Outdoors, Bartonville (309-697-1193)
• Near Peoria white bass are decent at Duck Island according to Merle Keefer, with catches of 20-25, slower than last week’s 50-60 but still good. River anglers caught plenty of largemouth bass out of the Peoria pool last weekend, including Gary Stevenson’s six-fish sack of 10.17 pounds. Catfish are also good with dipbait and shrimp both producing says Adam Jaegle. Crappie had been good at Duck Island but slowed some.
SOURCE: Paul Dinkheller, Dink’s, Lewistown (309-547-1094)
• Near Havana white bass fishing has been very good in most backwater spots with water flowing into them. Sanganois was also good recently says Paul Dinkheller. Largemouth bass are also moving into main-river spots with water levels dropping.
SOURCE: Tom’s Bait Shop in Beardstown (217-323-BAIT)
• From Beardstown and south Asian carp are jumping very well according to Les Davenport, who guided the group pictured below. Kent Kropp and his sons Kyle and Kody shot several fish.
SOURCE: Ed Mullady, Sportsman’s Letter (815-932-7285)
The river is in good shape and smallmouth bass and channel cats are biting well. Ed Mullady said bass are good in the Momence area on live minnows, plastic worms, jigs and twister tails and spinnerbaits. Catfish head the bill around Kankakee, particularly at River Road and Cobb parks. Minnows, liver or cheesebaits are good bets. At Kankakee River State Park, smallies are biting in the mouth of Rock Creek and at Bryan, Gary and Amy islands. Catfish are good near Wilmington. and so are smallies on crawfish imitators and spinners.
Mississippi River Pool 16
River stage at Lock and Dam 15 is 9.38 feet. Channel Catfish - Good: Channel catfish are being caught on dip baits and crawlers fished around brush piles and logjams along the main channel and side sloughs. White Bass - Slow: Bluegill - Slow: Crappie - Slow: Walleye - Slow: Walleye fishing on the wing dams has been slow due to high and muddy water. There is debris in the water that makes trolling tough. A few walleyes are being picked up in Sylvan Slough and Sunset Marina.
Mississippi River Pool 17
River stage at Lock and Dam 16 is 9.21 feet. Channel Catfish - Good: Some channel catfish are being caught on dip baits, crawlers, and shad fished around brush piles and logjams along the main channel and sloughs. Channel catfish are also being caught at GPC. White Bass - Slow: Bluegill - Slow: Crappie - Slow: Walleye - Slow: Walleye fishing has been slow due to high and muddy water. There is debris floating in the water that makes trolling wing dams difficult.
Mississippi River Pool 18
River stage at Lock and Dam 17 is 12.00 feet. Channel Catfish - Good: Channel catfish are being caught on dip baits, crawlers, and shad fished around brush piles and logjams along the main channel and side sloughs. Bluegill - No Report: Crappie - No Report: Walleye - No Report:
Mississippi River Pool 19
River stage at Lock and Dam 18 is 8.61 feet. Flood stage is 10 feet. Channel Catfish - Good: Channel catfish are being caught on dip baits, crawlers and shad. Try fishing along brush piles and snags along the main channel and sloughs. Fishing along flooded islands can be good as well. Bluegill - No Report: Crappie - No Report: Walleye - No Report:
Mississippi River Pools 16 to 20: River stages are still above normal throughout Pools 16 to 20. Water clarity is poor. Fishing has been slow due to high and muddy water conditions. For more fishing information on Pools 16 to 20 of the Mississippi River contact the Fairport Fish Hatchery at 563-263-5062.
SOURCE: Tom Calam, Tom’s Bait & Tackle, Freeport (815-232-3337)
Anglers are catching decent numbers of 14-15 inch northerns and catfish says Tom Calam. Dipbait is the key for cats.
SOURCE: Tom Calam, Tom’s Bait & Tackle, Freeport (815-232-3337)
• Near Rockford there have been few reports. Water still running high.
SOURCE: Jan Prose at TJ’s Bait/Tackle & Canoe Rental in Oregon (815-732-4516)
• Near Oregon the river is dropping and has just opened. Carp and catfish are most numerous right now and catfish were good on dipbait at Castle Rock State Park. Cut bait and minnows are producing at the Oregon dam for channel cats and Dustin Logan caught a 25-inch walleye on Aug. 5.
SOURCE: Ray and Irene Hays, Bunny’s Bait Shop, Dixon (815-288-3812)
• Near Dixon the river reopened to boats on Tuesday and Ray Hays reports channel catfish are best on dipbait and also doing well on chicken liver, and nightcrawlers. Some crappie below the dam hitting larger minnows. Flathead are slower. Good numbers of carp taking the show. Big fish too. No bass reports. Sheephead are also slow. Some near Nelson but lots of little ones, bluegill sized.
SOURCE: Al Hayden, Al’s Sporting Goods, Galesburg and Paul Dinkheller at Dink’s in Lewistown (309-547-1094)
Anglers are back on the dam fishing at Bernadotte and flathead catfish are biting, with the biggest reported so far a 37-pounder caught by a Smithfield angler. Otherwise most have benn running 10-15 pounds. Channel catfish are also good on dipbait or deworms said Dinkheller. Some anglers are saying yellow dip worms are the key to success.