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Illinois fishing report 9-10-09

September 10, 2009 at 02:24 PM


Give us our choice of anywhere to fish in Illinois right now and we’d pick…

• Channel catfish at Carlyle Lake, in the Rock River, on the Mississippi River near Alton.
• Northern pike at Spring Lake south.
• Crappie at Banner Marsh, other strip-mine lakes, at Forbes Lake, at Lake Shelbyville and in many other lakes and reservoirs throughout the state.
• White bass on the Illinois River.
• Muskie at Lake Summerset, where two brothers recently caught and released four muskie ranging from 43-48 inches over a two-day period, or at Kinkaid Lake.


• Paul Seppecht caught a 2.35-pound crappie at Banner Marsh on Aug. 29.
• Dave Clark caught this 3-pound walleye in the Mackinaw River on Sept. 5, 2009.
Illinois hunting and fishing
• Sam Schwager caught this chunky catfish weighing more than 10 pounds on Sept. 2 while fishing in a backyard pond near his home in Crest Hill. He was fishing a piece of nightcrawler under a bobber and was the Chicago Sun-Times’ Fish of the Week.
Illinois hunting and fishing

NORTHERN ILLINOIS North of Interstate 80

Apple Canyon Lake
SOURCE: Tom Calam, Tom’s Bait & Tackle, Freeport (815-232-3337)
Fishing average to slow here. Water clearing has allowed more bluegill and crappie to be caught. Some bass being picked up, but most small. Teddie Iaccino, 9, of Glen Ellyn caught the largemouth bass pictured below using a rubber worm on Sunday, Sept. 6 at Apple Canyon. Teddie is pictured with his father, Ted Iaccino.
Illinois hunting and fishing

Lake Carroll
SOURCE: Tom Calam, Tom’s Bait & Tackle, Freeport (815-232-3337).
Striper and white bass biting here. A few crappie and bluegill also being found.

Forest Preserve Lakes
SOURCE: Lee’s Bait and Tackle of Elk Grove Village (847-593-6424); Henry’s (312-225-8538)
Bass, bluegill and even some crappie have been coming out of these lakes. That includes the bass below caught at Tampier Lake.
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
Illinois hunting and fishing

Fox Chain O’ Lakes
SOURCE: Greg Dickson, Triangle Sports & Marine, Antioch (1-847-395-0813).
Fishing slow overall. Walleye, bass and muskie being picked up “here and there” but not real productive says Triangle. Bass, bluegill and panfish can be found shallow. Walleye and muskie out deeper. Triangle recommends staying north, from Grass Lake up. Bluegill are best says Bowman. Muskie are also biting well, particularly in Lake Catherine before sunrise or at night over weeds. Top-water baits working. Bowman says white bass are excellent on wind-blown shorelines with small minnows or small Mepps.
Click here to check updates on no-wake status and water levels or call 847-587-8540 .

Lake Michigan
SOURCES: Henry’s (312-225-8538), Vet’s (773-734-6720) and Dale Bowman of the Chicago Sun-Times.
• On the Chicago lakefront, anglers are in between perch and salmon seasons. Salmon just starting to come in on the harbors and fishing is fair says Henry’s. Salmon being picked on spoons up around 63rd Street and Jackson Park, as well as Burnham Harbor. Some king salmon are coming to shore and have been larger than last year according to Bowman. Best bite for kings is nights at Belmont and Montrose, but fish are spotty. For boaters Bowman suggests, “head east of Burnham in 80-90 feet close to Illinois-Indiana line for lakers and kings; northeast of the car ferry in 80-130 feet there’s kings, lakers and rainbows; and northeast of the R4 in 70-120 there jacks, kings, rainbows and a few lakers.”
SOURCE: The Salmon Stop (847-244-2525 or fishing hotline 847-244-9876)
• Near Waukegan anglers catching some salmon casting spoons, Lil Cleo’s or crocodiles. Brown trout biting on bait fish as fishermen using salmon eggs and nightcrawlers 2-3 feet off the bottom. Boat fishing is slow at between 90-120 feet. Warm water temps keeping fish lethargic.
SOURCE: Mik-Lurch (219-989-0575)
• Near Indiana, king salmon have arrived at Michigan City, Port of Indiana, Pastrick Marina, Hole-in-the-Wall, the shipping canals and hammond Marina. Shoreliners trolling with moonshine trolling spoons and J-plugs. Casters are using frenzy body baits, crocodile glow spoons and moonshine casting spoons. Kings also being found in Chicago area from 63rd Street to Diversity Harbor. Perch have slowed but should return for five-star fishing from the last week of October thorugh November says Mik-Lurch. Hole-in-the Wall and Cal Park areas typically hot spots then. The fall perch run promises to be one of the best in years, according to Mik-Lurch.  For creek fishermen, Trail Creek and Salt Creek producing steelheads, King and cohos. Try spinners in deeper holes. Steelheads taking small white flies.

Shabbona Lake
SOURCES: Guide Jay Angel (815-739-7030) and Denny Sands, Shabbona Lakeside Bait & Tackle, Shabbona (815-824-2581).
Crappie bite continues to be good here in the cribs about 6-7 feet down and in deep trees about 14-15 feet says Shabbona Lakeside Bait & Tackle. Crappie about half-pound to 3/4-pound on the average. Bass best on top waters early and late. Catfish taking chicken livers and nightcrawlers. Fishing over the holiday weekend was good along weedlines. Bluegills biting here on waxworms or leafworms. Walleye can be found about 20-22 feet down using leeches, nightcrawlers or minnows.  Pete Riedesel told Bowman smaller baits are best for muskie.
• 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

Wolf Lake
SOURCE: Mik-Lurch (219-989-0575)
Still producing good quality walleye for those who know the lake says Mik-Lurch.

NORTH-CENTRAL ILLINOIS South of Interstate 80 and North of Interstate 72/U.S. Route 36

Anderson Lake
SOURCE: Site manager Ed Oest (309-759-4484)
Catfish have been good on shrimp.

Argyle Lake
SOURCE:Site manager Robin Hinchee (309-776-3422); The Deck II Bait and Boat Rental shop (309-776-4275)
Crappie and bass biting best here says Hinchee. Saugeye bite starting to pick up, with lures in deeper water. Crappie taking minnows and worms. Bluegill, bass and catfish have been biting here says Deck II. Worms working best. Some crappie also biting on minnows or worms says Hinchee. Saugeye taking lures in deeper water. Overall bite slow the last couple weeks says Hinchee.

Banner Marsh
SOURCE: Adam Jaegle, Presley’s Outdoors, Bartonville (309-697-1193); Merle Keefer, Pekin Bass & Bow (309-347-3334); Tom Grider, Riverside Bait, Pekin (309-347-3793)
Crappie have started in pretty good says Keefer and have been moving shallower into 8-10 feet of water. Bass are very slow right now.

Lake Bloomington
SOURCE: Larry Dozard
Fishing is fair for most species says Dozard, who advises trying plastics and spinnerbaits along weeds for bass. Bluegill are taking waxies along weeds and near docks. Water is fairly clear and temperatures are in the 70s. Crappie fair to slow and best near brush or timber in 6-10 feet of water. Catfish are slow and stripers are slower.

Braidwood Lake
SOURCE: Del Colvin, Bert’s Bait, Essex (815-365-2103); Jon Meder, Jon’s Bait & Tackle, South Wilmington (815-237-2822)
Bass moving better here says Colvin. Smaller bass taking purple and white worms says Meder. Catfish biting on liver and shrimp. Bluegill being caught here using redworms or waxworms. Last day of fishing is Oct. 13.

Clinton Lake
SOURCE: Joanne Lowe, Mike’s Tackle World, Decatur (217-423-0730); Clinton Bait and Tackle, (217-935-3851)
Anglers catching a little bit of everything her using top-water baits says Lowe. Catfish good on shad gut, shad, shrimp or dipbaits.

Dawson Lake
SOURCE: Leon and Judy Gibson, Moraine View Concession (309-724-8295)
Catfish the main thing here, with anglers using shrimp, chicken livers or cheesebaits. Bass and walleye fair to slow says Leon Gibson. Tournament bass anglers new to the lake report slow fishing.

Emiquon Preserve
SOURCE: Paul Dinkheller, Dink’s, Lewistown (309-547-1094); The Nature Conservancy (309-547-2730)
Bass fishing is good with crankbaits running 6-8 feet deep still a top choice. Crappie are good to very good in 6-10 feet of water near weeds. Dink’s says Berkley’s 2-inch Gulp Alive minnows have been working well, since anglers are not allowed to bring in live minnows. Anglers must obtain a free permit at Dickson Mounds Museum (open 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.) before fishing here.

Evergreen Lake
SOURCE: Brad Wood, operations supervisor, (309-726-2022) or Larry Dozard
Fishing over Labor Day weekend was good with numerous reports of crappie says Wood. Lots of sorting but larger fish have been in 10-15 feet of water, which has been in the mid-70s with clarity of 6 inches to 1 foot. Bass were good over the weekend on top-water baits early. An 8-pound, 4-ounce lunker was caught near the dam by a submerged tree in 6 feet of water on a red and white spinnerbait at around 9 a.m. on Labor Day. Several small muskie have been reported by bass anglers and there have been numerous muskie follows. Bluegill are good along weed edges. Few reports on catfish.
Click here for up-to-date lake reports.

Heidecke Lake
SOURCE: Don Stephens, Greybeards (815-941-1504); Guide Mike Lynch (708-655-7667); Guide Greg Heath (815-258-9136)
White bass and yellow bass have been fair on two-rig jigs and crawler bits says Larry Dozard. Good numbers of small fish of 6-10 inches out of shallow mid-late flats (4-7 feet deep). Anglers are reminded that there is a 10-fish limit on white bass and only three can be over 17 inches. The last day of fishing is Oct. 6.

LaSalle Lake
SOURCE:Dale Bowman of the Chicago Sun-Times; Guide Mike Lynch (708-655-7667)
Last day of fishing is Oct. 15. In October, lake is open Wednesdays through Sundays.
Click here for a LaSalle Lake fishing forum.

Mazonia Lakes
SOURCE: Del Colvin, Bert’s Bait, Essex (815-365-2103)
Panfish on fire here says Colvin. Crappie bite good, with jigd pig working well. Crappie also taking crankbaits. A female angler caught a 12.5-pound bluecat using nightcrawlers last week. Rubber worms catching a few smaller bass. Last day of fishing is Oct. 13. Monster Lake at Mazonia South stays open year round.

Powerton Lake
SOURCE: Merle Keefer, Pekin Bass & Bow (309-347-3334); Tom Grider, Riverside Bait, Pekin (309-347-3793)
Very few fishing reports other than plenty of small channel catfish on most any catfish baits. The lake will be closed Sept. 21-23 for levee repairs and maintenance and will reopen Sept. 24 at 6 a.m.

Snakeden Hollow SFWA
SOURCE: Victoria Tackle Shop (309-879-2664)
Catfish are slow aside from some large fish out of Lake McMaster. Bass are fair on top-water lures says Terri Whiteside at Victoria Tackle Shop. Crappie are biting well on minnows in walk-in lakes, with some bigger fish reported. Mornings are best. Also reports of some big redear on minnows. Bluegill are fair but mostly small. No reports of walleye or muskie lately. Last day for fishing is Sept. 31.

Spring Lake
SOURCES: Troy Galvin, Galvin’s Spring Lake Market (309-267-6538) and Larry Karnes, Larry’s Restaurant and Family Bar, Manito (309-968-9500)
Fishing has picked up in the past week though there are few anglers out says Karnes. Northern pike have been very active on the south end, with two bass anglers reporting northerns on Wednesday. One angler caught three. Catfish are good in the evenings on nightcrawlers, shrimp and not as much on dipbait. Crawlers have been good all year. Bass are slightly better, with best results on top-waters and even spinnerbaits now that the moss has dropped back some. Still no reports of crappie. A few small bluegill being caught off shore in the turnoffs on waxworms.

Lake Storey
SOURCE: Al Hayden, Al’s Sporting Goods, Galesburg (309-342-7776)
Crappie are biting well outside weed edges and anglers are also catching a few walleye while fishing for crappie. Bass are decent on plastics and crankbaits. Early and late have been better, with some fish along weedlines during the day. Drawdown will start either Friday or Monday. The water has a very green tint.

Strip Mines
(Fulton, Knox, Peoria and Stark counties)

SOURCE: Presley’s Outdoors, Bartonville (309-697-1193); Dink’s, Lewistown (309-547-1094); and Larry Dozard; Tom Grider, Riverside Bait, Pekin (309-347-3793)
Crappie are biting better in most lakes and moving into 6-8 feet of water. Minnows a good bet. Bass are spotty most places says Jaegle. Fish are not on the fall pattern yet and are in a bit of a funk. Bluegill are fair on waxies and small worms in weed pockets.

SOUTH-CENTRAL ILLINOIS South of Interstate 72/U.S. Route 36 and North of Interstate 70

Carlinville Lake
SOURCE: Gwen Gilmore, Gilmore Bait & Marine, Carlinville (217-854-8136)
Rip-rap still being put in around Lake 1 making it tough there, but anglers finding some fish on Lake 2. Crappie biting good there on small shiners. With the heavy moss on Lake 2, bass anglers finding success using weedless lures — like snag proof mice and scum frogs — and popping them atop the moss. Rains all day Saturday slowed things down over the holiday weekend.

Charleston Side Channel Lake
SOURCE: Rick Cuddy, Prairie Outfitters, Charleston (217-348-6770)
Channel cats best here on cheesebaits or chicken livers. Hybrid stripers also biting on live bait. Some bass being picked up in the river using spinners, jigs and plastics.

Coffeen Lake
SOURCE: Scott Withers, Indian Grove Fish Camp, Coffeen Lake (217-537-3001)
Catfish are fair using nightcrawlers and cut bait. Largemouth bass are fair on rubber worms. Crappie on a good bite here says Jack Rebman.

Lake Decatur
SOURCE: Joanne Lowe, Mike’s Tackle World, Decatur (217-423-0730)
Fishing slow around the lake, but anglers catching a variety of fish below the big and little dam. Crappie, white bass, striper, catfish, Asian carp all being caught.

Lake Glenn Shoals
SOURCE: Jack Rebman, Kink’s Corner, Hillsboro (217-532-5442)
Crappie bite picking up, with fish taking jigs and some minnows in 4-5 feet of water. Bass improving on spinners or diving crankbaits. Catfish fair on cheesebaits.

Lake Hillsboro
SOURCE: Jack Rebman, Kink’s Corner, Hillsboro (217-532-5442)
Channel cats and crappie decent here. Cats taking shad, nightcrawlers, chicken livers. Minnow or jigs working for crappie.

Lake Lou Yaeger
SOURCE: Denny’s Bait Shop, Litchfield (217-324-2628)
Things very slow here. Crappie hit and miss says Rusty at Denny’s. Rains over holiday weekend kept many anglers away.

Lake Mattoon
SOURCE: Rick Cuddy, Prairie Outfitters, Charleston (217-348-6770); Joel Pittman, Mattoon Parks Department (217-254-6680)
Bass so-so here says Cuddy. Most using soft plastics but bass have been hard to catch. Crappie starting to pick up and coming in a little bit says Pittman. Crappie about 6-8 feet deep. Water temps in 72-73 degree range. Catfish hitting good on just aobut anything, like cheesebaits, shrimp or shad.

Mill Creek Lake
SOURCE: Dennis Shiley, Mill Creek Lake Park (217-889-3901)
Some smaller crappie biting here says Dennis. Night anglers still catching catfish with cheesebaits. No word recently on bass bite.

Lake Sara
SOURCE: Tony Niebrugge, Anthony’s Acres Resort, (217-868-2950)
Crappie moving in and taking minnows says Tony. Bluegill bite also good on waxworms. Largemouth bass have moved in as well and are taking crankbaits along the walls.

Lake Shelbyville
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
Crappie bite good in 10-12 feet of water in main lake and coves says Wilson. Good size crappie being found. White bass also good on in-line spinners. Lake temperature at 75 degrees Tuesday. Muskie should be due any time. One angler found good success on channel cats, in 2-3 pound range, drift fishing in the main lake creek arms.
• For a daily report on Lake Shelbyville call (217-774-2020).

Lake Taylorville
SOURCE: Lindsey’s Bait & Tackle, Taylorville (217-287-7550)
Crappie bite better deep, especially for boat anglers. Minnows best. Catfish biting on nightcrawlers or stinkbaits.

SOUTHERN ILLINOIS South of Interstate 70

Baldwin Lake
SOURCE: Site office (618-785-2555)
Bluegill have slowed, but crickets best bait says the site office. Catfish decent on shad or nightcrawlers. Bass taking spinners or crankbaits. Water temps at 82 degrees.

Carlyle Lake
SOURCE: Buddy Langenhorst, Lavish’s Bait Shop , Carlyle (618-594-4413); Henkel’s (618-594-4818)
Anglers still drifting for cats using shrimp, shad or nightcrawlers. White bass biting off the rocks using plastics, tube jigs. Off the flats, around the silos and some in the tressels taking crankbaits, Little George’s or slab spoons. Sauger and walleyes also being picked up trolling crankbaits. Bluegill biting around rip raps areas using crickets and red wigglers. largemouth bass taking crankbaits, spiner baits, plastic worms. Early morning best. From the banks, try cheesebaits or crawlers for cats says Henkel’s. Lake is at normal pool and muddy, with temperature at 73 degrees.
•  In the Kaskaskia River, Carlyle area—Crappie are fair on minnows and tube jigs. They are starting to pick up since the weather has cooled. Channel catfish are very good on Geno’s or Sonny’s stink bait. White bass are very good using in-line spinners combined with curly tails. Some nice hybrid bass (7 to 8 pounds) are being caught. Sauger are fair. A lot of small ones in-between the keepers. New Athens area—River levels are up slightly. Largemouth bass are very good on artifical lures. Catfish are good on shad, nightcrawlers and chicken livers.
• 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)
Fishing spotty here as not many anglers out. Bass taking top-waters in the mornings, buzzbaits, frogs, in the weed beds. Black and neon tubes or black and blue jigs flipping the weeds toward the afternoon and evening hours also working. Bluegill are fair on wax worms and crickets along banks. Crappie are fair using minnows and jigs under bridges. Channel catfish are fair using cheese bait, cut shad and leeches.

Lake of Egypt
SOURCE: Guide Matt Strobel (618-922-0354)
Bass scattered in 4-6 feet of water in weed beds and around bait fish. Bigger ones deeper using crankbiats or spinner baits. Those shallow taking shaky heads.

Forbes Lake
SOURCE: Site manager Glenn Wegener (618-547-3381); Mike Polcyn, Mike’s Bait & Tackle Shop, Louisville (618-665-3209)
Water is clear in main lake, murky on the north end. Bluegill are fair on red wigglers and crickets along shady shorelines. Crappie are good using minnows and jigs in brushpiles 6 to 10 feet deep. Crappie bite going strong with good numbers being caught says Polcyn. Most anglers using minnows but jigs also working. Look in 8-10 feet of water. Hybrid striper being caught by the dam bouncing minnows off the bottom or using crankbaits along points.. Early morning and late evening best. Channel catfish are good on chicken liver along shallow points. Largemouth bass are fair using plastic worms and crankbaits along points and brushpiles. Try crankbaits around points. Bass also in brush piles and laydowns. Walleye, sauger and muskie are poor.

Kinkaid Lake
SOURCE: Janet Graeff, Top of the Hill Bait Shop, Muphysboro (618-684-2923); Guide Al Nutty (618-694-4897)
Largemouth bass on a good bite around the deep points and humps says Nutty. Carolina rigs and deep diving crankbaits working. Jig and pig working in deeper lay downs. Walleye biting, in 14-18 foot bracket, trolling the main basin. Nightcrawlers and crawler rigs also working. Nice white bass also biting while anglers have been trolling for walleye. Muskie getting started. One angler hauled in six, with a 44-incher the biggest. Another caught a 471/2-incher in a half an hour outing. Catfish still going good on nightcrawlers, cut shad or shrimp. Crappie fair in 16-22 foot range. The better ones can be found in brush piles. Minnows and jigs working good.

Newton Lake
SOURCE: Ruth Rauch, Rauch’s Bait & Tackle, Newton (618-752-2151)
Catfish best here using stinkbaits or worms says Ruth. Bass second, with plastic worms working off the pionts. Look in deeper water for fish due to warm water temps.

Rend Lake
SOURCE: Todd Gessner (618-513-0520); Bill Hudnall, Rend Lake Sporting Goods, Mount Vernon (618-242-2191)
Water is stained and 74 degrees. Crappie are fair to poor using minnows; a lo tof small ones being caught. Largemouth bass are fair using crankbaits, jig & trailer and rubber worms along drop-offs and rip-rap areas. Channel catfish are very good using cut shad and worms along the bank and creek accesses and most places on the lake. Bluegill are fair using crickets in deep water.


Click here for water level information.

Des Plaines River
SOURCE:Andrew Ragas
Fishing on the Des Plaines River and its tributaries has been a hit or a miss, with early or late in the day by far being the best times for a multitude of species. Northern Pike are still been providing anglers with the most action and this will stand until end of November. However, size has been tremendously lacking with most fish running in the 15 to 25 inch range - skinny, and without much weight. Small bucktails, red/white/chartreuse/yellow spinnerbaits, buzzbaits, chatterbaits, jig and plastic grubs, and live bait under a float have been getting the most response. At this time, majority of the fish are relating to mid-river structure whether it be deep pools with current, weed-beds, and fallen timber; and if baitfish are around then it’s even better. Boat and wading access best for catching numbers.

Very few Walleye and Sauger reports right now. I am predicting that within a month, or once water temperatures fall down to 60-degrees and below, these fish will be a nightly ritual for us at places on the river with deeper water+hard bottom+current. But for now, if necessary, I would go after dark with minnowbaits and smaller swimbaits and hope for a bite at best.

Largemouth Bass up to 16 inches are also being found in places along with the Pike, and hitting the same lures.

Channel Catfish are still providing trying anglers with excitement with smaller 2-3lb fish being the normal catch. Live bait under a float, bottom rigs, and cut bait are the standard fare with evenings right before sunset being the best times.

As for the smaller DPR creeks and tributaries (Salt), they as well have been a hit or a miss with the fish being few and far in between in both the Cook and DuPage Co. forest preserves. I attribute this to the low water levels and lack of current in some of the deeper pools that I am usually accustomed to fishing and having success at. However, evenings and night have been the best for some action with small Pike, Largemouth Bass, and the occasional Walleye being caught on minnow imitators. Besides that, I wouldn’t spend much time on the creeks at this time: It’s all on the river.

Water temperatures running in the low 70-degree range with safe wading levels present all throughout the system.
Click here for a Des Plaines River fishing forum.

Fox River
Smallmouth bass action has slowed a bit, but fish have been taken near Algonquin and Geneva says Mike Jackson of the Arlington Heights Daily Herald.
SOURCE: Jim Hardy, Big Jim’s Bait & Tackle, Ottawa (815-434-3921)
Very slow fishing here as not many anglers gettting out says Hardy. Catfish still biting for anyone heading out.
Click here for a Fox River fishing forum.

Illinois River
SOURCE: Jim Hardy of Big Jim’s Bait & Tackle in Ottawa (815-434-3921)
• Above Starved Rock, pleasure boaters over the holiday weekend slowed down the fishing here says Hardy. Bank anglers were still catching some sheephead, catfish and a few white bass.
SOURCE: Carol Culjan at Cajun Sporting Goods in Utica (815-667-4222)
• Near Utica white bass are much improved, with a good bite early on blade baits and another 4 p.m. bait. Fish are at the dam and along the river. There’s also a good crankbait bite for sauger right now and once you find fish they have been taking jigs and minnows well. Catfish are fair on dipbaits early or at night. The river is low, clean and running at 74 degrees.
SOURCE: Merle Keefer, Pekin Bass & Bow (309-347-3334); Tim Presley, Presley’s Outdoors, Bartonville (309-697-1193)
• Near Peoria there are still white bass coming out of the Mackinaw River says Keefer.
SOURCE: Paul Dinkheller, Dink’s, Lewistown (309-547-1094)
• Near Havana bass fishing has been fair, with some decent fish in the mix. Some catfish still hitting on dipbait.

Kankakee River
SOURCE: Ed Mullady, Sportsman’s Letter (815-932-7285)
• From Indiana to Momence: Mullady says catfish are good on cheese baits* minnows* crawfish. *Smallmouth Bass good on *spinners *Mepps #2 or #3 spinners *jig and minnow * jig and twister tails.  Try for pike at creek mouths *underwater logs *remaining weedbeds. Good on big minnows *Dardevle Spoons *#5 Mepps Spinners.
• Near Kankakee through Sawmill Creek: Catfish Good on cheese baits *minnows *chicken liver *crawlers. Smallmouth Bass good on *minnows *jig and twister tails *top water baits on cloudy days and evening *crankbaits *crawfish(live and imitation).
• Near the Kankakee River State Park: Smallmouth Bass good especially around Nature Island *Carly Island and Gary Island. Baits include: live and imitation crawfish *top water baits early and late in day *Mepps #2, #3 Spinners *Mr.Twister Keeper Hook and Double Twister tails *streamer flies *nymphs.  *Walleye fair on *jig and minnow *jig and crawler.  Rock bass good on *live minnows *worms *rubber spiders *#2 spinners.
• Near Wilmington: Catfish continue good on *cheesebaits *minnows *chicken liver. Good numbers of Drum being caught…mostly on Medium size golden roaches.  Smallmouth Bass: Fair on spinners *jig & twister tails *top water baits on cloudy days and evening into the night.

Mackinaw River
White bass have been fair toward the confluence with the Illinois River and some sauger have been running upstream near deeper holes. Smallmouth bass are slow to fair.

Mississippi River
In the Alton area river levels have stabilized. Bluegill are good on crickets under a bobber near docks, structure and weeds with crickets and red wigglers. Catfish (channel, blue and flathead) are good on skip jack, stink baits, goldfish and cut bait near the bottom of the channel. Largemouth bass are fair to good on plastics and crankbaits. Crappie are fair on minnows and wax worms. Belleville, East St. Louis area—Water levels are up slightly, and water clarity is stained. Catfish are very good; some nice-sized fish are being caught garlic chicken gizzards and hearts. Bluegill are good on crickets. Largemouth bass are good on small topwater baits. The big ones are hitting on large shiners and buzz baits early in the morning and late in the evening. Bluegill are spotty on minnows.

Pecatonica River
SOURCE: Tom Calam, Tom’s Bait & Tackle, Freeport (815-232-3337)
Anglers moving around to find some catfish on dipbait.

Rock River
SOURCE: Tom Calam, Tom’s Bait & Tackle, Freeport (815-232-3337)
• Near Rockford catfish are biting on dipbait but not much else happening. Channel cats also taking stinkbaits says Rhodes. A 30-pound flathead caught last week. Try bluegills or sucker minnows for flatheads says Rhodes.
SOURCE: Jan Prose at TJ’s Bait/Tackle & Canoe Rental in Oregon (815-732-4516)
• Near Oregon several nice flatheads have been caught this past week. Most are on suckers and they have been coming north and south of the dam. Channel catfish are fair, but not in great numbers. Crankbaits have been bringing in some walleye and a few smallmouth bass.
SOURCE: Guide Matt Jones (815-537-5506 or 815-590-1469 cell) and Doc at Kodiak Outdoor Sports in Dixon (815-284-3075)
• Guide Matt Jones of Prophetstown said the flathead bite has been steady on live bat. Flatheads are in common areas on cover in 6-17 feet of water. Channel catfish are very good on cheesebait and small live baits. Water is around 68-70 degrees and the early color in the leaves is an added bonus. Below firefighter Brent Dean hoists a healthy Rock River flathead.
Illinois hunting and fishing

Spoon River
SOURCE: Al Hayden, Al’s Sporting Goods, Galesburg and Paul Dinkheller at Dink’s in Lewistown (309-547-1094)
Catfish are still good on dipbait and frozen shad, with lots of fish from 1-3 pounds. No reports on big flatheads.


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