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Central Illinois fishing report for Sept. 7

September 07, 2012 at 12:12 PM

Peoria Journal Star

What’s biting:

Cooler weather and rain-free forecasts for the weekend have area fishermen and bait shops excited after what has been a tough few months.

“We had no ice over the winter and that kicked our butts, then we go through two months of 100-degree weather and then a hurricane rolls through here on a key holiday weekend,” said one retailer. “Part of me
will be glad when the season is over, to be honest. But hopefully this weekend will be good for everyone.”

Honey holes

Action is improving on area strip mines and farm ponds as bass are hitting top water soft plastics.

Catfish continue what has been one of their best seasons ever on Illinois River, hammering cheese baits like Sonny’s and Hoss’s Hawg around the edges of the channel.

Crappie still slow, bluegill improving and both expected to pick up around mid-September.

Last weekend’s rains did not add much to river level, but rain did make the fish more active.

Clinton Lake was seeing nice, fat black crappie by the hot water discharge at DeWitt Bridge.

About 60 were hauled in on minnows there in one evening.

Catfish still strong on Sonny’s cheese bait.

Walleyes are good, bass just fair.

At Dawson Lake, crappie are excellent, hitting minnows.

Down at the south end of the lake, bass are strong on artificial baits.

Catfish yield is strong throughout the lake, hitting worms.

Great fishing at Snakeden Hollow, as crappies are biting aggressively on minnows.

Walleyes started hitting Tuesday, on leeches, and a few of 20 inches or more were caught from the dock.

Also: strip lakes in the area are yielding turtles, on cut bluegill or stew beef as bait.

“They caught a 26-pounder the other day that had a head the size of a softball,” one bait shop pro reported.

Strong catfish hauls on Hoss’ Hawg bait along channels in Rend Lake.

Bass fair on jigs, plastics and spinners.

Bluegill fair on wax worms; crappie slow, but hitting jigs and minnows.

At Argyle Lake, bass, bluegill, crappie and saugeye all were less than fair, while catfish action was stronger on dip baits and night crawlers.


Snakeden Hollow reported several big bass caught in the area.

Oscar Mejia, of Cambridge, hauled in a 5-pound, 7-ounce, 22.5-inch bass on live bait at a nearby conservation club.

Tip of the week:

From Bass Pro Shops: Jigs and minnows are the best crappie baits year-round, but if one or the other doesn’t produce, try a jig/minnow combo.

A marriage of live bait and artificial lure sometimes does the trick for finicky fall crappie.

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