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Ice fishing report

January 30, 2009 at 04:37 PM

Here’s the latest ice fishing report compiled by Prairie State

Northern Illinois

Tom Calam of Tom’s Bait & Tackle in Freeport (8-15-232-3337) reports hit and miss ice fishing action on local lakes and the Mississippi River. Anglers switching back and forth between spikes and waxies and using finesse tails with artificial tube jigs. Fish 6-7 feet suspended in deeper waters. Crappie and bluegill good some days on the Mississippi around Sabula, Thompson Causeway, Savannah. Anglers using Rembrandts for crappies.

Apple Canyon is producing good numbers on bluegill. Those hitting area lakes, which have around 21/2 feet of ice cover but 7-8 inches of snow on top, also using teeter totters, darts, gill pills and diamond head jigs. Nena Lake good for northerns on tip-ups.

In the Chicago area, anglers finding perch small and spotty in and around Montrose, Belmont, Burnham Harbor and the Navy Pier says Henry’s (312-225-8538).

Good reports coming from Forest Preserve Lakes and Shabonna Lake on bluegills and crappie. Anglers using spikes and small fathead minnows. Some still finding browns and trout in open water fishing along the state line.

According to Mik-Lurch (219-989-0575), Willow Slough and Wolf Lake both are strong for ice fishermen. At Willow, bluegills, crappie and northerns all biting. Northerns and bass best at Wolf Lake on Illinois side. One angler caught 7 pound, 3 ounce largemouth bass using a tip-up on Indiana side of Wolf Lake.

Fox Chain O’ Lakes continues to be a hot spot for ice fishing, with Petite Lake producing good action on striper. The south end of Channel Lake good for bluegill, with the north end of Channel good for crappie late in the day and some bluegill. Lake Marie scattered for striper and slowing on walleye. Pistakee good deep water for crappie and bluegill, with a few striper also biting.

Central Illinois

At Evergreen Lake, the mouths of coves best says operations supervisor Mike Steffa (309-726-2022). Mallard, White Pines, Twin Cedars, Beaver Den all coves producing fair amounts of crappie and bluegill. West side of Deer Island and The Hump also fair. Some anglers even picking up an occasional yellow or white bass.

Crappie bite strong at Lake Storey says Al Hayden at Al’s Sporting Goods in Galesburg (342-7776). Crappie not big but hand-sized and good numbers. Minnows, waxworms with glow jigs best. Anglers finding occasional walleye while fishing for crappie with minnows. Late evening bite best for area farm ponds says Hayden.

Fulton County Camping & Recreation is good for bluegill bite early and late says site superintendent Jeff Harris (309-668-2931). A few crappie and bluegill also biting. Waxworms and spikes best, with different colored jigs working depending on weather and light conditions. A 12-inch thick cover making fishing good most places, but Harris encourages uses of caution, proper equipment nonetheless. Roads snow covered getting to locations.

Glen at Riverview Marine in Spring Valley (815-667-4222) says anglers doing well on crappie in the canals, Thunderbird Lake and Shabonna. Ice jigs sales steady.

In Peoria area, bluegills going good in area strip mines and farm ponds says Tim Presley at Presley’s Outdoors in Bartonville (309-697-1193). An 8-12 inch ice cover on most areas and warmer weather may make for prosperous weekend. Mousies and spikes being used. Fish have been suspended and were anywhere from 6-12-inches off bottom. At Banner Marsh, crappie bite strong at Bell’s Landing in brushy spots. Presley says Anderson Lake could have good potential this weekend.



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