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Illinois fishing report 4-22-10

April 22, 2010 at 01:07 PM


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

• Jumbo perch fishing on Lake Michigan out of Waukegan or in northwest Indiana.
• Smallmouth bass fishing on the Lake Michigan shoreline.
• Bass at the Emiquon Preserve.
• Crappie at Lake Glenn Shoals, Charleston Side Channel, Carlinville Lake, Banner Marsh, the Hennepin Canal, Mill Creek Lake, Sangchris Lake, Lake Shelbyville, Lake Springfield, Carlyle Lake, Horseshoe Lake and Lake Sara.
• Channel catfish at Spring Lake.


• Jill Henderson caught a 14.8-pound channel catfish at Anderson Lake.
• Joe Stava used a jig to catch a 6-pound largemouth bass at the south unit of Mazonia.
• East Peoria angler Nick Walker caught a 2-pound, 11-ounce crappie Saturday at Lake Sara using a minnow.
• A Pana angler caught a 9-pound walleye below the spillway recently.
• A Carlyle-area angler caught a 3-pound crappie Tuesday at Carlyle Lake using a minnow.
• A 25-inch bass was reportedly recently at Little Grassy Lake.

NORTHERN ILLINOIS North of Interstate 80

Apple Canyon Lake
SOURCE: Tom Calam, Tom’s Bait & Tackle, Freeport (815-232-3337)
Walleye, crappie and bluegill biting here but mostly action is slow and fish are small. Crappie minnows, walleye minnows, waxworms and working for baits. Anglers trolling for walleye with leeches. Early morning and late evening seem best times. Reminder: Crappie catch and release here until June 15.

Lake Carroll
SOURCE: Tom Calam, Tom’s Bait & Tackle, Freeport (815-232-3337).
Action also mostly spotty here with a few walleye, bass and crappie being picked up. Most on the small side. Reminder: crappie catch and release here until May 15.

Forest Preserve Lakes
SOURCE: Lee’s Bait and Tackle of Elk Grove Village (847-593-6424); Henry’s (312-225-8538)
Bass have been trying to head up shallow to bed but slowed some with cooler weather according to Dale Bowman. Crappie are better than bluegill, which have started biting better on crickets and waxworms.
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).
Triangle Sports reports water is getting warmer (in the mid-50s) and fishing is getting better. Walleye are finished with spawn and biting on large fatheads or nightcrawlers in current areas. Good time to catch walleye, with big ones available. Crappie and bluegill have moved into the channels and are taking waxworms or small fathead minnows. Some very good reports on bluegill from Arden Katz. Bass are 2-3 weeks from spawning. They are up shallow in channels or in about 2 feet of water. Try large roaches or artificials like rapalas, crankbaits, plastic worms. The 15th annual Challunge fishing tournament is Saturday on the Chain.
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 coho salmon have been spotty, with best action north to Montrose Harbor. Dale Bowman reports coho and browns best at the Montrose horseshoe and perch on Tuesday up to 1.5 pounds. Outside that smallmouth bass are best and are still improving, with fish up to 18 inches.
SOURCE: The Salmon Stop (847-244-2525 or fishing hotline 847-244-9876), Capt. Nick Ganzer (847-234-7208).
• Near Waukegan, perch are going strong in 65 feet of water using fathead minnows off the bottom. The two jumbo perch pictured below weighed in at 2 pounds and 1-14 and were both 15 3/4 inches long. Salmon very good in 30 feet south of Waukegan. Cohos are biting on flies and dodgers. Fishing good one day and slow the next says Ganzer. Perch biting in 50-60 feet of water using minnows off the bottom.
SOURCE: Mik-Lurch (219-989-0575)
• Near Indiana Some nice size perch biting in 40-45 feet of water around the Gary Lighthouse area says Vet’s. Fish up to 14-15 inches taking minnows or fly rigs. Nice cohos at the Hole-in-the-Wall and Cal Park shipping canal on dodgers, flies or rattling tin fins. Shoreline smallies are also biting.
Illinois hunting and fishing

Pierce Lake
SOURCES: Pam Minihan, Dora’s Bait & Tackle, Rockford (815-963-1795).
No reports here says Minihan. In the area, a local angler named Jim caught a 121/2 pound muskie at Tent Creek using minnows with a Mepps spinner.

Shabbona Lake
SOURCES: Guide Jay Angel (815-739-7030) and Denny Sands, Shabbona Lakeside Bait & Tackle, Shabbona (815-824-2581).
Water is into the high 50s and fishing is picking up, with reports of two good fish in the past week according to Angel. One was a 19.5-inch walleye caught last Saturday on a Lindy Rig tipped with a nightcrawler. The other was a 21-inch bass in the shallow waters of the northeast bay on a Rat-L-Trap. Crappie are fair on slip-bobbers and minnows fished over the campground cribs and standing timber at the entrance to the no-motor zone.
• 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)
Crappie, northern pike and bass biting here but mostly spotty says Vet’s. Bee moths working. Crappie taking small minnows or golden roaches for bigger fish. Some better walleye action.

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)
Trot-liners caught a few catfish in recent days, including a 14.8-pounder caught by Jill and Scott Henderson on a dew worm. But overall cats are just fair. A few nice crappie have come out of the inlet ditch, but anglers had to work for those. Campgrounds may open next week.

Banner Marsh
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)
Crappie are very good at the pumphouse on Shovel Lake says Grider, who has seen some up to 2 pounds. Bass have picked up, with a 6-5 caught this week on a spinnerbait. Males are up and cruising shallow but so are bigger females. Wednesday night’s bite was very good which could bode well for the IHSA sectionals on Friday.

Lake Bloomington
SOURCE: Larry Dozard
Crappie have been fair with bigger fish reported in the afternoons to evening according to Dozard. Bass are fair around timber and wood along the shore. Walleye are fair to slow on jig and a minnow in 9-12 feet of water.

Braidwood Lake
SOURCE: Del Colvin, Bert’s Bait, Essex (815-365-2103); Jon Meder, Jon’s Bait & Tackle, South Wilmington (815-237-2822)
Bass are being picked up, some 14-16 inches, biting on soft plastics. Pig-and-jig with a rubber worm working for bass says Meder. Bluegills going good on nightcrawlers. All that said, catfish are probably the best bet, with good numbers taking liver and shrimp.

Clinton Lake
SOURCE: Joanne Lowe, Mike’s Tackle World, Decatur (217-423-0730); Clinton Bait and Tackle, (217-935-3851)
Not much happening here says Lowe. A few channel cats and crappie biting.

Dawson Lake
SOURCE: Leon and Judy Gibson, Moraine View Concession (309-724-8295)
Catfish fair on chicken livers around Catfish Island. Walleye fair to slow on lures and spinnerbaits in 9-11 feet of water. Crappie good on jigs with waxworms by the dam in shallow next to rocks. Bass starting to spawn and biting on lures.

Emiquon Preserve
SOURCE: Paul Dinkheller, Dink’s, Lewistown (309-547-1094); The Nature Conservancy (309-547-2730)
Bass remain very good with reports of 60 in a few hours Wednesday night on a white spinnerbait. Soft plastics also working well for bass, with Senkos and beaver baits good options. Bluegill are also biting well and have moved very shallow where they are on the beds, judging by stretches of cloudy water. Anglers caught 50 the other night, all fat fish over 7 inches. Crickets and waxies working well. Anglers must obtain a free permit at Dickson Mounds Museum (open 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.) before fishing here.

Illinois hunting and fishing
Evergreen Lake
SOURCE: Brad Wood, operations supervisor, (309-726-2022) or Larry Dozard
Crappie are hitting real well on about anything thrown at them says Wood. They are currently doing best on small minnows or tube jigs. Many reports of anglers catching limits of 15 near the shore and around structure. Water is in the low 60s and slightly stained. Some saugeye have been reported in the last week, with the bite being a little slow. Bruce Wolf did catch a 27-inch, 7-pound saugeye (pictured above) on April 11. Dozard said saugeye were fair on jigs and Gulp minnows in 8-11 feet of water. Most are 14-16 inches. Bass fishing has started to heat up. I have heard several reports of 3-5 lb. Bass being caught with spinners and jerk baits. Lots of males up shallow. Muskie fishing has been slow, with only a few reports of catches trickling in. Some white bass also biting this week according to Dozard.
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)
Action continues to get better here, with crappie going very good. Crappie are along the shoreline and biting on minnows. Walleye also good on bass minnows or crawlers. Drifting with a jig working.

Hennepin Canal
SOURCE: Ann Downey, Northside Bait & Archery, Kewanee (309-852-4760)
Bass biting very well according to Time on the Water Outdoors. Crappie are also good throughout the canal with fish up to 14 inches and numerous limits.

LaSalle Lake
SOURCE: Dale Bowman of the Chicago Sun-Times; Guide Mike Lynch (708-655-7667)
Mik-Lurch reports good catfish and blues. Other fishing, particularly bass, have been tougher.
Click here for a LaSalle Lake fishing forum.

Mazonia Lakes
SOURCE: Del Colvin, Bert’s Bait, Essex (815-365-2103)
South unit starting to move fish says Colvin. Fish are on the beds and bass are biting. Bluegills are moving into the shallows. Local angler Joe Stava used a jig to catch a 6-pound largemouth bass. Crappie action picking up at Monster Lake, with a slip bobber and a minnow

Powerton Lake
SOURCE: Merle Keefer, Pekin Bass & Bow (309-347-3334); Jason Grider, Riverside Bait, Pekin (309-347-3793)
Very few reports, but there were good numbers of blue cats 15-20 pounds caught this week on shrimp. Hybrid stripers have slowed.

Snakeden Hollow SFWA
SOURCE: Site office (309-879-2607)
Catfish reports are still good according to Hayden and bluegill have started moving up shallow in strip lakes. Bass spawning in smaller walk-ins and shallow in the strip lakes.

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)
Bass have been spotty, with poor fishing last Saturday and better action Sunday. Most anglers are catching smaller fish this week says Karnes. Lizard bite is here, though, and some big females have taken the bait. The Peoria Sportsman’s Club tournament is this weekend so the lake will be very busy with boats. Channel catfish are good evenings along the park road on nightcrawlers. Some nice eater-fish and a few big ones. Crappie have improved on the south end this week. Bluegill are biting but small.

Lake Storey
SOURCE: Al Hayden, Al’s Sporting Goods, Galesburg (309-342-7776)
Crappie are still biting well and have been most cooperative in the early morning and later in the evening. They are on the beds and have been caught by boat and bank anglers with almost equal success. Bluegill are also biting well and have come shallow to take waxworms and redworms. Hayden said lots of people are talking about bass heading to the beds as they have seen males and big females cruising shallow. Anglers have had some success catching walleye on jigs worked across the bottom or on spinner rigs.

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; Jason Grider, Riverside Bait, Pekin (309-347-3793)
Mixed bag here for bass, with largemouths spawning in much of the Peoria, Fulton county areas and some even guarding fry already. Crappie are moving shallow in the afternoons and bluegill are also up and picking at beds, if not actively spawning yet. Some big fish reported last weekend. Crappie reports improved considerably on Wednesday says Merle Keefer of Pekin Bass and Bow.

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)
Crappie, bass and bluegill are biting but fishing has slowed some with recent cold front. Minnows, nightcrawlers and red wigglers seem to be the baits of choice here.

Carlinville Lake
SOURCE: Gwen Gilmore, Gilmore Bait & Marine, Carlinville (217-854-8136)
Crappie bite still very good using minnows or medium shiners says Gilmore Bait & Marine. A few catfish also being picked up on Sonny’s
Super Sticky bait or nightcrawlers. Some small bass also being picked up.

Charleston Side Channel Lake
SOURCE: Rick Cuddy, Prairie Outfitters, Charleston (217-348-6770)
Crappie continue to get better, with bigger fish being caught. Crappie are more shallow and taking minnows, waxworms or jigs and tubes. Saugeye also good on a jig and three-inch twister tails. Channel cats good on chicken livers and nightcrawlers.

Lake Decatur
SOURCE: Joanne Lowe, Mike’s Tackle World, Decatur (217-423-0730)
Action fair here. Some hybrid striper biting and Asian carp being picked up “big-time” below the spillway. On the lake, crappie are biting but anglers need to work for them.

Lake Glenn Shoals
SOURCE: Jack Rebman, Kink’s Corner, Hillsboro (217-532-5442)
Crappie moving into their beds and taking minnows. Some good-sized crappie, in 12-13 inch range, biting. Bass fair on spinners, with
biggest caught lately between 4-4.5 pounds. Channel cats also going good on shad or Sonny’s cheesebaits.

Lake Hillsboro
SOURCE: Jack Rebman, Kink’s Corner, Hillsboro (217-532-5442)
Crappie and catfish best here. Crappie taking minnows, while catfish biting on shad or cheesebaits.

Lake Jacksonville
SOURCE: Tom Holmes, Military Surplus Outlet, Jacksonville (217-243-6161) and Lake Jacksonville Campground (217-479-4646)
Crappie good some days, not so good others says Holmes. Crappie taking minnows or jigs. Bass fair on crankbaits.

Lake Lou Yaeger
SOURCE: Denny’s Bait Shop, Litchfield (217-324-2628)
Crappie best here on minnows says Denny’s.

Lake Mattoon
SOURCE: Rick Cuddy, Prairie Outfitters, Charleston (217-348-6770); Joel Pittman, Mattoon Parks Department (217-254-6680)
More crappie being picked up here on minnows, waxworms or jigs and tubes. Bass getting better with a mixture of baits such as spinners,
crankbaits or jigs. Catfish also doing good here on nightcrawlers, shrimp or shad. Water is up and clear with water temps at 63 degrees.

Mill Creek Lake
SOURCE: Dennis Shiley, Mill Creek Lake Park (217-889-3901)
Crappie bite excellent, about 3-5 feet deep using minnows, says Mill

Sangchris Lake
SOURCE: Jack Raymond, Peter’s Bait, Springfield (217-528-9500); Trevor Miller, Big Red’s Bait and Tackle, Springfield (217-820-9674)
Crappie running everywhere here says Pete’s. Crappie shallow and taking minnows or jigs. Some crappie up to 16-17 inches being caught. Bass should start picking up in a week or so here with water temperatures climbing daily.

Lake Sara
SOURCE: Tony Niebrugge, Anthony’s Acres Resort, (217-868-2950)
Decent-size bluegill starting to bite on waxworms. Crappie still hitting good and moving in a little closer. Minnows and jigs working. East
Peoria angler Nick Walker caught a 2-pound, 11-ounce crappie Saturday using a minnow. Some incidental bass being caught fishing for crappie.

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 going very good here in shallow laydowns midway back of coves says Wilson. Welch is catching limits on main-lake trees midway down the lake. He is also tight-lining jigs over brush on the north end 5-7 feet deep. “A blind fool can catch them now,” Welch said. Walleye are biting on the points using small shad colored crankbaits. White bass also taking small crankbaits or tube jig rigs, twister tails. Largemouth bass moving shallow and starting on beds. Pana angler caught a 9-pound walleye below the spillway recently. Water is 63-67 with good color.
• United Methodist Men’s Club crappie tournament here May 1, 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. Call Ken Wilson (217-454-2672) for more information.
• For a daily report on Lake Shelbyville call (217-774-2020).

Lake Springfield
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)
Crappie “hot and heavy” in about 3-4 feet of water and taking minnow or jigs says Pete’s. Water temps climbing. Catfish stirring on stinkbaits.

Lake Taylorville
SOURCE: Lindsey’s Bait & Tackle, Taylorville (217-287-7550)
Crappie biting good on minnows and bluegills taking waxworms says Lindsey’s. Catfish also taking just about anything, especially doughbaits.

SOUTHERN ILLINOIS South of Interstate 70

Baldwin Lake
SOURCE: Site office (618-785-2555)
Crappie and bluegill both spotty here. Catfish biting on stinkbaits. Bass taking spinners.

Carlyle Lake
SOURCE: Buddy Langenhorst, Lavish’s Bait Shop , Carlyle (618-594-4413); Henkel’s (618-594-4818)
Fishing very good right now says Henkel’s. Crappie biting, between 18 inches to two feet deep, on minnows or tube jigs. Good-sized crappie being caught, with several 2-plus pounders hauled in. A local angler caught a 3-pound crappie Tuesday using a minnow. Bluegill are heading into the banks and are being caught on waxworms or redworms. Target the same areas as you have for crappie: around flats or fallen trees. A few largemouth biting. Flathead cats being picked up by trot-liners says Lavish’s. Channel and blue cats biting on cut bait, shad gut, Sonny’s or nightcrawlers. White bass are biting but not many and they are taking curly tails or rooster tails. Below the spillway, sauger taking curly tails tipped with minnows or nightcrawlers. White bass and sauger both biting by the suspension bridge.
• 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 good here says Reed. Crappie, bluegill, catfish and bass all being picked up. Crappie located from the banks out and taking minnow or jigs. Blue and white, red and chartreuse or pink and chartreuse colored jigs working. Look in weed beds or laydowns in 2-4 feet of water. Bluegill moving in and taking waxworms or crickets in 3-5 feet of water around rip-rap. Catfish biting on nightcrawlers mostly but some on cut bait or shad around Wolf Creek Road. Bass spotty. Weekend tournament winner needed 43 pound total to win two-day tournament.

Devil’s Kitchen
SOURCE: Ron Reed, Cooksey’s Bait, Marion (618-993-3366)
Good-sized crappie and bluegill here. Anglers catching crappie on minnows and jigs. Bluegill taking waxworms or crickets.

Lake of Egypt
SOURCE: Guide Matt Strobel (618-922-0354)
Crappie are up on the banks in grassy areas near the back end of the lake says Garner. Look for wooded areas, laydowns. Blue and white jigs working or medium minnows in 2-5 feet of water. Most fish are fairly small. Bass good on soft plastics pitched around grassy areas in 2-6 feet of water. Green pumpkin, black and blue, black neon or lizards and tubes working.

Forbes Lake
SOURCE: Site manager Glenn Wegener (618-547-3381); Mike Polcyn, Mike’s Bait & Tackle Shop, Louisville (618-665-3209)
Fishing poor here with water muddy from recent rains. Crappie are being caught shallow on minnows and jigs says Wegener. A few channel cats also being picked up. Water temps at 68 degrees.

Horseshoe Lake, Alexander County
SOURCE: Jim Melton, Melton’s Fish Camp (618-776-5504)
Crappie biting good here on the north end on chartreuse jigs or minnows in a foot to a foot and a half of water near the banks. Channel cats also being picked up drifting nightcrawlers. Channel cats fairly good on the east side of the lake using nightcrawlers.

Kinkaid Lake
SOURCE: Janet Graeff, Top of the Hill Bait Shop, Muphysboro (618-684-2923); Guide Al Nutty (618-694-4897)
Crappie bite fair here, with most in 8-10 inch range or the occasional 12-15-incher or infrequent 15-17-incher. Most crappie have spawned. Surface temps in the low 70s. Some smallmouth bass biting. Muskie on a good bit casting or trolling bucktails, crankbaits or glide baits. A number of walleye being caught using beetle spins slow rolling them over the top of weed edges. One 22-incher caught. Catfish on good bite using nightcrawlers, cut shad or shrimp. Big bluegill biting, around laydowns or the docks, on waxworms, mealworms, some crickets or bits of crawlers. There’s also good news regarding smallmouth bass here, which were first stocked in the fall of 2005. Fish are now reaching legal size, including this 16-5-incher sampled by biologist Shawn Hirst last week.
Illinois hunting and fishing

Little Grassy Lake
SOURCE: Shirley Lowery, Little Grassy Boat Dock (618-457-6655)
Crappie hitting here says Reed. Fishing great here says Little Grassy Boat Dock. Catfish, crappie, bluegill, bass all moving. One 25-inch bass recently caught.

Newton Lake
SOURCE: Ruth Rauch, Rauch’s Bait & Tackle, Newton (618-752-2151)
Outage at power plant slowing things down here. Anglers are still catching some bass using plastic worms or crankbaits in 3-5 feet of
water. Bass moving back off the points and can be found around boat ramp and dam areas. Channel cats being picked up on large minnows.

Rend Lake
SOURCE: Jason Johns (618-927-3432); Bill Hudnall, Rend Lake Sporting Goods, Mount Vernon (618-242-2191); Todd Gessner (618-513-0520
Crappie bite good here. Fish are up shallow and in bushes where you can’t see the bottom says Johns. Crappie taking jigs and minnows. Jigs and Berkley Crappie Nibble working says Hudnall. Chartreuse colored jigs seem to be best. Bass are spawning. Those staging up in pre-spawn mode can be caught with jigs and spinners says Hudnall. Black and blue jigs working and small white Colorado spinners best. Look for heavy structure. The bucks are in the bushes. Anglers might try working plastic frogs in the grass or thick brush for bass. Catfish good here some days but not so good others. Drift fishing working best for cats in 5-6 feet of water using nightcrawlers. Plenty of bluegill being caught but most not that big. Waxworms, crickets, red wigglers all working but they seem to be taking just about anything.

Sam Parr Lake
SOURCE: Sharon Long, Long’s Tackle Box, Robinson (618-544-2709)
Catfish and crappie both good here says Long’s Tackle Box.


Click here for water level information.

Des Plaines River
SOURCE: Andrew Ragas
Click here for a Des Plaines River fishing forum.

DuPage River
SOURCE: Click here for a DuPage River fishing forum.

Fox River
SOURCE: Ken Gortowski
• Ken Gortowski reported to Dale Bowman that the river was in “perfect wading condition” earlier in the week with some good smally action and an impressive hatch of insects.
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 the Starved Rock dam anglers picking up smallies, catfish, a few white bass and some sauger. Smallies taking spinners or beetle spins. Catfish biting on minnows, cut bait or worms. White bass and sauger also taking spinners. Some catching sauger using crankbaits.
SOURCE: Carol Culjan at Cajun Sporting Goods in Utica (815-667-4222)
• Near Utica water is 62 degrees, at normal levels and clarity is good up to 1 foot deep said Buster Culjan. Stripers are on the drop-offs up and down the river and in the rip-rap. There is also a sauger bite going still in anywhere from 12-16 feet of water on jigs and also by trolling. This is true up and down the river. It’s a good sauger bite. We’re just coming into our white bass run and river shiners are just starting to show up here. We’re even catching channel catfish at night on shrimp and nightcrawlers.
SOURCE: Jordan Hubinsky, Time on the Water Marina, Spring Valley (815-663-1000)
• Near Spring Valley the river is in good shape and sauger are biting in the St. Bede flats. White bass are really starting to turn on. Across from the Vermilion River has been a hotspot lately. Blade baits are good. Some fish also up into the Vermilion.
SOURCE: Marge Hankins, Hankins Riverview, Henry (309-364-3617)
• Near Henry catfish are fair on nightcrawlers and some dipbait. Few reports on white bass.
SOURCE: Merle Keefer, Pekin Bass & Bow (309-347-3334); Tim Presley, Presley’s Outdoors, Bartonville (309-697-1193)
• Near Peoria very few reports on white bass yet, even at Duck Island.
SOURCE: Paul Dinkheller, Dink’s, Lewistown (309-547-1094)
• Near Havana there have been few reports on white bass. Eater-sized channel catfish are taking dew worms and some dipbait.

Kankakee River
SOURCE: Ed Mullady, Sportsman’s Letter (815-932-7285)
Ed Mullady said lilacs are blooming along the river which is a sure sign smallmouth bass are biting. Overall the river was at normal level on Thursday and clearing well with pike up to 32 inches reported in Indiana near English Lake. In Illinois waters, he reports ...
• From Indiana to Momence walleye are good, especially on shorelines and mouths of ditches, on Rattlin Rogues, jointed plugs, minnows, crawlers. Catfish are good throughout on minnows, crawlers and cheesebaits and rock bass are biting.
• Near Kankakee through Bourbonnair Riverfront Park, walleye are good on jigs and minnows, plugs and weighted keeper hook Mr. Twisters with minnows.
• Near the Kankakee River State Park walleye are fair above the rocks, rock bass are best near creek mouths, run-offs, drifts and riffles and catfish are good throughout.
• Near Wilmington walleye are good on jigs and minnows, crankbaits and crawlers fished near shore. Also some good crappie action and catfish are also good.

Mackinaw River
SOURCE: Guide Jonn Graham (309-399-7055)
River is in prime fishing form right now with good smallmouth action and white bass starting down near the confluence with the Illinois River. Catfish are fair to good and bankpolers are getting out. Some rain will actually help on catfish.

Mississippi River
Mississippi River Pool 12
River stage at Dubuque is 10.2 feet and dropping.  Water clarity is fair and water temperature is in the high 50s to low 60s.  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.  Northern Pike - Fair: Reports of a few northern being caught on deep crankbaits in coves, marinas, and backwaters.  Channel Catfish - Good: Channel cats are starting to bite on stink bait.  Fish are coming out of side channels and shallow backwater areas with flow.  Largemouth Bass - Fair: Bass are biting on crankbaits, jerk baits, swim jigs, and spinner baits in backwaters.  White has been producing best.  Key in on areas with rock or woody structure.  Crappie - Slow: A few crappie are being caught in the marinas around the docks on jigs tipped with minnows.  Sauger - Fair: Reports of a few sauger still being caught of the barge on the Wisconsin side of the tail water.  Walleye - Fair: Walleye fishing has been picking up as they transition from the spawn to summer pattern.  Reports of fish coming off of wing dams on three way rigs tipped with leeches and crawlers.  Some walleye were also being caught on deep running crankbaits in marinas and deeper backwaters.

Mississippi River Pool 13
River stage at Bellevue is 8.83 feet and is falling.  Water clarity is fair and water temps are in the high 50’s to low 60’s.  Channel Catfish - Fair: Catfish are starting to bite on stink bait in side channels or shallow areas in backwaters with flow.  Largemouth Bass - Fair: Bass are starting to bite on crankbaits, spinner baits, and swim jigs in the backwaters or side channels with moderate flows.  Key in on areas with rock or woody structure.  Crappie - Slow: A few crappie are being caught at the tubes at White’s Crossing above Town Lake.  Walleye - Fair: Walleye fishing has picked up as fish transition from the spawn to summer patterns.  Anglers are starting to catch walleyes on the wing dams on three way rigs tipped with leeches or crawlers.

Mississippi River Pool 14
River stage at Camanche is 11.7 feet and dropping.  Water clarity is fair and water temperature is in the high 50s to low 60s.  Channel Catfish - Fair: Catfish are starting to bite on stink bait in side channels and shallow backwater areas with flow.  Walleye - Fair: Walleyes are starting to bite on the wing dams on three-way rigs tipped with leeches or crawlers, jigs with ring worms, or crankbaits.

For fishing information in Pool 12 to 15 of the Mississippi River contact the Bellevue Fish Management and Research Station at 563-872-4976

Mississippi River Pool 16
River stage at Lock and Dam 15 is 9.02 feet and falling.  Fishing has improved especially for walleye and sauger near the dam. Catfish are biting on shad parts and dip bait.  Channel Catfish - Good: Catfish are biting on shad parts and even dip baits   White Bass - Fair: White bass are biting on jigs and twister tails and rattle traps in Sunset Marina and backwaters Crappie - Fair: Crappie and bluegill are biting in Sunset Marina.  Walleye - Good: Walleye and sauger are biting on jigs and minnows near the dam.

Mississippi River Pool 17
River stage at Lock and Dam 16 is 8.07 feet and falling.  Channel Catfish - Fair: Catfish are biting on shad parts and green worms.  White Bass - Fair: A few white bass are being caught near GPC and the mouth of Mad Creek.  Walleye - Fair: walleye and sauger are being caught along the riverfront and wing dams upstream from Muscatine.

Mississippi River Pool 18
River stage at Lock and Dam 17 is 6.69 feet and falling.  Channel Catfish - Good: Catfish are hitting on shad parts, night crawlers and liver Largemouth Bass - Good: Bass are starting to move into the backwaters and hitting on your favorite bait Crappie - Good: Crappie and bluegill are biting on jigs and minnows in backwaters.

Mississippi River Pool 19
River stage at Lock and Dam 18 is 9.32 feet and falling.  Channel Catfish - Fair: Catfish are biting on shad parts and night crawlers

All of the pools in the lower portion of the river are dropping due to the lack of recent rains.  The forecast for rain in the next couple of days could change this situation


Pecatonica River
SOURCE: Tom Calam, Tom’s Bait & Tackle, Freeport (815-232-3337)
Water starting to go down, but action still slow.

Rock River
SOURCE: Tom Calam, Tom’s Bait & Tackle, Freeport (815-232-3337)
• Near Rockford, walleye are taking crankbaits and crappie are taking minnows. Some catfish also being picked up on dipbaits, cutbaits or worms. Most cats not very big. Plenty of carp biting.
SOURCE: Jan Prose at TJ’s Bait/Tackle & Canoe Rental in Oregon (815-732-4516)
• Near Oregon, a few smallies being picked up on light blue paddle tails, chartreuse tails or Rapalas. Catfish can be found near the shoreline using dipbaits, nightcrawlers or liver. Good sizes in the past week. The river is down a little making it easier for anglers to get out, but rain expected this weekend.
SOURCE: Ray and Irene Hays, Bunny’s Bait Shop, Dixon (815-288-3812)
• Near Dixon catfish are slowing down, from good a few days ago to spotty now. Cats still taking just about any bait you throw at them. Walleye also spotty on minnows or some even being caught on twister tails and jig heads. Walleye still have eggs in them. A few flathead reports. White bass and crappie also spotty, but good in the creek areas on minnows. Carp easily caught here.

Spoon River
SOURCE: Al Hayden, Al’s Sporting Goods, Galesburg and Paul Dinkheller at Dink’s in Lewistown (309-547-1094)
Fiddler-sized and larger channel catfish are biting well on dew worms. Bank polers are also starting in force with one report of a nice flathead according to Dink’s. Water still a bit high at the Bernadotte Dam. Smallmouth bass and sauger also biting well as the river is clear. Rain should not hurt much if it’s not a monsoon.

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