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Illinois fishing report 4-29-10

April 29, 2010 at 03:03 PM


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

• Bluegill in smaller ponds, lakes and shallow lakes all over Illinois as well as Kinkaid Lake.
• Crappie at Evergreen Lake, Lake Storey, the Emiquon Preserve, strip-mine lakes in the northern two-thirds of Illinois, Mill Creek, Sangchris, Lake Springfield, Forbes, Carlyle Lake and Lake Shelbyville.
• Perch fishing on Lake Michigan, most likely out of Waukegan.
• Bass at the Emiquon Preserve, Shabbona Lake and on Lake Michigan (for smallies).
• Streams for smallmouth bass.
• Channel catfish on the Spoon River below the Bernadotte dam.
• White bass on the Illinois River.


• Greg Davis (right in the picture below) of Peoria caught a 51.75-inch muskie at McMaster Lake in Snakeden Hollow State Fish and Wildlife Area on Wednesday while bass fishing with a purple worm. At left is Brandon Arnold, who helped net the fish.
Illinois hunting and fishing

• Garret Whitehurst of Yates City caught the 23-inch bass pictured below last Sunday while fishing a Knox County strip-mine lake. He was fishing a Power Bait craw.
Illinois hunting and fishing

NORTHERN ILLINOIS North of Interstate 80

Apple Canyon Lake
SOURCE: Tom Calam, Tom’s Bait & Tackle, Freeport (815-232-3337)
Some walleye action here. Bluegills and crappie also biting. Minnows, waxworms, crawlers, leaf worms being used with small jigs around the dock areas. Fish are in deeper waters but not too deep and are starting to stage. Reminder: Crappie catch and release here until June 15.

Lake Carroll
SOURCE: Tom Calam, Tom’s Bait & Tackle, Freeport (815-232-3337).
Sunday walleye tournament produced good size walleye. Crappie can be found in 10-15 feet of water about 30-40 yards out from the banks. Bluegills also biting. Minnows, leeches and waxworms working for baits here. 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)
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).
Bluegills good in the shallows says Triangle Sports. White bass fair in 10-15 feet of water, with Marie best. Crappie rated as good in the mouths of channels. Some northern pike on spoons.
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 Cohos and steelhead trout still being picked up along the shoreline says Henry’s. Smallmouth bass “exploding” and the next six weeks should be 5-star action for smallies says Mik-Lurk.
SOURCE: The Salmon Stop (847-244-2525 or fishing hotline 847-244-9876); Capt. Nick Ganzer (847-234-7208).
• Near Waukegan, anglers were getting limits on cohos 20-30 feet from the harbor to the state line until high wind, rain front came in Friday. Perch was also very good until the weekend. Ganzer expects action to pick up this weekend and reports more fish are being caught this year than last year at this time. Fishing good one day and slow the next says Ganzer. Perch biting in 50-60 feet of water using minnows off the bottom. Perch fishing “phenomenal” says the Salmon Stop. Fish biting in 65 feet of water south of Waukegan Harbor. Jumbo perch being picked up on large fatheads fishing off the bottom. Salmon very good in 30 feet south of Waukegan. Cohos are biting on flies and dodgers.
SOURCE: Mik-Lurch (219-989-0575)
• Near Indiana the Gary Lighthouse area is still producing steady perch on the clay flats when wind conditions permit anglers to get out. Salmon scattered. Trollers are catching fish using dodgers and flies or Rapala No. 7 jointed.

Pierce Lake
SOURCES: Pam Minihan, Dora’s Bait & Tackle, Rockford (815-963-1795).
Minihan says anglers are buying up crappie minnows but no reports coming back to date.

Shabbona Lake
SOURCES: Guide Jay Angel (815-739-7030) and Denny Sands, Shabbona Lakeside Bait & Tackle, Shabbona (815-824-2581).
Sands says this weekend should be great time to haul in crappie. Recent bass tournament produced 27 fish, with top catching 5.7 pounds and 4.75 pounds. Rat-L-traps the bait of choice here, even for the muskie that are active all over the lake. Bluegill and walleye are down.
• 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 going into deeper channels but still producing says Mik-Lurch. Some walleyes being caught drifting slow in deep water using split shot and black floating jig head tipped with a leech.

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)
Bluegill have been fair along the rip-rap on the north end of the lake, fat fish though most 6-7 inches. Crappie are very spotty, with anglers catching 5-6 some days and none the next. Few catfish reported. Not many trotliners out. Campground will be open this weekend for the first time since last October.

Argyle Lake
SOURCE:Site manager Robin Hinchee (309-776-3422); The Deck II Bait and Boat Rental shop (309-776-4275)
Crappie are fair to good and so are saugeye. Crappie are in the shallows and biting well. The saugeye are starting to come up to the shallows also said Hinchee. Some catfish are also biting, 3-4 pounders are fairly common.

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)
Bass are tough right now, with fewer fish than expected on the beds Monday. Some on lizards and soft plastics, otherwise spinnerbaits still best for numbers. Crappie are good, with some big fish reported out of the Main Access.

Lake Bloomington
SOURCE: Larry Dozard
Crappie are fair says Dozard, with lots of smaller fish being caught. Best action in 10 feet of water over and around brush. Yellow bass also taking jigs. Walleye fair to slow on jigs fished off seawalls where shad are active. Hybrid stripers are slow to fair, also along seawalls. Bass are fair to slow around shore timber. Water is 60-62 degrees.

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 biting good on the cool side of the lake using spinners, any shad bait or crankbaits on the humps says Colvin. Small cats biting and bluegills taking waxworms, redworms or crickets.

Clinton Lake
SOURCE: Joanne Lowe, Mike’s Tackle World, Decatur (217-423-0730); Clinton Bait and Tackle, (217-935-3851)
Crappie biting here on jigs or minnows. Channel cats can be picked up around the 48 bridge. White bass taking Cicadas, gay blades or Bid Dudes. Below the spillway, Asian carp plentiful and a few nice size walleye being caught.

Dawson Lake
SOURCE: Leon and Judy Gibson, Moraine View Concession (309-724-8295)
Walleye have been hitting and largemouth bass also good. Bluegills are being picked up. Crappie and bass both fair, but weekend should see crappies coming up to spawn.

Emiquon Preserve
SOURCE: Paul Dinkheller, Dink’s, Lewistown (309-547-1094); The Nature Conservancy (309-547-2730)
Lo and behold, the crappie can be caught here. Numerous reports of good crappie catches (most better than 10 inches) from the shallows or just off shallower ditches. Also good reports off the old gravel pit north of the boat ramp. No minnows allowed but waxies working and so is Berkley Gulp minnows. Also several nice fish on smaller spinners and crankbaits. Bluegill also shallow and fat. Worms will work. Bass remain active on soft plastics, swim baits, flukes, Senkos, spinnerbaits and crankbaits. More mixed reports: some catching 10-20, others 50 per man. One group even blanked on bass. 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
Crappie are very good, though most are 8.5-9.5 inches long. Hook and minnow or tube jig and minnow working very well. Fish are shallow around any kind of structure. Water ranging from upper 50s to low 60s, clarity is 6 inches to 1.5 feet and slightly above normal pool. Saugeye are doing fairly well too says Brad Wood. Again, most are small in the 2-pound class and under. A jig and (bigger) minnow or a jig and crawler working best in the early mornings and evenings. Around Swimming Beach and Boat Rental doing good, as well as the mouths of coves and around the Big Flats area. Bass are doing fair to good. A lot of small ones being caught, but we did have a report of a 5-pounder and an 8-pounder being caught. Coves are your best bet right now using minnow baits and plastics. The muskie are slow to fair. Some reports trickling in. Over the last week a 24-inch two in the low 30’s, and a 42-inch was reported. The ones reported were all caught in close to the shoreline on a spinnerbait or bucktail. The catfish are still very slow right now.
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)
Big fish being caught here says Mik-Lurch. Good-sized hybrids being caught drift fishing with a split shot and golden roach. Crappie taking crappie minnows or pieces of crawler. Walleye spotty. Water temps at 59 degrees on Wednesday. Greybeards looking for action to pick up this weekend with better weather.

LaSalle Lake
SOURCE: Dale Bowman of the Chicago Sun-Times; Guide Mike Lynch (708-655-7667)
Mik-Lurch says catfish on very good bite here using cut bait, cut bluegilles or cut shad. Blue cats up to 20 pounds biting.
Click here for a LaSalle Lake fishing forum.

Mazonia Lakes
SOURCE: Del Colvin, Bert’s Bait, Essex (815-365-2103)
Bass are being picked up on pig and jigs or spinners. Crappie coming up to spawn and can be found on Monster Lake or Ponderosa. Crappie minnows and a slip bobber working.

Powerton Lake
SOURCE: Merle Keefer, Pekin Bass & Bow (309-347-3334); Jason Grider, Riverside Bait, Pekin (309-347-3793)
Catfish are the main bite here, with smaller channels active and taking crawlers, dipbait, shrimp and chicken livers. A few blue cats on bluegill or cut Asian carp, most 10 pounds or under. Very few smallmouth reports.

Snakeden Hollow SFWA
SOURCE: Site office (309-879-2607)
Greg Davis of Peoria caught a 51.75-inch muskie here Wednesday while bass fishing with a purple worm. The fish weighed 31.24 pounds and had a 21.5-inch girth. McMaster Lake also produced a 5-pound bass this week and crappie have been good there and elsewhere in the park. Redear are also biting well and bluegill have backed off some after coming on last week. A local angler caught a 3.25-pound crappie at Cabin Fever. The Depot Bait and Tackle store (309-879-2401) is now open in Victoria, seven days a week from one hour before sunrise to one hour after sunset. The store has a full line of bait and tackle.

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 fishing very uneven for last weekend’s Peoria Sportsman’s Club tournament, won by Aaron Geheber and Andy Wegener with 31 pounds in two days. They fished the north end. Jigs and lizards were producing fish, as were some small crankbaits. Bugs and wind have limited fishing pressure this week for boaters, but bank anglers have caught some nice, plump bluegill off the rocks along the park road says Karnes. Channel catfish are still fairly good but have backed off some. Numerous reports of multiple-muskie catches by bass anglers last weekend.

Lake Storey
SOURCE: Al Hayden, Al’s Sporting Goods, Galesburg (309-342-7776)
Report similar to last week, with crappie going good and some decent-sized fish being caught says Hayden. Some are 10- and 11-inchers and most are at least in the range of 8-9 inches. Fish are shallow and taking jigs or minnows, with boat boat and bank anglers cashing in. Bluegill are also biting and there were even reports of some big gills caught on Thursday. A few anglers have been catching walleye by accident while crappie fishing. Bass are a little tough as they are heading to the beds. Big ones are close to shore but have been tough to catch.

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)
Very good crappie fishing in many lakes, with fish schooled at 8 feet deep in some lakes and ranging all the way shallow to 12-18 inches in others. Fish are coming shallow mostly in the afternoons. Bluegill are also moving shallow and have been taking waxworms well. Some fish starting to tend to beds. Best of the bluegill spawn should be coming soon. Bass are fair to good to slow. Very uneven. Spawning some places, backed off in others and biting well in some. Hard to put a pattern on them right now. Some catching on soft plastics and small crankbaits. Swim baits a good option. And the Senko bite is also on in full force, with a 6-pounder and several 4-pounders caught last Saturday near Victoria.

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 bite had slowed but beginning to pick back up again says Eggers. Minnows or mealworms working. Bluegill also biting on waxworms or mealworms. Not many reports yet on bass or catfish.

Carlinville Lake
SOURCE: Gwen Gilmore, Gilmore Bait & Marine, Carlinville (217-854-8136)
Rainy weather keeping action slow here on both lakes. Water very muddy and more rain expected on the weekend not helping matters.

Charleston Side Channel Lake
SOURCE: Rick Cuddy, Prairie Outfitters, Charleston (217-348-6770)
Fishing continues to pick up here says Cuddy. More saugeye action, with anglers using quarter-ounce Rat-L-Traps, nigthcrawlers or twister tails. Stripers biting on chicken livers or Rat-L-traps. Channel cats taking nightcrawlers, chicken livers or cheese baits.

Lake Decatur
SOURCE: Joanne Lowe, Mike’s Tackle World, Decatur (217-423-0730)
Action so-so here. Water is up. Anglers are catching crappie off the banks but you have to work for them. White bass and Asian carp also biting here.

Lake Glenn Shoals
SOURCE: Jack Rebman, Kink’s Corner, Hillsboro (217-532-5442)
Anglers had been picking up quite a few crappie before recent rains, using a mixture of either jigs or minnows. Crappie had come closer to the shore, but cooler weather has likely pushed them deeper. Bass fishing has been good on plastics or deep diving crankbaits. Catfish also good on shrimp or frozen baby shad. Some bluegill, about hand size, biting on crickets or redworms.

Lake Hillsboro
SOURCE: Jack Rebman, Kink’s Corner, Hillsboro (217-532-5442)
Catfish the main thing here, with cats taking shrimp or frozen baby shad. A few smaller crappie also biting on either minnows or jigs.

Lake Jacksonville
SOURCE: Tom Holmes, Military Surplus Outlet, Jacksonville (217-243-6161) and Lake Jacksonville Campground (217-479-4646)
A few more crappie being picked up than last week 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)
Bass beginning to pick up on a mix of crankbaits in baby bass colors or jigs. Crappie biting on tube squirts or jigs.

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 Creek Lake Park.

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 hard here on minnows says Pete’s. Crappie are egging up but not ready to spawn yet. Last weekend bass fishing was fair to slow, with Bill Hurst of Bartonville topping the Illinois Central tournament with three fish weighing 8.3 pounds, including one that went 5.1.

Lake Sara
SOURCE: Tony Niebrugge, Anthony’s Acres Resort, (217-868-2950)
Nice size white bass caught recently trolling. Plenty of crappie and bluegills biting but not many big.

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 still the main thing here. Crappie are 6-8 feet deep, but some can be caught deeper as the colder weather has moved some. Crappie are getting ready to spawn and action should continue to be good next week. Some walleye and white bass also biting on the lake, with shad imitated crankbaits. Below the spillway, anglers finding white bass and small sauger and walleye on 1/8 ounce to 1/4 ounce chartreuse twister tails. United Methodist Men’s Club crappie tournament here Saturday. Entry fee is $50 per boat (includes big fish prize). Boat check in at 5 a.m. at Ninth Street boat ramp. Tournament runs 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 running hard here on minnows says Pete’s. Crappie are egging up but not ready to spawn yet. At the river, catfish are biting on crawfish and leeches.

Lake Taylorville
SOURCE: Lindsey’s Bait & Tackle, Taylorville (217-287-7550)
Crappie starting to spawn and taking minnows. Catfish being caught on nightcrawlers or catfish bait.

SOUTHERN ILLINOIS South of Interstate 70

Baldwin Lake
SOURCE: Site office (618-785-2555)
Fishing has slowed down some lately here. Bass can still be caught using plastics. Bluegill biting on minnows and catfish taking earthworms. No reports on crappie.

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, located — like 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 overall here says Reed. Crappie had slowed but has picked up recently on jigs or minnows. Strobel recommends a 1/16 ounce jig tipped with slider grubs or tube jigs. Most bigger females have moved off the banks with the cooler temperatures says Garner. Red and chartreuse, orange and chartreuse or pink and chartreuse tube jigs good for crappie. Bluegills still good on jigs or waxworms and channel cats taking cut bait or cut shad. Cats can be found around Wolf Creek Road. Bass slowing here but they are being caught on spinnerbaits, with some on top waters, shaky heads and jigs.

Devil’s Kitchen
SOURCE: Ron Reed, Cooksey’s Bait, Marion (618-993-3366)
Anglers are catching fish but overall bite has slowed says Reed.

Lake of Egypt
SOURCE: Guide Matt Strobel (618-922-0354)
Bass good here on spinnerbaits, with some taking top waters, shaky heads and jigs. Strobel recommends 1/8 ounce jig here. Crappie remains spotty.

Forbes Lake
SOURCE: Site manager Glenn Wegener (618-547-3381); Mike Polcyn, Mike’s Bait & Tackle Shop, Louisville (618-665-3209)
Crappie best here on minnows and jigs around shallow logs and laydowns one to three feet deep. Crappie ranging from 6-12 inches in length. Bluegill, Channel cats, largemouth bass and walleye/sauger all fair. Bluegills taking red wigglers. Cats taking nightcrawlers in shallow weedlines. Largemouth bass biting on plastics or crankbaits in shallow laydowns and and weedlines. Walleye/sauger taking crankbaits on points. Hybrid striper and muskie both poor. Water temps 65-70 degrees and water in muddy. Visibility improving to 8-10 inches.

Horseshoe Lake, Alexander County
SOURCE: Jim Melton, Melton’s Fish Camp (618-776-5504)
Crappie biting good here 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.

Kinkaid Lake
SOURCE: Janet Graeff, Top of the Hill Bait Shop, Muphysboro (618-684-2923); Guide Al Nutty (618-694-4897)
Bluegill are coming on pretty strong and this year the average bluegill is of better size says Nutty. Lots of 8- to 9-inch fish where before it was a struggle to even tough 8 inches. Bluegill are on the beds in places but most have not heard the spawning bell. Crappie are fair to good, still a few with eggs but most have spawned. Still some in as little as 18 inches of water, but most of the better fish are in 4-8 feet of water around heavy brushpiles. Largemouth bass are coming on strong right now. Jig and pig has slowed but spinnerbaits are still taking fish. Muskie are eating anything you throw in front of them. This is one of my favorite times of year. You can catch them on top-water, glide baits, jerkbaits, rubber baits, just about anything. You put it in front of a hungry fish and they are going to eat it. Catfish are good. A buddy of mine got out to the water just as the creeks were really starting to flow and loaded a five-gallon bucket in little over an hour. He was using cut shad. Nightcrawlers and chicken liver working. A few walleye caught on Beetle Spins rolled over weedbeds. There was a 22-inch walleye caught two weeks ago.

Little Grassy Lake
SOURCE: Shirley Lowery, Little Grassy Boat Dock (618-457-6655)
Crappies are not out of spawn and going toward the beaver huts. Large crappie still being caught using minnows or white and chartreuse jigs. Bass are off their nets and biting on spinners or large rubber worms. A number of bass have also been picked up on minnows. Bluegills are ready to nest and are taking creickts or small red wigglers. Catfish are moving shallow and big ones are being caught on shrimp or livers. A 17-pound flathead cat caught in the narrows a week ago. Some bullhead cats being sited.

Rend Lake
SOURCE: Jason Johns (618-927-3432); Bill Hudnall, Rend Lake Sporting Goods, Mount Vernon (618-242-2191); Todd Gessner
Report here


Click here for water level information.

Des Plaines River
SOURCE: Andrew Ragas
Northern Pike, lacking in size, headline this week’s fishing along with some other surprises and encounters. Water temperatures are currently holding at, or near 60-degrees and flows are excellent for wading, holding steady at 650/720 with gauge height at 3.5.

Over the past few weeks, not a whole lot of excitement has been happening at the river. Anglers fishing for Pike have been catching plenty, but there has been absolutely zero size on any fish. Dan Sims has been the most active amongst my river fishing crew and he reports that plenty of 18 to 24 inch fish are actively chasing down Mepps spinners with #3 and #4 blades. Majority of the fish are relating to deeper pools, mid-river channels, emerging weedbeds, stumps and laydowns, and creekmouths and backwater entrances. He also writes that a lot of fry are swimming in the shallows and backwater areas, and that the Bass should be spawning soon.

Besides inlines and small bucktails, Pike are responding to spinnerbaits (white/gold), jerkbaits such as Rapala X-Raps, shallow running crankbaits, and live bait drifted beneath a float.

Along with Pike, Largemouth Bass and the rare Smallmouth Bass are making appearances on angler hooks as well. Largemouths up to 18? are being reported from wooded shorelines and weedbeds, but are difficult to find on a consistent basis. However, most fish are running anywhere from 10 to 14-inches and are providing plenty of action on spinnerbaits and crankbaits.

Lastly, Channel Cats in the range of 4 to 8-pounds are being taken from shore anglers fishing deeper pools with a mixture of rock and wood with current. Cut baits and live baits are catching most fish with late afternoons and evenings best.

Very little to report on the creeks and tributaries. Salt Creek is currently infested with green Chladaphora algae which makes fishing and wading close to impossible (unless you want to pull 2-feet of algae off your line after every-other cast), while nobody seems to be fishing and giving Hickory Creek a try.

With the creeks in a funky mood, fishing remains to be best on the river. With optimal wading conditions, now would be a GREAT time to explore.
Click here for a Des Plaines River fishing forum.

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

Illinois River
SOURCE: Carol Culjan at Cajun Sporting Goods in Utica (815-667-4222)
• Near Utica the river is down to normal pool and clean. Anglers are catching a few white bass and sauger. First sauger. You’ve got to sort through plenty of 13-inchers to get to the legal fish. Best action catching them in 12-13 feet of water on sand. Jigging or pulling crankbaits working. Water is 62 degrees. As far as white bass, they are probably in the middle of the spawning run says Buster Culjan, since males are squirting milk. “This coming week should be the prime time,” he said. A few big males are in the Vermilion. Bigger females are all on drop-offs up and down the river. Lots of drum hitting on nightcrawlers. Catfish are slow. River shiners are showing up in the river.
SOURCE: Jordan Hubinsky, Time on the Water Marina, Spring Valley (815-663-1000)
• Near Spring Valley sauger are still biting very well says Hubinsky but it’s tough to catch keepers. This weekend is the FLW tournament and most anglers are pulling three-way rigs, with fire-tiger Rapalas the hot color and lure. Bigger fish reported on the flats at Hennepin but they are not biting well and there are not many fish. More fish but fewer keepers on the St. Bede flats. White bass are off and on: some killing them, others struggling. Target areas where streams feed into the river for best success.
SOURCE: Merle Keefer, Pekin Bass & Bow (309-347-3334); Tim Presley, Presley’s Outdoors, Bartonville (309-697-1193)
• Near Peoria the dam is finally up at Peoria’s lock as of 2 p.m. on Thursday. White bass should start massing below the dam early next week or sooner. And given some warm weather, get ready for Asian carp snagging to start in earnest.
SOURCE: Paul Dinkheller, Dink’s, Lewistown (309-547-1094)
• Upstream from Havana white bass are biting well.
SOURCE: Tom’s Bait Shop in Beardstown (217-323-BAIT)
• Near Beardstown fishing is fairly slow with few anglers out. A few catfish on trot-lines baited with shrimp, leeches and crawlers. But very few reports on white bass or largemouth bass.

Kankakee River
SOURCE: Ed Mullady, Sportsman’s Letter (815-932-7285)
The Kankakee River went up a bit today, but fairly clear and fish are hitting says Mullady. Smallmouth and Largemouth Bass good. Special limits and closed seasons. Keep in mind that on the Kankakee River in Illinois and its tributaries between April 1, 2010 and June 15, 2010, all “smallmouth bass caught, must be immediately released”. Regulations different in Indiana portion of river and tributaries. Rock Bass, crappie are good around logs *bridge piers *creek mouths on *crawlers *redworms *minnows *small spinners. Catfish good in the river and tributaries on worms, minnows and cheesebaits.

Mackinaw River
SOURCE: Guide Jonn Graham (309-399-7055)
The river is in great condition reports Graham, with clear water and low enough conditions to allow wading, but not too low for a canoe trip.

Mississippi River
Mississippi River Pool 11
Flathead Catfish - Fair: A few nice flathead being caught in the tail waters.  Bluegill - Good: Some nice bluegills being caught from shore by the DNR ramp but the bite is light so use light line and small jigs and pieces of worm.  Smallmouth Bass - Fair: Some smallmouth bass are being caught fishing near rock in good current.  Yellow Perch - Fair: A few nice yellow perch being caught on worms.  Freshwater Drum - Excellent: A lot of drum being caught along shoreline in the Guttenberg area fishing a worm on the bottom.  Drum are excellent eating fish especially when prepared fresh.

River levels have fallen and leveled out and fishing is getting good on the river. River levels at Lansing 8.1 feet, Lynxville 15.4 feet, and Guttenberg 7.0 feet.  Water temperature is around 60 degrees.

Mississippi River Pool 12
River stage at Dubuque is 9.47 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 WI 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 7.91 feet and is falling.  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 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 11.23 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: Walleye 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 12-15 of the Mississippi River contact the Bellevue Fish Management and Research Station at 563-872-4976

Mississippi River Pool 16
Tail water stage at Lock and Dam 15 is 8.29 feet. Fishing has been slow. Most fishing reports are coming from area lakes and ponds.  Channel Catfish - Slow:  White Bass - Slow:  Bluegill - Slow: Fishing for bluegills in backwaters has been slow.  Crappie - Fair: Crappies are being caught in Sunset Marina on jigs and minnows or floating minnows under a bobber. Crappie fishing in the backwaters has been slow.  Sauger - Slow:  Walleye - Slow:

Mississippi River Pool 17
Tail water stage at Lock and Dam 16 is 7.41 feet. The gates are beginning to be put back in the water at the dam. Most fishing reports are coming from area lakes and ponds.  Channel Catfish - Good: There are reports of channel catfish being caught at GPC on dip baits and crawlers.  White Bass - Slow: White bass fishing has been slow. A few fish are being picked up along the Muscatine Riverfront casting jigs and twisters.  Bluegill - Slow: Bluegill fishing in the backwaters has been slow.  Crappie - Slow: Crappie fishing in the backwaters has been slow.  Walleye - Fair: Walleyes are being caught on the wing dams towards the dam. A few fish are also being picked up along the Muscatine Riverfront casting jigs and twisters.

Mississippi River Pool 18
Tail water stage at Lock and Dam 17 is 10.03 feet. The Toolesboro ramp is open. Fishing has slowed down this past week. Most fishing reports are coming from area lakes and ponds.  Channel Catfish - Slow:  White Bass - Slow:  Bluegill - Slow:  Crappie - Slow: A few crappies are being picked up in the backwaters on jigs and minnows or floating minnows under a bobber.  Walleye - Slow:

Mississippi River Pool 19
Tail water stage at Lock and Dam 18 is 7.01 feet. River conditions have fallen but the water is still muddy. Most fishing reports are coming from area lakes and ponds.  Channel Catfish - Fair: Channel catfish are being caught on night crawlers fished along the bottom.  White Bass - Slow:  Bluegill - Slow:  Crappie - Slow:  Walleye - Slow:

Mississippi River Pools 16-20: River levels have been fairly steady to falling over the past week. Main channel water temperature is between 58-60 degrees. Most fishing reports are coming from area lakes and ponds. For more fishing information contact the Fairport Fish Hatchery at 563-263-5062.

Rock River
SOURCE: Tom Calam, Tom’s Bait & Tackle, Freeport (815-232-3337)
• Near Rockford

SOURCE: Jan Prose at TJ’s Bait/Tackle & Canoe Rental in Oregon (815-732-4516)
• Near Oregon walleye are starting to pick up on night crawler or minnow with twister tail says Prose. Smallmouth bass are doing well at Carnation Park and east shoreline at the dam. Catfish are biting on liver, worms and dip baits. River is a good level. Also crappie hitting at the wall, and brush piles.

Spoon River
SOURCE: Al Hayden, Al’s Sporting Goods, Galesburg and Paul Dinkheller at Dink’s in Lewistown (309-547-1094)
Catfish are excellent below the dam at Bernadotte and have been taking nightcrawlers best. Lots of fish from 3-5 pounds. An angler also caught and released a 4-foot sturgeon this week.


Your CommentsComments :: Terms :: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

they are biting at the wabash 48 today on 2 rod and reels….

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 05/02 at 07:07 PM

Anybody got any info for east central Illinois? Lake Vermilion in Danvillle, Lake Mingo?

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 05/03 at 07:47 AM

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