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Illinois fishing report 4-8-10

April 08, 2010 at 01:40 PM


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

• Bass at the Emiquon Preserve.
• Crappie at Carlyle Lake, Little Grassy Lake, Forbes Lake, Sangchris Lake and various strip-mine lakes in Fulton, Peoria and Knox counties.
• White bass in the spillway below Carlyle Lake or at Lake Springfield.
• Bass at Little Grassy, Newton Lake and in central Illinois strip-mine lakes.


• An angler caught a 4-pound, 9-ounce white bass last weekend at Sangchris Lake while fishing for crappie with minnows.
• An 8.5-pound bass was caught last weekend at Little Grassy Lake.
• Chad Fargher (below) of Washington caught this 8.9-pound bass at a Fulton County strip-mine lake last Saturday on a chatterbait.
Illinois hunting and fishing
• Lance Rhodes (below) caught a 16-pound channel catfish this week at Spring Lake that had a 12-inch shad in its belly.
Illinois hunting and fishing
• Jake Ewing caught this 7-pound bass last Saturday at a Woodford County lake.
Illinois hunting and fishing

NORTHERN ILLINOIS North of Interstate 80

Apple Canyon Lake
SOURCE: Tom Calam, Tom’s Bait & Tackle, Freeport (815-232-3337)
Recent heavy storms slowing things down here but action was decent over the weekend. Anglers catching bluegills, a few small bass and some walleye. Walleye being caught jigging with walleye minnows. Reminder: Crappie catch and release here until June 15.

Lake Carroll
SOURCE: Tom Calam, Tom’s Bait & Tackle, Freeport (815-232-3337).
A few northerns and walleye biting here, with walleye in 8-12 inch range. Reminder: crappie catch and release here until May 15. Elsewhere, trout season began with decent reports of fish biting on yellow trout bait or crappie minnows, some 18-20 inches.

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).
Triangle Sports reports lot of crappie and bluegill moving in the deeper channels. Water is two feet low now but should come up quickly with recent rains. Best bet is to fish back channels. Pan fish should be spawning soon as will be northern muskie. Bass are out deeper, not quite in channels yet but in mouth area getting ready to move in. Medium or large roaches good for live bait or crankbaits, Rat-L-traps good for artificials. Walleye can be found under bridges or in the river, wherever there is current. Use large fatheads or small roaches. Small fatheads working for pan fish.
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 salmon biting at the Shedd Aquarium on spoons, crankbaits, nightcrawlers or minnows on the points or off piers in open water says Henry’s. Other spots inclde Adler, Burnham Harbor and 63rd. Perch have slowed. Smelt season opened last Thursday and Dale Bowman reports a few decent catches and one mess reported at Montrose. Nets can go in at 7 p.m. and must be out by 1 a.m. Smallies are starting to bite. Bowman reports that Carl Vizzone caught the smallie pictured above between Navy Pier and 31st on soft baits, float and fly and jigs with maggots. Anglers can keep only one black bass of 21 inches or longer in Illinois waters of Lake Michigan.
SOURCE: The Salmon Stop (847-244-2525 or fishing hotline 847-244-9876)
• Near Waukegan the Salmon Stop said perch were fair at about 50 feet for boaters and reported a few perch on the south end of Government Pier.
SOURCE: Capt. Nick Ganzer (847-234-7208).
• Near North Point wind switching to the north slowing action some, but anglers are catching cohos and perch around Gary, Indiana Lighthouse. Perch in about 48-52 feet of water. Trout being picked up at the Hole-in-the-Wall.

Pierce Lake
SOURCES: Pam Minihan, Dora’s Bait & Tackle, Rockford (815-963-1795).
Most anglers have been out looking for trout at Four Lakes Forest Preserve. Some striper and walleye biting on minnows by the Rockford dam says Minihan.

Shabbona Lake
SOURCES: Guide Jay Angel (815-739-7030) and Denny Sands, Shabbona Lakeside Bait & Tackle, Shabbona (815-824-2581).
Guide Jay Angel says lake approaching 50 degree mark and anglers are finding crappie off the fishing cribs on the north side of the lake near the campground shoreline. Best bet is to fish over the cribs with crappie minnows.
• 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

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)
A few anglers have been trot-lining but reported fair results, with just eight channel catfish in two trips, on dew worms said Ed Oest. The campground is still closed.

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 fishing was very good last Saturday morning and remained good early in the week, with best results on spinnerbaits, chatterbaits and some crankbaits. White, chartreuse and pink have all been good colors. Jim Babcock of East Peoria and Mitchell Jacobs won last Saturday’s tournament on Shovel Lake with three keepers weighing 15.76 pounds, including a 6.5-pounder. Nearly a dozen fish over 4 pounds were weighed. Crappie are improving, with fish biting fairly well in 4-8 feet off shore and moving shallow on sunny afternoons. Jigs or minnows are working well. Muskie nets raised a 48.5-inch, 30-pound female on Wednesday out of Wheel Lake (below).
Illinois hunting and fishing

Lake Bloomington
SOURCE: Larry Dozard
Crappie are fair but scattered in 6-16 feet of water said Dozard, who noted water has moved above 50 degrees. Bass are slow.

Braidwood Lake
SOURCE: Del Colvin, Bert’s Bait, Essex (815-365-2103); Jon Meder, Jon’s Bait & Tackle, South Wilmington (815-237-2822)
Bass beginning to pick up with the climate change says Colvin. Anglers catching bass outside the weed edges on jig and pig. Creature baits also effective. Catfish always good here, with roaches being used to pick up bigger ones. Cheesebaits, nightcrawlers or liver also being used for cats.

Clinton Lake
SOURCE: Joanne Lowe, Mike’s Tackle World, Decatur (217-423-0730); Clinton Bait and Tackle, (217-935-3851)
Easterly, warm-water arm now open and usually offers good action for catfish, white bass and some walleye. Crappie biting here on tube jigs, Bass Assassins, curly tails or rooster tails. White bass taking curly tails of Charlie Brewer sliders.  Below the spillway, quite a few Asian carp biting on rooster tails or spoons. Walleye and hybrid striper also biting.

Dawson Lake
SOURCE: Leon and Judy Gibson, Moraine View Concession (309-724-8295)
Saugeye were fair to slow on minnows and jigs in 9-13 feet of water said Dozard. Water is up to 60 degrees but bass and crappie are still just fair.

Emiquon Preserve
SOURCE: Paul Dinkheller, Dink’s, Lewistown (309-547-1094); The Nature Conservancy (309-547-2730)
Bass fishing has taken off, with big catches reported early in the week on spinnerbaits of various colors and even plastic worms. Fish are larger this year (most 13-16 inches long and fat) but few are topping the 18-inch minimum. Parking remains an issue, as the parking lots remains under water and anglers are parking on ramps leading to the lake. 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 fishing is the best bet, with fishing being caught anywhere from 5-20 feet of water. Water is in the upper 40s to low 50s and clarity is fair. Saugeye and bass are slow, with mostly smaller fish reported so far according to Wood. The Evergreen Lake bait shop and boat rental facility opens Saturday, April 10 and will have minnows, bait and tackle and Larry’s Fishing Hole 2010 fishing calendars for sale on the weekends.
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)
A few stripers biting her off the banks on nightcrawlers or chicken livers says Greybeards. Water temps at 60 degrees and action should begin to pick up soon, but winds have hampered things some says Lynch. Opener last Thursday was very slow and action did not pick up much over the weekend. Lake is open at 6 a.m. daily for boaters, 6:30 for bank anglers and closes at sunset.

LaSalle Lake
SOURCE: Dale Bowman of the Chicago Sun-Times; Guide Mike Lynch (708-655-7667)
Wind has been making it tough for anglers to get out, but they are catching catfish and a few bass says Lynch. Hybrids and cats are going to boat and bankanglers. Lake open from 6 a.m. to sunset daily.
Click here for a LaSalle Lake fishing forum.

Mazonia Lakes
SOURCE: Del Colvin, Bert’s Bait, Essex (815-365-2103)
Fishing also picking up here, with bluegills coming up shallow and biting on waxworms or trout worms. Bass biting off beds with big plastics, lizards working. A few crappie being picked up on Mazonia North using a slip bobber floating crappie minnows.

Powerton Lake
SOURCE: Merle Keefer, Pekin Bass & Bow (309-347-3334); Jason Grider, Riverside Bait, Pekin (309-347-3793)
Blue catfish are the main talk here says Keefer, with fish scattered throughout the lake. Very few reports on smallmouth bass.

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 has been very good on the south end, with fish very active and taking spinnerbaits, Rat-L-Traps and crankbaits like the Baby Minus One. Bass up to 5.5 pounds have been reported. Weed cover not an issue yet. Channel catfish are also good on the south end and dipbait has been working well, though it seems early for that says Karnes. Shad and shrimp are probably the best bait right now. Lance Rhodes caught a 16-pounder this week. Crappie reports have slowed, with mostly smaller fish so far.

Lake Storey
SOURCE: Al Hayden, Al’s Sporting Goods, Galesburg (309-342-7776)
Crappie are fair and good some days says Hayden. Same location in many lakes: most success on 1/32 or 1/64-ounce jig under a small bobber and tipping a jig with a waxy or a crappie nibble or minnow. Cast anywhere from 4-10 feet off shore and move occasionally. Bass have been slow and so have the catfish. Crankbaits and spinnerbaits or pig and jig on bass. Meaty baits best for catfish. 

Strip MinesIllinois hunting and fishing
(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)
Crappie have come on strong in Fulton, Peoria and southern Knox country strip-mine lakes. Fish are 4-8 feet off shore and have been favoring banks with wind blowing into them. Use as light of a jig as you can still control in the wind. Drake Gall (at right) helped catch this mess of crappie out of a Fulton County lake using 1/16-ounce jigs and 2.5-inch Berkley Gulp Alive minnows. There are also numerous reports of big bass in the past week, with fish up to 8.9 pounds caught last Saturday and plenty of 5 pounders. Spinnerbaits, chatterbaits and jigs are the favored offerings right now though some are trying lipless crankbaits with success. Bluegill have started showing up in more buckets of late on jigs tipped with waxies.

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)
Crappie bite good using medium shiners says Gilmore Bait & Marine. A few catfish also being picked up on Sunny’s Super Sticky bait.

Charleston Side Channel Lake
SOURCE: Rick Cuddy, Prairie Outfitters, Charleston (217-348-6770)
Crappie best here says Cuddy. Anglers using artificial baits, crappie nibbles, tubes, jig heads or minnows. Catfish, 2-4 pound channels, being picked up on chicken livers or nightcrawlers. Also, many anglers are heading to the local college pond for trout and catching 10-12 inch trout using trout paste.

Coffeen Lake
SOURCE: Scott Withers, Indian Grove Fish Camp, Coffeen Lake (217-537-3001)
Anglers finding plenty of small bass here says Rebman.

Lake Decatur
SOURCE: Joanne Lowe, Mike’s Tackle World, Decatur (217-423-0730)
Crappie hit or miss here, some good sized but not many numbers says Lowe. Below the spillway, plenty of big head Asian carp biting on Charlie Brewer sliders. Big flathead cats also biting.

Lake Glenn Shoals
SOURCE: Jack Rebman, Kink’s Corner, Hillsboro (217-532-5442)
Some good crappie biting on minnows or jigs about 5-7 feet deep says Rebman. Bass going good on crankbaits or spinners. Catfish picking up, despite murky water, on shad, shrimp or cheesebaits.

Lake Hillsboro
SOURCE: Jack Rebman, Kink’s Corner, Hillsboro (217-532-5442)
Quite a few small crappie biting on minnows or jigs says Rebman. Bass bite also good on spinnerbaits.

Lake Jacksonville
SOURCE: Tom Holmes, Military Surplus Outlet, Jacksonville (217-243-6161) and Lake Jacksonville Campground (217-479-4646)
A few bad days have slowed things down here, but crappie are still biting on minnows. Crappie limit lowered from 25 to 15 this year.

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

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 bite still very good here pretty much everywhere, but especially along the dam, on minnows on says Pete’s Bait. Local angler came close to a state record by catching a 4-pound, 9-ounce white bass over the weekend fishing for crappie using minnows.

Lake Sara
SOURCE: Tony Niebrugge, Anthony’s Acres Resort, (217-868-2950)
Crappie moving in under the docks and taking minnows. Not many reports on bluegill, but banks fishermen catching catfish using nightcrawlers. Bass tournament this weekend.

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 starting to move up shallow in 6-8 feet of water fishing three feet deep in back of coves around laydown trees says Wilson. Males are beginning to show some color. Water temps around 53-55 degrees. Spawn should be coming in a couple weeks. Bass fishing is fair, walleye are slow below the spillway.
• 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)
White bass still going good here on crazy blades in the hot ditch areas and some being picked up on the south end of the lake on rooster tails says Pete’s Bait. Catfish taking stinkbait in the hot ditch. Crappie also moving into the hot-ditch area.

Lake Taylorville
SOURCE: Lindsey’s Bait & Tackle, Taylorville (217-287-7550)
Crappie biting well on minnows and bluegills taking waxworms says Lindsey’s. Still plenty windy here.

SOUTHERN ILLINOIS South of Interstate 70

Baldwin Lake
SOURCE: Site office (618-785-2555)
Blue cats and channel cats taking live baits or stinkbaits says Amanda. Crappie biting on worms or minnows. Smallmouth bass being picked up on crickets.

Carlyle Lake
SOURCE: Buddy Langenhorst, Lavish’s Bait Shop , Carlyle (618-594-4413); Henkel’s (618-594-4818)
Crappie very good on minnows or tube jigs says Henkel’s. Bluegill, catfish and white bass all fair. For gills, fish the bottom in coves and branches off the lake around boat dock areas. Cats taking nightcrawlers or cut bait. In the spillway, white bass excellent on chart jigs with some taking minnows. Catfish very good on shad gut, cut bait of nightcrawlers. Sauger very good on overcast days. Vertical jig off the bottom with curly tails tipped with crawler, leech or minnow.  Crappie fair in the spillway using plastics, like tube jigs or curly tails.
• 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)
Winds still making things rough, but anglers catching crappie up on the banks using minnows or jigs. Look near laydowns or beaver huts. Electric Chicken or blue and white jigs working. Some bluegill being picked up on waxworms or crickets. Catfish taking but bait. Bass biting on a little bit of everything says Reed, with jigs or spinners working all over the lake.

East Fork Lake
SOURCE: Sharon Long, Long’s Tackle Box, Robinson (618-544-2709)
Crappie starting to slow down here says Long.

Lake of Egypt
SOURCE: Guide Matt Strobel (618-922-0354)
Crappie spotty with high winds making things rough. Crappie taking 1/8 ounce jig or curly tail in about 5 feet of water says Strobel. Bass are anywhere from pre-spawn to moving up on beds. Strobel caught his using a worm. Depth anywhere from 0-6 feet with some up against the weeds and others on secondary weed lines.

Forbes Lake
SOURCE: Site manager Glenn Wegener (618-547-3381); Mike Polcyn, Mike’s Bait & Tackle Shop, Louisville (618-665-3209)
Temperatures in the low 60s. Crappie on a good bite shallow on jigs or minnows. Crappie can be found near anything laying down in the water, shallow tree tops, logs. Bigger crappie still out. Largemouth bass also showing up. Anglers catching them while crappie fishing using jigs and minnows or with traditional baits like spinners, Rat-L-traps or jig and trailer.

Horseshoe Lake, Alexander County
SOURCE: Jim Melton, Melton’s Fish Camp (618-776-5504)
Crappie going good on the north end of the lake about a foot to a foot and a half deep coming in on the bank. Minnows or jigs working. 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)
Muskie on slow to non-existent bite says Nutty. Crappie action has been tough. Crappie moving around and shallow, taking jigs and minnows. Catfish on a good bite using cut shad, large minnows or nightcrawlers. Bass are up and on the banks shallow. Use small jerk baits or spinner baits. A couple incidental walleye caught but no further reports.

Little Grassy Lake
SOURCE: Shirley Lowery, Little Grassy Boat Dock (618-457-6655)
Good sized bass biting here says Reed. An 8.5-pounder took big bass honors at weekend tournament. Lots of crappie being caught here on minnows in about 15 feet of water. Around the docks a good location with plenty of sunken Christmas trees. Bass on a good bite, with 8 pounders being caught on spinnerbaits. Bluegills just starting to bite on crickets. Catfish also starting but not much yet on chicken livers.

Newton Lake
SOURCE: Ruth Rauch, Rauch’s Bait & Tackle, Newton (618-752-2151)
Fishing good here with anglers catching bass, catfish and bluegills. Fishing best on overcast days in the early morning or late evening. Bass moving in shallows in the coves but could be going deeper with water warming up. Plastic worms working for bass. Channel cats taking large minnows, shrimp or nightcrawlers.

Rend Lake
SOURCE: Jason Johns (618-927-3432); Bill Hudnall, Rend Lake Sporting Goods, Mount Vernon (618-242-2191)
Crappie on a fair to good bite moving in the bushes. One to three feet of water best. Look in warmer bays. Minnows and jig or jig and cork, split shot with a minnow working good. Bass are also in the bushes but on a slow bite. Catfish bite very good.


Click here for water level information.

Des Plaines River
SOURCE: Andrew Ragas
Fishing was starting to get pretty good before all of this unneeded rain came. So now that we have high water again, it is time to revert back to old ways from last month. Here we go again. Stick to shore! Fishing was getting good last week before the rainfall, especially for Pike. Fish up to 30-inches were being reported and caught by anglers throwing an assortment of baits. Then, the they were being found near main river channels and parallel to the drops. Now, they are holding close to shore, again in the backwaters, and in slackwater pools. At the moment everything seems to be working. If searching for size, concentrate on size-12 Rapala X-Raps, in-line spinners and bucktails with no. 4 and 5 blades, and 4 to 6 inch swimbaits. Meanwhile, if looking for guaranteed numbers of smaller fish, live bait (shiners) floated through slackwater pools will get the job done. With water temperatures in the 55 to 60 degree range, the fish are very aggressive. Be sure to use wire or titanium leaders! And for safe release on your bigger fish, be sure to carry a set of jaw spreaders and long-nose pliers. You would be foolish to leave home without them.

In addition, some Walleyes and Sauger showing up too, on both the river and its creeks. Fish in the 15 to 20 inch range were being caught after dark from hard-bottomed pools with gravel and current, and caught on an assortment of jig/plastics, and small minnowbaits.

Lastly for all you Bass enthusiasts, plenty of 2-pound fish for boat anglers are being reported in the tri-river area south of Joliet. Lots of action with very little size - Afternoons and early evenings best. The creeks have also fared well for you light-line guys, especially Salt Creek for Largemouths, and Hickory creek for Smallmouths. With the high water unsuitable for wading the river, these creeks will be the most accessible.
Click here for a Des Plaines River fishing forum.

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

Fox River
• The Fox River has been running strong with recent rains and shore fishing is a must.
SOURCE: Jim Hardy, Big Jim’s Bait & Tackle, Ottawa (815-434-3921)
Downstream near the Illinois River confluence smallies were biting good says Hardy. Not many anglers out now with recent rains. Around the Illinois, sauger and walleye were biting. Short saugers were being picked up on lead heads and minnows or crankbaits. Bank anglers catching white bass catfish, white bass and a few sauger.
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 fishing great here for short walleye and sauger, from Marseilles to Starved Rock says Hardy. Anglers using three-way floaters tipped with minnows or vertical jigging with a lead head jig tipped with a minnow. Some smallmouth being caught. A 3-pound, 1-ounce smallmouth caught using a minnow Saturday at Ottawa. White bass biting here and there using beetle spins.
SOURCE: Carol Culjan at Cajun Sporting Goods in Utica (815-667-4222)
• Near Utica visibility is decent and the river is not too high says Cajun’s. Sauger are good near Starved Rock and at Peru flats. White bass are fair at the dam. Next week should improve with warmer weather. According to guide Jay Angel, white bass has started to turn on around the Vermillion River. Use Big Dude Blade baits. Sauger slowing down, because the river is up and current strong by Starved Rock Dam. Sauger have finished spawn and will be dispersing in another week or two says Angel.
SOURCE: Merle Keefer, Pekin Bass & Bow (309-347-3334); Paul Dinkheller at Dink’s in Lewistown (309-547-1094)
• Downstream from Peoria, anglers report good fishing for white bass and largemouth bass anywhere you find a school of shad says Dinkheller. Crappie are also biting well in backwaters around Liverpool and elsewhere says Keefer. Find brush and find fat river crappie.

Kankakee River
SOURCE: Ed Mullady, Sportsman’s Letter (815-932-7285)
Mullady notes that when water comes up, fish are still feeding. For best results in high-water periods fish with live bait, silver-finish spoons, shiners or bright-colored artificials. Overall, smallmouth bass are good throughout Illinois part of river.  owever, on the Kankakee River in Illinois, between April 1, 2010 and June 15, 2010, all “smallmouth bass must be immediately released.  This also applies to all of its tributaries. Elsewhere…
• Near Momence: walleye continues Good in *Main River, esp. shorelines, mouths of ditches,bayous on *Rattlin’ Rogue *Jointed plugs * *Catfish good throughout on *minnows *crawlers*cheeseaits. *Rock Bass good on *redworms *Mepps #1 or #2 Spinners *fly rod sponge spiders.
• From the Kankakee Dam through Bourbonnais Riverfront Park: Walleye good on *jig and minnow *Rattlin’ Rogue *Jointed plugs *Wtd Kpr Hook, Mr.Twister double tailand live minnow rig. *Rock Bass: Good along shorelines on *imitation fly rod frog *sponge spiders *streamer flies. Also: *live minnowds *redworms *small spinners. Catfish good on above baits throughout river.
• Near the Kankakee River State Park: *Walleye fair on above baits *rock bass around creek mouths, run-offs-drifts
*pools near riffles. Catfish good on above baits throughout river.
• Near Wilmington Walleye good on *jig and minnow *crankbaits *nightcrawlers along shore lines *Rock Bass, Crappie good as above.  Catfish good.

Mackinaw River
SOURCE: Guide Jonn Graham (309-399-7055)
River was wadable and fairly clear prior to recent rains and Graham caught his first smallies of the season.

Mississippi River

Pecatonica River
SOURCE: Tom Calam, Tom’s Bait & Tackle, Freeport (815-232-3337)
Some decent size northerns biting and smaller walleye being picked up. Catfish, about 12-13 inches, biting on minnows.

Rock River
SOURCE: Tom Calam, Tom’s Bait & Tackle, Freeport (815-232-3337)
SOURCE: Jan Prose at TJ’s Bait/Tackle & Canoe Rental in Oregon (815-732-4516)
• Near Oregon, high winds keeping many anglers away but walleye and catfish were still being caught. Walleye taking twister tails with a paddle tail or minnows. Hot pink or chartreuse colors good. Catfish starting to pick up on nightcrawlers or minnows. Water rising on the river.
SOURCE: Ray and Irene Hays, Bunny’s Bait Shop, Dixon (815-288-3812)
• Near Dixon, channel cats are fair on redworms, nightcrawlers, cut bait or crushed minnows with the Castle Rock area best says Bunny’s. A 25-pound flathead was caught by accident by a crappie angler using a jig with a twister tail. Walleye biting on minnows. An eight-pound walleye caught with a twister tail and jig head. Crappie and white bass are biting below the dam on minnows mostly. Carp are taking worms. One largemouth report of a 3-pound, 12-ounce fish full of eggs caught and released using a double twister tail. Water is going up.
SOURCE: Guide Matt Jones (815-537-5506 or 815-590-1469 cell) and Doc at Kodiak Outdoor Sports in Dixon (815-284-3075)
• Jones says channel cats are on a good bite, with whole shad working. Smallmouth bass biting near the rocky banks.

Spoon River
SOURCE: Al Hayden, Al’s Sporting Goods, Galesburg and Paul Dinkheller at Dink’s in Lewistown (309-547-1094)
Channel catfish have been on a hot bite near Bernadotte says Dinkheller, who notes anglers are already using stinkbait as well as cut shad. Best results have been on dew worms, though, for 2-3 pounders.


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