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Illinois hunting and fishing

Illinois fishing report 5-15-10

May 13, 2010 at 05:30 PM


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

• Walleye at McMaster Lake in Snakeden Hollow, Dawson Lake .
• Channel catfish on the Illinois River, Dawson Lake and Sam Parr Lake.
• Smallmouth bass on Lake Michigan.
• Northern pike on the south end of Spring Lake in Tazewell County.
• Crappie at Lake Glenn Shoals, Mill Creek Lake, Forbes Lake, Rend Lake and Lake of Egypt.
• Bluegill at Lake Sara and Little Grassy Lake.
• White bass at Lake Shelbyville.
• Largemouth bass at Kinkaid Lake and Newton Lake.


•  Dewey Banks of Peoria caught a 55-pound blue catfish at Powerton Lake on Tuesday using cut Asian carp as bait.

• Jason Estes caught a 7.89-pound bass (pictured below) during the Bloomington Normal Bass Club’s Tuesday night Tournament at Lake Evergreen.
Illinois hunting and fishing

&bull A 48-inch, 26-pound muskie was caught this week in Lake Carlton at Rockwood State Park in Morrison

• Bob Roese of Topeka caught the12-pound hybrid striper (pictured below) in the Illinois River last Friday, May 7.
Illinois hunting and fishing

NORTHERN ILLINOIS North of Interstate 80

Apple Canyon Lake
SOURCE: Tom Calam, Tom’s Bait & Tackle, Freeport (815-232-3337)
Fishing is slow here but the water is crystal clear says Calam.

Lake Carroll
SOURCE: Tom Calam, Tom’s Bait & Tackle, Freeport (815-232-3337).
A few walleye and panfish biting. Anglers using leeches, nightcrawlers or minnows.

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).
Bluegill have been trying to come shallow says Triangle Sports, but fish have slowed due to the weather. If things stabilize, target docks and shallow shorelines. Walleye are best in the current or near bridges. Crappie are slowing down.
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 smallmouth bass are best says Henry’s. fish taking live baits, top water poppers. Perch are coming in but on the small side around Navy Pier, Montrose and Northerly Island. Northeast winds making things difficult says Vet’s.
SOURCE: The Salmon Stop (847-244-2525 or fishing hotline 847-244-9876);  Capt. Nick Ganzer (847-234-7208).
• Near Waukegan, weather has been the problem but when anglers are able to get out they can catch fish. Most looking for salmon now as perch have slowed to poor status. Salmon Stop says not much happening now with poor weather. Very muddy waters out there.
SOURCE: Mik-Lurch (219-989-0575)
• Near Indiana Bowman reports very good smallmouth fishing on Poor Boys or 4-inch Kalin grubs. Perch are slow. Salmon best north of The Gong.

Pierce Lake
SOURCES: Pam Minihan, Dora’s Bait & Tackle, Rockford (815-963-1795).
Nothing new to report here, with poor weather affecting fishing. Anglers were catching crappie good at Rock Cut last week before cold, rain front came through.

Shabbona Lake
SOURCES: Guide Jay Angel (815-739-7030) and Denny Sands, Shabbona Lakeside Bait & Tackle, Shabbona (815-824-2581).
Big crappie still deep due to cold weather and high winds. Yo-yoing water temps, from 60 to 54 to 56 degrees, have made things difficult. A 2.1-pound, 14.75-inch long crappie was caught. Many crappie between 9-11 inches being found in deep brushpiles. largemouth and walleye are both poor. Muskie bite is fair. Angel expects warmer forecast to bring improvement in crappie bite.
• 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)
A few crappie, bass and walleye biting in the channels. Anglers can even find some perch here.

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)
Fishing has been slow and water is murky due to east winds and rain.

Argyle Lake
SOURCE:Site manager Robin Hinchee (309-776-3422); The Deck II Bait and Boat Rental shop (309-776-4275)
Crappie have slowed and so have saugeye in the past few days says Hinchee. Catfish are probably best right now, since the site has seen more than 6 inches of rain in the past day and a half.

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 has been tough, with keeper fish holding tight to wood says Adam Jaegle of Presley’s Outdoors. He and partner Tim McCoy won Monday’s police tournament by fishing the East Point Access and tossing jigs tight to wood. Crankbaits brought smaller fish. Few reports on crappie. Some decent catfish in the past few days on chicken liver or nightcrawlers.

Lake Bloomington
SOURCE: Larry Dozard
Fishing has slowed this week says Dozard, with bass and crappie both rated fair. Bass are best around cover on plastics, swim baits and crankbaits in coves. Crappie are largely smaller fish. Walleye slowed.

Braidwood Lake
SOURCE: Del Colvin, Bert’s Bait, Essex (815-365-2103); Jon Meder, Jon’s Bait & Tackle, South Wilmington (815-237-2822)
Fishing slowing down some with weather change says Meder. Hit-and-miss action on bluegills and bass says Colvin. Gills moving up shallow and taking nightcrawlers. Bass biting on live baits, roaches below a slip bobber, worms or creature baits.

Clinton Lake
SOURCE: Joanne Lowe, Mike’s Tackle World, Decatur (217-423-0730); Clinton Bait and Tackle, (217-935-3851)
White bass, catfish, crappie and walleye all being picked up on the lake, with walleye also biting below the spillway. Not bad fishing overall says Lowe. Catfish taking shad gut, stinkbaits. Anglers using twister tails, rooster tails, Charlie Brewer sliders for other fish. Others trying sandblasters for stripers.

Dawson Lake
SOURCE: Leon and Judy Gibson, Moraine View Concession (309-724-8295)
Walleye excellent here. Catfish very good on chicken livers, shrimp, or bees baits. Bass good and crappie fair to good. Most fish taking minnows and jigs or spinner baits. Not many reports on bluegills.

Emiquon Preserve
SOURCE: Paul Dinkheller, Dink’s, Lewistown (309-547-1094); The Nature Conservancy (309-547-2730)
Fishing pressure has been way down this week due to east winds. The lake is murky but anglers targeting clear spots have found bass on spinnerbaits, crankbaits and Rat-L-Traps. Some nice bluegill caught last weekend. Crappie are slow. Terry Isbell of Trivoli caught the 23-inch bass pictured below last Saturday. He and his partner totaled about 90 bass overall but could not find bluegill or crappie in water of 65-67 degrees.
Illinois hunting and fishing

Evergreen Lake
SOURCE: Brad Wood, operations supervisor, (309-726-2022) or Larry Dozard
The crappie continue to be the best bet with many smaller ones still being reported with occasional bigger ones being caught says Wood. Small minnows tipped on a tube jig still best in shallow around structure. Some Saugeye reports are still trickling in. Most are small but some keepers being reported. Jig and crawler or jig and minnoow combos still working best. A lot of bass being caught, but again, most are small. Most of the small ones are being caught while crappie fishing. A few big ones being reported being caught in the backs of coves on plastics or minnow baits. Muskie are still fairly slow. We only had a couple of reports of some small fish reported this past week. The catfish are still slow as well.
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 slow here between windy days or rainy days says Greybeards. Some walleyes being picked up ‘here and there’ using bottom bouncers drifting with a jig. White bass also spawned out. A few striper biting but not many. Catfish picking up some on crankbaits says Heath. Mik-Lurch received good reports about crappie here.

LaSalle Lake
SOURCE: Dale Bowman of the Chicago Sun-Times; Guide Mike Lynch (708-655-7667)
Some decent hybird action being reported here but not much else.
Click here for a LaSalle Lake fishing forum.

Mazonia Lakes
SOURCE: Del Colvin, Bert’s Bait, Essex (815-365-2103)
Some bass biting on creature baits, plastics and worms in Ponderosa and Monster Lake ares. Crappie also being picked up at Monster.

Powerton Lake
SOURCE: Merle Keefer, Pekin Bass & Bow (309-347-3334); Jason Grider, Riverside Bait, Pekin (309-347-3793)
Blue catfish fair to good, with fish from 17-55 pounds caught in the past few days on cut Asian carp. Bluegill also a good bait choice.

Snakeden Hollow SFWA
SOURCE: Nellie Thorne, Depot Bait and Tackle, Victoria (309-879-2401); Site office (309-879-2607)
Walleye are “biting like crazy” at McMaster Lake in Snakeden and in local strip mines stocked with walleye. An angler had three over 16 inches fishing at midday recently says Thorne. Leeches are working well. Bluegill are fair to good in Snakeden’s walk-ins and catfish are good on chicken livers. A few 6-pounders have been reported this week.

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)
Reports conflict as to whether fishing is good or slow for bass says Karnes. He has been selling a good amount of top-water lures, as the weeds are coming on strong. Northern pike have been very active in the south end, making some anglers wish they had tied on with leaders. North end has been better for bass recently. Catfish are slowing down some and there have been fewer anglers out.

Lake Storey
SOURCE: Al Hayden, Al’s Sporting Goods, Galesburg (309-342-7776)
Fishing has slowed, but catfish should be coming on this weekend near creeks that feed into the lake. Try nightcrawlers or redworms.Some decent reports on muskie this week. There’s also a fishing derby Sunday at Lincoln Park Lagoon from 1-3 p.m. Redear sunfish and channel catfish have been stocked.

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)
Bluegill should be moving shallow and biting well by early next week if weather stabilizes. Bluegills had been good but backed off in the past few days with rain and cold and east winds. Bass are also slow right now, though fish are done spawning in many lakes. Crappie are slowing and have moved off the shallows in the Peoria and Fulton county pits. Some crappie still waiting to spawn near Victoria. Catfish should be good on crawlers after the recent rains.

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, bluegill and a few bass biting here. Crickets, minnows and worms the baits of choice. Bass not that big but they are biting on artificial worms.

Carlinville Lake
SOURCE: Gwen Gilmore, Gilmore Bait & Marine, Carlinville (217-854-8136)
Not much happening here with rain and winds keeping most anglers away. A few crappie being picked up on minnows on Lake 2.

Charleston Side Channel Lake
SOURCE: Rick Cuddy, Prairie Outfitters, Charleston (217-348-6770)
Saugeye still biting on jigs and twister tails or chrome Rat-L-traps. Channel cats have been better size, about 2-5 pounds, and are biting on cut shad, nightcrawlers or chicken livers. Bluegills have been taking cubby nail tails.

Lake Decatur
SOURCE: Joanne Lowe, Mike’s Tackle World, Decatur (217-423-0730)
Some nice crappie biting but not very big numbers. Largemouth bass fair. Catfish taking shad guts or stinkbaits. A few white bass also biting here of there. Below the spillway, anglers finidng some crappie, white bass, hybrid striper and Asian carp.

Lake Glenn Shoals
SOURCE: Jack Rebman, Kink’s Corner, Hillsboro (217-532-5442)
Crappie going very good, mainly on minnows but some using green or white jigs. Lake water level up a little bit but not bad. Some bass biting on buzzbaits, plastic worms around the points. Channel cats starting to bite and should be moving in toward the rip rap. Leeches best but some taking nightcrawlers.

Lake Hillsboro
SOURCE: Jack Rebman, Kink’s Corner, Hillsboro (217-532-5442)
Some small channel cats biting on leeches of Sonny’s cheesebaits. Bass fair and taking Rat-L-traps or lures. Crappie on the small size.

Lake Jacksonville
SOURCE: Tom Holmes, Military Surplus Outlet, Jacksonville (217-243-6161) and Lake Jacksonville Campground (217-479-4646)
Action slow here with rainy weather. Some anglers still trying to catch crappie and bass had started to come on but weather putitng things in holding pattern.

Lake Lou Yaeger
SOURCE: Denny’s Bait Shop, Litchfield (217-324-2628)
Very quiet here with rainy conditions keeping anglers away.

Lake Mattoon
SOURCE: Rick Cuddy, Prairie Outfitters, Charleston (217-348-6770); Joel Pittman, Mattoon Parks Department (217-254-6680)
Bass have been picking up on crankbaits, jigs and spinners. Crappie bite has been better but fish have not been that big. Minnows and jigs working in 2-4 foot range.

Mill Creek Lake
SOURCE: Dennis Shiley, Mill Creek Lake Park (217-889-3901)
Crappie bite great here, with crappie low in the water and taking minnows. Water temps at 65 degrees and water cloudy.

Sangchris Lake
SOURCE: Jack Raymond, Peter’s Bait, Springfield (217-528-9500); Trevor Miller, Big Red’s Bait and Tackle, Springfield (217-820-9674)
Anglers still getting crappie on minnows. Catfish being caught on nightcrawlers or stinkbaits.

Lake Sara
SOURCE: Tony Niebrugge, Anthony’s Acres Resort, (217-868-2950)
Bluegill biting about everywhere and just about anything says Tony. Small crappie, still with eggs in them, biting up shallow on minnows. Bass small, but they have spawned and are taking crankbaits or plastics. Some nice stringers of white bass coming into Anthony’s, with anglers using small crankbaits.

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
White bass biting good on crankbaits or two-jig rigs on wind blown flats and main lake ledges says Wilson. Walleye can be found on points 3 and 5 trolling crankbaits or tipping a jig with a nightcrawler. Crappie still being caught shallow in 6-8 feet of water.
his from guide Steve Welch says: “Everything is biting. The crappie and largemouth are still on beds and good fish are being caught both shallow and deep. The south end of Lake Shelbyville is very clear and you can actually see bass on beds back in coves. The north end of Lake Shelbyville is very dirty due to the high winds we have been having. This allows you to fish for bass and crappie in very shallow waters but they haven’t really been up on beds until late in the day. I have been fishing on channel ledges and downed trees early in the morning, and then I hit the shallow waters after lunch. This requires a totally different fishing tactic. I use my short rods and my deep ledge jigs to fish anywhere from 12-18 feet deep and I use clear colors like light blue sparkle and smoke glow with a white jig head. I use long rods with chartreuse deep ledge jigs to fish in shallow beds with dirty water. I like lime green and chartreuse glow with my deep ledge jig but with an orange or chartreuse head. I also use my bait pump to inject the tubes with Crappie Nibbles. I have been fishing on drops of large flats or gravel points for walleye. I pull jigs with a small piece of night crawler on it. I also cast blade baits such as the Gayblade or the Big Dude or Cicada’s. If you get one, just toss out a buoy, and like the crappie, they love company and you will get more. The walleye fishing is the best I have heard of in many years. The white bass are everywhere and I have been catching some big ones this year. I have been seeing the white bass at about two pounds on a regular basis. The bare banks on some of the bigger coves have some real pigs in them, especially if the wind is on that bank. If you want to find walleye, the same types of area will have them as well.”
• 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 slowing up but they are still being caught on minnows. Catfish taking stinkbaits.

Lake Taylorville
SOURCE: Lindsey’s Bait & Tackle, Taylorville (217-287-7550)
Nothing much to report here says Lindsey’s.

SOUTHERN ILLINOIS South of Interstate 70

Baldwin Lake
SOURCE: Site office (618-785-2555)
Catfish doing fairly well on cut shad says Amanda. Some crappie being picked up on minnows. Bluegills taking crickets. Bass also biting and taking soft plastics or crankbaits.

Carlyle Lake
SOURCE: Buddy Langenhorst, Lavish’s Bait Shop , Carlyle (618-594-4413); Henkel’s (618-594-4818)
Anglers still catching plenty of catfish by the rocks on crickets, nightcrawlers or with minnows taking to get crappie. Trot-liners finding success using leeches or cutbait for cats. Crappie bite decent shallow, in a bout 1-11/2 feet of water. Bluegills taking waxworms or mealworms.
• 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)
Crappie fair on minnows and jigs says Reed. Bluegill biting good on crickets and waxworms. Catfish taking cut bait, live bait, leeches or minnows. Bass biting on just about anything, from buzzbaits to artificials to jigs. Tournament this weekend. A 61-pound flathead cat was caught by a Marion angler using bluegill for bait Tuesday night.

Devil’s Kitchen
SOURCE: Ron Reed, Cooksey’s Bait, Marion (618-993-3366)
Bluegill good here on crickets or waxworms says Reed.

East Fork Lake
SOURCE: Sharon Long, Long’s Tackle Box, Robinson (618-544-2709)
Rain keeping most anglers away here says Long.

Lake of Egypt
SOURCE: Guide Matt Strobel (618-922-0354)
Crappie good here using 1/8-ounce jigs tipped with slider grubs. Fishing around the outer ends of windy grass beds. Bass taking shaky heads, spinner baits or flick shake worms from 6 inches to 15 feet deep. Fish are in many different stages says Strobel.

Forbes Lake
SOURCE: Site manager Glenn Wegener (618-547-3381); Mike Polcyn, Mike’s Bait & Tackle Shop, Louisville (618-665-3209)
Crappie the best bet here says Wegener. Crappie are running shallow and taking minnows. Bass has been tough. Weekend tournament winner produced five fish weight 16.5 pounds, with the big fish coming in at 5 pounds, 11 ounces. Catfish mostly being caught by accident shallow by crappie angler. Water temps around 70 degrees and water clearing, but rain expected.

Horseshoe Lake, Alexander County
SOURCE: Jim Melton, Melton’s Fish Camp (618-776-5504)
Crappie slowing up with the up and down weather here, but some are biting on minnows. Channel cats are good drift fishing the middle with nightcrawlers.

Kinkaid Lake
SOURCE: Janet Graeff, Top of the Hill Bait Shop, Muphysboro (618-684-2923); Guide Al Nutty (618-694-4897)
Largemouth bass good to very good on top water baits. Muskies have been active, with bucktails best but topwaters working as are Zara spooks. Some also biting trolling diving crankbaits. Crappie slowed but still getting picked up on jigs and minnows or waxworms. Catfish good on nightcrawlers, cut shad, chicken livers or shrimp. Walleye have been more incidental than intentional. Nutty caught a 171/2-inch white bass usings crankbaits on a 6-pound test line with a rapala jointed No. 7 shad rap. Bluegill fair on waxworms, crickets or big red wigglers on the outer edges of the weedbeds.

Little Grassy Lake
SOURCE: Shirley Lowery, Little Grassy Boat Dock (618-457-6655)
Bluegill best here says Reed. Gills are spawning and taking crickets. Waxworms also working. Crappie bite has slowed, with some in second spawn. Minnows best for crappie. Bass slow. Catfish are deep, with liver working best.

Newton Lake
SOURCE: Ruth Rauch, Rauch’s Bait & Tackle, Newton (618-752-2151)
Bass excellent on yellow or chartreuse spinners. Bass in 4.5-5 pound range being caught. Catfish good on stinkbaits or nightcrawlers.

Rend Lake
SOURCE: Todd Gessner (618-513-0520); Jason Johns (618-927-3432); Bill Hudnall, Rend Lake Sporting Goods, Mount Vernon (618-242-2191)
Crappie bite very good says Gessner. Crappie in the middle of spawn, so they can be caught deep or on the banks in bushes. Bass have slowed. Bluegill are on beds. Look for a sandy bank. Gills taking waxworms or crickets.

Sam Parr Lake
SOURCE: Sharon Long, Long’s Tackle Box, Robinson (618-544-2709)
Catfish are the best bet here, with anglers trying stinkbaits, nightcrawlers or shad.


Click here for water level information.

Des Plaines River
SOURCE: Andrew Ragas
It’s been a very slow week of fishing. We can thank the weather for that one.

Whatever looked promising at the end of last week recently took a dump thanks to the cold fronts and weekend rain that shot up the river a bit. The gauge in Riverside is showing a 3.5 with flows at 600CFS, and water temperatures are between 62-67 degrees. Water is brown and stained.

Not too many anglers have been out fishing, and I can’t blame them. I myself had to cancel a few recent trips. However, some Pike are being found along with the occasional Largemouth Bass, and Channel Catfish.

Here’s a hint: Find the baitfish first before finding the fish themselves.

The Pike are still very active but aren’t showing a lot of aggression. Rather, they are just nipping baits instead of smashing them. Lots of small 10 to 18 inch fish are around, with a few larger 20-25 inch fish. Best baits are Mepps inlines with #3-4-5 blades, jerkbaits, small swimbaits, shallow running crankbaits, spinnerbaits, and live bait drifted beneath a float. Anglers such as Dan Cahill are reporting that a lot of small fish are hanging out in the backwater areas and creek mouths while the larger fish are already utilizing current and mid-river channels. He also didn’t mention any emerging weedbeds, but I would look for them too. Best action, but limited, is in the West and Southwest Suburbs.

Few Bass are being caught, but most are running on the small side, 10 to 14 inches. Spinnerbaits, crankbaits, jig and plastic worm, and even live bait are producing.

Last week I included a side note that the creeks have been totally inactive. This past week it has been a slightly different story. Some Smallmouth Bass up to 18? being found in Hickory Creek (on beds, spawning), while the occasional Walleye, Pike, and Largemouth Bass are being caught on Salt Creek and it’s very murky waters.

With the forecast showing a wet week ahead, I would turn to these creeks before heading to the river as far as I’m concerned. Especially if everything floods, the creeks will be first to recover and more fish will be on the move. If anything, give it a try at the start of next week before the next report (if there is one, or is something worth writing about).
Click here for a Des Plaines River fishing forum.

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

Fox River
SOURCE: Jim Hardy, Big Jim’s Bait & Tackle, Ottawa (815-434-3921)
Action slow the last few days with rainy weather. Catfish were biting good on stinkbaits or cutbait. Smallmouth bass were taking about anything as were the white bass. Roadrunners, beetle spins, minnows on a split shot
Click here for a Fox River fishing forum.

Illinois River
SOURCE: Carol Culjan at Cajun Sporting Goods in Utica (815-667-4222)
• Near Utica
SOURCE: Jordan Hubinsky, Time on the Water Marina, Spring Valley (815-663-1000)
• Near Spring Valley water is rising quickly and muddy. Catfish up to 14 pounds have been biting in 10-12 feet of water on herring. White bass are best near Hennepin on the flats; a few out of the river near the Vermilion and in tributary streams.
SOURCE: Merle Keefer, Pekin Bass & Bow (309-347-3334); Tim Presley, Presley’s Outdoors, Bartonville (309-697-1193)
• Near Peoria catfish are coming on strong. The wickets are down and the river is rising rapidly. White bass have slowed.
SOURCE: Paul Dinkheller, Dink’s, Lewistown (309-547-1094)
• Near Havana there are very few reports this week and water has turned muddy and is on the rise. Catfish should be moving to flooded areas and taking nightcrawlers, though.

Kankakee River
SOURCE: Ed Mullady, Sportsman’s Letter (815-932-7285)
• Says Ed Mullady: Largemouth Bass showing up good in Kankakee Grand Marsh Park(Indiana) and east of Momence(IL) on *plastic worms *minnows *Chug Bugs *Spinnerbaits*crankbaits.
Smallmouth Bass good throughout river on *Jig & Twister tails *Crankbaits*minnows *#3 Mepps Spinners.
Catfishing good throughout on *minnows *cheesebaits *crawlers.
Rock Bass are exceptionally good on *#1,#2 spinners*minnows*crawlers *fly rod rubber spiders.

Illinois hunting and fishing
Kaskaskia River
Chris caught the 16-inch bass pictured above on the Kaskaskia River between Baldwin and New Athens using a spinnerbait.

Mississippi River
Mississippi River Pool 10
Water level at Lynxville is 15.0 and holding steady.  Water clarity is quite good yet but recent heavy rains may cloud water conditions.  Water temp has dropped to 53 degrees.  White Bass - Good: White bass are starting to run behind wing dams.  Look for feeding schools and cast spinners or jigs into the fray.  Bluegill - Good: Some nice bluegills being caught along main channel shorelines below the lock and dam.  Smallmouth Bass - Excellent: Smallmouth hitting well along rocky areas with current.  Some very large fish up to four pounds were reported this week.  Largemouth Bass - Good: Largemouth being caught along woody debris and emerging vegetation beds.  Yellow Perch - Fair: A few nice sized perch are being caught in the tail water areas.  Walleye - Fair: A few walleyes being caught trolling below the dam and they are also being caught in the major slough areas such as Harpers Slough Freshwater Drum - Excellent: A lot of drum being caught right now fishing a worm on the bottom near main channel and side channel shorelines.  Drum are excellent eating fish especially if prepared fresh.

Mississippi River Pool 11
Water levels are rising slightly and are at 7.0 feet.  Water clarity is beginning to be stained from recent heavy rains.  Avoid fishing downstream of the Turkey River mouth as the Turkey River is running very dirty after rains.  Smallmouth Bass - Good: Some smallmouth being caught fishing near rock in good current.  Largemouth Bass - Good: Largemouth being caught along shorelines with woody debris.  Bass are bunching up in the pocket and in the emergency spillway.  Yellow Perch - Fair: A few nice Yellow perch being caught on worms.  Walleye - Good: A few walleyes being caught trolling on wing dams.  Some large fish were reported this week although not always a lot of numbers.  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.

Water temp has dropped and is now only around 53 degrees in most locations.

Mississippi River Pool 16
Tail water stage at Lock and Dam 15 is 7.82ft and rising.  Channel Catfish - Slow:  White Bass - Slow:  Bluegill - Slow: Fishing for bluegills in backwaters has been slow.  Crappie - Slow: Crappie fishing in the backwaters has been slow.  Sauger - Slow:  Walleye - Slow: Walleyes are starting to be picked up on the wing dams on jigs/minnows or by pulling three-way rigs with a floating crankbait.

Mississippi River Pool 17
Tail water stage at Lock and Dam 16 is 6.40 feet and rising.  Channel Catfish - Slow:  White Bass - Slow: A few fish are being picked up at GPC casting jigs and twisters.  Bluegill - Slow: Some bluegills are being caught in Big Timber on redworms floating under a bobber.  Crappie - Slow: Crappie fishing in Big Timber has been slow.  Walleye - Slow: Walleye fishing on the wing dams has been slow. Walleye fishing at GPC has been slow as well.

Mississippi River Pool 18
Tail water stage at Lock and Dam 17 is 9.01 feet and rising.  Channel Catfish - Slow:  White Bass - Slow:  Bluegill - Slow: Bluegill fishing in the backwaters has been slow.  Crappie - Slow: Crappie fishing in the backwaters has been slow.  Walleye - Slow:

Mississippi River Pool 19
Tail water stage at Lock and Dam 18 is 7.26 feet and rising. River stage for Lock and Dam 18 is forecasted to reach 11.6 feet by the weekend. Flood stage is 10 feet.  Channel Catfish - No Report:  White Bass - No Report:  Bluegill - No Report:  Crappie - No Report:  Walleye - No Report:

Mississippi River Pools 16-20: Due to recent rains, river levels are on the rise. River stages are predicted to rise 3-4 feet by the weekend. Main channel water temperature has fallen to 56 degrees. Water clarity has been poor. Most fishing reports are coming from area lakes and ponds. For more fishing information contact the Fairport Fish Hatchery at 563-263-5062.

Water still extremely high but it has started to go down. Not many good reports, other than catfish has been very good in the backwaters on nightcrawlers or crawfish.

Pecatonica River
SOURCE: Tom Calam, Tom’s Bait & Tackle, Freeport (815-232-3337)
Fishing average to slow here says Calam. A few catfish being picked up on nightcrawlers. Also a few northerns and some small walleye biting but nothing major.

Rock River
SOURCE: Tom Calam, Tom’s Bait & Tackle, Freeport (815-232-3337)
• Near Rockford Near Rockford, fishing slow here. Anglers have ben trying for channel cats using dipbaits, nightcrawlers and cutbait but action has been spotty at best.
SOURCE: Jan Prose at TJ’s Bait/Tackle & Canoe Rental in Oregon (815-732-4516)
• Near Oregon fishing has been slow aside from a few nice channel catfish on chicken liver or stinkbait and some walleye going to boaters.
SOURCE: Ray and Irene Hays, Bunny’s Bait Shop, Dixon (815-288-3812)
• Near Dixon, catfish bite fair with most favoring dipbaits or shrimp but some taking worms and minnows says Bunny’s. Whirlpool area good or below bridges and near the shorelines. Flatheads have slowed but biting best at night below the dame and bridges. Bluegills and goldfish working best for baits. Crappie real good on minnows below the dam. A few white bass being caught but bite should be picking up soon. Largemouth and smallmouth bass have been caught but they are still catch-and-release until mid June. Asian carp biting good on worms or dough balls. Drum picking up on worms. Water was cloudy but has been clearing and levels at near normal mark.
SOURCE: Guide Matt Jones (815-537-5506 or 815-590-1469 cell) and Doc at Kodiak Outdoor Sports in Dixon (815-284-3075)
• Elsewhere the cold front is causing havoc with consistent fishing days says Jones. Water temps have dropped 10 degrees in the past six days. Bluegill can be picked up as they are on their beds. Channel cats spotty.

Spoon River
SOURCE: Al Hayden, Al’s Sporting Goods, Galesburg and Paul Dinkheller at Dink’s in Lewistown (309-547-1094)
Catfish are still good downstream from Bernadotte. Flatheads are best for rod-and-reel anglers on shiners and live bluegills fished near tangles of wood. Channel cats are best on dew worms.


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

Is this true? He puts in alot of reports on

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 05/14 at 08:33 AM

I know what ur talking about, IBC.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 05/14 at 09:25 AM

Anyone who wants to e-mail us a report every Wednesday or Thursday morning is welcome to do so. We would appreciate those reports. But in my experience most people send a report twice and then get busy and forget to do it again for a few months. I can tell you from experience that Thursday comes quickly when you are trying to do a report every week. Meanwhile, the bait shops we contact are always willing to at least offer some information. Bogus reports? I am more concerned with bogus posts and people who want to complain but not help. You send us a report every week illinoisbonecollector and then you can complain all you want.

Posted by Jeff Lampe on 05/14 at 09:37 AM

I had been watching the fishing report for 1 of the lakes mentioned in the South Central area, the report had changed over a several week time span. Crappie were biting, so my friend and I loaded up his boat and went, even stopped at that bait shop to buy minnows, and the owners are really nice and friendly people. Even told us, yes the crappie are biting great. Get to the lake, they are not biting, not only for us, we are talking to other guys fishing, that are locals and fish there all the time. We are told by them that the Crappie had not been biting good for a couple of weeks, So who is being truthfull in this situation. It could be that a local had found a good spot that they were catching some fish out of, and were telling the bait shop owners.Only caught 3 keeper Crappie, but did catch 10 Channels from 2lb. to 3 1/2 lb. These bait shops can only go by what is reported to them, and that is usually by locals who fish that lake all the time and know it well.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 05/14 at 11:12 AM

And besides, fisherman never fib about the size or amount of fish they catch

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 05/14 at 11:14 AM

On the average though I don’t think the bait shops are making reports just to get business, they make more money off of repeat business than someone stopping just a couple of times. And most are relying on what the locals are reporting, you always have the couple of jokers who always slaughters em, the guys that can fish, and the guys that fish everyday, but don’t even know they can adjust the drag. Then the bait shops try to figure on what to report. And on top of that, the local guy will usually do better than someone that only goes to that location 1 or 2 times a year.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 05/14 at 12:35 PM

I think it’s important to understand that there are so many different factors that affect whether or not fish are biting.  I really enjoy the PSO reports because it gives a general idea of how fish are biting.  But just because generally fishing has been a certain way the past week, that can have no influene on fishing today.. depending on weather conditions and etc.  But for example, if I know the weather is going to be consistent in what it has been, then I can expect similar results as the previous week.  I don’t know, it’s complicated.  I guess I’m just trying to make the point that fishing reports can be accurate, but the situation can change in a second due to various reasons.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 05/14 at 02:37 PM

Any and all reports are welcome at:

.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Pictures are also greatly appreciated.

Posted by Jeff Lampe on 05/14 at 02:41 PM

Murdy- I agree on the weather, I didn’t get into that, sometimes I tend to get a little long winded. Standing, I think the guides is a little different story, they should put you on fish most of the time,they can talk all they want, but if client’s don’t catch fish, their business is done. Yea, there are days when you can’t even get a little Blue Gill to bite, but a guide should know the water he is on, how to fish for whatever they are after and no matter the weather. Like any other business there are good and bad. Now if I was going somewhere and wanted to hire a guide, I would call the local bait shops and get their input. Remember, most the time the guide is just a local guy to.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 05/14 at 03:04 PM

10-4 StandingCorn Like I said there are good & bad, You know a few bad apples. The one bad thing about guides, outfitters, whatever. Is that there a lot of people that go to them that don’t know much about the sport they are trying, to get some help so they can enjoy a vacation with there family or friends, to catch some fish or shoot their first deer. Only to get ripped off, they may then have negative thoughts about hunting/fishing and we lost some support for these activities. Getting back to being stewards, StandingC. When we are at the local bait shop, Wal-Mart, Archery Shop we do talk to a lot of people just getting into the sports we love. Standing in line to get archery permits talking to a father & son getting their’s for the first time, and trying to give them some helpful advice. I read a lot of negative comments that people make about each other, but we all love what we do. Jesus, see what I mean, long winded, and getting off topic of fishing reports.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 05/14 at 03:53 PM

my report is ...they are biting..caught these thur.s and fri…they are spawning and right up aginst the banks…mattoon lake…. inches 2 and a quarter pounds…

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 05/16 at 03:53 AM

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