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Illinois fishing report 5-7-09

May 07, 2009 at 12:16 PM


Give us our choice of anywhere to fish in Illinois right now and we’d pick…
• Carlyle Lake. I don’t know if many bass will be caught, but we wouldn’t miss the chance to take part in history for the first statewide high school bass fishing championship.
• Shabbona Lake, Lake of Egypt, Carlinville Lake or Lake Lou Yaeger for crappie.
• Lake Michigan for smallmouth bass.
• Dawson Lake as a multi-species destination for walleye, crappie, catfish and bass.
• Evergreen Lake for crappie and saugeye.


• Bob Goodall of Mackinaw caught a 14-inch bluegill last Saturday out of a private lake near Mackinaw.

NORTHERN ILLINOIS North of Interstate 80

Apple Canyon Lake
SOURCE: Tom Calam, Tom’s Bait & Tackle, Freeport (815-232-3337)
Some nice bluegill being caught here on a 64th or 80th lead head tipped with a waxworm suspended in 10-15 foot of water says Tom Calam of Tom’s Bait & Tackle in Freeport. Walleye still slow. Reminder: crappie fishing is catch-and-release until June 15. Also, make sure and check rules and regulations of legal size of fish in each boundary of water to prevent fines.

Lake Carroll
SOURCE: Tom Calam, Tom’s Bait & Tackle, Freeport (815-232-3337).
Anglers trolling deeper waters around break points for bluegill. Crappie out on beds. Anglers trying for walleye trolling road runners, using floaters with minnows. Reminder: crappie fishing is catch-and-release until June 15. Also, make sure and check rules and regulations of legal size of fish in each boundary of water to prevent fines.

Forest Preserve Lakes
SOURCE: Lee’s Bait and Tackle of Elk Grove Village (847-593-6424); Henry’s (312-225-8538)
Crappie still good in most areas and bass just getting started says Henry’s. Powderhorn, Willow Slough good for crappie and bluegill. Dale Bowman of the Chicago Sun-Times says crappie are spotty at Saganashkee, but notes this “should be the week and weekend when shoreline action picks up for largemouth and bluegill.”
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).
Chain still high and current good says Triangle Sports & Marine in Antioch. Walleye can be found in current ares by Fairmont Shores. Bass up close and moving up to spawn in the shallow areas of the channels. Look for muskie shallow also. Bluegill and crappie changing day to day. Best bet to seek warm waters, back of channels or northe end of Channel Lake.
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 biting in the harbors on soft plastics, tube jigs says Henry’s. Salmon now off shore. Boat anglers found good success in recent contests, with many picking up limits on kings and cohos around Gary Lighthouse area. Pastrick marina also good for cohos using dodgers, flies or trolling crankbaits. Perch also moving away from shore in about 50 feet of water. Perch and coho can be entered in the Richard J. Daley Memorial fishing tournament during May at Henry’s, Park Bait or Vet’s.
SOURCE: The Salmon Stop (847-244-2525 or fishing hotline 847-244-9876)
• Near Waukegan thehe Salmon Stop reports perch in 40-65 feet. Cohos are spotty. Shore fishermen are taking a few perch off the end of government pier. Coho are slow. Some browns and steelhead reported at the rocks.

Pierce Lake
SOURCES: Pam Minihan, Dora’s Bait & Tackle, Rockford (815-963-1795) and Bob Rhodes, Rockford Bait (815-226-3515).
Crappie moving up and getting ready to spawn and should be good next week Bob Rhodes of Rockford Bait. Crappie are biting on minnows in the spillway by Rock Cut State Park says Pam Minihan. Largemouth bass also biting neaer Rock Cut on nightcrawlers and rigged worms.

Shabbona Lake
SOURCES: Guide Jay Angel (815-739-7030) and Denny Sands, Shabbona Lakeside Bait & Tackle, Shabbona (815-824-2581).
Almost everybody catching crappie says Shabbona Lakeside Bait & Tackle. Crappie moving up shallow and taking minnows. Many catching limits, with many at 9-10 inches and some up to 13 inches. Bass taking Rat-L-traps, nightcrawles and leeches along weed lines.Guide Jay Angel says crappie staging in their fishing cribs in standing timber and brush piles adjacent to their shallow spawning areas. Crappies also taking mini mites. By end of next week the crappie could be shallow in the no motor zones looking for spawning beds for about two weeks. Muskie, walleye poor. Water temps in high 50s. Bass will also begin moving shallower in the next week. You should begin seeing a few big females cruising the shallows in search of suitable spawning habitat any time now.
• 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 bite slowing some but anglers still catching fish Vet’s. A few northerns also showing up, some 2-3 pounders. Anglers were having success with muskies in recent weeks says Mik-Lurch.

NORTH-CENTRAL ILLINOIS South of Interstate 80 and North of Interstate 72/U.S. Route 36

Argyle Lake
SOURCE:Site manager Robin Hinchee (309-776-3422); The Deck II Bait and Boat Rental shop (309-776-4275)
Report here

Banner Marsh
SOURCE: Adam Jaegle, Presley’s Outdoors, Bartonville (309-697-1193); Merle Keefer, Pekin Bass & Bow (309-347-3334); Tom Grider, Riverside Bait, Pekin (309-347-3793)
High water has the East Point and Bell’s Landing boat ramps closed. Main Access is open. Bass are in full spawn mode with water ranging up to 65 degrees. The best fishing was last week but had slowed by the weekend. Last Sunday 48 teams fished the Bass 25 Peoria event that was won by Wayne Adams of Farmington and Mark Leighton of Canton with three bass weighing 13.25 pounds. Fid Meyer and Dave Sarff of Manito had big bass of 5.3 pounds and finished second. Grider said bigger crappie were reported this week with many of the fish showing blood in their eggs, meaning the spawn is on.

Lake Bloomington
SOURCE: Larry Dozard
Bass and crappie are fair says Dozard, who caught his best crappie on tube jigs and twisters or minnows around brush at the mouths of coves in 6-10 feet of water. Bass were also taking minnows. Males are shallow and females were still offshore some. Hybrid stripers are rated fair to slow and have been running smaller. They are taking jigs, spinners and Rat-L-Tras on windy points.

Braidwood Lake
SOURCE: Del Colvin, Bert’s Bait, Essex (815-365-2103); Jon Meder, Jon’s Bait & Tackle, South Wilmington (815-237-2822)
Braidwood is already very warm with water at 87 degrees on the south end and 82 on the north end. Anglers are catching mostly small catfish. Bass were fair on crankbaits in the past week says Bert’s Bait. Among the catfish being caught was this chunk caught by Paul Switzer of Tinley Park, who landed the fish with help from Charles Bradley. The catfish hit on a shaky head work and 8-pound test line.

Illinois hunting and fishing

Clinton Lake
SOURCE: Joanne Lowe, Mike’s Tackle World, Decatur (217-423-0730); Clinton Bait and Tackle, (217-935-3851)
Below the spillway anglers catching just about everything says Joanne Lowe at Mike’s Tackle World. Small but good numbers of striper biting early morning. Up on the lake, crappie taking tube jigs and minnows. Catfish also good. Largemouth bass biting on spinners, crankbaits, or jig and pig. Dozard says water is 61-64 degrees and muddy up in the North Fork arm. He rates crappie as fair to good near the DeWitt Bridge, where walleye are fair to slow.

Dawson Lake
SOURCE: Leon and Judy Gibson, Moraine View Concession (309-724-8295)
Water is running 61-64 degrees and has cleared nicely. Crappie are good on light-colored jigs around stumps and timber with some 12-inchers reported to Leon Gibson. Minnows and jigs working. Catfish are fair to good on liver and stinkbait. Walleye and sauger are very good along breaks. One angler caught a 24-inch fish on Wednesday. Lots of 13-15 inchers with a few 17-inchers according to Dozard. Jigs and nightcrawlers working well around the lake. Bass are also good.

Emiquon Preserve
SOURCE: Paul Dinkheller at Dink’s, Lewistown (309-547-1094); The Nature Conservancy (309-547-2730)
Bass are still excellent, with reports of 120 per outing says Dinkheller. “That’s no exaggeration. It’s nuts,” Dinkheller said. He has pictures of eight keeper bass up to 6 pounds. Bluegill are starting to bite, but not in great numbers. Boat traffic has been fairly light despite the excellent fishing. Windy days are still best to avoid, though. Anglers must obtain a free permit at Dickson Mounds Museum (open 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.) before fishing here. Permits are good for the entire year.

Evergreen Lake
SOURCE: Brad Wood, operations supervisor, (309-726-2022) or Larry Dozard
Fishing has turned on here says Wood, with many reports of crappie up to 8.5 inches and a few up to 13 inches. Water clarity is 6 inches to 2 feet and has been ranging from the upper 50s to the low 60s. Crappie are biting on about anything you toss at them, wax worms, small minnows, crawlers, and tube jigs all doing well. Crappie are in there pre-spawn stage and are being caught in about four feet of water in coves and around brushpiles. Saugeye are also biting well, with limits reported on jigs and crawlers at the Pumphouse. Bass are in the weeds and around woody structure. A 36-inch muskie was caught on a spinner by a bass angler.
• NOTE: The main boat launch and main recreation area from the visitor center to the beach including the campers dump station will be closed on Saturday, June 6 from 6 a.m.-noon for the Tri-Shark Triathlon.
Click here for up-to-date lake reports.

Heidecke Lake
SOURCE: Don Stephens, Greybeards (815-941-1504); Guide Greg Heath (815-258-9136)
Dale Bowman reports water is ranging from 57 to 61 degrees early in the week. Some walleye and drum perch reported. Trolling has produced some fish. Overall walleye are rated as fair to good, with some decent reports on vertical jigging.

Hennepin Canal
SOURCE: Ann Downey, Northside Bait & Archery, Kewanee (309-852-4760)
Walleye are biting, with good reports also out of Lock 22. Fish also coming in the locks. Bass have been backing off some to spawn. Crappie are also good. Perch coming on in the canal also.

LaSalle Lake
SOURCE:Dale Bowman of the Chicago Sun-Times; Guide Mike Lynch (708-655-7667)
Click here for a LaSalle Lake fishing forum.

Mazonia Lakes
SOURCE: Del Colvin, Bert’s Bait, Essex (815-365-2103)
Crappie are coming on strong, with reports of very nice catches on waxworms and minnows. Fewer reports on bass with most anglers concentrating on crappie. Water is in the mid-60s during the day.

Powerton Lake
SOURCE: Merle Keefer, Pekin Bass & Bow (309-347-3334); Tom Grider, Riverside Bait, Pekin (309-347-3793)
Smaller channel catfish are biting very well all over the lake says Grider. Anglers are not making the walk back to the discharge as much, though, since they don’t need to. Roaches are working for smallmouth bass and bigger catfish. Blues are fair on live bluegill and cut baits. A flathead was reported the other day, but mostly anglers are catching channels and some blues. Smallmouth bass spotty.

Snakeden Hollow SFWA
SOURCE: Terri Whiteside, Victoria Tackle Shop (309-879-2664)
Bluegill are on the beds and biting well in the walk-ins, with some big fish reported in the past week. Anglers are using waxworms and redworms. A few catfish also reported out of the walk-ins on dew worms. Muskie anglers report good catches in the past week, with fish up to 47 inches. Whiteside says crappie are scattered but some big fish have still been coming out of the shallows later in the day. Grider expects crappie to be good this weekend after reports of nice fish being caught in 8-10 feet of water this week. Bass are still good, though some have spawned in smaller walk-ins. Otherwise spinnerbaits and plastics are working well. Many bass are on the beds.

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)
Bluegill have come on strong in the south end says Karnes. Some anglers are also catching crappie along with bluegill. Crappie are fair to good most days. Bass have slowed off since last weekend and appear to be in a post-spawn mode. Channel catfish are hit and miss, with a few incidental catches by anglers fishing for bluegill or crappie.

Lake Storey
SOURCE: Al Hayden, Al’s Sporting Goods, Galesburg (309-342-7776)
Crappie bite is real strong, with most reaching a decent size. Fish are shallow, with some of the bigger ones just past them. Minnows under a bobber and jigs working. Walleye were biting last weekend on minnows. Bass bite is decent on a little bit of everything says Hayden: crankbaits good and plastics also. Some catfish are biting on dipbait to worms to liver and minnows. Bluegill are good on waxies and redworms. Not bedding yet, but moving shallow. Still lots of small fish. Oak Run has a good run of crappie going right now, though lots of smaller fish. Bass are decent. Catfish have been good at Oak Run.

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; Tom Grider, Riverside Bait, Pekin (309-347-3793)
The best bite depends on the depth of your lake. Shallower lakes are seeing less crappie action and more bluegill moving shallow. Deeper lakes are gearing up for a strong crappie bite this weekend, with big fish moving shallow. Bluegill are also active in those lakes. Bass action also varies: some spawning, some post-spawn, some pre-spawn. Lizards and shaky head worms working well. If you are catching lots of small males, try fishing farther offshore for females hanging back and waiting to head shallow. Marty Thompson caught this 4.5-pound bass May 5 on a purple power worm out of a farm pond.

Illinois hunting and fishing

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)
Anglers were catching limits on crappie using small shiners or jigs and minnows. Bluegills also biting on crickets, live bait.

Carlinville Lake
SOURCE: Gwen Gilmore, Gilmore Bait & Marine, Carlinville (217-854-8136)
Crappie excellent on Lake 1, with plenty of minnows being used says Gilmore. Catfish starting to pick up on nightcrawlers and Sonny’s dipbaits.

Charleston Side Channel Lake
SOURCE: Rick Cuddy, Prairie Outfitters, Charleston (217-348-6770)
Saugeye really picking up on jigs and twister tails or Rat-L-traps says Rick Cuddy at Prairie Outfitters in Charleston. Crappie biting on jigs or road runners.

Lake Decatur
SOURCE: Joanne Lowe, Mike’s Tackle World, Decatur (217-423-0730)
Crappie good here on sliders, tube jigs, bass assassins and Bobby Garland’s says Joanne Lowe.  Catfish taking waxworms as well as shad bait, shrimp and stinkbait.

Lake Jacksonville
SOURCE: Tom Holmes, Military Surplus Outlet, Jacksonville (217-243-6161) and Lake Jacksonville Campground (217-479-4646)
Crappie bite slowing down but should be picking up soon says Tom Holmes.

Lake Lou Yaeger
SOURCE: Denny’s Bait Shop, Litchfield (217-324-2628)
Anglers ‘tearing it up’ on crappie with minnows says Denny’s Bait Shop.

Lake Mattoon
SOURCE: Rick Cuddy, Prairie Outfitters, Charleston (217-348-6770); Joel Pittman, Mattoon Parks Department (217-254-6680)
Crapping hitting good on minnows and jigs or crappie nibblers says Joel Pittman at Mattoon Parks Department. Bass on beds and close to spawning. A 5.2-pound bass caught in tournament Sunday. Catfish bite good on shrimp, shad guts, cheesebaits and nightcrawlers. Water at normal pool with temps in mid 60s and still muddy in spots.

Mill Creek Lake
SOURCE: Dennis Shiley, Mill Creek Lake Park (217-889-3901)
Bass hit and miss using some spinners or crankbaits says Rick Cuddy. Largemouth bass lurking around sticks and timber in 4-5 feet of water. Several 7-pound bass caught recently. Buzzbaits, Rat-L-traps and jigs working. Catfish taking nightcrawlers. Crappie can be found in 10-12 feet of water.

New Gillespie Lake
SOURCE: John ‘Pappy’ Knowles, Gillespie Lake Police (618-362-6363)
Bass starting to pick up, with good quality fish biting says John ‘Pappy’ Knowles. Lake at full pool with water temps at 61 degrees on Wednesday. Redear taking wigglers. Catfish and crappie both poor.

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 best says guide Ken Wilson. Crappie spawning and many anglers catching limits up shallow using jigs mostly but also minnows. Red and Chartreuse of brown and chartreuse colors working. Guide Steve Welch says he’s fishing on the shore anywhere from 2-5 feet deep with either a slip bobber and a jig under it or a hook and a minnow. Walleye starting to bite up shallow on crankbaits. Bass also biting off secondary points and around flooded ares on crankbaits or plastics. Water temps around 63 degrees.
• For a daily report on Lake Shelbyville call (217-774-2020).

Lake Taylorville
SOURCE: Lindsey’s Bait & Tackle, Taylorville (217-287-7550)
Crappie about three to five days from spawning. They are up at the banks and biting good. Catfish also going strong with baby shad best but anglers also using shrimp or nightcrawlers. Bass on and off says Lindsey’s Bait & Tackle.

SOUTHERN ILLINOIS South of Interstate 70

Baldwin Lake
SOURCE: Site office (618-785-2555)
Catfish bite is good on cutbait along the rip rap says the stie office. Bass also good on spinners and crankbaits. Bluegill fair.

Carlyle Lake
SOURCE: Buddy Langenhorst, Lavish’s Bait Shop , Carlyle (618-594-4413); Henkel’s (618-594-4818)
Site of this weekend’s IHSA state tournament still good for crappie on tube jigs and minnows about a foot and a half to three feet deep says Henkel’s. Catfish bite good on cheesebaits or cutbaits. Trotliners using cutbait and nightcrawlers. Largemouth bass taking crankbaits, spinners and lizards. Bluegills always good here on waxworms. Below the spillway, crappie being caught on tube jigs and minnows about 5-6 feet deep says Henkel’s. White bass good on tube jigs and curly tails. Catfish taking Geno’s and Sonny’s. Anglers also finding sauger drifting a 3/8-ounce jig head with a curly tail.
• For the latest water level information call (618-594-4637).

Cedar 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 and bass best there says guide Matt Strobel. Bass biting on 1/2 ounce lunker lure jig with shaky head. Crappie about 6-8 feet deep and taking 1/8 ounce jigs with curly tails. Blue and white, pink and chartreuse or red and chartreuse good colors for jig and a minnow.

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 bite good on 1/16 ounce tube jigs around brush and trees says guide Matt Strobel. Minnow bite also good for crappie says Kyle Garner. Medium minows around weed beds. White and chartreuse or pink and chartreuse jigs good around brush piles in eight feet of water. Bass steady on topwaters in the morning. Around laydowns use jigs and spinner baits. Bluegill moving on beds.

Devil’s Kitchen
SOURCE: Ron Reed, Cooksey’s Bait, Marion (618-993-3366)
Bluegills biting but not strong yet says Ron Reed. Red wigglers, crickets, redworms all working.

East Fork Lake
SOURCE: Sharon Long, Long’s Tackle Box, Robinson (618-544-2709)
Bluegill are in spawn mode and bass are moving up in the shallows says Sharon Long.

Lake of Egypt
SOURCE: Guide Matt Strobel (618-922-0354)
Crappie taking 1/8 ounce jigs with a curly tail about seven feet deep outside weed lines says guide Matt Strobel. Size and numbers may be down but quality of fish excellent. Some crappie up to two pounds being caught. Bass are around the banks nearing spawn.

Forbes Lake
SOURCE: Site manager Glenn Wegener (618-547-3381); Mike Polcyn, Mike’s Bait & Tackle Shop, Louisville (618-665-3209)
Striper bite had been good until rains hit again Tuesday and Wednesday says Mike Polcyn. Anglers have caught 15-, 17- and 20-pound stripers recently. Minnows and liver working best. Catfish also good where the stream runs into the lake using cut shad, crawlers or liver. Crappie bite fair to good says site manager Glenn Wegener. Some have spawned. Largemouth fair to good but many of them small or tight to the beds. Saugeye should start to come on soon. Water clarity not good and water temps in mid to upper 60s.

Kinkaid Lake
SOURCE: Janet Graeff, Top of the Hill Bait Shop, Muphysboro (618-684-2923); Guide Al Nutty (618-694-4897)
Bass steady in grass lines in about 3-7 feet of water using lizards, pumpkin and chartreuse or red shad colors. Top waters, buzzbaits good in morning along the laydowns and grassy areas. Bluegill on a good bite says guide Al Nutty. Crickets and waxworms, mealworms or bit of nightcrawler working in shallows around outside of edged of weed beds. Crappie tapering off but still can be found using jig and minnows in 3-8 feet of water. Heavy brush pile is the key. Largemouth bass going very shallow and biting on spinners, plastics worms or lizards. Some incidental walleye being caught. Catfish good on nightcrawlers, cut shard and even some on chicken livers. Large minnows also working. Muskie bite decent in weekend tournament on shallow twitch baits, SS shad, jerk and glide baits (Manta or Hellhounds). Spinnerbaits and topwaters also good for muskie.

Little Grassy Lake
SOURCE: Shirley Lowery, Little Grassy Boat Dock (618-457-6655)
Bass were roaming near banks looking to spawn last week. Bluegill good here on waxworms and crickets in 2-3 feet of water around grass lines and lay downs says Garner.

Mermet Lake
SOURCE: Shawnee Bait & Tackle, Creal Springs (618-996-3089)
Nothing going on here in last four days other than rain says Shawnee Bait & Tackle. Favorable weather reports for Saturday should make for good crappie fishing.

Newton Lake
SOURCE: Ruth Rauch, Rauch’s Bait & Tackle, Newton (618-752-2151)
Still very wet here but bass and catfish best here says Polcyn. Bass taking rubber worms and crankbaits. Catfish bite excellent says Ruth Rauch. Nightcrawlers, large minnows and Geno’s stinkbaits working good. Crappie bite strong on minnows in shallow around the banks. Water temps between 73-80 degrees. Past weekend tournament not productive, with just 18 of 58 boats weighing in fish.

Rend Lake
SOURCE: Todd Gessner (618-513-0520); Bill Hudnall, Rend Lake Sporting Goods, Mount Vernon (618-242-2191)
Bass and crappie both looking to spawn but both being caught, depending on weather conditions, says guide Todd Gessner. Crappie best on minnows, but some also taking jigs. Look for crappie in the middle and behind bushes. Bass anglers flipping spinners or lizards along the banks up in bushy areas. Channel cats hiting all over the lake on nightcrawlers and stinkbaits sayd Rend Lake Sporting Goods.

Sam Dale Lake
SOURCE: Mike Polcyn, Mike’s Bait & Tackle Shop, Louisville (618-665-3209)
Anglers catching catfish on liver and crappie on minnows and jigs says Polcyn.

Sam Parr Lake
SOURCE: Sharon Long, Long’s Tackle Box, Robinson (618-544-2709)
Not very favorable reports here thus far in the spring says Long.


Click here for water level information.

Des Plaines River
SOURCE:Andrew Ragas
Recent rainfall has caused some flooding on the DesPlaines River and as a result there is nothing much in the way of fishing or catching to report on. None of my sources have been out trying either. However, its smaller feeder creeks and main tributaries, since they drain themselves faster, will offer the best fishing until river water levels recede. Since the weekend, we have seen shorebound anglers catching fish at Salt Creek throughout the various Cook and Du Page Co. forest preserves. Crappies have been active and are taking minnows under floats from shoreline eddies, flooded timber, and anywhere away from current. My accomplice, Tim Bixter, reports decent crappie angling near dams, but the fish won’t be congregating there or at any other locations for long as they will be searching for spawning grounds in the next week, or when water falls back to normal. Largemouth Bass have also been active and are hanging out close to shore. Dabbling and dragging jig & plastics through shoreline eddies and any noticeable current breaks have yielded some fish - just not much size.
Click here for a Des Plaines River fishing forum.

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

Fox River” title=“Ken Gortowski”>Ken Gortowski says fish have moved shallow despite high water.
SOURCE: Jim Hardy, Big Jim’s Bait & Tackle, Ottawa (815-434-3921)
Anglers have caught a few smallmouth bass at the Dayton Dam despite the raging water. A few crappie reported.
Click here for a Fox River fishing forum.

Illinois River
SOURCE: Jim Hardy of Big Jim’s Bait & Tackle in Ottawa (815-434-3921)
• At the Marseilles dam anglers are catching durm perch, catfish and carp. Not many people are fishing but those who are out have been catching fish. Water is over the sidewalks in Allen Park.
SOURCE: Carol Culjan at Cajun Sporting Goods in Utica (815-667-4222)
• Near Utica the water came up again and is cleaning up again. Starved Rock State Park opened Wednesday. Anglers are catching some fish, a few stripers, catfish and a few sauger by boat anglers at Plum Island. Water is still underneath the trees.
SOURCE: Baitshop Bob, Riverview Marine, Spring Valley (815-663-1000)
• Near Spring Valley the launch is open. The Fox Valley Anglers have a white bass tournament Saturday. River clarity is 8-10 inches and is getting dirtier, with junk starting to float. Current is fair. A few crappies are being caught on the canal. No reports of sauger. Best white bass probably at the dam.
SOURCE: Marge Hankins, Hankins Riverview, Henry (309-364-3617)
• Near Henry the river is up but anglers have been catching some white bass. Channel catfish are good on nightcrawlers and shrimp.
SOURCE: Celeste Pollack, Wolf Hollow Archery Bait & Tackle, Chillicothe (309-274-9653)
• North of Chillicothe there have been numerous reports of good channel catfish action on fresh shad fished in flooded areas.
SOURCE: Merle Keefer, Pekin Bass & Bow (309-347-3334); Tim Presley, Presley’s Outdoors, Bartonville (309-697-1193)
• Near Peoria there have been a few reports of channel catfish coming out of flooded areas and in backwaters on trot-lines baited with dew worms and now leeches. Liver also producing. Overall there has been very little fishing action.

Kankakee River
SOURCE: Ed Mullady, Sportsman’s Letter (815-932-7285)
Fishing has been improving as water quality has improved says Mullady.
• From Indiana to Momence and Teresa Island: Smallmouth Bass good on nightcrawlers, spinners, minnows, jig and double tail Twisters. Catfish also good on cheese bait and plastic grubs, nightcrawlers or minnows.
• Near Aroma Park smallmouth bass are fair to good on remains of the old Dam on weighted keeper hooks and twister tails, live minnows and jointed plugs. Catfish good on minnows and crawlers.
• Near Kankakee River State Park smallmouth bass up to 18 inches have been reported on jigs and twister tails, live minnows, Mepps No. 2,3 spinners. Catfish good on cheesebaits and live minnows.
• Near Wilmington smallmouth bass are fair to good round Island Park on minnows, jigs and double twister tails, imitation crawdads and jointed Countdowns.
Click here for a Kankakee River fishing forum.

Kishwaukee River
SOURCE:Bob Rhodes, Rockford Bait (815-226-3515)
Smallmouth should be good over the weekend as waters go down from near flood stage says Bob Rhodes at Rockford Bait.

Mississippi River
SOURCE: Iowa Department of Conservation; Todd Baker of Todd’s Bait & Tackle in Thomson (815-973-2378)
Pools 13-14:
In Pool 14, river stage at Camanche is 12.84 and falling. Water temps are in the low 60s and water clarity is poor. Walleye Slow: Fishing has been slow with the high, muddy water.
SOURCE: Iowa Department of Conservation; Carbon Cliff Bait & Tackle (309-792-3460)
Pools 15-16:
In Pool 16, the river stage at Lock and Dam 15 is 11.24ft and falling. Sauger Fair A few saugers are being caught on jigs and minnows in Sylvan Slough. White Bass Fair. A few white bass are being caught in Sylvan Slough on in-line spinners or casting jigs and twisters. Walleye Fair. A few walleyes are being caught in Sylvan Slough on jigs and minnows. Smallmouth Bass Fair. A few smallmouth bass are being caught in Sylvan Slough. Bluegill Good. Bluegill fishing has been good in Sunset Marina and pieces of crawler or waxworms. Largemouth Bass Fair. A few largemouth bass are being caught in Sunset Marina on crankbaits and spinnerbaits. They are also being caught in the Andalusia Island backwater complex. Crappie Good. Crappies are being caught in the Andalusia Island backwater complex on jigs and minnows or floating minnows under a bobber. Larger crappies are being caught in deeper water off brush piles while smaller fish are being caught up shallow. Crappies are also being caught in Sunset Marina fishing minnows under bobbers around the public docks. Channel Catfish Slow. A few channel catfish are being picked up around Sunset Marina on night crawlers and shad.
SOURCE: Iowa Department of Conservation; Jim and Flo Seaman, Dry Dock Bait & Tackle, Gladstone (309-627-2769)
Pools 17-19
In Pool 17, the river stage at Lock and Dam 16 is 10.80ft and falling. Most fishing reports are coming from area lakes and ponds. Fishing for all species is slow.
In Pool 18, the river stage at Lock and Dam 17 is 12.89ft and falling. Fishing has been slow due to high water. Fishing is slow.
Oquawka Pool reports good catfishing on dipbait says Al Hayden in Galesburg.
SOURCE: Iowa Department of Conservation; Dan Wiemelt, Wiemelt’s Bait Market, Quincy (217-222-4963)
Pools 20-24

Pecatonica River
SOURCE: Tom Calam, Tom’s Bait & Tackle, Freeport (815-232-3337)
Waters starting to come down and river opened Tuesday for boaters. Anglers catching northerns off spoons and catfish, 3-4 pounders, using dipbaits and minows says Calam. Some river crappie and smallmouth bass also being picked up.

Rock River
SOURCE: Tom Calam, Tom’s Bait & Tackle, Freeport (815-232-3337)
• Near Rockford, northerns and catfish biting here says Calam. Northerns taking spoons and catfish biting on dipaits and minnows. Smallmouth bass also biting.
SOURCE: Jan Prose at TJ’s Bait/Tackle & Canoe Rental in Oregon (815-732-4516)
• Near Oregon fishing has been fair for stripers. Catfish are good on liver and dipbait or nightcrawlers. Also some big carp and plenty of sheephead caught. No flatheads yet. River had been dropping but is stable after rains Wednesday. Smallmouth bass are biting in the creeks.
SOURCE: Ray and Irene Hays, Bunny’s Bait Shop, Dixon (815-288-3812)
• Near Dixon channel catfish are good but running smaller than usual on cheesbait, shrimp and chicken liver are best. Flathead still running small. One 24-pounder reported. Catfish still in shoreline areas. Walleye slower than usual. Minnows and twister tails best. Largemouth and smallmouth bass are spotty, best in creek mouths and up in the creeks. Minnows working and some on spinners and plugs. White bass slow. Water is still high but has cleaned up quite a bit.

Spoon River
SOURCE: Al Hayden, Al’s Sporting Goods, Galesburg and Paul Dinkheller at Dink’s in Lewistown (309-547-1094)
Channel catfish have come on well in the past week on dew worms and leeches says Dinkheller. The dam at Bernadotte has been producing well.


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

The Powerton channel cats are pretty small as indicated, still eating size though (better than too big given the consumption advisory I guess).  I got tired of feeding them big chicken livers though and started fishing the return channel with #10 baitholder hooks and the lightest tackle I could fish in the current.  My hookup rate improved dramatically.  Also saw a 20-pound plus cat prowling the channel, couldn’t tell if it was a blue or flathead.

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