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Illinois fishing report 6-10-10

June 10, 2010 at 01:28 PM


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

• Perch on the Lake Michigan lakefront.
• Bluegill in farm ponds and small lakes,
• Channel catfish all across south-central Illinois, with good action at Sangchris, Lake Springfield, Lake Lou Yaeger, Lake Decatur, Forbes Lake and most others.
• Flathead catfish at Pierce Lake


• Rick Wallinger of Pekin caught and released the 2.4-pound crappie pictured below last Sunday at a Fulton County farm pond using a Road Runner.
Illinois hunting and fishing

• John Wayne Dispennette of Normal caught the 25-inch, 6-pound, 10-ounce channel catfish pictured below at Evergreen Lake while fishing with shrimp off the handicapped accessible dock on June 3.
Illinois hunting and fishing

NORTHERN ILLINOIS North of Interstate 80

Apple Canyon Lake
SOURCE: Tom Calam, Tom’s Bait & Tackle, Freeport (815-232-3337)
Nice-size bluegill in the 8-10 inch range are being caught on waxies and leaf worms. Trollers arecatching a few walleye with leeches. Bass biting on panfish bait. Overall fishing good here

Lake Carroll
SOURCE: Tom Calam, Tom’s Bait & Tackle, Freeport (815-232-3337).
Early morning and late evening bite best here for walleye. Trollers using leaches, walleye minnows or crankbaits. Panfish good here on small leeches, waxworms.

Forest Preserve Lakes
SOURCE: Lee’s Bait and Tackle of Elk Grove Village (847-593-6424); Henry’s (312-225-8538)
Dale Bowman says bluegill are bedding and offer the best fishing. Reports are that Busse Lake has offered good fishing for walleye and bass.
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).
Walleye fishing is good in current and in the river says Triangle Sports. Most are using leeches or nightcrawlers but Mike Jackson of the Arlington Heights Daily Herald said trollers are also faring well in Pistakee Lake. White bass and walleye are good at the Route 12 bridge and white bass are biting in Petite Lake. Muskie are active near bluegill beds and in the Spring Lake channel or in Bluff Lake. Catfish are fair. Carp are rolling in the shallows.
Click here to check updates on no-wake status and water levels or call 847-587-8540 .

Illinois hunting and fishing
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 the perch bite is on according to Dale Bowman, with several over 1 pound reported on soft shells and minnows. Mornings and evenings are best but there has been day-time action at Montrose. Generally speaking, all lakefront spots are producing fish but the better fish are at Burnham Harbor. Smallmouth bass have slowed. Salmon boaters are fishing various depths, with consistent action in 110-130 feet deep.
SOURCE: The Salmon Stop (847-244-2525 or fishing hotline 847-244-9876);  Capt. Nick Ganzer (847-234-7208).
• Near Waukegan salmon and trout fishing continue to be good in Winthrop Harbor/Waukegan waters (weather permitting) says Capt. Nick Ganzer, who took out the anglers pictured above and below. Fish are being taken in 40 feet to 150 feet, from the surface to 90 feet down. Water temps fluctuate (based on the wind direction), but are now in the 50s. Salmon and Trout are averaging between 2-10 lbs. Best baits are fly/dodger and spoons. Salmon Stop said good coho and kings are coming from 110-130 feet on tinsel flies, spoons or dodgers.
SOURCE: Mik-Lurch (219-989-0575)
• Near Indiana perch are very good around Calumet Harbor. Next three weeks should be “five-star” fishing for perch says Mik-Lurch. Smallmouth have finished spawning and are feeding heavily. Poor Boy Erie Darters good here with four-inch twister tail grubs. Coho salmon can be found in 65 feet of water, some in 5-8 pound range, trolling dodgers or flies with magnum spoons.
Illinois hunting and fishing

Pierce Lake
SOURCES: Pam Minihan, Dora’s Bait & Tackle, Rockford (815-963-1795).
Good-sized flatheads biting by the Rockford Dam. A 40-pounder was caught recently using a sucker. Also, a 23-pounder and a 26-pounder hauled in using bluegills at the dam.

Shabbona Lake
SOURCES: Guide Jay Angel (815-739-7030) and Denny Sands, Shabbona Lakeside Bait & Tackle, Shabbona (815-824-2581).
Crappie have moved out tot he campground cribs according to Guide Jay Angel, who said, “This is good news because now they will be in greater concentrations than we have seen them for the past month. Crappies are also beginning to show up on the cribs that surround each of the land piers.” Overall the best action is in 12 feet of water on minnows fished 6 feet deep. Largemouth bass are good and in summer patterns, hitting soft plastic lures along weed edges or taking frogs in the evenings.
• 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)
Major renovation completed here on Indiana side very “user and family friendly” says Mik-Lurch. Anglers are picking up walleye, crappie, largemouth bass and an occasional muskie. The seventh annual Wolf Lake fishing derby, sponsored by Mik-Lurch and the Optimist Club, is scheduled for July 17 from 8 a.m. to noon. Kids and adults eligible. Entry fee of $1 goes to the stocking of Wolf Lake walleye. Trophies for top three. Rain date July 18. Bluegill are also bedding here and some walleye reports are coming off crawler harnesses.

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

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 improved some from last week, with a few more keepers reported on soft plastics. Most bass are running 15 inches or under, though. Frog bite coming on.

Lake Bloomington
SOURCE: Larry Dozard
Crappie have improved in the past few days on jigs and minnows or crappie nibbles in 4-8 feet of water. Smaller fish are close to shore. Bass were slow on Sunday but have improved on crankbaits and plastics or topwaters along shore. Bluegill are fair on crickets fished along weed edges but most are smaller.

Braidwood Lake
SOURCE: Del Colvin, Bert’s Bait, Essex (815-365-2103); Jon Meder, Jon’s Bait & Tackle, South Wilmington (815-237-2822)
Things relatively slow here, but anglers are still catching some catfish and bluegills. Cats are taking cheesebaits, liver or shrimp. Bluegills biting on nightcrawlers.

Clinton Lake
SOURCE: Joanne Lowe, Mike’s Tackle World, Decatur (217-423-0730); Clinton Bait and Tackle, (217-935-3851)
A little bit of everything being caught on the lake says Lowe. Walleye and catfish good. Below the spillway, hybrids taking topwaters, crankbaits.

Dawson Lake
SOURCE: Leon and Judy Gibson, Moraine View Concession (309-724-8295)
Walleye and catfish very good here. Bluegill and bass also good. Worms, waxworms, lures working for walleye. Catfish taking chicken livers, shrimp.

Emiquon Preserve
SOURCE: Paul Dinkheller, Dink’s, Lewistown (309-547-1094); The Nature Conservancy (309-547-2730)
Very few panfish reports of late. Most anglers are catching just bass and they have slowed some but are still fair to good and better than most lakes. Some are catching them on spinnerbaits and top-waters. Others have had better luck with beaver baits fished off the bottom. Summer patterns are emerging, so the early top-water bite should be here soon. Anglers must obtain a free permit at Dickson Mounds Museum (open 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.) before fishing here.

Illinois hunting and fishing
Evergreen Lake
SOURCE: Brad Wood, operations supervisor, (309-726-2022) or Larry Dozard
Saugeye, catfish and bluegill head the list here.  Saugeyes are being caught on humps, points, and main lake structure mainly on jig/crawler and jig/leech combos. Some are being caught on crankbaits. Best times are early mornings and late evenings. The catfish are mostly being caught in the evening and after sunset on worms, cheesebaits, and shrimp. Bluegills are being caught near shoreline structure on worms and waxworms. Crappies are fair and have moved back into deeper water 10-20 feet. Small jigs tipped with minnow best. Bass are fair and are being caught off deeper water structure and points on plastics and a few on crankbaits. Pictured above is Jason Thomas of Lexington holding a 19-inch, 3-14 bass he caught June 4 with a deep-diving crankbait—one of seven bass he caught in 10 casts off the point. Small fish are still in shallow. The muskie are still fairly slow with only a few reports of follows. Water is in the low to mid-70s and clarity is 6 inches to 2 feet.
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)
Smaller walleye being caught jigging worms off the bottom says Greybeards. Crappie bite spotty along the rocks on minnows. Striper and catfish also being caught. Striper taking big minnows or blade baits. Catfish taking stinkbaits, chicken livers. A few muskie also being picked up. Water temps around 78 degrees. Bowman said the shad hatch could slow things soon, though.

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)
Catfish bite good here on dead roaches. Bluegills and crappie biting, with gills taking redworms or waxies and the crappie biting on bigger sized bass minnows or trout worms. Some good-sized redear coming out of Ponderosa. Bass, from 3-4.5 pounds, biting on rubber worms or spinnerbaits. Monster Lake good for crappie.

Powerton Lake
SOURCE: Merle Keefer, Pekin Bass & Bow (309-347-3334); Jason Grider, Riverside Bait, Pekin (309-347-3793)
Very few reports from here, aside from occasional blue cats and some small channel catfish.

Snakeden Hollow SFWA
SOURCE: Nellie Thorne, Depot Bait and Tackle, Victoria (309-879-2401); Site office (309-879-2607)
Bass are starting to bite better in small lakes, mostly on top-waters and weedless offerings. Bluegill and redear are biting very well in the walk-ins. Catfish are fair to slow and most have been smaller.

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 are fair to good. Bass have been fair, with most fish from the north end at Tuesday’s tournament says Karnes. Only four boats went south. Channel catfish are good in the early evening on shrimp and dipbait, which is really picking up for cats. Biggest fish photographed this week was a 4.5-pounder caught by Zach Hamby.

Lake Storey
SOURCE: Al Hayden, Al’s Sporting Goods, Galesburg (309-342-7776)
bluegill are still biting well and reaching a peak. Bass are biting better on a little bit of everything. Kind of depends what you like to throw. Target weedlines or main-lake structure. Some on crankbaits, frogs, plastics and lizards. Crappie have backed off and slowed quite a bit and are moving deeper. Mostly boat access now.

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)
The frog bite has come on strong for bass early and late. Soft plastics and jigs also working. Overall bass are better, though moving into summer patterns. Bluegill remain the best bet as they are still on the beds. Crappie were better than expected this week, with some big fish caught up to 2.4 pounds.

SOUTH-CENTRAL ILLINOIS South of Interstate 72/U.S. Route 36 and North of Interstate 70

Charleston Side Channel Lake
SOURCE: Rick Cuddy, Prairie Outfitters, Charleston (217-348-6770)
Catfish best bet here. Cats biting on cheesbaits, cut shad. Other fish slowing down. Some smaller bass have been biting on the river on spinner baits or jigs.

Lake Decatur
SOURCE: Joanne Lowe, Mike’s Tackle World, Decatur (217-423-0730)
Fishing good here. Crappie biting on minnows and jigs. Bass decent on plastic worms and spinners. Bluegills taking waxworms. Anglers also catching plenty of carp and buffalo. Catfish good on the lake using stinkbaits, shrimp or shad guts. Below the dam, anglers finding white, hybrids and plenty of Asian carp. A 20-pound drum perch was caught on cut shad and released.

Lake Glenn Shoals
SOURCE: Jack Rebman, Kink’s Corner, Hillsboro (217-532-5442)
A few decent size bass, in 4.5-5 pound range, biting off the points on crankbaits. Channel cats still good around the rip-rap areas around the north marina or around the dam. Leeches going best, with shrimp, nightcrawlers and cheesebaits also working. A few crappie still biting a little deeper, in 4-5 feet or more of water, on minnows or beetle spins.

Lake Hillsboro
SOURCE: Jack Rebman, Kink’s Corner, Hillsboro (217-532-5442)
Catfish good here on leeches, shrimp or shad. A few bass, some around 2-3 pounds, biting on crankbaits or weedless baits. Some smaller crappie being found on minnows or jigs.

Lake Jacksonville
SOURCE: Tom Holmes, Military Surplus Outlet, Jacksonville (217-243-6161) and Lake Jacksonville Campground (217-479-4646)
Fishing getting better here, with anglers finding bass with plastic worms or spinnerbaits. Some being caught from the shore but most biting from boat anglers. Catfish biting on nightcrawlers or shrimp.

Lake Lou Yaeger
SOURCE: Denny’s Bait Shop, Litchfield (217-324-2628)
Catfish bite going good here on just about anything around the banks. Large minnows and nightcrawlers working well. Crappie also good on jigs. Bluegills are on their beds and taking just about anything, with crickets working especially well. A 7.25-pound channel cat caught recently and a 1.75-pound bluegill hauled in also.

Lake Mattoon
SOURCE: Rick Cuddy, Prairie Outfitters, Charleston (217-348-6770); Joel Pittman, Mattoon Parks Department (217-254-6680)
Bass good here on jigs and trailers. Black and blue or natural craw colors best.

Mill Creek Lake
SOURCE: Dennis Shiley, Mill Creek Lake Park (217-889-3901)
Crappie spotty but anglers are picking up some good ones some days. Crappie taking minnows in about 10-12 feet of water in laydowns. Channel cats biting on chicken livers. A few muskie being caught in the morning. Morning bite also best for bass. Buzzbaits and rats working here. A 48-inch muskie caught a week ago.

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 and catfish best bet here. Crappie taking minnows. Cats “running hard” says Raymond on just about anything. Leeches, crawdads, nightcrawlers all working well.

Lake Sara
SOURCE: Tony Niebrugge, Anthony’s Acres Resort, (217-868-2950)
Bluegill bite going good here on waxworms or pieces of nightcrawler. Weekend bass tournament winner needed 21.38 pounds from 12 fish. Bass best on plastics. White bass also taking minnows. A 12-pound channel cat caught recently.

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
Guide Ken Wilson was trolling crankbaits in 12-15 feet of water on Point 3 for white bass Wednesday. Anglers also jigging spoons off the bottom and 2-jig rigging for white bass. Wilson also finding largemouth bass. Crappie and muskie bite slowing. Below the spillway, a few muskie biting as are sauger and walleye. But most are small, with a 10-1 ratio on keepers.
• 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)
Catfish best here just about anywhere and taking just about anything says Raymond. Leeches, crawdads, nightcrawlers very good. Bluegills still not bedded yet, but females look like they are ready to spawn.

SOUTHERN ILLINOIS South of Interstate 70

Baldwin Lake
SOURCE: Site office (618-785-2555)
Fishing good on Wednesday but slow early in week. Anglers have been picking up some catfish on a variety of live baits. Bass biting on crankbaits. Some bluegills being found on crickets.

Carlyle Lake
SOURCE: Josh Adkins; Buddy Langenhorst, Lavish’s Bait Shop , Carlyle (618-594-4413); Henkel’s (618-594-4818)
The lake is still stained with the showers we have been receiving and chances for rain the next 4 days should bring it up a bit, however this pattern should hold through the weekend as they are calling for hot temps in the high 80’s to low 90’s. Lake temps are at 79.

LARGEMOUTH: bass are still shallow and tight to cover. Anglers are still having luck with good numbers and size of largemouth hitting shad like crank baits/chartreuse spinners/ chatter baits/Crawdad colored jigs with c-dad trailers. With the stained water, white or chartreuse seem to be working best.
WHITEBASS- white bass are heating up on the main lake as long as the wind isn’t too bad. If you can’t follow the birds to the shad, check creek mouths or flats, double jig rig with your personal favorite will work just fine(grubs, little George’s, sassy shad) chartreuse/black, pink or white and Chartreuse seems to be working best. Areas around the rocks are producing and on the north side flats. Trolling with shad crank baits are also catching good sized fish
CATFISH: Cats are still hot, good numbers of channels being caught on the windswept rocks on just about anything, minnows/crawlers/ cut shad/dough baits.  Cats are up shallow. There are some good flatheads also being caught shallow so the spawn is near as long as the weather pattern holds. Also drifting rocky points with same baits listed above is producing. Backwater areas with timber are also producing some good catches
CRAPPIE- crappie fishing has slowed a bit as it seems they have headed out for deeper water, best luck is any brush pile /shoreline wood structures, or the wood shallows on the north end of the lake. Crappies are deeper in 6-10 feet of water. Anglers are having their best luck with bright colored jigs (chatruce, red, yellow) or just plain old minnows. 

Carlyle dam/Kaskaskia River
4 gates should be open most of the weekend with rain in the forecast.
WHITE BASS- the WB are decent with the water running on humps and flats. If you can find any crawdads to seine, use them on the bottom with a small hook and weight.  People are also picking up a good number of keeper size whites on floats with cut Asian carp or shad. White and chartreuse jigs are also picking up fish. If the wind isn’t too bad, look to the main lake for more numbers and sizes of white bass.
CATFISH- both channels and flatheads are biting. Flatheads are moving up shallow to spawn as are the Channels. Anglers catching decent amounts of keeper channels on cut bait (Asian carp/shad), worms and your favorite stink baits in the backwaters and side channels.  The warmer weather will heat up the fishing for cats as well and they are moving up shallow early and late in the day.  Trotlines with shad/crawdads and leeches will also do the trick.
SAUGER- the sauger bite is solid with decent numbers of fish being caught on the flats and humps with the water on. Anglers still catching them vertical jigging chartreuse/black and good old white jigs tipped with some meat (minnows/night crawlers. Better size saugs can still be caught trolling crank baits in between the dam and swinging bridge.
ASIAN CARP- both huge numbers of bigheads (10-40lb range) and silvers (5-20lb) range are being taken as long as the water is on. Bow fishers are having lots of success as well as anglers using Spoons and double jig rigs.
BOWFISHING- shooters still having no problem finding Gar, buffalo, carp and Asian carp are everywhere, all shallow and are abundant as well as great sizes and numbers. Main channel against the rocks and all backwater areas are producing fish.
• 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)
A few crappie biting here around brush piles along ends of points in the grass in about 12-14 feet of water. Minnows and jigs working. Blue and white, smoke or shad colors working. Bass taking deep diving crankbaits, plastics on ends of points.

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)
Bluegill best here says Reed. Gills are on the banks and taking waxworms and crickets. Anglers have to work a little harder to find them but they can be found. Catfish spawning and going good on stinkbaits, cheesebaits, cut bait or leeches. Best locations Wolf Creek Road and Route 13. Weekend bass tournament produced decent numbers, with winner needing almost 24 pounds to win. Bass biting on just about everything. Bass are post spawn and buzzbaits working well says Strobel. White, black or chartreuse colors working. Plastic worms, lizards and red shad good also. Bass around the rip rap along Route 13 taking crankbaits in 8-9 feet of water.

Lake of Egypt
SOURCE: Guide Matt Strobel (618-922-0354)
Bass biting good on shaky head jigs. Top water action working in the morning around weeds. The numbers and good and 3-4 pounders being caught.

Forbes Lake
SOURCE: Site manager Glenn Wegener (618-547-3381); Mike Polcyn, Mike’s Bait & Tackle Shop, Louisville (618-665-3209)
Channel catfish are excellent on chicken liver and nightcrawlers near weed lines and rip-rap. Water is slightly murky and running 80-85 degrees. Bluegill are good on shallow flats and on the beds, taking red wigglers and poppers says Wegener. Crappie are still fair on minnows and jigs in 2-8 feet of water near tree tops and brush. Bass are fair on plastic baits and crankbaits.

Horseshoe Lake, Alexander County
SOURCE: Jim Melton, Melton’s Fish Camp (618-776-5504)
Crappie still spotty but anglers are catching a few in the tupelo clumps on minnows and/or jigs. Catfish also good drift fishing the middle with a nightcrawler.

Kinkaid Lake
SOURCE: Janet Graeff, Top of the Hill Bait Shop, Muphysboro (618-684-2923); Guide Al Nutty (618-694-4897)
Bluegill on a decent bite. The next full moon, expected June 26, should make for even better gill action. Crappie bite slowed but fish can be found on the outer weed lines in 6-8 feet of water. Crappie have scattered but still taking minnow or jigs. Water clarity decent and temperatures around 82-84 degrees. Warmer weather a little too warm for muskie. Largemouth bass good using scum frogs, moss mice in the weeds. Plastic worms or Carolina rigs also working. Catfish very good on nightcrawlers, cut shad or leeches. White bass, some 16-17 inches, biting on diving crank baits or in-line spinners. Light colors — white, pearl — working best. Nutty advises to keep fish on and let your buddy hook one before you bring yours in.

Little Grassy Lake
SOURCE: Shirley Lowery, Little Grassy Boat Dock (618-457-6655)
Catfish are on beds and taking just about anything thrown at them. Nightcrawlers and shrimp working very well. Bluegill are off beds and taking crickets, waxworms or mealworms. Bass picking up and biting on large minnows, spinners, crankbaits. Crappie slowing but those that are being caught are taking small minnows.

Mermet Lake
SOURCE: Shawnee Bait & Tackle, Creal Springs (618-996-3089)
Catfish about the only thing biting here with high humidity keeping most anglers away. Cats taking stinkbaits or chicken livers.

Newton Lake
SOURCE: Ruth Rauch, Rauch’s Bait & Tackle, Newton (618-752-2151)
Overall fishing going very good here. Bass taking crankbaits about 10 feet deep. Catfish biting on minnows, with some between 3-5 pounds being picked up. Bluegill running small but biting on worm or waxworms.

Rend Lake
SOURCE: Todd Gessner (618-513-0520); Jason Johns (618-927-3432); Bill Hudnall, Rend Lake Sporting Goods, Mount Vernon (618-242-2191)
Up north of lake good for bass in bushes. Jigs, creature baits flipped in the bushes working says Strobel. Crankbaits working in front of bushes and rocks, with shad colors best, says Hudnall. Worms good for deep waters and black or black blue color best. Spinners also working. Rattling baits working better than non-rattling ones. Top water bite good early and late. Frogs of all kinds best. Bluegill good on jigs tipped with red wigglers or crickets. Tiny sinkers best method for crickets. Crappie have slowed in isolated brush piles. Not many big ones but several 10-12 inchers can be found. Flatheads biting on sunfish, with plenty of 30-40 pounders being caught and a few in the 60-pound range. Channel cats good drift fishing with cutbait, nightcrawlers or liver. Along the rocks and rip rap areas cutbait and nightcrawlers working.

Sam Parr Lake
SOURCE: Mike Polcyn, Mike’s Bait & Tackle Shop, Louisville (618-665-3209)
Fishing getting better here. Catfish best on worms. Crappie also going good here.


Click here for water level information.

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

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

Illinois River
SOURCE: Jim Hardy of Big Jim’s Bait & Tackle in Ottawa (815-434-3921)
• Above the Starved Rock dam catfish are biting on cutbait. A few white bass and saugeye being caught using a split-shot rig with a minnow.
SOURCE: Carol Culjan at Cajun Sporting Goods in Utica (815-667-4222)
• Near Utica fishing is the same as last week. Rains raised the river into the timber last weekend, but the river is receding again. Channel catfish are biting up and down the river along the trees on crawlers, dipbait and cut bait says Buster Culjan. Plenty of drum perch also biting. The river is high and dirty, though.
SOURCE: Jordan Hubinsky, Time on the Water Marina, Spring Valley (815-663-1000)
• Near Spring Valley the river is dropping but dirty and catfish are biting. Most are smaller fish. Herring and shad are best.
SOURCE: Merle Keefer, Pekin Bass & Bow (309-347-3334); Tim Presley, Presley’s Outdoors, Bartonville (309-697-1193)
• Near Peoria channel catfish are still on a strong bite along flooded willows and trees says Tim Presley. Dipbait is best right now, though cut Asian carp will work. Bass fishing has been fair to good, with access to many backwaters during high water now drying up as the river falls. Bullheads are good at Rice Lake and white bass and largemouth bass should start biting well at the Rice Lake dam with dropping water levels. White bass should also turn on again at Duck Island. Channel catfish are also very good in the timber at Chautauqua Lake according to Merle Keefer, with catches of up to 30 fish on nightcrawlers.

Kankakee River
SOURCE: Ed Mullady, Sportsman’s Letter (815-932-7285)
Catfishing has been good says Mullady, especially on or at flooded shorelines. Minnows, crawlers and dipbaits have all been working well. Rock bass and smallies are best in feeder creeks that are clearing some. Use bright-colored lures.

Mississippi River

Mississippi River Pool 11
Water levels are at 5.7 feet and expected to rise slowly over the next week. Temperatures are in the lower 70s. Good shoreline bank fishing can be found at Guttenberg below the DNR fish hatchery and at Mud Lake Park, just north of Dubuque.  Northern Pike - Fair: A few pike beginning to gather at the mouths of cold water tributaries and springs.  Channel Catfish - Excellent: Catfish biting well.  Anglers doing well floating worms or minnows on a bobber near rocky areas with current.  Flathead Catfish - Excellent: Some nice flathead catfish have been caught near both sides of the dam.  Large-sized live bait or heavy jigs reaching the bottom have produced quite well.  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 temperature at Guttenberg is 72 degrees.  River levels are expected to rise slowly over the next week:  Water levels are: Lansing 8.6 feet, Lynxville 14.1 feet and Guttenberg 5.7 feet. Water clarity is good right now throughout these areas.

Mississippi River Pool 12
River stage at Dubuque is 8.29 feet and stable. Water clarity is good and water temperature is in the mid 70s. Anglers should be on the look out for radio tagged white crappie in Pool 12. Tags are attached externally to the dorsal fin and we ask that these fish be released or the tags returned from harvested fish.  Channel Catfish - Fair: Channel cats are biting on stink bait, crawlers, or cut bait around wing dams and snags.  Anglers are also catching them along rocky shorelines on leeches floated under a bobber.  White Bass - Fair: Look for white bass working schools of minnows or shad on the downstream side of wing dams or along shorelines in the mornings and evenings.  Throw minnow imitating crankbaits, spinners, or jigs with twister tails.  Anglers can catch a limit in short order if they find the right school.  Bluegill - Slow: Look for bluegills around docks and snags in backwaters and marinas.  Largemouth Bass - Fair: Look for bass around structure in the backwaters and sloughs.  White cranks and spinner baits have been working well.  Also try top water frogs in vegetation beds.  Crappie - Slow: Not many crappies being caught the past week, but look for them around woody structure in backwaters and sloughs.  Minnows or small jigs seem to be working best.  Walleye - Good: Walleye have been biting on three way rigs tipped with leeches and crankbaits on wing dams.

Mississippi River Pool 13
River stage at Bellevue is 6.06 feet and is forecast to rise to 7.4 feet over the next week. Water clarity is good and water temperature is in the mid 70s.  Northern Pike - Good: Pike fishing has been good the past week around the mouths of small tributaries.  Channel Catfish - Fair: Catfish have been biting on stink bait fished around wing dams and snags in sloughs.  Crappie - Slow: Crappie fishing has been slow with few reports of any fish being caught.  Walleye - Good: Walleye have been biting on crankbaits and three way rigs tipped with leeches on the wing dams.  Freshwater Drum - Good: The drum bite has been good on night crawlers fished on the bottom.

Mississippi River Pool 14
River stage at Camanche is 10 feet and stable. Water clarity is fair and water temperature is in the mid 70s.  Channel Catfish - Fair: Catfish are biting on leeches floated under a bobber along rip rap shorelines and on stink bait fished around snags and wing dams.  Walleye - Good: Walleye have been biting on crankbaits on wing dams.

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

Mississippi River Pool 16
Tail water stage at Lock and Dam 15 is 6.54 feet.  Channel Catfish - Good: Channel catfish are biting on crawlers, leeches and dip baits fished along riprap shorelines and snags along the main channel and sloughs.  White Bass - No Report:  Bluegill - Good: Bluegill fishing has been good towards evening in Sunset Marina. Most fish are being caught floating pieces of crawler or wax worms under a bobber.  Crappie - Good: Crappie are being caught in Sunset Marina around the docks. Most crappies are being caught floating minnows under a bobber or drifting with a split shot and minnow. Fishing has been best towards evening.  Sauger - Slow:  Walleye - Slow: Some walleyes are being picked up trolling crankbaits on the wing dams or using crawlers on three-way rigs.

Mississippi River Pool 17
Tail water stage at Lock and Dam 16 is 5.43 feet.  Channel Catfish - Good: Channel catfish are being caught on leeches and night crawlers fished along rip rap shorelines and snags along the main channel and sloughs.  White Bass - Fair: Some white bass are being caught casting crankbaits or jigs/twister at GPC.  Bluegill - Slow: Some bluegills are being caught in Big Timber fishing pieces of worm under a bobber.  Crappie - Slow:  Walleye - Fair: Some walleyes are being caught casting crankbaits or jigs/twisters at GPC.

Mississippi River Pool 18
Tail water stage at Lock and Dam 17 is 7.45 feet.  Channel Catfish - Good: Channel catfish are being caught on leeches and night crawlers fishing around snags and rock in the main channel or sloughs.  White Bass - No Report:  Bluegill - No Report:  Crappie - No Report:  Walleye - No Report:

Mississippi River Pool 19
Tail water stage at Lock and Dam 18 is 4.58 feet.  Channel Catfish - Good: Channel catfishing has been good on night crawlers, leeches, and dip baits fished along riprap shorelines and snags along the main channel and sloughs.  White Bass - No Report:  Bluegill - No Report:  Crappie - No Report:  Walleye - No Report:

Mississippi River Pools 16-20: River levels have been steady over the past few days. Main channel water temperature is 75 degrees. For more fishing information contact the Fairport Fish Hatchery at 563-263-5062.

Pecatonica River
SOURCE: Tom Calam, Tom’s Bait & Tackle, Freeport (815-232-3337)
Catfish biting good here on minnows, cutbait or nightcrawlers. Northerns being picked up using spoons or crankbaits. Anglers hunting for walleye but no reports yet. Second annual catfish tournament June 12 at DeMascus Landing, from 6 a.m.-2 p.m. Entry fee is $20. Entry forms available at Tom’s Bait & Tackle in Freeport. Rain/flood date June 26.

Rock River
SOURCE: Tom Calam, Tom’s Bait & Tackle, Freeport (815-232-3337)
• Near Rockford Catfish are best here using sucker minnows, cutbait or dipbait. Walleye bite slowing down.
SOURCE: Jan Prose at TJ’s Bait/Tackle & Canoe Rental in Oregon (815-732-4516)
• Near Oregon the river is steady and fairly clear with good fishing for channel cats on shrimp, dipbait and cut bait. Flatheads are fair on bluegill or suckers fished near the dam. Adam Quick of Oregon weighed a 19-pounder at TJ’s recently. The other big fish of late was a 5-pound northern caught on a minnow and twister tail at the dam.
SOURCE: Ray and Irene Hays, Bunny’s Bait Shop, Dixon (815-288-3812)
• Near Dixon channel cats are biting well in Grand Detour and Lowell Park areas around rocks. Chicken livers, cheesebaits and shrimp working best. Some anglers are saying they are using cut up bluegill and chubs for the cats. Cats are in mid spawn and most are small. Walleye are spotty below the dam and deep. Minnows or tails tipped with a minnow working. Large and smallmouth bass good but still catch and release until June 15. Drum also good on worms in Nelson area between Rock Falls and Dixon. Crappie and white bass are fair on minnows. Asian carp very good on dough balls or worms. Water is getting close to normal level and clarity.

Spoon River
SOURCE: Al Hayden, Al’s Sporting Goods, Galesburg and Paul Dinkheller at Dink’s in Lewistown (309-547-1094)
The river itself is still up too much and is running fast. But backwaters and feeder creeks are yielding fish. The twin ditches west of Emiquon have been good for channel catfish on dipbait. Overall dipbait is best for rod and reel anglers.


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