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Illinois fishing report 6-17-10

June 17, 2010 at 02:24 PM


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

• Lake of Egypt for largemouth bass at night.
• Powerton Lake for blue catfish or flathead catfish.


• Brandon Ehrhardt caught a 13-pound channel catfish this week at Little Grassy Lake.

•  Elysa Vedell of Victoria caught an 8-pound bass last week while fishing a purple-and-white plastic worm in a Knox County farm pond.

• A Springfield angler caught a 42-pound blue catfish at Lake Springfield.

• The Rock River produced two impressive flathead catfish last weekend during a Cabela’s King Kat Tournament. Zachary Purington and Philip Asbell caught a 43.16-pound flathead on a bullhead 5 miles down river from Page Park. Jim McDermott of Dixon and Jason Van Meter of Sterling caught a 30-pounder on a goldfish.
Illinois hunting and fishing

NORTHERN ILLINOIS North of Interstate 80

Apple Canyon Lake
SOURCE: Tom Calam, Tom’s Bait & Tackle, Freeport (815-232-3337)
Bluegill are coming on strong here, with anglers hauling in 25-30 keepers at a time. Waxworms, nightcrawler bits and crickets working. A few walleye being found around structure. Leeches and big magnum walleye minnows being used with spinners or crankbaits.

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

Forest Preserve Lakes
SOURCE: Lee’s Bait and Tackle of Elk Grove Village (847-593-6424); Henry’s (312-225-8538)
Bluegill remain the top shoreline bite according to Dale Bowman. Fish are shallow across the area. Bass are shallow early and late and taking scum frogs and other top-waters. As the day moves on, target weed edges with Senkos.
Click here for a Cook County Forest Preserves lake fishing forum.
• Here are links to information on various forest preserve lakes. Cook County, DeKalb County, DuPage County, Kane County, Kendall County, Lake County, McHenry County and Will County.

Fox Chain O’ Lakes
SOURCE: Greg Dickson, Triangle Sports & Marine,  Antioch (1-847-395-0813).
Triangle says walleye are biting in the river north and south and under most bridges. Leeches best with Lindy rigs or harnesses. Bluegill good just about everywhere but best around shoreline areas and in shady sports. Bass shallow and taking plastic worms or topwater frogs.
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 perch have been spotty but remain the best bet, with high winds blowing back and forth across the lakefront. Softshell crab bite best. Target 63rd Street south to Montrose Harbor north for best locations. Lake trout biting in 80 to 100 feet of water on big spoons, dodgers and flies. Salmon in deeper water, about 50-60 feet and taking spoons, dodgers and flies. Perch have been coming in a little closer. Navy Pier, 95th Street to Calumet Harbor and Pastrick Marina also good locations for perch. Baby roaches under a slip bobber a good technique. Bowman advises there has been very good action for cohos and kings east of Diversey Harbor in 40-55 feet of water. Smallmouth are also spotty.
SOURCE: The Salmon Stop (847-244-2525 or fishing hotline 847-244-9876);  Capt. Nick Ganzer (847-234-7208).
• Near Waukegan king salmon have arrived says Ganzer, who has found fish in 40-110 feet of water. Among the catches is the 15-pounder pictured above caught by John Berhenke. “We are marking bait plumes and big kings on the bottom,” Ganzer said. “Spoons and dodger/flasher with flies down 40 feet to the bottom have been deadly.” Good amounts of cohos and rainbows around to fill the cooler. Salmon Stop advises fishing 90 to 120 feet of water north of Waukegan Harbor. Tinsel flies and dodgers working 50-60 feet down with down riggers and spoons on dipsy divers. Perch 30-50 feet deep, changing every day, on large fathead minnows or soft shell crabs. Perch also biting around piers.
SOURCE: Mik-Lurch (219-989-0575)
• Near Indiana, Skamania mania has hit near the Michigan City pier heads. Skamania steelheads biting strong on shrimp under a bobber about four feet down. Creek spinners also working. Smallmouth bite cooled but fish can be found around harbors and rock piles. Poor Boys and 4-inch power baits working in darker colors. Some perch in the weeds by Cal Park and at Pastrick.

Pierce Lake
SOURCES: Pam Minihan, Dora’s Bait & Tackle, Rockford (815-963-1795).
Anglers still looking for flathead catfish using sucker minnows. No luck for crappie fishermen lately.

Shabbona Lake
SOURCES: Guide Jay Angel (815-739-7030) and Denny Sands, Shabbona Lakeside Bait & Tackle, Shabbona (815-824-2581).
Walleye are showing up along the weedlines in about 8-10 feet of water using a slip bobber or live bait rigs baited with leeches getting the best results. Also look around rock piles and deeper flats. Bass fair but smaller around deep weedlines and standing timber, 6-12 feet deep. Also look around rocks by the dam face. Soft plastic lures and jig and pig working. Jig-and-pig best for bigger bites in 15-20 feet. Crappie suspended over fish cribs and around brush piles off the campground shorelines and over deep brush piles. Crappie bite good to excellent, with many9-101/2 inchers being caught with a few 12-inch bites thrown in. Muskie fair to good on muskie style lures in deep trees. Catfish fair to good in low light periods in deeper weedlines. Stinkbaits, chicken livers and leeches working. Bluegill also fair to good. The bigger ones are being found in the deeper rock piles in about 16 to 18 feet of water.
• 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)
Big walleye, in 19-24 inch range being targeted on the Indiana side along the toll road in the 10-15 foot trough. Slow trolling Rapalas working. Once you find the fish use a slip bobber with leeches. Bass good on topwater baits. 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.

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)
High water and flooding has limited shore fishing.

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 is slow and fish have moved into deeper water in most cases says Adam Jaegle at Presley’s. Senkos, shaky head and wacky-worm finesse fishing are best right now. Weed growth is very thick in the Main Access area, but oddly the usual scum frog bite has not been very good. Channel catfish are good on dipbaits and some on chicken liver.

Lake Bloomington
SOURCE: Larry Dozard
Catfish and bluegill head the bill but are just fair according to Larry Dozard. Target weed edges with waxies or crickets for bluegill. Bass are fair to slow on crankbaits and plastics and top-water baits along weed edges. Crappie are slow.

Braidwood Lake
SOURCE: Del Colvin, Bert’s Bait, Essex (815-365-2103); Jon Meder, Jon’s Bait & Tackle, South Wilmington (815-237-2822)
Fishing going good here says Colvin. Bluegill still on a strong bite. Most have scattered but they are taking waxworms and redworms real well. Catfish biting good on dead roaches. The bigger ones are being caught on the north end around drop-offs and ledges.

Clinton Lake
SOURCE: Joanne Lowe, Mike’s Tackle World, Decatur (217-423-0730); Clinton Bait and Tackle, (217-935-3851)
Stripers taking top-waters here below the spillway early, otherwise the best action is on a jig and shrimp as close to the concrete as you can cast. Up on the lake, a few walleye being caught on crankbaits. Catfish best here on shad gut, cut shad or stinkbaits. A few crappie and white bass also being picked up.

Dawson Lake
SOURCE: Leon and Judy Gibson, Moraine View Concession (309-724-8295)
Walleye hitting good here on dew worms or jig heads tipped with nightcrawlers. Largemouth bass taking spinners or worms. Catfish biting on cheesebaits, chicken livers or shrimp. Crappie have moved deeper and are taking minnows or jigs. Bluegill also hitting on dew worms or redworms. All fish biting good says Leon other than northerns and spawning carp.

Emiquon Preserve
SOURCE: Paul Dinkheller, Dink’s, Lewistown (309-547-1094); The Nature Conservancy (309-547-2730)
Bass fishing has improved after a bit of a lull the past 10 days. Catch rates are back up to 30-50 fish per angler. Soft plastics and crankbaits are working best, though most options will catch a few. Few reports on crappie. Some decent pumpkinseeds reported this week. Anglers must obtain a free permit at Dickson Mounds Museum (open 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.) before fishing here.

Evergreen Lake
SOURCE: Brad Wood, operations supervisor, (309-726-2022) or Larry Dozard
Despite the rain over the weekend fishing has been hot on Evergreen. Bass, saugeye, bluegill and catfish all continue to be doing very well says Wood. Most of the bass are being caught off of points and along weed lines with spinnerbaits and crankbaits. Saugeye have been doing best on humps and along drop offs with crawler/jig set ups and some are hitting crank baits. Bluegill continue to hit wax worms along weeds and rip rap. Crappie continue to be in deeper waters 10-20 feet down on minnows and tube jigs. Water clarity is 6-12 inches and temperature is in the mid- to upper 70s.
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. Catfish, walleye and striper all good here says Lynch. Mixture of crawlers and leeches working for baits, with crankbaits also effective for walleye and striper. Water is clear.

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)
Clearer lakes, like Eagle, Ponderosa and Bass Lake doing better. Bluegill moving on the humps and biting on a slip bobber with a crawler drifting over them. Strip pit areas going strong on bluegill. Jumbo redworms and bee moths working. Fish moving off in deeper points and taking slip bobbers in 12-14 feet. Redear also being caught at Ponderosa. Bass taking rubber worms at Ponderosa and Monster Lake. Crappie also biting at Monster.

Powerton Lake
SOURCE: Merle Keefer, Pekin Bass & Bow (309-347-3334); Jason Grider, Riverside Bait, Pekin (309-347-3793)
Trophy catfish have been caught out of here all summer and this week was no different. Josh Shelton of Peoria caught and released a 67-pound flathead catfish while floating a large golden roach shiner in the discharge. The fish was weighed at Riverside Bait in Pekin before being released. A 57-pound blue catfish was also caught on shad guts last Thursday.

Snakeden Hollow SFWA
SOURCE: Nellie Thorne, Depot Bait and Tackle, Victoria (309-879-2401); Site office (309-879-2607)
Bigger bass have started biting again in Snakeden and at nearby clubs on plastics and top-waters. Weedless lures are a key in Snakeden’s smaller lakes. Catfish are very good says Thorne, particularly in the last three hours of daylight on mud leeches and dipbaits. Bluegill are good on crickets.

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)
Fishing has been a little slow says Karnes. Catfish are best early evenings on nightcrawlers, dipbait and shrimp. Bluegill are biting along the shore but most are pretty small. This past week have been mostly non-keepers. Bass are few and far between in the weeds on top-waters and weedless stuff. Jason Grider has heard of a few crappie caught on the north end, but most of the reports focus on catfish.

Lake Storey
SOURCE: Al Hayden, Al’s Sporting Goods, Galesburg (309-342-7776)
Bluegill are biting well says Hayden and the past week has produced several fish that are bigger than hand-sized, which is better than usual for Lake Storey. Crappie have slowed quite a bit and have backed off. The best bite is early in the morning or in the evenings on weed edges in 8-12 feet of water. Bass are improving on spinnerbaits, crankbaits and plastics or top-waters. Late-afternoon is the better bite. Few catfish reports except off the Mississippi River where cats are still biting well in the rocks.

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)
Bass are in their summer patterns, with the best bite shallow early and late. After that weedlines or points will yield fish. Soft plastics and shaky head presentations are good right now. Rick Morgan reports good action on scum frogs, including one that went 5-4. Jig and pig has slowed except at night. Bluegill are good but some of the bedding fish are done and are starting to move to deeper drop-offs (18-20 feet) according to Merle Keefer of Pekin Bass and Bow. Weedlines, as well. The peak of the spawn is past, but there’s a full moon June 26 which should heat things up again. Catfish are taking dipbait fished under bobbers.

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

Carlinville Lake
SOURCE: Gwen Gilmore, Gilmore Bait & Marine, Carlinville (217-854-8136)
Bass biting, some 6-7 pounds, on Lake 2 with lures and minnows. Crappie going deep and taking minnows. Catfish biting on shrimp.

Charleston Side Channel Lake
SOURCE: Rick Cuddy, Prairie Outfitters, Charleston (217-348-6770)
Crappie and bass are small here. Some channel catfish being caught with cheesebaits and chicken liver with Bass favoring small plastics.

Lake Decatur
SOURCE: Joanne Lowe, Mike’s Tackle World, Decatur (217-423-0730)
High water levels making fishing somewhat slow but anglers are catching plenty of Asian carp below the spillway on lead heads and twister tails. Catfish also biting on shad gut, cut shad and stinkbaits. A few crappie biting and bass taking buzzbaits. Before recent rains, anglers were finding some nice-sized white bass.

Lake Glenn Shoals
SOURCE: Jack Rebman, Kink’s Corner, Hillsboro (217-532-5442)
Fishing slowed down here, especially after three inches of rain on Monday. Anglers still catching channel cats on mud leeches and shrimp. Some cheesebaits also working. Crappie have moved out and bluegill were on a fair bite until recent rains

Lake Hillsboro
SOURCE: Jack Rebman, Kink’s Corner, Hillsboro (217-532-5442)
Catfish good here on mud leeches, shrimp or cheesebaits. Some catching bass but not divulging what they are using. Soft plastics typically good along weed edges. Frog bite has also been good early and late.

Lake Jacksonville
SOURCE: Tom Holmes, Military Surplus Outlet, Jacksonville (217-243-6161) and Lake Jacksonville Campground (217-479-4646)
Fishing is slow. Bass and catfish are biting with spinnerbaits and shrimp and worms working, respectively.

Lake Lou Yaeger
SOURCE: Denny’s Bait Shop, Litchfield (217-324-2628)
After recent heavy rains the lake is muddy and fishing is slow.

Lake Mattoon
SOURCE: Rick Cuddy, Prairie Outfitters, Charleston (217-348-6770); Joel Pittman, Mattoon Parks Department (217-254-6680)
Catfish, bluegill and bass are good. Catfish are enjoying cheesebait, shrimp and chicken liver. Bluegills favoring waxworms. Bass favoring small plastics and jigs.. Lake might be muddy by end of the week.

Mill Creek Lake
SOURCE: Dennis Shiley, Mill Creek Lake Park (217-889-3901)
Mainly 14-inch bass being caught with plastic baits. Some catfish being caught with liver and other types of bait around weedlines.

Sangchris Lake
SOURCE: Jack Raymond, Peter’s Bait, Springfield (217-528-9500); Trevor Miller, Big Red’s Bait and Tackle, Springfield (217-820-9674)
Catfish best here on leeches, crawdads and stinkbaits. Crappie going deeper, in 12-14 foot range, and biting on minnows mainly.

Lake Sara
SOURCE: Tony Niebrugge, Anthony’s Acres Resort, (217-868-2950)
Bluegill are biting all over the lake on waxworms, with nice-size gills being reported. A few crappie are being caught shallow off the banks, mostly on minnows. Bass have been taking plastics. Catfish biting on nightcrawlers. lake level is up.

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 best here. Welch has been using 1/2 ounce Strike King sandblasters around Point 6 and says there are huge schools of white bass feeding all over the lake. Gay blades also good when they are up on the surface. Shad still very small and whites are hungry. Walleye have gone deeper and crappie are still recovering from spawn. Guide Ken Wilson has been targeting Point 3 and 5 for whites and looking for them early. He says largemouth bass are better off main-lake points. Water is 82 degrees and the lake is just above summer pool.
• 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 biting everywhere on leeches, crawdads and stinkbaits says Raymond. A local angler prepping for catfish tournament hauled in a 42-pound blue cat. A 26-pound flathead was also caught here.

SOUTHERN ILLINOIS South of Interstate 70

Baldwin Lake
SOURCE: Site office (618-785-2555)
Fishing slowed down quite a bit here. Anglers still catching some catfish on nightcrawlers and crappie on jigs and minnows.

Carlyle Lake
SOURCE: Josh Adkins; Buddy Langenhorst, Lavish’s Bait Shop , Carlyle (618-594-4413); Henkel’s (618-594-4818)
Catfish are spawning, taking nightcrawlers, stinkbaits, shrimp and really favoring leeches. Bluegills are in the brushes and taking mealworms, crickets and shrimp. Largemouth bass are taking crankbaits and spinners. White Bass are biting on curlytails. Crappie slow but a few taking minnows.
• 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)
Bass taking top-waters before dark off points, 10 inch worms, power worms or on solid black colors. Soft plastics working during the day. Some also on shaky head worms.

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 still spawning as are catfish; crickets and wax worms are the best bet for bluegill. Some crappie are around 10 feet down being caught with minnows. Best catfish are being found around Wolf Creek Road and are mainly biting nightcrawlers
in addition to chicken liver and stinkbaits. Bass are being caught on top-water or soft plastics like beaver baits, mainly in black and blue. Check lay-downs for bass, for their depth is anywhere from 2 to 10 feet.

Lake of Egypt
SOURCE: Guide Matt Strobel (618-922-0354)
Bass are being caught in the 10-22 foot range around drops and grassy areas with deep-diving cranks, big spinners, shaky heads, football jigs and flutter spoons. Bass are being good all day, daytime depth is around
6-15 feet. The evening bite is also strong, with 13-inch worms and black spinnerbaits working.

Horseshoe Lake, Alexander County
SOURCE: Jim Melton, Melton’s Fish Camp (618-776-5504)
Crappie have slowed. Channel catfish are being caught in the middle, drift-fishing with nightcrawlers.

Kinkaid Lake
SOURCE: Janet Graeff, Top of the Hill Bait Shop, Muphysboro (618-684-2923); Guide Al Nutty (618-694-4897)
Bass on a good bite here using top-water baits in low light areas or on overcast days. Moss mouse or scum frogs working well. Crappie fair on the outside edges of weeds in 6-10 feet of water using minnows or tube jigs. Bluegills good with crickets best. Still a little bedding activity continuing, but gills are also taking bits of nightcrawler and waxworms. Nutty believes fly rod would work well now. A few incidental walleye being caught. Trolling crankbaits best casting around the outer edges of weeds. A few white bass also being picked up. They are not on a big jump yet, but Nutty expects that to happen soon. In-line spinners, small crankbaits or slab spoons working.

Little Grassy Lake
SOURCE: Shirley Lowery, Little Grassy Boat Dock (618-457-6655)
Catfish have begun spawning. Mainly biting on shrimp and live bait. One 13-pound fish was caught by Brandon Ehrhardt. There was also a 7-pound bass caught this week. Bass are mainly around 4 feet deep and biting on spinners and large minnows. Crappie are around 8 to 12-feet down taking small minnows. Bluegills are shallow and biting on crickets and meal worms. Bluegills have finished spawning.

Newton Lake
SOURCE: Ruth Rauch, Rauch’s Bait & Tackle, Newton (618-752-2151)
Bass fishing has been excellent here. One bass measuring 21 inches was caught. Large minnows and crankbaits are the best bet, with the bass being around 16 feet down. Bluegill are taking everything. Channel Catfish are taking minnows, nightcrawlers, and shrimp with a 6-pounder reported this week. The north part of the lake may start to become muddy. However, the other end is clear.

Rend Lake
SOURCE: Todd Gessner (618-513-0520); Jason Johns (618-927-3432); Bill Hudnall, Rend Lake Sporting Goods, Mount Vernon (618-242-2191)
Catfish are around the rocks and flats. Some big crappie being caught around in 8-15 feet of water, with a 2-pounder reported last week. Bass are around the main lake points in 1-10 feet and biting on spinners, shad-baits, Rat-L-Traps, crankbaits and soft plastics.


Click here for water level information.

Des Plaines River
SOURCE: Andrew Ragas
Water temperatures are in the low 70-degree range and levels are decent with gauge reading at 3.7 and CFS slightly over 800. Clarity is very stained.

Anglers are reporting that the fishing is becoming a little more difficult now that the fish are transitioning off into their summer patterns. The best bets for right now are Northern Pike, Channel Catfish, Largemouth Bass, and assorted Panfish species.

For Pike, a lot of shore fishing is taking place and those working from shore are having success on smaller fish with Mepps inline spinners (#3, 4, 5 blades), smaller jerkbaits, dark colored and fluorescent spinnerbaits, and shallow running crankbaits. With the warmer summertime water temperatures from now until the start of September, live bait isn’t much of an option and neither is it needed. Smaller fish are relating to shoreline cover (laydowns, weedbeds, bridges) while larger fish are seeking deeper water with current, as well as the main river channels. If you have boat access to these mid-river fish-holding areas, expect to find the bigger fish - up to 30 inches. And if you have boat electronics that will help you find the deeper holes and drop-offs, use them! Very early in the mornings, midday cloud cover, and evenings are offering anglers the best overall feeding windows.

Channel Catfish are extremely active everywhere on the river right now and most fish are running in the 2 to 5-pound category. Best areas right now are deep hard-bottomed pools with current, and any areas that offer the fish some shade such as beneath bridges and around the pylons. Live bait (nightcrawlers, shiners) and cut bait are scoring up fish.

Largemouth Bass are somewhat active right now, but expect smaller fish in the 10 to 14 inch range to be caught on a variety of lures such as crankbaits, buzzbaits, topwaters, spinnerbaits, and plastics. Fish are relating to the deeper wood, off-shore weedbeds, pools with current, and mid-river channels.

Lastly, assorted Panfish species such as Bluegill and Crappie are being found by shoreline anglers who are focusing on weedbeds and wood. In addition, if you fish by boat, expect to find fish from deep wood as well as in the channels as they tend to suspend during the summer months. Small tube jigs, twistertails, minnowbaits, and live bait dunked beneath a float are catching fish.
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)
A lot of fish being caught, though it is mainly catfish. Flathead catfish are biting on cutbait. A 7-lb walleye was caught with a minnow. Some sheepheads have also been biting..
Click here for a Fox River fishing forum.

Illinois River
SOURCE: Jim Hardy of Big Jim’s Bait & Tackle in Ottawa (815-434-3921)
• Above the Starved Rock dam Catfish biting on cutbait. Water is up a couple feet and is flowing swiftly.
SOURCE: Carol Culjan at Cajun Sporting Goods in Utica (815-667-4222)
• Near Utica there’s not a thing going except for high water. A few anglers are fishing but all they are catching is drum perch. A few catfish are biting along flooded timber. With more storms predicted, there’s a chance for even more rain, which will not help.
SOURCE: Hillary Anderson, Time on the Water Marina, Spring Valley (815-663-1000)
• Near Spring Valley the river is dirty and at flood stage but predicted to drop. Sauger and white bass are slow with some anglers catching catfish.
SOURCE: Merle Keefer, Pekin Bass & Bow (309-347-3334); Tim Presley, Presley’s Outdoors, Bartonville (309-697-1193)
• Near Peoria catfish are good in flooded timber on crawlers and shrimp or dipbait says Adam Jaegle at Presley’s. White bass slow. Excellent catfishing is reported at Chautauqua Lake, with bank anglers catching them off the main levee in the rocks on crawlers and dipbait.

Kankakee River
SOURCE: Ed Mullady, Sportsman’s Letter (815-932-7285)
The river is up following Tuesday’s heavy rains and is expected to crest just under flood stage at Wilmington.

Mississippi River

Mississippi River Pool 11
Water levels are at 7.8 feet and expected to rise a bit more over the next week. Temperatures are in the mid 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 - Good: Catfish biting well on stink bait.  Flathead Catfish - Good: 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.  Walleye - Fair: 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 in the mid 70s.  River levels are expected to rise a bit more over the next week:  Water levels are: Lansing 9.4, Lynxville 16.0 and Guttenberg 7.8.

Mississippi River Pool 12
River stage at Dubuque is 9.7 feet and stable. Water clarity is fair and water temperatures are 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 were 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 - Fair: The recent rise in the river and increased turbidity has slowed the walleye some, but they have been biting on three way rigs tipped with leeches and crankbaits on wing dams.

Mississippi River Pool 13
River stage at Bellevue is 8.23 feet and rising. Water clarity is fair above the Maquoketa River and poor below it.  Water temperatures are in the mid 70s.  Channel Catfish - Fair: Catfish have been biting on stink bait fished around wing dams and snags in sloughs.  Also a few coming on leeches floated under bobbers along rip rap.  Crappie - Slow: Crappie fishing has been slow with few reports of any fish being caught.  Walleye - Fair: Walleye have been biting on crankbaits and three way rigs tipped with leeches on the wing dams.  Fishing below the Maquoketa River is poor due to increased turbidity.  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 11.21 feet and rising. Water clarity is poor and water temperatures are 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 - Slow: Walleye fishing has been slow with the muddy water.

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

Mississippi River Pool 16
Tail water stage at Lock and Dam 15 is 8.47 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 - Fair: Some white bass are being caught in Sunset Marina casting jigs/twisters or in-line spinner baits.  Bluegill - Fair: Bluegill fishing has been fair towards evening in Sunset Marina. Most fish are being caught floating pieces of crawler or wax worms under a bobber.  Crappie - Fair: 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:

Mississippi River Pool 17
Tail water stage at Lock and Dam 16 is 7.91 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 - Slow:  Bluegill - Slow: Some bluegills are being caught in Big Timber fishing pieces of worm under a bobber.  Crappie - Slow:  Walleye - Slow:

Mississippi River Pool 18
Tail water stage at Lock and Dam 17 is 11.07 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 7.97 feet. Fishing has been slow due to high and muddy water.  Channel Catfish - No Report:  White Bass - No Report:  Bluegill - No Report:  Crappie - No Report:  Walleye - No Report:

Mississippi River Pools 16-20: River levels have risen 2-3 feet due to recent heavy rains. Main channel water clarity is poor. 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)
Freeport’s Nathan Martin took first place in the second annual catfish tournament June 12 at DeMascus Landing with a total catch of 10.2 pounds. Martin also had the big cat of 5.5 pounds. The team of Jeff Hocknan and Troy Bsling of Freeport finished second at 9.7 pounds and the tandem of Mark Jordan and Brian Hoan placed third at 8.5 pounds. Anglers participating found the catfish bite to be decent on dipbaits, liver and minnows.

Rock River
SOURCE: Tom Calam, Tom’s Bait & Tackle, Freeport (815-232-3337)
• Near Rockford Calam says catfish are biting on cutbait or nightcrawlers. Walleye bite has slowed. Calam expects weekend to be slow with recent rains and expected poor weather upcoming.
SOURCE: Jan Prose at TJ’s Bait/Tackle & Canoe Rental in Oregon (815-732-4516)
• Near Oregon heavy rain has slowed fishing. However, some channel catfish are biting on cutbait and dipbait. There have been some big carp and walleye spotted. Walleye are deep and biting on minnows.
SOURCE: Ray and Irene Hays, Bunny’s Bait Shop, Dixon (815-288-3812)
• Near Dixon, channel cats biting on cheese, shrimp, cutbait and chicken liver says Hays. A lot of fish being spotted near dam. Twenty-seven flatheads were caught last weekend during a tournament won by Mark Farrow of Meredosia and Jerry Cline of Springfield (pictured below) with five cats weighing 53.15 pounds caught on mooneye. The tournament also produced a 43-pounder. Mainly bluegill, mooneye, goldfish and bullhead were being used. Crappie and white bass are spotty. Smallmouth bass are being caught with minnows and the ban on keeping them has just been lifted. Sheepheads have been caught bellow the dam with worms. Some walleyes have also been spotted. The water is high and muddy, so it will take a day or two to clear up.
SOURCE: Guide Matt Jones (815-537-5506 or 815-590-1469 cell) and Doc at Kodiak Outdoor Sports in Dixon (815-284-3075)
• Elsewhere, channel cats are coming out of their spawn and feeding on cutbaits and cheesebaits. Big flatheads are biting on live baits such as bluegills. Jones calls this the longest stretch of stable water in 2 to 3 years, allowing the fish to settling into regular fishing patterns. Largemouth bass, bluegills and crappie are all biting good in slough areas. Worms or artificial worms working good for the big fish bait.
Illinois hunting and fishing

Spoon River
SOURCE: Al Hayden, Al’s Sporting Goods, Galesburg and Paul Dinkheller at Dink’s in Lewistown (309-547-1094)
Flatheads are biting on the Spoon River, even though it is running bank full. Some decent reports from Bernadotte from hawgers.


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

what the heck is that dude using a goldfish for bait, that is illegal in the state of illinois

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 06/17 at 02:47 PM

you beat me to it Wild Bill

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 06/17 at 03:23 PM

Yeah, since when?

Posted by Jeff Lampe on 06/17 at 03:52 PM

I thought it was illegal also, I just called DNR and, it is legal and never has been illegal to use goldfish. If you don’t believe me call (217) 782-6431 that is the DNR law inforcement # that is in the IL. Fishing Info. Handbook in the Revocation/Suspension area.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 06/17 at 04:06 PM

I was told by a dnr agent before i couldnt use them and had me dump them, maybe i was wrong and it was a site specific thing. IMO it should be illegal with the current issues we are having with invasive species.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 06/17 at 05:27 PM

Many flathead anglers on the rivers use goldfish as their go to bait and have been for years and years. make sure and check the regs before making accusations, there are so many site specific regs that it is hard to keep up with all of them and anglers almost have to carry a reg book at all times to be a law abiding fisherman.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 06/17 at 09:23 PM

Kudos to Josh Shelton for putting that big Powerton Flatty back.  Nice job Josh, hope you got some great photos.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 06/18 at 12:05 PM

I did OK in the Bell’s Landing area (near blind 1) with SPRO popper frogs just off weed edges and deep using a Hell Bender.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 06/18 at 03:36 PM

Oops…at Banner Marsh.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 06/18 at 03:36 PM

It has never been illegal to use goldfish for bait in Illinois. Same thing about useing green sunfish/rock bass/bluegill- they are legal for bait. Only thing about the sunfish family, as sport fish- they must be caught on pole and line and cannot be seined.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 06/18 at 07:55 PM

Dont the bluegill/sunfish have to be caught from the same waters that they will be used for bait?

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 06/21 at 08:21 AM

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