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Illinois fishing report 6-4-09

June 04, 2009 at 02:50 PM


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

• Central Illinois strip mines and local ponds for bluegill.
• Just like last week, about anywhere you suspect flathead catfish. Huge flatheads are popping up all over.
• Along Lake Michigan, Near North Point continues to be a hot spot for salmon/trout.
• Fox Chain, Clinton Lake and Heidecke for walleye.
• Newton Lake for bass on just about any bait you want to use.


• Glenn Paddock, 78, of Dunlap caught this 1-pound, 2-ounce bluegill on a fly rod while fishing a Peoria County lake last Sunday.

Illinois hunting and fishing

• Steven Pineda caught this 24-inch walleye at Banner Marsh on June 1 while his grandfather Robert Latvaitis caught this nice channel catfish.

Illinois hunting and fishing

Sam Boone caught this monster chinook salmon on Saturday fishing on Capt. Dan Keating’s Blue Horizon out of North Point Marina. He won as Chicago Sun-Times Fish of the Week.

Illinois hunting and fishing

NORTHERN ILLINOIS North of Interstate 80

Apple Canyon Lake
SOURCE: Tom Calam, Tom’s Bait & Tackle, Freeport (815-232-3337)
Plenty of bluegill being caught here says Tom Calam of Tom’s Bait & Tackle in Freeport. Anglers hauling in from 100-150 bluegills in 7-10 inch range on waxies or rubber tube jigs. Smallmouth bass gobbling up bluegill, crappie baits but most on small side. Walleye are few and far between.

Lake Carroll
SOURCE: Tom Calam, Tom’s Bait & Tackle, Freeport (815-232-3337).
Decent numbers but smaller size bluegill biting says Calam. Crappie also good but still 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)

• In DuPage County

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 main thing here in current areas says Triangle Sports & Marine. The mouth of Grass Lake River and Pistakee good areas. Striper and sheepheads biting strong also in current. Nightcrawlers and leeches working best with either jigs or crawler harnesses. Bass should be ending spawn. They are still on beds and shallow. Bluegill also on beds and shallow. Catfish should be starting to go out deep again.


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, perch the big talk around Montrose, Bellmont, the 39th Street pier and 63rd Street says Henry’s. Perch taking large fatheads.

SOURCE: The Salmon Stop (847-244-2525 or fishing hotline 847-244-9876)
• Near Waukegan, perch biting from boats in 40-70 feet of water south of Waukegan Harbor on large fatheads off the bottom. Along the piers, perch taking fatheads off bottom around Government Pier. In boats, cohos in shallow about 20 feet north of Waukegan on tinsel flies and dodgers. Bigger kings in deep water, about 120 feet, straight out of Waukegan harbor with dodgers and flies on yellow birds.

SOURCE: Capt. Nick Ganzer (847-234-7208).
• Near North Point, last week has been very productive for salmon/trout says captain Nick Ganzer. Lake/weather conditions have moderated some. North Point water temps are warming slowly (47-50 degree range) which will keep the fish/bait in area longer. Most boats in waters are taking a mix of coho, kings, bows and lakers. Somedays fish are near shore 40-140 feet, while other days they’re 180-225 feet. Good news was reported that a 29 pound king was taken on a dodger/fly combo last Friday, with kings being caught in the 15-20 pound range. The waters are holding large schools of alewife and the salmon/trout are on a feeding frenzy. Best fishing continues to be in low light conditions. When the sun appears, the alewife/salmon head for the bottom, or deeper water to escape the light. The salmon/trout continue to take a bait, but the action slows.

SOURCE: Mik-Lurch (219-989-0575)
• Near Indiana, perch coming off spawn and slow around Portage, In. says Mik-Lurch. Salmon and trout biting from 55-105 feet of water. Willow Slough good for bluegill.

Pierce Lake
SOURCES: Pam Minihan, Dora’s Bait & Tackle, Rockford (815-963-1795) and Bob Rhodes, Rockford Bait (815-226-3515).
Channel cat bite good on stinkbait by Rock Cut State Park says Bob Rhodes. Bluegill good and crappie scattered. Bass biting on nigthcrawlers and shiners.

Shabbona Lake
SOURCES: Guide Jay Angel (815-739-7030) and Denny Sands, Shabbona Lakeside Bait & Tackle, Shabbona (815-824-2581).
Crappie fishing is very good says Angel. Crappies have moved out of shallow water but can be caught over predictable spots like shallow brushpiles and fish cribs. Angel prefers Mini Mites or minnows under small bobbers. Water is ranging from 65 to 72 degrees. Bass are improving. Best bet is on the dam face fishing wacky worms. They should be moving to weed edges soon. Walleye should also be biting better soon. A few have been caught over the rockpiles. Pictured below are Steve and Megan Vesta of Plainfield with a nice crappie they caught last week while fishing with Angel.
• 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

Illinois hunting and fishing

Wolf Lake
SOURCE: Mik-Lurch (219-989-0575)
Crappie and northerns good on Illinois side says Henry’s. Decent size bass also being caught. Baits of choice include nightcrawlers, medium size golden roaches and leeches.

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)
No report with flooded conditions.

Argyle Lake
SOURCE:Site manager Robin Hinchee (309-776-3422); The Deck II Bait and Boat Rental shop (309-776-4275)
Lake is murky. Bass were fair along shore cover on plastics and crankbaits says Dozard. Bluegills were fair around shore. Catfish were fair on dipbaits.Crappie were somewhat slow over last weekend. Saugeye were slow to fair on jig/crawlers.

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)
Bass fishing is good, with soft plastics and crankbaits working best says Doug Starr. Starr and partner Bill Howell of Mackinaw had big bass of 5.05 pounds last Sunday during a Bass 25 Peoria tournament. They had two 21-inch fish and overall had three weighing 10.3 pounds but still finished second to Tom Cassel and Domenic Theison, who had five bass weighing 10.95 pounds. Bass, crappie and bluegill all good here says Keefer. Bass on spinner baits or wacky worms. Bluegills taking waxworms, redworms or crickets. Crappie good but slowing some on tube jigs tipped with minnows. Jaegle says bluegill on beds and hot right now.

Lake Bloomington
SOURCE: Larry Dozard
As of April 1, the 8-inch size limit on bluegill was lifted and new bluegill limit goes to 25 fish a day with no size restriction. Bass were fair on plastics and crankbaits around timber cover says Larry Dozard. Bluegills were fair to good on waxworms or part crawlers. Catfish were fair on crawlers and cutbait at or near coves. Crappie were slow to fair on jigs and minnows as they suspend in lake moving out around brush and timber. Walleye slow to fair on crawler rigs or jig/crawlers along breaks.

Braidwood Lake
SOURCE: Del Colvin, Bert’s Bait, Essex (815-365-2103); Jon Meder, Jon’s Bait & Tackle, South Wilmington (815-237-2822)
Bass starting to hit using crankbaits or shad says Colvin. Early morning or late afternoon bite best.

Clinton Lake
SOURCE: Joanne Lowe, Mike’s Tackle World, Decatur (217-423-0730); Clinton Bait and Tackle, (217-935-3851)
Walleye being caught in bunches using rapalas above and bellow the spillway says Lowe. White bass also good, some around 16 inches, and biting on sandblasters. Crappie decent and catfish good on nightcrawlers, shad guts, shrimp, leeches or cut shad.

Dawson Lake
SOURCE: Leon and Judy Gibson, Moraine View Concession (309-724-8295)
Bass were fair on black/blue sencos and bluegill colored crankbaits says Dozard. Wain at Old Man River Bait and Tackle says catfish are fair on nightcrawlers and his glo crawlers. Walleye/saugeye remain fair on minnows along breaks from beach toward the dam.

Double T State Fish and Wildlife Area
Reminder from Larry Dozard: This is a no-wake state lake and is posted as such at the main boat launch area. This is to allow those anglers with big motors to use the lake at idle speed. This is a test situation at this time and if there are those who continue to abuse this rule, the state will make this a Trolling Motor Only lake. The No-Wake rule is being watched along with the size limits on bass of one fish daily 21 inch or over and a 42-inch muskie limit.


Emiquon Preserve
SOURCE: Dink’s, Lewistown (309-547-1094); The Nature Conservancy (309-547-2730)
Bass fishing remains good, though weeds are forcing many to fish soft plastics or top-water offerings. 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
Not much new to report on this weeks says operations supervisor Brad Wood. Fishing has been fair in the last week. Crappie still doing OK. Catch rates have been lower than in the previous weeks, however, keepers are still being caught on a regular basis. Saugeye fishing is also doing well. Bass fishermen fishing in the past weekend’s tournament reported fishing was slow. Several bass being caught, however the sizes were mostly smaller. Bluegill have been doing well the last few days. Bowfishing report: not much new to report here. Most of the activity is still in the grassy shallow areas. Reminder: the main (east) boat launch will be closed Friday night June 5 and Saturday morning June 6 for the Tri-Shark Triathlon. Water temps in upper 60s to low 70s. Water clarity at 1-2 feet, with water level 1-2 inches over capacity.
Click here for up-to-date lake reports.

Heidecke Lake
SOURCE: Don Stephens, Greybeards (815-941-1504); Guide Greg Heath (815-258-9136)
Walleye still going good here on nightcrawlers, though weather has not been very good, says Pat Cassin. A few striper and catfish also being caught. Live bait working for walleye, as well as trolling crankbaits says Lynch.

Hennepin Canal
SOURCE: Ann Downey, Northside Bait & Archery, Kewanee (309-852-4760)
Water temps still cold, so anglers able to catch anything willing to bite in cold water says Ann Downey.

Johnson-Sauk Trail Lake
SOURCE: Ann Downey, Northside Bait & Archery, Kewanee (309-852-4760)
Fishing still slow moving here says Downey. Some out-of-town angler reporting decent days on the lake.

LaSalle Lake
SOURCE:Dale Bowman of the Chicago Sun-Times; Guide Mike Lynch (708-655-7667)
Lake still a hot spot for big blues and hybrids says Dale Bowman. Blue cats biting best on live bait. Weekend should be good here says Lynch.

Click here for a LaSalle Lake fishing forum.

Mazonia Lakes
SOURCE: Del Colvin, Bert’s Bait, Essex (815-365-2103)
Bluegills are on beds and anglers “picking them clean” says Colvin. Crappie minnows working. Redear up to 13 inches biting.

Powerton Lake
SOURCE: Merle Keefer, Pekin Bass & Bow (309-347-3334); Tom Grider, Riverside Bait, Pekin (309-347-3793)
Channel cats good here on dipbaits or whole baby shad says Keefer.


Snakeden Hollow SFWA
SOURCE: Victoria Tackle Shop (309-879-2664)
Anglers reported good success last weekend, with redear biting “like crazy” says Victoria Tackle Shop.

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)
Crappie and channel cats hitting good says Keefer. Cats taking dipbaits or whole baby shad. Pekin angler Ryan Jennings caught two nice channel cats weighing 13 pounds total using nightcrawlers. Plenty of bluegill also biting along the turnoffs around south park road says Karnes. Cats also found in the same area. Bass lurking around moss pads and taking spinners or Rat-L-traps. It won’t be long before anglers will need to use weedless topwaters for bass.


Lake Storey
SOURCE: Al Hayden, Al’s Sporting Goods, Galesburg (309-342-7776)
Bass were slow to fair in post-spawn mode says Larry Dozard. Bluegills were fair to good on crickets and wax worms along shore . Catfish were fair to good on crawlers or dip bait. Crappie were fair on minnows with some moving out this week.  Muskie were slow. Walleye were slow to fair on crankbaits and spinners trolled slow along weed edges.

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)
Bluegill are the best bet most places, as they are on the beds and biting well on crickets and waxworms. Some redear also being caught. Bass are post-spawn and biting better on soft plastics, frogs and spinnerbaits on windy days. Crappie have moved to weed edges and are scattered.

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)
Rain and cold temps keeping things slow but anglers were catching bluegill and crappie. Waxworms, mealworms and crickets best baits says Eggers.

Carlinville Lake
SOURCE: Gwen Gilmore, Gilmore Bait & Marine, Carlinville (217-854-8136)
Lake 1 producing catfish, crappie and a few bass says Gilmore Bait & Marine. Crappie good and catfish starting to bite on Lake 2. Worms and minnows working best.

Charleston Side Channel Lake
SOURCE: Rick Cuddy, Prairie Outfitters, Charleston (217-348-6770)
Channel cats on a real good bite says Cuddy. Chicken livers, cut shad, whole shad all good baits. Flatheads picking up on bluegills. Crappie decent on minnows.

Coffeen Lake
SOURCE: Scott Withers, Indian Grove Fish Camp, Coffeen Lake (217-537-3001)
Bass were excellent last week on top waters out of weeds and grassy areas says Scott Withers. Crappie bite fair on jigs and minnows. Catfish good on stinkbaits, worms, cut bait or shrimp. Bluegills biting on mealworms and waxworms. Striper slow. Lake high and water a little murky.

Lake Decatur
SOURCE: Joanne Lowe, Mike’s Tackle World, Decatur (217-423-0730)
Fishing so-so here says Lowe. Not many big fish but fishermen are catching catfish and smaller crappie. A few white bass also being picked up. Below the dam, crappie, walleye and cats biting. One angler caught a 50-pound Asian carp. Big bluegill also biting here on crickets and waxworms.

Lake Glenn Shoals
SOURCE: Jack Rebman, Kink’s Corner, Hillsboro (217-532-5442)
Channel catfish bite continues to be strong on shrimp and mud leeches around the rip rap says Jack Rebman at Kink’s Corner in Hillsboro. A few bass also being picked up on crankbaits. Below the spillway, some anglers finding success with cats and striped bass.

Lake Hillsboro
SOURCE: Jack Rebman, Kink’s Corner, Hillsboro (217-532-5442)
Crappie bite remains good on minnows in about three feet of water but most are small says Rebman. Catfish taking leeches and shrimp, as well as Sonny’s catfish bait.

Lake Jacksonville
SOURCE: Tom Holmes, Military Surplus Outlet, Jacksonville (217-243-6161) and Lake Jacksonville Campground (217-479-4646)
Weather seems to refuse to cooperate but some anglers still managing to snag a few catfish using shrimp or shad says Tom Holmes. A few bass and crappie also being caught says Lake Jacksonville Campground.


Lake Lou Yaeger
SOURCE: Denny’s Bait Shop, Litchfield (217-324-2628)
Catfish and bluegill were on a good bite before recent rains hit again says Denny’s Bait Shop. Cats taking shad, neon nightcrawlers or Sonny’s stinkbait. Local angler hauled in 17-pound channel cat on May 31 using shad.

Lake Mattoon
SOURCE: Rick Cuddy, Prairie Outfitters, Charleston (217-348-6770); Joel Pittman, Mattoon Parks Department (217-254-6680)
Bass bite OK on mixture of plastics, spinners or jigs says Cuddy. Catfish good on chicken livers, cut shad or whole shad.


Mill Creek Lake
SOURCE: Dennis Shiley, Mill Creek Lake Park (217-889-3901)
Bass good on a mixture of baits says Rick Cuddy. Soft plastics, spinners, crankbaits and jigs all working at various times. Large crappie being picked up on minnows in shallow along the banks fall off points in weeds says Mill Creek Lake Park. A 171/2-inch crappie caught recently. Catfish also biting on anything and everything just about anywhere in the lake.


New Gillespie Lake
SOURCE: John ‘Pappy’ Knowles, Gillespie Lake Police (618-362-6363)
Bass were biting Thursday, with Knowles hauling in a 41/2-pounder. Crappie was hitting also but not very big in size.

Sangchris Lake
SOURCE: Trevor Miller, Big Red’s Bait and Tackle, Springfield (217-820-9674)
Bass were fair to slow around timber cover on plastics says Dozard.  Catfish were fair on cut baits and shad. Crappie were fair on minnows around shore brush or timber. Flatheads are fair on live baits.

Lake Sara
SOURCE: Tony Niebrugge, Anthony’s Acres Resort, (217-868-2950)
Bluegill remains good on waxworms, pieces of nightcrawlers says Anthony’s Acres Resort. Crappie still being caught but not as plentiful. Bass tournament over the weekend produced big fish of 3.78 pounds using crankbaits.

Lake Shelbyville
SOURCE: Guide Ken Wilson (217-774-5756 or 217-454-2672) at Lithia Springs Guide Service; Margie Oliver, Marv and Kathy’s Bait & Tackle, Sullivan (217-728-4044); Guide Steve Welch (217) 762-7257 or (217) 840-1221
Lake is way up about 12 foot above pool with temps in 70s and stained says Larry Dozard. Crappie fair to slow on minnows and you must keep moving as they are scattered over brush. Walleye are fair to good on jig/crawler on flooded ares of rock and mid lake humps. Guide Steve Welch recommends looking way back in coves for crappie using minnows. White bass biting along rip rap and flat edges of willows. Jigs and slider grubs working along rip rap. Welch also trolling crankbaits with fish suspended about 15 feet deep. Guide Ken Wilson says walleye are good to excellent. He has been trolling crankbaits in mid lake flats and humps in 16 feet of water, getting about 15-16 walleye per day with an 8.4 pounder and an 8.3 pounder the biggest. One angler recently caught a 40-inch muskie trolling crankbaits looks for walleye. Bass good in bushes.

• For a daily report on Lake Shelbyville call (217-774-2020).

Blake Fairchild of Mattoon caught and released this 42-inch muskie on Sunday while fishing below the spillway. He said there were a fair amount of white bass also biting below the dam.

Illinois hunting and fishing

Lake Springfield
SOURCE: Trevor Miller, Big Red’s Bait and Tackle, Springfield (217-820-9674) and Tater’s Bait, Springfield (217-528-2208)
Lake level is above pool. Bass were fair on plastics, spinnerbaits and some topwater (buzz baits) says Dozard. Bluegills were fair on waxworms and crickets.  Catfish were fair to good on shad, cut baits and crawlers around rock areas with some blues reported on shad.  Crappie were slow on minnows.  White bass were slow.

Lake Taylorville
SOURCE: Lindsey’s Bait & Tackle, Taylorville (217-287-7550)
Lake still muddy but anglers are catching some catfish and crappie says Lindsey’s Bait & Tackle. Catfish taking stinkbaits and nightcrawlers. Crappie mostly biting on minnows.

SOUTHERN ILLINOIS South of Interstate 70

Baldwin Lake
SOURCE: Site office (618-785-2555)
Bass, catfish and bluegill all good here says the site office. Bass biting on shallow running crankbaits or spinners. Cats taking cutbaits or stinkbaits. Bluegill biting on mealworms. Crappie poor. One angler caught 56-pound flathead last weekend fishing for bass.

Carlyle Lake
SOURCE: Buddy Langenhorst, Lavish’s Bait Shop , Carlyle (618-594-4413); Henkel’s (618-594-4818)
Catfish good mostly on crickets but also on minnows and nightcrawlers with a cork says Buddy Langenhorst. White bass biting on minnows, curly tails or rooster tails. Trotlining good, juglining OK. Trotliners using cutbait or leechs for cats. Bluegills taking waxworms.

• 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 bite decent off ends of grassy points in 8-12 feet of water using minnows and jigs says Garner. Blue and white or blue and chartreuse working. Crappie also in brush piles and stumps about eight feet deep. Bass picking up using 10-inch worms and deep running crankbaits around front ends of points or the ends of bluffs to chunk rock in about 12-15 feet of water.

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 bite good, with catfish and bass picking up says Cooksey’s Bait. Gills taking waxworms and crickets. Cats now biting on cheese baits, stinkbaits or leeches. Crappie also biting good on minnows and jigs, anything with chartreuse color, in 6-10 feet of water says Garner. Bass also good on top waters and spinner baits around laydowns and weed beds. Large flahead cats being picked up with trotlines or jugs.

Devil’s Kitchen
SOURCE: Ron Reed, Cooksey’s Bait, Marion (618-993-3366)
Bluegills still biting strong here off the banks or around beaver dams using waxworms or crickets says Ron Reed.

East Fork Lake
SOURCE: Sharon Long, Long’s Tackle Box, Robinson (618-544-2709)
Red ear good here using crickets says Sharon Long.

Lake of Egypt
SOURCE: Guide Matt Strobel (618-922-0354)
Bass were fair on jigs, plastics and topwater around weed edges and heading into a summer pattern says Dozard. Bluegills were slow. Catfish were slow. Crappie are coming out of spawn and were slow.

Forbes Lake
SOURCE: Site manager Glenn Wegener (618-547-3381); Mike Polcyn, Mike’s Bait & Tackle Shop, Louisville (618-665-3209)
Crappie still on a good bite here says Polcyn. Catfish also good taking just about anything — from crickets to nightcrawlers, shad, livers. Larger bluegill biting on crickets.

Horseshoe Lake, Alexander County
SOURCE: Jim Melton, Melton’s Fish Camp (618-776-5504)
Report here

Kinkaid Lake
SOURCE: Janet Graeff, Top of the Hill Bait Shop, Muphysboro (618-684-2923); Guide Al Nutty (618-694-4897)
Bluegill biting good in shallow on crickets, waxworms, bits of nightcrawler, red wigglers, waxworms or mealworms says Janet Graeff. Crappie have gone a little deeper and scattered after spawning out. Also look in heavy brush piles. Muskie on good bite casting or trolling says Nutty. Missouri angler Kyle Marsanick hauled in a 47-inch muskie trolling with spinner baits. Largemouth bass good up shallow with plastics, lizards or twitch and minnow around weeds.


Little Grassy Lake
SOURCE: Shirley Lowery, Little Grassy Boat Dock (618-457-6655)
Bluegill bite good on waxworms, crickets says Reed.

Mermet Lake
SOURCE: Shawnee Bait & Tackle, Creal Springs (618-996-3089)
Anglers raving about fishing here, with crappie, bass and catfish all doing very well says Shawnee Bait & Tackle. Chicken livers, crickets and minnows the baits of choice.

Newton Lake
SOURCE: Ruth Rauch, Rauch’s Bait & Tackle, Newton (618-752-2151)
Bass coming up and on excellent bite. Shad, large minnows, plstics worms, surface baits—you name it, it’s working for bass here. Catfish spawning and still good on minnows, nightcrawlers, shad or shrimp. Crappie slowing.

Rend Lake
SOURCE: Todd Gessner (618-513-0520); Bill Hudnall, Rend Lake Sporting Goods, Mount Vernon (618-242-2191)
Channel cats remain very hot says Bill Hudnall of Rend Lake Sporting Goods. Cats still in spawn and can be found around rocks with tree over hangs. Use cutbaits, nightcrawlers or stinkbaits. Crappie also on good bite but you will need to vary your depth, with some shallow other medium and even a few deep to 14 feet. Minnows and jigs best for crappie. Bass also good, with Wednesday tournament winner hauling in 14 pounds in three hours. Look in bushes and weeds. Spinner baits or jigs in the bushes. Huge flatheads also biting on panfish baits, with several better than 50-pounders being caught. Rod and reel or stump jugs working. Best to keep bait alive.


Sam Dale Lake
SOURCE: Mike Polcyn, Mike’s Bait & Tackle Shop, Louisville (618-665-3209)
Bluegill bite good here on crickets or minnows. Redear and catfish also biting.

Sam Parr Lake
SOURCE: Sharon Long, Long’s Tackle Box, Robinson (618-544-2709)
Catfish bite good here says Polcyn. Cats taking about anything but stinkbaits, crawlers, cut shad working well. Red ear and bluegill also biting. Crickets and minnows best.


Click here for water level information.

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

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

Fox River
SOURCE: Several
• near the Carpentersville Dam
SOURCE: Batavia Bait & Tackle (630-879-1302)
• Report here.
SOURCE: Jim Hardy, Big Jim’s Bait & Tackle, Ottawa (815-434-3921)
Report here
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, river is up and dirty with strong current says Jim Hardy. Catfish tournament over the weekend produced 100 fish weighing 500 pounds. Bank anglers also catching cats on cutbaits and liver. Sheephead also being picked up on worms. Asian carp plentiful and pesky, says Hardy.

SOURCE: Carol Culjan at Cajun Sporting Goods in Utica (815-667-4222)
• Near Utica, drum and catfish best. Cats taking Sonny’s dipbaits and cut shad, with some biting on shrimp or liver. A few white bass and sauger also being picked up on minnows. River is two foot above normal at Starved Rock and clear, with temps at 70-71 degrees. Boat ramps at Starved Rock and Spring Valley are now open.

SOURCE: Baitshop Bob, Riverview Marine, Spring Valley (815-663-1000)
• Near Spring Valley, a ton of sauger being caught, but most in 8-10 inch class. Catfish also good. Recent tournament in Ottawa produced catfish totalling 38.15 pounds from winner. Up to 50 sauger a day being caught but most small. That should change as river continues to go down. Most anglers trolling with shad wraps, using floating rapalas or jig and minnows.

SOURCE: Marge Hankins, Hankins Riverview, Henry (309-364-3617)
• Near Henry, things are slow but anglers still catching catfish on stinkbaits.
>SOURCE: Celeste Pollack, Wolf Hollow Archery Bait & Tackle, Chillicothe (309-274-9653)
• Near Chillicothe, bluegill are on their beds and catfish also in spawn mode. Bluegills taking waxworms or redworms and cats biting on jigs with a waxworm.

SOURCE: Merle Keefer, Pekin Bass & Bow (309-347-3334); Tim Presley, Presley’s Outdoors, Bartonville (309-697-1193)
• Near Peoria
SOURCE: Tom’s Bait Shop in Beardstown (217-323-BAIT)
• Near Beardstown, fishing slow with water high and strong current says Tom of Tom’s Bait Shop. Some trotliners and bank pole anglers still catching catfish on cheesebaits and cut baits. Anglers were finding good success on bass, bluegill and crappie in the backwater areas but that has slowed recently.


Kankakee River
SOURCE: Ed Mullady, Sportsman’s Letter (815-932-7285)
• From Indiana to Momence castfishing remains good on cheesebaits, chicken liver, minnows and crawlers. Crappie are fair to good on minnows, jigs and twisters and pinkie jigs. Walleye are fair.
• Near Aroma Park catfishing is good, particularly in the dark. Crappie are fair on jig and minnow and small Beetle spins.
• Near Kankakee smallmouth bass are good on live minnows, Mepps No. 2 or 3 spinners, Rattlin’ Rogues and jigs and twister tails.
• Near the Kankakee River State Park catfishing is good near shorelines, Nature Island and Gary Island on chicken liver, minnows, cheesebaits. Smallmouth bass are good on minnows and crankbaits.
• Near Wilmington smallies are good on spinnerbaits, imitation crawfish, streamer flies and minnows. Walleye are good in and near riffles on jigs and minnows, Mepps No. 2 or 3 spinners and any minnow-shaped crankbait.
Click here for a Kankakee River fishing forum.

Kishwaukee River
SOURCE:Bob Rhodes, Rockford Bait (815-226-3515)
Smallmouth have been good when anglers can get into river to fish says Bob Rhodes at Rockford Bait. May be another three days before anglers can get back into action due to flooding conditions. Rhodes hauled in 53-pound flahead. Loads on channel cats biting on stinkbaits.

Mackinaw River
SOURCE: Guide Jonn Graham (309-399-7055)
Anglers had finally made their way onto the Mackinaw this week prior to recent rains that once again muddied the river some.

Mississippi River
SOURCE: Iowa Department of Conservation; Todd Baker of Todd’s Bait & Tackle in Thomson (815-973-2378)
Pools 13-14:Muddy waters making catfish about the best bet says Baker. Plenty of cats being caught in Pool 13 using worms or leeches. Good numbers but small size northern pike biting on spoons and buzzbaits. A 28-inch walleye caught two weeks ago by angler living in Fulton area, using a piece of worm. At Pool 13, bass were fair over the weekend but slowed as backwaters got muddy and fish scattered out more says Dozard.

SOURCE: Iowa Department of Conservation; Carbon Cliff Bait & Tackle (309-792-3460)
Pools 15-16:Fishing slow says Carbon Cliff Bait & Tackle, with recent rains and temperature changes. Some catfish and crappie being caught.

SOURCE: Iowa Department of Conservation; Jim and Flo Seaman, Dry Dock Bait & Tackle, Gladstone (309-627-2769)
Pools 17-19
Jeffrey Simmons of Galesburg reports channel catfish were best on wing dams in Pool 18 last weekend. He caught 81 keepers on both Hoss’s and Sonny’s dip bait. Most colors worked well, with an edge to yellow tubes. Fish ran from 5 pounds down to three-quarters of a pound. He says he talked to guys who tried drifting leeches and/or nightcrawlers on riprap, and not many had success.
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)
Anglers picking up plenty of catfish, ranging from 2 to 10 pounds says Calam. Some cats taking dipbaits, others extra large walleye minnows. Some northerns, from 12-21 inchers, biting on nightlines.

Rock River
SOURCE: Tom Calam, Tom’s Bait & Tackle, Freeport (815-232-3337)
• Near Rockford, Anglers picking up plenty of catfish, ranging from 2 to 10 pounds says Calam. Some cats taking dipbaits, others extra large walleye minnows. Some northerns, from 12-21 inchers, biting on nightlines. Bullheads biting on sucker minnows.

SOURCE: Jan Prose at TJ’s Bait/Tackle & Canoe Rental in Oregon (815-732-4516)
• Near Oregon, liver, dipbaits and nightcrawlers working good for cats says Prose. Smallmouth biting along the shores on spinner baits. Crappie can be found on west side of the dam. Striped bass also biting. Some large flatheads being picked up. Catfish tournament this weekend with well over 100 boats in the competition.

SOURCE: Ray and Irene Hays, Bunny’s Bait Shop, Dixon (815-288-3812)
• Near Dixon, channel cats good on chicken livers, shrimp, cut baits and also cheesebaits and leeches says Irene Hays. Bigger flatheads being caught, in 20-30 pound range, on goldfish chubs and bluegills. Walleyes biting near the dam on minnows. Large and smallmouth bass OK on minnows. Crappie slow. Carp and drum spotty on nightcrawlers. Water down but still dirty.

SOURCE: Guide Matt Jones (815-537-5506 or 815-590-1469 cell) and Doc at Kodiak Outdoor Sports in Dixon (815-284-3075)
• Elsewhere, it’s a good time to be on the river says guide Matt Jones. Bigger flatheads biting and channel cats taking just about anything you want to throw at them. Some big walleye also being caught by accident. Many anglers gearing up for big Cabelas Catfish Tournament this weekend.


Spoon River
SOURCE: Al Hayden, Al’s Sporting Goods, Galesburg and Paul Dinkheller at Dink’s in Lewistown (309-547-1094)
River going down making it tough on anglers but catfish still being caught using mud leeches and some dew worms says Dink’s.


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