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Illinois fishing report 8-6-09

August 06, 2009 at 01:47 PM


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

• Perch fishing in the Chicago waters of Lake Michigan.
• Stream fishing for smallmouth bass. Creeks and rivers are wadeable and fish are biting.
• White bass fishing at Lake Shelbyville.
• Largemouth bass at Sangchris Lake.
• Channel catfish in almost every lake and river in the state.


• Mike Starcevich of Mik-Lurch bait shop was joined by a group of three other anglers on Navy Pier last Monday who combined for four limits of perch and 25 fish that topped 14 inches.
• Mike Riffle caught a 41-pound flathead out of the Rock River near Oregon on July 30 while fishing a sucker.
• Richard Rodriguez caught a 22.5-inch walleye out of the Rock River near Oregon last week on a leech.
• Nick Pezdek caught this 21-inch smallmouth bass out of the Mazon River in late July.
Illinois hunting and fishing

NORTHERN ILLINOIS North of Interstate 80

Apple Canyon Lake
SOURCE: Tom Calam, Tom’s Bait & Tackle, Freeport (815-232-3337)
Everyone is coming up pretty average in size, according to Tom. He says that the crappie, bluegill and walleye are from small to average. The walleye have been biting on night crawlers and leeches.

Lake Carroll
SOURCE: Tom Calam, Tom’s Bait & Tackle, Freeport (815-232-3337).
Much like Apple Canyon, things are average. There’s only been one of out every 10 walleye considered a keeper. The bluegill fishing is just average.

Forest Preserve Lakes
SOURCE: Lee’s Bait and Tackle of Elk Grove Village (847-593-6424); Henry’s (312-225-8538)
Bangs Lake offers good largemouth action on north and west shorelines at sunrise says Mike Jackson.
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).
White bass are biting well in 2-8 feet of water says Triangle. Muskie are also biting, with fish up to 40 inches reported on bucktails off points. Muskie are fair to good on Channel Lake and Lake Marie, where anglers have been trolling for muskies in 12 feet of water says Mike Jackson. Catfish are moving shallow and taking dipbait. Bluegill are good. Walleye are best in current areas, particularly on Petite Lake at sunset and in the current off the Route 12 bridge leading to Nippersink. Dale Bowman reports some nice perch have been caught.
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 fishing has been excellent, with many anglers filling 15-fish limits on minnows or soft shells. Bowman reports west winds brought in cooler water. Montrose has been very good early up until 6:30 a.m. Perch are also good around Northerly Island for shore anglers and in the weeds at Monroe harbor. For salmon, Bowman advises fishing 50-70 feet deep east of Burnham, coho, kings and lakers at the R4, big coho at R3 and a mixed bag from the Wreck east.
SOURCE: The Salmon Stop (847-244-2525 or fishing hotline 847-244-9876)
• Near Waukegan, decent salmon are a mile straight out from the harbor reports Mike Jackson. Perch fishing is very good from the piers says The Salmon Stop, Use fatheads, soft shells or roach minnows.
SOURCE: Capt. Nick Ganzer (847-234-7208).
• Near North Point, king salmon fishing continues to improve. Cool waters from offshore winds out of the west have kept salmon within 3 miles of shore. Boats continue to take 5-15 fish per trip. Dawn and dusk fish are the most active, with action slowing during the day. Dodger/fly, glow spoons best, off downriggers, dipsies, leadcore/copper. 
SOURCE: Mik-Lurch (219-989-0575)
• Near Indiana

Pierce Lake
SOURCES: Pam Minihan, Dora’s Bait & Tackle, Rockford (815-963-1795) and Bob Rhodes, Rockford Bait (815-226-3515).
Muskie are biting on minnows and flathead catfish have been taking suckers says Minihan. Channel catfish are good on the usual dipbaits and crawlers says Rhodes. But stay away from the shore because the weeds are producing zero bites.

Shabbona Lake
SOURCES: Guide Jay Angel (815-739-7030) and Denny Sands, Shabbona Lakeside Bait & Tackle, Shabbona (815-824-2581).
There’s been some pretty good fishing out at Shabbona. The crappie and bluegill are the best. The crappie are best between 15-18 feet. The bluegill are being caught by standing trees, using minnows between 10-12 feet. The walleye have been spotty. Cast near the bottom, around 12 feet, and use either leeches or wax worms. Catfish are appearing in the bay, with nice fish but not big numbers. Hook one or two on chicken liver or night crawlers. Watch for the muskie because they are beginning to appear.
• 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)
The best bite is walleye on crawlers trolled on harnesses or leeches says Mik-Lurch. Bluegill and bass are fair.

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); Tom Grider, Riverside Bait, Pekin (309-347-3793)
Bass fishing has been very tough here says Jaegle. A few fish on plastics and jigs or crankbaits. Top-waters might come on better with warmer weather.

Lake Bloomington
SOURCE: Larry Dozard
Bluegill are fair to good on waxworms or bits of nightcrawler fished along seawalls and docks says Dozard. Bass are fair but smaller on outside weed edges taking plastics, jigs and crankbaits. Crappie are fair to slow on minnows and waxies near brush.

Braidwood Lake
SOURCE: Del Colvin, Bert’s Bait, Essex (815-365-2103); Jon Meder, Jon’s Bait & Tackle, South Wilmington (815-237-2822)
Small catfish are biting well but water is very warm: 86 degrees at the north end and 92 on the south side. Site closes to fishing at 8 p.m.

Clinton Lake
SOURCE: Joanne Lowe, Mike’s Tackle World, Decatur (217-423-0730); Clinton Bait and Tackle, (217-935-3851)
Most species are pretty good says Lowe, though Clinton Bait says action has been fairly slow. Best bet is probably flatheads or channel cats on shrimp or shad. Larry Dozard reports bass are fair to slow in coves on plastic worms and jig-n-pig fished slowly around the stumps and flooded standing timber or on deep-running crankbaits.

Dawson Lake
SOURCE: Leon and Judy Gibson, Moraine View Concession (309-724-8295)
Channel catfish are fair to pretty good on chicken liver and shrimp says Dawson, with fish coming shallow in the evenings. Bass and bluegill are fair and walleye have been slow, with best action for them at the dam.

Emiquon Preserve
SOURCE: Paul Dinkheller, Dink’s, Lewistown (309-547-1094); The Nature Conservancy (309-547-2730)
Bass fishing remains good to very good on plastics, spinnerbaits, salt craws and jigs. Some fish up to 2.5 pounds. Fred Lantz of Elmwood caught a 19.5-incher Thursday on a crankbait. There are also reports of a few hard-core crappie anglers who have been targeting those tasty panfish and catching them all year. 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
Crappie are fair in 15-20 feet on minnows and tube jigs says Wood. Saugeye have slowed some with few keepers reported of late. Bass fishing has been OK with some keepers reported. Catfishing is good on chicken livers and crawlers.Water is running in the mid-70s and has 6 inches of clarity.
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)
Fishing has slowed overall says Greybears, though anglers are catching some walleye (not big ones) on nightcrawlers. Catfish are also hitting pretty well on a wide variety of baits. An angler did catch a 60-pound carp last week while bankfishing.

Hennepin Canal
SOURCE: Ann Downey, Northside Bait & Archery, Kewanee (309-852-4760)
Lots of bait being sold, but no firm reports on what is being caught.

LaSalle Lake
SOURCE:Dale Bowman of the Chicago Sun-Times; Guide Mike Lynch (708-655-7667)
Guide Matt Jones reports the catfish bite was very good on Tuesday while filming a show with Don Dziedzina and Rich Komar for Illinois Outdoors TV. Water was running 88 degrees. Below is a picture of Jones and ???.
Click here for a LaSalle Lake fishing forum.
Illinois hunting and fishing

Mazonia Lakes
SOURCE: Del Colvin, Bert’s Bait, Essex (815-365-2103)
The bluegill bite has been good says Dale Bowman.

Powerton Lake
SOURCE: Merle Keefer, Pekin Bass & Bow (309-347-3334); Tom Grider, Riverside Bait, Pekin (309-347-3793)
Catfish are biting well, though not as good as they were two weeks ago says Grider. Plenty of small channel catfish reported on any baits and occasional blue cats on bluegill and shiners. No reports of smallmouth bass.

Snakeden Hollow SFWA
SOURCE: Victoria Tackle Shop (309-879-2664)
Larry Dozard says bass are fair on plastic jerkbaits, some topwater and scum frogs at all lakes.

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)
Channel catfish are biting well again at evening along the park road when the shade is on. Other than that fishing has been slowed says Karnes. Not many bluegill reports and even bass have been slow. The few he has seen caught were on weedless top-water baits.

Lake Storey
SOURCE: Al Hayden, Al’s Sporting Goods, Galesburg (309-342-7776)
Bluegill are on a pretty good bite on waxworms or small pieces of worm, 2-3 feet deep just outside the weeds or in pockets. Crappie are also going good on outside of weed lines, 2-3 feet down with jigs and minnows or waxies. Catfish are fair on dipbait and chicken liver. Few reports on bass. More reports on walleye on nightcrawlers.

Strip Mines
(Fulton, Knox, Peoria and Stark counties)

SOURCE: Presley’s Outdoors, Bartonville (309-697-1193); Dink’s, Lewistown (309-547-1094); and Larry Dozard; Tom Grider, Riverside Bait, Pekin (309-347-3793)
The big news has been bluegill biting well in 8-12 feet of water says Grider, who calls this a second spawn. He is seeing catches of 30-40 fish for some anglers in deeper lakes and strip mines. Smaller bluegill are shallow. Bigger bass have moved deeper into 6-12 feet of water and are better on jigs and deeper-running crankbaits. Smaller bass are shallow. Top-water action has been minimial, though that could change with warmer weather arriving. Dozard also said he had mostly smaller bass shallow along weed edges. Here’s a nice bunch of bluegills caught by the Phillips girls last week in a pond near Farmington. Pictured are Kaitlyn, 15, Lexi, 12, Abbie, 9, and Emily, 6.
Illinois hunting and fishing

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

Beaver Dam Lake
SOURCE: Gwen Gilmore, Gilmore Bait & Marine, Carlinville (217-854-8136); Kim Eggers, Beaver Dam Bait Shop, (217-854-6688)
Catfish and bass are best says Gilmore, with a 6-pound largemouth reported. Kim Eggers reports there have been some nice size catfish on minnows, dipbait and leeches. Bluegill are been best on nightcrawlers and red wigglers and anglers have been catching some big redears.

Carlinville Lake
SOURCE: Gwen Gilmore, Gilmore Bait & Marine, Carlinville (217-854-8136)
The bass and catfish are biting well. Catfish are hitting dipbait and blood bait. Bandit crankbaits continue to produce nice catches of bass.

Charleston Side Channel Lake
SOURCE: Rick Cuddy, Prairie Outfitters, Charleston (217-348-6770)
The bluegill and catfish are good right now. Use some cheesebait on the catfish. Don’t be afraid to try nightcrawlers or chicken liver for the catfish. Live bait is working well for the bluegill. There’s been some good stripers being caught, as well.

Coffeen Lake
SOURCE: Scott Withers, Indian Grove Fish Camp, Coffeen Lake (217-537-3001)
The lake is at full pool now and bass are improving and biting well. Catfish are also good. Bluegill are fair and perfect size for pan frying. Crappie have slowed.

Lake Decatur
SOURCE: Joanne Lowe, Mike’s Tackle World, Decatur (217-423-0730)
Anglers are heading to below the dam to take stripers, white bass, crappie, catfish and gar. Not much action on the main lake.

Lake Glenn Shoals
SOURCE: Jack Rebman, Kink’s Corner, Hillsboro (217-532-5442)
The bass fishing has picked up. Use a variety of baits (spinners, plastics or jigs) from about 6-12 feet. There’s been reports or a 16-pound catfish. Cheesebait working best for cats.

Lake Hillsboro
SOURCE: Jack Rebman, Kink’s Corner, Hillsboro (217-532-5442)
Crappie are scattered between 6-8 feet and bluegill are fair.

Lake Jacksonville
SOURCE: Tom Holmes, Military Surplus Outlet, Jacksonville (217-243-6161) and Lake Jacksonville Campground (217-479-4646)
Water is clear and fish are biting says Lake Jacksonville Campground, with crappie, catfish and bluegill all rated as good. Shad gut and crawlers working well for cats at night. Shrimp also good. Recent reports of an 18.25-pound largemouth bass and a 7.25-pound bass.

Lake Lou Yaeger
SOURCE: Denny’s Bait Shop, Litchfield (217-324-2628)
The water is nasty from the turnover. One group went out and caught just two catfish in four hours. Another group usually takes home 30 bass and got only four.

Lake Mattoon
SOURCE: Rick Cuddy, Prairie Outfitters, Charleston (217-348-6770); Joel Pittman, Mattoon Parks Department (217-254-6680)
Bass are biting well on jigs or small crankbaits. Catfish are good on shad, shad guts, crankbaits, stinkbaits or night crawlers. The bluegill are biting a little bit.

Mill Creek Lake
SOURCE: Dennis Shiley, Mill Creek Lake Park (217-889-3901)
Your best bet is catfish as Shiley says people are reeling in 6-7 pounders. Search along the weeds using chicken liver or stinkbait. The crappie and bass fishing have slowed down.

Sangchris Lake
SOURCE: Trevor Miller, Big Red’s Bait and Tackle, Springfield (217-820-9674)
The crappie are biting between 7-8 feet using minnows. The bass are tearing it up on crankbaits. There are reports of a 6.9 pounder caught this past week.

Lake Sara
SOURCE: Tony Niebrugge, Anthony’s Acres Resort, (217-868-2950)
Crappie have been slow and spotty in places. Bluegill are good. The channel cat are being hooked on chicken livers and night crawlers. There’s been a report of a 5-pound bass 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
Fishing is excellent for white bass, with Guide Steve Welch reporting catches of 300-400 per day on Blue Fox spinners and Gay Blades off points, flats and back of coves. Watch for fish feeding and seagulls. Crappie are best from mid-lake south in 10-12 feet of water around willows. Minnows are best. Bass are biting on main-lake points and around flooded bushes. Water is right around 82 degrees and 8.06 feet above normal summer pool. All boat ramps are now open. There are no launch fees through Aug. 10.
• For a daily report on Lake Shelbyville call (217-774-2020).

Lake Springfield
SOURCE: Trevor Miller, Big Red’s Bait and Tackle, Springfield (217-820-9674) and Tater’s Bait, Springfield (217-528-2208)
Bass are fair. Crappie are best around the 8-foot range on minnows says Miller. The catfish are good. Use shrimp and shad.

Lake Taylorville
SOURCE: Lindsey’s Bait & Tackle, Taylorville (217-287-7550)
The catfish are biting best. All sorts of baits are working from the frozen shad to the night crawlers, chicken liver to the shrimp and stinkbait.

SOUTHERN ILLINOIS South of Interstate 70

Baldwin Lake
SOURCE: Site office (618-785-2555)
Largemouth are good, with fish of 2-3 pounds hitting on deep-running crankbaits. Use worms and crickets for the bluegill which are good. Some crappie. Channel cat are coming in between the 2-10 pound range on cut bait.

Carlyle Lake
SOURCE: Buddy Langenhorst, Lavish’s Bait Shop , Carlyle (618-594-4413); Henkel’s (618-594-4818)
Drift to hook some catfish. That seems to working the best while using shad, night rawlers or shrimp says Henkel’s. Best catfish bite is early and late. Trotliners doing well with crawlers. White bass are fair and crankbaits are working best. Also good white bass reports out of the weeds on curly tail grubs or inline spinners.. Bluegill are fair around fallen trees.
• 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 fishing has been steady says Gardner. Head to the brush pads and grass beds and cast 6-16 feet down. Use jigs or minnows. The bass are very good near the bluffs and points. Carolina rigs, little worms and lizards are working well.

Crab Orchard Lake
SOURCE: Ron Reed, Cooksey’s Bait, Marion (618-993-3366); Guide Matt Strobel (618-922-0354); Kyle Garner, Crappie Pro Shop, Carterville (618-985-8277)
Crappie are biting best using minnows and jigs right around 6-7 feet over brush says Reed. Garner advises trying 8-12 feet near brush with minnows best. The catfish are fair. Use leeches, minnows, cut and cheese bait. Bass are shallow says Garner. Head to the weeds and try a spinnerbait.

Devil’s Kitchen
SOURCE: Ron Reed, Cooksey’s Bait, Marion (618-993-3366)
About the only reports from here are for trout in deeper water on worms.

Lake of Egypt
SOURCE: Guide Matt Strobel (618-922-0354)
Bass are still very good says Guide Jason Johns. Shaky heads and Carolina rigs off points and top-waters in the weeds early and late.

Forbes Lake
SOURCE: Site manager Glenn Wegener (618-547-3381); Mike Polcyn, Mike’s Bait & Tackle Shop, Louisville (618-665-3209)
The lake is clear on the south end, a bit murky on the north side. Largemouth bass are fair on crankbaits or soft plastics says Wegener. Crappie have been biting but are running on the small side. Best action is on minnows in 4-6 feet of water says Polcyn. Channel cat are best at night using chicken liver. Check along the weed lines. Hybrid stripers are spotty. Bluegill are best on crickets and red wigglers.

Kinkaid Lake
SOURCE: Janet Graeff, Top of the Hill Bait Shop, Muphysboro (618-684-2923); Guide Al Nutty (618-694-4897)
It’s cool and humid at Kinkaid and catfish are on a good bite says Nutty. At night time try the shallow areas (12-18 inches) and the stinkbait. During the day, use more live bait (night crawlers, liver). The largemouth bass are good. Head to 12-16 feet deep and use crankbaits or Carolina rigs. There’s some walleye. Al says try some 6-pound test line to snag a muskie and take your time. The white bass are on a good bite using inline spinners. Crappie are fair to good from 6-8 feet but better between 20-22. Use minnows or jigs.

Rend Lake
SOURCE: Jason Johns (618-927-3432); Bill Hudnall, Rend Lake Sporting Goods, Mount Vernon (618-242-2191)
Crappie are biting fairly well shallow. That’s where you can find the bigger fish. Crappie are starting to move into their fall pattern but it probably won’t be until late August that they are really going strong shallow. Deeper water is yielding mostly smaller fish. Bass are really good in buckbrush and weeds. Water is about 2 feet above normal pool, so that is helping. Channel catfish are excellent in the lake wherever you fish on stinkbait, cut shad and shad guts.


Click here for water level information.

Des Plaines River
SOURCE:Andrew Ragas
The quality of fishing on the DesPlaines River and its tributaries is anywhere from poor to good depending on location and the type of water being fished. Water temperatures are running in the 75-degree range, and levels are exceptionally safe for wading. Best areas for most species of fish are deeper pools with current, weedbeds, and log jams. This has mostly held true for pike and largemouth bass. Northern pike have been by far the most active for both wading and shorebound anglers from stretches throughout much of Lake, Cook, and Will counties. Plenty of fish are being caught with smaller bucktails, in-lines (Mepps), jerkbaits in the Rapala X-Rap variation, spinnerbaits, and buzzbaits. Early mornings and evenings best. Most fish running on the smaller side in the 15- to 25-inch range, while larger ones (30-inch or bigger) are harder to come by. Some rainfall should get these larger fish moving again. Largemouth bass are also being found alongside with pike, often caught either by accident, or by anglers targeting similar areas pike are being found. Not much size, as most are coming in between 10 to 14 inches. The occasional Smallmouth Bass are also being found in the southern stretches of river in Will County. Sauger and walleye are poor to fair. Some action is coming during the nighttime on jerkbaits and minnowbaits from those with patience. Sauger up to 18″ are being reported, and Walleyes up to 20″, respectively. Nearly all fish relating to hard bottom (3 to 5ft) with current. Channel Catfish are still around in deeper areas with current, and in mid-river and shoreline eddies. If you find a good school, expect to have a field day with fish running in the two to five pound bracket. Stink bait and live bait working best either on bottom rigs, or under a float. Some Cats are still being caught on accident by Pike anglers.

As for the creeks such as the Salt and other places, the fishing has been spotty, anywhere from poor to fair. Some Largemouth Bass are being found around the upper stretches towards Busse, while the occasional Pike up to 25 inches, and Crappie are being found in the lower parts. Smaller crankbaits and in-line spinners ripped through deeper pools with wood and current are yielding best results. Carp in the 5 to 10lb range are active everywhere. I wish I was into bowfishing, as conditions are near-perfect for these rough fish.
Click here for a Des Plaines River fishing forum.

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

Fox River
Smallies running 2 pounds have been caught in Batavia and Geneva. Closer to the Illinois River, smallies are spotty and anglers are reporting occasional walleye, but the river level is down considerably.
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 Starved Rock catfish are biting better again on cut bait (mostly Asian carp) and drum are very active. White bass are slow and scattered. A 16-inch crappie was reported at Allen Park last week. A few smallmouth also reported.
SOURCE: Carol Culjan at Cajun Sporting Goods in Utica (815-667-4222)
• Near Utica channel catfish are biting well early and late or at night on shad, dipbait and shrimp says Buster Culjan. Catfish are also good in the Vermilion River on cheesebaits or on leeches fished under a bobber. The Vermilion is also in great wading condition and has been producing smallmouth bass on spinners and smal crayfish-imitating crankbaits. The Illinois River has dropped and water is running 79 degrees. White bass are fair to good early on bladebaits. Sauger are good from Spring Valley to Hennepin for anglers who are trolling crankbaits in 10-12 feet of water going 2 mph and faster. Most are flat-lining crankbaits or using leadcore.
SOURCE: Baitshop Bob, Riverview Marine, Spring Valley (815-663-1000)
• Near Spring Valley and down to Hennepin catfish are good on cut shad and herring along the channel drop-offs. Spring Valley Boat Club has a catfish tournament Sunday at Barto Landing from 6 a.m. to noon. Sauger are best on long-lined crankbaits trolled fast.
SOURCE: Marge Hankins, Hankins Riverview, Henry (309-364-3617)
• Near Henry catfish came on to bite well Wednesday on shrimp.
SOURCE: Merle Keefer, Pekin Bass & Bow (309-347-3334); Tim Presley, Presley’s Outdoors, Bartonville (309-697-1193)
• Near Peoria catfish are good on the channel edges and in tributaries like Kickapoo Creek, where they are biting well on shrimp or crayfish says Adam Jaegle at Presley’s Outdoors. White bass are fair and good at times at the mouth of the Mackinaw River and the lock and dam. Lots of small fish at the dam. Duck Island has also remained a hotspot for white bass. Backwaters are producing nice catches of largemouth bass says Grider.
SOURCE: Paul Dinkheller, Dink’s, Lewistown (309-547-1094)
• Near Havana white bass are good again this week on cut shad. Largemouth bass have been mixed in with the white bass. Catfish are good on dipbait in the Illinois and Spoon river fishing off the bottom and off channel edges.
SOURCE: Tom’s Bait Shop in Beardstown (217-323-BAIT)
• Near Beardstown catfish are good on stinkbait, crawdads and shrimp and white bass are decent on Mr. Twisters in yellow or chartreuse.

Kankakee River
SOURCE: Ed Mullady, Sportsman’s Letter (815-932-7285)
• From Indiana to Momence catfish are good on cheesebaits, minnows, crawlers and chicken liver. Smallmouth and largemouth bass are taking minnows, plastics, spinners and nightcrawlers. Rock bass are good.
• Near Kankakee through Sawmill Creek smallmouth bass are hitting surface baits, crankbaits and spinners. Walleye are fair on a jig and minnow, Rattlin’ Rogues and jointed lures.
• Near the Kankakee River State Park smallmouth bass are good on surface baits, jigs and twister tails, streamer flies and imitation or live crayfish. Walleye up to 6 pounds are fair. Try crankbaits, jigs and crawlers or minnows.
• Near Wilmington through the Des Plaines Conservation Area Mullady says smallies are fair on jig and minnow, Rapalas, Mepps No. 3 spinners. Catfish are also good on chicken liver, minnows and cheesebaits.
Click here for a Kankakee River fishing forum.

Kishwaukee River
SOURCE:Bob Rhodes, Rockford Bait (815-226-3515)
There’s been plenty of smallmouth if you just wade. Use minnows, crankbaits, rooster tails or crayfish-shaped bait and you’re set.

Mackinaw River
SOURCE: Guide Jonn Graham (309-399-7055)
Both the Mack and Vermillion are in excellent shape says Graham. Low, clear water making canoeing or wading both great options.  Both rivers are producing about the same results of late. My guiding trips are producing 10 to 20 smallies a trip. The big bronzies have been somewhat elusive with 14 inchers being about the biggest seen of late.  A multitude of baits have been successful. Hula grubs and tubes have covered the bottom and produced bass looking for a crayfish meal.  A few fish have taken topwaters early and late in the day. The topwater fish have come on the fly rod using a Boogle Bug. Speaking of the fly rod, other streamers such as the Murdich Minnow and Sparkle Minnow have caught fish in and around faster current. The Mack of late has been producing many different species of fish.  Smallies, white bass, walleye, rock bass, and drum all seem to be active. Small bladebaits have been stellar.  An inline spinner fished around current and depth will catch everything that swims in the Mack right now.

Mississippi River
Mississippi River Pool 9
Channel Catfish - Excellent: Fish are being caught on stink bait. Check deep holes around wing dams.  Bluegill - Fair: Use a night crawler on the bottom in the side channels.  Largemouth Bass - Good: Try using top-water baits.  Crappie - Fair: A few anglers in the New Albin area reported catches of crappie. Freshwater Drum - Good: Night crawler on the bottom.

Mississippi River Pool 10
Northern Pike - Good: Pike are starting to congregate near the mouth of coldwater streams and springs.  Bluegill - Good: Anglers report decent catches in Sny Magill and along wing dams.  Keep moving to locate active fish.  Smallmouth Bass - Fair: Use tube jigs on the tips of the wing dams.  Largemouth Bass - Good: Fish shallow running crankbaits near rocky shorelines and fallen trees.  Crappie - Good: Good around Harpers Ferry area.  Fish fallen trees in 5 feet of water.  Walleye - Fair: Use three-way rig with night crawler on wing dams, or fish night crawler on bottom in side sloughs.  Freshwater Drum - Excellent: Using a one eyed jig in many of the deeper holes along the channel.

Mississippi River Pool 11
Channel Catfish - Good: Channel catfish are being caught along the channel using night crawlers or stink bait. Check the holes around the outside and below wing dams.  White Bass - Good: White bass can be caught in the tailwaters or along some of the wing dams using small inline spinners.  Smallmouth Bass - Good: Smallmouth are starting to being caught on the wing dams using small spinners or crankbaits.  Walleye - Fair: Walleye are being caught on the wing dams either trolling crankbaits or three-way jigs tipped with night crawlers. Keep checking different wing dams to find where active fish are concentrated.  Freshwater Drum - Good: drum are being caught using night crawlers fished on the bottom.

River gauges: Lansing, 7.7; Lynxville, 11.79; Guttenberg, 3.42. Water temperature at Guttenberg is 76 degrees. The water levels in pools 9-11 are low.  Boaters should use caution when boating outside the main channel. Boaters should also use caution when backing down the ramps so as not to back off of the end of the concrete. Call Guttenberg fisheries station for current conditions at (563) 252-1156.

Mississippi River Pool 12
River stage at Dubuque is 7.06 feet and is forecast to remain stable.  Water clarity is good.  Water temperature is in the high 70s.  Channel Catfish - Good: Catfish are being caught on stink bait or crawlers fished in 10-12 feet of water in side channels and around wing dams.  Smallmouth Bass - Fair: Fish around rocky shorelines or wing dams with crankbaits.  Largemouth Bass - Fair: Shallow crankbaits along the floodwall up by the dam.  Also cranks on rocky shorelines in side channels and along the Iowa shoreline below Nine Mile Island (Massey).  Crappie - Fair: Fish being caught in side channels around snags in 12-14 feet of water.  Walleye - Fair: Fish are being caught on the wing dams on three-way rigs tipped with leeches or crawlers or crankbaits with reports of a lot of walleyes longer than 20 inches.  Freshwater Drum - Good: Fish crawlers on the bottom in areas with moderate current for small drum or use crawfish for monsters.

Mississippi River Pool 13
River stage at Bellevue is 3.59 feet and is forecast to remain stable.  Water clarity is good.  Water temperature is in the high 70s.  Channel Catfish - Good: Catfish are biting well on stink bait fished around wing dams and in side channels around rock and/or wood.  Largemouth Bass - Fair: Throw crankbaits along rocky shorelines with current or below the dam in Bellevue.  Walleye - Fair: Walleyes are on the wing dams or other areas with rock.  Throw crankbaits or fish three-way rigs with spinners or floaters tipped with crawlers.  With the low water, walleye will be more concentrated on the wing dam tips and dams with more current.  Freshwater Drum - Good: Fish a night crawler on the bottom in areas of moderate current.

Mississippi River Pool 14
River stage at Camanche is 9.10 feet and is forecast to remain stable.  Water clarity is poor.  Main channel water temperature is in the mid 70s.  Channel Catfish - Good: Good numbers being caught on stink baits, around wing dams.  Some anglers are having luck on cut bait, as well.  Walleye - Fair: Three-way rigs tipped with crawlers or crankbaits around wing dams and flats have been producing some fish.  A lot of fish over 20 inches being reported.  Freshwater Drum - Good: Fish a piece of crawler on the bottom in areas with moderate current.

For information about fishing Pools 12 - 15 of the Mississippi River, call the Bellevue Fish Management and Research Station at 563-872-4976.

Mississippi River Pool 16
River stage at Lock and Dam 15 is 4.42 feet.  Channel Catfish - Good: Channel catfish are being caught on night crawlers, leeches, and stink baits around wing dams and log piles. Stink baits have been working the best. Fishing has been good along Sunset Marina and at the mouth of the Rock River. Fishing has also been good for catfish in Andalusia Slough and Velie Chute fishing brush piles.  White Bass - Fair: White bass fishing in Sylvan Slough has been hit or miss. Anglers have been catching a few white bass casting jigs and twister tails or in-line spinners. Some white bass are being caught while trolling crankbaits for walleyes on the wing dams.  Bluegill - Slow: Bluegill fishing has been slow.  Crappie - Fair: Some crappies are being caught in flowing side channels of the Andalusia Islands around brush piles on minnows.  Walleye - Slow: Walleye fishing has slowed down some due to low water conditions. Some fish are being caught on wing dams trolling crankbaits or on three-way rigs with half a night crawler.

Mississippi River Pool 17
River stage at Lock and Dam 16 is 3.26 feet.  Channel Catfish - Good: Channel catfish are being caught on crawlers, leeches, dip baits, and chicken liver fished around wing dams and log jams.  White Bass - Fair: White bass fishing has been hit or miss. Some fish are being caught up by the dam and on the wing dams on crankbaits and jigs/twister combinations. The best fishing has been early in the morning or right before dark.  Bluegill - Slow: Some bluegills are being caught in Big Timber floating pieces of worm or small minnows under a bobber.  Crappie - Slow:  Crappie fishing in Big Timber has been tough. A few fish are being picked up along the deeper cuts floating a minnow under a bobber.  Walleye - Slow: Walleye fishing has slowed down. Some walleyes are being caught trolling crankbaits along the fronts of wing dams. Walleyes are also being caught on three-way rigs tipped with half a night crawler slowly trolled on the front sides of wing dams.

Mississippi River Pool 18
River stage at Lock and Dam 17 is 3.98feet.  Channel Catfish - Good: Channel cats are being caught on night crawlers, leeches, dip baits, and chicken liver fished above wing dams and around log piles. Dip baits seem to be working the best.  A few white bass are being picked up by the dam fishing jig and twisters and small crankbaits. Some white bass are also being picked up while trolling crankbaits for walleyes on the wing dams.  Bluegill fishing in the backwaters has been slow.  Crappie fishing in the backwaters has been slow.  Walleye fishing on the wing dams has been slow.

Mississippi River Pool 19
River stage at Lock and Dam 18 is 1.77 feet.  Channel Catfish - Good: Channel catfish are being caught on night crawlers, leeches, dip baits, and chicken liver fished around wing dams and log jams.  White Bass - Fair: Some white bass are being picked up by the dam casting a jig and twister or small crankbait.  Bluegill - No Report:  Crappie - No Report:  Sauger - No Report:  Walleye - Fair: A few walleyes are being picked up on the wing dams around Burlington trolling crankbaits and on three-way rigs tipped with half a night crawler.

Mississippi River Pools 16-20: River levels are forecasted to stay fairly steady over the weekend. River levels are low so boaters should take caution of wing dams and shallow areas when boating. Main channel water temperature is around 78 degrees. For more information on fishing Pools 16-20 of the Mississippi River contact the Fairport Fish Hatchery at 563-263-5062.

Pecatonica River
SOURCE: Tom Calam, Tom’s Bait & Tackle, Freeport (815-232-3337)
Some catfish, bullhead and smallmouth are being caught

Rock River
SOURCE: Tom Calam, Tom’s Bait & Tackle, Freeport (815-232-3337)
• Near Rockford catfish are very good on cut bait or shrimp Calam says. There’s been reports of flatheads anywhere from 10-15 pounds and up to 20-25 pounds.

SOURCE: Jan Prose at TJ’s Bait/Tackle & Canoe Rental in Oregon (815-732-4516)
• Near Oregon fishing has slowed for walleye and for channel catfish says Prose. A better bet is flatheads, with several fish caught at the dam and above the dam in the past week. Numerous 8-10 pounders on bluegill and suckers and two 41-pounders, including one caught by Mike Riffle on July 30. Prior to last weekend walleye were good on leeches and Rapalas, including a 22.5-incher caught by Richard Rodriguez on a leech. Carp are also good, with a 14-pound, 3-ouncer caught last week on corn.
SOURCE: Ray and Irene Hays, Bunny’s Bait Shop, Dixon (815-288-3812)
• Near Dixon channel catfish are slow, but have moved shallower says Hays. Those that are biting are coming on chicken liver, cheesebait and shrimp. Mostly small flatheads reported on bluegill, goldfish and chubs. They are also moving shallower. Walleye had been good last week but have slowed through last weekend. At Cattail Slough there are good reports on crappie on minnows and some white bass, too. Largemouth and smallmouth bass are slow with mostly smaller fish. Drum and carp taking worms. River is in good shape, slightly above normal for this time of year.

Spoon River
SOURCE: Al Hayden, Al’s Sporting Goods, Galesburg and Paul Dinkheller at Dink’s in Lewistown (309-547-1094)
Catfish are good on dipbait fished off the bottom and off channel edges says Dinkheller.


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