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Illinois fishing report 9-16-10

September 16, 2010 at 11:29 AM


• Joseph Hilton caught these bullheads jug fishing in a private pond in southern Illinois with beef heart. The longest fish was 16 inches long.
Illinois hunting and fishing

NORTHERN ILLINOIS North of Interstate 80

Apple Canyon Lake
SOURCE: Tom Calam, Tom’s Bait & Tackle, Freeport (815-232-3337)
Overall action average but anglers are catching a few crappie and some decent size bluegills in the early morning or late evening. Artificial baits, waxies, leaf worms or trout worms working for gills. Crappie taking tube jigs or minnows.

Lake Carroll
SOURCE: Tom Calam, Tom’s Bait & Tackle, Freeport (815-232-3337).
Walleye are biting, but out of 10 caught there might be only two keepers says Calam. Trolling with nightcrawlers or minnows working. Panfish bite slow.

Forest Preserve Lakes
SOURCE: Lee’s Bait and Tackle of Elk Grove Village (847-593-6424); Henry’s (312-225-8538)
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.

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

Lake Bloomington
SOURCE: Larry Dozard
Bass are fair on crankbaits fishing off timber and points says Larry Dozard. Hybrid stripers have started biting better in the past few days. Crappie are fair to slow and suspended over brush.

Braidwood Lake
SOURCE: Del Colvin, Bert’s Bait, Essex (815-365-2103); Jon Meder, Jon’s Bait & Tackle, South Wilmington (815-237-2822)
Fishing still slow here but some anglers have been catching a few catfish says Meder.

Clinton Lake
SOURCE: Joanne Lowe, Mike’s Tackle World, Decatur (217-423-0730); Clinton Bait and Tackle, (217-935-3851)
Catfish still going good on shrimp, worms and cheesebaits. Crappie also starting to hit on minnows, especially around the spillway. Crappie are still a little deep and in 7-9 inch range. Anglers also picking up a few walleye on minnows. Flatheads also good here, in 20-25 pound range, using cut bait.

Dawson Lake
SOURCE: Leon and Judy Gibson, Moraine View Concession (309-724-8295)
Leon reports walleye are on a pretty good bite on the south end of the lake. Crappie bit has been fair, whioe catfish and bluegill have been good. Bass fairly good. Try shrimp, chicken livers, stinkbait for the cats. Worms have also been a good bait here.

Emiquon Preserve
SOURCE: Paul Dinkheller, Dink’s, Lewistown (309-547-1094); The Nature Conservancy (309-547-2730)
Few reports here and some complaints that boat access has been closed in recent days while work is underway on the boat ramps. 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
Reports have been good for fishing the past few weeks says Brad Wood. Crappie are starting to do better with the cooler weather. Some are being caught in the shallows, with most still being caught in deeper water near structure. Several reports of keeper-sized saugeye being caught on crawlers off of points, humps, and drop offs. A few bass reported, but no big lunkers. Catfish and bluegill remain fair. Not a whole lot to report on for musky, I look for that to pick up as the water temps start to drop. Water is in the upper 70s, 4 feet below pool and has clarity of 2-3 feet.
Click here for up-to-date lake reports.

Heidecke Lake
SOURCE: Don Stephens, Greybeards (815-941-1504); Guide Mike Lynch (708-655-7667); Guide Greg Heath (815-258-9136)
Nice size yellow bass and walleye biting here says Greybeards. Crawler harnesses or jigs and minnow working best.

Mazonia Lakes
SOURCE: Del Colvin, Bert’s Bait, Essex (815-365-2103)
Some good topwater action going on for bass here, but things have been a bit hit and miss. Colvin reports a good feeding window if you can pattern them out. Crappie best at Bullhead drifting using crappie minnows in about 10 feet of water. There have been reports of bigger pike being caught by bass anglers at Monster Lake. A few 3-footers have been caught using spinner baits. A few crappie and bass also biting at Monster. A few bass being picked up at Ponderosa but Meder says action slow overall.

Powerton Lake
SOURCE: Merle Keefer, Pekin Bass & Bow (309-347-3334); Jason Grider, Riverside Bait, Pekin (309-347-3793)
No reports. Lake closed for levee maintenance next Monday through Wednesday.

Snakeden Hollow SFWA
SOURCE: Nellie Thorne, Depot Bait and Tackle, Victoria (309-879-2401); Site office (309-879-2607)
Muskie are biting well at McMaster Lake, where Nick Johnson of Galva caught a 9-inch crappie and then a 42-inch muskie on the same rod. Crappie and bluegill are also very good. Redear reports have been good, also. Bass are hit and miss. Crappie minnows have been selling like crazy. Jigs also working in 8 feet of water, but bigger fish are in 10-12 feet.

Spring Lake
SOURCES: Troy Galvin, Galvin’s Spring Lake Market (309-267-6538) and Larry Karnes, Larry’s Restaurant and Family Bar, Manito (309-968-9500)
Bluegill are picking up. Every week has been a little better says Larry Karnes. Try along the shoreline and bank along the park road, especially at the turnoffs. Fish are close to the rocks. Bass fishing has been a bit better too, with most results on plastics. Lots of moss still on the lake, though. Catfish have slowed some and fewer anglers have been out. A few crappie starting here in the shallows said Merle Keefer.

Lake Storey
SOURCE: Al Hayden, Al’s Sporting Goods, Galesburg (309-342-7776)
The annual drawdown is underway and shoreline is gradually being exposed. Fishing should only get better according to Al Hayden. The crappie bite has already improved on minnows and jigs. Walleye are biting better already, with several reported Thursday morning. Bluegill are also better on small plastic worms and bass should turn around soon.

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); Jim’s Bait and Tackle, Hanna City (309-565-9960)
Mornings and evenings have been best for some species and crappie have backed off some after a good week. Bluegill are the big story said Tim Presley. For bass, dark-colored plastics and chatterbaits have been the best bet. The best crappie action is for suspended fish in 8-12 feet of water, with bigger fish deeper again.

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

Charleston Side Channel Lake
SOURCE: Rick Cuddy, Prairie Outfitters, Charleston (217-348-6770)
Saugeye bite getting better here using chrome-sided lipless crankbaits. Crappie good on minnows and tube jigs in about 4-5 feet of water.

Lake Decatur
SOURCE: Joanne Lowe, Mike’s Tackle World, Decatur (217-423-0730)
Crappie bite increasing, with anglers picking up 5 to 7 at a time in 11-inch range. Shad and minnows working for crappie. White bass have moved up closer along the banks and rip-rap areas and taking little spinnerbaits. Catfish biting on stinkbaits and cut bait.

Lake Glenn Shoals
SOURCE: Jack Rebman, Kink’s Corner, Hillsboro (217-532-5442)
Some crappie, in 9-11 inch range, being picked up in 6-8 feet of water around brush piles. Minnows or jigs and minnows working. Bass have moved up shallow and are best off the points in 5-6 feet of water. Buzzbaits and crankbaits good. Catfish good on cheesebaits or live bait.

Lake Hillsboro
SOURCE: Jack Rebman, Kink’s Corner, Hillsboro (217-532-5442)
Crappie taking minnows here. Some bass biting on buzzbaits. Quite a few channel cats being picked up on cheesebaits.

Lake Mattoon
SOURCE: Rick Cuddy, Prairie Outfitters, Charleston (217-348-6770); Joel Pittman, Mattoon Parks Department (217-254-6680)
Bass still good here on jigs and creature baits. Some crappie being picked up at mid-range depths on tube jigs and minnows.

Sangchris Lake
SOURCE: Jack Raymond, Peter’s Bait, Springfield (217-528-9500); Trevor Miller, Big Red’s Bait and Tackle, Springfield (217-820-9674)
Crappie still a little deep and taking minnows says Big Red’s.

Lake Sara
SOURCE: Tony Niebrugge, Anthony’s Acres Resort, (217-868-2950)
Bluegill going good here on waxworms all over the lake. Crappie have moved up in about 6-10 feet of water and are taking minnows. Some nice catfish being caught using minnows. A few bass biting on shaky heads. Not much yet on white bass bite.

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 still going real good her says Wilson. Fish are shallow and on wind-blown flats. Wilson using 2-jig rigs with 3-inch twister tails and Blue Fox No. 2 and No. 3 in-line spinners. Crappie are fair, with a few taking jigs on main lake brush piles and ledges. Below the spillway, the water levels have decreased and muskie bite has slowed. Lake water level just above normal pool and water temps were at 71 degrees Wednesday.
• 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 (217-679-1800) and Tater’s Bait, Springfield (217-528-2208)
Crappie going good on the south end of the lake on minnows. Catfish also biting good on just about anything you want to throw. White bass also still going strong on crazy blades.

SOUTHERN ILLINOIS South of Interstate 70

Carlyle Lake
SOURCE: Josh Adkins; Buddy Langenhorst, Lavish’s Bait Shop , Carlyle (618-594-4413); Henkel’s (618-594-4818)
White bass are biting on spinners, curly tails off the rocks. Catfish taking cutbaits, leeches, shad or stinkbaits. Bluegills biting on waxworms or mealworms. largemouth taking spinners and buzzbaits. Overall action slow.

Below the Carlyle Lake spillway, white bass biting on spinners, minnows and tube jigs. Catfish taking stinkbaits, cheesebaits. Crppie also being picked up on minnows or tube jigs. Carp and buffalo also easy to find here.

• 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 biting off the points in brush piles or stumps in 12 to 20 feet of water says Garner. Minnows and tube jigs working. Blue and white, red and white or red and chartreuse colors best. Bass are taking top waters on grass beds in the morning and deep diving crank baits off points during the day.

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 biting here in 6-8 feet of water on minnows or tube jigs. Best colors pumpkin and chartreuse, electric chicken or red and chartrreuse. Bass are around the grass beds and taking top waters or buzzbaits and frogs in the morning. Best color for buzzbaits and frogs, white and chartreuse. Bass taking soft plastics and jigs around laydowns and grass as the day goes along. June bug and black and blue colors working. Bluegill are biting up and down the rocks. Catfish taking cheesebaits, cut bait and minnows.

Lake of Egypt
SOURCE: Guide Matt Strobel (618-922-0354)
Crappie biting on tube jigs and pan fish assassins in 8-12 feet of water in the grass beds and off points. Shad colors best. Bass are along the points and taking deep-diving crankbaits in shad patters or blue and chartreuse. Carolina rigs also working with lizards in green pumpkin or pumpkin and chartreuse colors.

Kinkaid Lake
SOURCE: Janet Graeff, Top of the Hill Bait Shop, Muphysboro (618-684-2923); Guide Al Nutty (618-694-4897)
Muskie on a good bite, with lots of activity. Spinners working on the outder edge of the weed beds and points. Largemouth bass good to very good on spinners in weed edges. Some taking plastic worms or Carolina rigs. Crappie fair in 8-12 feet of water. Minnows and jig both catching fish. White bass spotty. Catfish very good on cut shad, large minnows, stinkbaits, nightcrawlers and leeches. A few smallmouth biting, some in 13-14 inch range. Anglers using smaller jig and pig as well as crawdad crankbaits around the rocks or by the dam. Bluegills fair to good in 5-6 feet of water on crickets and red wigglers. Some walleye biting but mostly spotty.

Little Grassy Lake
SOURCE: Shirley Lowery, Little Grassy Boat Dock (618-457-6655)
Crappie going very good here and a few bass also being caught.


Click here for water level information.

Pecatonica River
SOURCE: Tom Calam, Tom’s Bait & Tackle, Freeport (815-232-3337)
Nightline fishermen catching catfish, in 3-5 pound range, on dipbaits.

Rock River
SOURCE: Tom Calam, Tom’s Bait & Tackle, Freeport (815-232-3337)
• Near Rockford some decent catfish biting here on cutbait, dipbait, crawlers or minnows.
SOURCE: Jan Prose at TJ’s Bait/Tackle & Canoe Rental in Oregon (815-732-4516)
• Near Oregon, catfish on a good bite with cheesebaits. Walleye small but picking up on jig and minnows with twister tails.  A few flatheads taking large suckers.
SOURCE: Ray and Irene Hays, Bunny’s Bait Shop, Dixon (815-288-3812)
• Near Dixon, channel cats very good with dipbaits best but chicken livers and shrimp also working. Flatheads taking goldfish and bluegills. White bass and crappie are moving in and out and taking minnows. largemouth and smallmouth both slow but some being picked up around Oregon Dam on minnows or spinners. Carp still best. Drum small and taking worms. Water clean but low.

Spoon River
SOURCE: Al Hayden, Al’s Sporting Goods, Galesburg and Paul Dinkheller at Dink’s in Lewistown (309-547-1094)
Damage to the dam at Bernadotte has slowed fishing there. Catfish are fair elsewhere on dipbait and worms.

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