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Illinois fishing report 9-24-09

September 24, 2009 at 12:00 PM


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

• The Illinois River for sauger.
• The Emiquon Preserve for bass and bluegill.
• Kinkaid Lake for muskie, with honorable mention to Lake Shelbyville and Shabbona Lake.
• Crappie at Lake Lou Yaeger, Lake Sara, Evergreen Lake and Lake Shelbyville.
&bull: Channel catfish at Carlyle Lake, Rend Lake or Lake Springfield.


• Mike Reed of Pekin (below) caught a 7.4-pound largemouth bass Sunday during a Peoria Park Anglers tournament at Schuy-Rush Lake. He was fishing a jig in the grass and combined with brother Darin Reed for six plump bass weighing 24.4 pounds to win the tourney.
Illinois hunting and fishing
• A 47-inch muskie was reported at Shabbona Lake, two over 49 inches came out of Kinkaid Lake and John Forsyth caught the 39.5-incher pictured below.
Illinois hunting and fishing

NORTHERN ILLINOIS North of Interstate 80

Apple Canyon Lake
SOURCE: Tom Calam, Tom’s Bait & Tackle, Freeport (815-232-3337)
Real good weekend here, with anglers finding bluegill and crappie. Waxies, minnows, little jigs all being used.

Lake Carroll
SOURCE: Tom Calam, Tom’s Bait & Tackle, Freeport (815-232-3337).
Fishing turning on this past weekend. Anglers trolling for walleye. Crappie, bluegills, smallmouth bass all hitting good says Calam.

Fox Chain O’ Lakes
SOURCE: Greg Dickson, Triangle Sports & Marine, Antioch (1-847-395-0813).
Bass good here along the weedlines says Triangle. Bluegill, panfish biting along the weed edges in 4-14 feet of water. Some are suspended, others on the bottom. Walleye are on the move in the river and by bridges. Some white bass biting in the river. Anglers looking for muskie. Says Bowman: “Largemouth are decent on edges of weeds and points with tubes, jigs or plastic worms. Muskie are starting, mainly deeper. Panfish are shallow. If you find current (Route 12 bridge for instance), you can find walleye.”
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 salmon and steelhead fishing is sporadic around the lakefront, but some are being picked up around the harbors such as Montrose, Diversey and Burnham. Glow-in-the-dark spoons are good, as is anything that is reflective during the day. Bass also spotty in areas around weedbeds. Perch can be found by boaters in about 30-60 feet of water.
SOURCE: The Salmon Stop (847-244-2525 or fishing hotline 847-244-9876)
• Near Waukegan Salmon Stop reported some kings (most are silver) on spoons off south rocks and the government pier or steelhead on shrimp on a bobber. Boaters can hug the shore for kings and trout, but better fish are far deeper, as far out as 220 feet.
SOURCE: Mik-Lurch (219-989-0575)
• Near Indiana, recent rains and northeast winds slowing things down here. Boaters are picking up a few kings trolling when they can get out. Along the shoreline, perch hit and miss around piers in Michigan City.

Shabbona Lake
SOURCES: Guide Jay Angel (815-739-7030) and Denny Sands, Shabbona Lakeside Bait & Tackle, Shabbona (815-824-2581).
A weekend muskie tournament produced 10 muskie, seven that were reported in the tournament. Bass have been cashing schools of shad and biting on crankbaits or Rat-L-Traps. Catfish are taking chicken livers. Bluegills are biting on leafworms and crappie are still on their cribs biting on minnows. A 47-inch muskie was caught here Tuesday. Overall fishing very good says Denny Sands.
• 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)
Anglers are trolling for walleye after dark here. A few crappie have started to bite at the Maze O Channel.

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)
Trotliners are doing fairl well for catfish says Oest. Few anglers fishing for bluegill. The last day to fish from a boat here is Oct. 23. After that bankfishing only will be allowed.

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)
A few crappie are starting to bite and fish have been ranging up to 14 inches says Grider. Not good numbers, but some nice sizes. Fish are still scattered and have been best early in the morning. Trolling has been working best. The last day to fish from a boat here is Oct. 17. After that bankfishing only is allowed. And starting Oct. 31, bankfishing will only be allowed after 1 p.m.

Lake Bloomington
SOURCE: Larry Dozard
Crappie are fair around brush and timber and bass are fair on plastics and spinnerbaits fished off shallow points and around wood says Dozard. Walleye were slow to fair on live-bait rigs 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 bite OK says Colvin. Anglers finding bass using rubber worms, with purple or red colors working. Last day of fishing is Oct. 13.

Clinton Lake
SOURCE: Joanne Lowe, Mike’s Tackle World, Decatur (217-423-0730); Clinton Bait and Tackle, (217-935-3851)
Anglers drifting for channel cats using shrimp or shad. Not many big fish. A few crappie biting shallow on minnows and jigs. White bass taking rooster tails, curly tails or tubes. Clinton anglers Ted Teed caught a 23-pound flathead cat Saturday using shad. The easterly area of Clinton Lake between the DeWitt and the 48 bridges is closed from mid-October through March 31.

Dawson Lake
SOURCE: Leon and Judy Gibson, Moraine View Concession (309-724-8295)
The catfish bite is going good here on chicken livers, shrimp or stinkbaits says Leon. Crappie beginning to be caught in shaded areas around the boat dock on crappie jigs. Walleye and bass both fair on jigs. Concession stand closes Oct. 19 and re-opens Nov. 4.

Emiquon Preserve
SOURCE: Paul Dinkheller, Dink’s, Lewistown (309-547-1094); The Nature Conservancy (309-547-2730)
Here’s the broken record report: Bass are excellent. White crankbaits. Spinnerbaits. Jigs. Rat-L-Traps. Those are probably the best bet right now but just about anything is catching bass. Dan Cahill of Chicago (below) visited Emiquon last week and had “the best bass fishing day of our lives. We counted 200 fish between the two of us.” Click here to see his full report. The Farmer was out last weekend and also had an excellent trip and caught many more fish from 15-17 inches long. Of interest is that bluegill and pumpkinseeds are biting better. Merle Keefer at Pekin Bass and Bow has heard of several nice-sized bluegills caught on tube jigs tipped with waxworms. You still have to weed through bass, but the panfish bite is much better. Anglers must obtain a free permit at Dickson Mounds Museum (open 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.) before fishing here.
Illinois hunting and fishing

Evergreen Lake
SOURCE: Brad Wood, operations supervisor, (309-726-2022) or Larry Dozard
Crappie are biting well with the cooler weather says Wood. Some are shallow but most are still in 10-15 feet of water. There were several reports of saugeye (12-16 inches) caught on crawlers off points this past weekend. Catfish in the past week have been hitting crawlers and chicken liver. Bluegill are good on small pieces of crawler or waxworms along weed edges and rip-rap. A 43-inch muskie was caught last week and there have been numerous reports of muskie follows. Water is in the low 70s and clarity is 1-2 feet. Bowfishing is closed on Evergreen Lake from October 1 through January 17. Also, the north and east sides around Deer Island and all of Six Mile Creek Bay are off limits to gas motors from Oct. 15 to Jan. 1. Trolling motors only will be permitted in this area.
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 is picking up a little here says Greybeards. A few walleye biting on nightcrawlers. Catfish taking stinkbaits and crawlers. A few smallmouth and white bass but mostly drum also being caught says guide Greg Heath. A variety of baits used by Heath including jerk baits, deep diving crankbaits, swim baits, jigs, grubs, twister tails. Drum caught using Rat-L-Traps. Water temps at 73 degrees Tuesday. The last day of fishing is Oct. 6.

Hennepin Canal
SOURCE: Ann Downey, Northside Bait & Archery, Kewanee (309-852-4760)
Catfish best here, with stinkbaits working says Downey.

LaSalle Lake
SOURCE:Dale Bowman of the Chicago Sun-Times; Guide Mike Lynch (708-655-7667)
Last day of fishing is Oct. 15. In October, lake is open Wednesdays through Sundays.
Click here for a LaSalle Lake fishing forum.

Mazonia Lakes
SOURCE: Del Colvin, Bert’s Bait, Essex (815-365-2103)
Crappie moving up here says Colvin. Last day of fishing is Oct. 13. Monster Lake at Mazonia South stays open year round.

Powerton Lake
SOURCE: Merle Keefer, Pekin Bass & Bow (309-347-3334); Tom Grider, Riverside Bait, Pekin (309-347-3793)
The lake was closed Sept. 21-23 for levee repairs and maintenance and reopens today at 6 a.m. so there is not much to report yet. Last Saturday an angler caught and released a 31-pound blue cat. He was fishing with live bluegill. Extra-large shiners are also working well. The last day to fish from a boat here is Oct. 23. The last day to bank fish at Powerton is Oct. 30. Bankfishing will reopen Dec. 28 and boat fishing reopens Feb. 15.

Snakeden Hollow SFWA
SOURCE: Victoria Tackle Shop (309-879-2664)
Catfish are biting in the big lake and walk-ins. Crappie have been fair on the west-side walk-ins. Muskie are active and this should be a good week to catch a big one. Walleye are also improving. The last day for fishing is Oct. 18. Victoria Tackle Shop will also be closing that day and, barring a new buyer, will likely remain closed thereafter.

Spring Lake
SOURCES: Troy Galvin, Galvin’s Spring Lake Market (309-267-6538) and Larry Karnes, Larry’s Restaurant and Family Bar, Manito

Catfish are still pretty good and a few crappie are being caught says Karnes. Most of the crappie are still small but at least they are starting to bite. Evenings are best. Bluegill are still slow. Bass have been funny. They’re starting to bite better on the north end but have remained slow on the south end. Hard to say why there’s a difference, but there is. The last day to fish from a boat in the hunting zone here is Oct. 23. Starting Oct. 31, bankfishing is closed until 1 p.m. daily in the hunting zone. Boats are allowed north of Maple Island and in the Pike Hole, though the Pike Hole is open to small, portable boats only.

Lake Storey
SOURCE: Al Hayden, Al’s Sporting Goods, Galesburg (309-342-7776)
Chef Todd reports numerous muskie follows on Sunday but said water is still very dingy. Dozard says while bluegill and crappie were fair, bass were slow on plastics and crankbaits early or late off points along remaining weeds.

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)
Crappie have been biting well in many mines on bright days 12-15 feet deep and on overcast days 4-8 feet deep says Grider, who has been selling plenty of minnows of late. Bass are better than last week most places. Crankbaits and spinnerbaits are working well, but there’s a wide variety of options with jigs and top-waters also working.

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)
With rip-rap complete, anglers are finding bass chasing shad and biting on bandit lures or weedless lures. White or black and green colored lures working best. Lake 2, crappie biting on small shiners. Lake 2 last day for fishing Sept. 31.

Charleston Side Channel Lake
SOURCE: Rick Cuddy, Prairie Outfitters, Charleston (217-348-6770)
Crappie hitting good on jigs and tubes or twister tails says Cuddy. Crappie about 4-5 feet deep. Catfish also still taking cheesebaits. Bass slow but some being caught on soft plastics.

Lake Decatur
SOURCE: Joanne Lowe, Mike’s Tackle World, Decatur (217-423-0730)
A few crappie being caught shallow around the docks using minnows and jigs. Crappie bite should pick up here over the weekend with cooler weather says Lowe. Channel cats biting on shrimp and shad arond the docks in the evening. Below the dam, anglers finding success catching crappie, striper, catfish, bluegill a few gar and asian carp. Slab spoons, Mepps, rooster tails, blue foxes all working.

Lake Glenn Shoals
SOURCE: Jack Rebman, Kink’s Corner, Hillsboro (217-532-5442)
Crappie still best here using jigs or a few biting on minnows. Chartreuse, red or white with a red stripe colors working well. A few crappie in 10-11 inch range. Bass fair on the points using plastic worms, shallow running crankbaits or spinnerbaits. Catfish slow on shad, shrimp or dipbaits.

Lake Hillsboro
SOURCE: Jack Rebman, Kink’s Corner, Hillsboro (217-532-5442)
A few smaller crappie biting here, in 8-9 inch range, on jigs. Some bass being daught, in 2-3 pound range, using plastic worms, shallow running crankbaits or spinnerbaits. An ocassional catfish can be found here using shad, shrimp or dipbaits.

Lake Jacksonville
SOURCE: Tom Holmes, Military Surplus Outlet, Jacksonville (217-243-6161) and Lake Jacksonville Campground (217-479-4646)
Fishing continues to be very slow here as season winds down. Bass reports are good, though. Lake closed for fishing Oct. 18.

Lake Lou Yaeger
SOURCE: Denny’s Bait Shop, Litchfield (217-324-2628)
Crappie and catfish both biting good here says Denny’s. Crappie moving into the shallows and taking minnows, nightcrawlers or jigs. Catfish biting on just about anything, including minnows and shad.

Lake Mattoon
SOURCE: Rick Cuddy, Prairie Outfitters, Charleston (217-348-6770); Joel Pittman, Mattoon Parks Department (217-254-6680)
Some crappie action here in 4-5 feet of water using jigs and tubes.

Mill Creek Lake
SOURCE: Dennis Shiley, Mill Creek Lake Park (217-889-3901)
Crappie are biting on minnows.

Sangchris Lake
SOURCE: Trevor Miller, Big Red’s Bait and Tackle, Springfield (217-820-9674)
Catfish biting here on shad or liver. Crappie taking minnows in about 12 feet of water.

Lake Sara
SOURCE: Tony Niebrugge, Anthony’s Acres Resort, (217-868-2950)
Good-sized crappie biting good here on minnows says Anthony’s. Bluegills also biting on waxworms or pieces of nightcrawler. Some decent bass being picked up on buzzbaits.

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 and crappie bite going good here says Wilson. Crappie can be found shallow and deep in the main lake, with some shallow in the flats. White bass best early and in evening, with main lake ledges best during the day. Largemouth bass good on buzzbaits, small crankbaits or worms. Early morning buzzbait bite good around rocks. Muskies beginning the turnaround. Seven muskies caught in weekend IMTT tournament. Below the spillway, crappie bite very good on chartreuse twister tails. Wilson estimates a 1-4 ratio on keepers. Water temps in low 70s with normal pool. In the muskie tournament John Phillips and Tim Garner took first place by catching three fish (37”, 36.25”, 37.5”). Mike Witowski and Jim Beaty caught two muskie (34.5”, 36”) to earn second place. John Forsyth (39.5”) and Jim Kelly, took third place, edging out Tom Humrickhouse (38”) and Don Gibbs. Forsyth’s 39.5” beauty was the largest fish caught in the tournament and is pictured below.
• For a daily report on Lake Shelbyville call (217-774-2020).
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)
Catfish biting good on shad or liver says Big Red’s. Crappie taking minnows in 12 feet of water. A 59-pound blue catfish caught by a Decatur angler Saturday.

Lake Taylorville
SOURCE: Lindsey’s Bait & Tackle, Taylorville (217-287-7550)
Catfish still good here on nightcrawlers. Bluegill starting to slow down but some are taking crickets. Bass good on soft plastics or crankbaits.

SOUTHERN ILLINOIS South of Interstate 70

Baldwin Lake
SOURCE: Site office (618-785-2555)
Catfish still good here on nightcrawlers. Bluegill starting to slow down but some are taking crickets. Bass good on soft plastics or crankbaits.

Carlyle Lake
SOURCE: Buddy Langenhorst, Lavish’s Bait Shop , Carlyle (618-594-4413); Henkel’s (618-594-4818)
Catfish and white bass are very good says Henkel’s. Cats taking cheesebaits or nightcrawlers from the banks or shrimp, cut bait drifting. White bass moving into the rocks, with early morning and late afternoon best. Crappie good. In the spillway, white bass and catfish also very good. Whites taking a combination of curly tails. Cats taking cheesebaits. Crappie and sauger both fair in the spillway.
• 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 being caught in 8-14 feet of water. Shad-colored crankbaits, Carolina rigs, green pumpkin colored jigs good around grassy areas.

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 spotty here says Garner. Some being caught on brush piles by the spillway in 8-12 feet of water on red chartreuse tube jigs, or electric chicken colored or black and chartreuse in the morning. Bass also spotty in the weedbeds. Frogs, buzzbaits or spinner baits good in the morning. White and chartreuse, black and chartreuse or red shad working. Some anglers using black and blue jigs flipping the weed beds in the afternoon for bass.

Lake of Egypt
SOURCE: Guide Matt Strobel (618-922-0354)
Bass scattered in 4-6 feet of water in weed beds and around bait fish. Bigger ones deeper using crankbaits or big spinnerbaits. Those shallow taking shaky heads.

Kinkaid Lake
SOURCE: Janet Graeff, Top of the Hill Bait Shop, Muphysboro (618-684-2923); Guide Al Nutty (618-694-4897)
Muskies still on a good bite, though not quite as good as a week ago says Nutty. One angler hauled in a 49-incher and another 49 1/2-inch muskie. Largemouth bass taking deep diving crankbaits or Carolina rigs. Two weeks ago, a 9-pound bass was caught using a spinner bait and another 9.1 pounder was also brought in. Bass biting deep. Crappie fair to good, with most of the larger ones biting 18-22 feet deep around heavy brush piles on minnows. Cats remain active on cut shad, nightcrawlers or large minnows. White bass on a pretty good bite using small deep diving crankbaits or inline spinners. A few walleye being picked up on rapala tail dancers or storm hot-n-tots.

Newton Lake
SOURCE: Ruth Rauch, Rauch’s Bait & Tackle, Newton (618-752-2151)
Things are beginning to pick up here as the water cools down. Catfish and bass biting better off the points and in the shallows. Stinkbaits good for cats. One angler found success trolling crankbaits for bass.

Rend Lake
SOURCE: Todd Gessner and Jason Johns (618-513-0520); Bill Hudnall, Rend Lake Sporting Goods, Mount Vernon (618-242-2191)
The bass are eating at Rend Lake on square-billed crankbaits, Rat-L-Traps and spinnerbaits in shallow water wherever you find shad. Those shad are moving into the back of the coves. Crappie are just now starting to bite good. They are hitting on jigs and minnows on shallow laydowns and brushpiles and stake beds. They’re still a little bit of work, but you can catch them. And you know what? Yesterday we caught bluegill at Rend Lake. That’s unbelievable. Nice bluegill. Three-quarter pounders to half-pounders. We don’t see that very often. Catfish are still tearing up the water as usual.


Click here for water level information.

Des Plaines River
SOURCE:Andrew Ragas
We finally got that much-needed rainfall that I predicted last week and water levels are finally back to normal, or close to it, as evidenced by the USGS in Riverside - flowing at 380/ under 440. Water temperatures are still in the 70-degree range and the fishing remains to be a hit or a miss for most species. I got the invite to join my pal, Dan Sims, on the river this evening after class but I elected to stay in and get some work done. He text-messaged me following the outing, proclaiming, “One Channel Cat. 2.5lbs at the most. Sucked!” However, Pike, Channel Catfish, Largemouth Bass, and Crappies remain to be the most active at this point. Pike anglers have been both wading and working the shores with 15 to 25 inch fish being the most common catch. Water clarity is brown since the recent rainfall and anything in the way of giving off vibration or larger profile should be used. Spinnerbaits - bucktails - minnowbaits - rattle shads - jerkbaits are the most notable things used now. Contrasting colors would be a safe bet. In addition, Channel Cats are also somewhat active and this may be their final push of the season before it all shuts down. Bottom rigs with some meat or live bait being drifted through current with depth are yielding best results.

Largemouth Bass are being found mostly on the southern sections of the river in Will co. Backwaters, log jams, mid-river weed beds, rip-rap, and slackwater areas holding most fish.

Lastly, Crappies are finally showing themselves for a change. Slackwater areas and eddies have been holding small schools of fish. Minnows under a float, or jig and small plastics have been working as of late.

It’s almost that time of season for the Walleyes and Sauger, but still very few reports to be found and not many are trying as of yet (including myself). Give it a few cold spells and by first or second week of October we should be at the start of the beginning stages of the fall run. (60-degrees or colder is my magic number for most rivers).

Click here for a Des Plaines River fishing forum.

Fox River
SOURCE: Jim Hardy, Big Jim’s Bait & Tackle, Ottawa (815-434-3921)
Not much happening near Ottawa as anglers just are not getting out says Hardy. A few sheepshead being caught off the banks but that’s about it.
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 boat anglers might be able to pick up some striper or smallmouth but not many people out fishing here says Hardy.
SOURCE: Carol Culjan at Cajun Sporting Goods in Utica (815-667-4222)
• Near Utica water is 74 and the river is low and clean. Crappie are still biting up and down the river. Move around from snags to rip-rap and rocks. Stripers are up and down. When they are generating power at the dam, the white bass bite well on blade. Catfish are slow. Anglers are catching lots of 10- and 12-inch saugers on crankbaits or pulling three-ways. The jig bite is still slow. That should change with cooler water.
SOURCE: Baitshop Bob, Riverview Marine, Spring Valley (815-663-1000)
• Near Spring Valley good numbers of sauger being caught pulling crankbaits using a No. 5 rapala trolling a lead core. Others being caught on jig and live bait. Some being caught up to 24 inches. Mostly males being caught. Walleye good also. Fish have been concentrating into pockets. Some anglers stumbling into crappie, with a few between 12-14 inches. White bass has been good along the rip raps areas around Peru and the bridge pilings. Catfish slowing down.
SOURCE: Merle Keefer, Pekin Bass & Bow (309-347-3334); Tim Presley, Presley’s Outdoors, Bartonville (309-697-1193)
• Near Peoria largemouth bass are biting well on tube jigs says Keefer.Catfish are fair along channel edges and in holes. River levels remain low. White bass are fair in creeks if you can get into them.
SOURCE: Paul Dinkheller, Dink’s, Lewistown (309-547-1094)
• Near Havana there’s not much to report with few anglers out.

Kankakee River
SOURCE: Ed Mullady, Sportsman’s Letter (815-932-7285)
• From Indiana to Momence Mullady says fishing is good for smallmouth bass on spinners, imitation crawfish, Mr.Twistr Jigs and Double tail twisters and minnows. Largemouth Bass good on No. 2 or No. 3 spinners, imitation frogs (weedless preferred), top-water baits and jointed plugs.
• Near the Kankakee River State Park, smallmouth bass good around Carly, Rex and Gordon Island on streamer flies, nymphs, imitation crawfish on fly rod. For spinning rods try jointed plugs, crankbaits, No. 3 Mepps Spinners and jigs and twister tails. Catfish are good on minnows, crawlers and cheesebaits. Crappie are biting along shorelines and quieter pools on pinkie jigs, minnows and crawlers.
• From the Wilmington Dam through Island Park, cafish are good on crawfish, crawlers, cheesebait and floating hamburger. Smallmouth bass are fair on No. 2 or No. 3 Mepps Spinners and imitation crawfish.

Kishwaukee River
SOURCE:Bob Rhodes, Rockford Bait (815-226-3515)
Smallmouth good here if you want to wade for them says Rhodes. Catfish also biting on stinkbaits.

Mississippi River
Mississippi River Pool 16
River stage at Lock and Dam 15 is 3.87 feet.  Channel Catfish - Fair: Channel catfish are being caught on night crawlers, shrimp, crawdads, and stink baits around wing dams and log piles.  White Bass - Slow: White bass fishing has been slow in Sylvan Slough. Some white bass are being picked up while fishing walleyes on the wing dams on three-way rigs or casting crankbaits.  Bluegill - Slow:  Crappie fishing in the backwaters has been slow. Some crappies are starting to be caught around the Andalusia Islands fishing brush piles with small minnows or tube jigs.  Walleye fishing has been slow but a few fish are being caught on wing dams using three-way rigs tipped with half a night crawler or a leech. Some fish are also being caught casting crankbaits on the wing dams. With the low flow, look for wing dams with deeper water and fish more towards the tip of the dam.

Mississippi River Pool 17
River stage at Lock and Dam 16 is 3.11 feet.  Channel Catfish - Fair: Channel catfish are being caught on crawlers, dip baits, and chicken liver fished around wing dams and log piles.  White Bass - Slow:  Bluegill fishing in the backwaters has been slow.  Crappie - Fair: Some crappies are being caught in Big Timber fishing around brush piles along the bank on minnows.  Walleye fishing has been slow but some fish are being caught on the wing dams using three-way rigs tipped with half a night crawler or leech. Some fish are also being caught casting crankbaits to the wing dams.

Mississippi River Pool 18
River stage at Lock and Dam 17 is 3.20 feet.  Channel Catfish - Fair: Channel cats are being caught on night crawlers, cut shad, dip baits, and chicken liver fished above wing dams and around log piles in the main channel or side channels.  White Bass - Slow: White bass fishing has been slow.  Bluegill - Slow: Some bluegills are being picked up fishing jigs and small minnows around brush piles in flowing backwater sloughs.  Crappie - Slow: Some crappies are being caught on jigs and small minnows fished around brush piles in flowing backwater sloughs.  Walleye - Slow: Walleye fishing on the wing dams has been slow but some fish are being caught on three-way rigs tipped with half a night crawler or leech.

Mississippi River Pool 19
River stage at Lock and Dam 18 is 1.27 feet.  Channel Catfish - Fair: Channel catfish are being caught on night crawlers, cut shad, dip baits, and chicken liver fished above wing dams and log piles in the main channel or side channels.  White Bass - Slow: Bluegill - No Report:  Crappie - Slow: Some crappies are starting to be caught around brush piles in the backwater areas on minnows.  Walleye fishing has been slow on the wing dams.

Mississippi River Pools 16-20: River levels are low so take caution when boating. Main channel water temperature is around 72-74 degrees and water clarity has improved. 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)
Catfish bite hot over the weekend here says Calam. Cutbait dipbaits working. Northerns also being caught.

Rock River
SOURCE: Tom Calam, Tom’s Bait & Tackle, Freeport (815-232-3337)
• Near Rockford, a few channel cats biting as well as northerns and walleyes says Calam.
SOURCE: Ray and Irene Hays, Bunny’s Bait Shop, Dixon (815-288-3812)
• Near Dixon catfish are fair. Anglers are catching some bigger fish and even some channel below the dam. Cheesebaits and crushed minnows are best. Shrimp and chicken liver have slowed. Some big flatheads reported below the Oregon dam, but action is slow near Dixon. Walleye are scattered with just an occasional fish biting below the dam. Water has not cooled enough. The drum are really slow and even carp and sucker are slow.
SOURCE: Guide Matt Jones (815-537-5506 or 815-590-1469 cell) and Doc at Kodiak Outdoor Sports in Dixon (815-284-3075)
• Channel cats have slowed some but some real big flatheads have been caught this week up to 50 pounds says Jones. The latest tourney here was won by a cut bait team but 5 of the next 6 teams all used cheesebait. The river is at its lowest levels since 2007 and has cooled some to 67 degrees. Pastor Nathan (below) caught this nice channel cat double Wednesday. Notice the Big Green J and N dip Worms. Sometimes color makes a difference, even with catfish.
Illinois hunting and fishing

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