Illinois fishing report June 12-19

June 12, 2008 at 09:33 AM

High water in many areas has impacted fishing and access to fishing in recent days. Vacation by staff members is also impacting the scope of this fishing report. Bear with us. We’ll have a full report again soon.

And remember, learn more about lakes or rivers mentioned by clicking on the name of the body of water.

If you are a diehard angler who would like to submit fishing reports, please contact us at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or by calling (309) 686-3212.


Give us our choice of anywhere to fish in Illinois right now and we’d pick…
• Evergreen Lake, Anderson Lake, Newton Lake and the Rock River for channel catfish.
• Farm ponds or strip mines in central Illinois and northern Illinois for bluegill.


• Entry here

• Entry here

NORTHERN ILLINOIS North of Interstate 80

Apple Canyon Lake
Terrible weekend for fishing says Tom Calam at Tom’s Bait and Tackle in Freeport (815-232-3337). Rains and more storms expected causing high waters. Water flowing over the dam here. Crappie catch and release until June 15.

Lake Carroll
Water four feet above breaking wall, causing boats to float away from docks says Tom Calam at Tom’s Bait and Tackle in Freeport (815-232-3337). Not much fishing happening.

Forest Preserve Lakes
Cook County
DeKalb County
DuPage County
Kane County
Kendall County
Lake County
McHenry County
Will County
• In Cook County, Bluegill and bass bite picking up says Henry’s (312-225-8538).
Click here for a Cook County Forest Preserves lake fishing forum.
• In DuPage County, Kolar Bait & Tackle in Carol Stream (630-372-0125) says big bass being caught in Mallard and Deep Quarry. Those fishing for bass should start further off banks as bass in post-spawn recuperation. Bluegill at Deep Quarry. Crappie good in shallow. Look for downed trees. Small ponds doing well in low light with top water bite developing. Pike active in usual places.

Fox Chain O’ Lakes
As of Tuesday the Fox was closed to boating between the Algonquin and McHenry dams, and there were no-wake restrictions from the McHenry dam to the state line including all the Chain lakes. Areas with current best. Target bridges for walleye or shores of Marie for white bass says Dale Bowman of the Chicago Sun-Times.  In Channel Lakes, walleye good around current and bridges says Henry’s (312-225-8538).
• Check updates on no-wake status and water levels at (847-587-8540) or click here.

Lake Michigan
• On the Chicago lakefront, perch excellent all over on minnows or softshells says Henry’s (312-225-8538). Perch going good on baby roaches in Pastrick Marina and Hammond Marina says Mik-Lurch (219-989-0575). Plenty of cohos and Kings available in 40-60 feet of water a mile north of the Gong. Use dodgers and flies, with blue or green dolphin color or silver or chrome dodgers. Early morning late afternoon bite.
• Near Waukegan, perch good off pier using minnows or jigs tipped with spikes says The Salmon Stop (847-244-2525). Softshells also good. Some perch in 13-14-inch range. Salmon scattered in 70-100 feet of water. “Run everything and cover as much as you can” says The Salmon Stop. Spoons, dodgers, flies. For more detailed and up-to-minute report call the fishing hotline at 847-244-9876.
• Near North Point, unstable weather and thunderstorms caused Capt. Nick Ganzer (847-234-7208) to reschedule his trips. However, there were windows of fishable weather, with reports of fair catches of salmon and trout. Fish were active early (5a.m to 7a.m.) in 40-40 feet of water, then slowed as the storms forced the fish into tight, hard-to-find, schools. Summer weather is finely here, with 80-degree weather forecast for the next week. Lake Michigan water temperatures are now in the 50’s, which will bring about lake stratification and new forage and salmon/trout all along our northeast Illinois shores. Ganzer says the best of our Lake Michigan fishing is yet to come!

Shabbona Lake
Walleye fishing is good with numbers of walleyes being taken off the shallower rock piles using nightcrawlers and leeches says guide Jay Angel (815-739-7030). Angel is pictured below with a walleye from June 7, 2008. Walleyes have also been taken from the weedlines and the dam face, some to anglers throwing Rat-L-Traps. Water is running 70-72 degrees. Bass fishing is good. Bass are being caught along the weedlines wacky rigging or Texas rigging soft plastics. Bass are also being caught casting crankbaits or soft plastics along the dam face. Crappie fishing is good with fish beginning to congregate over the deeper brush piles and fish cribs.
• Park hours 6 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Click here for a Shabbona Lake fishing forum
Illinois Outdoors

Wolf Lake
Largemouth good and walleye OK says Henry’s. Crappies taking baby roaches says Mik-Lurch (219-989-0575). Northern pike and bass good. Smallmouth, bass and walleye good with walleye taking leeches after dark.

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

Anderson Lake
Area flooded but trot-lining could still be good on dew worms and cut bait says site manager Ed Oest (309-759-4484).

Argyle Lake
Catfish good on worms and saugeye being caught with lures says park superintendant Robin Hinchee at the site office (309-776-3422). Crappie bite picking up in shallow just off the ledge but they are going a little deeper.

Banner Marsh
Bass fishing has been good, with bass off the beds and feeding well says Adam Jaegle of Presley’s Outdoors in Bartonville (309-697-1193). At a tournament Monday, anglers hauled in two 4.2 pounders and several fish 18 inches or longer, many that still had red, bloody tails. Bass and a few channel cats being caught says Tim Presley at Presley’s Outdoors (309-697-1193).
Bass taking topwater lures and cats biting on dipbaits says Merle Keefer at Pekin Bass & Bow (309-347-3334). Catfish bite improving says Tom Grider at Tom’s Riverside Bait & Tackle in Pekin (309-347-3793).

Lake Bloomington
Bass fair to slow and out deeper using crankbaits, chatterbaits or plastics says Larry Dozard Bluegill fair on small jigs. Walleye fair on smaller jigs with twisters or minnows and floating jigs with minnows or shinners in main lake basin in 12-16 feet of water.

Braidwood Lake
Catfish going nuts on nighcrawlers and chicken livers says Del Colvin at Bert’s Bait in Essex (815-365-2103). Braidwood decent for catfish and bluegill says Henry’s (312-225-8538).

Clinton Lake
Channel cats, flatheads biting good says Joanne Lowe of Mike’s Tackle World in Decatur (217-423-0730). Cats taking shad guts, cut shad or shrimp. Water still muddy.

Dawson Lake
Catfish bite good on chicken livers and shrimp along the shoreline says Leon Gibson at Moraine View Concession (309-724-8295). East side seems to be best. Walleye good by the dam and bass being found in deeper waters. Jigs good but muddy waters causing white or yellow jigs to be best. Crappie bite slowing. One angler caught a 50-pound carp on Tuesday using worms. Lake at full pool.

Evergreen Lake
Catfish excellent on nightcrawlers and chicken livers says operations supervisor Mike Steffa (309-726-2022). Bass fair in coves finishing up spawn. Saugeye good on nightcrawlers and jigs but small in northern half of lake.
Click here for up-to-date lake reports.
• Boat rentals and bait and tackle sales underway at the boat rental facility, 6 a.m. to 4 p.m. on weekends (after 8 a.m. on Fridays) with extended hours starting Memorial Day weekend.

Heidecke Lake
Catfish and striper bite real good says Pat Sassin at Greybeards (815-941-1504), the bait shop on the lake. Walleye biting everywhere on nightcrawles and catfish taking stinkbaits. Walleye good says Henry’s (312-225-8538).
• Fred Krause of the Ottawa Daily Times reports that the Illinois Department of Natural Resources is going to remove the bridge between the lakes at Heidecke very soon.
Mike Lynch (708-655-7667)

Hennepin Canal
Canal way down and nearly unfishable says Ann Downey at Northside Bait & Archery (309-852-4760) in Kewanee.

Johnson-Sauk Trail Lake
Fish spawning and plenty of activity in the water but nothing in particular best says Ann Downey at Northside Bait & Archery (309-852-4760) in Kewanee. Heat, humidity, rains have all caused trouble for some anglers.

LaSalle Lake
Click here for a LaSalle Lake fishing forum.

Mazonia Lakes
Bluegill on beds in Mazonia South says Del Colvin at Bert’s Bait in Essex (815-365-2103). Catfish “going nuts” everywhere on nightcrawlers and chicken livers. Top-water bite working for bass. Try buzzbaits, walk-the-dog style baits, or frogs.

Powerton Lake
Cooling lake still closed to boaters due to ongoing work on the discharge. Lake is open to bank anglers daily from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Catfish and smallies best here says Tom Grider at Tom’s Riverside Bait & Tackle in Pekin (309-347-3793).

Snakeden Hollow SFWA
Lot of catfish being caught using dipbaits or dew worms says Terry Whiteside at Victoria Tackle Shop (309-879-2664). Bluegill bite also very good on waxworms, redworms. Bass and muskie moving but not many new reports. Crappie slowing.

Spring Lake
Nice bluegill being caught along shoreline on waxworms says Larry Karnes at Larry’s Restaurant and Family Bar west of Manito (309-968-9500). Look for a place where wind is not blowing hard. Catfish bite good on nightcrawlers or cut bait off shore and around turnoffs on south end.

Lake Storey
Bluegill the main thing says Al Hayden of Al’s Sporting Goods in Galesburg (309-342-7776). Pieces of worm, crickets, small jigs working. Crappie bite slowing. Bass fair on crankbaits, spinnerbaits, rubber worms. Catfish OK using dipbaits.

Strip Mines
Bluegill the rage on crickets, waxworms in area strip pits and farm ponds says Tim Presley at Presley’s Outdoors in Bartonville (309-697-1193). Grider recently caught between 60-80 bluegill, with five redears on recent outing. Redear took redworms, with bluegill biting on waxworms and crickets. Another angler caught 153 bluegills in a recent outing. Beginning next Wednesday, Grider having a going-out-of-business sale with items 30-50 percent off. He is moving to Mississippi and hoping to be out by June 24.

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

Carlinville Lake
Crappie still biting and catfish going good says Gwen Gilmore of Gilmore Bait & Marine in Carlinville (217-854-8136).  Recent camper caught an 11-pound, 8-ounce blue cat on Lake 1 using nightcrawlers. Channel cats biting on Sonny’s cheesebait. In Lake 2, crappie biting and bluegill being caught on crickets and small shiners. Gillespie Bass Club scheduled to fish Lake 1 on Saturday.

Charleston Side Channel Lake
Fishing not very good with lake closed because of flooding says Rick Cuddy at Prairie Outfitters in Charleston (217-348-6770).

Coffeen Lake
Catfish and bass still going good says Debbie Withers of Indian Grove Fish Camp, located on Coffeen Lake (217-537-3001). Catfish biting on minnows and nightcrawlers. Bass taking spinnerbaits. Bluegill also biting. Water warm and clearing.

Lake Decatur
Channel cats, flatheads biting good says Joanne Lowe of Mike’s Tackle World in Decatur (217-423-0730). Cats taking shad guts, cut shad or shrimp. Water still muddy.

Lake Mattoon
Not much going on with rains and muddy waters says Joel Pittman of the Mattoon Parks Department (217-254-6680). About only thing being caught is catfish, which are still taking shrimp, chicken livers, shad guts.

Mill Creek Lake
Lake closure with flooding brought fishing to standstill says Peggy Tingley at Mill Creek Lake Park (217-889-3901). Lake, which was about 10 feet above fload stage, re-opened Thursday.

New Gillespie Lake
Bass going good up against the banks using silver colored crankbaits says John “Pappy” Knowles of the Gillespie Lake Police (618-362-6363). Recent bass tournament had 17 boats catch 17 fish, with some up to 4.5 pounds. Bluegill bite also good. Catfish slowing down. Water clearing but rain expected this weekend. Water temp at 78 degrees and lake at full pool.

Lake Shelbyville
Water level shot way up with recent storms but bass still biting in bushes on bass tubes says guide Ken Wilson (217-774-5756). Level should crest Friday at 616 — 16 feet above normal pool. All high water ramps available but regular ramps closed. Watch for floating debris. Water dirty on north end, stained in middle and fishable on south end. Crappie small but biting in shallows. Not many keepers, but some. Largemouth being caught. Fishing should improve when water stabilizes over the weekend says Wilson.
• For a daily report on Lake Shelbyville call (217-774-2020).

SOUTHERN ILLINOIS South of Interstate 70

Carlyle Lake
Catfish spawning and taking crickets, minnows and nightcrawlers 2-3 feet deep with corks near the rip rap says Steve Henkel of Henkel’s  Pole and line fisherman catching cats on Sonny’s and shad gut. Fishing good all over says Lavish’s Bait Shop in Carlyle (618-594-4413). White bass, sauger, walleye, buffalo, bluegill all biting. Channel cats also along the river banks.
• For the latest water level information call (618-594-4637).

Crab Orchard Lake
Large flathead catfish being caught on leeches, cut shad says Carol Reed of Cooksey’s Bait in Marion (618-993-3366). Crappie bite cooled off with fish going out in deeper water. Bluegills still good on crickets and waxworms. Bass taking worms and jigs in weeded areas along the shoreline says says Kyle Garner at Crappie Pro Shop in Carterville (618-985-8277).

Lake of Egypt
Crappie bite slowing and bluegill on beds says Kyle Garner at Crappie Pro Shop in Caterville (618-985-8277). Catfish and bluegill going good on live bait says Scott at Shawnee Bait & Tackle in Creal Springs (618-996-3089).

Forbes Lake
Fishing good says Mike Polcyn at Mike’s Bait & Tackle Shop in Louisville (618-665-3209). Walleye biting on minnows. Catfish taking stinkbaits and cut shad. Crappie in the brush.

Kinkaid Lake
Bass picking up in the evening using frogs around grassy areas says Kyle Garner at Crappie Pro Shop in Caterville (618-985-8277). Crappie still biting but in 8-12 feet deep water says Janet Graeff of Top of the Hill Bait Shop in Murphysboro (618-684-2923). Bluegill good up next to banks. Early morning and late afternoon, early evening best. Catfish slowing.

Little Grassy Lake
Bluegill backing off beds says Betty at Little Grassy Boat Dock (618-457-6655). Bass biting on purple worms. One angler caught 5.5-pound bass recently. Catfish being caught on nightcrawlers. Crappie slowing.

Newton Lake
Catfish bite excellent on large minnows, shrimp, cut shap says Ruth Rauch at Rauch’s Bait & Tackle in Newton (618-752-2151). Bass bite slowing down with murky waters. Bass taking spinnerbaits and plastics says Mike Polcyn at Mike’s Bait & Tackle Shop in Louisville (618-665-3209).

Rend Lake
Bass “turning on” along the rocks and rip rap using crankbaits and worms says Alan at Rend Lake Sporting Goods in Mount Vernon. Those in brush taking jigs, creature-type baits. Recent tournament produced five limits. Crappie fair in deeper waters and brush.

Sam Dale Lake
Bluegill and redear biting on crickets, meal worms says Mike Polcyn at Mike’s Bait & Tackle Shop in Louisville (618-665-3209). Catfish ready to spawn. Fishing good but rains expected this weekend.


Click here for water level information.

Des Plaines
Click here for a Des Plaines River fishing forum.

DuPage River
Click here for a DuPage River fishing forum.

Fox River
• River was closed to boating on Tuesday between the Algonquin and McHenry dams, and there were no-wake restrictions from the McHenry dam to the state line (including all the Chain lakes). Check at or (847) 587-8540.
• Near the Dayton Dam, Near the Dayton Dam, anglers were catching bluegill before high waters made fishing difficult says Jim Hardy of Big Jim’s Bait & Tackle in Ottawa (815-434-3921)
Click here for a Fox River fishing forum.

Illinois River
• Catfish biting but river is high, dirty and flooded says Jim Hardy of Big Jim’s Bait & Tackle in Ottawa (815-434-3921)
• Not much happening but anglers still catching drum and catfish on worms and shrimp says Carol Culjan at Cajun Sporting Goods in Utica (815-667-4222). Water under trees at Starved Rock.
• Baitshop Bob of River Marine Bait & Tackle in Spring Valley (815-663-1000) says take a pass on fishing for a week and wait for river to settle down. River dirty and rolling, making fishing “horrible.”
• No fishing happening with muddy waters says Maryann Rilko of Riverfront Bait Shop in Hennepin (815-925-7186).
• Catfish biting along the banks using minnows and stinkbaits says Celeste Pollack at Wolf Hollow Archery Bait & Tackle in Chillicothe (309-274-9653).
• Channel cats active about anywhere you want to go off the banks near Peoria says Tim Presley at Presley’s Outdoors in Bartonville. Cheesbaits working. Bobber fishing also effective a foot and a half deep. Trot-liners also catching channel cats in backwaters says Merle Keefer at Pekin Bass & Bow (309-347-3334).
• Fishing “bad” but bank polers and trot-linters still catching some fish using nightcrawlers, crawdads or shrimp in the backwaters with current says Tom of Tom’s Bait Shop in Beardstown (217-323-BAIT).

Kankakee River
The river is up and over the bank and muddy in many areas, but fishing for most species is still fair to good says Ed Mullady of Sportsman’s Letter (815-932-7285).
• Near Momence smallmouth bass are good along shorelines and creek mouths on spinners, spoon, minnows and fluorescent-colored lures. Largemouths are biting at mouths of bayous and around islands on plastic worms, snagless frogs and double spinnerbaits. Pike fair at mouths of ditches on minnows, spoons. Walleye slow. Catfish good on crawlers, minnows and cheesebaits.
• Near Aroma Park catfish are good from Ryans Pier through River Road Park says Mullady. Use minnows, cheesebaits, crawfish or crawlers. Rock bass good in the same areas. Crappie fair, best at mouth of Iroquois River on minnows, pinkie jigs.
• From the Kankakee dam through Bourbonnais Mullady says smallies are good on Mepps No. 3 spinners, live minnows, jointed countdowns and Rattlin’ Rogues. Catfish good, particularly below the Kankakee Dam and the shorelines along Jeffers and LeVasseur parks.
• Near Kankakee River State Park smallies are good on Mepps sponners, Sluggos, crawfish, weedless spoons, Rattlin’ Rogues and minnows. Action is particularly good around Rex Island through Timothy Island.
• From Wilmington through Des Plaines Conservation Area Mullady says anglers are catching smallies well on minnows, crankbaits and Dardevle spoons. Catfish are biting in all areas, particularly around flooded shorelines.
• For more detailed Kankakee River fishing, info, you can order the Kankakee River Package. It contains your choice of an Indiana or an Illinois Fisherman’s Atlas of Large scale Kankakee River Fishing Maps, plus 12 back issues of Sportsman’s Letter and three future issues. Cost is $19.95 plus $3 for shipping to: Sportsman’s Letter, 726 S. Elm, Kanakakee, IL 60901. For separate atlases, mail $9.95 plus $2 shipping to the same address. A Sportsman’s Letter subscription is $6.50 for four editions.
Click here for a Kankakee River fishing forum.

Mississippi River
Pools 13-14:

Pools 15-16:

Pools 17-19

Pools 20-24

Pools 25-27

Below Lock & Dam 27:

Rock River
• Near Prophetstown the river is up almost out of its banks again. Flathead fishing had just started to pick up with several big fish caught this week says guide Matt Jones (815-537-5506 or 815-590-1469 cell). Channel catfish remain very good and this ranks as one of the best years in recent memory according to Jones. Lots of fish from 6-15 pounds. The picture below is of Jimbo Veets of Moline with a Rock River channel cat he caught last week during a guide trip.
Illinois Outdoors