Illinois fishing report 9-3-09

September 03, 2009 at 02:16 PM

HOTSPOTS

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

• Channel catfish on the Spoon River, the lower Rock River and at Rend Lake.
• Bass at the Emiquon Preserve.
• Crappie at Shabbona Lake, Forbes Lake, Sangchris Lake and Lake Storey.
• White bass on the Illinois River at Starved Rock Lock and Dam.

WALL HANGERS

• John Bowling caught a 66-pound blue catfish at Lake Springfield on Aug. 25 using shad.
• Evan Didway caught and released a 24-inch bass at Banner Marsh on Tuesday.

Illinois hunting and fishing
• Matt Westendorf (above) and fishing buddy Bryant Carr (below) had a good luck last week while fishing War Eagle spinnerbaits at Miller Park in Bloomington. Both caught largemouth bass that measured 21 inches and weighed in at just over 5 pounds. Westendorf’s fish hit on Aug. 27 and Carr caught his Aug. 31.
Illinois hunting and fishing

NORTHERN ILLINOIS North of Interstate 80

Apple Canyon Lake
SOURCE: Tom Calam, Tom’s Bait & Tackle, Freeport (815-232-3337)
A few crappie and bluegill biting here but you have to hunt for them says Calam. Decent sized crappie in toward the shallows — the 15-20 foot range. Fish are suspended. Overall action slow with recent heavy rains.

Lake Carroll
SOURCE: Tom Calam, Tom’s Bait & Tackle, Freeport (815-232-3337).
Crappie biting and white bass also being picked up. White bass taking minows with a lead head jig. Bluegill are biting but not many in numbers.

Forest Preserve Lakes
SOURCE: Lee’s Bait and Tackle of Elk Grove Village (847-593-6424); Henry’s (312-225-8538)
Powderhorn good place for panfish and bass says Vet’s. Nightcrawlers and leeches working.
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).
Recent rains have produced current in channel. Walleye, striper and catfish biting, especially in the North river, anywhere from the state park up. Bass in the shallows under the docks in thick weeds. Good locations are Marie and Katherine. Bluegill and perch also being caught under the docks, rocks, around the shoreline. Crappie deeper in 8-10 feet.
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 slowing down. Salmon coming in little by little says Vet’s. Kings biting on spoons around the shoreline.
SOURCE: The Salmon Stop (847-244-2525 or fishing hotline 847-244-9876)
•  Near Waukegan, anglers still getting perch around government pier and the south rocks on fathead minows and soft shell crabs. A few good-sized kings and browns biting on spoons and bait fish. Overall, shore fishing has been good. Boat fishing has been spotty with high waves causing difficulty.
SOURCE: Mik-Lurch (219-989-0575)
• Near Indiana, king salmon have arrived at Michigan city pier heads and port of Indiana, as well as Trail Creek and Salt Creek. Spoons, glow-in-the-darks and crankbaits working. Try fresh spawn and spinners in the creeks. Bites have been quite big, so your tackle should correspond says Mik-Lurch. A few fish being caught at the Hole-in-the-Wall, but Michigan city is the place to go. Perch have slowed and moved off shore but they will be back. The fall perch run promises to be one of the best in years, according to Mik-Lurch.

Shabbona Lake
SOURCES: Guide Jay Angel (815-739-7030) and Denny Sands, Shabbona Lakeside Bait & Tackle, Shabbona (815-824-2581).
Crappie moving from deeper trees into shallow cribs says Shabbona Lakeside Bait & Tackle. Crappie taking crappie minnows and can be found in 15-18 feet of water about 6-8 feet from the surface.  Bluegills around the outside edges of the weedlines and taking waxworms or leaf worms. Catfish taking chicken livers, stinkbaits in weeds or outside weedlines. Bass still in the lily pads taking plstic frogs on top or plastic worms. Nightcrawlers or leeches working also Walleye are scarce now but can be found. Cooler waters than normal should make walleye and muskies turn on soon. Good weather reports for holiday weekend should make for good fishing says Shabbona Lakeside Bait & Tackle. Guide Jay Angel says crappie fishing can be described as good. What is typical of the fall crappie bite at Shabbona is that you will catch a few crappies on every piece of structure that you target. Look for crappies over and in the fish cribs and surround land piers 4 and 5. Set your slip bobbers 5 - 8 feet down and use crappie minnows under small bobbers. Also look for crappies over the deeper brush piles.
• 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)
Bluegill, catfish and bass still biting here says Vet’s. Nice-sized walleye, the the 5- to 7-pound range, being caught here from the island to toll road says Mik-Lurch. Trolling No. 5 Rapalas in deeper water working as are crawling harnesses. Walleye are very aggressive as water cools. Slip bobber and leeches working for fishing over the fish.

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

Argyle Lake
SOURCE:Site manager Robin Hinchee (309-776-3422); The Deck II Bait and Boat Rental shop (309-776-4275)
Bluegill, bass and catfish have been biting here says Deck II. Worms working best. Some crappie also biting on minnows or worms says Hinchee. Saugeye taking lures in deeper water. Overall bite slow the last couple weeks says Hinchee.

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)
Crappie have come on better this week says Grider. Fish are taking jigs and minnows and have been moving shallower in the evenings. Otherwise 6-8 feet of water is a good starting depth, though bigger fish have come from 15-18 feet of water. Bass have been hitting crankbaits more frequently and remain fair on top-waters on overcast days.

Lake Bloomington
SOURCE: Larry Dozard
Most species are fairl to slow says Dozard. Bass are taking plastics off shoreline wood and weeds in 4 feet of water. Bluegill are along weeds and seawalls. Catfish are best on liver and some dipbaits. Hybrid stripers of 2-4 pounds have been hitting off points on crankbaits ticking along the bottom. Crappie are slow to fair and biting light on tube jigs and waxies in front of deep docks 8-10 feet deep. The main lake is fairly clear and stained with temperatures of 74-75 degrees.

Braidwood Lake
SOURCE: Del Colvin, Bert’s Bait, Essex (815-365-2103); Jon Meder, Jon’s Bait & Tackle, South Wilmington (815-237-2822)
Catfish, bluegill and bass being caught here says Meder. Catfish taking shrimp, liver and cheesebaits with some shad also working. Bluegills biting on waxworms or redworms. Bass, in 2-3 pound range, hitting on rubber worms. Red shad, silver or purple with white tail colors working good. Bass are moving up says Colvin. Look near main lake points using crankbaits and jigs. Dead roaches also working good for catfish.

Clinton Lake
SOURCE: Joanne Lowe, Mike’s Tackle World, Decatur (217-423-0730); Clinton Bait and Tackle, (217-935-3851)
Area angler recently caught large numbers of carp using alfalfa around the 48 bridge. Catfish still biting good on shrimp, shad guts or shad. Crappie taking jig and minnows. A few white bass also biting below the dam at the spillway. Good catfish also being caught there. Bass slow but some being caught on jig trailers.

Emiquon Preserve
SOURCE: Paul Dinkheller, Dink’s, Lewistown (309-547-1094); The Nature Conservancy (309-547-2730)
The bass bite has been very good except for on very windy days when anglers are limited. Crankbaits are still working well. On Monday Gary Stevenson and another angler boated more than 100 bass but had little luck with crappie. On Wednesday, Troy Jackson of Galesburg caught and released the bass pictured below on a parrot-colored Rapala DT6 crankbait. The fish measured 23.5 inches and weighed 7 pounds, 3 ounces. Jackson and his father combined for 42 bass, most from 5-7 p.m. when fish turned on. Mixed reports on crappie, which should be biting well and have been averaging 11 inches. 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
Fishing has slowed says Wood. Some crappie are still biting around deeper brush on minnows and jigs. Saugeye have showed up a bit more, with mostly fish of 12-14 inches on jigs tipped with crawlers. Bluegill are good along weedlines and rip-rap. Water is running in the mid to low 70s and clarity is 6 inches to 1 foot. There are reports of big muskie moving close to the bank in the evenings in the back of coves or along big flats. Muskie anglers report numerous follows in the past week. Bass are slow. Catfish have also slowed, with most being caught on liver or crawlers.
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 been slow. Angler report a few stripers this week, but other than that fishing has been slow says Greybeards. Larry Dozard says the huge shad population has slowed fishing and notes that walleye are slow to fair on live bait rigs on the north side and along breaks at 8-12 feet deep. The last day of fishing is Oct. 6.

Illinois hunting and fishing
LaSalle Lake
SOURCE:Dale Bowman of the Chicago Sun-Times; Guide Mike Lynch (708-655-7667)
Catfish guide Matt Jones said fishing was slow except for small channel catfish, which he said “were going nuts.” They did manage to land one nice fish, the blue catfish shown above caught by Maurice.
Click here for a LaSalle Lake fishing forum.

Mazonia Lakes
SOURCE: Del Colvin, Bert’s Bait, Essex (815-365-2103)
Ponderosa producing good numbers of bluegill and redear says Meder. Waxworms, redworms with a slip bobber working deep. Nice quantity and quality of crappie biting at Mazonia North on minnows on a slip bobber. Some decent size bass also biting says Colvin. Buzzbaits working in morning or evening. Topwaters good also. Shad colors best in pods. Bite slower on clear lakes as temperature has been dropping fast. Stained lakes main active.

Powerton Lake
SOURCE: Merle Keefer, Pekin Bass & Bow (309-347-3334); Tom Grider, Riverside Bait, Pekin (309-347-3793)
Small channel catfish are biting well but most other species are slow says Grider. Just about any bait will work for the smaller catfish. Very few reports on blue cats this week, though. Same is true for smallmouth bass. The lake will be closed September 21-23 for levee repairs and maintenance and will reopen September 24 at 6 a.m.

Snakeden Hollow SFWA
SOURCE: Victoria Tackle Shop (309-879-2664)
Walleye have been biting some in McMaster Lake. Evenings are best. Or try bottom bouncers and nightcrawlers. A few small muskie reported. Crappie fair to slow in the walk-in lakes. Bass have been best on crankbaits. Site closes to fishing Oct. 1.

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)
Catfish are still biting fair to good says Karnes. Nightcrawlers, dipbait and shrimp have been working best. Bluegill have been fairly slow, with a few small fish this week. Bass remain fairly slow, with a few 5-pounders Tuesday evenings.

Lake Storey
SOURCE: Al Hayden, Al’s Sporting Goods, Galesburg (309-342-7776)
Crappie have been biting well for the past week on minnows says Hayden. Fish are running better sizes, with good numbers of 8-12 inchers. As an added bonus anglers are catching walleye on minnows, as well. Outside edges of weedlines are best. Catfish have been fair on dipbait and hot dogs. Bluegill are fair on outside edges of weeds or in pockets on waxies and crickets or small redworms. Drawdown typically starts in mid-September after the big rubber duck regatta. Several reports of multi-muskie days by anglers in the past week.

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)
Many more crappie reports have emerged in the past week despite less fishing pressure. Fish have been ranging from 14 inches to 14 feet deep depending on the conditions and cloud cover. Bass are fair to good with some lunkers reported. Best bet for numbers appears to be crankbaits. Some also on spinnerbaits and even top-waters while Dozard opts for white jigs and swim baits in the afternoons or evenings. Bluegill are fair with some larger fish moving into weed edges and taking crickets or waxies.

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)
Rip-rap still being put in around Lake 1 making it tough there, but anglers finding fish on Lake 2. Crappie biting good there on small shiners, but you have to go down about eight feet where the water is cooler. With the heavy moss on Lake 2, bass anglers finding success using weedless lures — like snag proff mice and scum frogs — and popping them atop the moss.

Charleston Side Channel Lake
SOURCE: Rick Cuddy, Prairie Outfitters, Charleston (217-348-6770)
Channel cats good on cheesebaits or nightcrawlers. Hybrid stripers also biting on live bait, nightcrawlers, or chicken livers. Bass fishing improving in the river on jigs. Black and blue or green pumpkin colors best. Road kill camo or green pumpkin tubes also good.

Lake Decatur
SOURCE: Joanne Lowe, Mike’s Tackle World, Decatur (217-423-0730)
Nice-size crappie were being caught on minnows around the little dam. Striper and catfish also good. A few Asian bighead carp biting. On the lake, drifting shrimp guts working for catfish. Bluegills also biting on jumbo redworms or waxworms. Evening catfish anglers finding success along the banks using shrimp bait.

Lake Glenn Shoals
SOURCE: Jack Rebman, Kink’s Corner, Hillsboro (217-532-5442)
Anglers picking up a few crappie here about 5-6 feet deep using jigs and a few on minnows. Green-and-white colored jigs seem to be working best. Bass picking up, with about 3.5 pounds the biggest, on spinnerbaits, crankbaits or some on jigs. Catfish fair. Trotlines good. Shad, nightcrawlers and some chicken livers also being used. Early morning, late evening best.

Lake Hillsboro
SOURCE: Jack Rebman, Kink’s Corner, Hillsboro (217-532-5442)
Channel cats and crappie decent here. Cats taking shad, nightcrawlers, chicken livers. Minnow or jigs working for crappie.

Lake Jacksonville
SOURCE: Tom Holmes, Military Surplus Outlet, Jacksonville (217-243-6161) and Lake Jacksonville Campground (217-479-4646)
Fishing still slowing down here. Some anglers trying for catfish at night.

Lake Lou Yaeger
SOURCE: Denny’s Bait Shop, Litchfield (217-324-2628)
Things very slow here, but crappie should be turning on real soon with weather changing.

Lake Mattoon
SOURCE: Rick Cuddy, Prairie Outfitters, Charleston (217-348-6770); Joel Pittman, Mattoon Parks Department (217-254-6680)
Bass spotty on crankbaits — chrome and blue or sexy shad best. Catfish good on cheesebaits or nightcrawlers.

Mill Creek Lake
SOURCE: Dennis Shiley, Mill Creek Lake Park (217-889-3901)
Fishing slow here. Should be about time for bigger crappie to start biting but no reports yet says Shiley. Some late night anglers saying they’ve had success catching big bass between 10 p.m. and 3 a.m.

Sangchris Lake
SOURCE: Trevor Miller, Big Red’s Bait and Tackle, Springfield (217-820-9674)
Crappie bite good here on minnows about 10-12 feet deep says Miller. Bass should be biting here.

Lake Sara
SOURCE: Tony Niebrugge, Anthony’s Acres Resort, (217-868-2950)
Crappie and bluegill were biting but things have slowed down here this week.

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
Crappie bite good in 8-12 feet of water in main lake and coves says Wilson. White bass also good here on wind blown flats. Use twister tails or in-line spinners. Lake temperature at 74 degrees. The lake is starrting to turn over in the back of the coves. Walleye and muskie slow.
• 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)
Crappie bite picking up on minnows in 10-12 feet says Miller. Good weigh-ins were recorded at bass tournament on Sunday. Local angler John Bowling caught a 66-pound bluecat on Aug. 25 using shad.

Lake Taylorville
SOURCE: Lindsey’s Bait & Tackle, Taylorville (217-287-7550)
Some crappie biting here in minnows and jigs. Crappie are 6 feet deep above brush and around points says Lindsey’s. Overall bite slow here.

SOUTHERN ILLINOIS South of Interstate 70

Baldwin Lake
SOURCE: Site office (618-785-2555)
Bluegill good here on crickets or waxworms says the site office. Catfish have slowed but anglers still catching some on nightcrawlers. Bass biting on crankbaits or spinnerbaits.

Carlyle Lake
SOURCE: Buddy Langenhorst, Lavish’s Bait Shop , Carlyle (618-594-4413); Henkel’s (618-594-4818)
Crappie bite OK here using minnows or tube jigs says Lavish’s. White bass can be found around the rocks using spinners, jigs or curly tails. Early morning or late afternoon best says Henkel’s. Catfish being hauled in drifting with shad, shrimp or nightcrawlers. From the banks, try cheesebaits or crawlers says Henkel’s. Largemouth bass decent on crankbaits, spinners or some on worms. Bluegill biting around the rip rap using waxworms or crickets. In the Kaskaskia River, Geno’s stinkbaits working well for catfish says Lavish’s. Shad, nightcrawlers also good. Bluegill good bait for flathead cats. White bass taking rooster tails and spinners. Crappie also being caught using minnows. Sauger has slowed down says Henkel’s.
• 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 have moved on the bluff banks says Garner. Try Carolina rigs and worms or lizards (green pumpkin color). Use deep diving crankbaits, shad colored, on points.

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)
A few crappie being picked up here but overall not many anglers out. Fish are biting if people would go says Reed. Crappie are in about 8 feet of water and biting on black and chartreuse hair jigs says Garner. Crappie also taking minnows, Bobby Garland baits — black and chartreuse or electic chicken colors — in brush piles on stumps. Catfish can be found around Wolf Creek Road and are biting on nightcrawlers or dough baits. Bass has been steady on black and blue jigs flipping the weed beds in the morning. Bass also taking top waters, buzz baits, white colors. Red shad worms and brush hogs also working.

Lake of Egypt
SOURCE: Guide Matt Strobel (618-922-0354)
For bass, look for bait fish in the weeds says Strobel. Bass biting on shaky head jigs, top waters and spinners. Numbers are decent but quality is down. Overall bite slow.

Forbes Lake
SOURCE: Site manager Glenn Wegener (618-547-3381); Mike Polcyn, Mike’s Bait & Tackle Shop, Louisville (618-665-3209)
Crappie bite going strong with good numbers being caught says Polcyn. Most anglers using minnows but jigs also working. Look in laydowns and brush piles anywhere from 4-14 feet deep. Striper hitting as anglers bouncing minnows off the bottom. Catfish continues to be good using chicken livers and stink baits in bays and points says Wegener. Bluegill fair on crickets and red wigglers around shady shorelins says Wegener. Largemouth bass and striper fair. Try crankbaits around points. Bass also in brush piles and laydowns. Muskie, walleye both poor.

Kinkaid Lake
SOURCE: Janet Graeff, Top of the Hill Bait Shop, Muphysboro (618-684-2923); Guide Al Nutty (618-694-4897)
A few muskie being caught trolling says Nutty. Largemouth bass fair to good trolling deep diving crankbaits in 12 1/2 feet of water. Carolina rigs also good. Look on main points or humps. Catfish good on nightcrawlers, cut shad of chicken livers. Crappie fair and deep, with biggest about 15-20 feet down. Minnows preferred over jigs. Must be by heavy brush piles. White bass fair to good on small crankbaits. Some jump activity but most 6-15 feet deep. White bass are relating to the school shad.

Newton Lake
SOURCE: Ruth Rauch, Rauch’s Bait & Tackle, Newton (618-752-2151)
Fishing overall very slow here says Rauch. Some night fishing going on, but not much else. Bass should be coming up early morning and in the evenings in the coves. They are suspended over the points says Rauch. Water temps very hot and there has not been much rain recently.

Illinois hunting and fishing
Rend Lake
SOURCE: Todd Gessner (618-513-0520); Bill Hudnall, Rend Lake Sporting Goods, Mount Vernon (618-242-2191)
Water is down to 73-75 degrees and it’s a bit of a waiting game. You can catch crappie but you’ve got to catch 10 small ones to catch a 10-incher. There’s lots of small fish. Now we’ll have to wait for the fall bite for it to get real good, when the water gets below 60. Actually, once it gets below 70 our fishing will pick up. Catfish are still crazy all over the lake and the bass fishing is pretty good. Bass have moved shallow and are taking plastics.

RIVERS

Click here for water level information.

Des Plaines River
SOURCE:Andrew Ragas
We are now approaching closer to that fall fishing season in which catches will be both bigger and better! With last week’s rainfall, the fishing has been spotty on the DPR and its creeks for many species, but conditions are slowly improving. Most anglers have been fishing from shore with very few wading the river due to currents and lingering turbidity. Not many big fish caught during the last week, but some average northern pike from 20 to 28 inches are being reported by Matt Coppolino, who fishes in the western suburbs. Some prime areas for high water fishing have been the Lake and Cook co. forest preserves (Just find access, walk the shores, and have fun covering some water). Log jams, especially, have been the best areas to target at this time. Most fish are responding well to white or fluorescent spinnerbaits with big blades, rattlebaits ripped through the current, and the usual float and roach/minnow drift through current or eddies. The eyesight of Pike does not cater well to the dark water of the river, especially a higher muddy one, therefore throwing something at them with vibration and larger profile will work best at this time. Largemouth Bass have been active as well and most fish are being found in the backwater areas, weed beds near shore, and slackwater pools away from the current. Fish up to 17″ are being reported with the best lure choices being spinnerbaits, chatterbaits, buzzbaits, topwaters, and jig & plastics. Water temperatures are in the low 70-degree range with water levels flowing at a cubic rate of 550-600, with the normal being about 350 for this time of year (in Riverside).
Click here for a Des Plaines River fishing forum.

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

Fox River
SOURCE: Jim Hardy, Big Jim’s Bait & Tackle, Ottawa (815-434-3921)
• Near the confluence with the Illinois River, catfish, smallmouth bass, sauger and walleye all being caught here says Hardy. Fish are biting just need fishermen to come out. Cats taking worms, cut baits. Sauger and walleye best on jig and minnows with a floater.
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 still good on cut bait. A 19-year old angler caught an 18-pound channel cat last Sunday near Ottawa using asian carp cut bait. A few white bass biting up river and also down river around Starved Rock area. Mepps, road runners, rooster tails, anything white working.
SOURCE: Darrell “Buster” Culjan at Cajun Sporting Goods in Utica (815-667-4222)
• Near Utica the river is clean and back to normal with water at 70. Drum and catfish are at the dam early at the power house on dipbait and shad if you can find them. White bass have picked up tremendously on blades due to the water temperature dropping. Very good bite early when you can find the white bass. Creek mouths, gravel bars and rip-rap or sand near a small creek are good spots. Some sauger pulling in 12 feet ofr water on the edge of hte drtops.
SOURCE: Baitshop Bob, Riverview Marine, Spring Valley (815-663-1000)
• Near Spring Valley catfish are going well on cutbait. Anglers are still catching a few nice crappie around pilings and graineries. White bass are starting to come better in creek mouths and sandbars. Still smaller, with a few better fish mixed in. River has dropped to 71 degrees and is starting to clear. Trolling is best for sauger, which are best on crankbaits and lead-core line. But some are reporting an improved jig bite.
SOURCE: Merle Keefer, Pekin Bass & Bow (309-347-3334); Tim Presley, Presley’s Outdoors, Bartonville (309-697-1193)
• Near Peoria the wickets have been down at the lock and dam but should go back up in the next day or two. White bass are still biting in the Mackinaw River but have slowed some. Also some sauger reported in the Mackinaw. Channel catfish are good along channel edges and near deeper holes and have been moving onto flats in the evenings to feed. Snagging done for now.
SOURCE: Paul Dinkheller, Dink’s, Lewistown (309-547-1094)
• Near Havana anglers have been catching nice white bass on white twister tails at the Chautauqua spillway says Larry Karnes. Crappie also fair at Chautauqua says Merle Keefer.
SOURCE: Tom’s Bait Shop in Beardstown (217-323-BAIT)
• Near Beardstown there have been good reports of plump river bluegill coming from the Sanganois side in ditches. Bullhead are also very good in the Sanganois ditches. Channel catfish are good on cheesebaits and shad if you can catch them. Crappie have been biting better in the marina.

Kankakee River
SOURCE: Ed Mullady, Sportsman’s Letter (815-932-7285)
• From Indiana to Momence, smallmouth bass hitting good on *minnows *Jig & Twister tails *Mepps Spinners. * Catfish good in Momence area on *cheesebaits * minnows* crawlers *crawfish.  * Pike fair on *minnows *spoons.
• Near the Kankakee River State Park,  good smallmouth bass on *minnows *jig & twister tail *imitation crawfish *Mepps #3 Spinners.  * Catfish good on *minnows *crawlers *cheesebaits.
• Near Wilmington, catfish are good from Wilmington Dam through Island Park. Smallmouth Bass good around Warner Bridge Area.    *Momence: Mike Lee, Momence, reported

Kishwaukee River
SOURCE:Bob Rhodes, Rockford Bait (815-226-3515)
Steady rains last week left river water very high and not much activity going on.

Mississippi River
SOURCE: Iowa DNR
Mississippi River Pool 13
River stage at Bellevue is 4.16 feet and is forecast to remain stable over the next week.  Water clarity is fair.  Water temperatures are in the low 70s.  Channel Catfish - Fair: Catfish are coming on stinkbait, crawlers, and cut bait fished around wingdams and in side channels around rock and/or wood throughout the pool.  Bluegill - Slow: Reports of a few bluegills coming around snags in the side channels and backwaters.  Largemouth Bass - Fair: Throw crankbaits along rocky shorelines with current or below the dam in Bellevue.  Crappie - Slow: Reports of a few crappies coming from off of snags in sloughs and side channels.  Walleye - Fair: Walleyes are being caught on the wingdams on three-way rigs tipped with leeches.  Fishing below the mouth of the Maquoketa River has been tough due to very turbid water.  Freshwater Drum - Good: Fish a night crawler on the bottom in areas of moderate current.

Mississippi River Pool 14
River stage at Camanche is 9.5 feet and is forecast to remain stable to slowly drop over the next week.  Water clarity is poor.  Main channel water temps are in the low 70s.  Channel Catfish - Fair: Fish are coming on stinkbait, crawlers, or cut bait around wing dams and snags.  Crappie - Fair: Reports of crappie starting to bite in backwaters around woody structure.  Walleye - Slow: Walleye fishing has been slow with the muddy water.  Freshwater Drum - Fair: 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 6.08 feet and falling.  Channel Catfish - Fair: Channel catfish are being caught on night crawlers and stinkbaits around wingdams and log piles. Stinkbaits have been working the best. Channel catfish are being caught along the riprap shoreline near Buffalo and around brush piles in the Andalusia Island complex. White Bass - Slow: White bass fishing has been slow.  Bluegill - Slow: Bluegill fishing has been slow.  Crappie - Slow: Crappie fishing in the backwaters has been slow.  Walleye - Slow: Walleye fishing has been slow due to high and muddy water.

Mississippi River Pool 17
River stage at Lock and Dam 16 is 4.59 feet and falling. Channel Catfish - Fair: Channel catfish are being caught on crawlers, dipbaits, and chicken liver fished around wingdams and log piles.  White Bass - Slow: White bass fishing has been slow. Bluegill - Slow: Bluegill fishing in the backwaters has been slow. Crappie - Slow:  Crappie fishing in the backwaters has been slow. Walleye - Slow: Walleye fishing has been slow due to recent high and muddy water conditions.

Mississippi River Pool 18
River stage at Lock and Dam 17 is 7.72 feet and falling. Channel Catfish - Fair: Channel cats are being caught on night crawlers, cut shad, dipbaits, and chicken livers fished above wingdams and around log piles.  White Bass - Slow: White bass fishing has been slow. Bluegill - Slow: Bluegill fishing in the backwaters has been slow. Crappie - Slow: Crappie fishing in the backwaters has been slow. Walleye - Slow: Walleye fishing on the wingdams has been slow due to recent high water.

Mississippi River Pool 19
River stage at Lock and Dam 18 is 5.41 feet and falling.  Channel Catfish - Good: Channel catfish are being caught on night crawlers, cut shad, dipbaits, and chicken livers fished around wing dams and log jams.  White Bass - Slow: White bass fishing has been slow. Bluegill - No Report.  Crappie - No Report. Walleye - Slow: Walleye fishing has been slow due to recent high water.

Mississippi River Pools 16-20:  River levels are falling throughout pools 16-20. Main channel water temperature is around 70 degrees. Fishing throughout the pools has been tough due to recent high and muddy water conditions. 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)
Heavy rains last week caused water levels to go up, but anglers are still managing to get some catfish on dipbait says Calam.

Rock River
SOURCE: Tom Calam, Tom’s Bait & Tackle, Freeport (815-232-3337)
• Near Rockford, catfish biting on dipbait but not much else happening with recent heavy rains
SOURCE: Jan Prose at TJ’s Bait/Tackle & Canoe Rental in Oregon (815-732-4516)
• Near Oregon smallmouth bass are biting in the past week with more regularity says Prose. Flathead catfish are also biting, with mostly smaller fish of 5-10 pounds. There was a 22.5-pounder caught Tuesday night on suckers. Some 14-inch walleye are also biting at the dam. Lowell Park in Dixon has also been decent for channel catfish. The river is dropping slowly after rising last week but is in good shape.
SOURCE: Ray and Irene Hays, Bunny’s Bait Shop, Dixon (815-288-3812)
• Near Dixon channel catfish are fair above the dam, but not much below the dam. Lots of small fish right now. Chicken liver, shrimp and cheesebaits are best. Some cut bait reports and crushed minnow reports. Down by Nelson there have been reports of 30- and 40-pound flatheads but at the dam there’s not many reports of any over 8 pounds. Some flatheads also near Rockford and Byron. Goldfish and bluegill or big shiners have even been catching smaller flatheads. Walleye are slow. Largemouth bass are picking up but there are few reports on smallmouths. The river is up but the boards aren’t up. The water is fairly clear and is dropping slowly.
SOURCE: Guide Matt Jones (815-537-5506 or 815-590-1469 cell) and Doc at Kodiak Outdoor Sports in Dixon (815-284-3075)
• Elsewhere, guide Matt Jones took a group out and caught 30 nice sizes channel cats caught by using cut bait and cheesebaits. Cats taking just about anything. Another trip produced four large flatheads using live bluegills, with the biggest 14 pounds (including the fish shown below caught by Tiffany, her first flathead). Water temps were in the upper 60s. Not much happening between Dixon and Sterling on the Rock says Doc.
Illinois hunting and fishing

Spoon River
SOURCE: Al Hayden, Al’s Sporting Goods, Galesburg and Paul Dinkheller at Dink’s in Lewistown (309-547-1094)
Channel catfish have been biting very well says John at Dink’s. A group of anglers caught 44, 66 and 72 cats on stinkbait in successive days this week. Most were 1-2 pounders, with every seventh or eighth fish a 3-5 pounder.