Illinois fishing report 4-15-10

April 15, 2010 at 10:29 AM


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

• Bluegill at Crab Orchard Lake .
• Crappie at Crab Orchard Lake, Rend Lake, Little Grassy Lake, Lake Storey, Lake Springfield, Lake Taylorville, Beaver Dam lake and Lake Carlinville or just about anywhere in south-central Illinois.
• Bass fishing at the Emiquon Preserve, at Mazonia’s lakes.
• Muskie at Kinkaid Lake.


• Chad Fargher of Washington caught the 8-pound bass pictured below on April 10 in a Fulton County strip-mine lake.
Illinois hunting and fishing

• Jeff Humenik caught the smallmouth bass pictured below at Heidecke Lake in 5-6 feet of water on a flicker shad. The fish was featured in Dale Bowman’s Stray Casts blog.
Illinois hunting and fishing

• Ty Lauber, 4, caught his first bluegill (pictured below) on April 12 at Cabin Fever near Victoria.
Illinois hunting and fishing

• John Rumoro caught a 52-inch flathead catfish on the Mississippi River near Genoa while vertical jigging for walleye. The fish weighed more than 40 pounds.

NORTHERN ILLINOIS North of Interstate 80

Apple Canyon Lake
SOURCE: Tom Calam, Tom’s Bait & Tackle, Freeport (815-232-3337)
Walleye, crappie and bluegill are biting here but mostly action is slow and fish are small. Crappie minnows, walleye minnows, waxworms working for baits. Anglers using smaller fathead minnows. Reminder: Crappie catch and release here until June 15.

Lake Carroll
SOURCE: Tom Calam, Tom’s Bait & Tackle, Freeport (815-232-3337).
Action also mostly slow here but anglers are catching some bluegill, crappie, walleye and bass. Most on the small side. Anglers jigging for crappies. Reminder: crappie catch and release here until May 15.

Forest Preserve Lakes
SOURCE: Lee’s Bait and Tackle of Elk Grove Village (847-593-6424); Henry’s (312-225-8538)
Crappie are best in most lakes (particularly Tampier, Maple, Saganashkee Slough and the Chicago lagoons according to Dale Bowman of the Chicago Sun-Times) with bass coming on and moving shallow thanks to warmer water. Skokie Lagoon has had decent bluegill fishing says Mike Jackson of the Arlington Heights Daily Herald.
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).
Triangle Sports reports crappie biting in backwaters on minnows, spikes or small jigs. Walleye in swift moving water around bridges or below the dam, like McHenry, and taking minnows or leeches. Bass can be found in the backwater areas in shallow using stick baits. Catfish have not peaked yet, but some can be found around current areas using minnows. Bluegill are in shallows or some still out to the first break.
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 smallmouth bass are fair but still requiring slower presentations according to Bowman.
Cohos have been spotted along the lakefront, with 3-4 pounders being picked up north to Montross Harbor. Not as many cohos as expected to date, with a few around Burnham Harbor. Park Bait said some powerliners were taking coho and a few brown trout out of Montrose and Belmont.
SOURCE: The Salmon Stop (847-244-2525 or fishing hotline 847-244-9876)
• Near Waukegan boaters are getting perch in about 35-65 feet of water south of Waukegan using large fathead off the bottom with crappie rigs. Cohos are being picked up by trollers in 30 feet of water just north or south of Waukegan Harbor. Shoreline anglers finding browns and steelheads using frozen roach minnows.
SOURCE: Mik-Lurch (219-989-0575)
• Near Indiana some nice size perch biting around the Gary, Indiana Lighthouse with fish up to 14-15 inches says Vet’s. Cohos have been spotty but first place to check would be the Hole-in-the-Wall using dodgers, flies or rattling tin fins.

Pierce Lake
SOURCES: Pam Minihan, Dora’s Bait & Tackle, Rockford (815-963-1795).
Some crappie being picked up using minnows by Rock Cut State Park.

Shabbona Lake
SOURCES: Guide Jay Angel (815-739-7030) and Denny Sands, Shabbona Lakeside Bait & Tackle, Shabbona (815-824-2581).
Crappie fishing is fair and water was at 53-55 degrees earlier in the week and is warmer now. Best crappie had been taking minnows on the deeper structure on the north side of the lake says Jay Angel. Campground cribs are a good place to start. “The crappies are hugging the bottom right now,” states Denny Sands. The walleye opener at Shabbona Lake is 6 a.m.-9:30 p.m. Saturday and Lakeside will award $100 for heaviest legal walleye, another $100 for a lake record (9.9 pounds) and another $500 for a state record.
• 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)
Crappie, northerns and bass biting here but mostly spotty says Vet’s. Bee moths working. Crappie taking small minnows or golden roaches for bigger fish.

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)
A few anglers have been trot-lining but action is slow so far says Oest. Bankfishing has also been slow. Water has been breaking into Carlson Lake and white bass and even some largemouths should start biting at the Carlson Lake levee where the water is flowing.

Banner Marsh
SOURCE: Adam Jaegle, Presley’s Outdoors, Bartonville (309-697-1193); Merle Keefer, Pekin Bass & Bow (309-347-3334); Jason Grider, Riverside Bait, Pekin (309-347-3793)
Crappie have improved in the past few days, with better numbers reported and still good sizes says Grider. Bass are tough with some males cruising shallow and taking spinnerbaits, jerkbaits and swim baits. Bigger females hanging back. Best lures Monday were spinnerbaits, though anglers reported more muskie run-ins than bass caught.

Lake Bloomington
SOURCE: Larry Dozard
Crappie are fair and scattered from 5-12 feet in the Money Creek arm at coves says Dozard. Water temps are in the low 60s to the mid-60s later in the day. Bass are fair to slow around timber along the shorelines or on points. Hybrid stripers are slow to fair. Walleye are best in 9-12 feet of water on jigs.

Braidwood Lake
SOURCE: Del Colvin, Bert’s Bait, Essex (815-365-2103); Jon Meder, Jon’s Bait & Tackle, South Wilmington (815-237-2822)
Bass slowing down here with the ones that are being picked up biting on soft plastics. Bluegills going good on nightcrawlers. Tube jigs off the bottom working good for bass says Meder.

Clinton Lake
SOURCE: Joanne Lowe, Mike’s Tackle World, Decatur (217-423-0730); Clinton Bait and Tackle, (217-935-3851)
Largemouth bass biting on the lake using crankbaits or spinners. Some crappie, walleye and white bass also biting. Below the spillway, stripers being picked up.

Dawson Lake
SOURCE: Leon and Judy Gibson, Moraine View Concession (309-724-8295)
Crappie taking minnows in about three feet of water by the dam. Bluegill biting on waxworms. Dozard said bass are smaller this week and appear to be bedding. Catfish being picked up by Goose Island on liver. Walleye also biting. Jigs and lures working. Water temps in the 60s and saugeye are best on jigs in 9-13 feet of water.

Illinois hunting and fishing
Emiquon Preserve
SOURCE: Paul Dinkheller, Dink’s, Lewistown (309-547-1094); The Nature Conservancy (309-547-2730)
Bass fishing remains good, if not always quite as good as last year. Catches of 30-50 per angler not uncommon. Water was up to 67 degrees on Tuesday and male bass were cruising shallow. Best action was in ditches 6-8 feet deep along shallower flats. Fish up to 21.5 inches were caught, like the one pictured above. A Smithfield angler also caught a 7-pound bass this week says Dinkheller. Few reports on crappie. Some say nightcrawlers work well. If you do find crappie, stay on them as there are sizable schools in the lake. Bluegill were in the shallows. Anglers must obtain a free permit at Dickson Mounds Museum (open 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.) before fishing here.

Evergreen Lake
SOURCE: Brad Wood, operations supervisor, (309-726-2022) or Larry Dozard
Crappie are biting anywhere from 5-18 feet deep says Dozard and anglers are reminded there is no longer a size limit, but still a 15-fish per day limit. Water is running 62-65 degrees and stained. Bass are fair to slow on jigs and spinnerbaits on points and in coves. Some decent saugeye reports on minnows and jigs along weeds in 8-10 feet of water. Most are 12-16 inches. Bait shop at lake open Fridays through Sundays.
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)
Water temperatures were at 55 degrees earlier this week according to Jay Angel, but had warmed into the 60s later in the week. Fishing was slow with a few hybrid stripers being caught by anglers trolling shad bodied lures in 12 feet of water. For best results make sure that your lures are hitting the bottom. Walleye were fair on jigs and minnows. The launch opens daily to boats at 6 a.m., bank fishing at 6:30 a.m. Close is dusk.

LaSalle Lake
SOURCE: Dale Bowman of the Chicago Sun-Times; Guide Jay Angel (815-739-7030)
Water temperatures range from 85 degrees in the warm arm to 55 at the ramp. Bass fishing is fair with some fish being caught on the dikes of pools 1 and 2 by anglers casting crankbaits and wacky rigging Yum Dingers. Hybrid stipers are being caught by anglers trolling crankbaits on the shallow flats. Striper fishing is fair. Catfish are also biting. Lake opens at 6 a.m. and closes at sunset.
Click here for a LaSalle Lake fishing forum.

Mazonia Lakes
SOURCE: Del Colvin, Bert’s Bait, Essex (815-365-2103)
North unit going strong says Colvin. Bass are moving and some are already biting on top waters. Jig and pig working as are deep diving crankbaits, shad patterns.

Powerton Lake
SOURCE: Merle Keefer, Pekin Bass & Bow (309-347-3334); Jason Grider, Riverside Bait, Pekin (309-347-3793)
Anglers working hard are catching some big smallmouth bass but numbers are just not there says Grider. Channel catfish are biting but small. Blue catfish and flatheads are also active but most of the fish reported in the past few weeks have been ranging from 10-15 pounds. Live baits are best. Hybrid stripers are slow.

Snakeden Hollow SFWA
SOURCE: Site office (309-879-2607)
Anglers are catching some nice catfish on chicken liver and worms says Hayden. Crappie are also fair on lakes on the west side of the site.

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)
Bass fishing has been inconsistent says Troy Galvin but picked up throughout for a few anglers this week as water warmed. Bass numbers have been better of late says Karnes, with mostly smaller fish reported. Best lures are Rat-L-Traps and spinnerbaits. Biggest bass reported lately has been a 15-incher. Crappie are fair to good on the south end, with mostly numbers and not as many big fish. Grider said the north end has produced bigger fish.

Lake Storey
SOURCE: Al Hayden, Al’s Sporting Goods, Galesburg (309-342-7776)
Fishing is fair to good for several species, with crappie heading the list says Hayden. Crappie are good on minnows and jigs in 2-3 feet of water close to shore. That’s the same area where anglers have been catching bluegill on crickets and waxworms. Lots of small bluegill, though. Bass are taking a variety of lures from plastics to spinnerbaits and even some top-waters. Catfish have been showing up but are slow overall.

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)
Fishing slowed during last weekend’s cold front and has picked up this week, but there’s another cold front on the way this weekend. Bass were mixed, with numerous smaller fish close to shore and not as many big fish reported. Spinnerbaits produced in the wind. Males have been cruising shallow. Crappie are fair, with mostly smaller fish reported. Fish are in different places from lake to lake: some moving shallow, others still hanging back in 8-10 feet of water. Bigger fish should be ready to move shallow again soon. Afternoons have been best. Bluegill are making more regular appearances but are still not in the shallows hot and heavy yet. Better fishing for bluegill is in smaller ponds. Waxworms are a key right now. Despite last weekend’s cold front, Kyle Waller caught the 7-2 bass pictured below out of a Fulton County strip mine last Saturday.
Illinois hunting and fishing

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

Beaver Dam Lake
SOURCE: Gwen Gilmore, Gilmore Bait & Marine, Carlinville (217-854-8136); Kim Eggers, Beaver Dam Bait Shop, (217-854-6688)
Crappie and bass hitting good. Crappie taking minnows and bass biting on minnows or artificials. Bluegill also biting here.

Carlinville Lake
SOURCE: Gwen Gilmore, Gilmore Bait & Marine, Carlinville (217-854-8136)
Crappie bite good using medium shiners says Gilmore Bait & Marine. A few catfish also being picked up on Sunny’s Super Sticky bait.

Charleston Side Channel Lake
SOURCE: Rick Cuddy, Prairie Outfitters, Charleston (217-348-6770)
Crappie getting better on crappie jigs or Berkley Power Nibbles. Saugeye picking up on 3-inch twister tails with jig heads. Fire Tiger and chartreuse colors working best. Some striper biting on just about anything, from baits used on saugeye to chicken livers. Channel cats also taking chicken livers or nightcrawlers.

Coffeen Lake
SOURCE: Scott Withers, Indian Grove Fish Camp, Coffeen Lake (217-537-3001)
Anglers finding plenty of small bass here says Rebman.

Lake Decatur
SOURCE: Joanne Lowe, Mike’s Tackle World, Decatur (217-423-0730)
On the lake, anglers catching just enough fish to keep them coming back. A few white bass, crappies and catfish biting. Below the spillway, stripers, crappie and white bass being picked up. Big Asian carp also biting. Bass Assassins, tube jigs, Charlie Brewer sliders, sand blasters, rooter tails, curly tails all being used.

Lake Glenn Shoals
SOURCE: Jack Rebman, Kink’s Corner, Hillsboro (217-532-5442)
Crappie staring to pick up, with fish taking jigs or minnows in about six feet of water. Bluegill also taking off on waxworms or green twister tails. Bass decent here on spinners or soft plastics.

Lake Hillsboro
SOURCE: Jack Rebman, Kink’s Corner, Hillsboro (217-532-5442)
Crappie going good but some small, with the occasional 10-11-incher biting. White or green jigs best or minnows says Rebman.

Lake Jacksonville
SOURCE: Tom Holmes, Military Surplus Outlet, Jacksonville (217-243-6161) and Lake Jacksonville Campground (217-479-4646)
Crappie had slowed down but it’s beginning to pick back up, with minnows the bait of choice. A few bass also taking minnows or artificials. Crappie limit lowered from 25 to 15 this year.

Lake Lou Yaeger
SOURCE: Denny’s Bait Shop, Litchfield (217-324-2628)
Crappie best here on minnows says Denny’s.

Lake Mattoon
SOURCE: Rick Cuddy, Prairie Outfitters, Charleston (217-348-6770); Joel Pittman, Mattoon Parks Department (217-254-6680)
Crappie best here on crappie jigs or Berley Power Nibbles says Cuddy. Not much action yet for bass or catfish. Crappie moving up shallow says Pittman. Water temps in high 50s now.

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 running everywhere here says Pete’s. Crappie shallow and taking minnows. Bass should start picking up in a week or so here with water temperatures climbing daily. Big spinnerbaits and chatterbaits have been the best bet with some coming on crankbaits. Overall the big bass have been tough to locate. Last Sunday Bass 25 Peoria’s tournament had 47 teams and all weighed fish, but most were small. The top six-fish sack was just 13.1 pounds for Mark Wagle of Forest City and Kevin Eccles of Mackinaw—and that included the tourney big bass of 4.4 pounds.

Lake Sara
SOURCE: Tony Niebrugge, Anthony’s Acres Resort, (217-868-2950)
Crappie spotty here but fish are taking minnows. Bass tournament produced big fish of 6.37 pounds and several 4-pounders caught. Crankbaits working best for bass.

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 starting to move up shallow in 4-6 feet of water about halfway to the back of the coves around laydown trees says Wilson. Some of the older females look like they have already spawned, but spawn still to come for most. Largemouth bass biting on shallow running crankbaits or white spinners. Welch finding crappie out on the banks. Water temps ranging from 55-65 degrees.
• 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 (217-820-9674) and Tater’s Bait, Springfield (217-528-2208)
Crappie “hot and heavy” in about 3-4 feet of water says Pete’s. Water temps climbing. Catfish stirring on stinkbaits.

Lake Taylorville
SOURCE: Lindsey’s Bait & Tackle, Taylorville (217-287-7550)
Crappie biting good on minnows and bluegills taking waxworms says Lindsey’s. Catfish also taking just about anything, especially dough baits.

SOUTHERN ILLINOIS South of Interstate 70

Baldwin Lake
SOURCE: Site office (618-785-2555)
Crappie bite is fair on minnows. Bass taking crankbaits. Bluegill biting on crickets. Catfish being caught using natural baits.

Carlyle Lake
SOURCE: Buddy Langenhorst, Lavish’s Bait Shop , Carlyle (618-594-4413); Henkel’s (618-594-4818)
Crappie, largemouth bass and channel cats biting on the lake says Lavish’s. Catfish taking nightcrawlers and cutbait. Minnows or tube jigs for crappie at about two feet of water. Below the spillway, anglers catching some nice-sized sauger as well as cats, white bass and some crappie. White bass on tube jigs and minnows. Cats on shad gut, cut bait and nightcrawlers. Sauger best using vertical jig off the bottom with the old reliable curly tail tipped with a crawler, or minnow.
• 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)
Joe Hincks of Carbondale reports a good crappie and bluegill bite here in eastern coves. He says best fishing is in the evening with most fish coming on jigs. Hincks caught the crappie pictured below on a Colorado-blade spinnerbait.
Illinois hunting and fishing

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)
Fishing good here says Reed. Crappie and bluegill good. Fish are three feet deep in six feet of water on to the banks. Minnow and tubes working. Orange and chartreuse, red and chartreuse or blue and white colors working says Garner. Bass tournament this weekend. Catfish are taking cutbait.

Devil’s Kitchen
SOURCE: Ron Reed, Cooksey’s Bait, Marion (618-993-3366)
Good sized crappie and bluegill here.

East Fork Lake
SOURCE: Sharon Long, Long’s Tackle Box, Robinson (618-544-2709)
Crappie and bass biting here says Long. Crappie taking little rooster tails, spinners or live bait. Bass taking just about anything. Bluegill also biting.

Lake of Egypt
SOURCE: Guide Matt Strobel (618-922-0354)
Bass and crappie are both biting well says Strobel.

Forbes Lake
SOURCE: Site manager Glenn Wegener (618-547-3381); Mike Polcyn, Mike’s Bait & Tackle Shop, Louisville (618-665-3209)
Fishing poor here with water muddy from recent rains. Crappie are being caught shallow on minnows and jigs says Wegener. A few channel cats also being picked up. Water temps at 68 degrees.

Horseshoe Lake, Alexander County
SOURCE: Jim Melton, Melton’s Fish Camp (618-776-5504)
Crappie biting good here on chartreuse jigs or minnows in a foot to a foot and a half of water near the banks. Channel cats also being picked up drifting nightcrawlers.
Crappie going good on the north end of the lake about a foot to a foot and a half deep coming in on the bank. Minnows or jigs working. Channel cats fairly good on the east side of the lake using nightcrawlers.

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 using glide or crankbaits, bucktails and spinnerbaits says Nutty. A few being caught with top waters. Crappie mostly spawned out but a few are shallow and biting on minnow or jigs. Largemouth bass good back in the shallows on small jerk baits, twitch and minnow, spinner baits or jig and pig around heavy laydowns. Catfish bite good on nightcrawlers, cut shad, large innows, green sunfish or shrimp. Bluegill good on waxworms or mealworms, red wigglers or bits of nightcrawler. A few incidental walleye being caught.

Little Grassy Lake
SOURCE: Shirley Lowery, Little Grassy Boat Dock (618-457-6655)
Crappie hitting here says Reed, with most fish on minnows around the docks a good location with plenty of sunken Christmas trees. Bass on a good bite, with fish up to 8 pounds being caught on spinnerbaits. Bluegills just starting to bite on crickets. Catfish also starting but not much yet on chicken livers.

Newton Lake
SOURCE: Ruth Rauch, Rauch’s Bait & Tackle, Newton (618-752-2151)
Outage at power plant, which may last for another week, and heavy weekend rains really slowing things down here. Anglers are still catching some bass using plastic worms or crankbaits in 3-5 feet of water. Bass moving back off the points and can be found around boat ramp and dam areas. Channel cats being picked up on large minnows.

Rend Lake
SOURCE: Jason Johns (618-927-3432); Todd Gessner (618-513-0520); Bill Hudnall, Rend Lake Sporting Goods, Mount Vernon (618-242-2191)
Crappie on a fair to good bite moving in the bushes. One to three feet of water best. Look in warmer bays. Minnows and jig or jig and cork, split shot with a minnow working good. Bass are also in the bushes but on a slow bite. Catfish bite very good.


Click here for water level information.

Des Plaines River
SOURCE: Andrew Ragas
After a period of some recent high water, the river is getting back to respectable levels in terms of fishing and wading. Temperatures are holding steady in the 55 to 60 degree range. At the moment, the fishing can be summarized as weird along the lines of inconsistent, and as a result, angling pressure has been fairly light all along the river. However, best bets on catching fish are still on Northern Pike with nothing much of anything else. Go figure. Fish up to the mid-20’s are commonly being reported mainly in the southwest suburbs with the best action taking place in mid-afternoons and early evenings. Larger fish being found down south, with smaller fish mostly up north. Dan Sims reports that most active fish are in close to shoreline cover and are “All over Mepps spinners with #2, #3, and #4 blades.” In addition to that, anglers are also having success throwing jerkbaits and drifting shiners beneath floats. Best areas with active fish at this time are deeper pools and shoreline eddies, emerging mid-river weedbeds, and laydowns. Besides, the river, the creeks at this time are showing the most signs of species diversity. Small Walleyes, decent Largemouth Bass, Carp, and even more Pike. Most fish are being caught around dusk and into early evenings on minnowbaits around current areas with hard bottom.
Click here for a Des Plaines River fishing forum.

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

Fox River
SOURCE: Batavia Bait & Tackle (630-879-1302)
• Ken Gortowski told Dale Bowman he planned to fish creeks this week instead of spending time on the main river.
SOURCE: Jim Hardy, Big Jim’s Bait & Tackle, Ottawa (815-434-3921)
Very few reports from here. Catfish should start soon.
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 white bass are fair. Fish sizes are improving and fish are taking jig and minnow or anything flashy. A few smallmouth also biting. Catfish still slow.
SOURCE: Carol Culjan at Cajun Sporting Goods in Utica (815-667-4222)
• Near Utica fishing is starting to get good again as the river is going down and cleaning up and white bass should start running strong. “The stripers are just coming in and this warm weather will turn them on,” Carol Culjan said. White bass should be biting at the dam and all along the river in traditional spring spots. Jigs and minnows or flashy baits are good options. Sauger have slowed dramatically with a few still biting on the Peru flats and an occasional fish caught at Plum Island. Lots of drum perch also biting.
SOURCE: Time on the Water Outdoors, Spring Valley (815-663-1000)
• Near Spring Valley the sauger biting are mostly males and smaller fish says Jordan Hubinsky of Time on the Water. Best spots are Peru Flats and across from the St. Bede beaches. White bass have been in 10-20 feet but are moving shallower. Good reports across from the Vermillion River.
SOURCE: Merle Keefer, Pekin Bass & Bow (309-347-3334); Tim Presley, Presley’s Outdoors, Bartonville (309-697-1193)
• Near Peoria some reports of channel catfish on dip-bait and nightcrawlers. Timber fishing has been fair but is going away. White bass should be started.
SOURCE: Paul Dinkheller, Dink’s, Lewistown (309-547-1094)
• Near Havana bass are fair on crankbaits and spinnerbaits.
SOURCE: Tom’s Bait Shop in Beardstown (217-323-BAIT)
• Near Beardstown river fishing is pretty good. Some channel catfish are coming on nightcrawlers and cut shad or shad guts, which is scarce. Some also taking cheesebaits. Timber fishing has been good but water is dropping. Bass have been fair in the backwaters on spinnerbaits. Look for white bass in areas where water is running over levees as the river drops.

Kankakee River
SOURCE: Ed Mullady, Sportsman’s Letter (815-932-7285)
River conditions have improved nicely and the bite is good for several species says Mullady. He advises that walleye are good around Momence, below Kankakee and Wilmington Dams. Also at Kankakee River State Park on *jig and minnow *jig and crawler Rattlin’ Rogues, jointed lures. Pike good at creek mouths, in-water logs on bigger plugs, minnows. Rock bass good throughout river on minnows*red worms *spinners*streamer flies. Catfishing good throughout entire river in Indiana,Illinois on *cheesebaits *minnows *worms.

Mackinaw River
SOURCE: Guide Jonn Graham (309-399-7055)
The Mack is in nice shape says Graham. Water clarity about two feet. Little tough to wade, but doable. Catching a few smallies in and around clearly defined current breaks with a strong eddy on one side. Swim jig and spinnerbaits both catching fish.

Illinois hunting and fishing
Mississippi River
John Rumoro caught this big flathead near Genoa while vertical jigging for walleye. The 52-inch fish weighed more than 40 pounds and was Dale Bowman’s Fish of the Week. He landed the fish on a medium-light St. Crox Avid Series rod. Here are pool-by-pool reports from the Iowa DNR.

Mississippi River Pool 12
River stage at Dubuque is 12.24 feet and dropping.  Water clarity is fair and water temperature is in the middle 50s.  Anglers should be on the look out for radio tagged white crappie in Pool 12.  Tags are attached externally to the dorsal fin and we ask that these fish be released or the tags returned from harvested fish.  Northern Pike - Fair: A few pike are being caught in O’Learys Lake on jigs and stick baits.  Bluegill - Slow: A few bluegills are being caught in the marinas around docks on small jigs with wax worms.  A lot of small fish.  Crappie - Slow: A few crappie are being caught in the marinas around the docks on jigs tipped with minnows.  Sauger - Slow: Sauger are biting in the tail waters on jigs or three way rigs tipped with minnows.  Walleye - Slow: Walleye are biting in the tail waters and the Catfish Creek area on jigs, three way rigs, or crankbaits.

Mississippi River Pool 13
River stage at Bellevue is 11.6 feet and is falling.  Water clarity is fair and water temperature is in the middle 50s.  Crappie - Slow: A few crappie are being caught out of South Sabula Lake and the marina in Sabula.  Sauger - Slow: Sauger fishing has been fair in the tail waters.  Most fish are coming along the Iowa shoreline on three way rigs or jigs tipped with minnows.  Walleye - Slow: A few walleye are being caught in the tail waters by sauger anglers and above Pleasant Creek.

Mississippi River Pool 14
River stage at Camanche is 15.59 feet and is forecast to crest at 15.7 feet on Saturday then begin to drop.  Water clarity is poor and water temperature is in the low 50s.  Crappie - Slow: Crappie are being caught in the sand pits and backwaters away from current and in cleaner water.  Walleye - Fair: With the high water, there are reports of walleyes being caught in the backwaters.

For fishing information in Pool 12-15 of the Mississippi River contact the Bellevue Fish Management and Research Station at 563-872-4976

Mississippi River Pool 16
River stage at Lock and Dam 15 is 12.46 feet and falling. Fishing has been slow.  Channel Catfish - Fair: Some channel catfish are being caught on night crawlers.  White Bass - Fair: There are reports of some white bass being caught around the opening of Sunset Marina in the main river. Try casting jigs/twisters, small crankbaits, or in-line spinners.  Bluegill - Slow: Bluegill fishing in Sunset Marina and the Andalusia Islands has been slow.  Crappie - Slow: Crappie fishing in Sunset Marina and the Andalusia Island complex has been slow.  Sauger - Slow:  Walleye - No Report:

Mississippi River Pool 17
River stage at Lock and Dam 16 is 12.17 feet and falling. Fishing has been slow. Most fishing reports are coming from area lakes and ponds.  Channel Catfish - No Report:  White Bass - No Report:  Bluegill - No Report:  Crappie - No Report:  Sauger - No Report:  Walleye - No Report:

Mississippi River Pool 18
River stage at Lock and Dam 17 is 14.05 feet and falling. River conditions are still high and fishing has been slow. Many of the boat ramps are under water. Most fishing reports are coming from area lakes and ponds.  Channel Catfish - No Report:  White Bass - No Report:  Bluegill - No Report:  Crappie - No Report:  Walleye - No Report:

Mississippi River Pool 19
River stage at Lock and Dam 18 is 10.29 feet and falling. Flood stage is 10 feet. River conditions are high and fishing has been slow. Most fishing reports are coming from area lakes and ponds.  Channel Catfish - No Report:  White Bass - No Report:  Bluegill - No Report:  Crappie - No Report:  Walleye - No Report:

Mississippi River Pools 16-20: Fishing has been slow on pools 16-20 due to high water. Most fishing reports have been coming from area ponds and lakes. River levels are forecasted to fall over the weekend. Water temperature is around 57 degrees. Many of the boat ramps are closed due to high water. For more fishing information contact the Fairport Fish Hatchery at 563-263-5062.

Rock River
SOURCE: Jan Prose at TJ’s Bait/Tackle & Canoe Rental in Oregon (815-732-4516)
• Near Oregon few people have been out fishing said Prose. A few guys have been catching some walleye on chartreuse and blue pearl with salt and pepper flake jigs tipped with minnows. Occasional smallmouth bass. Catfish are starting to pick up on minnows and nightcrawlers.

Spoon River
SOURCE: Al Hayden, Al’s Sporting Goods, Galesburg and Paul Dinkheller at Dink’s in Lewistown (309-547-1094)
Dipbait has been producing some nice cats from Maquon and south says Hayden. Catfish are very good below the Bernadotte Dam says Dinkheller. Nightcrawlers are producing big catches of channel cats from 2-3 pounds. Anglers are fishing sides of the dam and steps below it.