Northern Illinois Fishing Report – November 29th, 2012


Officials have begun the draw-down and the water levels are getting low. This has pushed the fish deeper and has certainly changed the way the fish are reacting. The walleye action is good with live bait. Reports show good catches in the river channels and mouths of the creeks throughout the day. The flats are also holding fish as well. Jerkbaits in the low light are producing aggressive strikes. Shad color or chartreuse are doing the best.
The bass bite is slowing down. Live bait rigged on the breaks is producing some bites. Wooden boat docks are holding fish during the day as they warm the water faster.
Panfish are still good right now as well. Ice jigs under slip floats or small spoons worked in the deeper areas. Live bait is working well, however plastics are still getting some of the larger fish to bite.
Muskie action is hit and miss, but having suckers is key to big fish. Fish are showing themselves on Channel and Catherine lakes in the deeper water areas. Big suckers as well as bucktails are the baits of choice.

Lake Michigan (Chicago Area)

The brown trout bite is starting to get hot on the lakefront. Spawn sacs under a float or small tube jigs worked about 6-feet down under a good slip float. Jerkbaits and other minnow baits are doing well as well as jigging with white jerkbaits or twisters.
Steelhead are also showing up in the harbors and pink spawn sacks on the bottom or suspended under a float are key.
The lake trout bite is hot on the south end. Troll the reefs with smoke or clown dodgers with white or yellow spin-n-glows. Jigging with gulp or large white twisters has also been taking fish.
Navy pier and the downtown harbors should start to produce some perch. The fish are ranging in size and a lot of sorting is required, but crappie rigs with fathead minnows seem to be the best bet. Launching out of 95th Street and fishing the channel and surrounding lakefront are usually good for perch. Fishing bottom rigs with minnows and feather-tied hooks has been a top producer.
There have been some really good reports from the city harbors of good-size smallmouths being caught. The smallmouths are being caught all the way down into the Portage area of Indiana. Goby-style baits on jigs as well as “drop-shot” rigs are putting some good fish in the boat. With the cooling water, these fish are really starting to feed up for the winter.

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