Northern Illinois Fishing Report – January 11th, 2013
Fox Chain O’ Lakes
There is ice on the channels and most of the main lakes. The ice is thin averaging about 3 inches in the channels but thinner in the main lake areas. Phone the local bait shops in the areas before going out.
The channels have been producing good catches of panfish on small tungsten jigs tipped single spikes. There are little reports on walleyes and bass as the launches are all frozen over and the bigger water is not safe for travel yet.
Pistakee Bay has been producing some good catches of white bass fishing the 15-foot depths. The crappie bite also has been good, finding them is the hard part. They have been suspending on the breaklines near deeper water. The north end of Channel Lake has been producing some good catches of panfish. The weeds are still green and are holding some good quality fish.
Reports of perch from Navy Pier are good. Smaller fish are around with some big ones mixed in. Double rigs with minnows or shrimp are being effective. Some larger fish are being caught on small flukes and other plastics. Remember to bring a net as the occasional trout can be in the mix.
There are reports of perch being caught around 95th Street. Standard fare of double rigs with shrimp or minnows is working.
The brown trout bite is hot on the lakefront. Spawn sacs under a float or small tube jigs worked about 6 foot down under a good slip float. Jerkbaits and other minnow baits are doing well as well as jigging with white jerkbaits or twisters.
Steelhead action is good. Pink spawn sacks on the bottom or suspended under a float are key.
Fishing with spawn sacs in a pink or chartreuse color under a float or on the bottom will offer a great opportunity for one of these tough fighters. Tinsel jigs as well as tube jigs under floats are also producing fish.
Downtown harbors are producing some decent catches of perch. The fish are running small in size so a lot of sorting is required, but crappie rigs with shrimp or fathead minnows seem to be producing the best. Some anglers are having good luck utilizing the belly meat of the perch as well. Artificial plastics such as small minnow-style plastics rigged on double rigs and pulled along the weedbeds can produce some of the larger fish. Fishing bottom rigs with minnows and feather-tied hooks has also been good producer.