Illinois Fishing Reports for Rivers – February 8th, 2013
Smallmouths are slow, but if you can find a warm-water discharge, you are likely to find some good fish in the area. Live bait this time of year is a key advantage. With the cold water and ice, the river can be dangerous this time of year for wading. If you go out, check the flows first. Remember to bundle up and be cautious when wading. Be careful out there as the river is unpredictable.
Walleyes and saugers are slow. Jigs with live bait and trolling three-way rigs have been most effective. The fish are being found on the flats that are created in the inside river bends.
The white bass bite is also picking up with bladebaits and jig/twister combinations working well.
Vertical jigging jigs with minnows or using a floater jig and lindy rigging minnows have been doing well for saugers that are biting. Also casting or vertical jigging blade-style baits. Pulling three-way rigs has also started to put some fish in the boats. Three-way rigs with jigs and twisters or hair jigs seem to be producing the better catches. Check the water conditions prior to heading out as the river at this stage can get dicey.
Des Plaines River
The walleyes have been found using hair jigs. The bite has been best in areas near warm-water discharges.
There have been some good catches of largemouth bass near these discharges as well caught using crankbaits banged off rocks and other structures. Good numbers of northern pike are also to be found fishing live bait under a float or throwing inline spinners and jerkbaits.