Northern Illinois Fishing Report – June 28th, 2013
Chain: The walleyes are really starting to turn on all over the chain. Jig and minnow combinations or spinner rigs with nightcrawlers are the best producers. Strong reports of good panfish have been coming in. Small ice jigs under a float or bobber. The shallow portions of the bays seem to be producing quite well. Bass have been hitting Rattletraps fished in the shallower areas as well as slow rolled spinnerbaits near the bottom. Look for the inside edges of weedbeds that are good transition points between cover and their spawning areas.
Braidwood: Catfish are being caught on bottom rigs tipped with crawlers or other cut bait.
The largemouths are slowing down but are still being found on the secondary drop-offs with large profile baits like a jig and pig or by fishing the shallower areas bouncing a crankbait or spoonplug off of the rocks and the bottom.
Always keep an eye on the flags at the launch, as they will give you an indication if it is safe to be on the water and when you should take caution. Green is good, yellow is caution, and red is dangerous.
LaSalle: The lake has begun to slow down for both the boat and the shore angler. Shore anglers have been catching the occasional hybrid strippers on chicken livers. Blue cats are also being caught on live bait or crankbaits. The boaters have been catching multiple species trolling crankbaits near the rip-rap as well as working some of the deeper structure that is in the lake. Smallmouth and largemouth bass as well as the occasional walleye can and are being caught on rattletraps and bladebaits. The fish are pushing down to the sections near the dikes where the rock meets the mud bottom. Carolina rigging smaller sized plastics as well as drop-shotting can be very productive. Wacky-rigged senkos have been putting a number of bass in the boats as well.
Heidecke: The hybrid stripers have been taken by shore fishermen on chicken livers and by boaters trolling cranks or casting the riprap. The walleye bite is picking up with some large fish being taken on live bait or by trolling spinner rigs with nightcrawlers. White bass and yellow bass will also come while trolling the spinner rigs. Cast the rip-rap with crankbaits like a Rattletrap or other tight wobble baits. These will often produce a reaction strike that can help put more fish in the boat. There have also been reports of the occasional muskie being caught. Take caution as the water is up and this means that the bridge to go under to the north side is too low and you risk damage to your rig if you try to go under.
Lake Michigan: North harbors are experiencing the June lull. Few reports of limits are coming in, but the fish are still there. Cohos and a mix of kings and steelhead are reported. Flasher fly combos and magnum spoons in 80-100 feet of water. Boaters in the deeper areas are having better luck.
The south end is still showing good limits of coho and kings. Flasher/fly and brighter colored spoons have been top producers.
Good catches of smallmouths are being reported by those targeting them. The best producers are goby imitating jigs or dropshot rigs with 4-inch minnow style plastics. Jerkbaits are also showing some good action.
The shore anglers on Navy pier as well as some of the downtown harbors have reported some great catches of perch. Minnows on crappie rigs are doing best. The offshore bite has slowed down but if you can find the schools you can get on some big fish.