Northern Illinois Fishing Reports
Northern Illinois Fishing Report - May 17th, 2013
Posted on Thu, 16 May 2013
The smallmouth bass have started to feed in the warmer water areas. The best producers are larger profile shad color jigs worked slowly or dropshot rigs with 4-inch minnow style plastics. Goby imitating baits also have been starting to work well. Work areas near steel walls, as they tend to warm quicker in the sun. Find good transitions of large rock and small rock as well and you should find the fish willing to hit your offerings.
The walleyes are really starting to turn on around the channels and the bridges. Bouncing jig and minnow combinations around the pilings has been putting some nice fish in the boats. The main lake areas are starting to get a good green weed growth. With this growth brings a good panfish bite. Small ice jigs under a float tipped with live bait is the ticket here. The shallow portions of the bays seem to be producing quite well also. Find the newer weeds in 8 feet of water or less and the gills will be there, but look for deeper water for the white bass and crappies.
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 slow. White bass will also come while trolling the spinner rigs. Cast the riprap with crankbaits like a Rattletrap or other tight wobble baits. These often will produce a reaction strike that can help put more fish in the boat. There have also been reports of the occasional muskie being caught.
Shore anglers have been bringing in good catches of hybrid strippers on chicken livers. Blue cats are also being caught on live bait or crankbaits. The boaters have been doing well on all 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 blade baits.
Central Fishing Illinois Reports
Central Illinois Fishing Report - May 17th, 2013
Posted on Thu, 16 May 2013
The crappie bite is picking up on minnows. Bass fishing is slow. Water conditions are murky.
Bass good. Crappies are a big question mark after a poor fall and few reports this spring so far. Catfish good.
Bass slow. Crappies biting on tube jigs at the south end bays. Channel cats also biting on shad at the big turn on the south end.
Crappies are being caught on minnows. Bluegill fishing has been slow, and a few being caught on worms. Catfish have been very slow on worms and stinkbaits.
Fishing below the spillway has been slow, with efforts to drop the lake. Conditions are better late in the day for muskies and walleyes. Walleyes are active below spillway. Best to use jigs and twisters or shad bodies. On main lake, fishing has been slow, with high water, but some crappies are being caught on sunny days. Jigs over deadfall trees are working on the main lake. Some fish on the north, shallow end. Large bass being caught with a mixture of spinners, crankbaits, jigs or plastics. Muskies are also becoming active, though water levels are affecting the fish.
Crappies are biting the best. Average fish being caught are in the 8- to 9-inch range with many larger fish being reported. Hot baits right now are minnows and tube jigs. Fish are being caught in 2-5 feet of water near structure. Bass reports are few and far between. Many smaller ones being caught, but no lunkers being reported.
Crappies, white bass, stripers, walleyes and largemouth bass biting hard. Jigs and minnows, twister tails and spinnerbaits working well. Bank fishermen having luck with crappies, white bass and largemouths. Some catfish being caught on liver and nightcrawlers.
Bass biting on spinners and waxworms. Catfish biting stinkbait and worms. Crappies spotty. Reports of big flathead being caught.
Crappie bite picking up on minnows. Bass slow. Channel cats being taken on shad. Crappies have been good on jigs fished in or near hot water area, with many small ones. White and yellow bass are good on jigs and bladebaits in or near warm water areas.
Crappie bite still good in shallow on minnows and jigs. Bass biting on river worms, or big shiners in the east arm near the hot arm.
Southern Illinois Fishing Reports
Southern Illinois Fishing Report - May 17th, 2013
Posted on Thu, 16 May 2013
Crab Orchard Lake
Fishing is good across the board. Crappies have moved to the banks. Anglers are taking fish on minnows and jigs. Bass have also moved into shallow areas and around the points. Fish can be taken on a variety of baits around shoreline cover. Bluegill action has also been good on crickets and wax worms. Catfish anglers are reporting good success on cut bait, leeches, stink baits and minnows.
Largemouth bass have slowed. Bluegills are biting on worms in 6 to 8 feet of water. Crappie and catfish fishing has been fair.
Crappies and catfish best. Catfish taking cut shad and shad guts off rocks by Keysport. Crappies biting on minnows, jigs, tube jigs by Hazlet State Park. Sauger hit and miss, if they can be found. White bass are said to be hungry for jigs. Bluegill fishing is fair on worms.
Largemouth bass action has slowed. Bluegills are biting on worms in 6 to 8 feet of water. Crappies and catfish fishing has been fair.
Muskie fishing improving on Rat-L-Traps, twitch minnows, spinnerbaits and soft plastics. Bluegills fair to good on crickets, waxworms, medium worms, red wigglers and night crawlers in outer edges of weedbeds. Catfish fair to good on night crawlers, cut shad, crickets. Largemouth action slow to fair, best with jig and pig around deep submerged tree tops or laydowns. Also use plastic lizards, keep driving crankbaits. White bass also taking crappie minnows, small crankbaits, small diving crankbaits. Walleyes are taking deep diving crankbaits or jig and minnow combos by the rip-rap areas or the dam.
Lake of Egypt
Bass action has been fair to good. Crappie action has been improving. Anglers are taking fair numbers of fish. Some anglers are still catching fish with eggs. Minnows and jigs are equally effective. Most crappies are still holding in shallow water. Catfish action is slow.
Crappies have been biting on minnows, mostly in cover in about 15 to 20 feet of water. Bass action has improved but remains slow. Plastic worms have worked best. Bluegills are running small and biting on late-season grasshoppers and worms.
Catfish are the best bet. Fish are being caught on nightcrawlers, shrimp and leeches. The best action has been around stumps in shallow areas. Crappie action has been fair at best although fish have begun the migration to buck brush. There are some reports of bluegills being caught in ponds around the lake. Bass are moving shallow. The bluegill bite has been slow.
Central Illinois Fishing Reports
Illinois Fishing Reports for Rivers - April 5th, 2013
Posted on Thu, 04 Apr 2013
The smallmouth action is heating up. Fishing live minnows with a small hook and a few split shot in the current can really produce some nice fish. Walleyes are on the move and are being taken on jig and minnows in the warming hours of the day. Structure is key. Look for the bridge pilings or wood that would warm up first. Fish are being taken near the dams as well on jig and minnow combinations.
The Ottawa pool has started to produce a decent sauger bite. Fish are being caught on jig and minnows as well as pulling three-way rigs with stickbaits. Take caution this time of year as the rivers flow can change.