Northern Illinois Fishing Reports

Northern Illinois Fishing Report- August 22nd, 2014

Lake Michigan:  Yellow perch are spotty. Northeast winds and thunderstorms have affected the perch fishing. If summertime weather holds up, perch should be hitting both for boaters and shore fishermen. Chinook are very deep. Fishermen are going to the north and south reefs. North reef is better, fishing in 175 to 220 feet of water. Bigger kings and lakers are there. On the south end, spotty reports of perch, with the fish moving in and out of the harbors. Minnows and softshells are working when the fish are cooperating.

Chain: Most reports have shown that the fish have pushed into the deeper basins as the water has warmed up.  Channel cats are hitting nightcrawlers as well as cut shad. Crappies have been suspending over the deep water and small crankbaits or minnows under slip floats are doing well. Largemouths are being found in their usual spots and fishing frogs over the heavy weeds in the evening has been a great way to find them. Muskie action is slow and the northern lakes are your best bet. Trolling large crankbaits along the breaklines has been the choice of many fishermen.

Braidwood: The catfish bite is really hot and heavy. Both shore and boat fishermen have been showing good catches of fish, however the overall size is small. Cut bait as well as stinkbait have done well for the smaller cats, but larger baits are key to the larger cats. The panfish bite is good, but the size of fish is small. Bass are being found with spinnerbaits and crankbaits near the secondary drop-offs.

Heidecke Lake: The walleye bite is day to day, but the best bite has been trolling shad raps or nightcrawler harnesses. It really hasn’t mattered if you are on the north or south side, both sides are producing nice fish when you can find them. The stripers are also being caught trolling minnowbaits or by shore fishermen fishing chicken livers on the bottom. The bass bite, both large and smallmouth, has been really slow. Fish a Carolina-rigged finesse worm parallel to shore fishing the transition of the rock to mud bottom. The fish are using this structure as a place to ambush prey. There have been several reports of good muskies being caught on the lake. These fish are really starting to show up in good numbers and smaller twitchbaits are the key to catch them. The north side has been producing a bit better than the south, but it is just good to see these fish starting to show up in numbers.

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Central Fishing Illinois Reports

Central Illinois Fishing Report - August 22nd, 2014

Springfield: Largemouth bass fair using plastics, spinners and crankbaits with a few on topwater. Channel cats fair to good using most baits. White bass spotty using bladebaits and jig/twister.

Vermilion: Crappies good. Look for fish in deep water near 10 to 12 feet with minnows. Channel cats fair. Some fish are being taken near weedbeds with nightcrawlers.

Coffeen: Largemouth bass good using artificial lures, nightcrawlers and minnows.   Bluegills good using nightcrawlers  and minnows. Channel cats good using Sonnys Stink Bait, shrimp and nightcrawlers.

Sangchris: Largemouth bass fair using plastics, jig/plastics, spinners/swimming minnows and crankbaits along deep breaks, outer weedlines or near timber with some on topwater early.  Bluegills fair, but mostly small using waxies and crickets along weededges in the west arm.   Channel cats good using cut baits, nightcrawlers and dip bait.

Silver: Bass good using spinnerbaits and buzzbaits. Channel cats excellent using nightcrawlers.   Bluegills fair using crickets and red wigglers.   Saugers fair using jigs.

Bloomington: Largemouth bass fair. Anglers using plastics, spinners, and crankbaits along the weed edges; also some being taken on topwater later in the day.   Bluegills are fair. Look for them near weed edges, docks, and sea walls with waxies and crickets; mostly smaller sizes. Channel cats are being caught on cut baits, Hoss’s hawg Bait dip baits, and liver.   Hybrid striped bass are fari. Watch for surface feeding fish in the evenings while trolling. Crappies good. Cast jigs and/or minnows around deeper docks; a few trolling; many midsized fish.

Evergreen Lake: Bass good on swimbaits, crankbaits, and plastics along the weed edges and timbered points.   Bluegills good. Many small sized fish hitting on waxies and crickets. Channel cats fair on liver, cut baits, and dip baits.   Crappies fair on jig/minnows with some tight to cover and some suspended over deeper brush, and a few while trolling.   Saugeyes are still a little slow. White bass good. Watch for fish busting the surface near big coves in the mornings and evenings.

Newton Lake: Crappies showing some action on minnows and jigs. Catfish good on nightcrawlers and dough baits.

Lake Decatur: Bass biting on spinners near weeds. Bluegills good on worms and crickets. Catfish picking up on doughs, worms and stinkbaits.

Lake Shelbyville: White bass good. Anglers picking up some fish near the end of Madison Street with Mepps Spinner baits.

Banner Marsh: Catfish are biting on worms, dip bait and shrimp. Bluegills and crappies have been getting better on minnows.

Clinton Lake: Crappies good. Cooler weather conditions make finding fish a challenge; check out deeper submerged brush; also some drifting minnows. Walleyes fair. Best to fish early and later hours; summer fishing patterns. Channel cats good. Anglers are using shad, chicken livers and dip bait. Best during early morning or later evening hours.

Dawson Lake: Crappies good. Fish are coming up into shallower water levels and biting on minnows and crappie jigs. Largemouth bass good.  Look for fish in the center of the lake across from the beach with top water lures.   Channel cats good. Some fish are in the shallows along the edges and being caught with nightcrawlers or stinkbait.

Decatur Lake: Largemouth bass good. Anglers are finding some fish while trolling topwater lures. Channel cats fair. Leeches are attracting attention near the bridge.

Emiquon Preserve: Bass being caught on buzzbaits, crankbaits and spinners. Catfish good on stinkbaits.

Mazonia Lakes: Bass hitting topwaters and spinners. Bluegills slowing but still being caught on worms. Catfish are small but biting on liver.

Mattoon: Crappies poor. Look for fish in deep water levels near submerged brush with a minnow.   Channel cats slow. Fishing success has slowed; maybe due to cooler weather temperatures.

Mill Creek Lake: Crappies fair. Anglers finding fish in 8 feet of water, 5 to 6 feet down on the south end of the lake with minnows.   Bluegills spotty.  Search near the docks and weed lines with wax worms, crickets, or red wigglers. Bass fair.  Chase the schools of fish with top water lures or lipless lures cast just under the schools. Channel cats good. Three to 4-pound average-sized fish are being taken from the weeds or openings in the weeds with cheese bait, cut shad and dead or live chubs.

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Southern Illinois Fishing Reports

Southern Illinois Fishing Report - August 22nd, 2014

Crab Orchard Lake: Crappies are still rated good on minnows and jigs in 12 to 15 feet of water. Bluegills are still holding close to the bank and can be caught on worms and crickets. Catfish action is still good on leeches and cut bait. Bass are being caught on soft plastics, spinnerbaits and topwater baits.

Baldwin Lake: Bluegill anglers are picking up fish. Bass picking up with cooler temperatures and catfish are fair on worms.

Devils Kitchen: Trout anglers are still taking good numbers of fish near the dam. Bits of nightcrawlers fished at 10-20 feet. Bluegill action remains fair on crickets and wax worms.

Kinkaid Lake: Crappie action is fair to good. Anglers are reporting fish are suspended at 10-15 feet in about 30 feet of water. Minnows are the best bet. Bluegills are spotty and most fish are running small. Catfish are probably the best bet. Fish are being caught on a variety of baits. Bass action is spotty.

Lake Murphysboro: Catfish action has been good. Anglers are taking fish on stink baits, minnows and nightcrawlers. Crappie are holding over deep cover. Minnows are the best bet. Anglers are picking up some bluegills, but fish are trending small. Bass action is spotty.

Lake of Egypt: Some bass are being caught off the points. Soft plastics and jigs have been the best bet. Crappie anglers are still reporting success in 15-18 feet of water on minnows. Catfish action remains steady on nightcrawlers and stinkbaits. Bluegill action is slow.

Mermet Lake: Fishing has been slow across the board. Catfish action has been fair at best. Anglers are working the rip rap with nightcrawlers, minnows and stinkbaits. Some bluegill are being caught in the lily pads. Other species are slow.

Rend Lake: The lake is still about 18 inches above normal pool and water temperature has dropped back to 78 degrees. Channel catfish and crappies are still rated excellent. Crappies are being caught on pink/white quarter-ounce jigs and minnows. Fish are being caught around main lake drop-offs. Shoreline structures are also producing good catches. Catfish anglers are reporting good success on stinkbaits, nightcrawlers, minnows and leeches. Fish are being caught in 3-4 feet of water around rip-rap. Other anglers are drift fishing. Bass are rated good with the best action on soft plastics and spinner baits fished around brushy shoreline cover. Bluegills are still good on meal worms, wax worms, crickets and red wigglers fished in the backs of necks and shallow flat areas. White bass are fair around bridges on jigs and in-line spinners.

Lake Murphysboro: Catfish are good on nightcrawlers, stinkbaits and cut shad. Bass anglers are catching good numbers, but fish are running small.

Little Grassy: Crappies are being caught in 10 to 12 feet of water. Minnows and jigs are both effective. Bluegills are still good just off the beds.

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Illinois Rivers Fishing Reports

Illinois Rivers Fishing Report - August 22nd, 2014

Fox River: Fishing has really improved across the board for all species. The catfish bite has started to be best in the evening on dip baits or cut shad. The smallmouths are being caught on live minnow rigs or smaller white jigs worked near the banks that are offering slower water and more cover. Crankbaits are also working well in a crawfish color. Panfish are being found near the creek mouths and near structure.

Illinois River: The walleye and sauger bite has really slowed down. Pulling three-way rigs allows you to cover a variety of water and will help key in on their locations. Work the flats created on the current bends. Also work the flooded areas that offer reduced current that will hold fish. If you find active fish, you can switch up to vertical jigging with jig and minnows.

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