Northern Illinois Fishing Reports

Northern Illinois Fishing Report- October 17th, 2014

Chain: With the cooler days the bite has moved to a midday time frame. There have been some reports of stained water in most of the lower lakes. Water clarity is poor, and this is affecting the fishing. The water temps have dropped into the 60s, and the fish are starting to put the fall feed on.
The bass will begin to feed with the dropping water temps. The fish are relating to the green weeds, and search baits like spinnerbaits and swim jigs are doing quite well at finding the aggressive fish.  Also pitch the weeds with heavy jigs and work the weed edges from shallow into the deeper water. The bass will be cruising these weedlines looking for an easy meal.  Fish have been reported to be most active in the upper lakes. The boat docks have been holding some good fish, but bigger fish have been found in the weeds and around the channels.
The panfish bite is good as usual and the boat docks are offering good structure and shade to the fish. Wax worms on a single hook or your favorite ice jig under a slip float have done really well. Work the areas in the seven to eight feet of water near the weeds. The crappies are suspended over deeper water, as are some of the larger bluegills. Watch your graph on the breaklines, and you will find the suspended fish. Minnows or jigs under a float or small jigging spoons worked around the suspended fish have been top producers. 
In the evening, watch for birds and surface splashing, and you will find the white bass. The whites have been schooling the minnows and busting the schools at the surface. Cast inline spinners or small crankbaits into the action, and it will be non-stop fish while the school is around.
The walleye bite is starting to pick up with the cooler water temps. You will find fish mostly in the early morning hours and the evening. However, overcast days are really turning those fish on and they are hitting all day. Bouncing jig and minnow combinations near bridge pilings, in channels, and even on the weed edges are all proven to be good areas. You will want to catch the fish as they move up from the deeper water into the weedy areas.  Twitch baits like X-raps and the standard jig and minnow combinations have been catching fish. Concentrate on deep water near current areas. The upper portion of the Fox has been producing some walleyes. Troll Shad Raps on long lines and change your speeds to trigger a strike.
The muskie fishing has been starting to pick up nicely. There have been reports of some big fish being caught as well as higher numbers of fish. Fishing live suckers while casting has been the most productive pattern. Fishermen are getting a lot of follows that are not committing; however, they are taking the live bait. Look for the breaklines associated with decent weed growth. Troll or cast these edges working parallel to them with glide baits or cranks. Bucktails with large blades can really be productive at this time as well. Trolling will allow you to cover a lot of water and increase your chances of hooking up with a nice trophy.

Shabbona: This lake gets a lot of fishing pressure during the year, which can make it tough to fish at times. Good catches of catfish are being taken near the wood pilings on live bait like leeches and crawlers.  Also there have been reports of cats being caught near the earth dam on leaches suspended below a float. The bass are feeding up for the fall and are being found on the outside edges of the weeds as well as in the wood areas in the “no-motor-zone.”  Crankbaits pulled on the edges work well in the morning and switch over to soft plastics fished low and slow in the afternoon. The “no-motor-zone” can really produce some great muskie action during the morning hours and into the afternoon.  Bang minnowbaits off the wood and pause. This will often produce a reaction strike and get your heart pumping. There have been few reports on muskie fishing as of late. Trolling crankbaits along the roadbed or near the deeper timber can produce some monsters. 

Lake Michigan: The kings are in full swing for the shore fisherman. The 4-year- olds are being found in the harbors to making their way to spawn. Crankbaits in white colors as well as Glow spoons worked near the bottom with a pause and reel retrieve are best.
Waukegan has reported sporadic good catches of cohos and kings with the downtown harbors reporting really good catches of fish. There have been good reports of fish being caught north of the border in Wisconsin. With the end of the king run, this means that the steelhead and browns will soon follow.  
Trolling has picked up a bit with some limits of fish being caught off Waukegan. The fish have moved out to the deep water – depths starting at the 110-foot mark all the way out to 200 feet. The best bite is early mornings or dusk until a few hours after sunset. Trolling glow spoons or glow flasher/dodger and fly combinations have been doing well. The fish are moving around quite a bit so some searching must be done. Downriggers set down 100-110 feet with Brad’s cut plugs and magnum spoons have been productive. 
Large flasher/fly combos on dipsey divers are producing a mixed bag of kings and steelhead. Also J-Plugs are starting to produce some sizable fish. Vary your speeds up to trigger the fish. The best speeds have been around 2.8 mph. Some popular combinations for the kings and coho have been: Smoke dodger and green fly, Fishlander “Hey-Baby” Spoon, NBK flasher and green/black fly and just about anything green.
This season, there seems to be a good amount of large northern pike being caught in the harbors. Fish over 30 inches have not been uncommon.  
The perch fishing has been on and off from the shore and from the boats in the north. Spinners tipped with softshells as well as jigging spoons have been working well.
There have been good reports from the city harbors of good-sized smallmouths being caught. The smallmouths are being caught all the way down into the Portage area of Indiana. Goby-style baits on jigs as well as “drop-shot” rigs are putting some good fish in the boat. With the cooling water, these fish are really starting to feed up for the winter.

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Central Fishing Illinois Reports

Central Illinois Fishing Report - October 17th, 2014

Lake Bloomington: Bass fishing is best on jigs, chatterbaits, and soft plastics off points with timber and along the weeds in the evenings. Catfish are fair on dipbaits and crawlers. Anglers are catching crappies up to 12 inches in 12-18 feet of water. Drifting jigs is working best for these suspended fish.

Lake Shelbyville: Muskies are being caught in deeper waters. A few channel cats being caught on night crawlers and shrimp. Crappies good on minnows.

Evergreen Lake: Crappies are being caught on minnows. Bass fishing is fair using topwater baits. Bluegills are also still doing well along weed edges. Catfish are biting on stinkbaits and worms.

Clinton Lake: A few walleyes have been caught, and bass fishing is decent on buzzbaits. Reports of hybrids and walleyes below the spillway. Largemouths good on spinners and plastics.

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Southern Illinois Fishing Reports

Southern Illinois Fishing Report - October 17th, 2014

Carlyle Lake: Crappie action is good below the dam. White bass are biting well below the spillway. Channel cats are good on the lake for anglers drifting or jug fishing with cut bait or leeches. Good catches reported near Keyesport and Boulder. Flatheads are also biting on bluegills. 

Kinkaid Lake: Muskies are being caught on roosters. Some muskies topping 35 inches have been caught near the spillway area. Crappies are scattered. Some fish are being caught on minnows fished around structure. Most fish are holding in about 12 feet of water. Bass action has been slow. 

Rend Lake: Catfish are being caught near Gun Creek, the subimpoundment dams and rip-rap areas on liver, nightcrawlers, large shiners, stinkbaits and leeches. Crappie action has picked up with many being caught at bridge pillars. Minnows, chartreuse, white and pink/green jigs have produced. Bass are fair with some fish being caught around Jackie Branch and the Route 154 rip-rap on black buzzbaits, spinnerbaits, and a jig and pig. Some bluegills are being caught in shallow coves on wax worms, red wigglers and crickets.

Little Grassy: Fishing traffic has been light. Bluegill and redear anglers are picking up some fish in about 10 feet of water. Catfish action remains steady throughout the lake. Nightcrawlers are the most effective bait. Crappie fishing has slowed somewhat. Fish are still deep. A couple of  nice fish were taken recently, but numbers were down. Minnows are the primary bait. Bass action remains fair.

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Illinois Rivers Fishing Reports

Illinois Rivers Fishing Report - October 17th, 2014

Illinois River: The walleye and sauger bite has dropped off with the recent weather changes. This shut the bite down and fish are harder to find. Anglers who  are catching fish are finding them here and there and nothing is showing up as a good pattern. Trolling lead core with stickbaits or three-way rigs with the bottom weight being a jig and minnow and an F-9 Rapala on the long line. Work the flats created on the current bends. If you find active fish, you can switch up to vertical jigging with jig and minnows. The white bass are beginning to school up and feed on the dying shad. 

Fox River: The walleye bite is starting to pick up with some fish being reported at the McHenry Dam and also in the Elgin area. The fish are being caught on Gulp-style jigs as well as jerkbaits. There have been some good schools of white bass showing up as well. 
Fish are also being caught trolling a shad type bait that goes down 3 to 5 feet or a jig and minnow combo.

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