Northern Illinois Fishing Reports

Northern Illinois Fishing Report- September 19th, 2014

Chain: The panfish bite is very consistent. Fish small jigs tipped with spikes or waxies under a slip float. Fish the weedbeds and set your depth to just above the weeds. The largemouths have moved into the channels and the heavy mats of weeds. Fishing a scum frog or other weedless bait has been producing some good bass as well as northern pike. The muskie fishing has been hit or miss with some real monsters being boated recently. 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.

Shabbona: Crappies are biting but numbers are greatly reduced. Crappies can be found over deeper fishing cribs with minnows or hugging the bottom of tree lines in about 20 feet of water. The bass bite is slow, but they can be caught using scum frogs in the evening in thicker emerging weeds. The muskie bite is slow. Walleyes are biting in the evening on leechers around rock piles in steeper dropoffs.

Braidwood: Catfish are good on shrimp and cheese bait. Bluegills very good on waxworms and red worms at Mazonia. Good bass fishing at Mazonia, but clear water can make for tough fishing.

Forest Preserve Lakes: Crappies and bluegills both slow. Channel cats biting on stinkbaits, nightcrawlers and chicken livers. Flatheads biting on big roaches, bluegills, sucker minnows and carp. Bass fishing steady using medium roach minnows, soft plastics, lizards and worms. Pike biting in good numbers on roach minnows.

Heidecke: Walleye fishing good on crawlers and jigs. Catfish fair, with several from 4 to 6 pounds reported on stinkbait or crawlers.

Lake Michigan (Chicago Area): Chinook salmon will soon begin their annual fall run into the harbors for their spawn. The changing water will bring the fish in and they can be being caught casting glow spoons worked near the bottom or crankbaits fished very slowly. Waukegan has reported sporadic good catches of coho and kings with the downtown harbors reporting sporadic catches of fish.

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Central Fishing Illinois Reports

Central Illinois Fishing Report - September 19th, 2014

Lake Bloomington: Hybrid stripers are fair, with best action early and just before dusk when fish are chasing shad on the surface and hitting jigs or Roadrunners. Bass 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. Late evenings are best. 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: Bass have been good in shallows and coves. Walleyes are good over newly covered rock and riprap. Crappies are spotty. Muskies are being caught in deeper waters.

Evergreen Lake: Many reports of crappies being caught. A lot of sorting was done in order to find the keepers, but they were being caught. Most of the larger fish were caught in 10-15 feet of water, many smaller fish caught in shallower water. Bass were doing well, with many fish being caught early morning on top water baits. There was an 8-pound, 4-ounce lunker caught near the dam by a submerged tree in 6 feet of water on a red and white spinnerbait. Several reports of small muskies being caught by anglers fishing for bass with topwater baits.

Clinton Lake: Catfish very good on guts, shrimp and shad. Crappies being caught with jigs or minnows. A few walleyes and bass decent on buzzbaits. White bass fair on bladebaits. Some walleyes on Big Dudes. 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 - September 19th, 2014

Crab Orchard Lake: Crappie action has improved most recently. Most fish are being located in 8-10 feet of water over submerged cover, rip rap or bridge pillars. Minnows and jigs are equally effective. Catfish action is still fair. Catfish are being caught on leeches and cut bait. Bluegills are still holding close to the bank and can be caught on wax worms, crickets and red wigglers. Bass are still active in the shallows, feeding on shad around the weedbeds.
Horseshoe Lake: Fishing traffic has been light. Most anglers on the lake are targeting catfish. The best success has been by anglers drift fishing nightcrawlers just off the bottom in the middle of the lake. A few crappies are being taken from brush piles at the outside edge of the tree lines. Minnows have been the primary bait. Bluegill and bass action is slow.

Carlyle Lake: White bass are biting well below the spillway, with a few fish coming from near the trestles and the silos. Whites are also biting on the main lake on the flats. 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. Cut bait also working as are slab spoons thrown up along the wall. Crappie action is good below the dam.

Lake Murphysboro: Catfish have been fair to good near the dam or in areas with heavy cover. The best action has been on nightcrawlers and red wigglers. Other anglers have been reporting good success with crickets fished during the evening. Bluegills are holding in 3-5 feet of water. Most fish are being caught on wax worms and crickets. Crappies are hard to find. Crappies are holding on structure right on the bottom in 12-15 feet. Minnows are the primary bait. Bass action has been slow.

Kinkaid Lake: Catfish and bluegills are the prime targets. Catfish are primarily being caught on nightcrawlers throughout the lake. Bluegills are being caught on wax worms and meal worms. Most bluegills are holding in 6-8 feet of water near weedbeds and dropoffs. 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. Walleye and muskie action is slow.

Lake of Egypt: Bass action has been upgraded to fair. Anglers are taking some fish early in the mornings and late in the evenings, flipping soft plastics to openings in the weedbeds. Catfish and crappie action is slow. Some crappies are being caught over deep cover, but overall crappie action is slow. Some bluegills are still being caught in shallow areas around the bank, but most fish are running small.

Little Grassy: Catfish are being caught throughout the lake, primarily on nightcrawlers. Bass anglers are reporting the best action around the weedbeds. Most bass are being caught on spinnerbaits. Some crappie anglers are picking up fish over cover in 15-20 feet of water. Minnows are the primary bait. Bluegills are being caught in good numbers, but fish are running small. Most bluegills are still in 5-8 feet of water and can be caught on wax worms, crickets and red wigglers.

Rend Lake: Catfish and white bass action is still good while all other species are slow. Catfish are being caught near Gun Creek, the subimpoundment dams and rip rap areas on liver, nightcrawlers, large shiners, stinkbaits and leeches. Other anglers are reporting success drift fishing shrimp in shallow areas. White bass are rated good on curlytail jigs, gay blades and large minnows. Gay blades are producing the best results along rip rap while jigs have been more successful around the flats. Crappie action has slowed, although some fish are being caught in 6-10 feet of water over Christmas tree sets and bridge pillars. Minnows, chartreuse, white and pink/green jigs have produced the best success. Bass are slow with some fish being caught around Jackie Branch, Gun Creek 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.

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Illinois Rivers Fishing Reports

Illinois Rivers Fishing Report - September 19th, 2014

Illinois River: The sauger bite is slow with fish being caught near the tailwaters of dams or on the flats vertical jigging jigs with minnows or pulling “three-way rigs.” The white bass are starting to hit well up on “flats” on the river. White jig and twister combos with a minnow are productive. Bladebaits will put some of the larger fish in the boat as well as a good chance at a nice sauger. There has been a lack of shad hatches, and they are pretty tough to find as well as the channel cats that feed on them. Try looking for lower current areas. Shad guts or pieces of fresh shad fished on the bottom will pull some of the big channel cats.

Du Page River: Fish are concentrating themselves. Flowing water can be cooler by as much as 3 to 5 degrees as compared to elsewhere on the river. Concentrate on these types of areas for all species of fish. Pike reports slow, but both largemouth and smallmouth bass are surprisingly active with the heat, as are the usual channel catfish.

Fox River (McHenry and Algonquin dam areas): According to Dave Kranz, with the cooler nights and leaves starting to change colors and fall, we can only hope for some good fall fishing. Muskie fishing with 10- to 12-inch suckers is one of the many good fall bites. Walleye and white bass stage just below the dams and in current breaks to put on their fall feed bag. Use a 1⁄8-ounce jig head with a extra large size fathead minnow to catch them. Bluegills and crappies will take a wax worm on an ice fishing jig.

Mississippi River (Grafton to East Moline): Channel catfish fair. Try fishing along the shoreline or edges of flooded vegetation for best results. You do not need to cast far out to catch nice catfish. Stinkbaits or crawlers are the baits of choice. Bluegill fishing is excellent. Larger bluegills and other sunfish are being caught now along the bank with bobbers and worms. The fishing walkway in Guttenberg has been a popular location. Edge of weedlines throughout the pool, especially in areas of brush piles, has also been popular. Smallmouth bass fishing is fair. Some smallmouths are being caught fishing near rocks in good current. Try drifting nightcrawlers or using artificial lures such as an in-line spinner. Largemouth bass fishing is rated good. Largemouths can be caught along shorelines with woody debris. Small spinners or jigs will work best. Many anglers are using plastic frogs and worms to eliminate problems with floating weeds. Crappie fishing is fair. Some crappies are being caught on minnows in Mud Lake and Sunfish Lake. Fishing for yellow perch is fair. There have been some reports of good catches of yellow perch in the sloughs around Guttenberg. Some very large yellow perch can be found in the Mississippi River. Meanwhile, sauger fishing is slow. There have been some reports of sauger being caught in the tail waters and out on the wing dams.

Mississippi River (Anna-Gorham): Channel catfishing is good. Channel catfish are being taken using stinkbait and crawlers. Don’t be afraid to move around, if fishing slows in one area move and find active fish. Areas to try are side sloughs, main channel border and the upstream side of wing dams. With water still high for summer levels, fish are still scattered making it difficult for anglers to find good catches. Fishing should improve as water levels drop. Walleye fishing is rated fair.

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