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Northern Illinois Fishing Reports

Northern Illinois Fishing Report- May 1st, 2015

Lake Michigan: Coho salmon are being found in shallow water trolling, hugging shoreline. Cohos biting mainly on peanut flies and 00 red dodgers. No deeper water reports yet.
Waukegan has cohos on the surface using large fatheads. Guys casting spoons have been on and off.
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 and small rocks as well, and you should find the fish willing to hit your offerings.
Government Pier and Johnson’s Pier have produced several limits of fish. Fish are being caught on spoons as well as alewives under floats. With a good few days of north, northwest winds, you will see some warm water pushed up against Johnson’s Pier, and the brown trout will start feeding heavily. There has be a good brown trout bite on Johnson’s Pier fishing bottom rigs with dead minnows or spawn. Also casting spoons has been producing big fish. There have been several reports of limits being taken.
The kings are starting to get active on the lakefront from the boats. Orange 00 dodger with a blue/silver or green/silver peanut fly has been a good producer. Dodger fly combos appear to be taking quite a few fish. Run the dodger fly combos with an inline weight and run on a board or run them on a wire or braid dipsy. Make sure you run your spread to cover the entire water column. Cover the water column with spoons down low in the alewife or bloody nose pattern and dodger/flasher and fly in a white or aqua pattern. Switch up to bright orange spoons up near the surface to entice a nice steelhead. Double orange crush is a good spoon to use up high.
Kings are showing up in good numbers in the northern shore areas. Trolling spoons on riggers or with Dipsies in the 80-113 feet of water range. The magnum spoons are producing a mixed bag of kings and lakers. The coho are hitting well on orange 00 dodgers with blue/green peanut flies trolled with inline weights on boards.
The downtown harbors have been producing fish well this early season. The powerliners have been doing well on both the coho and the browns with a few steelhead mixed in. Golden roaches or spawn sacks under a float have been taking rainbows. Casting crankbaits or spoons have also been putting some fish on the stringers. The perch in the harbor are small, and there have been little reports of sizable fish or limits.
Perch are biting hot and heavy at Navy Pier. It is some work, but it can pay off with some jumbo perch. Reports have shown that a lot of smaller ones are being caught and getting limits of larger fish requires a lot of sorting. Live minnows and cooked shrimp on drop shot rigs as well as icefishing jigs tipped with spikes have been producing. Also Kastmasters or other jigging spoons will do well and may take the occasional trout.

Chain: 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.
With the warming water, the largemouths are starting to feed well. Catches have been seen on 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: Shore fishermen are seeing quite a few small catfish and bluegills. Fish are being caught on ice jigs under a float or on bottom rigs tipped with crawlers or other cut bait. The largemouths can be caught fishing the secondary drop-offs with large profile bait like a jig and pig or by fishing the shallower areas bouncing a crankbait or spoonplug off the rocks and the bottom.

Heidecke Lake: 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.

LaSalle Lake: 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 bladebaits.

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Central Fishing Illinois Reports

Central Illinois Fishing Report - May 1st, 2015

Lake Taylorville: The crappie bite is picking up on minnows. Bass fishing is slow. Water conditions are murky.

Newton Lake: Bass good. Crappies are a big question mark after a poor fall and few reports this spring so far. Catfish good.

Spring Lake: 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.

Lake Decatur: 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.

Lake Shelbyville: 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.

Evergreen Lake: 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.

Clinton Lake: 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.

Coffeen Lake: Bass biting on spinners and waxworms. Catfish biting stinkbait and worms. Crappies spotty. Reports of big flathead being caught.
Lake Springfield: 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.

Sangchris Lake: 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.

Illinois River: High waters cut off much access, but prior to that the sauger bite was on fire. There are several reports of limits being caught as well as double-digit fish days.
Jigging the flats and pulling three-way rigs has started to put some fish in the boats. Check the water conditions prior to heading out as the river at this stage can get dicey and several of the launches close due to high water.


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Southern Illinois Fishing Reports

Southern Illinois Fishing Report- May 1st, 2015

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, stinkbaits and minnows.
Baldwin Lake: Largemouth bass have slowed. Bluegills are biting on worms in 6 to 8 feet of water. Crappie and catfish fishing has been fair.

Carlyle Lake: 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.

Pinckneyville Lake: Largemouth bass action has slowed. Bluegills are biting on worms in 6 to 8 feet of water. Crappies and catfish fishing has been fair.

Kinkaid Lake: 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 nightcrawlers, 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.

Little Grassy: 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.

Rend Lake: Largemouth bass are fair using worms, black/blue jigs, minnows and spinnerbaits in shallow bays near brush cover and bushes. Fish around bridges and along the rocks. Reports of fish being caught around Jackie Branch, Sandusky Cove, and below the dam.
Crappies are fair using pink/white tube jigs, meal worms, small and medium worms. Lately, many fishermen have been fishing at Big Muddy bridge and Highway 154. Fish the main lake drop off areas. Try the Gun Creek Area.
Channel cats are good using Sonnys stinkbait, Hoss Hawg bait, leeches, nightcrawlers and large minnows. Try the Waltonville Dam, Turnip Patch, Jackie Branch, and North Sandusky Day Use Area. Set line three or four feet from the shore over rocks. Try leeches in moving water. Drift fish the flats.

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Illinois Rivers Fishing Reports

Illinois Rivers Fishing Report - April 17th, 2015

Illinois River: The sauger and walleye bite has been ok with recent warm then cold weather patterns. Fish are being caught vertical jigging jigs with minnows or using a floater jig and lindy rigging minnows have been doing well. Pulling three-way rigs has also started to put some fish in the boats. The white bass reports have been picking up.

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