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Northern Illinois Fishing Reports

Northern Illinois Fishing Report - October 2nd, 2015

Chain: Walleyes are good in current areas such as bottlenecks of the bridges, most being caught on fatheads or nightcrawlers. White bass good at Marie and Bluff on small spinners. Muskies are consistent on bucktails or jerkbaits around main lake points. Crappies are good in channel areas on small jigs tipped with small fatheads or spikes. Bluegills good around weed areas on small ice jigs tipped with waxies or spikes.

Shabbona: Water clarity is improving. Smallmouths have been caught over the rock piles in 8 to 10 feet of water. The smallmouth bass ran in size from 10 to 14 inches long. No larger smallies were caught. Perch caught on the weedlines near the rockpiles in 6 to 8 feet of water. Perch ranged in size from 7 to 10 inches long. Perch fishing was slow. Crappies were caught over the north roadbed fish cribs. Crappie fishing was fair.

Forest Preserve Lakes: Crappies and bluegills both picking up. Bluegills biting on waxworms and crickets. Crappies hitting minnows. Channel cats fair, biting on nightcrawlers and chicken livers. Bass fishing steady using medium minnows, soft plastics and worms. 

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

Lake Michigan (Chicago Area): Kings biting at Northpoint. Salmon being caught on crankbaits in the harbors. A few smallmouths and white bass being found around the Edison plant. 

Lake Michigan (Waukegan): Kings and coho slowing, but being caught in 50-90 feet, depending on time of day, on spoons, Dodgers or flies.

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Central Fishing Illinois Reports

Central Illinois Fishing Report - October 2nd, 2015

Lake Shelbyville: Bass have been good in shallows and coves. Walleyes are good over newly covered rock and rip-rap. Crappies are spotty. 

Evergreen Lake: The crappies, saugeyes, bass and catfish are all biting decently. Most of the crappies and bass are small, but some decent-sized saugeye and catfish being caught. The crappies are fairly shallow around brush and structure and are being caught on small jigs tipped with or without minnows. The bass are caught mostly on plastics or spinner baits, again, fairly shallow around structure. The saugeye are being caught on jig/crawler combo or trolling diving crankbaits around drops, humps, and mouths of coves. 

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. Large flatheads being caught on leeches in west side access. White bass fair on bladebaits; some walleyes on Big Dudes. 

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Southern Illinois Fishing Reports

Southern Illinois Fishing Report - October 2nd, 2015

Crab Orchard Lake: Crappie action continues to be good. Minnows and jigs in 6-8 feet of water around the brush should produce a nice mess of fish. Around the rocks and bridges about 10 feet deep is where the catfish are at. Jugs, leeches, cut bait and minnows are the baits of choice. Bass and bluegills are good, as well. Wax worms for bluegills and anything that makes noise for bass.

Baldwin Lake: Catfish are on the move and those that are being caught are small. Anglers are tossing crank bait around rip rap and catching a few bass. Bluegills are slow but will hit on meal worms or wax worms occasionally.

Horseshoe Lake: Catfish are the most popular with the anglers here. The middle of the lake and fairly deep is where they are being caught with nightcrawlers at any time of day. Crappies are slow and those that are being caught are around the brush piles about four feet deep, using minnows. Bass and bluegill fishing slow.

Carlyle Lake: White bass are good, especially in evening. Channel cats are excellent with cut bait, nightcrawlers or leeches. Cut bait also working for flatheads. Crappies improving below the dam on minnows and jigs.

Lake Murphysboro: Decent numbers and sizes of bluegills are being reported. They are fairly deep and hit best on crickets, red wigglers and wax worms. Crappies are fair using minnows around 12 feet deep. Catfish are fair and deep feeding on nightcrawlers. Bass are not really being fished for or talked about. A few are being caught using deeper diving lures.

Kinkaid Lake: Anglers are reporting that the crappie fishing is starting to pick up nicely. Minnows are the favorite bait in about 12 feet of water around submerged cover. There has not been much talk about bass and the catfish are pretty scarce as well. Bluegills are small but plentiful, hitting on crickets, wax worms and red wigglers especially off the rock faces.

Lake of Egypt: Crappie fishing is getting better. Around the points and weedbeds seems to be where they are feeding. Anglers are using minnows and jigs with regular success. Fair describes the bass fishing around weedbeds using anything plastic. Shrimp has been a good bait for catfish at night off the shoreline and around the docks. Bluegills are almost non-existent.

Little Grassy: Anglers can always catch a nice mess of bluegills using red wigglers, waxworms or meal worms. They are plentiful around weedbeds and other cover and fairly shallow. A few crappies are being taken using minnows in 15-20 feet of water. Catfish are fair around the weedbeds using nightcrawlers. There are no bass being reported or weighed in.

Rend Lake: White, striped, yellow and hybrid striped bass and channel cat are rated good. Anglers are catching the different species of bass with curly tailed jigs and large minnows. Drifting the minnows along the edge of Hwy. 154 and tossing jigs over the flat areas of the lake seem to be the most successful. Drifting with shrimp around the subimpoundment dams, rip rap areas and in the shallows is what will bring in the channel cats. Largemouths, bluegills and crappies are still slow. The largemouths that are being caught are biting on black buzzbait, pig and jig, large minnows and spinnerbaits around Jackie branch, Gun creek and Route 154. White, pink/green, chartreuse jigs and minnows are working on the crappies in 6 to 10 feet of water around pillars and over Christmas tree sets. The outlet channel below the dam and shallow coves with cover are the places where bluegills are being caught using wax worms, crickets, meal worms and red wigglers.

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Illinois Rivers Fishing Reports

Illinois Rivers Fishing Report - June 12th, 2015

Rock River (Byron-Dixon): Walleyes best early and late with minnows or minnows with a jig head. Channel cats deep around islands and brush with dip baits, chicken liver, crushed minnows, large shiners, and shrimp with a dead hook. Lots of smaller flatheads biting on bluegills and goldfish and even nightcrawlers. Carp good on homemade dough baits. Drums good on nightcrawlers.

Rock River (Rockford): Crappies good in deep water near fish cribs with minnows; early and late best. Bluegills good on waxworms and red worms under a bobber. Cast near shallow weedlines. Bass fair. Females have completed the spawn and are hitting on shiners. Channel cats good on stinkbait and red worms. Northern pike hitting on walleye minnows. Muskie anglers having luck with gold bucktail, shad rap crankbait and black spinnerbaits.

Mississippi River (Wood River): Bluegills good. Put a waxworm or red wiggler under a bobber and drop it near shallow weedlines. Big channel cats are being taken from the river with shad and skip jack.

Mississippi River (Gladstone): Female channel cats are spawning along the shorelines and biting on nightcrawlers and leeches.

Mississippi River (Belleville): Horseshoe Lake and Frank Holden Lake are producing bass with minnows and wax worms. Stinkbait, nightcrawlers and shad are favorite baits for catfish at Frank Holden.

Ohio River (Metropolis): Channel cats good using bank poles and boats. Best baits are nightcrawlers, shad sides.


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Archive »Fishing Tips

Fishing tips: Catching fish around the challenging “fall turnover”

The turnover is a big change that especially affects deeper lakes, but remember that fish still need to eat!

Eat, hide, repeat: Walleyes in the weeds

Rigging for weed walleyes demands nuance and the right tackle, but properly prepared anglers can expect dynamite action the entire open water season.

Fishing for fall bass? Don’t forget the docks

Docks draw baitfish on sunny days; baitfish draw bass

Fishing tips: Upsize your baits to catch more and bigger fall walleyes

Hit the water now to enjoy comfortable autumn fishing conditions and catch active walleyes.

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