Illinois River: At Starved Rock, water is four feet above normal
and 46 degrees. Clearing water has helped fishing. White bass,
saugers and walleyes are biting all around on 1/4- to 3/8-ounce
jigs. Anglers have found best fishing at 16-19 feet. Saugers have
started to move out of deep holes and biting around Spring Valley
on crankbaits, live bait and jigs. Some white bass are being caught
near St. Bede and Peru flats.
At Hennepin, saugers and walleyes hitting on jigs, with white
bass biting good near shorelines.
At Peoria, river dropping but not much action yet due to cool
weather. A few saugers being caught. Water levels expected to
fluctuate over the next two weeks.
At Henry, saugers starting to hit but muddy waters and cold are
keeping most anglers away. Water temps reaching 40 degrees.
At Beardstown, catfish are being caught on shad guts. No reports
of saugers being caught, but walleyes are being caught near loading
Illinois Smallmouth Alliance
Kankakee: Fishing has been decent for smallmouth, largemouth,
northern pike, walleye and catfish on live bait and medium size
minnows and golden roaches. Reports of walleye up to 7 pounds are
being caught, and smallmouth fishing is improving in Illinois
downstream of Kankakee. Pike bite is good north of English
Rock River: Water temperatures have risen to near 36 degrees,
and the water is high but has stabilized. Channel cats are biting
hard in the Erie area. Walleyes are hitting at the dams. Catfish
are taking redworms and freshly-killed minnows. Walleyes are
falling to jigs tipped with minnows.
Vermilion: Water levels have been up significantly, but slowly
dropping. There has been an abundance of smallmouth bass activity,
though fish have been smaller than those caught in spring. Minnows
have worked best.
Ohio River (Smithland Pool): Crappie action has picked up in
most of the creeks, particularly farther upstream where water is
shallower. Flooding hampered fishing for much of March, but some
anglers have found catfish picking up on worms and stinkbaits.
Fort Massac Fish Market: Metropolis
Pools 10 to 20: In Pool 10, Bussey Lake reports slow fishing
except right before dark with a few crappies being caught. The
spillway above Harper’s Ferry has had slow to good fishing with a
few crappies being caught there also. Due to the ice cover, there
has been no open water fishing for walleyes at lock and dam 10 in
Guttenberg. Sauger biting is slow, near rocks.
In Pool 16, Tailwater stage at lock and dam 15 is 10.88 feet and
is expected to rise slightly. Anglers still are catching some
walleyes and saugers below the dam at Davenport and up in Sylvan
Slough on jigs and minnows.
In Pool 17, Tailwater stage at lock and dam 16 is 10.54 feet and
is forecasted to rise slightly then begin falling. Walleye and
sauger fishing has slowed with the rising water but some fish still
are being caught below the dam on jigs and minnows. Channel catfish
are being caught on shad guts around the Big Timber backwater
complex. Big Timber also has been producing some crappies on
minnows and wax worms. The ramp at Big Timber was under water so
access may be limited.
In Pool 18: Tailwater stage at lock and dam 17 is 13.3 feet and
is forecasted to crest at 13.7 feet, then start falling. The
Toolesboro landing was under water, and the road has been closed.
Anglers will have to access the tailwaters at New Boston on the
Illinois side of the river.
In Pool 19: Tailwater stage at lock and dam 18 was forecasted to
reach 9.4 feet. No fishing report due to high water.
In Pool 20: Tailwater stage at lock and dam 19 is 12.2 feet and
is expected to fall.
Illinois/Iowa DNR reports