Walleyes, crappies biting at most lakes around state

The fishing and hunting report is compiled using reports from
conservation officers, hunting guides and fishing guides.

North

Lake Michigan: According to fishing reporter Cory Yarmuth
(chitownangler.com), the ice in the south half has moved out and
the harbors are starting to open up. Now is the time to get out and
hit the discharges on the south end of the lake. Browns and coho
are starting to get active on the lakefront from the boats. There
is also some shorefishing opportunities on the south half as well.
Fish the warm-water discharges with jigs and twisters tipped with a
piece of squid or crank baits like a J-9 in chart/white or
orange/gold. Mix it up a bit and use live bait like golden roaches
or spawn under a float. Trolling small orange dodger and peanut
flies log lining body baits like a Rapala Tail dancer has also been
working well for the coho in these areas. Work the breaks of where
the cold and warmer water meet. The dirty water will be warmer than
the surrounding cleaner water and the fish will be using the
dirtier water as an ambush point.

Waukegan is starting to heat up. Government Pier or Johnson’s
Pier have been starting to show some signs of life. 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 some big fish.

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 require a lot of sorting. Live minnows and cooked shrimp on
drop shot rigs as well as ice fishing jigs tipped with spikes have
been producing. Also Kastmasters or other jigging spoons will do
well and may take the occasional trout.

Perch are being caught in the canal from the 95th Street Launch.
Fish are being caught around the barges on minnows and softshells
on jigs or crappie rigs.

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 channels are starting to get a good panfish bite going. Small
ice jigs under a float tipped with live bait is the ticket here.
The bite changes from day to day so be prepared to move and change
baits. 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.

Braidwood: The lake is open and the shore fishermen are seeing
quite a few 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 crank bait or spoon plug off of the
rocks and the bottom.

LaSalle Lake: The lake has been very productive for both the
boat and the shore angler thus far. Shore anglers have been
bringing in good catches of hybrid strippers on chicken livers.
Blue cats are also being caught on live bait or crank baits. The
boaters have been doing well on all species trolling crank baits
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
blade baits. The hot bait so far has been a white spinner bait
fished on the warm side of this impoundment. Fishing the rip rap
and working it parallel to the shoreline.

South

Lake of Egypt: Crappies are biting in shallows on minnows and
tipped jigs. Bass biting good on spinner baits and jigs or soft
rubbers. A few catfish are taking night crawlers and dough
bait.

Crab Orchard Lake: Crappie action is pretty good. Fish are
scattered at depths beginning at 3 feet. Minnows and jigs are both
effective, although minnows appear to be out-producing jigs.
Anglers are taking fair numbers of good crappies. Catfish anglers
are reporting good success on cut bait. Bluegill action has been
good to excellent around the docks on wax worms, crickets and meal
worms. Bass have also been good on a variety of baits.

Carlyle Lake: There have been reports of heavy sauger action in
the spillway between the dam and the suspension bridge. Best baits
have been jigs tipped with minnows. Flatheads are being caught on
cut shad and cheese bait.

Kinkaid Lake: Crappies are the best bet. Fish are still holding
in 15 to 20 feet. Minnows and jigs appear to be equally effective.
Muskie anglers are reporting good success. Most muskies are being
caught on topwater baits and shallow-running baits. Bass are still
slow, although anglers are picking up a few fish. Some bluegills
are being caught, but most fish are slow. The same holds true for
catfish.

Rend Lake: The lake is about a foot over normal pool and water
temperature is 44 degrees. Crappies are rated good on minnows and
jigs. Good numbers of fish are being caught along Illinois 154 in 9
to 14 feet of water. Some crappies are also being caught around the
subimpoundments. Catfish anglers are catching some fish in shallow
bays on cut shad and worms. Bass are rated fair to slow with some
fish being caught on plastic worms, Rat-L-Traps, crank baits and
jigs.

Central

Clinton Lake: There is a decent crappie and walleye bite. White
bass biting good on twister tails, spinners or Mepps. Catfish also
biting on shad guts or shad. Bass fishing is slow, but expected to
pick up near points.

Sangchris Lake: Crappies biting on minnows, about 10-12 feet
deep in most places. Catfish biting already on dip bait.

Evergreen Lake: Large crappies have been caught in deeper water
ranging from 15-30 feet, with many smaller ones being caught near
the shore around structure. A few saugeyes have been picked up
while trolling or slow drifting over humps, and off of points.

Lake Shelbyville: Crappies are fair in 5-9 feet of water around
brush. Muskies picking up, as are largemouth bass.

Newton Lake: Bass are fair but mostly smaller fish on spinners
or crank baits on main lake ledges. Catfish have been slow to fair
in warmer water areas. Crappies have been slow.

Lake Springfield: White bass going crazy on crazy blades in the
hot ditch. Crappies biting in 6-8 feet of water.

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