IL: Crappie anglers finding better fishing in warm water Issue: 12

Compiled using reports from conservation officers, hunting
guides, and the following sporting goods stores:

North

Lake Michigan: The cohos are on fire for the boaters with many
limits coming to the dock, not to mention the large kings that are
mixed in. Fishing in 25-40 feet of water seems to be the best areas
for the cohos, and the kings are being found out a bit deeper. It
seems that setting up in the 30 feet of water range and working
your way east has been productive. Trolling spoons on riggers as
well as running sliders on your rigger lines with smaller spoons
like the Michigan stingers have been catching fish. Leadcore on the
planer boards is really putting fish in the boat. Anything from a
five color to a 10 color with spoons. Orange 00 dodgers with
blue/green peanut flies trolled with inline weights on boards have
been putting cohos in the boat as well off of boards high in the
water column. Larger flashers with 4-inch flies have been working
well on the wire and braid dipsey set-ups.

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 have also 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, and you should find the fish
willing to hit your offerings.

The perch are starting to turn on in the downtown harbors. Both
live bait and plastics are putting some jumbos on the stringers.
Also the perch are biting 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 icefishing jigs tipped with spikes have been
producing. Also Kastmasters or other jigging spoons will do well
and may take the occasional trout. Remember that the discounted
parking for fishermen is only until 10 a.m.

Perch are being caught near Gary Lighthouse on minnows and
softshells on jigs or crappie rigs.

The perch bite has been spotty at Waukegan. There have been some
reports of fish being caught in the 40-65 feet of water range.
Crappie rigs with large fathead minnows or jigging spoons worked
near the bottom. Long lining the crappie rigs has been working
better than a true vertical approach. The fish are holding tight to
the bottom. A lot of moving is key to staying with the
schools.

Chain: The panfish are spawning, and there can be some big fish
caught if you look for shallow flats with some weed cover. Small
jigs and plastics 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 or less and the gills
will be there, but look for deeper water for the white bass and
crappies.

The water temps are at the point where the largemouths are
transitioning. You will find some fish on the beds and some coming
off of them. Look for the first main breakline as well as the
inside weed edges. Slow moving plastics like flukes or stick- style
baits are working well.

The report of muskies is down, but that doesn’t mean that they are
not out there. Downsize your baits and work the shallow areas that
tend to warm up quicker this time of year.

Braidwood: The shore fishermen are seeing quite a few catfish and
bluegills. Fish are being caught on jigs under a float or on bottom
rigs tipped with crawlers or other cut bait. The largemouth 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 spoon plug off of the rocks and the bottom.

Heidecke Lake: The boaters have been showing some great catches of
walleyes and hybrids this year. The walleyes are being caught
trolling spinner rigs with crawlers as well as with crankbaits. The
hybrid stripers have been taken by shore fishermen on chicken
livers and by boaters trolling cranks or casting the riprap. White
bass will also come while trolling the crankbaits. The bass bite
has been slow and not a lot of fish have been reported being
caught. They are there and it takes a finesse approach often times
to get them to bite. Small stick worms or lizards dragged on a
Carolina rig worked at the rock/mud transition seem to produce
well.

LaSalle Lake: The lake has begun to slow down for both the boat and
the shore angler. Shore anglers have been catching the occasional
hybrid strippers on chicken livers. Blue cats are also being caught
on live bait or crankbaits. The boaters have been catching multiple
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 blade baits. The fish are pushing down to
the sections near the dikes where the rock meets the mud bottom.
Carolina rigging smaller sized plastics as well as drop-shotting
can be very productive. Wacky rigged senkos have been putting a
number of bass in the boats as well.

South

Crab Orchard Lake: Fishing is good across the board. Crappies
are suspended at about 6 feet in 8 feet of water. Some crappies are
still spawning as well. Minnows and jigs are both effective.
Bluegills are still on the banks and can be caught on a variety of
baits. Catfish anglers are reporting success on cut bait, leeches
and stink baits. Bass are being caught in shallow areas on a
variety of baits.

Baldwin Lake: Catfish action is good on stink baits and live baits.
Bluegill are being caught a variety of live baits. Bass action is
also good on soft plastics. Bass and bluegills are all being caught
in good numbers. Bluegills can be caught on a variety of baits,
although wax worms seem to be preferred at this time.

Carlyle Lake: Crappie action is excellent on the lake. Fish are in
shallow areas and are being caught on minnows and jigs. Catfish
action is good on shad gut, night crawlers and stink baits.
Crappies and white bass are being caught in good numbers in the
tailwater on minnows and jigs. The catfish bite is improving. Shad,
shad gut and night crawlers are the primary baits. Some saugers are
being caught on jigs fished vertically.

Kinkaid Lake: The bluegill bite is on. Fish are on or near the beds
with the bigger fish being found just beyond the beds. Bluegills
are being caught on a variety of baits. Catfish action is still
rated good. Fish have moved slightly deeper and can be caught on a
number of natural baits. Some crappies are still being caught with
some fish still holding close to the bank. Fish are scattered from
submerged cover in deeper areas to shoreline brush. Minnows are the
best bet. Bass are still fair to good. Muskie action is slow.

Lake of Egypt: Crappies are being taken at 15 feet and deeper up to
about 23 feet. Minnows and jigs have both been effective. Bass
action is steady on crankbaits while other are reporting good
success on jigs and soft plastics. Catfish are fair to good on
stink baits and night crawlers. Bluegill action is good in and
around the beds on crickets.

Rend Lake: The lake is still more than two feet above normal pool,
and water temperature is 69 degrees. Crappies and bluegills are
still rated excellent. Crappies are still being caught in shallow
water near bushes. The best action has been near Gun Creek, Jackie
Branch and the Marcum and Sandusky necks. Small minnows are
currently the bait of choice. Catfish are being caught in shallow
areas around Waltonville Dam, Bonnie Dam and the Ina boat ramp.
Anglers are reporting success on stink baits, shad gut and leeches.
Bass are still rated good in shallow water around bushes on soft
plastics, Rat-L-Traps, spinner baits and square-billed crank baits.
Bluegill are being caught in the back of shallow necks and near rip
rap on crickets, meal worms, wax worms and crickets. White bass are
good in 1-3 feet of water on jigs and curly tails.

Ohio River-Smithland Pool: The river is still about 18 inches above
normal pool. The river and creeks are still murky. Anglers are
taking some good redear and bluegills in the creeks on crickets and
minnows. Some catfish are being caught in the river worms and
minnows. Some bass are being caught in the creeks on a variety of
baits. Crappie action is slow.

Central

Evergreen Lake: Fishing continues to be good on Evergreen. Crappies
are still being caught in 10-15 feet of water around structure.
Saugeyes continue to be found off of points near deep water and
around stumps on flats. Twister tails with a night crawler or
trolling with crank baits working well. Bass have continued to be
found near weeds and off of points. Top water baits and crank baits
have been producing nicely. Channel cats have started to bite on
crawlers, livers, shrimp, and cut bait. Bluegills continue to be
caught with wax worms and small crawler pieces near weeds.

Newton Lake: Bass fishing is good on spinners. Catfish good on
night crawlers and stinkbaits. A 9-pound channel cat was recently
caught on beef liver. Crappie fishing is slow.

Lake Shelbyville: Large bass being caught with a mixture of
spinners, crank baits, jigs or plastics. Bluegills are rated good
to excellent. Fish are being found close to the shore and can be
caught on any number of bluegill baits. Catfish are still good and
can be caught on night crawlers. Crappies are scattered, but some
fish are being caught on minnows.

Spring Lake: Bass biting good on top-water lures. Bluegills biting
on waxworms. Catfish slow, but a few being caught on night crawlers
and stink baits.

 

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