IL: Lake Michigan anglers see fish moving to deep water Issue: 17

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


Lake Michigan: According to fishing reporter Cory Yarmuth, the
trout and salmon bite has dropped off a bit with the fish pushing
out a bit deeper. The boats are finding the fish in the 80-100 feet
of water range in the morning and the fish are pushing out to the
100-120 feet range later in the day. Fish are being caught from
Chicago all the way up to the state line. There have been reports
of a lot of kings as well as some decent numbers of steelhead. As
of late, small- and medium- size spoons and J-plugs have been the
top producers. Baits run on eight to 10 colors of leadcore on a
board have been deadly. Fishermen have been finding that speeds of
2.4 to 2.8 mph on the GPS have been best. Spoons that have been hot
are Bloody nose, Hey Baby, Monkey Puke, and of course glow colors
in the early morning and sunset. The bite is fast and furious at
daybreak and sunset, but fish are being caught all day long. Some
boats are venturing out to the deeper water in 180 to 200 feet of
water and finding quite a few steelhead. The steelies are taking
orange crush spoons in the top 35 feet of the water column

Watch the winds, and if we get some west winds for a day or two,
the cold water will push in, and on those days, there have been
reports of kings and steelhead caught from the piers in Waukegan
and Kenosha. Casting spoons and inline spinners have been taking
most fish. Also fishing an alewife on a bottom rig has also been
known to produce a nice fish or two.

The perch fishing has been on and off from the shore up north. The
city is a different story. Casting spinners with softshells or
shrimp near the weed beds seems to be the presentation of choice.
The fish are spread out right now and most fishermen are catching,
but the size is down.

Chain: The best bite has been early morning. The bass have moved up
into the slop and are very active attacking scum frogs and other
weedless baits. Work the pockets in the weed growth with heavy jigs
and also don’t hesitate to back off and fish the outside weed edges
in the deeper water. The bass will be cruising these weedlines
looking for an easy meal. Fish have been reported to be most active
in the upper lakes. The boat docks have been holding some good
fish, but bigger fish have been found in the weeds and around the

The panfish bite is good as usual and the boat docks are offering
some good structure and shade for the fish. Wax worms on a single
hook or on a white shrimpo under a slip float have done really
well. Work the areas in 7 to 8 feet of water near the weeds. The
crappies are suspended over deeper water as well as some of the
larger bluegills. Watch your graph on the breaklines and you will
find the suspended fish. Minnows or jigs under a float or small
crankbaits have put some good limits into the boat. In the evening
hours, watch for birds and surface splashing and you will find the
white bass. The whites have been schooling the minnows and busting
the schools at the surface. Cast inline spinners or small
crankbaits into the action, and it will be non-stop fish while the
school is around.

The walleye bite has really died down, but fish can still be found
in the evening. Catch the fish as they move up from the deeper
water into the weedy areas. Twitch baits like x-raps as well as the
standard Jig and minnow combinations have been catching fish.
Concentrate on deep water near current areas. The upper portion of
the Fox has been producing some walleyes. Troll shadraps on long
lines and change up your speeds to trigger a strike.

The muskies are hit or miss, but big fish are out there to be had.
The best fishing has been in the early morning hours on black
bucktails and twitch baits over the weed beds or on surface baits
worked slowly. The bite dies down early so it’s best to get out
before sunrise and get in on the early morning action. Some fish
have been caught trolling the main basins of the lakes. Smaller
baits seem to be producing better than the larger baits

Braidwood: The catfish bite has really slowed down. Both shore and
boat fishermen have been showing poor catches of fish, and what
they are finding is that the overall size is small.

Heidecke Lake: The north side seems to have a good smallie bite
going in the evening hours. Work the rock walls with small drop
shot worms or curly tail grubs on a jig head. Also cast shadraps
parallel to the rocks and don’t hesitate to put the bait right up
against the rocks as the fish will be waiting in ambush. The
walleye bite is day to day, but the best bite has been trolling
shad raps or night crawler harnesses. It really hasn’t mattered if
you are on the north or south side, both sides are producing some
nice fish when you can find them. The strippers are also being
caught trolling minnow baits or by shore fisherman fishing chicken
livers on the bottom.

There have been several reports of some good muskies being caught
on the lake. These fish are really starting to show up in good
numbers and smaller twitch baits are the key to catch them. The
north side has been producing a bit better than the south, but it
is just good to see these fish starting to show up in numbers.


Crab Orchard Lake: Crappies are still rated good on minnows and
jigs in 12 to 15 feet of water. Bluegills are still holding close
to the bank and can be caught on worms and crickets. Catfish action
is still good on leeches and cut bait. Bass are being caught on
soft plastics, spinnerbaits and topwater baits.

Baldwin Lake: Bluegill anglers are picking up some fish. Bass
picking up with cooler temps and catfish are fair on worms.

Carlyle Lake: Catfish are being caught on night crawlers,
stinkbaits and leeches. Crappies are rated good on minnows and
jigs. White bass and sauger are both rated good. Sauger are being
caught on jigs tipped with minnows or night crawlers. Crankbaits
have also been effective. Catfish are being caught on a variety of
baits. Crappie action is good on minnows and jigs.

Kinkaid Lake: Catfish action is good on a variety of baits,
including minnows, stinkbaits, cut shad and liver. Bass anglers are
reporting good success on a variety of baits.

Lake of Egypt: Crappie anglers are catching fish on minnows in
15-18 feet of water. Bluegills are being caught in good numbers on
meal worms and red wigglers. Bass action is fair in mornings and
evenings on jigs and soft plastics off the points.

Rend Lake: Crappies are being caught in good numbers in 10 to 15
feet of water over brush. Minnows and jigs have been effective.
Catfish are still rated excellent on stinkbaits, cut shad, shad
gut, night crawlers and leeches. Bass are good on soft plastics,
Rat-L-Traps, spinner baits and square-billed crank baits in shallow
bays near brush. Bluegills are good in the back of necks on
crickets, wax worms, and red wigglers. White bass are being caught
on jigs, curly tails and small crankbaits.

Lake Murphysboro: Catfish are good on night crawlers, stinkbaits
and cut shad. Bass anglers are catching good numbers, but fish are
running small.

Little Grassy: Crappies are being caught in 10 to 12 feet of water.
Minnows and jigs are both effective. Bluegills are still good just
off the beds.


Lake Taylorville: Catfish picking up on night crawlers and
shrimp. Some being caught on shad. The crappie bite is good on
minnows. Bass fishing is fair using spinners and plastic

Evergreen Lake: Crappies continue to bite on minnows and jigs in 18
feet of water. The saugeye are still biting well on twister tails
with a crawler on it and deep diving crankbaits. Most people have
been targeting weedy points and humps. Bass have been hitting along
weedlines and drop-offs. Bluegills are biting near weeds, but have
slowed some. Catfish fair to good on stink baits.

Newton Lake: Crappies showing some action on minnows and jigs.
Catfish good on night crawlers and dough baits.

Lake Decatur: Bass biting on spinners near weeds. Bluegills good on
worms and crickets. Catfish picking up on doughs, worms and

Lake Shelbyville: Walleyes are still active below spillway on jigs
and twisters or shad bodies. Crappies are being caught with jigs
over deadfall trees mostly in the shallow end. Large bass being
caught with a mixture of spinners, crankbaits, jigs or

Banner Marsh: Catfish are biting on worms, dipbait and shrimp.
Bluegills and crappies have been getting better on minnows.

Clinton Lake: Catfish are being caught on worms, shad guts,
leaches, stinkbait and shrimp. Walleyes good. Largemouth bass
hitting spinners and buzzbaits.

Dawson Lake: Catfish have been good on stinkbaits, shrimp and
chicken livers. White bass and walleyes have been fair in deep
waters. Bluegill action is slow.

Decatur Lake: Bass action has picked up on spinners and plastic
worms. Some nice catfish have been taken on shad guts, shrimp,
stinkbait and leaches.

Emiquon Preserve: Bass being caught on buzzbait, crankbaits and
spinners. Catfish good on stinkbait.

Mazonia Lakes: Bass hitting topwaters and spinners. Bluegills
slowing but still being caught on worms. Catfish are small but
biting on liver.

Spring Lake: Bluegills have been good near the banks, with wax
worms or crickets on bobbers. Bass fishing is slow. Catfish getting
better with worms and dough baits. There have been some reports of
muskie catches on large spinners.


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