Northern Illinois Fishing Report – August 9th, 2013

Chain: The fishing has really picked up for all species. 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 channels.
The panfish bite is good as usual and the boat docks are offering some good structure and shade to the fish. Wax worms on a single hook or on a white plastic under a slip float have done really well. The crappies are suspended over deeper water as well as some of the larger bluegill. 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.
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. Minnows under floats have also been producing fish.
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 over the weedbeds 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.
Catch the fish as they move up from the deeper water into the weedy areas. Concentrate on deep water near current areas.
Shabbona: There have a been few reports on muskie fishing as of late. Trolling crankbaits along the roadbed or near the deeper timber can produce some monsters.
Heidecke: 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.
The bass bite, both large and smallmouth, has been really slow.  Fish a Carolina rigged finesse worm parallel to shore fishing the transition of the rock to mud bottom. The fish are using this structure as a place to ambush prey.

Lake Zurich: There has been a really good topwater bite for bass in the evenings. Poppers or zara spooks worked near the shallow weed beds have been offering some fisherman some quick and explosive action. 
The fish are getting aggressive on the outside edges of the weeds as well and are being caught on medium diver crankbaits or lipless cranks. There are reports of good crappies being caught on small jigs worked under floats along the deeper weed edges

Lake Michigan (Chicago Area): Fishing has really picked up. Big coho and king salmon are being found in the deeper regions. It is a hike but the 120-200 feet or water range has been holding the fish. There are some monster kings being caught, some over 24 ponds. This should be a good sign for the fall fishing from shore.
Magnum glow spoons as well as larger flasher and flies have been taking most of the fish. Downriggers and dipseys have been doing best with copper and leadcore coming in a close second. Early morning or late afternoon/evening are the best chances for limits. Go big with your presentations and vary your speed until you find the right combinations.
The perch season was closed for the month of July to all of those under the age of 16. For those that were able to fish, the fish were being caught jigging plastics and dropshotting minnows in the downtown harbors. The fish are holding tight to the bottom. A lot of moving is key to staying with the schools.
There has been a lack of reports from Navy Pier, but the perch were there. Take your kid fishing and then enjoy the day on the pier. Remember parking from 5 a.m.-10 p.m. with a valid fishing license is only $5
There have been reports of some good-sized kings as well as some decent numbers of steelhead in the southern areas and some larger coho. As of late, spoons 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 2.6 to 3 mph on the GPS have been their best speeds. 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 can be found all day long.

Braidwood: The lake water is getting really warm and the Bass bite has really died. However, the catfish bite is really hot and heavy. Both shore and boat fishermen have been showing good catches of fish, however the overall size is small. Cut bait as well as stink bait have done well for the smaller cats, but larger baits are key to the larger cats. The panfish bite is good, but the size of fish is small.

LaSalle: With the summer in full swing this lake can reach some very high temperatures. The catfish action has remained consistent with good catches of cats on crankbaits as well as chicken livers fished on the bottom.  The bass have become very inactive and a reaction strike is your best approach. Bang lipless crankbaits off of the rip-rap and work the shore parallel for your best approach.

Categories: Illinois Fishing Reports, North (Central)

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