Northern Illinois Fishing Report – September 6th, 2013

Chain: The walleye action is slow.  Fishermen have been having some luck in the northern lakes as well as the river channels in the early morning or late evening. Jig and minnows or jig and leaches have done well as well as crawler harnesses drifted over the flats. The 5 to 15 feet of water range has all been producing with chartreuse doing the best. Panfish remain consistent with some good crappies being found suspended over deeper water. Live bait or jigging spoons have been best.

Bass are being found around the heavy weed cover as well as deep in some of the slop. Swim jigs are doing well as well as frogs or wacky rigged stick style plastics.

The catfish action is hot right now. The fish are really active and are chasing the bait down. Drifting over the muddy flats with cut bait or nightcrawlers have been very productive. 

Muskie fishing has been slow but will start picking up soon. 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. 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 bass bite has really died. The catfish bite has really slowed down as the power plant is not running at full capacity so there is very little if any current moving through the lake. Both shore and boat fishermen have been showing poor catches of fish, and what they are finding is that the overall size is small.  The panfish bite is good, but the size of fish is small.

Heidecke: The north side seems to have a good smallmouth bite going in the evening hours. Work the rock walls with small drop shot worms or curly tail grubs on a 1⁄4-ounce jig head. Also cast shad raps 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 nightcrawler 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 stripers are also being caught trolling minnow baits or by shore fishermen fishing chicken livers on the bottom.

The largemouth bass bite, 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. There have been several reports of good muskies being caught on the lake.

Lake Michigan (Chicago Area): Fishing is starting to pick up on the big lake.  The kings are starting to stage for their run into the harbors, however, they are staging deeper than usual. There have been spotty reports of fish being caught from shore in the downtown harbors. The trollers are finding fish in the 110-130 feet of water as a good starting depth, but most coho and king salmon are being found in the deep. The 140-200 feet of water range has been best. Water surface temperatures are about 74 degrees but there is a good thermocline set up at 50 feet. Magnum glow spoons as well as larger flashers and flies have been taking most of the fish. Flashers and flies in green colors as well as white have been best. Downriggers and divers have been doing best with copper and leadcore coming in a close second. The steelies are taking orange crush spoons in the top 30 feet of the water column. There have been reports of kings and steelhead caught from the piers. Spinners have been taking most fish in evening. Also fishing an alewife on a bottom rig has been producing fish.

LaSalle: The catfish action has remained consistent with good catches of cats on cut bait as well as chicken livers fished on the bottom. The bass are inactive and a reaction strike is your best approach.

Bang lipless crankbaits off rip-rap and work the shore parallel for your best approach.

Categories: Illinois Fishing Reports, North (Central)

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