Illinois River Fishing Report – April 4th, 2014
Fox River: Walleyes good on jigs and minnows in the warming hours of the day. Fish are being taken near the dams as well on jigs and minnows.
Illinois River: Sauger bite is picking up. Fish are being caught on jig and minnows as well as pulling three-way rigs.
Rock River: Crappies are spotty. Fish are hard to find in deeper water. Offer a jig and minnow near brush very early and late. Bluegills are fair. Cast a waxworm near deeper weed lines, docks, structure, or vegetation. Smallmouth bass are good: Lots are biting on minnows, worms, small crayfish with tiny hooks everywhere, near big rocks, and pillings. Walk and fish letting your line float downstream. Walleyes are spotty. Fish are scattered, but some hitting on a jig and minnow.
Mississippi River Pools 10-21: Dropoffs from the flats and shallow water to the main channel are good spots for channel cat. Wing dams along the main channel area in this border habitat are excellent fishing areas for white bass, channel catfish, drum, sauger and walleyes.
In the upper pools, anglers troll above these wing dams and pick up walleyes in spring. It takes some boat-handling skills to control the speed and proper depth of the lure along these dams. Other fishermen may wade out on these dams during low water periods and score consistently on channel catfish and white bass.
The walleye and sauger fishery extends about as far south as Lock 21 at Quincy, but pools north of that are considered hotspots. Wing dams in Pool 12 in Jo Daviess County are excellent spots, as is the tailwater below Lock and Dam 12 at Bellevue, Iowa. Lock and Dam 17 at New Boston also is heavily fished for these species.
Southern reaches of the river produce excellent catches of channel catfish. The side channels and rip rap areas from Monroe to Alexander County, about a 160-mile stretch, are good areas, as is the tailwaters and shoreline areas.