Northern Illinois Fishing Report- June 13th, 2014
Chain: Small ice jigs under a float tipped with live bait or plastics are taking panfish. The shallow portions of the bays seem to be producing quite well also. Find the newer weeds in 8 feet of water or less and the bluegills will be there, but look for deeper water for the white bass and crappies. The bite changes from day to day so be prepared to move and change baits.
The walleye bite is hot right now and fish are being found on the flats. Trolling harnesses or casting jigs and crankbaits have both been about equal in effectiveness. The main lake areas are starting to get a good green weed growth.
Largemouth are holding tight to cover and are active when you can find them. Look for the inside edges of weedbeds that are good transition points between cover and their spawning areas.
Shabbona: Crappie fishing is good. Look for them on the south end of the lake in the near shore waters. Crappies have all but moved out of the no motor zone and are relating to the fish cribs and deeper timber of the north end of the lake. The spawn is just about over. Walleye fishing could be considered fair. Walleyes have been caught over the rockpiles on the roadbed by anglers using crawlers. They have also been caught along the shallower weed edges using shallow running crankbaits and rattle traps.
Braidwood: Bluegills and crappies being caught in late evening on worms. Catfish good on shad and worms under a float or on bottom rigs tipped with cut bait.
Largemouths excellent on spinners, or can be caught fishing the secondary drop-offs with large profile baits like a jig and pig or by fishing the shallower areas bouncing a crankbait or spoonplug off the rocks and the bottom.
LaSalle: Bass are fair on spinners. Hybrid stripers good on chicken livers. Blue cats being caught on live bait or crankbaits. Bass are best trolling crankbaits near the rip-rap as well as working the deeper structure in the lake. Smallmouth and walleyes being caught on rattletraps and bladebaits. 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.
Heidecke: Channel cats fair-slow on cut baits, crawlers and a few on dip baits. Crappies fair on minnows in rocks or out deeper into lake. Stripers have been taken by shore fishermen on chicken livers and by boaters trolling cranks or casting the riprap. The walleye bite is good on drifting live bait rigs. Trolling shadrap style baits or spinner rigs with crawlers is another option. White bass and yellow bass will also come while trolling the crankbaits. Don’t be afraid to cast the riprap with crankbaits like a Rattletrap or other tight wobble baits. These will often produce a reaction strike that can help put more fish in the boat..
Lake Michigan The coho have slowed down a bit on the north end near Waukegan and Northpoint. However, they have been staying shallow in the 30-40 feet of water range. They are still hitting boards with 00 orange dodgers with peanut flies in blue/silver and black/gold are star producers.
The kings are big this year and are hitting magnum spoons on the riggers. Bloody nose, Kevorkian, and Caramel dolphin are a few of the hot ones lately. Start your trolls shallow and work your way out to deeper water.
The steelhead action has been hot. There has been a bug hatch and the fish are up high and hungry. Darker flies and spoons have been working well. About 35 feet down in the water column has been showing good signs of fish. However make sure you run your spread to cover the entire water column. Cover the water column with spoons down low in the alewife or bloody nose pattern and dodger/flasher and fly in a white or aqua pattern. Switch up to bright orange spoons up near the surface to entice a nice steelhead. Double orange crush is a good spoon to use up high. Don’t be foolish and make sure you check the weather and recent conditions prior to heading out. The lake can get pretty rough in a hurry.
The smallmouth bass anglers are doing good in the harbors as well as out in the boats. Some of the best producers are goby imitating jigs worked slowly on the bottom or dropshot rigs with 4-inch minnow style plastics. Work areas near steel walls, as they tend to warm quicker in the sun. Find good transitions of large rock and small rock as well and you should find the fish willing to hit your offerings.
There have been quite a few reports of perch showing up for the shore anglers in the harbors of downtown. The boats on the south end are getting good limits in 40 feet of water fishing fly rigs or crappie rigs with large fathead minnows or jigging spoons worked near the bottom have been bringing in limits of 11- to 15-inch fish. Plastics on small jig heads have been catching some of the larger fish.