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Illinois Rivers Fishing Report – September 19th, 2014

Illinois River: The sauger bite is slow with fish being caught near the tailwaters of dams or on the flats vertical jigging jigs with minnows or pulling “three-way rigs.” The white bass are starting to hit well up on “flats” on the river. White jig and twister combos with a minnow are productive. Bladebaits will put some of the larger fish in the boat as well as a good chance at a nice sauger. There has been a lack of shad hatches, and they are pretty tough to find as well as the channel cats that feed on them. Try looking for lower current areas. Shad guts or pieces of fresh shad fished on the bottom will pull some of the big channel cats.

Du Page River: Fish are concentrating themselves. Flowing water can be cooler by as much as 3 to 5 degrees as compared to elsewhere on the river. Concentrate on these types of areas for all species of fish. Pike reports slow, but both largemouth and smallmouth bass are surprisingly active with the heat, as are the usual channel catfish.

Fox River (McHenry and Algonquin dam areas): According to Dave Kranz, with the cooler nights and leaves starting to change colors and fall, we can only hope for some good fall fishing. Muskie fishing with 10- to 12-inch suckers is one of the many good fall bites. Walleye and white bass stage just below the dams and in current breaks to put on their fall feed bag. Use a 1⁄8-ounce jig head with a extra large size fathead minnow to catch them. Bluegills and crappies will take a wax worm on an ice fishing jig.

Mississippi River (Grafton to East Moline): Channel catfish fair. Try fishing along the shoreline or edges of flooded vegetation for best results. You do not need to cast far out to catch nice catfish. Stinkbaits or crawlers are the baits of choice. Bluegill fishing is excellent. Larger bluegills and other sunfish are being caught now along the bank with bobbers and worms. The fishing walkway in Guttenberg has been a popular location. Edge of weedlines throughout the pool, especially in areas of brush piles, has also been popular. Smallmouth bass fishing is fair. Some smallmouths are being caught fishing near rocks in good current. Try drifting nightcrawlers or using artificial lures such as an in-line spinner. Largemouth bass fishing is rated good. Largemouths can be caught along shorelines with woody debris. Small spinners or jigs will work best. Many anglers are using plastic frogs and worms to eliminate problems with floating weeds. Crappie fishing is fair. Some crappies are being caught on minnows in Mud Lake and Sunfish Lake. Fishing for yellow perch is fair. There have been some reports of good catches of yellow perch in the sloughs around Guttenberg. Some very large yellow perch can be found in the Mississippi River. Meanwhile, sauger fishing is slow. There have been some reports of sauger being caught in the tail waters and out on the wing dams.

Mississippi River (Anna-Gorham): Channel catfishing is good. Channel catfish are being taken using stinkbait and crawlers. Don’t be afraid to move around, if fishing slows in one area move and find active fish. Areas to try are side sloughs, main channel border and the upstream side of wing dams. With water still high for summer levels, fish are still scattered making it difficult for anglers to find good catches. Fishing should improve as water levels drop. Walleye fishing is rated fair.

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