Northern Illinois Fishing Report- April 3rd, 2015

Braidwood: Bass regulations changed on April 1 to a daily bag of three 15 inches or longer. Fish overall are slow, but appear to be picking up as water settles. Anglers are finding some good largemouths on spinnerbaits and swimjigs. There are some days that reaction strikes are the way to go so don’t be afraid to bounce a crankbait off the rocks to trigger a strike.
Always keep an eye on the flags at the launch, as they will give you an indication if it is safe to be on the water and when you should take caution.  Green is good, yellow is caution, and red is dangerous.

Bangs Lake: Bass fair to good on spinners. Some catfish being caught, which is rare for early spring. Crappies and bluegill action has been sporadic. Crappies have been found suspended in 15 feet of water and then moving into the shallows in the mornings. The bluegills and pumpkinseeds are still up in the shallows around the weeds. 

LaSalle: Bass good. Other fish picking up. Trollers are finding great bass using spoonplugs and other lipped crankbaits pulled around the structures. The shore anglers have been doing well on the catfish with chicken livers fished on the bottom. Hybrid stripers fair. A few panfish being caught on worms.

Heidecke: The lake was scheduled to open April 1. DNR biologists have predicted a good year for walleye anglers, as staff collected walleyes at a record rate of 47 fish per hour. The average sized fish collected was about 17 inches and some of the walleyes weighed up to 8.5 pounds. 

Lake Michigan: Fish are being caught along the shorelines and harbors. Find the discharges on the south end of the lake and you will find the browns and coho. Also the areas around the rock reefs as well as Burn’s ditch are producing good fish.
Shore anglers are finding limits of cohos. Casting spoons or inline spinners as well as white jigs has been productive. The power liner crowd has been getting their bells rung on a consistent basis.
Johnson’s Pier has been really good lately with the north winds. The winds are pushing the warm water up against Johnson’s Pier, and the brown trout will start feeding heavily. There has been a good brown trout bite fishing bottom rigs with dead golden roaches. Also casting small spoons will produce some big fish.
Perch are biting at Navy Pier. Reports have shown that a lot of smaller ones are being caught and getting limits of larger fish require a lot of sorting. Live minnows and cooked shrimp on drop shot rigs as well as ice fishing jigs tipped with spikes have been producing. Also Kastmasters or other jigging spoons will do well and may take the occasional trout. 
At Kenosha Harbor, with the recent thaw, the main harbor is open and the runoff from the snow is starting to turn the browns on. Fish the outlet pipes in the harbor, floating spawn sacs as well as golden roaches. Vary your depths so that you cover a good deal of water, and you will be rewarded for your efforts. Don’t be afraid to throw smaller spoons or crankbaits near the walls and rocks. The small boat harbor still has some good ice and tube jigs with waxies as well as tipups with spawn have been putting some nice browns on the ice. Take caution on the ice as there are aerators around the docks and the ice can be unsafe in these areas.

Chain: The bass are starting to get into their pre-spawn patterns and can be caught casting rattle baits and lipless cranks on the breaklines and near the newly forming weeds. If you get into the back bays and near the boat docks, you will find some good panfish action. The fish are holding tight to any wood or steel structure as this warms up first in the sun. Small jigs under a float or a plain hook with a chunk nightcrawler have done well. Structure is key. Look for the bridge pilings or wood that would warm up first. Fish are being taken near the shores on worms, as well on jig and minnow combinations. There are good reports of crappies and bluegills being caught near the shallows and bridge pilings on small jigs or ice jigs under floats.

Categories: Illinois Fishing Reports, North (Central)

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