Northern Illinois Fishing Report – August 21st, 2015
Lake Michigan: Yellow perch are spotty. Northeast winds and thunderstorms have affected the perch fishing. If summertime weather holds up, perch should be hitting both for boaters and shore fishermen. Chinook are very deep. Fishermen are going to the north and south reefs. North reef is better, fishing in 175 to 220 feet of water. Bigger kings and lakers are there. On the south end, spotty reports of perch, with the fish moving in and out of the harbors. Minnows and softshells are working when the fish are cooperating.
Chain: Most reports have shown that the fish have pushed into the deeper basins as the water has warmed up. Channel cats are hitting nightcrawlers as well as cut shad. Crappies have been suspending over the deep water, and small crankbaits or minnows under slip floats are doing well. Largemouths are being found in their usual spots and fishing frogs over the heavy weeds in the evening has been a great way to find them. Muskie action is slow and the northern lakes are your best bet. Trolling large crankbaits along the breaklines has been the choice of many fishermen.
Braidwood: The catfish bite is really hot and heavy. Both shore and boat fishermen have been showing good catches of fish; however, the overall size is small. Cut bait as well as stinkbait have done well for the smaller cats, but larger baits are key to the larger cats. The panfish bite is good, but the size of fish is small. Bass are being found with spinnerbaits and crankbaits near the secondary drop-offs.
Heidecke Lake: 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 nice fish when you can find them. The stripers are also being caught trolling minnowbaits or by shore fishermen fishing chicken livers on the bottom. The bass bite, both large and smallmouth, 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 caught on the lake. These fish are really starting to show up in good numbers and smaller twitchbaits are the key to catching them. The north side has been producing a bit better than the south, but it is just good to see these fish starting to show up in numbers.