Northern Illinois Fishing Report – October 16th, 2015

Chain: With the cooler days, the bite has moved to a midday time frame. There have been some reports of stained water in most of the lower lakes. Water clarity is poor, and this is affecting the fishing. The bass will begin to feed with the dropping water temps. The fish are relating to the green weeds, and search baits like spinnerbaits and swim jigs are doing quite well at finding the aggressive fish.  Also pitch the weeds with heavy jigs and work the weed edges from shallow into the deeper water. The bass will be cruising these weedlines looking for an easy meal. Fish have been reported to be most active in the upper lakes. The boat docks have been holding some good fish, but bigger fish have been found in the weeds and around the channels.

The panfish bite is good as usual and the boat docks are offering good structure and shade to the fish. Wax worms on a single hook or your favorite ice jig under a slip float have done really well. Work the areas in the seven to eight feet of water near the weeds. The crappies are suspended over deeper water, as are some of the larger bluegills. Watch your graph on the breaklines, and you will find the suspended fish. Minnows or jigs under a float or small jigging spoons worked around the suspended fish have been top producers.  The walleye bite is starting to pick up with the cooler water temps. You will find fish mostly in the early morning hours and the evening. However, overcast days are really turning those fish on and they are hitting all day. The muskie fishing has been starting to pick up nicely. 

Shabbona: Good catches of catfish are being taken near the wood pilings on live bait like leeches and crawlers.  Also there have been reports of cats being caught near the earth dam on leaches suspended below a float. The bass are feeding up for the fall and are being found on the outside edges of the weeds as well as in the wood areas in the “no-motor-zone.” Crankbaits pulled on the edges work well in the morning and switch over to soft plastics fished low and slow in the afternoon. 

Lake Michigan: Waukegan has reported sporadic good catches of cohos and kings with the downtown harbors reporting really good catches of fish. There have been good reports of fish being caught north of the border in Wisconsin. With the end of the king run, this means that the steelhead and browns will soon follow.  

Trolling has picked up a bit with some limits of fish being caught off Waukegan. The fish have moved out to the deep water – depths starting at the 110-foot mark all the way out to 200 feet. The best bite is early mornings or dusk until a few hours after sunset. Trolling glow spoons or glow flasher/dodger and fly combinations have been doing well. 

The perch fishing has been on and off from the shore and from the boats in the north. Spinners tipped with softshells as well as jigging spoons have been working well.

There have been good reports from the city harbors of good-sized smallmouths being caught. The smallmouths are being caught all the way down into the Portage area of Indiana. Goby-style baits on jigs as well as “drop-shot” rigs are putting some good fish in the boat. With the cooling water, these fish are really starting to feed up for the winter

Categories: Illinois Fishing Reports, North (Central)

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