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Illinois Outdoor News Fishing Report – Sept. 8, 2017

The fishing and hunting report is compiled using reports from conservation officers, hunting guides and fishing guides.


Chain: White and yellow bass are hitting Mepps spinners, pinkie jigs or live bait. Pike are being caught around creek mouths. Muskies and walleyes are fair. Catfish are fair on nightcrawlers. Bluegills and crappies good, falling into deeper waters (8 to 15 feet). Bass are also biting well as water has cooled some in recent days. Bigger fish are starting to move shallow, though the best bet is still fishing weed edges with soft plastics. Some fish also coming on frogs over the weeds. Walleyes are good at the bridges on leeches and crawlers when there is moving water.

Shabbona: Crappie fishing is good, but you will have to look for them. They are deep in the east bay deep trees. Look for them 20 feet down right down to the bottom of the lake. Crappies are also being caught in the deeper structures like the three fish cribs that are located on the northern part of the road bed. Use crappie minnows, Aberdeen hooks and slip bobbers for best results. Walleye fishing is fair with some larger fish showing up. Look for walleyes on the deeper flats, the steeper drop offs, the deeper weedlines and the rock piles. For best results, use jumbo leeches. Bass fishing has slowed a bit. Some bass are being caught over the rockpiles by anglers using leeches. For some very exciting action use Scum Frogs on top of the weed mats or lily pads.

Braidwood: Catfish are good on shrimp and cheesebaits. Bluegills very good on waxworms and red worms at Mazonia. Good bass fishing at Mazonia, but clear water can make for tough fishing.

DuPage Forest Preserve: Bass and bluegills good in deep water at Corey Lake. Mallard Lake good on catfish, crappies and walleyes. Silver Lake at Blackwell slow and weedy. Pratt Lake slow.

Heidecke: Walleyes good on crawlers and jigs. Catfish fair, with several from 4 to 6 pounds reported on stinkbaits or crawlers.

Lake Michigan (Chicago Area): Panfish best in harbors. Perch  slow from shore. Harbors holding good panfish near weeds. Kings, coho, browns and rainbows being caught in 50-80 feet of water.

Lake Michigan (Waukegan): Kings and coho slowing, but being caught in 50-90 feet, depending on time of day, on spoons, Dodgers or flies.


Devils’ Kitchen: Bass action has been good around shallows with spinners and plastic worms. Bluegills good on worms and crickets.

Crab Orchard Lake: Crappie anglers are holding in water 8-10 feet over cover or around bridge pillars. Minnows and jigs have been equally effective. Catfish are hitting throughout the lake on cut shad, leeches and stinkbaits. Some bluegill anglers are still reporting success around the rip rap on wax worms and crickets. Bass anglers are picking up some fish early and the mornings and late in the evenings working soft plastics or topwater baits around the weedbeds.

Horseshoe Lake: Catfish anglers are still reporting good success drift fishing nightcrawlers throughout the lake. Crappie action has improved a bit in the past few weeks. Anglers are working brush piles on the outer edge of the tree lines. Minnows or chartreuse jigs are the primary baits. Bass and bluegill action has been slow.

Carlyle Lake: White bass are biting well below the spillway, with a few fish coming from near the trestles and the silos. Whites are also biting on the main lake on the flats. Channel cats are good on the lake for anglers drifting or jug fishing with cut bait or leeches. Good catches reported near Keyesport and Boulder. Flathead are also biting near the spillway on bluegills. Cut bait also working as are slab spoons thrown up along the wall. Crappies good below the dam.

Lake Murphysboro: Catfish are the best bet. Catfish are being caught throughout the lake on nightcrawlers, chicken liver, large minnows and stinkbaits. Bluegills remain fair in 6-8 feet of water. Wax worms, crickets and red wigglers are all producing good catches. Crappies have been fair at best. Fish are holding in deep areas. Bass anglers are reporting fair to good success on spinnerbaits and soft plastics.

Kinkaid Lake: Anglers are still catching some crappies over cover at 10-15 feet. Minnows are preferred over jigs. Catfish anglers are still reporting good success. The best catfish action has been on nightcrawlers, chicken liver, large minnows and stinkbaits. Bass action remains fair. Bluegill action has slowed down during the past week. There were no reports on walleyes or white bass.

Lake of Egypt: Fishing has improved, particularly in the late evening and through the night. Anglers are working around the weedbeds and drop-offs with Rat-L-Traps. Crappies are still slow. Some catfish anglers are reporting limited success on chicken livers. Bluegills are being caught in good numbers on the typical baits, but most fish are running small.

Little Grassy: Catfish action has been good throughout the lake. The best action has been on nightcrawlers. Bluegill action is spotty. Most bluegills are holding in 6-8 feet of water and can be caught on crickets and wax worms. A few crappie anglers have taken some nice fish in 15-20 feet. The best crappie action has been on minnows. Bass anglers are reporting fair numbers of fish, although most are running small.

Rend Lake: Fishing is rated good across the board. Catfish anglers are still working the subimpoundment dams and are drift fishing in Gun Creek, rip rap areas and shallow humps. Chicken livers, nightcrawlers, leeches, stinkbaits and shrimp are all producing good catches. Bass are rated good on a jig and pig, black buzzbaits and spinnerbaits around Illinois 154, Jackie Branch and Gun Creek. Crappies also earn a good rating. Minnows, chartreuse jigs, white jigs and pink/green jigs are producing fish in 6-10 feet of water over Christmas tree sets and near bridge pillars. Anglers are also drift fishing north of Route 154 and around the Gun Creek bridge. Bluegills are still being caught on wax worms, crickets and red wigglers in shallow coves. Some white bass anglers are reporting good success fishing slab spoons, Little Georges and curly tail jigs near shallow areas.


Lake Taylorville: Bass fair on crankbaits and tubes. Some being taken with little jigs. A few channel catfish.

Spring Lake: A few catfish on dew worms and shad. Bluegills fair on wax worms off shore. Bass slow. Crappies biting on tube jigs at the south end bays.

Lake Bloomington: Hybrid stripers are fair, with best action early and just before dusk when fish are chasing shad on the surface and hitting jigs or Roadrunners. Bass best on jigs, chatterbaits and soft plastics off points with timber and along the weeds in the evenings. Catfish are fair on dipbaits and crawlers. Late evenings are best. Anglers are catching some crappies up to 12 inches in 12-18 feet of water. Drifting jigs is working best for these suspended fish.

Lake Shelbyville: Bass have been good in shallows and coves. Walleyes are good over newly covered rock and rip-rap. Crappies are spotty. Muskies are being caught in deeper waters.

Evergreen Lake: Crappies, catfish and bluegills are best. Crappies are still biting in the evening and after dark. Good spots continue to be the boat rental, swimming beach, and pumphouse areas. Tube jigs with or without a minnow best. The saugeyes have really slowed down. The bass on the other hand have picked up. Fishermen are picking them up in the shallower areas on plastics worked slowly. Bluegills are still biting very good as well. Waxworms and redworms still best in shallow water structure. Catfish are still biting pretty good, too. Cheese and stinkbaits best in evening times, especially around the swimming beach, pumphouse and on top of spillway.

Clinton Lake: Catfish very good on guts, shrimp and shad. A few crappies on jigs and minnows. White bass fair on bladebaits. Some walleyes on Big Dudes. Reports of hybrids and walleyes below the spillway. Largemouths good on spinners, plastics.

Lake Springfield: Bass good on plastics and crankbaits. Catfish biting hard on just about anything.


Illinois River: At Ottawa, catfish are good. Best on shrimp, chicken liver and shad. Near Peoria, channel catfish good along channel edges. White bass are good on Little Georges. Near Starved Rock, white bass are good on bladebaits. Catfish good on cut shad and dipbaits. Smallmouth bass and catfish still good in the big Vermilion River, which is low and clean and was not impacted by recent rains. Flathead catfish are hitting well on bluegills, and channel cats are biting on dipbait. White bass are also good from Peru to Henry on bladebaits or silver spinners on sand flats or pea gravel bars. Near Spring Valley, catfish biting on herring and shad. White bass good. Near Chillicothe, white bass are decent on Panther Martins. Near Henry, catfish good on nightcrawlers.

Kaskaskia River: Bass action is rated excellent in the creeks and oxbows, particularly in clear water areas. Spinnerbaits and crankbaits are the best bet. Catfish are rated excellent in the lock and dam tailwater on shad. White bass are good near the tailwater and the mouths of creeks using small spinners and crankbaits. Crappies are rated poor with some fish being caught on minnows fished around standing timber in the oxbows.

Mississippi River: At Pools 13-14, water levels are stable to slowly falling and temperature at Guttenberg is 74 degrees, which is much cooler than expected for this time of year. Walleye fishing is good to excellent.

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