Illinois Outdoor News Fishing Report – June 29, 2018
The fishing and hunting report is compiled using reports from conservation officers, hunting guides and fishing guides.
Chain: The walleyes are really starting to turn on all over the Chain. Jig and minnow combinations or spinner rigs with nightcrawlers are the best producers. Strong reports of good panfish have been coming in. Small ice jigs under a float or bobber. The shallow portions of the bays seem to be producing quite well. Bass have been hitting Rattletraps fished in the shallower areas as well as slow rolled spinnerbaits near the bottom. Look for the inside edges of weedbeds that are good transition points between cover and their spawning areas.
Braidwood: Catfish are being caught on bottom rigs tipped with crawlers or other cut bait.
The largemouths are slowing down but are still being found on the secondary drop-offs with large profile baits like a jig and pig or by fishing the shallower areas bouncing a crankbait or spoonplug off the rocks and the bottom.
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.
LaSalle: The lake has begun to slow down for both the boat and the shore angler. Shore anglers have been catching the occasional hybrid stripers on chicken livers. Blue cats are also being caught on live bait or crankbaits. The boaters have been catching multiple species trolling crankbaits near the rip-rap as well as working some of the deeper structure that is in the lake. Smallmouth and largemouth bass as well as the occasional walleye can and are being caught on rattletraps and bladebaits. The fish are pushing down to the sections near the dikes where the rock meets the mud bottom. Carolina rigging smaller sized plastics as well as drop-shotting can be very productive. Wacky-rigged senkos have been putting a number of bass in the boats as well.
Heidecke: The hybrid stripers have been taken by shore fishermen on chicken livers and by boaters trolling cranks or casting the riprap. The walleye bite is picking up with some large fish being taken on live bait or by trolling spinner rigs with nightcrawlers. White bass and yellow bass will also come while trolling the spinner rigs. Cast the rip-rap with crankbaits like a Rattletrap or other tight wobble baits. These will often produce a reaction strike that can help put more fish in the boat. There have also been reports of the occasional muskie being caught. Take caution as the water is up and this means that the bridge to go under to the north side is too low and you risk damage to your rig if you try to go under.
Lake Michigan: North harbors are experiencing the June lull. Few reports of limits are coming in, but the fish are still there. Cohos and a mix of kings and steelhead are reported. Flasher fly combos and magnum spoons in 80-100 feet of water. Boaters in the deeper areas are having better luck.
The south end is still showing good limits of coho and kings. Flasher/fly and brighter colored spoons have been top producers.
Good catches of smallmouths are being reported by those targeting them. The best producers are goby imitating jigs or dropshot rigs with 4-inch minnow style plastics. Jerkbaits are also showing some good action.
The shore anglers on Navy pier as well as some of the downtown harbors have reported some great catches of perch. Minnows on crappie rigs are doing best. The offshore bite has slowed down but if you can find the schools, you can get on some big fish.
Devils Kitchen: Bluegills are on and off the beds. Fishing has slowed slightly, but some anglers are still reporting good catches on crickets and wax worms.
Crab Orchard Lake: Crappies are still being found near the shore on shallow cover. Minnows and jigs are both effective. Bluegills are being caught in shallow areas. Some fish are still on the beds.
Crickets and wax worms are the most effective baits.
Catfish are being caught in good numbers on cut bait. Bass action has been good on a variety of baits. Jigs and spinnerbaits are the best bets.
Baldwin Lake: Catfish are the best bet. Anglers are drifting the middle of the lake with live bait, targeting flatheads. Bluegill anglers are still picking up fair numbers of fish, although size in small. Wax worms, meal worms and crickets are effective. Bass action has slowed.
Carlyle Lake: Catfish action is hot around the main lake rip-rap as fish have moved in to spawn. The best success has been on nightcrawlers, cut shad and stinkbaits. Crappie action has slowed somewhat as fish have moved into post-spawn mode. Minnows and jigs fished over cover in 5-6 feet of water are still producing some fish. White bass and sauger are being caught around the silos on the north end of the lake. Some nice sauger are being caught by anglers trolling crankbaits. In the tailwater, catfish are the best bet on cut bait, shad gut and stinkbaits. White bass action is also good on rooster tails, jigs and minnows.
Little Grassy: Catfish action has been outstanding. Anglers are catching good numbers of cats on nightcrawlers. Crappie action has also been good. Anglers are taking good numbers of big fish on minnows. Crappies are still being caught over shallow cover. Bluegill action has improved in the past week. Crickets have been the best bet. An 8.5-pound pass was caught by a bluegill angler this month. Bass action has been good on jigs.
Pinckneyville Lake: Largemouth bass have slowed. Bluegills are biting on worms in 6 to 8 feet of water. Crappies and catfish fishing has been fair.
Kinkaid Lake: Bass action has been good, particularly in the evenings. Good numbers of 3-pound fish are being caught around the islands on spinnerbaits and soft plastics. Crappies are a bit slower, but fish are still being caught in decent numbers. Most fish are holding in 4-6 feet of water and are being caught primarily on minnows. Bluegills are being caught in good numbers. Some fish are still on the beds.
Wax worms and red wigglers are both effective. Catfish action remains steady in the late evenings, particularly on the north end of the lake on night crawlers. Muskie and walleye action has slowed with the heat.
Lake of Egypt: Bass action remains fair to good. Anglers are taking fish in the mornings and evenings on topwater baits.
During the day, fish are holding in wood and weeds and can be caught on soft plastics and jigs. Crappie anglers are going to depths of 18 to 20 feet to catch fish. The best crappie action has been on minnows. Most bluegills have moved off the beds. Some fish are still being caught on wax worms and crickets. Catfish action is still slow.
Rend Lake: Crappies are rated excellent in brushy areas. Crappies are being caught at about two feet deep on quarter-ounce pink/white jigs and minnows. Other anglers are reporting success over cover in 8-11 feet of water.
Catfish are also rated excellent on stinkbaits, leeches and large minnows. The mouths of creeks have been hot spots. Leeches have been effective in moving water. Bass are rated good around brushy cover in bays. Soft plastics and jigs have been the most effective baits. Bluegills are also rated excellent on crickets, wax worms, meal worms and red wigglers in the back of shallow necks. One hot spot has been near the rocks at the Sailboat Harbor bridge. White bass are good around the bridges and rip-rap.
Newton Lake: Bass good. Crappies fair on minnows. Catfish good.
Lake Bloomington: Bluegills are good and taking spinners off the seawalls; but most are under 8 inches. Catfish are good on dipbait and are taking jigs fished for other species off points.
Walleye fishing is good on crankbaits, jigs and crawlers on points or deep flats and quarter-ounce chrome-and-blue Rat-L-Traps near the pump house. Bass fishing is fair.
Lake Shelbyville: Bass picking up, but higher waters have slowed action. The crappies hitting minnows, shallows seem to be working best. Catfish are being caught on worms and shad at night.
Evergreen Lake: Crappies are moving shallow and biting early and late, but many are small. Evenings are best for keepers in the shallows. Channel catfish are good also, particularly at the mouth of Six Mile Creek Bay, the swim beach, the pump house and off the spillway. Saugeyes are good in the evenings in the same spots as the crappies.
Hot spots include the dock just south of the boat rental and the boat rental dock. Bass are deep off main-lake points and humps.
Clinton Lake: Walleyes, catfish and stripers are biting below the spillway. On the main lake, bass are fair on crankbaits, jig/grub and plastics on points and around cover with the west side being more productive. Bluegills are fair on wax worms in coves.
Sangchris Lake: A few nice bass caught on spinners. Crappies biting on minnows. Bluegills and catfish hot on nightcrawlers and worms.
Lake Springfield: Bass good in the cool part of the lake, in the back and off of points. Most were caught on crankbaits, some 18 inches and bigger.