Illinois Outdoor News Fishing & Hunting Report – May 3, 2019

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

North

Shabbona: Look for crappies over the fish cribs and brush piles along the campground shoreline. Bass fishing is slow. 

Braidwood: Shore fishermen are seeing quite a few small catfish and bluegills. Fish are being caught on ice jigs under a float or on bottom rigs tipped with crawlers or other cut bait. The largemouths are being caught fishing the secondary drop-offs with large profile baits like a jig and pig or slow rolling a spinnerbait.

Chain: The bass appear to be into their spawn patterns and can be caught with rattle baits and lipless cranks near the newly forming weeds and on the shallow rocky flats. With this new forage, it is time to match the hatch and start to work shad-colored baits in the areas that these baitfish are found. Walleyes are starting to turn on around the channels.

LaSalle: There are some good reports of cats caught by fishermen trolling shadraps and spoonplugs. The shore fishermen are doing well on livers fished on the bottom. There have been some good reports of bass being caught casting the rip-rap with a weightless stick style worm.

Heidecke: The walleye bite has slowed down but it won’t stay that way for long. The fish are being caught trolling crawler harnesses and working the deeper water. Some hybrids are being found mixed in as well as quite a few yellow bass.

Lake Michigan: There have been good reports of a mixed bag of fish being caught out of Waukegan in the 55 to 75 feet of water ranges. Kings and the larger cohos are being caught on large paddle flashers and flies as well as larger white and glow colored spoons. 

The cohos are spotty, but can be found with body baits and smaller flashers and peanut flies.

The perch bite at Navy Pier has been slow. Reports have shown that a lot of smaller ones are being caught and getting limits of larger fish is tough. 

Browns and cohos are being caught on bottom rigs tipped with spawn sacs and roaches.

The fish on the south end have moved out to deeper water and fishing has been tough with the changing weather fronts that we keep getting. Trolling small orange dodger and peanut flies log lining body baits like red and black 

Thin Fins has also been working well for the cohos in these areas. 

South

Devils’ Kitchen: Bluegills are still on beds and can be caught on crickets, wax worms and red wigglers. Bass are good on spinners and crankbaits. Most are hanging in structures.

Crab Orchard Lake: Catfish action has improved markedly on stinkbaits, leeches and cut shad. Bass are still holding in shallow areas and can be caught on a variety of baits. Crappie action is still good, but the larger fish have moved into deeper cover, 6 to 8 feet deep. Minnows and jigs are both effective. Bluegills are still holding in shallow areas and can be caught on crickets and wax worms. 

Kinkaid Lake: Crappie action is spotty. Some crappies are still holding eggs, but most fish moved to cover 6-10 feet deep. Minnows and jigs are both effective. Bluegill action is still good, but most fish are running small. Wax worms, crickets and red wigglers are all effective. Anglers are still catching some catfish in shallows on worms and minnows. Bass action is fair. Muskie and walleye action is slow.

Lake of Egypt: Bluegills are still on the beds and can be caught on a variety of baits. Crappies have also moved into deep cover. Minnows and jigs are both effective. Bass action has been good. The larger fish have moved deep, 14-22 feet. Soft plastics and jigs are the best bets. Some anglers fishing early in the morning are picking up fish on spinnerbaits and crankbaits. 

Little Grassy: Crappies have moved off the banks and are holding in 15-20 feet of water. Minnows are the primary bait. Catfish are in shallow areas and are being caught in good numbers on red wigglers and nightcrawlers. Bass are still holding in shallow areas. Anglers are taking fish on soft plastics and twitch baits.

Rend Lake: Some anglers are still catching crappies in shallow brush while others are targeting fish in cover 8-12 feet deep. Minnows are the most effective bait. Catfish are being caught on stinkbaits, shad gut, nightcrawlers and leeches. 

Lake of Egypt: Bluegills are still on the beds and can be caught on a variety of baits. Crappies have also moved into deep cover. Minnows and jigs are both effective. Bass action has been good. The larger fish have moved deep, 14-22 feet. Soft plastics and jigs are the best bets. Some anglers fishing early in the morning are picking up fish on spinnerbaits and crankbaits. 

Little Grassy: Crappies have moved off the banks and are holding in 15-20 feet of water. Minnows are the primary bait. Catfish are in shallow areas and are being caught in good numbers on red wigglers and nightcrawlers. Bass are still holding in shallow areas. Anglers are taking fish on soft plastics and twitch baits.

Rend Lake: Some anglers are still catching crappies in shallow brush while others are targeting fish in cover 8-12 feet deep. Minnows are the most effective bait. Catfish are being caught on stinkbaits, shad gut, nightcrawlers and leeches. 

Central

Lake Taylorville: A few catfish have been taken on dough baits. Bluegills excellent on worms. Crappies good to excellent on minnows. Bass have been hitting plastic worms.

Coffeen Lake: Bass are good on topwater baits, crankbaits and plastics. Bluegills are fair on wax worms and fairly shallow catfish are good on dip baits, crawlers and cut bait, with some big flatheads being landed. Stripers are fair on deep running crankbaits.

Lake Springfield: Bass being caught on plastic worms near shore and boat docks. Channel cats goo. Crappies fair on jigs and minnows. 

Sangchris Lake: Bass were fair to slow around timber cover on plastics. Catfish were fair on cut baits and shad. Flatheads are good to fair on live baits. 

Rivers

Illinois River:  The sauger and walleye bite has been really good with recent weather patterns. Fish are being caught vertical jigging jigs with minnows or using a floater jig and lindy rigging minnows have been doing well. Pulling three-way rigs has also started to put some fish in the boats. The white bass can be found on rocky shoreline areas.

Rock River (Milan): Catfish are biting on liver, nightcrawlers, minnows, leeches and stinkbait below the Sears Dam in the Rock River.

Fox River: Where fishing was possible, the walleye bite was slow. Use minnow baits in the deeper holes and near bridge pilings. Night fishing has proven to be most effective. Jigs and twisters in white or chartreuse are being productive.

The catfish bite slowed as the fish went into their wintering holes.  Smaller baits with a lot of scent are best. Cut shad or minnows fished near the deeper holes.

Smallmouth fishing was also very slow, but if you can find a warm-water discharge, you are likely to find some good fish in the area. Live bait this time of year is a key advantage.

Mississippi River (Anna/Jonesboro-Gorham): channel catfish good on dough baits, minnows, stink bait, or cut baits are attracting attention along the shorelines and in holes.  Bluegills good on crickets are attracting attention near weed lines, weed pockets, or near cover and structure.  Crappies fair on minnows. 

Mississippi River ( Belleville): channel cats fair on night crawlers and a few on shad from along the edges and up creeks. Bluegills fair. A few smaller sized fish are being taken with a wax worm under a bobber off the rip-rap, brush, stumps, and near weed patches.  Crappies good.  Fishing from a boat has the best success. Some being caught in the 12- to 13-inch range. Anglers using a Spider Rig with a minnow in 12 to 13 feet of water.

Mississippi River (Pool 13 Savanna): Crappies fair. Biting on minnows along the edges of the clearer, cooler backwater areas and creeks.  Channel cats good. Fish being caught in holes, near mouths of creeks, and up flooded creeks with night crawlers or stink bait.

Mississippi River (Pool 14-15 East Moline): Bluegills fair.  Doing pretty good catching some in the canal.  Yellow perch fair. 

Mississippi River (Pool 18 Gladstone):  Channel cats good. The area north of Pool 18 has been producing. Check out filled creeks with night crawlers. 

Categories: Hunting News, Illinois Fishing Reports, News

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