Illinois Outdoor News Fishing & Hunting Report – May 31, 2019
The fishing and hunting report is compiled using reports from conservation officers, hunting guides and fishing guides.
Chain: Jig and minnows or jig and leeches remain solid choices for walleyes on Marie Lake. Anglers are working them in the 5 to 15 feet of water range, with chartreuse jigs doing the best.
Bluegills have been biting in shallows on waxworms rigged on ice jigs under small floats. Catfish bite is improving on stinkbait, nightcrawlers or roaches. Pike are fair.
Braidwood: Bluegills very good on waxworms and red worms at Mazonia. Good bass fishing at Mazonia, but clear water can make for tough fishing. Catfish and bluegills biting fair on worms and nightcrawlers.
Shabbona: Walleyes have been hot, biting on nightcrawlers and leeches. Bass have been good on crankbaits and starting to hit topwaters. Crappies have completed their spawn and are moving back to cribs. Bluegills are spawning.
LaSalle: The smallmouths are picking up, according to reports. A few nice smallies are being caught by anglers looking for largemouths. Catfish good on nightcrawlers and stinkbaits.
Heidecke: Walleyes have been good, mostly on minnows. A few bass caught on spinners.
Lake Michigan: Fishing out of the northern harbors has slowed a bit with the recent heavy blows. The fish have scattered and are a bit more difficult to find. They have spread out and are being found in 50 feet of water to 150 feet of water right now.
Perch are being caught at Montrose, and some landed at Burnham/Northerly Island. Best bet is minnows or soft shells. At Waukegan, anglers dipping in the 80-120 feet of water range using Yellow Birds and Dodgers and flies or spoons are taking nice cohos and kings.
Lake Zurich: The bass are getting aggressive on the outside edges of the weeds as well and are being caught on medium diver crankbaits or lipless cranks.
Devils’ Kitchen: Bluegills are still holding around the beds. However, fishing has slowed. The standard bluegill baits are still effective.
Crab Orchard Lake: Bluegill action is still good near the beds. Catfish action is picking up. Anglers are reporting good success on cut bait, stinkbait and leeches. Crappies are holding over cover in 6-9 feet of water. Minnows and jigs are both effective. Bass anglers are still reporting good success using topwater baits and soft plastics over shallow woody cover.
Baldwin Lake: Largemouth bass have slowed. Bluegills are biting on worms in 6 to 8 feet of water. Fishing for crappies and catfish has been fair.
Carlyle Lake: Crappies and catfish best. Catfish taking shrimp, leeches, cut shad and shad guts off flooded trees. White bass hitting tube jigs and twister tails. Crappies slowing but biting on minnows, jigs, tube jigs by Hazlet State Park. Sauger hit and miss, if they can be found. Bluegill fishing is fair on worms. Carp spawning in shallows.
Pinckneyville Lake: Largemouth bass have slowed. Bluegills are biting on worms in 6 to 8 feet of water. Crappie and catfish fishing has been fair.
Kinkaid Lake: Catfish are still the best bet. Anglers are taking fish on nightcrawlers, stinkbait, liver, cut shad and leeches. Bluegill anglers are catching good numbers of fish, but most are running small. Crappies are scattered at 8-12 feet. Minnows and jigs are both effective. Bass action is spotty. Crappies picking up on minnows. Muskies improving on Rat-L-Traps, twitch minnows, spinnerbaits and soft plastics. White bass also taking crappie minnows, small crankbaits, small diving crankbaits. Walleyes taking deep diving crankbaits or jig and minnow combos by the rip-rap areas or the dam.
Lake of Egypt: Bluegill action is good on crickets, meal worms and wax worms. Crappie action has picked up in the past week. Most anglers are fishing with minnows in 18-22 feet of water. Bass action is spotty. Anglers are taking fair numbers of fish, although most are running slow. Jigs and soft plastics are most effective for bigger fish. Anglers are taking good numbers of smaller fish on shallow running baits. Catfish action has been fair.
Little Grassy: Bass action is excellent. Anglers are taking good fish on a variety of baits. Crappies are hitting on minnows. Most crappies are holding in 8-10 feet of water. Crappie anglers are catching good numbers of bass on minnows. Bluegill action has been excellent on crickets and meal worms. Catfish anglers are reporting good success on nightcrawlers and cut bait and biting on worms.
Rend Lake: Bluegills are still rated excellent. Sunfish are still bedding and can be caught in shallow areas on crickets and meal worms. Crappies and catfish were downgraded from excellent to good. The crappie spawn is essentially completed, and fish have retreated to cover in 6-14 feet of water. Jigs and minnows are still producing good catches. Catfish are still being caught around shallow rip rap areas. Cut shad, leeches and stinkbaits are all effective. Largemouth action is still good around woody cover, rip rap and bridge piers. Soft plastics, Rat-L-Traps, spinnerbaits and crankbaits have all been productive. White bass are also rated good on spoons, jigs and crankbaits near bridge piers and rip rap. The lake is just below normal pool and water temperature is 73 degrees.
Lake Murphysboro: Catfish anglers are reporting good success. Fish are biting on virtually every natural bait. Bluegill action is good, but most anglers are reporting fish are running small. Crappie and bass action is spotty.
Lake Taylorville: Bluegills biting on worms in the shallows. Crappie bite has been slow, but picking up on minnows and light-colored jigs. Bass have come to life on spinners and crankbaits.
Newton Lake: Some white bass reported to be hitting just about anything thrown, but only at dusk. Largemouth bass improving on spinners and crankbaits and plastic worms. A few nice ones are being caught on live minnows recently. Crappies slow, but a few caught on minnows.
Spring Lake: Crappies biting on light jigs and minnows. Channel cats being caught on stinkbaits and shad.
Lake Bloomington: Bass have moved out deeper and are being caught on crankbaits or plastic worms. Bluegills picking up on worms, some on jigs or small spinners. Crappies good on small jigs and minnows. Walleyes, slow to fair on smaller jigs with twisters or minnows near the docks. Hybrid stripers are slow but a few caught on jigs and bladebaits.
Lake Shelbyville: Channel cats good on worms and shad. A report of a 12-pounder being caught the first week of June on a jig. Crappies good on jigs and minnows. A few bass being caught on spinners and crankbaits. Muskies slow.
Evergreen Lake: Crappie fishing has slowed some with the cooler weather. Some crappies are still being caught using minnow under a slip bobber in 10-15 feet of water. Saugeyes continue to bite, but most are on the small side, 12-14 inches. Bass are still being caught in good numbers. Bluegill fishing has remained good with most being caught on wax worms. Catfish have also been doing well on size and numbers.
Clinton Lake: Bass being landed on plastic worms, spinners (white) on north and south points and around cover. Bluegills good on wax worms in shallows. Catfish good on shad gut, shrimp or dip baits. Crappies are good on jigs or minnows around trees or brush. Walleyes are slow, but some caught on jigs off flats. White bass have slowed, but some caught on jig/twisters or minnows and spinners.
Coffeen Lake: Bass have really picked up and are excellent on crankbaits, topwater baits and plastic worms. Bluegills are good on crickets and wax worms. They are hanging fairly shallow. Catfish are good on crawlers and cut bait. Stripers are good on deep running crankbaits.
Lake Springfield: Channel cats being taken on shad and dip baits, mostly at night near bridges and rocks. Crappie bite picking up on jigs tipped with minnows. Bass have been good on plastics and crankbaits.