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Saturday, February 4th, 2023

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Illinois Fishing Report – November 6, 2020

Report from the Dock

Chinook salmon, coho salmon, brown trout and two strains of rainbow trout are raised at DNR’s Jake Wolf Memorial Fish Hatchery in Manito. Chinook eggs are typically collected from mature fish in the Little Manistee River (Michigan) by Illinois and Michigan DNRs. Coho eggs are collected from mature fish in the Platte River (Michigan). Eyed eggs (developed to the point that eyes can be distinguished inside the egg) of brown trout and Arlee-strain rainbow trout are received from U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Federal hatcheries, and fertilized Skamania-strain rainbow trout eggs are received from an Indiana DNR hatchery. The eggs are incubated at Jake Wolf and surviving fry are reared in indoor tanks and outdoor raceways until they reach a stocking size of about 5 inches. The advanced fingerlings are transported to Lake Michigan and stocked by hatchery staff in early or late summer, depending on the species. Lake trout stocked in Illinois waters are hatched and raised at one of the USFWS Federal hatcheries. These fish are then stocked offshore as yearlings with the Service’s stocking vessel M/V Spencer F. Baird.

 

One ongoing Illinois project involves clipping fins on coho stocked in Waukegan and Diversey harbors to assess fall spawning returns to each stocking site. Clipped fish are stocked in each harbor during alternate years, allowing differential return rates to be determined for each of the harbors.

 

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

North

Chain: 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 7 to 8 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 lower 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. Bouncing jig and minnow combinations near bridge pilings, in channels, and even on the weed edges have proven to be good. 

 

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 leeches 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: Chinook salmon are in the harbors strong, and it seems like it is the tail end of the run. The spawn bite has really picked up with fish being taken 3 to 5 feet under a slip float during the daylight hours. Fish are still being caught casting crankbaits. It is key to fish these baits very slowly so that they offer a target that stays in front of the fish longer.   

 

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.

South

Devils’ Kitchen: Bass action has been good around shallow cover using spinners and live baits. Bluegills hitting worms and nightcrawlers.

 

Carlyle Lake: Crappie action is good below the dam. White bass are biting well below the spillway. 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. Flatheads are also biting on bluegills. 

 

Kinkaid Lake: Muskies are being caught on roosters. Some muskies topping 32 inches have been caught near the spillway area. Crappies are scattered. Some fish are being caught on minnows fished around structure. Most fish are holding in about 12 feet of water. Bass action has been slow. 

 

Rend Lake: Catfish are being caught near Gun Creek, the sub-impoundment dams and rip-rap areas on liver, nightcrawlers, large shiners, stinkbaits and leeches. Crappie action has picked up in recent weeks, with many being caught at bridge pillars. Minnows, chartreuse, white and pink/green jigs have produced the best success. Bass are fair with some fish being caught around Jackie Branch and the Route 154 rip-rap on black buzzbaits, spinnerbaits, and a jig and pig. Some bluegills are being caught in shallow coves on wax worms, red wigglers and crickets.

 

Little Grassy: Fishing traffic has been light. Bluegill and redear anglers are picking up some fish in about 10 feet of water. Catfish action remains steady throughout the lake. Nightcrawlers are the most effective bait. Crappie fishing has slowed somewhat. Fish are still deep. A couple of  nice fish were taken recently, but numbers were down. Minnows are the primary bait. Bass action remains fair.

 

Lake of Egypt: Crappie fishing is good on minnows and jigs in six to eight feet of water. Best bet is to search the piers and switch minnows frequently. Bl;uegills are still being caught along the deeper weedlines. Use worms near the bottom for best results. A few bass are being caught, but no large ones. Expect bigger bass to start biting in the middle of the month. A few are being caught on spinners. Catfish are good on nightcrawlers and doughbaits.

 

Baldwin Lake: Catfish have been biting on a variety of baits, including liver and dough. A few bass being caught on spinners and topwaters. Bluegills slow.

Central

Lake Springfield: Bass fishing is 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. Anglers are catching crappies up to 12 inches in 12-18 feet of water. Drifting jigs is working best for these suspended fish.

 

Lake Shelbyville: Muskies are reportedly being caught in deeper waters. A few channel cats being caught on nightcrawlers and shrimp. Crappies good on minnows.

 

Evergreen Lake: Crappies are being caught on minnows. Bass fishing is fair using topwater baits. Bluegills are also still doing well along weed edges. Catfish are biting on stinkbaits and worms.

 

Clinton Lake: A few walleyes have been caught, and bass fishing is said to be decent on buzzbaits. There have been reports of hybrids and walleyes being caught below the spillway. Largemouths are being caught on spinners and plastics.

 

Newton Lake: Bass good on plastics and spinners. Bluegills biting on waxworms. A few catfish being caught on stinkbaits.

Rivers

Illinois River: The walleye and sauger bite has dropped off. The bite shut down and fish are harder to find. Anglers who  are catching fish are finding them here and there and nothing is showing up as a good pattern. Trolling lead core with stickbaits or three-way rigs with the bottom weight being a jig and minnow and an F-9 Rapala on the long line. Work the flats created on the current bends. If you find active fish, you can switch up to vertical jigging with jig and minnows. The white bass are beginning to school up. 

 

Fox River: The walleye bite is starting to pick up with some fish being reported at the McHenry Dam and also in the Elgin area. The fish are being caught on Gulp-style jigs as well as jerkbaits. There have been some good schools of white bass showing up as well. 

 

Kankakee River: Pike have been lively, and smallmouth bass have been biting near Momence on minnows and spinners. The catfish bite has died, as the fish have gone into their wintering holes. Smaller baits with a lot of scent are best.

 

Des Plaines River: The walleyes have been found using jerkbaits and jointed minnowbaits. They are being taken in the evening hours working the deeper holes that are adjacent to shallow water. Put bait under a float or throw inline spinners and jerkbaits.

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