Here's the update on rivers for the Midwest Fishing Report.
That's before any possible blasts of major rains, which may come later today.
This is a late week add for the extended online version of the MFR, which appears in the Sun-Times on Wednesdays. Normally, I post the online MFR by Wednesday morning. I held the rivers report portion for a few days to see what levels would do.
If you have suggestions, post in the comments section or let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Overall, and this applies to all the rivers around Chicago fishing, it will be a weekend for high-water techniques, such as working shoreline eddies and pockets or for focusing on the mouths of ditches, creeks and bayous.
For an overview of nearby river conditions, click here.
Here's the first report, of what I hope becomes a regular feature, from Jeff Nolan of Bridgeport Bass Club. This report is several days old, but I think it holds, despite some areas on the Chicago River system being dirtied up by the rains:
Chicago river report 5/19 - 5/26
South branch..... bluegill hitting on night crawlers, smallmouth 10 in too 12 in on Mr twister, lots and lots and lots of carp spawning in slips and bays one northern hit small blue gill caught on rebel craw, lots of goldfish spotted along banks, hybrid gold/carp hitting anything that moves, largemouth hitting erie darters in north pier dock area. /North branch ......catfish hitting golden roaches on slip bobber along shore around wilson south too goose island By Jeff at Bridgeportbass
DES PLAINES RIVER
The river is high, but receding. I did not receive an update from Andrew Ragas, Counsellor of the Fish Parliament www.fishing-headquarters.com. I suspect he is out of town or waiting for levels to come down.
FOX RIVER: WESTERN SUBURBS
River is high, but better shape than some of the other rivers in the area. Ken Gortowski sent this late Wednesday:
All the storms that were heading this way when I sent that last email completely dried up. Cool to watch on the radar. Poof, they're gone.
As fast at the river shot up, it's now coming down and it looks like the rain is pretty much done. The river has already dropped to 2000 cfs. More spotty rain later this week, but I have a feeling it will result in more of these short spikes up, then immediately back down. Problem is it turns it to mud. As with any high water, even if it's slight, guys should know where they're walking.
The creeks should settle down in a day or two also.
I'm waiting for the river to get down to at least 1000 cfs. There are 3 miles of river down stream from me running along new forest preserve land that I want to explore. I won't do that kind of exploring on new water when it's up. Learned my lesson the hard way far too many times.
ILLINOIS RIVER: STARVED ROCK AREA
River crested right around flood stage at LaSalle and is beginning a slow fall, so be aware of debris if putting in a boat. Earlier this week, Thom Matejewski at Time on the Water Outdoors in Spring Valley said, despite the high water, catfishing has been good; while white bass and sauger are slow.
River is high and dirty, but on a slow fall. ``Catfish Dave'' Bradigan said catfishing was good before the latest rounds of rain. The river needs to settle down. As Ed Mullady notes the ditches, bayous and creeks will clear first, focus on them or their mouths.