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Midwest Fishing Report: Rivers section

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Coming out of flood waters leads the rivers section of this Midwest Fishing Report.

This is the extended online version of the MFR, which appears on the Sun-Times outdoors page on Wednesdays.

Well, this is the rivers section for rivers around Chicago fishing. The lakes and areas MFR will follow shortly.

Normally, I post the online MFR, both the rivers and lakes/areas sections, by Wednesday morning.

I will probably separate out the rivers section like this until the fall.

If you have suggestions, post in the comments section or let me know at


For an overview of nearby river conditions, click here. And it matters this week.


Haven't heard much from Jeff Nolan of Bridgeport Bass.


Andrew Ragas, Counsellor of the Fish Parliament sent this.

This high water is getting really old. Last week the river was a mess and worth ignoring. Now it is slowly receding, and the fishing is slow. However, some anglers are finally back fishing and enjoying mixed results.

Flows are at 1900 CFS, and the gauge is at 4.9 which is still too high for any safe wading. Clarity is poor, and water temperatures are in the range of 50 to 55 degrees.

Majority of the fishing is currently taking place from shore. Anglers targeting shoreline slackwater areas, and backwaters are enjoying a mixed bag of bass, channel catfish, northern pike, and panfish. Fish are few, but those who are investing their time are being rewarded the most.

Live bait drifted beneath floats are catching, as are shallow running crankbaits being bounced off the wood and rocks. In addition, spinnerbaits and in-line spinners slow-rolled through the current seams, and jigs and plastics being dabbled are producing.

Meanwhile the creeks are most fishable at this time, and should be turning on by this weekend. Salt Creek is almost completely wadeable (where possible) the entire distance from Busse Lake to the DPR mouth. I haven't been able to fish it yet this year but a few crappies and largemouth bass are being found tight to shore. Water clarity isn't bad either and the temperatures likewise. You can bet I will be spending some time in the next few days fishing here.


The section between the Algonquin and McHenry dams remains no-wake. Check the latest here.

Farther downstream, click here for the last word from Ken Gortowski.


River is falling rapidly at Morris, somewhat at Ottawa. River is projected to fall below flood stage by Monday at LaSalle.


Norm Minas posted a recent report here.

Ed Mullady sent this:

Catfishing continues good, esp. at night on *minnows*cheesebaits *crawlers.
Walleye fair. In Indiana, near shorelines, mouths of ditches on *jig and minnow *jig and crawler *small spinners. Same in Illinois, esp. where river is at top of river bank.


Morris Wetlands is open for fishing that stretch of the Mazon. Hours will 6 a.m. to sunset.


From the Wisconsin DNR Root River Report:

Fishing Report
The water conditions kept angler effort fairly low over the past three days. Most of the fishermen were concentrating at the Horlick Dam and downstream just into Quarry Lake Park. Although fishing was pretty slow with most fishermen unable to hook up with steelhead, a few were caught with the best fishing on Sunday near sunset. On Sunday the anglers fishing here were able to hook into a few nice steelhead but many were lost and success was limited to a few people. The best catch came from one angler who was able to land four nice steelhead. The largest was a eight pound female Chambers Creek. The other harvested steelhead included a 7 pound male, a 5.5 pound female, and a 3.5 pound male Ganeraska. Three of these harvested fish had the weir's upper caudal fin clip. They were all caught using a medium sized multicolored wet fly with a dark body and a bright red and white tail.
The fishing downstream was pretty slow for the few anglers that were on the river. Anglers were fishing a few segments on Colonial Park and downstream through Lincoln Park. Most anglers were unable to find any steelhead in the unfavorable water conditions. Fishermen were using a variety of baits from flies, spawn sacs, and spinner baits. Few steelhead were caught while anglers incidentally caught a lot of spawning white suckers.


Guide Bill Stoeger called to say they are doing really well on male walleye in the river since the spawn. ``There must be a million of the males, because they just keep coming,'' he said. He is mainly drifting with 1/2- or 3/8th-ounce jigs (enough weight to feel the bottom) with minnows or crawlers. He said others are casting river rigs with minnows or flies. There's lots of white bass in the river, but the water is too cold for the usual Mother's Day bite.



Fishing Headquarters



MICHIGAN DNR REPORT,1607,7-153-10364-34956--,00.html






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Where's the lake section???

It's coming.

No, I'll resist the temptation to respond to that line, Dale. Prolly not fit for a family style site.

Any word on the Rock?

Chicago river is HOT right now (Thursday ) all branch's are hitting crank's WOO HOO !

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About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Dale Bowman published on May 4, 2011 6:16 AM.

Ramble with Gortowski: End of the line was the previous entry in this blog.

Midwest Fishing Report: Lakes/areas is the next entry in this blog.

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