Chicago Sun-Times
Stray Casts will intelligently report and observe, hopefully with a touch of wit, on daily occurrences, reports and releases related to Chicago-area outdoors from bucks to bass to birds to bugs

Midwest Fishing Report: Rivers section

| 1 Comment | No TrackBacks

Rivers around Chicago settle into normal May patterns for this Midwest Fishing Report, enough so that Fox Valley Area Anglers will hold their rescheduled white bass open on Sunday on the Illinois River.

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.


Up until the weather change, Jeff Nolan of Bridgeport Bass had been doing well, haven't heard from him recently.


Dan Sims of Sims Spinners is filling in for Andrew Ragas, Counsellor of the Fish Parliament Sims sent this:

With water levels come down to normal levels for the first time in months. Fishing has been excellent!! Fish are being caught in heavy current areas, shoreline structure, Current breaks and even being pulled off of wood. Fishing at its best!! Baits of choice have been the In-Line spinner for the most part. "I have an interest" :)

Smallies are also starting to hit. Water temps were 58.7 degrees this past week, while just this morning they were down to 54.4 degrees. "Main River Channel" With warming weather in the forecast this week, fishing is going to be awesome!!

Shore Anglers...

Try and find Eddy's and downed wood. Most likely there is more than just one fish hanging in this type of area. Fish it as many different ways as you can think of.

Wading Anglers...

Try and get to areas in the river with bigger boulders and downed trees. Fish the current breaks. Jig-n-twister never fails. Both Largies and Pike have been using these types of areas for the past 10 days or so. Best colors have been Bright Yellows and Bright Oranges.

Keep moving if things are slow in one particular area. Fish have seemed to be stacked up when they are found. :)


Carp are EVERYWHERE in the river system right now. The spawn is in full swing! It's not even funny how many fish you will see in the shallows doing their thing. Give that a go! I am not a rough fish guy but... Fighting a 20# carp is just as much fun "if not more" than fighting a bigger DPR Pike ;) Best of luck!!


River is dropping, but creeks remain the best option. Click here to read and view the latest salvo from Ken Gortowski.


River is dropping. Time on the Water Outdoors reported trollers taking some sauger on the St. Bede and Peru flats (most likely the Hennepin flats too); white bass are slow. Looking at the forecast maybe catfish and white bass will be going by the weekend. NOTE: The Fox Valley Area Anglers hold their rescheduled White Bass Open on Sunday. Click here for details.


Most of the river is receding. Smallmouth are up and the best target.

Ed Mullady sent this on other species:

Kankakee down nearer to normal. Some areas still high.
Walleye fair in Indiana and Illinois: Mouths of ditches, creeks, bayous. Good on *Mr.Twister
wtd keeper hook, twister tail and minnow combo! *jig and minnow *weedless Dr. Spoons
*Jointed crankbaits.
Catfish good throughout on *live minnows *cheesebait on catfish plastic grub or worm
Rock Bass, Croppie hitting good throughout on *small spinners *2-3" minnows *live crawlers *#1,#2 Mepps spinners *fly rod spiders*small bass bugs.
Best to you.......


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


OREGON: Jan Prose at TJ's Bait/Tackle & Canoe Rental sent this:

A few small flathead have been caught on night crawlers, catfish are biting on dip bait. Water temp is just under 50 degrees, and the level is still a little above normal, but nice fishing and boating. We just need a nice weekend now without rain for goodness sake!


The Wisconsin DNR Root River Report wasn't updated.


Guide Bill Stoeger said the cool-down (62 degrees to 55) pushed the white bass out deeper, best action is in 10-14 feet on river rigs, either minnow or fly and minnow. He suspects by the weekend, fish will be shallow again. Forecast looks much more promising by late week.



Fishing Headquarters



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






No TrackBacks

TrackBack URL:

1 Comment

Wednesday flow was about 10,000 CFS and dropping, Thursday in the 9,000 range, dropping fairly quickly. river still has no visdbility, temps 58 degrees. short sleeve weather. it seems like everything in nature is running at a higher rate to make up for lost time. what isn't active would be easier to list. in many places the current is still blowing at a pretty good clip near the shore, most slack water areas aren't real wide yet. A short cast from shore, I still have many places where a 1/2 oz jig won't get bottom. The usual paths along the shore are still underwater.

Wednesday, I started on a stretch with flooded grass, brush and woody cover. I went with a 1/0 weighted keeper hook in the slack stuff and next to shore and a 2/0 on the seams. They were paired up with a Berkley Power Pulse worm. If the current seam was 2 ft os less from shore the fish were hugging the bank. If it was more than 2 feet from shore they were on the seam. I did check along the shore in the wider areas and in three cases picked up a bass along the shore. In all three instances the fish from the seam was larger than the shorebound fish. I ended up doing well enough there that I never went anywhere esle.

I had a vacation day for Thursday, so I had all day to fish. I hit a variety of current situations from mudlines at trib mouths, mudlines in point pools below the tribs, slack areas created by points, lifts, and flooded shorelines. For the most part the weighted keeper/power pulse worm was the lure of choice. I did try some Berkley Power Walleye leeches and a nose hooked fluke. The fish were really stacked on the mudlines in the trib mouth and the point pool. If I got off the mudline, I wasn't catching fish. I hit a spot with some woody cover and started getting taps and pull downs on the worm. I switched to the plastic leech and picked up 7 rockbass in the 6 to 7 inch range. Off to the next spot, hit a slack spot caused by a good sized point. I dropped the jig/worm right in the sweet spot at the head of the slack area and immeditely picked up a very nice bass. I moved down a little to fish two smaller secondary points and got a smallie off the tip of those secondary points on the downstream side. Based on the previous day, I started working the seam and picked up a few more. I went back thru fishing tight to shore and just off with nothing to show for it.

Next up I hit a lift, that was close to shore. Just a short distance upstream , a guy with livers and stinkbait was fising for cats. In 5 casts I picked up three cats, all about 2.5 to 3 pounds. I think they were flowing the scent trail and I got them before the hit the stnkbait and liver.

I worked flooded shoreline spots just aboutall of the rest of the time. Today the difference was, every fish was on the seam, regardless of how wide the slack area was. I did hit the mudline at the trib with nosed hooked flukes on the way home. I got into some very nice smallies until it seemed like a battalion of gar moved in.
Homeward for some beef sammiches

Leave a comment

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Dale Bowman published on May 18, 2011 6:23 AM.

Fish of the Week: Record pumpkinseed swimming? was the previous entry in this blog.

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

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.