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Midwest Fishing Report: Rivers section

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By the standards of this summer, we are in a reasonable state for the rivers section--some are up slightly, others are down--of the Midwest Fishing Report; oh, and we have beavers rebuilding on the Chicago River and a report from Frank Macikas, both of which make me happy.

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.


Jeff Nolan of Bridgeport Bass sent this:

Chicago river fishing report ; Down town , a few crappie hitting drop shot plastic worms under L.S.D. ,Ogden slip , nothing at all temp 71 , south branch ; blue gills hitting rebel craws small bass on beetle spins near Ashland 1 nice bass near fisk power plant down low and deep on chigger craw temp 87 . carp jumping at dusk every where . Lots of beaver activity rebuilding after the storms.


I think Andrew Ragas, Counsellor of the Fish Parliament, out and about somewhere. But levels are settling down, somewhat.


From Frank Macikas:

I just picked up a new Coosa kayak and I made it out to the Dupage for a long float trip through Plainfield to test it out. I started at the canoe launch on 135th and fished down to the canoe launch past Caton Farm Rd. This kayak is definitely a fishing machine!

Water levels are dropping fast and the water is a little stained. The grass this year is not even close to what it has been in years past; I'm thinking its because the levels have been coming up so high all year it hasn't had the chance to take but I have also heard it may be due to less phosphates from the treatment plants. I have mixed feelings about the grass; on one hand I like it because it acts like a filter and gets the water crystal clear which I personally like fishing, on the other hand it sometimes makes it difficult to fish with giant grass mats floating downriver.

I put in around 6:30am and the day started off great with two nice size smallies taken on a buzz bait. I LOVE topwater smallies! Ended up with 5 Smallmouth and one Largemouth total and all fish fought extremely hard pulling drag. All smallies were in the 14"-15" range and the largemouth was around 12". Other baits that caught fish were one on a chigger craw and jig, two on a hellgrammite and jig, and one on a tube. Fish were close to shore in the wood. Saw a lot of smallies cruising the river but they had no interest in eating. It was great to be back on the river and hopefully I will have more reports for you this year!

I sure hope so.


Tuesday evening, river wanderer/ponderer and now ChicagoNow blogger Ken Gortowski called and said, ``It is up a little bit, but really good looking (clear). I think the rain has kept the algae bloom down.''

Earlier in the week, he sent this:

Hopefully you can glean something from this. Not sure if I'll have time to do anything else this week. I like the one about the coyote too.

The river is stuck at 1300, so the shore thing will hold unless the plug gets pulled. Then it's back out into the middle of the river. Hard to tell with these sporadic rains.


River rose slightly, but is fine. Time on the Water Outdoors reported fair fishing for white bass, best around the mouth of the Vermilion, and catfish, with a few scattered crappie reports starting.


With high water temperatures, not a lot going. That should be cooling down this week, I would think. Just wonder if any of the steelhead stacked up in the front of the mouths out on Lake Michigan will start coming in with authority.


River is actually down in most spots at good wading and fishing levels.

Ed Mullady reported this:

The Kankakee is at a good fishing level, but below normal. Most fishing being done shore fishing or by wading. Both can produce fish!
In Indiana and Illinois, try for smallmouth and largemouth bass along quieter waters or at edges of faster moving water
Mike Lee, at Frank's Bait Shop, Momence, IL reports catfishing good along
with croppie at brush piles.
Diana at Kankakee River Trading Post , in Altorf, recommends fishing riffles, on currents and at points where current meets faster water for smallmouth bass.
Try *Minnows *spinners *pond crawfish*Weighted Keeper Hook & Twister tail.
Fly rod fishermen catching bass and rock bass on streamer flies.
Walleye fair throughout on jig and minnow *jig and crawler*jointed plugs.

Norm Minas sent this:

River was at normal flow for this time of year, water temp low 80's, fairly clear. only drawback was pieces of weeds breaking free and flowing but it was a minor detail. I started out fishing around bridge abutments and neckdowns by water willow islands. I got some walleye and cats fishing a jig/plastic on seams. Mostly it was rattlebaits in faster water, along seams or waterwillow edges with depth/current. I had 25 fish before I took the first break for AC/liquids. I went back out and fished riffles both above and below with rattlebaits, got 7 more bass. I took another AC/liquid beak.
I went back out and clouds were starting to roll in and hit one of my topwater spots. I got 11 on topwaters before the thunder and lightning made getting off the water a wiser choice. It was hard leaving an active topwater bite but I guess some wisdom does come with age. Well, my wife would probably debate that last statement. By the time I hit RTE 102 is was raining so hard I could barely see anything so it was best I got off the water when I did.


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


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

Catfish are biting well on dip baits. It's good to have a back up, some days they are finicky! Some nice sized 3 pounders have been caught. A few flatheads have been reported caught south of the dam. They are using suckers and blue gil. The river came up a bit with the recent rains, but has dropped right back. I hope to see more people fishing with the cooler temps.

I expect that to happen.


Tyler Harmon Facebooked, ``Other then that just waiting for the river to cool down. It was 78-81 degrees last time I went. Catfish and sheephead being caught.''



Fishing Headquarters



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






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Just wanted to give a shout-out to Jeff Nolan (Bridgeport Bass) who gave me a ton of tips the other day! Turned me on to Ogden Slip, and put me on 3 LMB - not hogs, but not dinks either! Thanks for all the tips Jeff, I think the 45 minutes of tips made me twice the fisherman I was.

Just wanted to give a shout-out to Jeff Nolan (Bridgeport Bass) who gave me a ton of tips the other day! Turned me on to Ogden Slip, and put me on 3 LMB - not hogs, but not dinks either! Thanks for all the tips Jeff, I think the 45 minutes of tips made me twice the fisherman I was.

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This page contains a single entry by Dale Bowman published on August 10, 2011 6:49 AM.

Stray Cast: Sox, smallmouth, Cubs, eDNA, Asian carp was the previous entry in this blog.

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

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