Midwest Fishing Report: Rivers around Chicago fishing (late add)

SHARE Midwest Fishing Report: Rivers around Chicago fishing (late add)

Cooler water has more people trying for this rivers section of the Midwest Fishing Report, the best news remains the Indiana streams.

It’s an older YouTube video, but it gives a good feel for the best of Trail Creek.

This is the extended online version of the MFR, which appears on the Sun-Times outdoors page on Wednesdays. Well, it is the rivers section. The lakes section will be posted later.

If you have suggestions, post in the comments section or let me know at straycasts@sbcglobal.net.


The best news continues to come out of the Indiana streams for steelhead.

Mike Starcevich at Mik-Lurch said steelhead are thick in all the creeks: Deep River, Salt and Trail. Even some browns and kings have made it past the Trail Creek Sea Lamprey Barrier.


For a general overview of nearby river conditions, click here.

To get to more specific gauges, even on creeks, in Illinois, click here.


Ken Gortowski sent this:

Got out four times on the Fox River in the last week expecting every day to be a good day of fishing. Winds up being a combination of the good, bad and exceptionally ugly. The good days occurred many miles down stream from Yorkville. The first with over 30 smallies caught and a greater amount missed. Day two down that direction was a bit slower with half as many fish caught and missed. On the exceptionally ugly day I was expecting much better. This trip was half way between Montgomery and Yorkville. Circumstances dictated that I go out at sunrise, which I despise. I prefer the sunset cruise. The mental gymnastics I play are quite simple. The water warms up throughout the day, that warms up the critters and gets them moving around, which brings out the fish I like to catch to eat them. Besides, the last three hours of daylight is at times magical. I got skunked this day, not even a tap. The bad day was spent mid day, another circumstantial outing, and found me in Batavia and North Aurora. Fish were caught, but they were few. I was getting off the water at the time I like to get in the water. It’s just a matter of days before the bite turns on all up and down the river. Happens every year this time of year. Fish late, fish often, they will show up. You just have to be there when it happens. I’m assuming every one knows I only fish for smallies and everything else is bycatch.

BTW, click here for Sam Bennett’s “Getting Started Guide” for folks who are new to the Fox or river fishing in general.


Around Spring Valley, Time on the Water Outdoors reported fair catfish, spotty sauger reports and no white bass.


River remains very low, but cooling and very fishable.

Ed Mullady sent this:

*In both Indiana and Illinois parts ofKankakee Rivergood for Smallmouth Bass on Wtd Keeper Hooks & Twister tails *live minnows *minnow shaped plugs *#2, #3 Spinners. Especially good around near in-water logs, brush, mouths of ditches, rocky areas, edges of weed beds. *Northern Pike Improving. Good success on keeping live minnows at areas about 7 to 30 feet outin rocky areas, weed beds *ditch and creek mouths. In Indiana, tryat Point, north of English Lake, Rt. 41 to State Line. Illinois: Momence Area *Mouth of Iroquois River thru Cobb Park, Kankakee. Also, below the Kankakee IL Dam through Johnson’sveterans-fisherman’s Park. WilmingtonDam through IslandPark. Good baits: 4-6″ minnows *Weedless Doctor Spoons * Jointed minnow shaped plugs. *Catfish good, mostly in low light hours through entire river, especially along Indiana’s StateKankakee Fish & Wildlife Area *Thayer area and Rt. 41 through LaSalle F&W Area. In Illinois, good *Momence Area *Aroma Park area * all through Kankakee and Kankakee River State Park. *Wilmington Dam through Bardwell Islands. Baits working now include: 4-6″ minnows *chicken liver *cheese baits *chicken liver. *Walleye slowed down….best caught early,late in day on *jig and minnow. *Largemouth Bass good in quieter areas such as bayous, in the water logs, below spillways, and dams on *plastic crawlers *Weedless Dr. Spoons *top water baits *spinner baits. *Rock Bass, Bluegill, Croppie all good in smaller artificials, redworms, 2-3″ minnows. Good time on the river…does need morewater! Ed Mullady, Editor Sportsman’s Letter.


Norm Minas sent this:

The river is about 3/4 it’s normal flow, fairly clear, temps low 70’s. My favorite stretches are full of broken off emerget veggies floating all over and algae on the bottom. I went upstream to a more urban part of the river that doesn’t have problems with floating weeds or algae on the bottom. I spent most of the time not catching fish on cranks, rattlebaits and spiinerbaits. I got a few mercy fish in the shade of a bridge tight to the pilings, not huge but a tug on the line. If it was out of the shade, no fish. I moved up to fish a bunch of boulders, only got one bass about 15 inches. I decided to go back downstream and deal with the veggie mats. I hit a channel area downstream of a major riffle with a single spin and the numbers picked up but not the size, small bass 12 to 15 inch range twixt picking green. I know there are bigger fish around there so I went old school and tossed a Pikie Minnow out in the channel For the next hour or so I picked green stuff except for the 5 smallmouth I caught. It was well worth as they were between 18 and 21 inches. Two of them grabbed the lure as soon as it hit the water and went airborne. Great way to end the day. That was Tuesday, the rest of the week was the usual stuff.


There is access at Morris Wetlands at the mouth.


Tyler Harmon messaged:

A few summer steelhead have started to come up the rivers. Low water and still over all high river temperatures have made catching them a task in its own. I have seen very few fish hooked, let alone landed.









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