Rain Brings Active Fish, Difficult Fishing

“Rain, rain, go away, come again some other day.”…I want to do more fishing. The very wet spring and early summer have taken their toll on how much fishing is going on and where.

The major fishing rivers in the area are all reporting high, muddy water, which makes for very active fish in very difficult fishing situations. Reports from the Illinois River near Morris were good — white bass and some largemouth bass — and reports from farther downriver at Ottawa were much better, with good catches of largemouth and smallmouth bass and sauger in current break areas. The Kankakee River down near Wilmington reported good catches of smallmouth bass in shallow waters and current breaks; deep holes and main channels seemed to have too much current right now.

The Skokie Lagoons are also showing higher-than-usual water because of the rains, but there have been a number of catches of nice-size walleyes on a jig and twister tail, and one angler caught a very nice 33-inch northern last week.  There are some really great fish to be had in the Lagoons; one just has to make the effort and go fishing for them.

The perch fishing out of Evanston on Lake Michigan has been pretty quiet so far this year. Most of the perch still seem to be located out deep, but from the reports of our local fisherman, the salmon/lake trout fishing has been fairly strong. The bass fishing has just started to get interesting along the shoreline. With water temperatures rising into the upper 50s, bass spawning activity should be starting in the next week or so.

The fishing at Lovelace Park is doing well. In the last few weeks I was asked to help out with an Evanston Girl Scout troop who wanted to fish, and they had a great time. All seven young ladies managed to catch between three and six fish each in the 60 minutes they were there. It was a great afternoon. The regular Saturday morning “Free Fishing Program” from the City of Evanston has been busy this year, with a lot of fish being caught by the young anglers. I like going down there on Saturday and talking to the kids and the parents about their experience. There are always a lot of smiles and great stories about catching fish.

Until next time, keep a tight line.

Visit Dick at hookedonfishing@comcast.net.