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It feels like the weather has finally stabilized for a while. With temperatures remaining fairly steady, our lake temperatures will begin to rise little by little.

The inland lakes are already moving into the mid-40-degree water temps, and some of the back bays are up near 50 degrees. What this means to those of us who like catching fish is that the Spring Bite is ON.

Most of our popular species – bass, pike, and especially crappies and bluegills – are getting very active. The crappies especially are on the bite right now in shallow water areas like back bays, marinas, and boat channels. Warm water is the key for success. Locate warm water with a mud bottom, rocks, docks or weeds, and then try using a small 1/32-oz. jig with a crappie minnow and a small bobber set shallow, because crappies prefer to feed up. You can also try a small jig with small artificial baits and twister tails under a bobber. Don’t be surprised if you pick-up a few nice bluegills or pumpkinseeds while crappie fishing.

The fishing reports from the area are really in line with what we were just noting. Up on the Fox Chain, they are catching nice-size gills and slab crappies in the channels and marinas. Lake Geneva reports excellent catches of crappies, bluegills and pumpkinseeds; they are biting on small jigs with wax worms. Lake Delavan reports bluegill biting, and they are getting some really nice perch.

Lake Opeka in Des Plaines is a great place to go for a family outing. Take a fishing rod and a small tackle box, because the fish are biting if you cast a little off the shore.

The Skokie Lagoons are back this year. After a terrible year last year, the largemouth bass and the northern pike are biting, and the crappies should start biting this weekend.
Let’s get out there and fish. The fish are calling us.
Until next time…keep a tight line.

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