Spring fishing is an exciting time of year. There are many species of fish that are either beginning to spawn or are already in the spawn. This means that you have a great opportunity to catch a really big fish, likely a female full of eggs, making her the largest she will be for many months to come. Right now I’m getting reports of largemouth bass already on the spawn beds, which would be the male guarding the bed; the female has probably already departed for deeper water to recover from laying the eggs.

The reports coming in on crappie are that they are getting ready to spawn, so the big females are cruising in the area of spawning beds and are feeding up so they are easier to catch right now. I would caution all anglers who catch a female full of eggs to handle carefully, take your pictures and release her back into the water so she can lay her eggs and give us the next year class to look forward to. If you see  the male bass guarding the nest, I would suggest you admire this valiant warrior guarding his young and move on to locate other bass; this will help ensure a strong year class for the future. Enjoy the great spring fishing, but let’s protect our fishery for future generations of fishermen.

With all the rain, our area waters are all on the high water level, and the rivers are really still flowing quite rapidly and are very difficult to fish. Shore fishing along the Des Plaines River has been producing a number of catches of northern pike, that have been cruising the shallower inshore water.

The Illinois River at Starved Rock is still really high, but the fishermen have been catching good numbers of white bass from shore fishing spots. The guides on Lake Delevan and Lake Geneva are finding great catches of crappies in 6’ to 14’ of water fishing with a bobber and a minnow over the dead weeds. Closer to home, this weekend the Saturday fishing program begins at Lovelace Park from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. each Saturday. Bring the kids out and enjoy the fishing.

Until next time…keep a tight line.