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Chitown-Angler

Joined: 09:33pm - Dec 7,04
Posts: 173
Location: Downers Grove, NE IL

Post Posted: 10:56pm - Mar 7,15 
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I don't fish any lakes for flathead but I have spent plenty of time on rivers chasing them. I haven't fished the Rock River but most seem to agree its one of the better rivers in the northern part of the state. My top choices would be the Fox, Kankakee, Dupage, and Desplaines. I tend to stay away from the Fox and focus most of my time on the other three. I have way more experience and knowledge with these three rivers.

The only time I fish the Fox is in the spring. I happened upon a crazy bite a few years ago while walleye fishing and it has paid off every year since. As soon as the water gets above 45 I'll be anchored below the Yorkville dam throwing artificials. The bite lasts all the way until the water gets to 60-65. I've had tons of days with 5-10 fish in a few hour period. That time of year they really seem to have pretty specific feeding windows. I am either not getting any hits or I'm getting bit every couple of minutes.

My favorite year round river would be the Dupage. The only feasible way to fish the river is from a boat since the majority of bank and riverbed is private property. Most people don't believe there are flathead in the river let alone a good population, although they do seem to stick to specific sections of the river. Most fish are 10-20lbs but I've seen my share of fish in the 50lb range.

The south end of the Kankakee and Desplaines have a fair population as well. Most of my fish in these rivers have come while targeting smallies and walleye. I haven't spent much time soaking bluegill or chubs around wood. Shad-raps and small squarebill cranks have accounted for half of my fish and the other half have been on a small jig with a live crayfish, which btw is my absolute favorite method of fishing the Kank!! Everything in the river loves crayfish, definitely worth the hour or two each morning flipping rocks and getting my fingers pinched.

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Chitown-Angler
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Joined: 06:49pm - Feb 11,03
Posts: 1032
Location: NW Suburbs boat: '93 Sea Nymph

Post Posted: 09:38am - Mar 8,15 
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Trapshooter touches on a few really important points - access and fishing pressure.

Some rivers have more access points than others. A lot of people like myself are fishing the Fox because there's a lot of access points and it's proximity to a large number of anglers.

The Rock might have less access points, but historically was a great fishery. What I don't know about is how flathead fishing on the Rock is now compared to before the big fish kill a few years back. I haven't fished the Rock since that happened, although a lot of that was because I was more familiar and closer to the Fox. Hear very little about people fishing for cats on the DuPage, I know some lower portions of the river I've seen are very fishy looking.

As as pressure, always keep in mind your competing for available fish with all the other anglers. I think about this a lot as far as what areas to fish and specific spots. If there's an obvious looking spot, I'm aware I'm not the first person to dangle a bait in there. So I try to get the best presentation (placement) of the liveliest bait I can with a nice sharp hook. The further away from the beaten path you can get, probably the less pressure that spot has received. For example, there's a few very obvious structures on the Fox that I've fished. Of course, they are obvious to everyone so it's likely the first place people new to the Fox would try.

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Chitown-Angler

Joined: 01:08pm - Jan 14,15
Posts: 209

Post Posted: 11:44am - Mar 8,15 
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Trapshooter and Shawn thanks for your responses. I do not have a boat, but I was planning fishing montgomery dam for a mixed bag if fish via wading towards the rock bars by the dam. Have you guys caught flats at montgomery? Can I wade towards the dam in yorkville or is it boat only? I will be fishing last week of march/ first of april.

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Chitown-Angler
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Joined: 06:49pm - Feb 11,03
Posts: 1032
Location: NW Suburbs boat: '93 Sea Nymph

Post Posted: 04:33pm - Mar 8,15 
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Definitely people catch flatheads at Montgomery, forget from which side works well. East side sticks in my mind... Anyone?

Yorkville, I know there was nice fishing below the "unimproved" dam.. but I don't know anything about access.

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Chitown-Angler

Joined: 01:08pm - Jan 14,15
Posts: 209

Post Posted: 01:24pm - Mar 9,15 
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Thanks Shawn! I am going for a mixed bag of fish, so no worries if I do not catch a flathead. I just the Montgomery was a good spot cause of this vid. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4aWxMhb1OXg

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Chitown-Angler

Joined: 07:59am - Jun 23,06
Posts: 109
Location: Homewood

Post Posted: 10:24pm - Mar 10,15 
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Not Illinois, but there are some good ones on hot summer evenings on the tippecanoe between norway and oakdale.

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