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Chitown-Angler

Joined: 07:43pm - Nov 21,14
Posts: 1039
Location: United States

Post Posted: 08:23pm - Sep 21,20 
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I called Buster this evening to see if anything is going on and he said he heard of a whitebass bite going on way down by Hennepin.He's going to launch there tomorrow to check it out.Water is very low and almost no current,temp is around 70 degrees.He said the Peru launch was closed right before the bridge because of all the littering from the huge amount of shore fishermen and wasn't sure if it's open again.Also getting out of the cove at Barto launch is iffy because of the low water.If he gets into fish I'll have to decide if it's worth a 2 hour drive each way to Hennepin to fish from daybreak till 10:00 when the bite poops out.

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Chitown-Angler

Joined: 07:03am - Jun 5,11
Posts: 77

Post Posted: 05:26pm - Sep 22,20 
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Crank bite for sauger should start soon, not far off

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Chitown-Angler
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Joined: 08:56am - Jun 23,05
Posts: 1050
Location: Seneca

Post Posted: 09:27am - Sep 23,20 
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At least in Morris water is very low and crystal clear, like 4ft visibility clear. Its interesting to just drive around and find all kinds of structure like boulders, gravel bars, sunken timbers ect.. Not sure if it is same down by SR, but with no barges trucking around the river is super clean.

schrofer is right - after the sun comes up probably can troll for sauger out about 12fow or more.

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Chitown-Angler
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Joined: 05:08am - May 2,07
Posts: 438

Post Posted: 11:42am - Sep 23,20 
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thanks for update

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Chitown-Angler

Joined: 07:43pm - Nov 21,14
Posts: 1039
Location: United States

Post Posted: 03:04pm - Sep 23,20 
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When I talked to Buster the other day he said 71/2 lbs. won a recent sauger tourney.It will be a mess RiverRat once the barges start moving especially if the water stays low.

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Chitown-Angler
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Joined: 08:56am - Jun 23,05
Posts: 1050
Location: Seneca

Post Posted: 09:54am - Sep 26,20 
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With very little current and crystal clear river what(never thought I would type that) have made for some tough fishing. 10lbs won the Cornfest tourney but 2nd was like 8lbs so it was tough.

The fish seem to be out a lot deeper than I'm used to fishing this time of year in the river, 12ft is where you start. No rain in the forecast as far out as they forecast so I guess I'm going to learn how to fish deep in a river.

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Chitown-Angler

Joined: 02:18pm - Oct 16,13
Posts: 289
Location: Yorkville, IL

Post Posted: 01:35pm - Oct 1,20 
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any recent success? I went out 2 weekends ago and only had drum and one lazy largemouth to show for my efforts. Spent all day in the boat though and couldn't have had better weather. Launched out of Ottawa and fished Covel Creek and around the main bridge pilings with minnows.

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Chitown-Angler

Joined: 07:43pm - Nov 21,14
Posts: 1039
Location: United States

Post Posted: 06:36pm - Oct 3,20 
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I've got a bunch of unused minnows from perch fishing today so I'm going to try RiverRat's idea of jigging deeper water near normal fall hotspots on tuesday.I hope the Peru launch is open again so I can travel in either direction.

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Chitown-Angler

Joined: 07:43pm - Nov 21,14
Posts: 1039
Location: United States

Post Posted: 04:54pm - Oct 5,20 
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Going tomorrow launching at SR and will try from there to past Peru.I'm hoping water street by Peru will hold fish with the deep water in the channel right there.Buster said the sauger bite for the recent tournament was way down by Chillicothe.Also I keep forgetting he sold the shop in August and retired from guiding because of the expenses and regulations.The new owner is from Utica and the number is the same.

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Chitown-Angler

Joined: 07:43pm - Nov 21,14
Posts: 1039
Location: United States

Post Posted: 06:33pm - Oct 6,20 
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Had a really good start at the mouth of the vermillion today.I set up in 8 fow tossing minnows onto the sand bar and dragging them back,the whites were only 8-10"but non stop until this clown and his wife pulled up.They asked if it was possible to get into the vermillion and I told them no way with the low water,so he put it in gear drove right in front of me and got stuck on the sand bar.End of the good bite.I ended up with 7 species caught and enough for a couple meals.The DNR went over me with a fine tooth comb I assume from the 1 over perch limit ticket last fall.

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Chitown-Angler

Joined: 06:43pm - May 14,06
Posts: 93
Location: Aurora, IL

Post Posted: 08:38am - Oct 7,20 
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The DNR at Starved Rock like to write. I was accused of having a non-working fire extinguisher as it was a model without it gauge. When they started writing, I started testing, needless to say they stopped writing.

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Chitown-Angler
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Joined: 04:08pm - Apr 12,07
Posts: 243
Location: Elwood, Il

Post Posted: 08:55am - Oct 7,20 
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I thought non gauge extinguishers have a push button to test pressure. I had one like that and the DNR checked me. Told me as long as its button pops up its good. Provided it’s not older than 12 years.

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Chitown-Angler
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Joined: 08:56am - Jun 23,05
Posts: 1050
Location: Seneca

Post Posted: 12:39pm - Oct 7,20 
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I'm finding the same thing RT - even though its smallies I'm going for, they are "one step" down on the channel edge, so instead of being 4FOW at the top of the channel or up in the gravel or boulders, they are out in 8FOW+ on the bottom of the channel edge. Don't take my depth numbers as gospel, just saying with the clear water and zero current they are a little deeper than normal. I am sure they go up shallow, but I think you need to be super stealthy and make long casts to not spook them. I hope the warm weather turns back on the top water bite for a bit.

I'm also not finding big schools of bait like I will see some times around this time of year, I'm guessing(and probably wrong) that the fish are just roaming like they would in a lake and again, just a step out deeper than normal.

Is DNR at the launch or out on patrol in the boat? Unless they radio you in RT they would have no idea if you had a ticket in the past, they just are always like that down there. I was checked there once and they opened every compartment and the small cooler I had and my bait bucket..

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Chitown-Angler

Joined: 07:43pm - Nov 21,14
Posts: 1039
Location: United States

Post Posted: 03:08pm - Oct 7,20 
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They were on shore by that creek upstream of Barto and I was fishing the pilings by the grain loader when they waved me into shore.I saw one of them call my boat numbers in.The water is decent clarity but not like up by your area.Between the lock work and a couple dredges going it is a little stained.On water street I was flipping a jig and minnow into the rocks but most bites were almost under the boat which was 12-14 feet.The 2 16" sauger I caught were only about 50 yards from where we get them in cold water.Yesterday was the first time in years that I saw seagulls on the river.

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Chitown-Angler

Joined: 07:43pm - Nov 21,14
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Location: United States

Post Posted: 04:53pm - Oct 13,20 
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Went out today with a bucket of minnows fished mostly around Peru and Water Street.Got around 20 whites only 5 were chunks and the rest about 10"ers,quite a few keeper length sauger but very lean,a nice smallie,crappie,2 good channels and a sheephead.I hope next trip I won't have to fight a big west wind like these last 2 trips.Water temp was 63 degrees.

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Chitown-Angler
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Joined: 09:02pm - Sep 8,05
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Location: Chicago

Post Posted: 09:29pm - Oct 13,20 
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High winds the rest of the week then rain for 4-5 days. No Bueno!

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Chitown-Angler
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Joined: 08:56am - Jun 23,05
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Location: Seneca

Post Posted: 06:21pm - Oct 17,20 
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Went out of Barto's on Thursday - first time I've been there since the bridge was finished, and man that new entrance/exit is going to be problems, I dont have the biggest boat but wow was it a tight fight, and you need to shoot that thing right down the middle cause its mud or rock if you are off by inches. Hope they dredge it out or something cause that's a prop killer. Understand the water is low, but those rocks above water now won't somehow not ding your prop when they are underwater.

Water was much different as far a clarity, was Illinois River clean but not Morris clean(but that is even starting to go back to normal)

As for fishing, it was terrible. Went to clam beds just because I need to spend more time on it. Lots of grabs on plastics jigging, shorts barely hooked pulling lead. By 11am whitecaps with the wind straight out the west and no current made jigging impossible for me in my boat. 14fow was where the fish were at that would bite.

Was in Morris Tuesday and we killed on crappies at the barge pillings with a hook, minnow, and small split shot and 4lb test.

Will be out Monday guess I'm getting minnows.

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Chitown-Angler

Joined: 07:43pm - Nov 21,14
Posts: 1039
Location: United States

Post Posted: 06:34pm - Oct 17,20 
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Can't beat those minnows when things are tough.I didn't have much luck for crappie by the pilings like recent years.

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Chitown-Angler

Joined: 02:18pm - Oct 16,13
Posts: 289
Location: Yorkville, IL

Post Posted: 09:51am - Oct 18,20 
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Help a guy out. Would a 3 way rig be a good idea right now or is this time of year more of a jig bite? FWIW I’m launching in Morris today

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Chitown-Angler
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Joined: 04:08pm - Apr 12,07
Posts: 243
Location: Elwood, Il

Post Posted: 02:20pm - Oct 18,20 
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RiverRat wrote:
Went out of Barto's on Thursday - first time I've been there since the bridge was finished, and man that new entrance/exit is going to be problems, I dont have the biggest boat but wow was it a tight fight, and you need to shoot that thing right down the middle cause its mud or rock if you are off by inches. Hope they dredge it out or something cause that's a prop killer. Understand the water is low, but those rocks above water now won't somehow not ding your prop when they are underwater.

Water was much different as far a clarity, was Illinois River clean but not Morris clean(but that is even starting to go back to normal)

As for fishing, it was terrible. Went to clam beds just because I need to spend more time on it. Lots of grabs on plastics jigging, shorts barely hooked pulling lead. By 11am whitecaps with the wind straight out the west and no current made jigging impossible for me in my boat. 14fow was where the fish were at that would bite.

Was in Morris Tuesday and we killed on crappies at the barge pillings with a hook, minnow, and small split shot and 4lb test.

Will be out Monday guess I'm getting minnows.



Thanks for the report. Hope to get out next weekend.



Barto can be a challenge in low water since the reconfiguration.

Looks like the water was about 11.5’ at Lasalle. I know my boat will be on the bottom at about 12.5’. The pad sits about 2’ under the surface. 10.5’ at Lasalle should expose the mud across the entrance.

Good info for everyone to prevent damage.

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