03/19/17 - Illinois River

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03/19/17 - Illinois River

Postby SmalliesNEyes » Mar Mon 20, 2017 11:27 am

Was out yesterday with my Dad. We worked hard for a few keepers. Caught about 15 fish, both walleye and sauger, with 3 keeper-sized. We got a 15, 16.5, and a 17. Lots of 13-14's. All three of our keepers were fat males. Two of three keepers were put in the boat pulling floaters tipped with minnows in 20-24 FOW with a speed of .5-.75mph on the graph. Floater bite was better in the morning, and tapered off around 11am. We pulled cranks from about noon until 1:30 and picked up the last keeper and a handful more shorts. Same area, 20-24 FOW, with a speed of 1.3-1.5 on the graph. Bite has seemed to go that way lately. Floaters in the morning, and cranks in the afternoon. Lots of guys jigging, also, and we saw them catch fish just as sporadically as we were. All three presentations produced about the same, IMO. Nothing hot and heavy like the tournaments the past couple weekends, though. We'd make a pass, pull a fish, run back up and make a pass or two without one, then nail one again. Very, very sporadic. All our fish came in 20-24 FOW. Everyone out there said the same thing, it was a tough day/bite.

Water temps dropped a lot over the last week of cold weather, and snow melt-off, which slowed the bite down, IMO. I think it was about 48 degrees, but I never really looked at the temp, for whatever reason. I normally always do! I seem to remember the graph saying 48, though, when paying attention to my speeds when trolling. With the warmer weather forecast this week, the bite should pick up again for the weekend.

No pics, though. Was too tired/lazy to take any.
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Re: 03/19/17 - Illinois River

Postby catchafew » Mar Mon 20, 2017 6:23 pm

Nice report with good details. We don't often hear about the Illinois river. Thanks
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Re: 03/19/17 - Illinois River

Postby Aux Pleins » Mar Mon 20, 2017 7:11 pm

Saw tons of guys out over the weekend on the lower des plaines. Everyone is just a few degrees too early.

Toss a few fish over the dams for me. Haven't seen a walleye or sauger since last spring.
Nature and shit.
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Re: 03/19/17 - Illinois River

Postby Skifish1 » Mar Mon 20, 2017 8:40 pm

Nice report. Good to hear some Illinois river reports.
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Re: 03/19/17 - Illinois River

Postby Bobba Down » Mar Mon 20, 2017 8:43 pm

What launch did you go out of?
I know a few spots downstream of Morris, but I've never fished down by Ottawa or Peru. I always hear good things but I just haven't explored it yet.
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Re: 03/19/17 - Illinois River

Postby SmalliesNEyes » Mar Mon 20, 2017 9:11 pm

Spring Valley, and thanks all.
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