Fox River Fishing Information & Fishing Reports
The Fox River enters Illinois near Antioch and flows south/southwest
for 115 miles, emptying into the Illinois River. The Fox River is
one of the most versatile bodies of water to fish in Illinois. There
are over 100 public access points along this stretch for fishing.
And there are probably 3 times as many "not sure if it's public
access" points as well.
Fox River offers a wide variety of fishing opportunities for all
anglers. The Fox is probably most popular for smallmouth
bass, catfish, Musky and walleye. But the populations
of largemouth bass, white bass, yellow bass, northern pike, and
panfish are quite plentiful.
The Fox River begins in Illinois north of Antioch, becomes the Fox
Chain of Lakes, then travels through the communities of McHenry,
Algonquin, Carpentersville, Elgin, Batavia, St. Charles, Geneva,
Aurora, Yorkville, and Ottawa.
Species: largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, northern pike,
walleye, crappie, white bass, flathead catfish, channel catfish,
muskie, bluegill, rock bass, bullhead, carp, and a few others.
Shops: A whole bunch. I'll list a few soon. In the meantime,
see our complete bait shop directory.
General Comments: The Fox River - one of the premiere fishing
locations in the entire midwest. The Fox has so many access points
and places to fish, it can take a life time to see them all. Two
of my favorite spots to wish the Fox River are the McHenry Dam at
Moraine Hills State Pake in McHenry and the Yorkville Dam in Yorkville,
out this great booklet from The Illinois Department of Natural Resources
- Fox River Access Areas & Fishing Guide.
book lists over 100 access points to the Fox River as well as ammenities
(bait, fuel, launching info) and much more. Available here in pdf
37'' FOX RIVER MUSKIE CAUGHT ON MINNOW BAIT 09-05-05 4:30 pm
SOUTH OF YORKVILLE,IL
July 30, 2005 -- Jason W. Norris Worked
the Yorkville Dam; 5:30pm-8:30pm; sunny, temps in the low 80's,
SW winds 10mph. Got 2 smallmouth bass of 13" using Rapala Husky
Jerk baits. Also got a 12" catfish on (yes) a Husky Jerk.
River 4/5/05 --- Jason Napodano Fished from 11am-7:15pm Fish Totals: 7 Smallmouth Bass Water: High and fast, 54-57 degrees with less than
12 inches visibility
Just a reminder IDNR *Statewide River Regulation* All smallmouth
bass must be immediately released between April 1 and June 15th.
You can find more rules, regulations and fishing tips at www.dnr.state.il.us
Keep it clean for your kids' kids!
was sporadic and locating them became a task that eventually proved
to be well worth the effort. From now until early June is one of
the best times of year to catch a trophy smallmouth. The thing that
had alot to do with my results is I worked every area I came across
that held even the a slightest possibility of holding a fish. A
lot of times when even knowledgeable fisherman get down to the river
they start hitting all their favorite big fish spots first and in
doing so pass up some areas that may be holding quality fish. Yesterday
there was no washout area, no eddy, no current seam and no shorline/overhanging
tree that didn't get at least 5 casts within a 2 mile stretch. We're
still a week or so away from when things really turn on and the
bite is slow. By not passing anything up I increased my odds for
a big fish dramatically.
This time of
year I like baits that attract lots of attention without having
to be retrieved at a fast pace. My big fish baits that I'll be tossing
for the next 6-8 weeks include flash jigs dressed with live bait
and soft plastics like 4-6" lizards, 4" venom madtoms
and various 2-3" pulse grubs. Towards mid-late May a rebel
crawdad will begin to see some time on the end of my line where
it will remain a consistent choice throughout early summer.
Shallower flats adjacent to depth and/or current as well as various
shoreline structure is what to look for. Fallen timber(pictured)
and over-hanging brush usually create an eddy and will attract schools
of baitfish making an ideal location. Pools located directly behind
islands(pictured) also give fish a chance to easily ambush their
prey and are one of my favorite areas to target. When temps come
up a bit shade lines will begin to offer another holding place for
predatorial fish. The majority of my fishing year-round is done
while wading but now is the time of year most likely to produce
a trophy smallmouth for those who fish from shore.
On the last note, one thing to really be conscious of this time
of year is high water levels and the danger they present. Nothing
fun about being cold and wet after donating half the gear you came
with back to the river. Anyone heading out wading do your best to
stay out of the current, it's never too deep until your past the
point of no return. As well as I know the river I'm still not too
proud to turn back and try somewhere else.
Good luck and bring a camera to remember and share your quality