Fox River - Early April catfishing

Discussion in 'ILLINOIS RIVERS TALK' started by bigkittyhunter, Mar 16, 2007.

  1. bigkittyhunter

    bigkittyhunter New Member

    Messages:
    25
    State:
    illinois
    I want to go catfishing the first week of april and I wanted to know if that would be to early to catch some cats on the fox river by st charles. If so what would be the best way. Ive never fished this part of the fox before.
    Any help would be great.
     
  2. Rivercat2

    Rivercat2 New Member

    Messages:
    76
    State:
    Morton,Illinois
    I am catching cats on the Illinois River near Pekin right now, so I think you should be fine, I am catching my on cut shad and shad Guts.
     

  3. gebs

    gebs New Member

    Messages:
    128
    State:
    Illinois
    I've had moderate success on the Fox in April south of the Yorkville dam. I would aim for slower spots on the river as the Cats are not quite as active yet.
     
  4. vegasryder

    vegasryder New Member

    Messages:
    324
    State:
    illinois
    I agree with Chuck...unless the water temps get a little warmer,the cats wont be that active.I think the water temp rite now is 38 degrees.But who knows...it might be in the 50`s in a couple of weeks which isnt too bad.Just try to find some holes and you might be able to get some action.I`ll be going there sometime this week,so i`ll post if i have any luck.
     
  5. gebs

    gebs New Member

    Messages:
    128
    State:
    Illinois
    I was at the Yorkville dam yesterday and one of the regulars said the water temp was in the mid 50's. He had 3 small cats, 2 good sheep's heads, and 3 carp in his basket.

    I plan on going out this weekend and hitting the banks. I'm going to test the theory that as the river rises, the fish attack the worms that the rising waters force out of the banks.
     
  6. treddinwater

    treddinwater Active Member

    Messages:
    1,123
    State:
    Indianapolis, Indiana
    I'm going to be up on the Fox this Saturday-Tuesday. I heard it's up pretty high right now like the rivers down here, but my grandma said its not over her dock so that means its still fishable to me:smile2: . And that river has enough cats in it that we've caught them just about anytime there's no ice on the water. We were up there a few years ago just fishing off that dock with chicken livers in the middle of december and catching a decent number of cats. Since the water is up and muddy right now, good bets are to fish slower water if you can find it and to fish any sorts of cut baits, chicken livers, or anything with good smell and blood trails to it.
     
  7. vegasryder

    vegasryder New Member

    Messages:
    324
    State:
    illinois
    The water is very high,fast and muddy ryt as of Sunday at St.Charles.Not too much luck,but i was goin for eyes with minnows...Let us know if you guys have any luck.
     
  8. treddinwater

    treddinwater Active Member

    Messages:
    1,123
    State:
    Indianapolis, Indiana
    Got back home yesterday from up on the Fox and had moderate success. Was finally able to get my first fish of the year, it was a healthy 15" channel cat on chicken livers. The river was still high and fast, but wasen't as muddy as you'd think with the levels. The trick was fishing any sort of slack water you can find. Since we were confined to fishing off 2 docks, the trick for me was fishing about 20' off the bank and casting underneath docks in about 4' of water using chicken livers and cut creek chub. Ended up with maybe 20 catfish all between 12-18", no monsters, but it was nice to get out and finally get some fish. They only seemed to be hitting from about 6-8:30am and from 7-9pm.
     
  9. gebs

    gebs New Member

    Messages:
    128
    State:
    Illinois
    That does not surprise me. The Fox can be finicky. I've found that my best times are from 6-11AM and 5-10PM. They seem to rest in the afternoons. I think it has something to do with the generally shallow nature of the river. The fish have gotten used to hiding from the sun and heat created mid-day and have just adopted this year round.
     
  10. vegasryder

    vegasryder New Member

    Messages:
    324
    State:
    illinois
    Good job...i have yet to catch a fish from the Fox this year.What part of the Fox were you fishing from?
     
  11. treddinwater

    treddinwater Active Member

    Messages:
    1,123
    State:
    Indianapolis, Indiana
    Good point Chuck, shallow waters are generally better early and late in the day. But I've never understood why they seem to turn it off after about 11pm too, most other waterways I fish, no matter what time it is as long as it's still dark out your having some luck.

    Kenny, I was fishing in Cary just north of the Algonquin Dam.
     
  12. gebs

    gebs New Member

    Messages:
    128
    State:
    Illinois
    I went out today on the lower Fox. WOOOHOOO!!!!!

    Unfortunately I was only able to get out for about 1/2 hr.

    I went out to run the boat for the first time and make sure everything was working right.

    The water was cold, probably not much above 50 degrees. I dropped in a line for literally 10 minutes. Pulled out 2 1-2 lbers. in that time. I hit up on one of my favorite high water spots. The spot is a backwater slack area that flows up to a flat shoreline. Everytime the water rises, the fish congregate to tear up the worms that the high water forces out of the shore. They were there again.

    Both of the fish I caught were pretty beat up. They must have been spawning females, they had fresh bite marks along their dorsal fins and above the tail; classic agressive male bite marks.
     
  13. Don Wessling

    Don Wessling New Member

    Messages:
    316
    State:
    IL.
    The times quoted by gebs04 seem to hold true for Rend Lake also, but I seem to notice they don't bite when the wind picks up midday and they start biting again as it calms back down. Has anyone else noticed this?
     
  14. gebs

    gebs New Member

    Messages:
    128
    State:
    Illinois
    I was out yesterday on the Lower Fox and between me and my buddy we caught 14 in 3 hours. Mostly 2 lbers., but nice.
     
  15. d_guerrero1

    d_guerrero1 New Member

    Messages:
    26
    State:
    Roselle, Illinois
    I fish the fox in yorkville and catch 3 to 10# cats mostly over night.