Illinois River catfishing

Discussion in 'ILLINOIS RIVERS TALK' started by viperdragon6662003, Mar 21, 2009.

  1. viperdragon6662003

    viperdragon6662003 New Member

    Messages:
    53
    State:
    IL
    Hey i was wondering if there are blues and flatheads in the IL river between peoria and starved rock dam. i would love to catch one or the other but all i know is channels.
     
  2. backwoodsman68geric

    backwoodsman68geric New Member

    Messages:
    943
    State:
    illinois
    Lagrange locks have all 3, Ive caught all 3 all up and down the river from Peoria to its confluence with the mighty miss. Where the creeks/ditch's run in are good for channels and flats. Blues like the swifter water around the locks and wing dams. Let me know if ya need a starting spot or two.
     

  3. viperdragon6662003

    viperdragon6662003 New Member

    Messages:
    53
    State:
    IL
    see im north of the peoria dam but if you say there south of the dam that means they should go up the river to so ill just have to see if i cant find one of them this year. but if anyone know of a good spot north of the peoria dam let me know. i have tryed fishing below the starved rock dam but it gets really shallow and it is very very fast moving water so if you think they are there let me know and ill try fishing it again this year.
     
  4. Fishhead1

    Fishhead1 Member

    Messages:
    177
    State:
    Illinois
    Name:
    Eric
    You can catch all 3 up there but blues will be very hard to come by, especially larger fish (over 5 lbs). The Illinois just doesn't offer the habitat that blues prefer, even in the lower and un-damed 80 miles of the Illinois River blues are pretty rare. Blues like relatively fast water and deep holes usually found in big rivers (Miss, Missouri and Ohio), neither of which are common on the Illinois River.

    The IL River offers great channel cat and some decent Flathead fishing, I'd just concentrate on those 2 to increase your odds. If you really are hankerin' for catching a bluecat, come down to Alton/St. Louis area and hook up some some of the brotherhood down here.
     
  5. viperdragon6662003

    viperdragon6662003 New Member

    Messages:
    53
    State:
    IL
    thanks for the info on the blues i guess i will try to hunt down the flats and see what i can get. just wish someone lived up north a little bit more and could give me fishing advice in my area
     
  6. Graywolf

    Graywolf New Member

    Messages:
    136
    State:
    Peru, IL.
    That's very good advice. There are very few Blues up here in Peru and Ottawa. Now there are flats. I caught my personal best last year in the Ottawa pool (18 lb.). A week before that a friend of mine caught a 35 lb. flat. and this was in the day time on cut shad...:smile2: so they are there. Of course try around brush piles, but don't forget the grain elevators. A couple of years ago a guy caught a 25 lb. Flat off the dock at Marquette park on the fox river in Ottawa, at night using night crawler. So Flat's are here.

    Good luck to you.
     
  7. Fishhead1

    Fishhead1 Member

    Messages:
    177
    State:
    Illinois
    Name:
    Eric
    I'm no pro at Flats but there are some general rules to follow when looking for them.

    #1) Live bait > cut bait > worms/liver > stink bait
    Most guys prefer live green sunfish or bluegills, however it's illegal to catch those other than hook n line and then use them for bait. Asian carp can work well and do OK staying alive on the hook, those you can get with a net or hell letting them jump into your boat.

    #2) Low light - flatheads are pretty sensivite to light, so hunting is done when there isn't much light. You can catch them during the day if you can get bait near their "den", so lots of homework is needed to find their "dens" (see rules 3-5)

    #3-#5) Structure, Structure, Structure. These guys hold up in cavities/dens most the time. They really like woody debris and snags, barge tie offs work, sunken docks etc. Large Rip Rap and boulders are a good area to check, and then anything else that can break up the flow and offer protection (sunken barges, vehicles, bridges, dams, etc) including deeper holes.


    Ideally a deep hole that has structure with a shallower area or "flats" available for hunting near by would be a great area to find and concentrate on.
     
  8. viperdragon6662003

    viperdragon6662003 New Member

    Messages:
    53
    State:
    IL
    well u guess its time to see if i can save my pennys and get a new fish finder.
    I got an old humminbird. all it is good for is depth and temp. Thanks for all the help might have to go out fishin sometime
     
  9. dsmith_85

    dsmith_85 New Member

    Messages:
    17
    State:
    illinois
    where do you live? i am north of peoria i fish around chilicothe on the illinois. my pb is 76lb flathead just short of illinois state record.
     
  10. kyleh

    kyleh New Member

    Messages:
    14
    State:
    Illinois
    I fish the Ottawa Pool where the Fox meets the IL....I catch ton's of channels, and Ed who lives there is constantly finding Flatheads in certain parts of the river. I've caught a small one and thats it.

    We both use Shad. He actually catches his Flats on cut shad and he's brought up more than one walleye.
     
  11. dsmith_85

    dsmith_85 New Member

    Messages:
    17
    State:
    illinois
    i have fished several times up that way and have landed several 40+ flatheads. under the railroad bridge center pillar holds several big fish. must use heavy line as they allways try to go into the railroadties. fish on both sides and in the back side of it where there is a break in the current. live bait there has allways landed me couple good fish.
     
  12. viperdragon6662003

    viperdragon6662003 New Member

    Messages:
    53
    State:
    IL
    hey all thanks for all the replys. i live in troy grove IL i fish around the starved rock dam and south of that. i plan on trying further south to maybe some of the lakes that connect to the IL but i would love to go fishing with anyone on here.
     
  13. xcat

    xcat New Member

    Messages:
    8
    State:
    Illinois
    Have you ever specifically targeted flatheads in the Ottawa pool? I would like to fish for em but would like to know if there is a fishable population. Thanks for your info, it is appreciated.