Northern Illinois/ Southeastern Wisconsin Catfishing

Discussion in 'ILLINOIS RIVERS TALK' started by khensu0213, Feb 15, 2006.

  1. khensu0213

    khensu0213 New Member

    Messages:
    99
    State:
    Illinois
    Anybody ever fish the Fox river in northern IL or southeast WI? If so, what's good for cats in that area?
     
  2. mskittyfish

    mskittyfish New Member

    Messages:
    73
    State:
    Wisconsin
    Hey Khensu...Im a Wisconsin native and my father and I used to fish the fox river all the time. He believed that since the good Lord made the earth 1/4 land and 3/4 water, that he was suppose to do more fishin than plowin! He knew the cats liked to eat live bait like bream and nightcrawlers. Pretty much the same thing that they like to eat no matter where they are! He used to use big ole fat grubs that he found in our garden too. As long as they squiggle...they should catch those cats attention. Here in Texas though, they say that the cats that live in the northern waters are not as tasty as they are down here cuz they like to eat all the over-populated zebra mussels that seem to be quite a nuisance up there. In any case...happy fishin !
     

  3. Rainman4u2

    Rainman4u2 Guest

    First of all, welcome to the BOC!!!!

    Second, I have no idea!!! I would venture to guess that your best bet would be livers for channels, and live bait if there are flat heads in the river. I would go to a local bait shop and ask questions on the bait from the local fisherman. Make sure you never ask for locations, because you will never get another honest answer.

    Ray
     
  4. Puddycat

    Puddycat New Member

    Messages:
    47
    State:
    Clarksville,TN
    Jeff, I live in N. Illinois and fish the northern Fox often. All the way from the border down to Elgin. Heres my suggestions:

    Flatheads: Live Bluegills Note: Your chances for these guys will increase the further south you go.
    Channels: Cut Bluegills, Dough/Stink Baits, Worms.
    Blues: There are none in these waters.
     
  5. khensu0213

    khensu0213 New Member

    Messages:
    99
    State:
    Illinois
    Thanks for the great info! I'll definitely put it to use!
     
  6. catfishermanj

    catfishermanj New Member

    Messages:
    18
    State:
    Illinois - McHenry
    Sorry for the late reply, I've been away from this site for over a year.

    I fish the section south of the chain and north of the McHenry dam. I do pretty good for numbers of fish, channels that is.

    Most of the fish are channels, over the last two years we have only taken 3 flatheads, they were 2lbs, 18lb 15oz, and 24lb 3oz all of those fish have come on cut bait. Most of the channels average 4-6lbs.

    During the day we normally use liver, seems to be the best producer. Come night time we switch up to cut bait and live bait. Last season, live gills out produced cut bait for numbers and size of channels. However, the 18 lb. flathead came on a gill head and 2 years ago the 24 lb flat came on a crappie head.

    There are some monster flats in the chain south to the Mchenry dam, I have seen some pictures of these fish in local bait shops. I plan on getting more serious for these fish this season as I finally have a boat and can get to places land owners don't want you going.
     
  7. catfishermanj

    catfishermanj New Member

    Messages:
    18
    State:
    Illinois - McHenry
    Wellsince I posted a last I had nore time to think about this, I may have a spot for you or anybody else reading this.

    Let me make this clear, I have never fished but I have intended to. I am only telling you what I have heard and seen.

    The spot: Fox river north of the Fox Chain of Lakes, rt 173 crosses it in Antioch, I think that is the town. I have heard there are some pictures at a local bait shop of two 40 pound flatheads caught from under the bridge there. I did not see the picture but was told by my father in law and other people about this. I decided to check out the location, to get an idea of any truth behind this. Right at the bridge is a bar where they charge 3 bucks to park and fish all day, all I did was drink that day. According to the people I talked to at the bar, they claim it is really good fishing for cats and walley. They pointed out where any old bridge used to cross the river that eventualy fell in and most of it was never retreaved. You can see the old supports on both sides of the river to support their claims.

    Now I know this sounds like a story but it is a spot I have scouted and plan on fishing one day, most likely this spring. If you should happen to fish there or the Fox let us know how you do.

    Good luck
     
  8. Shawn

    Shawn New Member

    Messages:
    408
    State:
    Illinois
    I've been fishing the Fox in the Elgin/St Charles area occasionally the last couple years... usually bluegills for small flatheads. There are some 20s in there, I just haven't hooked up with one yet.

    There's quite a few dams on the Fox one you get below Algonquin... there's plenty of cats between the dams or below them. Lots of places to fish, boat access isn't the best. Partly because there's a lot of gravel and sand bars. Then some of the towns have those other kinds of bars too...

    Shawn
     
  9. khensu0213

    khensu0213 New Member

    Messages:
    99
    State:
    Illinois

    Thanks. When I'm heading to Wilmot, I take 173 west to Wilmot Rd. What's the name of the bar? I have an idea of where you're talking about but want to be sure. Thanks for the heads up!
     
  10. catfishermanj

    catfishermanj New Member

    Messages:
    18
    State:
    Illinois - McHenry
    I'm not much of a bar person so I don't know the name. It is right on the river at that bridge, you can't miss it.
     
  11. khensu0213

    khensu0213 New Member

    Messages:
    99
    State:
    Illinois

    I went out on Saturday (4/15)....I saw exactly the spot you were referring to. I'll have to stop in and pay to fish there next time I go out. I went up to Wilmot and caught a nice 2lb channel. Caught a few others, but the only one worth really mentioning is the channel. I had another channel hooked up too, but lost it because I got over excited and tried to muscle it to shore. End result of that was that the fish snapped my 20lb test line and got away. Depending on weather, I'll probably be out there in the next week or so.
     
  12. Flatthead

    Flatthead New Member

    Messages:
    1
    State:
    Illinois
    Just about any of the bridges produced some nice cats 176,Rosen and Route 14 all have bank access. McHenry dam is also a good spot if you have a boat for night fishing. Be carefull if out at night in the summer for all the hotrodder boats bar hopping from McHenry dam to Algonquen dam.I fish the river in that location 2 to 3 times a week. Pick up a Illinois atlas& Gazetteer map [ Gander Mountain ] It will show you every public river and Lake access and boat ramp in the state. Great map for exploring new places to fish, shows all the back roads even down to the gravel roads. Well hope that will help you on your fishing adventures.
     
  13. armynavy

    armynavy New Member

    Messages:
    422
    State:
    Iowa
    Thanks for the heads up guys, I will be moving to the rockford area in late may, early june and plan on doing lots of fishing. First stop gander mountain rockford.