A week of rains slowed down the fishing on many lakes and brought the fishing to a screeching halt this week on rivers and streams, area fishing experts tell us.
In Utica, Darrell “Cajun” or “Buster” Culjan said anglers were catching sauger on the river and the white bass bite was just starting when the rains came and muddied and raised the Illinois River past flood stage.
“The big Vermilion, Little Vermilion and Illinois River were all high and dirty,” said Culjan.
Before the rains came, the river temperature was in the 48- to 49-degree level. He figures if there are no big rains this weekend or early next week, they’ll be catching fish again by or before midweek next week.
He said he’d heard of a few bass and crappie have been caught in farm ponds this week, but little else.
Around the region
Ronnie Baudino owns B&B Bait in Ottawa and hauls bait to about 70 dealers throughout North Central Illinois. He said he had not heard much from La Salle Lake, but usually at this time of year anglers are catching catfish in that warmer-water cooling lake.
He said he heard the fishing was “halfway decent” at Clinton, another cooling lake.
A favorite fishing spot for local anglers, Evergreen, northwest of Normal, still has a cold water temperature, and Baudino heard that the few fish that had been caught had been suspended, hard to find and perhaps not concentrated in any abundance.
He said he’d heard no good reports from Illinois River anglers this week. Fishing for walleye on the Kankakee River had just been heating up when the day-after-day storms arrived.
The Pecatonica River, the watery home of last year’s state-record walleye catches, still has a low water temperature and has been flooding, said guide Dan Palmer, who also promotes several tournaments, including Cabela’s Masters Walleye Circuit.
Palmer was in Detroit this weekend and said despite cold and windy conditions, the tournament fishermen – even some first-timers to the Detroit River– told him the week of pre-fishing had been “their best fishing trip ever.”
That’s saying a lot, considering all the places in Minnesota, South Dakota and even Canada where those folks fish. He said the tournament rolled into Michigan and hit the walleye bite at precisely the right time.
He expects this weekend’s tournament on theDetroitRiverto break several MWC records.
“They are catching humongous walleye,” Palmer said.