A cool-down followed by Thursday’s warm-up has a lot of anglers just waiting for another prolonged cool-down.
At his bait, rentals and camp store at Lock 19 at Wyanet, Tom Yourek reported a lot of his customers are eagerly awaiting the crappie bite to start. Some have been buying minnows, and a lot have been heading west nearer to the visitors center or west of that, he believes.
The NewsTribune received a recent photo of 1 pound, 3 ounce black crappie taken from the canal, but Yourek said he wasn’t hearing of many great catches the past four or five days. He had one customer who caught some decent-sized catfish upstream from his location near a bridge trestle.
Longtime Illinois River guide and Utica shop owner Cajun Culjan said catfish have been biting and a lot of 4- to 5-pounders are being taken on Sonny’s cheese bait or crawfish.
Drum still are biting, too, but the water temperature’s still quite warm for fall-pattern white bass and sauger.
He said the river temperature was around 76-78 degrees Sept. 19, and it needs to get to 65 for the white bass to get going and nearer to 50 for the sauger.
“We need rain and we need water for current and we need the water to cool off and then everything will kick off,” Culjan said.
For a diversion from the big river, canals or ponds, he said some anglers have been catching smallmouth using Panther Martin and Mepps spinners in the holes in the Vermilion River.
Some friends of this reporter have been taking as many trips as possible north of the border (Wisconsin and Minnesota) for bluegill, bass and northern.