The Northshore Channel, The Cal/Sag, the entire Chicago River system is loaded with fish... GAME FISH! Discover this great fisherie in Chicago's backyard.
Aug Sun 09, 2015 8:10 pm
Has anyone fished the river this year? Virtually 0 reports on the boards. I went 5 or 6 times for crappie from Nov-March without a sniff or a sign of a fish. Its hard telling what they might be putting the river through nowadays....
Aug Mon 10, 2015 12:31 pm
i've fished the river 3 times this year, and was skunked every time. i put in some time along the shore from the rockwell kayak launch to under the addision bridge and not even a bite. wish i had something positive to report.
Aug Mon 10, 2015 12:38 pm
I cannot report on any fish this year as i have not given it a go. last year i was able to catch a couple largemouth in the west loop. I'd do it more often but its a pain brining my pole on a train and in the office. thought about investing in a telescopic rod but all the ones i find are cheaply made.
I will comment on the river and say it is not as bad as people think. Nearly every game fish is able to thrive in the river including walleye and rainbows. a thousand channel catfish were released in the river near the loop less than a year ago
Aug Mon 10, 2015 12:48 pm
urbanHog312 wrote:I cannot report on any fish this year as i have not given it a go. last year i was able to catch a couple largemouth in the west loop. I'd do it more often but its a pain brining my pole on a train and in the office. thought about investing in a telescopic rod but all the ones i find are cheaply made.
I will comment on the river and say it is not as bad as people think. Nearly every <a title="Link added by VigLink" class="vglnk" href="http://www.cabelas.com/product/Cabelas-Fisherman-Series-Game-Fish-Spoon/732265.uts?productVariantId=1309216" target="_blank" rel="nofollow"><span>game </span><span>fish</span></a> is able to thrive in the river including walleye and rainbows. a thousand channel catfish were released in the river near the loop less than a year ago
There's rainbow trout in the Chicago river???
Aug Mon 10, 2015 2:11 pm
I personally have caught bass ,bluegill,crappie,perch,trout,catfish and carp. I have not fished it this year but my go to spot is between Michigan and Columbus on the south side of the river. There is meter parking but the meters are close to the water so it isn't a long walk.
Aug Mon 10, 2015 3:41 pm
I think Brandon is talking more up river in the north branch and NSC. I think I fished it a couple times last winter and didn't do very well. I believe I focused more on ice fishing and the occasional trip to Busse WWD instead.
As for reasons for the decline, I blame the bucket heads...
Aug Mon 10, 2015 4:07 pm
I fished it 2-3 times this year and it was just flat out bad for me...not even a bluegill nibble. I went on my yak twice from River park and went down river about 2 miles fishing along and absolutely nothing. Hit the docks...flipped/pitched jigs, inline spinners, shallow cranks, jigs/soft plastics...nada. Was marking catfish on the bottom but wasn't fishing for them so maybe I'll go back to catfish.
I am actually planning to fish the downtown stretch via yak if anyone cares to join. I've always done much better on this stretch than anywhere else on the river.
Aug Mon 10, 2015 4:54 pm
I would join you for a downtown float. I paddle a canoe not a yak if that is alright. ~JOE~
Aug Mon 10, 2015 5:14 pm
joetrain wrote:I would join you for a downtown float. I paddle a canoe not a yak if that is alright. ~JOE~
If you can handle 4-5ft swells from constant tour/taxi boat/ships..
Brandon, I had success with green sunfish, bluegill, and a few small crappie early in spring. Did not have the success I was looking for. Been back 3 or 4 times since trying to scratch the itch and have only run into high stained water. Its been a wet summer, so I blame that. But I know others were complaining about bites as early as last winter like you were saying.
Aug Mon 10, 2015 5:20 pm
over the winter it was skunk after skunk after skunk but a few weeks ago I hit the spillway and caught a large amount of gills, shad etc. so the panfish population is def improving from this winter.
Aug Mon 10, 2015 8:59 pm
Thanks for the input guys. I miss the days when you could catch a 2-3 lb largemouth out of there every other trip or so. Even when the bass action died down those nice crappies were still a given for years. I've wanted to put my kayak in but don't want to waste my time when I could go somewhere better with what little time I have.
I'm going to fish it from shore later this week. I'll report no matter what the results.
Aug Mon 10, 2015 9:01 pm
And yes I was talking more NSC and North Branch, in terms of the kayak for sure.
Sep Sat 26, 2015 12:45 am
Chicago river has been pretty good to me this year . Plenty of carp that give good fights and also plenty of catfish . Even a shad on a dropshot .... which surprised me . Anyhow , good luck to you guys out there the year isn't over yet .
Oct Sat 24, 2015 7:27 pm
Any more updates from anyone? I'm a city guy, and if the bite heats up on the NSC or north branch, I would be able to get out and fish waaaaay more during the week since it's dark at like 6:00 now (soon to be 5:00, then 4:45, followed by 4:30, etc [ad nauseum]).
EDIT: Just read my post, and didn't want to come across wrong, like I'm going to wait on a good report and cherry pick when someone puts the time in. I'll more than likely get out and shore fish a few spots on the river over the next month or so, regardless of the reports -- was just curious if my efforts would be better elsewhere.
Oct Sat 24, 2015 8:27 pm
I haven't but I would like to fish the downtown stretch from my yak soon.
Mar Sun 20, 2016 10:31 am
Anybody hit the river recently or plan to soon? I'm wondering if the baitfish and panfish explosion is the reason for the recent decline in fishing the river, as everything I've read over the past couple years indicates the river habitat is improving tremendously. Hard to sell spam in a steakhouse.
Mar Thu 24, 2016 8:30 am
Have you ever considered trying ultralight on the North Branch? Bear with me here. I used to work for a company based in Niles & would throw ultralight stuff in the river where it runs thru St. Paul Woods just South of Dempster (I know it's not the city).
There are bass in there. Not big ones but big enough to make it fun with 4 lb line. I think they get washed down from Skokie Lagoons.
BTW - of some historical interest - there's a fishing weir in the river at the North end of St. Paul Woods. Probably built by native Americans in the 1700s. Hard to find in high water but very clear in low.
Mar Thu 24, 2016 10:48 am
there are big ones in the Chicago River…
action was on fire the end of January in a area of the river that pumps out warm water. (Howard)
the river is usually pretty good this time of year. .. I like to start on shallow rock and move deeper till you get a bite…many times this early in year i find them in 6 inches of water or less.
Aug Sun 07, 2016 9:51 am
Just thought I'd chime in on this topic and see what shakes. I know this time of year the Chi river is typically bad for fishing anyway, but I have read many things over the summer that talk about how clean the river is getting -- in fact, Friends of the River is already planning areas for wading and swimming, and say that within five years for sure it will be safe to swim in, and that bacteria levels are already there as far as safety. They pretty much just have to finish a few sewer/drainage overflow projects, and the river will no longer be a "dump," literally. Question is, how will this affect the fishing?? I haven't fished the river in the past year, even though it's the closest waters to me, but my gut tells me that it's loaded with fish, but that they mostly have lockjaw to lures and artificial presentations, due to the amount of forage. I'm hoping the cycle of good/bad fishing is on the incline for the river, because the urban fishing experience there is so unique, much less the proximity. I just don't want it to garner the reputation of, say, a Tampier, where the fish management is so far off and the fishing suffers.
Aug Sun 07, 2016 1:40 pm
Re the vintage wcf Geo post from 2008- I haven't had the pleasure of meeting him but I do believe him could pull a whale outta the Chicago river if he wanted to - and on an ultralight! That being said, still doesn't prove there are rainbow trout in there.
Aug Sun 07, 2016 1:42 pm
Aug Mon 08, 2016 7:47 am
Try Ogden slip with a drop shot. They're in there you just have to find them.
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