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Chicago River 6/8

3667 Views 15 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  George W
Fish the Foster dam today from 4-5, using only a roostertail spinner. There was one 5-10 minute span that I must have caught fish on 80% of my casts; they were just going crazy then. I lost count of how many I caught, but it was definitely the most ever in one outing for me. None of the fish were close to bragging size, but I did manage about 10 LM bass in the 10-12" range, along with some blue gills, pumpkin seeds, and a couple of crappie. Very fun outing. It should be interesting to see if the relatively cooler weather the next few days affects the bite.
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ok...i'm sold. gotta give the northshore channel try. who's going to show me the spots???
where is this foster dam area? is this area at legion park? i live near legion park, i live near brynmawr and kimball. I'd like to try this area. I fished the NSC at the new fishing wall behind the Lincoln Village shopping center couple times, but i never had any luck.

Perhaps my presentation was wrong at the NSC lincoln village. I just finisehd eating lunch at the old country buffet and decided to try my luck for 30 mins with a 5 in senko (its all i had). I did see a lot tiny bait fish swimming around the shore but no strikes.
The spot near foster I usually fish is south of foster ave, between kedzie and california, north of argyle. It's called East River park. There are several spots where you can access the river there. My favorite is just behind the athletic field of North Park University. I've lost a ton of lures fishing the river, but once you learn where the structure is and how deep they are, it's not too hard to figure out how to fish around, but near, them.

I think Jason and George know a lot more about fishing the NSC than me would be able to offer much more detailed advice. I'm still learning the area myself.

I think the biggest attraction for me fishing the river is the high fish density. It's hard to get skunked here once you learn the basics. But then again, the larger LM bass are tougher to find. It seems to me that soft plastics, such as tubes, is the way to go if you want to target LM bass over 12", but I'm still trying to learn how to fish soft plastics. The blue gills and pumpkin seeds can get really huge and fat. And I've run across a beaver on more than one occassion. Of course, there are monster carps in the river, as George can tell you first hand ;-)

Augy, if you want to give the Foster area a shot, just shoot me a pm the next time you want to head over there and I'll see if I'm free. I haven't really explored the other spots of the NSC yet , but there are several. Again, maybe Jason and George can chime in here.
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Hey axeiom. Sorry, I didn't mean to suggest that I was willing to only show Augy around the river. If you, or any other WCF members, wants to fish the river, just let me know and I'd be happy to go if I'm free :) I probably won't have any time before next week though :(

Good luck, axeiom! :) And remember, when you fish the river for the first few times, don't use any of your super-duper lucky lures or you might just lose it on a snag ;-) God knows I've lost my share...
kewl thanks for the invite. I would really appreciate someone to "guide" me around the river and maybe learn about a few open areas that doesnt require climbing a whole bunch of fences. I did a little exploring around the park area where the river passes and its nothing but thick bushes and fences blocking the river shore.

I'd like to try something different. I'm usually fish the skokie lagoons alot and i kayak there too.
that reminds there a canoe/kayak access point around there??? i could work many more areas on my canoe. I'd need a fishing/paddle partner however. i'd never forgive myself if i went in the drink. That water is NASTY!!!!
Axeiom: Unfortunately, the spot that I described before the North Park University atheletic field does require some fence climbing. You have to walk under the north end of the bridge that's northwest of the dam area, and then walk east along the north side of the west branch (head spinning yet?), and finally have to climb onto a stone ledge that's about chest high and less than a foot wide. To access the east side of the river, the easiest way is to through a whole in the fence. The ground can get very slippery, even when dry. Finally, the fishing wall that's located southwest relative to the dam is probably the easiest to access, but tends to see the most weed growth and has the shallowest water in front of it. Remember, wherever you go, watch your step. Landing a fish, no matter how big, is worth a scrape or bruise, or worse yet ...

... falling into the water. Yeah, Augy, the water definitely is pretty bad, especially compared to the forrest preserves. It certainly took me a while just getting used to the smell (which still gets to me occassionally). But the NSC has definitely improved in the last decade or so. WTTV Channel 11 just aired two excellent "river tour" documentaries.

There is a very convenient access point for canoes/kayaks right by the fishing wall on the west side of the river just south of the dam. If you do go paddling, Augy, be very careful about motor boats on the river. Just this past Tuesday, a boat went by where I was fishing at about 15-20 miles per hour, churning the water up really well and sending me scrambling for higher ground :x
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I've kayaked the NSC several times before. I launch at Oakton street in skokie right at Oakton/McCormick.

Its very scenic in the summer time, but the smell can be a bit overwhelming at times.
by golly, that stench is heinous over by howard st. however, Jason told me that spot is smokin hot.
hey this damn area where PG got all his huge fish?
Judging from PG's pics, I'm sure he's caught a good deal of fish near the Foster dam area. As for carp specifically, you'll have to ask George himself, as I've never fished with him. But I have seen plenty of other people pull big carp out of the water there.
We actually have a "name" for that smell by Howard street. But I won't say it here as this is a family website. I will say this... think Facts of Life, think not cute, think long day horseback riding. Enough of that now.

The Foster dam is indeed where George has caught a lot of his fish. I too have caught some of my best fish in that area. Howard street is great, especially for bigger fish, even Tilapia - I'm not kidding!!! They HAVE been caught there. I'll repost the article about it soon.

The canoe launch at Oakton is very nice. And there is indeed a launch at Foster right near the dam. And like a previous post said... BE CAREFUL of the big boats. There are NO "no wake" signs along the NSC. Huge boats go BLASTING through pissing off everybody and makes it VERY unsafe for people in smaller crafts. I would not go out there without an airhorn to alert the large boats.

The entire stretch of the NSC from Wilmette on south holds fish. The best is from Howard south to Lawrence.
A long day horseback riding??? I totally don't get it!?

I've been thinking about trying the North Branck behind Micro Center on Elston near Diversey, there is a big pool there and I've been thinking that may be a decent spot but I am very foreign to river fishing.
Yes A lot of my Fish Are caught at the Foster SPill Way, Close to home And i know A lot about The spot, So very very productive. I fish a lot of unmentioned spots also... A Lot... But I'm very specific of only showing Trees/bushes in the back ground. I've Fished this River For 13 years... Theres much more to be Discovered.. Get out on the water...

perch guy
chicago illinois

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