Fish Beat: Fishing heats up with temp increases

Anglers have been crossing their fingers in hopes fishing will recover from a weather-ridden spring and cold July. Many got their wish in the last 10 days or so. Warmer weather has nudged the bluegill out of the deeps while largemouth bass are finding their ways into the shallows again.fishass-W

While midday fishing is still a bit slow, largemouths, smallies, flatheads and channel cats are suddenly active. Bass are hitting slowly-worked plastic worms and live leeches in shallow pools. Surprisingly, 18- inch largemouths were the norm last week. Smallies have averaged about 12 to 13 inches all year, with a few bigger fighters landed here and there.

Northern, muskie and walleye continue their intermittent patterns while warmer temps have made Pierce Lake crappies more active during the day. Anyone looking for a day of fun pan fishing at Rock Cut may even be in for a few perch sprinkled into their creel. Decent-sized perch are also being landed on searches for walleye in area waters.

Rock River report

Anglers are still a bit hampered from the fish kill in some areas of the Rock. Flatheads are slightly scarce in spots, while a few nice carp have been landed near the mouth of Kent Creek. Smallies haven’t quite rebounded on the Rock, but are active in Kilbuck Creek.

No word exactly how many fish have been restocked after the kill. About 55,000 to 60,000 is an accurate estimate, with 50,000 being smallmouth bass. More restocking may be on the horizon before fall hits, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. Which species will make up further replenishment efforts isn’t know, however. Many anglers are champing at the bit, waiting for crappie and bluegill fishing to again be exciting and worth the time on the river. State hatcheries have been asked by state officials to donate extra fish to the Rock River cause.

Send us your fishing photos

The Rock River Times is interested in seeing pictures of local fish caught in area waters. Send digital photos to us at with “Fish Beat Photos” in the subject line. Glossies can be sent to The Rock River Times, 128 N. Church St., Rockford, IL 61101.

from the Aug 12-18, 2009 issue

Enjoy The Rock River Times? Help spread the word!