Silver Lake (Highland): Conditions over the last week have continued to improve on Silver Lake. Crappie are being caught on minnows and jigs in 1 to 3 feet of water. Try fishing laydowns in cove-related areas. Bass are starting to bite more consistently on spinnerbaits and soft plastics fished near weedlines and wood. Catfish are good on cut and stinkbait. -- Colby Schrumpf, www.colbyschrumpf.com
Carlyle Lake (Carlyle): Crappie are excellent. They are coming into the rocks, and are being caught right off the bank about 6 inches to 1 foot deep. Starting to see a few catfish, but most action is with crappie now. Not seeing a lot of action from white bass on the lake yet. -- Henkel's Bait & Tackle Inc.
Carlyle Lake Spillway (Kaskaskia River): White bass are very good, very active at the river right now. Crappie are very good; seeing many nice crappie from the river right now. Minnow or tube jigs are producing. The catfish bit is good on nightcrawlers, shrimp; starting to get some action on cheese baits. Seeing a lot more action on sauger. Not all are keepers, but the action is increasing. -- Henkel's Bait & Tackle Inc.
Rend Lake (Ina): Water temperature is warming fast. The crappie bite is great. Spawning fish are being caught in the buck brush. Try a minnow under a slip cork about 18 inches deep. They can also be caught on jigs. Catfish are really good in creeks feeding the lake and at the mouth of creeks opening into the lake. Recent rains have made the creeks flow and stirred things up. Catfish are feeding heavily in the creeks. Some fish are moving shallow to spawn. Bass have moved shallow. Many bass are being caught in 1 to 4 feet of water. They are spawning in the buck brush. Flipping plastics out front of the bushes will produce good fish. Black and blue jigs are an all-time favorite at Rend. The big bass in recent tournaments have been around 7 pounds. Bluegill are moving shallow and are being caught in the back of some necks. The bluegill bite is still a little early, but red wigglers in the back of some necks will catch fish. - Clint Taylor, Crappie Xtreme Guide Service.
Report compiled by the News-Democrat sports Department. The Illinois Department of Natural Resources and several local bait shops contributed to this report. If you have any information about fishing or if you want a specific lake or river to be included in this report, please contact Pah Kuhl at 618-239-2537 or firstname.lastname@example.org.