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Old 07-11-2016, 08:35 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Boating the Kankakee

Looking to take my 17' bass tracker out to the river soon. Any boat ramps near the I-57 overpass? How far upstream can you go until it gets too shallow? Gonna be fishing for smallmouths. Any tips would be great.
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Old 07-13-2016, 08:17 AM   #2 (permalink)
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This time of year you may want to launch below the Kankakee dam to avoid pleasure boaters. There is a boat launch on the south side of the river about 200 yards downstream from the dam.
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Old 07-15-2016, 10:37 PM   #3 (permalink)
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This time of year you may want to launch below the Kankakee dam to avoid pleasure boaters. There is a boat launch on the south side of the river about 200 yards downstream from the dam.

If you're talking about the the ramp just below Washington bridge it's definitely not a good idea to launch a bass tracker there. The bird park ramp would be better but you would only make it downstream to the sewer plant before it gets extremely shallow.

Above the dam there are a few ramps, river road park and Beckman park, but you'll be fighting tons of drunk boaters and jet skiers.

Last edited by sadler81; 07-22-2016 at 11:20 PM.
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Old 07-20-2016, 11:54 AM   #4 (permalink)
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For the next few days you could run your boat anywhere on the river you want. Watch out for trees flowing downstream. I saw a boat out yesterday with a 50hp outboard anchored up next to an island in one of Sadlers "honeyholes".
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Old 07-22-2016, 11:12 PM   #5 (permalink)
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For the next few days you could run your boat anywhere on the river you want. Watch out for trees flowing downstream. I saw a boat out yesterday with a 50hp outboard anchored up next to an island in one of Sadlers "honeyholes".
Hey I put in a lot of time and hard work to find all those holes. It took years of following Norm around with binoculars to get to where I'm at today.

What were you doing out in this high water anyway? I thought you were a sack deep mid river hump conditions kind of guy.
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Old 07-23-2016, 11:43 AM   #6 (permalink)
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What were you doing out in this high water anyway? I thought you were a sack deep mid river hump conditions kind of guy.
There was no fishing involved. More or less just cruised thru the park admiring how it has gone to shambles. Someone with some ambition should step in and straighten things out. How do you lock up a boat ramp at 8pm, was told you will be ticketed for parking up front and walking in after hours. The money spent on the east campgrounds only to let them sit and be unused is such a waste.

To fish the true "honeyholes" during the low water period only requires you to be knee deep on the mid river humps.
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Old 07-23-2016, 02:39 PM   #7 (permalink)
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There was no fishing involved. More or less just cruised thru the park admiring how it has gone to shambles. Someone with some ambition should step in and straighten things out. How do you lock up a boat ramp at 8pm, was told you will be ticketed for parking up front and walking in after hours. The money spent on the east campgrounds only to let them sit and be unused is such a waste.

To fish the true "honeyholes" during the low water period only requires you to be knee deep on the mid river humps.
If you want to see wasted money look up what the state is paying Kathy every year. It's sickening.

Which boat ramp are they locking up at 8? Warner or area 9?
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Old 07-24-2016, 09:43 PM   #8 (permalink)
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The one just below Warner. I was told the entire 113 side is open 24hrs.
Northern Michigan is calling me this week, I predict large smallmouth caught.
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Old 07-25-2016, 09:26 AM   #9 (permalink)
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The one just below Warner. I was told the entire 113 side is open 24hrs.
Northern Michigan is calling me this week, I predict large smallmouth caught.
Sounds like a plan, good luck!

I thought about hitting the river but I don't want to waste my time in this high water.
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Old 07-26-2016, 01:45 PM   #10 (permalink)
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If you are looking near I57, then your choice would be Beckman Park in Kankakee. That would put you on the pool above the dam in Kankakee and you would not be in good Smallie territory, but could kill on catfish up by the sand bar about a mile upstream off River Isle estates. And upstream into the Iroquois River. The one exception would be to fish the mouth of Baker Creek which can be a good producer. You should be able to get mostly up to the old railroad crossing in Aroma Park, but not further.

If you are targeting smallies in a bass tracker, then you should go to Bird Park and work Hydes hole just up from the Indian caves. to get downstream, stick to the west side of the river (the side you put in at) and you will find deeper water. This should work down to about the Bourbonnais Sportsman Club but be careful on the depths. Troll the rock face in an upstream direction just opposite the Indian caves for fun and enjoyment.

However. your better idea is to forget the bass tracker and get in a kayak. Then the entire river is yours. Be sure to share the GPS co-ordinates of where you catch fish - this is especially pleasing to the Illinois Smallmouth Alliance who are very protective of the locations they don't catch fish at.

In my experience, your best smallmouth fishing is a) around Davis Creek and b) the stretch between the high tension powerlines just upstream of Langham/Altorf Island to just below Warner Bridge. Yes, you will see Norm lurking in these spots.

Just checked the gauge in Wilmington. Whilst Norm is right, fish have to eat, the river needs to drop about another two weeks before I put in another kayak run.




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Originally Posted by NCLitko18 View Post
Looking to take my 17' bass tracker out to the river soon. Any boat ramps near the I-57 overpass? How far upstream can you go until it gets too shallow? Gonna be fishing for smallmouths. Any tips would be great.
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Last edited by CatInTheBag; 07-26-2016 at 01:47 PM.
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