McHenry Dam Area - Chicago Illinois Fishing Forum, Information & Reports
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Old 10-17-2010, 09:32 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default McHenry Dam Area

Hit the water at around 11am. Went South through the lock at the McHenry dam to try my luck. Went almost all the way down to Algonquin but man the water is LOW. Im talking 1-2 feet low. In some areas if I got out of the center of the river I was in under 1 fow quick. Could not make it into any channels or bays because of the low water. Tried fishing some lay downs but nothing doing.

Headed back up North towards the McHenry dam and first cast of a small in-line spinner hooked a small LMB. I was fishing the entrance to the first channel on the North side just West of the lock channel entrance/exit. Kept working this area and started hit'n white bass and then some nice LMB. The LMB were school'd up on a rocky point actually in the heavy current. 4 casts to the same spot and hooked 3 that shook close to the boat and finally landed the 4th. Tried switching to a larger swim bait, and a 3" Gulp minnow on a jig but no takers. Started working a rubber baby craw on a weighted hook and got a swing and a miss right at the boat by a real nice bass. Went back to the in-line and got a few more.

Tried working with the current down the river a little but wasnt finding much action. Started tos'n a small perch color Storm kick'n minnow and pitched it in a small boat slip that was built into a seawall and there was a pig hiding in there. Crushed it as soon as it hit the water. Really nice LMB. Called a buddy cause the action was good and he hoped on the boat from shore but the action really cooled off. Could see a lot of white bass hit'n the surface but wouldnt commit. We worked with the current down the river a little bit and we got 2 very small LMB on small in-line spinners very close to shore near cover. Went back to the area that was hot before and got 1 more white bass and then it got dark so called it.

Very fun day but seemed like the typical fall pattern of warmer part of the day was the best for fishing. My best bait was that little white in-line spinner. The bigger LMB just inhaled it. Didnt think I would have hit more LMB than white bass. Water temp never changed at 58-59 where ever I went. Water clarity wasnt too bad. Still some floating green particles here and there.
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Old 10-18-2010, 06:40 AM   #2 (permalink)
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On the river when I find white bass hitting the surface I have the best luck using a 1/16 or 1/32 oz jig with a 1.5 inch white twister tail.
Cast and bring it back jigging it just under the surface.
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Old 10-18-2010, 09:39 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Thanks for the tip. I will give it a try next time.

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Old 03-03-2011, 05:23 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: McHenry Dam Area

I am new to the river up there and was wondering were you put your boat in? My friend has a 17 foot boat we use for duck hunting but we are going to try the Mchenry Dam area when the water warms up for some walleyes. I know from some other posts that the river is still in the 30's which is too cold for the walleyes to start the pre-spawn but want to be ready.
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Old 03-05-2011, 01:16 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: McHenry Dam Area

The closest launch to the dam I'm aware of is in Burtons Bridge at a bar (I don't know the name) on the south side of Route 176. The next option further south is Broken Oar Bar on Rawson Bridge Road. Next option even further south is Hermans Rest Awhile Bar in Port Barrington on Center Street but the launch is pretty rough. The next launch south is the Lake County Parks Fox River Marina off Roberts Road but I don't believe they open until May. Next option is Port Barrington Marina off River Road which is a very nice launch.
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Old 03-06-2011, 08:57 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: McHenry Dam Area

Hey thanks for the info KP!!!! My friend and I will be attempting to fish the Fox from a boat for the first time this year. Looking forward to catching some Fox Smallies and Walleyes.
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Old 03-06-2011, 11:43 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: McHenry Dam Area

Unfortunately you are not permitted to get as close to the dam as in previous years but the action can still be really good.

If you are not familiar with the river and planning to go to the dam in spring before the channel markers are out, just make sure you stay in the middle and dont venture to close to the edges at high speed. The river has a lot of shallow spots in locations that sometimes don't make any sense. Also, be cautious of floating logs and other debris common in early spring.
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Old 03-08-2011, 01:56 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: McHenry Dam Area

Thanks, we are going to get out there and try and get some Fox River Eyes this year and the water is getting ready to warm up enough. I appreciate all the info and it will keep us safe out there. Hope you have good luck this open water season coming up.
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Old 03-24-2011, 06:51 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: McHenry Dam Area

I haven't fished the dam in years but if you head into the **** area with a boat stay closer to the left hand shore side the water is deeper there also people take rental boats over there and set out line after line up on the midway between the lock side and the **** side be weary of this . Not hard to cross 15 lines in 10 seconds lol best of luck!
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Old 03-24-2011, 07:23 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: McHenry Dam Area

Due to boat problems have not been up there yet. In the next two weeks will be getting up there and going to the mississippi as well. Thanks for the tips I just hope we will catch some eyeballs.
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