Learning to fish rivers - Chicago Illinois Fishing Forum, Information & Reports
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Old 04-09-2006, 05:44 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Learning to fish rivers

So all my life I've been a pond/lake angler. This year I want to learn to fish fish rivers. (Mainly Fox and Dupage) I've searched through the forums here and made a list of what I think I need to know. Please add anything I'm missing

What I've learned from CLF about fishing rivers.
1. Current. The faster the water, the less likely there are fish there
2. Eddies. These are spots where the current breaks. Fish like to sit in these spots and wait for baitfish to come by and ambush them. These are the areas I want to fish.
3. Bait. If something isn't working, try something else. Don't get stuck using only one lure because you caught a fish on it 6 days ago.
4. Secret spots. There really aren't any. Fish move around from place to place. You can pull 6 bass from an area one day and get none from the same spot the next.

Now for my questions. What is a hole? Is it an actual hole dug into the ground? I always here people saying "Goin' to the secret walleye hole" and things like this. Is this just an expression, or is it an actuall hole w/ deeper water?

Question number 2. I know where there is access for the Dupage around me, but I have no idea how to access the Fox. I've heard about Yorkville, Elgin... but those are big areas. I'm looking for a place where I can park my car, get in the water and fish.

Thanks for your help and please, feel free to add to my list.
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Old 04-09-2006, 06:00 PM   #2 (permalink)
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i gues there are two answers to your first question. In many rivers and creeks, there are actually "holes", where you could be in two feet of water and then have a hole that is 7 feet deep. When you walk the rivers on a clear water day, you really can get a good idea of the structure of the river. Be careful if you plan on wading, these holes have "sucked" a few friends in before! also, some guys refer to their good spots as "holes", so i gues there is no direct answer, although i would tend to think that most people refer to actual holes, as these usually produce fish as they can be a great spot to ambush prey in the current, or get out of the current as almost a type of an eddie, although the eddie is usually a rock, corner, setc some type of structure that breaks the current. also good for ambush. The second answer i can help on the fox only where i have fished. In yorkville, take rt 47 to the river and turn down the road that is on the south side of the river. You will see the waterfall and a park. there is a bait store right there that rents canoes and sells bait, and you can park your car right by the park. I have also fished near the fox near st charles(it has been at least 5 years ago,! )as i remenber we parked on the east side of the river?? and just walked down near the bridges. There was a bicycle store, a bait shop, restauraunt, etc all near by. I hope this helps
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Old 04-09-2006, 09:43 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I prefer to fish around and below the dams. Geneva has great parking few feet from the river just off of Rt 38. Couldn't be easier. There is also good parking around the St. Charles Dam (Where Rt. 64 crosses the river). Another good spot to park and fish is Mt. St. Mary's park in St. Charles off of Rt. 31 about 1/4 mile below (south) of the dam. Great parking with EASY river access and great structure. Just work from that area north to the dam. be careful, though, water looks a little high right now.

Good luck.
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Old 04-10-2006, 06:33 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Fox River- Batavia area

I just started fishing the Fox late last season. I try to get away from the crowds so I have been going in Batavia/N. Aurora. The place used to be an archery range. You can drive right up to the river, put on the waders and head out. My luck has not been great there but I am still figuring things out on the river. I was out yesterday... no luck. Well, really no luck... got my cell phone wet... well soaked. $150 later lessoned learned.
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Old 04-10-2006, 08:30 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Help Me With The Fox

Hi, First time here, so i hope you can help. I have a 16' boat looking to fish the fox!!! i need a boat launch a good place ( deeper water ) or below the damns any help would sure be nice!! Thanks Much
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Old 04-11-2006, 03:41 AM   #6 (permalink)
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You got the basics down pretty good. Only thing left to do is fish it! These replies should aid you greatly. Good luck.
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Old 04-11-2006, 01:48 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Old 04-11-2006, 02:36 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Generally fish are lazy and scared. So where safety, food, and slow water are in close proximity, you will usually find fish.

Safety usually comes in the form of deep water, cover, or darkness.

Food is usually found in the shallow water because that is where the little guys are safer. However, a lot of food drifts along with the current.

Slow water can be found in many places that are not obvious. Large rocks and debris in the middle of the stream create pockets of slack water behind them. Rock ledges, etc. may have holes scoured out behind them. There are usually deep pockets of slack water near the face of the dam.

If you can visualize where the fish is sitting in wait and put the bait as close to her nose as you can in a natural way, you will catch a lot of fish. Remember, they are lazy. Somedays they won't move any distance into the current to get your bait and if you don't get it down to them, it is just going to pass right over their head. The big gals don't get big by wasting energy and their fat guts are probably sitting on the bottom, so your bait needs to be bouncing on the bottom.

One other thing that I don't think anyone mentioned is that in the summer, oxygen and cool water become very important factors. Dams, rapids, and colder streams become sources of oxygen and cool water that can concentrate the fish.

Good luck. I think stream fishing is a lot more interesting. The difference between the good stream fisherman and the average is very large because suttle things make a very big difference. There is a lot more finesse and feel to stream fishing.
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Old 04-11-2006, 07:48 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I have waded many miles in the Fox, from below Silver Springs in Plano to the Geneva area. 20 years ago my main pursuit was FISH but as I got older and busier in life, just being out there became enough and I sought the quieter undisturbed areas. Since 99% of riverfront in my area is privately owned acess is tough so I do I little bit of walking before actually fishing. I've found that the river runs in a pattern of runs riffles and holes. My favorite fishing is a jig and tail for smallies but you'll be surprised what will hit this. I key on the top of holes right after a shallow riffles and have had success on both walleyes in the spring and fall and smallies in the dog days of summer. Another passion of mine is drift fishing chicken livers into the snags for channel cats. The past few years I have been wading the Oswego area from right downtown up river to the bypass bridge. The best advice I can give for new fisherman is to wear neoprene waters until the water and air temps go up in case of surprise holes and tennis shoes and shorts in the summer.
Time spent fishing cannot be deducted from a mans life
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Old 04-11-2006, 11:08 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Thanks for the great replies guys. As far as the wading goes, I had my first experiece about 2 weeks ago. My buddy took me to his "Secret Spot" on the Vermilion river. I kinda knew what types of spots I looking for, so I hopped in the river to find them. No waders, just jeans and a long sleeve shirt. Coldest ten minutes of my life until I lost feeling from the knees down. When I stepped in a hole and got wet from the stomach down, I figured I needed to go dry off before I lost feeling in something much more valuable then my feet. Lesson learned.... Wade slowly.
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