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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
As some of you may already be aware, I am moving out to Palatine toward the end of May and the Fox River seems to be one of the more popular places that I will fish. From what I can gather, the Fox has walleye, smallmouth, pike, muskie as their more well known species but if I read correctly the river also contains flathead catfish. Since I grew up fishing for catfish, and have always had the desire to catch a large one (no flatheads in Jersey), I was just wondering how the catfishing is on the Fox in regard to numbers and size. Any info would be greatly appreciate. Thank you.

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Really just about any speices around here, other than hybrids, can be found in the river.

Yes there are flatheads.
Here is a thread from last September with some pictures.
http://chicagolandfishing.com/forums/vi ... t=flathead

If you do a search for flatheads using our search feature
(above on the navigation bar)
using flathead and then have it search the Fox river fishing forum you'll have plenty to look at. ;)
 

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Check the bottom of the dams. Last summer at the Geneva dam I was fishing the east side and these guys on the west side began jumping around and making a lot of noise. One guy ran down the steps behind the Riverlane Pub into the river and pulled out this HUGE flathead. I'm not sure exactly how large it was, but when he pulled it out of the water by the gills it appeared to come up to his mid torso.
 

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I don't do much catfishing anymore, but when I did it seemed like the best action started at dusk and lasted a couple hours....That's not to say you can't catch them other times.

I wouldn't say the Fox is a trophy fish destination, but I've seen some nice ones caught. I've always heard the Rock is better for size and numbers.
 

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the rock river has bigger fish yes. However the fox has a a good number of larger flatheads. I would try by the dams but also the deeper holes in the river if you can find them. I have always had good luck going a little after dusk, and staying out till the wheeee hours of the night. The later your out the bigger the fish, bluegills are bait of choice.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
So much I have to explore. I tried looking on the handheld GPS for potential spots to fish but when you don't really know the area and how close/far places are, it is a bit difficult. I'll have to pick up a map as well and start plotting areas to try.
 

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st charles has some good flatheads and you can access them from the shore south of boy scout island on the other side under the bridge. its probably one of my favorite shore spots for flats. you can rent a boat at mchenry dam and fish the deep hole there. i have had my best luck in st charles though. haven't caught much undr 5 pounds there being that i am using whole blue gill most of the time.
 

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Just to give you an idea...
From where I live on the Fox River it takes roughly an hour, a little more or less depending on time of day, to get to Lake Michigan.

If I go the other direction somewhat less than an hour to get to the Rock River around Rockford or Oregon.

From Schaumburg east or west, north or south, places are easy to get to with I-90 and I-355 being right there.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
So what's the general concensus on the Fox River? Is it considered a clean river? Do people regularly swim or raft the river? Are there other rivers relatively close by that are considered equal or better in water quality?

The reason I ask is this....back in New Jersey there was a river that held a good population of smallmouth bass and pike. The fishing was fantastic but this river was on the nation's top ten polluted waterways only a few years beforehand. People would look at you very strange if they caught you wading or swimming there and quite frankly no one really considered doing so anyway. Thus I was just curious if it's normal to see people wet wading or swimming in the Fox and if there are other places around like it. Thanks.
 

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Everyone has their feelings one way or another about the river.
It's amazing how many people still don't realize there's fish to be caught in it.
Before the Clean Air & Water act it was a polluted river.
Now it's not uncommon to see guys wet wading.
The river flows thru the Fox Chain of Lakes up north and tubing, water skiing, and such is not uncommon there for sure.
Further down river boating access is limited but where there is people water ski.
You really don't see too many people swimming though.
Not that you couldn't but most people around here just don't head to any of the rivers for swimming.
Swimming is more relegated to public pools.


Fisherman in the know consider it a relatively clean river.
Some of the general public thinks it's just a flowing body of water in which to toss cans and bottles :(
At first look it appears brown, or green in the summer from algea blooms.
The clarity isn't that great but the biggest reason is the sediment entering the river from the many creeks running through farm fields before entering the river.
 

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I'm not going to say the Fox is clean, ... a few years back a few buddies and I were out fishing and netting some minnows and one of them nicked his calf on a rock not a half hour later it blew up like a watermelon. I think the Fox is a pretty good fishery for catch and release but I wouldn't eat that fish for sure. I'm sure there are people that will argue that with me. Just call it paranoia!
 

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Big Basser said:
I'm not going to say the Fox is clean, ... a few years back a few buddies and I were out fishing and netting some minnows and one of them nicked his calf on a rock not a half hour later it blew up like a watermelon. I think the Fox is a pretty good fishery for catch and release but I wouldn't eat that fish for sure. I'm sure there are people that will argue that with me. Just call it paranoia!
I wouldn't say that wouldn't happen, however...
Most people around here just aren't use to swimming or being in any water that isn't chlorinated. (except Lake Michigan which they close beaches on due to #$%^ in the water each summer ;) )
Growing up in Minnesota there wasn't such a thing a going to the swimming pool.
We swam in lakes and if you got a cut, it wasn't unusual for it to get infected.
If you drank the water, you may get the runs or giardia.

Having an open wound in any lake or river isn't a good idea.

I'm not slamming you big basser and that is the common mentality of most people around Chicago, if it's not chlorinated to the point where I can see bottom, it's dirty.
8:)
 

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It's not swimming he was doing but just in to above his ankles. He is also has been a resident around there all his life. This wasn't a case of someone being careless it happened faster than you think, even after cleaning the cut as best as he could before we got him to a the doctor.

I guess what I'm saying is it's not advisable to wade without the proper gear. And your right cuts in lakes have to be looked after quickly.

And to each his own about the consumption thing.
 

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I wasn't saying he was careless at all Rich, just that anytime you're in a body of water and get a cut you run the risk of infection.
Whether it's a lake in MN or somewhere around here.
WalleyeDave got a cut one time from the tooth of a walleye (I think on the Fox Chain) and ended up in the hospital.
Again though, that could happen anywhere.
 

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I wet wade all season long with no problems as of yet. No biggie though I guess if you have breathable for the hot months. Plus, people certainly react different to infections. Maybe, had an allergic or came in contact with blue algae. Who knows wet wade at your our risk I guess.
 

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I totally agree with you Ed. My concern I guess is the speed at which the bacteria attacked him. He was a very healthy guy other wise. I have got nicked by a lot of fish and got minor infections from that kind of stuff. This particular time all be it somewhat isolated was a scary sight.
 

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I got giardia after water skiing in Fox lake when I was a kid.....not fun!

The Fox is alot cleaner than it used to be. At work we came across a report the EPA did in the early 1900's on untreated waste streams being discharged in the river....scary stuff :eek: Its almost amazing that its recovered to the point it has.

I still don't wet wade....plenty of people do without problems but there is enough coliform bacteria in there that it just grosses me out. Yuck!
 
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