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Hey I gotta couple questions for you guys that boat the IL. How far up the fox can you get with a small boat? What's it like for smallies down in that area? Do Walleye/ sauger/whites run up it in the spring? Just curious, probably never make it down there to check it out...canoed from dayton to ottawa once, don't remember to much about it though?
 

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I've got a 14' flatbottom with a 25 hp outboard. I've launched from allen park and went up the fox for quite a while full throttle, I don't know how far exactly but I passed a marina/boat launch, went under a couple of roadways/bridges. I stopped when I got to a restaurant along the left bank (as you head upstream) I don't remember the name or town it was in. I was fishing for flatheads and channel cats with no luck, so I can't speak on the hybrid bass. I do remember seeing a ton of shad jumping as motored. I even held a net out just above the water and scooped a few! The mesh was too big so they slipped right out.

Has anyone else gone further upstream on the Fox from the Illinois river? How far 'til the first dam?
 

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The restaurant you refer to is on the corner of the river and Rt. 6 in Ottawa. The first dam is just north of I80. I have never been up river that far so can not verify it is boatable, but the river tends to get shallower the closer you get to a dam. Rt. 6 to the dam can only be a couple of miles further north.
 

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Unless the water is high or you have a jet motor you should be able to make it all the way to the island behind the hospital. There is a channel that wanders from side to side of the river, just to be safe take it easy going up the first time. Watch your depth finder when it starts coming up move towards the other side of the river. I've had luck catching about everything in this stretch of the river at one time or another.
 

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I live in Ottawa & have fished the Fox with mixed success. You may be able to go up the river about a mile or so beyond the hospital, but I’d advise going slowly with your motor on shallow drive. Much beyond that point you will almost certainly damage your prop. There is an island up from the hospital and across from the car dealership. If you decide to go beyond that point, stay to the right side of the island. Go slow, there are lots of rocks. In the summer you can go up that far & then get out & wade up the river quite a ways. Some days it has been pretty good for smallmouth, but in general I’ve found that the section above Dayton has been better.
 

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Andy P I have a 20ft ranger and I have made it up to the hospital a few times. Also I have fished the mouth on up a mile or alittle less and done well for whites . Just take it slow why tear out a lower unit.GOOD FISHING TO ALL. RANGER
 
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