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Robert Riley

River Fishing

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Going up to Northern Illinois this weekend and doing some river fishing. Targeting smallies or largemouth, which ever bites first. I've never really river fished before, can someone give me some solid advice as to what I should bring up there?

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You won't find many largemouth in Northern Illinois rivers. Lots of smallies though. Which river are you going to fish?

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Robert, repost in the geographical section with Illinois and ask your query. You will receive more answers.

Good luck and let us know how you do.

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I wasn't 100% sure, I figured more people would see this. And correct me haha. 

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I have no idea which river you're fishing, but I can suggest checking the smallmouth forum for a ton of threads about how to fish smallmouth in rivers.  There are posts covering virtually every set of conditions in there.  

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Right now, topwater baits have been doing well. The good thing about rivers is that the bass are not real picky about baits.  The most important thing is location. Find them, and most everything will work. 

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Poppers, small walk the dog baits, and 1/8-1/4oz buzzbaits on top,  floating and suspending jerkbaits,  lipless cranks, square bills,  flat sided and wide wobbling mid depth cranks, and a couple of deeper cranks up to about 15 ft in depth. Main thing with crankbaits most of the time is to hit cover or the bottom.  Spinnerbaits burned on top or slow rolled on bottom,  swim jigs around cover,  bladed jigs in murky water,  and football jigs around rocks or deep holes.  Tubes,  craws, and finesse worms rigged on split shot rigs, Texas rigs,  shaky heads,  drop shots,  and Ned rigs. Swimbaits,  underspins, and flukes if there are lots of baitfish,  and senkos and weightless trick worms if you see the fish or pack a couple of inline  spinners in case you aren't getting bites.  Basically most of the same stuff you would use in a lake. Bring both natural and muddy water colors until you see the water. I do better with smallmouth with hardbauts with a little chartreuse even in clear water,  or on baits that imitate craws. Turn over some rocks and look at craws  and see what colors to use. Both species use current breaks,  but smallmouth seem to like more current. Also try to retrieve your bait with the current and concentrate on anything that breaks the current. 

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22 minutes ago, timsford said:

........ flat sided and wide wobbling mid depth cranks, and a couple of deeper cranks up to about 15 ft in depth. 

There is nowhere on the Kishwaukee that has any water anywhere near 15 feet deep. Most of it is wadeable or floatable in a kayak or canoe. Leave all the deep water stuff at home.

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I haven't fished that particular river, so if not that deep, I'd still pack some cranks deep enough to dredge bottom in craw patterns. For what it's worth, I catch smallies and largemouth all the time with dt10s and 3xd's in 6 feet of water and deep little n's in 8-10ft of water digging them into rocks

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Funnily enough, this thread as gotten more attention than my repost. I'm gonna bring some swimjigs, weightless plastics and inline spinners/spoons.

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That should do well. I have some friends who've been fishing the Kish several times in the last few days. The mouthes of tributaries have been doing very well. Don't forget the top water baits!

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Rebels Crawdad Crankbait.A river favorite for sure.

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