Fox River Deadfall
Fish the Fox
A PERSONAL JOURNAL CHRONICLING FISHING ADVENTURES AT THE FOX RIVER AND BEYOND.
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Wondering where to fish? Fish the Fox! This site contains everything you need to know in order to fish the Fox River. Check out my Fox River Guide for tips on access, planning, local bait and tackle stores, and types of lures to use!

April 17, 2015

Fox River Fishing Report: Early morning. 1/2-ounce Northland Mimic Minnow in silver shiner hung in the current seam of a shoreline eddy. A quick snap of the lure helped to draw strikes. Caught one white bass, one walleye and one smallmouth bass -- all from the same area in about 15 minutes. The walleye was nice, just over 20". All released. USGS 12.30' / 3,160 CFS-

April 15, 2015


Fox River Fishing Report: Early morning. Kept on the 1/2-ounce Mimic Minnow in silver shiner from the night before. Quick shoreline spot hop. Landed three smallies in the 15"-17" range and one white bass. 1/2 hour. USGS 12.42' / 3,510 CFS-

April 14, 2015

Fox River Fishing Report: Shore fished the Fox solo dusk 'till 9 PM. 3/8-ounce Northland Mimic Minnow in silver shiner dunked around flooded shoreline structure. Once completely dark, switched to 1/2-ounce. Landed seven smallmouth in the 15"-18" range. Largest pictured. Ended the night with its twin. You'd swear it was the same fish but caught it one town and one hour apart! Very quiet and peaceful evening. Gnats almost non-existent and haven't noticed any abundance of caddisfly yet. April 14, 2015 - USGS 12.45' / 3,600 CFS-. I photographed the mink at my neighborhood pond earlier in the day.

Kane County Mink Night time Fox River smallmouth fishing St. Charles, Illinois at night

April 13, 2015

Fox River Fishing Report: 3/8-ounce Northland Mimic Minnow in silver shiner. Was cleanup to a miss on the swim jig about 10 minutes prior. Got one other about 16". April 13, 2015 - USGS 12.51' / 3,780 CFS^

Fox River urban fishing for smallmouth bass

April 12, 2015

Fox River Fishing Report: My oldest (14). He popped three nice ones in various spots. Biggest was the 19" beauty that's pictured. The other two were in the 16"-17" range. 3/8-ounce firetiger Mimic Minnow. His first outing / first smallies of 2015. Sunday, April 12. USGS 12.41' / 3,480 CFS

Fox River smallmouth bass caught by 14 year old Fox River smallmouth bass caught by 14 year old

April 10, 2015

DuPage River Fishing Report: Started off at the Dupe with waders / wading shoes just to get close to the flooded shoreline. Water is up, fast, and basically chocolate milk. Problem is, early season so still relatively cold, and the level is much higher than I'd normally care for. Best bet is to hit it on the drop, about half the present CFS. Fished several go-to areas with different baits. Zero bites.

Fox River Fishing Report: Plan B was the Fox. Fished a 3/8-ounce Northland Mimic Minnow in silver shiner and a medium-sized silver and white swim jig with Big Hammer ring tail. Basically dunking the former around flooded shoreline structure (rocks, concrete, grass, wood) and short casts and swimming the later. Blanked at a few really good spots in the first two towns. Finally connected with a brute in the 18"-19" range who slammed the Mimic Minnow fluttered through an eddy. Ended up landing seven smallmouth, most respectable size with one small one about 11". Finished with another brute on my way out, same spot as where the first one hit. This time on the swim jig. The gusty winds made it a bit chilly at times but was thankful they helped keep the clouds of gnats away. USGS 12.38' / 3,390 CFS+

April 8, 2015

Fox River Fishing Report: Shore fished solo late afternoon. Chilly and windy but with the storm on its way, just had that big fish vibe. Didn't have much time and short cast a 1/4-ounce firetiger Northland Mimic Minnow around rocks and shoreline eddies for about 1/2 hour. Picked up three smallmouth, two in the 11"-13" range and one toad in the 18"-19" range. Guessing the lengths 'cause didn't bother to tape anything. Missed the piggy a few days ago on the swim jig. Gave me a good bump and was sitting in the same spot. Figured a smaller, slower offering would tempt her. USGS 11.48' / 1,140 CFS

Massive Fox River Smallmouth Bass

April 6, 2015

Fox River Fishing Report: Wade fished solo for two hours late afternoon. The mild days have helped and the Fox is starting to fish like her normal self. Finding smallmouth on current breaks and eddies with rock structure. Tossing a new white and silver swim jig from Jonn Graham. Caught four: 12"; 14.5"; 17.5"; 19". Some fatties. Gnats still suck. USGS 11.47' / 1,120 CFS. Jonn Graham's new swim jig is really nice. New head design, great skirt, and new style of Big Hammer Tail. This one is called the "money" jig.

Northern Water Snake at Fox River Fox River Smallmouth Bass on Warrior Swim Jig from Jonn Graham Warrior Swim Jig by Jonn Graham

April 4, 2015

Fox River Fishing Report: Wade and shore fished solo for an hour before dark. Spot hopped to four different areas and hit each quickly with a white and silver swim jig. Surprisingly, found very little willing to bite. Ended up with one 12" smallmouth while bringing the swim jig through a current seam. Battled through clouds of gnats once again. Enjoyed a wonderful orange moonrise on the drive home. USGS 11.50' / 1,180 CFS

March 31, 2015

DuPage River Fishing Report: Wade fished solo for a few hours late afternoon. Tried the new boots. Really like the Boa closure system. Quick and easy. Managed two smallmouth on Jonn Graham's hair jigs (float-n-fly) set about 21" deep and drifted along a current seam. The first was a scrappy 14" that took a 1/32-ounce chartreuse and white, the second an 18.5" chunk that bit a smaller profile 1/32-ounce pearl and crystal flash. I recently rigged my 6'-6" medium-light spinning outfit with 4lb Gamma copolymer so I could get longer casts. Was fun to play the smallies on the spinning gear. Guessing they'll probably be the last float-n-fly smallies of the cold water season for me. USGS 5.10' / 100 CFS

DuPage River smallmouth bass

March 30, 2015

Fox River Fishing Report: Got out in the kayak for a few hours in the late afternoon. Figured it would be a slam-dunk with the warm-up. Holy cow were the little winged insects bad! I can normally put them out of my mind and just fish, but when the breeze died down and I was caught up in clouds of them, it was tough to even breath. I was covered in them! I was praying for the breeze to pick up so they'd quit peppering me from all directions. Thank God I had my sunglasses on as I was paddling around. The lower the sun got, the more they concentrated. I had to take out through a massive swarm, like what is pictured. The carp were all over the surface slurping around in the millions of skins and emergent micro-critters. I tried the float-n-fly, hula grub, and swim jig at my various go-to cold water locations but only got one strike on the swim jig. Didn't boat any fish. Saw an immature bald eagle, who soared down river and lit on a tree right across from me. That made the outing. USGS 11.70' / 1,580 CFS

March 28, 2015

Fox River Fishing Report: Got out in the kayak for a few hours in the afternoon. Patience fishing with the float-n-fly but managed two smallies in the 14"-15.5" range and a walleye near 20". The clarity of the river is decent right now and with the bright sun I spotted a few small crayfish lumbering amidst the rocks along bottom. Had a big softshell turtle come up for air in the eddy I was fishing. Foul-hooked a quillback carpsucker while trying an X-Rap ... typical. Tons of tiny winged insects emerging as is evident by all the skins on the surface of the water in the close-up walleye pic. Was nice and calm and a pleasant day to be out fishing. USGS 11.82'/ 1,870 CFS

Fox River smallmouth bass Fox River smallmouth bass Fox River smallmouth bass Fox River smallmouth bass Fox River smallmouth bass Fox River walleye Fox River walleye

March 26, 2015

DuPage River Fishing Report: Air temp in the mid 40s, birds singing. Had some motivation to hit the river mid afternoon. Water much higher than my last visit. Wore 5mm neoprenes and trudged around to a few decent eddies. Blanked at 2 out of 4 spots. Ended up catching four smallmouth and a rock bass. Biggest two smallies photographed. Float-n-fly (hair jig) patience fishing was best. Caught one on a hula grub. Nada on the swim jig. Think we need a warm up to get the swim jig bite going again. Will keep trying it. USGS 5.68' / 227 CFS

DuPage River smallmouth bass DuPage River smallmouth bass DuPage River smallmouth bass DuPage River smallmouth bass DuPage River smallmouth bass

March 22, 2015

DuPage River Fishing Report: Caught three super wide smallmouth bass while kayaking. Fat and packed with food, fought like tanks! One on the float-n-fly, two more on a swim jig. Kicking myself for not measuring girth, but these were all in the 15.5" to 17" range length-wise. It's not rare to catch these super-girthy, high-backed smallies occasionally but I've never run into three in the same outing within a few hundred yards of each other. Ended up boating six smallies at the Dupe. The swim jig was hot. Had I not experienced it first-hand, not sure I'd have believed it! Caught two on consecutive casts. USGS 5.01' / 81 CFS

Fox River Fishing Report: Stopped by the Fox on my way home and launched the kayak, poked around a few good areas. My mojo was running high. Well, the Fox just about shut it down. Blanked at two out of three go-to areas. Finally picked up a 13" smallie on the swim jig through a current seam. Just pounded it. USGS 11.82' / 1,870 CFS

DuPage River smallmouth bass DuPage River smallmouth bass

March 21, 2015

Fox River Fishing Report: Got the new kayak out on the Fox for a few hours in the afternoon. Everything worked great and got on board with a 16.75" smallmouth on the float-n-fly. USGS 11.85' / 1,940 CFS

L.L.Bean Perception Manatee Kayak Fox River smallmouth bass

March 16, 2015

Fox River Fishing Report: Met my friend Kevin at the Fox and tried our luck slinging for pike from my tandem kayak. I tossed a swim jig and Kevin fished a spinnerbait. We fished slow water around rock and timber. No takers but it was nice to be out on open water for a while! USGS 12.88' / 1,550 CFS

March 14, 2015

Fox River Fishing Report: Skunked. First time out this year. Stopped by the river to try the float 'n fly at a good shoreline eddy. Fished for 15 minutes. Water is up and fast and the eddy was more/less flattened out. I foul-hooked a carp which gave a solid upstream run and then a souvenir scale attached to the hook barb. Some remnants of snow and ice along the riverbank. Looking forward to spring! Visited LL Bean in South Barrington twice over the weekend. Nice store! Bought all kinds of new gear. Really great discounts and promo codes right now. Saved a ton! Think they gained a customer for life! On Saturday, saw a blue Dodge with an ISA decal parked outside the store.

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