Fox River Deadfall
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Fox River Guide to Smallmouth Bass Fishing
Want to fish the Fox but not sure how? Whether from shore, wading, or paddling, the Fox River is an easy river to fish. It is shallow, wide, and readily accessible. Where to fish does not have to be a mystery. Parking areas and river access can be found on city park and county preserve web sites. Refine your shore or wade fishing route by zooming in on an area of interest via Google Earth or Google Maps. Note USGS river data and temperature when you fish. Over time, you'll understand patterns and keys to river fishing success.

Fox River Fishing Access
Kane County Forest Preserves
St. Charles Park District
Geneva Park District
Batavia Park District
Fox Valley Park District
Oswego Park District
Openlands Water Trails Map
Planning Utilities
Google Earth
Google Maps
USGS River Data
Local Weather
NOAA National Radar Loop
Purchase an IL Fishing License Online
Illinois Fishing Regulations (PDF)
Bait & Tackle Stores
Bass Pro Shops, Bolingbrook
Cabelas, Hoffman Estates
Dick's Sporting Goods, Geneva
Dick's Sporting Goods, Yorkville
Ace Hardware, Warrenville
S.S. Minnows, South Elgin

State Law - Smallmouth Bass Catch & Release Only Period
In streams and tributaries statewide (except for the Mississippi, Ohio, Wabash, and Illinois Rivers),
all smallmouth bass must be immediately released between April 1 and June 15.

Popular Lures for Fox River Smallmouth Bass
Name Size Color Action Skill Level
Johnson Beetle Spin 1/8 oz (45) Clear, glitter, red dot, silver blade Swim Beginner
Mepp's Aglia 1/4 oz (#3) Gold blade, squirrel dress Swim Beginner
Northland Mimic Minnow 3/8 oz (11) Silver shiner Swim, flutter Beginner
Producto Spring Grub 3" (PL) Pearl white, fished on 1/8 oz jig Bottom, swim Intermediate
Floating Rapala 3/16 oz (F09) Silver Surface, swim Intermediate
Rebel Wee Crawfish 1/5 oz Stream Crawfish Sub surface Intermediate
Warbaits Swim Jig 3/8 oz MRKT SQUID Sub surface Intermediate
Picasso Spinnerbait 3/8 oz Double Willowleaf White Pearl Swim, flutter Intermediate
Heddon Zara Puppy 1/4 oz (3") G-finish shad Topwater Advanced
Sugar Buzz Buzzbait 3/8 oz Super White or Black Topwater Advanced
Lucky Craft Sammy 100 1/2 oz (SM100-268PAY) Pearl ayu Topwater Advanced

Common River Terminology
Banks The sides of a river or stream between which the water normally flows.
Beds Circular areas in the river bottom that fish clear out in which to lay their eggs during the spawn.
Bend An area where a river or stream radically changes direction.
CFS Abbreviation for "cubic feet per second," the term is a means of measuring the flow of a stream.
Channel An area that contains flowing water confined by banks.
Chute A narrow area within a river carved out by swift water.
Cover General reference to physical features above and below the water surface that fish relate to. Boat docks, submerged timber, weedbeds, brushpiles and boulder fields are all examples of cover. Cover may provide relief from the view of predators, or from bright sunlight, or merely a hiding/resting place. In general, many fish such as bass prefer relating to cover or structure, over free-swimming in open water.
Cut bank An erosional feature of streams located on the outside of a stream bend. They are formed by the erosion of soil as the stream collides with the river bank.
Eddy A place adjacent to the main current where water "stacks" up, slows and reverses direction. Eddies provide excellent places for fish to hold with very little effort, while insects and other food items are swept in as if on a conveyor belt.
Effluent Wastewater (like sewage water or factory runoff) that flows from a factory or other facility.
Flats Very shallow water, easy to wade, usually with a sand bottom.
Grass Vegetation catch-all phrase. Refers to green plants growing in the water. Bass are attracted to the grass, which is home to prey.
Headwaters Streams and rivers (tributaries) that are the source of a stream or river.
Lift Also known as a "push" -- the area in front of riffles. In autumn, smallmouth bass like to stage in lift areas and often the first fish you get there will also be the biggest.
Meander A part of a river or stream as it follows a winding path.
Mouth The end of a river, stream or creek, where it empties into a large body of water.
Pool An area of slower, deeper water often behind a riffle.
Riffle Where the current rolls over a rocky bar and then slows down.
Riparian Located by the banks of a river, stream, or other body of water.
Riverbed The bottom of the river.
Riverine Relating to, similar to, or formed by a river.
Run A smooth, deep glide of water that usually follows a riffle.
Runoff Water that drains into a river (or other body of water) from uncontrolled streams, drains, or sewage lines. There is runoff from agricultural irrigation water, snowmelt, storms, etc.
Scour hole A hollow in the bed of a stream caused by the erosive action of rapidly circulating flow.
Seam A transitional zone between a faster main current and slower current in a stream. Important as a holding area for feeding fish.
Sediment Small particles of soil or rocks that are transported by water or the wind.
Silt Very tiny particles of soil or rocks that are 3 to 60 micrometers in diameter.
Siltation The deposit or accumulation of very tiny soil particles (silt).
Source The beginning of a stream or river.
Structure Reference to bottom contours and submerged natural and man-made features, such as old road beds and dropoffs. These features serve as travel routes and habitat for fish.
Tailwater A section of river that's immediately below a dam.
Tributary A river or stream that flows into another stream, river, or lake.
USGS Abbreviation for the United States Geological Survey.
Watershed The term given to the land that drains water into a particular stream, lake, or river.

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© 2018 Fish The Fox. All Rights Reserved. | "Fox River Deadfall" artwork by Paul Turnbaugh. Used with permission.