Fishing the Chain O’ Lakes

How to Best Fish in the Chain O’ Lakes

Bluegill, largemouth bass, walleye, crappie, muskie, northern pike, bullhead, catfish, yellow and white bass–if you’re headed to the ten-lake Chain O’Lakes, these fish are the ones you’ll be looking for. And if you’re looking for the best ways to catch them, we have tips for you that can give you an edge on the water.

First of all, due to the shoreline’s marshy nature, most fishing takes place from boats or fishing piers. Shores with repairing walls can offer a steady place to park for a few hours, though some species of fish will require you to be up close and personal. Either way, anglers should prepare efficiently for marshy or wet spots and have the right equipment for every fishing scenario.

How you fish might also depend on the type of fish you’re looking for and its habits, such as these few examples:

Largemouth Bass are all-season feeders, with depth being more important than time. Bass look for shelter on bright, sunny days, so place your bait in areas where they might hide .They cruise the shoreline after dark and before dawn, so use a flashlight when appropriate.

Walleyes are best caught during spawning runs, though only where legal (late April and early May). After spawning, look along shorelines, where they tend to cruise in schools, and again prepare for marshlands if necessary. Larger, trophy Walleye hide in deep holes during the day, and while you can get them with a jig, it’s not as effective.

Bullheads feed most actively at night and are known for being strong enough to break a line. There is no need to fish deep–in fact, it’s better to zero in on deep holes, weed-bed edges, boat docks, long tapering points, and underwater humps in lakes.

There are plenty of spots where anglers can catch good numbers in scenic settings. Try asking the local guides about hot spots without a lot of traffic. With over 6,500 acres of water and 488 miles of shoreline, you’re bound to find the strongest spots and the largest fish populations. Just remember to know the fish you’re tracking–habits, look and all.

We love to fish at Seawalls Unlimited and also know of some great fishing spots on the lake. Stop in and ask next time you are in the neighborhood! If you live on one of the Chain O’ Lakes and are in need of shore protection, give us a call!

Seawalls Unlimited
2350 W. Rte. 120
McHenry, IL 60051
(815) 331-8830