My first post here and my first trip to the Illinois River. Thanks to everyone else for their informative posts. They helped make my decision to try the Illinois - good decision!!!! Figured I would return the favor with this post.
Launched out of Starved Rock about 10:00am. Per the local bait shop (at the corner of of Rt 178 and Rt 6) recommendation, we headed West to the Vermillion River and Rt 39 overpass. Fished the North shore of the Illinois from the Vermillion river to the Rt 39 overpass. Caught a few whiteys (mostly small), one carp, and one walleye using blade baits and jig/twister tails. In the afternoon, went up the Vermillion river to the first overpass. Water depth seemed low at the overpass - we bumped the bottom. From there we drifted (multiple times) back downstream to the Illinois working both sides of the river. Caught about 30+ nice whiteys, one 15" Walleye and one 14" LM Bass using 3/16 to 1/4 oz non painted lead head jig and 2 or 3" twister tails - purple color seemed to work best, but yellow, blue-gray sparkle, and orange/red worked too. Just cast out perpendicular or slightly upstream, reel in slowly and let the current do the work. The fish hit pretty hard in the current. Awesome fight on light spinning tackle. At about 5:00pm we fished right at the corner (upstream side) of the Illinois/Vermillion river intersection. Actually anchored the boat right against the shore there. Ten casts, ten nice 1+ pound whiteys. Not much current here, so bites were light, just the slight tap of the whitey sucking in the bait, then set the hook!! Fished till dark. Pulled the boat out in the dark about 6pm. We were the last ones out of the lot.