With rising waters, shore fishing success is achievable

Some homeowners I know are doing their best to keep floodwaters at bay, enlisting a platoon of volunteers to stack sandbags at their property's edge.

Last week the official word went out that recreational boat traffic on the Chain 'O Lakes and Fox River was not allowed because of the potential of shoreline damage from boat wakes.

With respect to homeowners facing possible hardship, for those anglers that want to get out when the water is higher, safe shore fishing is recommended.

On some of the Chain's lakes water current has a tendency to run much faster closer to shore. Along with that there is often the possibility of live bait such as fish, worms or crawfish mixed into the current. Here's one way to beat the high water issue.

Buy some night crawlers and small minnows, plunk down on one of the benches close to the bank edge and wait it out.

A location near the Grass Lake Road bridge seems to be a magnet for fish, both bait and game fish.

Use a slip float as a strike indicator as well as a device to keep the bait slightly off the bottom.

One problem with the high water and fast current is you will have to keep retrieving the rig and reposition it in midstream.

If you go elsewhere, like to someone's backyard facing the water, take two rods with you.

Rig one with a night crawler setup and the other with a minnow. Both should be affixed with slip floats as well.

If you don't feel like the passive style of fishing, I will sometimes use a Little Action Mac pre-rigged worm with an ⅛-ounce slip sinker. I will slowly retrieve it, trying hard to make contact with the bottom thereby making an effort to interest a bass or even a pike.

The same tactics can be used on the Fox, DuPage and Kankakee rivers. In fact anywhere you find high water that can be your starting place.

There are a couple ponds in the Roselle area where I stopped last weekend. I found some cabbage weeds barely sticking out through the surface. I caught a break where current was concerned. I decided to try fishing a surface lure at the outside edge of the weeds where the current was slow. A half-dozen casts and some popping produced two largemouth bass a couple bluegills, and one pike.

There is usually an alternative location one can try if the usual spots seem to be too challenging.

• Catch Mike Jackson Outdoors 8 to 9 a.m. Sundays on WCGO AM-1590 or stream live at Reach him at

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