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#11662001 - 06/12/16 08:08 AM Illinois River bound tomorrow.......what baits would you think will work the best?
Okie Poke Offline
TFF Guru

Registered: 02/28/04
Posts: 14111
Loc: Flower Mound, TX
My son and I are floating the river tomorrow near Tahlequah. I haven't been on that river in 30 years, looking forward to some quality time with the kid before we do freshmen orientation on Tuesday. We plan to throw small traps & CB's, finesse worms, roostertails.....are we missing anything that would work better? There are brownies and LMB both in the river with good water clarity. Water level is just a tad above normal so float should be good.
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#11662027 - 06/12/16 08:27 AM Re: Illinois River bound tomorrow.......what baits would you think will work the best? [Re: Okie Poke]
Doug R. Offline
TFF Celebrity

Registered: 06/11/12
Posts: 8081
Loc: Cowboy Nation
red wigglers
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#11662043 - 06/12/16 08:34 AM Re: Illinois River bound tomorrow.......what baits would you think will work the best? [Re: Doug R.]
Chris B Offline
TFF Celebrity

Registered: 05/02/03
Posts: 5733
Loc: Prosper, TX
I use rooster tails on light line. Have fun, we go every year on labor day weekend.
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#11662093 - 06/12/16 09:17 AM Re: Illinois River bound tomorrow.......what baits would you think will work the best? [Re: Okie Poke]
361V Online   content
TFF Team Angler

Registered: 11/21/08
Posts: 4031
Loc: somervell county
Have canoed/kayaked just about every river in Texas, Ok, Arkasas including the Illinois. There are tons of baits that will work: small crawdad crankbaits, smaller worms, Mepps or Rooster Tail spinners, small top waters....but the number one bait I have found for river bass(smallies, blacks, Guadalupe's...) is a 3"-4" curley tailed grub on an 1/8-1/4 jig head. Any color....as long as its chartreuse! Really, if they don't hit this they are not hitting anything. Concentrate on the water just above and below the faster areas(small rapids). Beautiful river!
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#11662120 - 06/12/16 09:30 AM Re: Illinois River bound tomorrow.......what baits would you think will work the best? [Re: 361V]
Okie Poke Offline
TFF Guru

Registered: 02/28/04
Posts: 14111
Loc: Flower Mound, TX
Originally Posted By: 361V
Have canoed/kayaked just about every river in Texas, Ok, Arkasas including the Illinois. There are tons of baits that will work: small crawdad crankbaits, smaller worms, Mepps or Rooster Tail spinners, small top waters....but the number one bait I have found for river bass(smallies, blacks, Guadalupe's...) is a 3"-4" curley tailed grub on an 1/8-1/4 jig head. Any color....as long as its chartreuse! Really, if they don't hit this they are not hitting anything. Concentrate on the water just above and below the faster areas(small rapids). Beautiful river!



Thanks so much....I have some of those, too. I appreciate the responses.
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#11662197 - 06/12/16 10:15 AM Re: Illinois River bound tomorrow.......what baits would you think will work the best? [Re: Okie Poke]
snickers Offline
TFF Team Angler

Registered: 05/08/09
Posts: 3551
The Illinois river I remember as a kid was a mud hole. Must be a different part. How does the barge traffic get around the rapids you speak of.

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#11662257 - 06/12/16 10:55 AM Re: Illinois River bound tomorrow.......what baits would you think will work the best? [Re: Okie Poke]
Bissett Offline
TFF Team Angler

Registered: 07/09/13
Posts: 4006
Loc: Broken Arrow, OK
I spent my college years in Tahlequah. Loved that River and town. I would throw a shakey head in the deep holes and a small squarebill down the current. A simple white grub also does pretty well. I've caught some nice smallies off the Barren Fork which isn't far from there either.
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#11662260 - 06/12/16 10:56 AM Re: Illinois River bound tomorrow.......what baits would you think will work the best? [Re: snickers]
361V Online   content
TFF Team Angler

Registered: 11/21/08
Posts: 4031
Loc: somervell county
Originally Posted By: snickers
The Illinois river I remember as a kid was a mud hole. Must be a different part. How does the barge traffic get around the rapids you speak of.
Pretty sure he's talking about the upper Illinois River since he's talking about "paddling" on the Ok-Ark border close to Fayetville. Google Siloam Springs to see the river. The upper reaches is a beautiful "mountain stream". Runs clear & cool during normal flows. Great paddling and fishing. You are talking about way downstream.
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#11662293 - 06/12/16 11:29 AM Re: Illinois River bound tomorrow.......what baits would you think will work the best? [Re: Okie Poke]
Okie Poke Offline
TFF Guru

Registered: 02/28/04
Posts: 14111
Loc: Flower Mound, TX
Yes, we are floating about 10miles north of Tahlequah, OK. It's a beautiful scenic getaway if you've never tried it. They offer 6mi and 12mi floats. There are several outfitters on the river but we plan to use eaglebluffresort.com.
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#11662294 - 06/12/16 11:29 AM Re: Illinois River bound tomorrow.......what baits would you think will work the best? [Re: Okie Poke]
collincountytx Online   content
TFF Guru

Registered: 04/08/08
Posts: 10014
Loc: Dallas, TX
If your trip coincides with insect hatches in the trees along the river bank, definitely take a spook jr and a small popping topwater. Agree with small jigs, inline spinners, smaller shad raps and lipless
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#11662299 - 06/12/16 11:32 AM Re: Illinois River bound tomorrow.......what baits would you think will work the best? [Re: collincountytx]
Okie Poke Offline
TFF Guru

Registered: 02/28/04
Posts: 14111
Loc: Flower Mound, TX
Originally Posted By: collincountytx
If your trip coincides with insect hatches in the trees along the river bank, definitely take a spook jr and a small popping topwater. Agree with small jigs, inline spinners, smaller shad raps and lipless


Great idea.....I will pack those, too. Thanks.
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#11662453 - 06/12/16 01:44 PM Re: Illinois River bound tomorrow.......what baits would you think will work the best? [Re: 361V]
Barn Offline
Extreme Angler

Registered: 05/17/02
Posts: 2033
Loc: McKinney, TX
Originally Posted By: 361V
Have canoed/kayaked just about every river in Texas, Ok, Arkasas including the Illinois. There are tons of baits that will work: small crawdad crankbaits, smaller worms, Mepps or Rooster Tail spinners, small top waters....but the number one bait I have found for river bass(smallies, blacks, Guadalupe's...) is a 3"-4" curley tailed grub on an 1/8-1/4 jig head. Any color....as long as its chartreuse! Really, if they don't hit this they are not hitting anything. Concentrate on the water just above and below the faster areas(small rapids). Beautiful river!


+2 on the grub. I used to use either a "shad" colored or a shade of watermelon or green pumpkin colors.

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#11662508 - 06/12/16 02:26 PM Re: Illinois River bound tomorrow.......what baits would you think will work the best? [Re: Okie Poke]
Len B 1 Offline
Angler

Registered: 11/06/12
Posts: 254
Loc: Celina Tx
There must be two Illinois Rivers. The one I know in Illinois is formed from the Dupage, Desplaines, and Kankakee Rivers and flows in the Mississippi River above St. Louis. Boated it for many years.

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#11662562 - 06/12/16 03:31 PM Re: Illinois River bound tomorrow.......what baits would you think will work the best? [Re: Len B 1]
Okie Poke Offline
TFF Guru

Registered: 02/28/04
Posts: 14111
Loc: Flower Mound, TX
Originally Posted By: Len B 1
There must be two Illinois Rivers. The one I know in Illinois is formed from the Dupage, Desplaines, and Kankakee Rivers and flows in the Mississippi River above St. Louis. Boated it for many years.


If you've never floated or been to this river, it is worth checking out for fishing, or just recreation. Illinois River runs out of Kerr Reservoir and feeds Tenkiller Lake, which is one of the clearest, coldest lakes in OK. Below Tenkiller, Lower Illinois is designated a year round trout stream which is regularly stocked with rainbow and brown trout. Upper Illinois is a tourism area for recreation and fishing. Beautiful area and river that runs through the Okla Ozark Hills. We used to always go canoeing and fishing on the Illinois when I was a young toot. I haven't been in 25-30 years so I'm looking forward to the getaway.
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#11662932 - 06/12/16 07:03 PM Re: Illinois River bound tomorrow.......what baits would you think will work the best? [Re: Okie Poke]
Billy Blazer 300 HPDI Online   content
Extreme Angler

Registered: 08/16/08
Posts: 2108
Loc: Pearland Texas/Rayburn Country...
I dang near drowned in that river 40 years ago. I'm not the best at that kind of stuff. I prefer motors to a paddle
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Thanks, Billy

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