Illinois Loves Its Kankakee Smallmouth Bass

kankakee riverIf you are an avid smallmouth bass angler, you may have heard of the Kankakee River in Illinois.

This time of year brings fantastic smallmouth bass fishing and the 30th annual Kankakee River Fishing Derby. Running from June 28th to July 7th, anglers are invited to register to compete for $100,000 in prizes.

According to Sam Thomas, president of the sponsoring Northern Illinois Anglers Association, more than 100 prized fish are strategically placed at well-known fishing access spots from the Indiana state line to the Wilmington area.

“The water is going to be in good condition for bank fishing, boat fishing, anyplace they want to go,” Thomas said.

Don Anderson, NIAA’s fish shocking and tagging day chairman, said many of the prized fish are smallmouth bass.

“Every year we have smallmouth, smallmouth, smallmouth. It’s a smallmouth river,” he said.  Source

The Kankakee River is a top smallmouth fishery in Illinois. The state record smallmouth bass was caught from the Kankakee in 1974 at 5 pounds, 15.5 oz. It runs in Northwestern Indiana into Northeastern Illinois and is loved by for its great smallmouth population as well as walleye and catfish.

The Derby has features 100 tagged fish with prizes going to the successful angler. Registration is only $20 and can provide great entertainment for the entire family.

If you have fished the Derby in the past, let us know how you did and any other Kankakee River fishing stories!

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