The Mississippi River extends the entire length of Illinois varying fishing opportunities in the various pools formed by navigational dams.  For bass fishing probably the best pool is Pool 13 which extends from Lock & Dam 13 near Fulton, Illinois upstream to Lock & Dam 12 near Bellevue, Iowa.  On the Illinois side that includes the Illinois communities of Savanna and Thomson.  The pool begins just upriver from Clinton, Iowa.

Pool 13 is 34.2 miles in length with a surface area of about 30,000-acres.  Much of the shoreline is contains scenic overlooks.  There is stretches of rip rap along the major channels and in the tailwaters.

Numerous state and municipal boat ramps off of Illinois Route 84 which parallels the river provide easy access to the river.  Many more are across the river on the Iowa side.

The locks & dams create a somewhat stable water level.  The pool is a combination of river and lake habitat which leads to a development of good marsh and aquatic habitat.  It begins with the turbulent water of the tailwaters below Lock & Dam 12.  As the waters approach the next Lock and Dam them becomes a large open lake.  In between are deep main channels for navigation.  Off from it are a number of side channels, slow moving sloughs, backwater bays and lakes.

What establishes it as such a good fishery are the size as well as the diverse structures and habitats.   Bass become aware of the volume of water passing thought the pool.  As it increases, the fish move into slower side channels and backwaters.

There are extensive areas of emergent vegetation.  Pondweed and coontail dominate the submergent vegetation.  Lotus and water lily make up the floating vegetation.

The smallmouth bass and largemouth bass display different habitat preferences this time of year.  Smallmouths tend to stay in a one-mile radius.  As the spawning season approaches they will move into the tributary streams or other rip rap areas.

Largemouth, on the other hand move more readily.  In spring they are in the areas adjacent to open water and those with a warmer water discharge.  As the backwater bays warm from the sun’s rays, largemouth bass move to them.

There are numerous bait shops in the quad-cities area which will provide updated information on the fishing action.

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