Wabash River

Details

Location:
Carmi, IL
United States United States
Coordinates:
37.8087, -87.9607
Distance:
475 Miles
Description:

The Wabash River is a 475 mi (765 km) long river in the eastern United States that flows southwest from northwest Ohio near St. Henry, Ohio across northern Indiana to Illinois where it forms the southern Illinois-Indiana border before draining into the Ohio River, of which it is the largest northern tributary.

The Wabash River, the second largest tributary to the Ohio River, forms almost 200 miles of the lower border between Illinois and Indiana. Historically, the Wabash River has supported 27 state-threatened or state-endangered mussel species, including eight whichare federally endangered. Mussel populations are greatly reduced in numbers of individual and species in the Wabash, as is the case in the rest of Illinois and the U.S.

The Lower Wabash River RRA includes the mainstem of the Wabash River below Lawrenceville to its confluence with the Ohio River and its small tributaries. The lower Wabash River watershed encompasses bottomland forest with wet prairie, sloughs, oxbows, and marshes. The lower reaches of the river have a sand, gravel, and rock substrate and feature pools and riffles.

The bottomlands of the lower Wabash River are the last strongholds of the eastern deciduous forests in Illinois. Fertile, deep, and moist soil has promoted dense growth. The immense size of the trees (some are over 130 feet tall and six feet in diameter) as well as the diversity of species are remarkable features of the woods. Many of the trees have been harvested and the remaining forests in the area were considered remnants as early as 1876. Beall Woods Nature Preserve is the largest and best example of the original forests that occurred along the Wabash River; several state tree champions are present in this preserve.

Because of it's unique qualities for a large river in Illinois the Wabash supports a diverse fishery. Fish species range from small endangered darters to large paddlefish. Sport species present include blue cat, channel cat, flathead, white bass, striped bass, hybrid striped bass, smallmouth bass, spotted bass, largemouth bass, white crappie, black crappie, bluegill, freshwater drum and sauger. Common carp, the exotic grass, bighead, grass and silver carp are also present.

Catfish provide the best opportunities for the angler and can be found throughout the river's entire length. Smallmouth bass are found in the upper 100 miles of the river and spotted bass throughout it's length. Late summer and fall are the best time to seek black bass when river levels are low and the water clarity is improved. The white, striped and hybrid striped bass can be found throughout the river's length but are more numerous in the lower 100 miles. Best times to seek these fish seem to be in the late spring early summer times around the numerous sandbars found in the lower river and near the fast water riffle areas. Sauger can be taken from throughout the river's entire length. The best time to find sauger is late February through early April off the numerous sandbars and around the fast water riffle areas. Largemouth bass, crappie, and bluegill although present in the river provide anglers better fishing opportunities in the oxbow lakes along the river. These lakes were formed when the river cut off large bends and still serve as the boundary between Indiana and Illinois. A large oxbow lake accessible to the public can be found at Grayville, Illinois.

Angling success can occur anywhere on the river but a few places known for their fishing include the following areas. The stretch of river around Darwin, Illinois. The area along Vincennes, Indiana. The stretch of river at Mt. Carmel, Illinois. The area at New Harmony, Indiana . The area at the mouth of the Little Wabash River near New Haven, Illinois and the stretch of river below Maunie, Illinois. The mouth of the Wabash River above Old Shawneetown, Illinois is also a good area to check out.

Boat access to the river can be found at the public boat ramps on the Illinois and Indiana sides of the Wabash. Public ramps on the Illinois side can be found at Hutsonville, Westport, St. Francisville, Mt Carmel, Grayville, Brown's Pond near Maunie, and New Haven via the Little Wabash River.

The Wabash River is unique and has no navigation channel like other large Illinois rivers. The depth of the water depending on river stage can vary from 6 inches to 50 feet and can be rather challenging to boaters not familiar with the river. There are areas on the river at lower river stages that cannot be traversed by boat.

The uniqueness of the Wabash River and it's diverse fishery will provide the angler with many rewarding experiences that cannot be found on other Illinois waters.

Aquatic vegetation:

Wet prairie, sloughs, oxbows, and marshes.

Cover/Structure:

Shoreline trees, brush, weedlines, channels.

The lower reaches of the river have a sand, gravel, and rock substrate and feature pools and riffles.

Tips/Tactics:

Catfish provide the best opportunities for the angler and can be found throughout the river's entire length. Smallmouth bass are found in the upper 100 miles of the river and spotted bass throughout it's length. Late summer and fall are the best time to seek black bass when river levels are low and the water clarity is improved. The white, striped and hybrid striped bass can be found throughout the river's length but are more numerous in the lower 100 miles. Best times to seek these fish seem to be in the late spring early summer times around the numerous sandbars found in the lower river and near the fast water riffle areas. Sauger can be taken from throughout the river's entire length. The best time to find sauger is late February through early April off the numerous sandbars and around the fast water riffle areas. Largemouth bass, crappie, and bluegill although present in the river provide anglers better fishing opportunities in the oxbow lakes along the river. These lakes were formed when the river cut off large bends and still serve as the boundary between Indiana and Illinois. A large oxbow lake accessible to the public can be found at Grayville, Illinois.

Angling success can occur anywhere on the river but a few places known for their fishing include the following areas. The stretch of river around Darwin, Illinois. The area along Vincennes, Indiana. The stretch of river at Mt. Carmel, Illinois. The area at New Harmony, Indiana . The area at the mouth of the Little Wabash River near New Haven, Illinois and the stretch of river below Maunie, Illinois. The mouth of the Wabash River above Old Shawneetown, Illinois is also a good area to check out.

Spot Access:
Boat Ramp, Parking (car/truck), Parking (boat/trailer), Picnic Area, Power Boats Allowed, Shore fishing access, Restrooms, Fly Fishing, Wading
New Photo

Photos

Map

Map for 37.8087, -87.9607
New Fishing Report

Fishing Reports

There are no reports for this fishing spot.

Fish

Basshybridstriped-240-fw

Bass, Hybrid Striped (Morone saxatilis x Morone chrysops)

Freshwater
309
Largemouth-240-fw

Bass, Largemouth (Micropterus salmoides)

Freshwater
Smallmouth-240-fw

Bass, Smallmouth (Micropterus dolomieu)

Freshwater
Spottedbass-240-fw

Bass, Spotted (Micropterus punctulatus)

Freshwater
263
Stripedbass-240-fwsw

Bass, Striped (Morone saxatilis)

848
Whitebass-240-fw

Bass, White (Morone chrysops)

Freshwater
492
Bluegill-240-fwsw

Bluegill (Lepomis macrochirus)

Freshwater
Carpcommon-219-fwsw

Carp, Common (Cyprinus Carpio)

Carpgrass-240-fw

Carp, Grass (Ctenopharyngoden idella)

Freshwater
93
Bluecatfish-240-fw

Catfish, Blue (Ictalurus furcatus)

Freshwater
322
Flatheadcatfish-240-fw

Catfish, Flathead (Pylodictis olivaris)

Freshwater
635
Blackcrappie-240-fwsw

Crappie, Black (Pomoxis nigromaculatus)

Whitecrappie-240-fwsw

Crappie, White (Pomoxis annularis)

782
Mfwdrum

Drum, Freshwater (Aplodinotus grunniens)

Freshwater
185
Paddlefish-100-fw

Paddlefish (Polyodon spathula)

Freshwater
45
Sauger-240-fw

Sauger (Stizostedion canadense)

Freshwater
200

Guides

There are no guides specified for this fishing spot.

Lodges

There are no lodges specified for this fishing spot.

Tournaments

There are no tournaments associated with this fishing spot.