The Kankakee is a clean river, great for landing smallmouth bass, channel catfish, walleye and northern pike. Rock Creek is also a good spot. The park has two boat ramps for launching craft with motors of 10 horsepower or less - there's a launch at the Chippewa Campground and a launch at Area 9 parking lot on the south side of the river. However, please realize boating can be hazardous because the river is shallow and rocky.
Our friends at IFishIllinois.org said it best so we will let them introduce Kankakee River fishing!
"A 14-pound walleye that has been the state record since 1961. An Illinois record five-pound, 15 1/2-ounce smallmouth bass in 1974. A 20-pound, two-ounce northern pike in 1983. It sounds like a fishing report from a hotspot in northern Canada, but actually it's a list of trophy catches that have come from the Kankakee River that flows through northeastern Illinois and Will and Kankakee Counties before joining the Des Plaines River to form the headwaters of the Illinois River.
The Kankakee also yielded a 42-pound carp in 1928 that still stands as the largest officially recorded in Illinois waters. It's obvious that fish grow fast in this fertile stream that also offers excellent channel cat, rock bass and crappie fishing. Largemouth bass also are found there.
An angler can fish from a canoe or john boat, try his luck from shore or he can wade the stream. Caution must be used, since there are sharp dropoffs and deep holes in the river.
The Kankakee is predominantly a clear, shallow stream with gravel-rubble riffles, sand-bottom pools and swampy marsh areas along the upper portion. Larger pools are formed by dams at Momence, Kankakee and Wilmington and by the Dresden Lock and Dam on the headwaters of the Illinois. An aquatic resource of about 3,338 acres exists on the Kankakee.
Originating near South Bend, Indiana, the Kankakee flows southwesterly 121 miles to Aroma Park before being joined by the Iroquois River, its largest tributary. The Kankakee then flows north-westerly for 38 miles before gliding into the Illinois.
Walleyes in the 10 to 11-pound class are taken annually from the Kankakee, and fishing begins soon after ice departs in early spring. Rapid waters below dams and the mouths of tributaries are good producers. Both artificial and natural baits take these fish.
The best smallmouth action occurs in early spring and fall. Spinners, crank baits, jigs and similar artificials are good on the spunky fish, but minnows, worms, frogs and crayfish also can produce. Riffles, creek mouths and fast water below dams are good for "bronzebacks."
Quieter areas, like backwaters of the Des Plaines Conservation Area along the river, are good spots for largemouth bass. Quiet water also is a good spot for northern pike which also are taken behind islands and ebb areas formed by tributaries. "