Where I'm from in Northern Illinois the best fishing under a1hr drive is fishing the shallower of two rivers in town called the Kishwaukee river.
Average depth is only about 3 feet. I fish in current with a rooster tail or inline spinnerbait. This has worked for me pretty well, however I have yet to catch a bass over 13 inches on this river out of about 30 caught. (Only been fishing it for a few weeks).
They laugh at tubes and other soft plastics, and the current is too strong for a shad rap. Any suggestions?