The heavy rains in spots late last week and again Monday make for an interesting mix of reports for this sprawling raw-file Midwest Fishing Report; oh, and the first reports of shoreline salmon.
The MFR appears in a condensed form Wednesdays on the Sun-Times newspaper outdoors page. The sprawling raw-file report is posted here online on the Sun-Times outdoors page.
Darryl Turner keeps on piling up the big blues at LaSalle Lake, hot water or not, as the photo above from the weekend shows.
AIR AND WATER SHOW
Remember the Chicago Air and Water Show is this weekend, which includes practice on Friday. So plan accordingly for lakefront access, it’s the packed weekend.
SOUTHWEST MICHIGAN: Staff at Tackle Haven in Benton Harbor said perch are “day to day” in 30-40 feet. INDIANA: Capt. Rich Sleziak at Slez’s Bait in Lake Station texted that some perch were caught Sunday toward Michigan City in 25 feet. CHICAGO: Stacey Greene at Park Bait said lots of small perch are being caught, just a smattering of keepers, soft shells or minnows.
The season is open in Illinois for bullfrogs (sport fishing license required, may be taken by hook and line, gig, pitchfork, spear, bow and arrow, hand or landing net) and bullfrog or green frogs in Indiana.
Bluegill are on the outside weed lines or burrowed inside of them, but the main bite is largemouth bass on topwaters early or plastics otherwise.
Ken Husker” O’Malley sent this:
Hey Dale,The morning bite for bass on area lakes has slowed. Best option is to fish evening hours. Top water bite is good last hour of light. Spro frogs worked over emergent vegetation or pop r’s in open water have produced best.Before the rains, area rivers south of I-80 were low and clear with little moss. Working a modified TDR rig caught good numbers of smallmouth and largemouth bass.TTYL—
Ken “Husker” O’Malley
Waterworks fishing team
AREA WATER LEVELS
If fishing rivers south or southeast of Chicago, good week to check beforehand. Go to http://water.weather.gov//ahps2/index.php?wfo=lot to check area water levels and projection. To get to more specific gauges, even on creeks, in Illinois, go to http://waterdata.usgs.gov/il/nwis/current/?type=flow
Check with Jon Meder at Jon’s Bait Shop–(815) 237-2822–in South Wilmington. Lake is open daily, 6 a.m.-sunset.
CHAIN O’LAKES AREA
Staff at Triangle said with the hot water (80s), catfish (Sonny’s or cut bait) and bluegill are the best bites; white bass are going on most lakes toward dusk in 8-12 feet.
For updates, check with Fox Waterway Agency or call (847) 587-8540.
No update from Capt. Pat Harrison (click here for his site).
DELAVAN/LAKE GENEVA AREA, WISCONSIN
GENEVA: Dave Duwe sent this:
Lake Geneva Fishing Report 8/15/16 through 8/22/16
The summer heat wave is upon us. The fishing remains pretty good as long as you get out early in the a.m. or late in the p.m. The boat traffic on the lake makes fishing in the middle of the day pretty difficult. Most of the fish are relating to deep water structure. The best fishing is consistently the largemouth or walleyes at night.
Smallmouth bass are on the deep water structure in 22-30 ft of water. Look for the fish by Yerkes Observatory, South Shore Club or by the Wrigley Estate. They are being caught on lindy rigged nightcrawlers or drop shot rigged 4 inch finesse worms. They have not schooled up yet as they have in recent years. A typical school this year is 7-10 fish so you need to move around to have great success.
Yellow Perch are in the shallows in 12-15 ft of water. Look for the fish by Knollwood or by Belvidere Park in Fontana. They are aggressively feeding on small fat head minnows or leaf worms. You want to fish them on a split shot rig or a Thill slip bobber rig. The best locations have scattered weeds and hard sand bottom.
Largemouth bass fishing has been excellent in 18-24 ft of water. Look for the fish by Covenant Harbor Bible Camp or Gage Marine. They are being caught on football head jigs with a green pumpkin trailer or drop shotting green pumpkin finesse worms, my favorite are Chompers, red flake seems to be producing most of the fish. The key to finding them is finding locations with scattered weeds and a harder bottom.
Rock bass fishing has been excellent in the deeper waters. A lot of the fish have been in excess of 20 ft of water. They are being caught on lindy rigged nightcrawlers or fat head minnows. Look for the fish off of main lake points like Cedar Point or Conference Point.
Walleye fishing has been very good at night. Make sure you pick nights when there is wind. The best locations have been Trinkes Bay and Fontana Bay.
Bluegill fishing has been excellent in the 18-24 ft depth range. The best location has been by Elgin Club or by Gage Marine. Try a split shot rig with a leaf worm approximately six inches off bottom for the best success. The average size of the bluegills is over 8 inches.
Good luck and I hope to see you on the water. For guide parties, please call Dave Duwe at 608-883-2050
DELAVAN: Arden Katz said bluegill, up to 9 inches, are outstanding in 15 feet with drop-shots; some bass, too.
Duwe sent this:
Delavan Lake Fishing Report 8/17/15 through 8/23/15
The fishing on Delavan continues to be a good day/bad day proposition. The weather has been pretty consistently hot and humid. The best bite on the lake remains the bluegills. They are constant throughout the lake.
Early in the week the largemouth bass were on the deep weedlines in 15-18 ft of water. Because of the consistent warm weather, the deep water bite has been getting slower and slower as the day progresses. The fish I’m catching have been on lindy rigged nightcrawlers or lindy rigged medium suckers. The shallow water slop bite has been consistent. The fish are located by the condos on north shore or the boat launch channel. They are being caught on black or white frogs. The best depth is 2-3 ft. of water. The weed flats have also been producing in the early morning hours, Pop-R’s and Chug Bugs are working in 8-10 ft of water. The best location has been by Willow Point or Browns Channel.
Walleye fishing has been spotty. Most of the fish are being caught on split shot rigged leeches or lindy rigged leeches. The best depth has been 18-25 ft off the main lake points. Look for the fish just west of the Yacht Club or by Willow Point. The best time to fish them is when there is a hea vy breeze blowing into the shore.
Bluegill fishing has been excellent in the 15-18 ft depth range. There have been many limits of bigger bluegills caught. You want to fish split shot rigged leaf worms straight beneath the boat. The best locations have been by Assembly Park or just west of Willow Point. Once you find an active school, it doesn’t take long to catch your daily limit of 25. The average size of the fish is 7-8 inches.
Northern Pike fishing has been spotty. I’ve been catching one or two per trip. They are in 22-24 ft of water. They have been biting on large suckers fished on a lindy rig with a 24 inch leader. The best location has been by the gray condos or by the Village Supper Club. They have been easy to locate but hard to entice the bite.
Crappie fishing has been good when you find active schools. They are off the weedline in 15-20 ft of water. The best locations have been by Belvidere Park or the concrete point. You want to fish for them with a 1/32 oz jig and purple or chartreuse twister tail. The fish have been suspended 10-12 ft off bottom.
Good luck and I hope to see you on the water. For guide parties, please call Dave Duwe at 608-883-2050
DES PLAINES RIVER
Marcus Benesch sent this Monday:
Dale,Been dealing with some lower back issues that had me off the water more than usual this summer. Lately I’ve been feeling a lot better and been putting quite some time on the water.As of late, large mouth bass have really been on fire in the northern sections of the river. Spinnerbait bite too good to pass up. Pike fishing consistently good. The morning bite has been best. Channel cats biting great as well all through the system on live bait with more than just occasional cat on artificials.Marcus BeneschRiver Grove
LAKE OF EGYPT/REND/KINKAID: Check with Jason Johns of Boneyard Fishing. HENNEPIN-HOPPER: The Wetlands Initiative will have the fishing season at the Dixon Waterfowl Refuge (Hennepin-Hopper) through Sept 5, except closed Mondays (open on holidays). Regulations will be the same as last year, with an emphasis on reminding fishermen there may be no large motors on boats. Click here for detailed information. POWERTON: Summer hours are 6 a.m.-8 p.m. EMIQUON: Because of Gov. Bruce Rauner’s shutdown, fishing and boating permits will be done at the launch. Call (309) 547-2730. SHELBYVILLE: Check with Ken Wilson of Ken Wilson Guide Service.
EVERGREEN: Mike Steffa sent this earlier and I did not get the hours update yet:
EXPANDED HOURS BEGINNING MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND!
QUESTIONS? CALL THE COMLARA PARK VISITOR CENTER AT (309) 434-6770.
FOX RIVER: WESTERN SUBURBS
No update, but water levels on it are the best of the local waters.
FOX RIVER: WISCONSIN
GREEN BAY/STURGEON BAY
No update this week from Lance LaVine at Howie’s Tackle in Sturgeon Bay.
The Wisconsin DNR Lake Michigan Report is typically updated on Tuesdays and includes reports from both the bay and lake sides.
Fishing hours are 6 a.m.-sunset daily.
River is expected to crest under flood level Thursday at LaSalle around 16.6 feet.
Illinois Valley Outdoors is open in Spring Valley.
Access points for Trail Creek can be found on the Trail Creek Access Map.
River is cresting under flood stage in Illinois, but will remain high. Time to shore flooded shorelines and tight to shore. Indiana sides are in flood, some areas in significant flood.
NOTE: The bridge over Rock Creek on Route 102 is being worked on. Access to the state park and Warner Bridge will require some driving around.
See perch reports at top. Capt. Bob Poteshman of Confusion Charters said key for trollers is adjusting speed for the day. CHICAGO: Stacey Greene at Park Bait said the first reports of shoreline salmon came at Montrose and Diversey. Poteshman said fishing is “fantastic’’ from the Wreck to the R4 in 60-110 feet for lakers or here and there kings, coho and steelhead.
WAUKEGAN: Ted Boska sent this:
Hello and good morning Dale.Entire week has been good from hill all way south to Great Lakes.Really big coho and rainbows shows in big numbers, occasionally king 2 year old..240 feet of water for nice Lakers this week with no king’s ,mixed with coho and rainbows. Overall good week of fishing. Thanks Ted ( diehard angler ) BOSKA
NORTH POINT: Posteshman said kings, steelhead, coho and lakers, are “doing really well’’ from the hill to 200 feet, depending on the day.
LAKE KOSHKONONG, WISCONSIN
LAKE VERMILION, MINNESOTA
No update from Jarek Wujkowski of Rodsbent Guide Service.
Both Darryl Turner (photo at the top) and Frankie “Cat Daddy” Smith both reporting big blues, hot water or not. The cooling lake south of Seneca is open daily, 6 a.m.-sunset.
MADISON CHAIN, WISCONSIN
Go to Facebook for the latest updates from Gene Dellinger at D & S Bait.
Check with Jon Meder at Jon’s Bait Shop–(815) 237-2822–in South Wilmington. Open daily, 6 a.m.-sunset.
MENOMINEE RIVER, WISCONSIN
Mike Mladeik at Mike Mladenik Guide Service sent this:
GREAT Topwater bite with the 3″ Hubs Chub!
Hot colors, Bone Shad, Crawdad and Fire/Tiger.I had the day off from guiding and I fished with my good friend Bob Dekker. We pounded the smallmouth and largemouth today on the Menominee River.
Check the Wisconsin DNR Lake Michigan Report, which generally comes out Tuesdays for updates.
MINOCQUA: Kurt Justice of Kurt’s Island Sport Shop sent this:
Minocqua Area Fishing Report 08/15/16
Usually by mid-August, we will see a night or two cold enough to start just a few sugar maples turning- hasn’t happened yet. Still warm, although cooling down a bit. Surface temps averaging 75⁰ on most lakes. The heat has unfortunately brought about a cisco kill on the Minocqua Chain, as the thermocline deepens and these fragile, cool water fish have a tough time coping with the lower oxygen levels. Could be happening on other lakes, but this one is the only one we’ve heard of.
Largemouth Bass: Very Good. Despite a few days of unusual wind (N.E) and some high pressure, largemouths continue to provide the fastest action in the Lakeland area. Wacky worming is far tops. Carolina rigging 4” and 7” Power worms as well as Beavers and Yum Ultimate Craws also providing good catches. A few of the warmer evenings are giving up good top-water frog action also.
Smallmouth Bass: Very Good- Good. Outside weed edges of 12-16’ producing nice smallies (15-18”) on lipless cranks counted down as well as skirted grubs on 1/8 – ¼ oz. jigs. Tube jigs also working along these edges. Off-shore humps of 22’-28’ anglers are drop-shotting 2 ½“Gulp minnows and small craws scoring well.
Northern Pike: Good. Spinnerbaits (Boonies, Booyah and Chatterbaits) over heavy weed flats. Weedless spoons such as Johnson Silver Minnows and Northland Jawbreakers also working. Chubs, suckers always a good backup.
Bluegills: Good. Best on warmer days. Mini mites, tiny tubes tipped with waxies. Use small leeches on 1/50 oz. jig heads under small floats.
Musky: Good-Fair. More fish being seen (and caught) of late. Bucktails and Spinnerbaits as well as twitch baits in 7-10’ weeds. Top-water is also bringing up fish. Most reports this week are of 34-38” fish.
Yellow Perch: Fair. Best on warmer days. Medium fatheads, medium leeches.
Crappie: Fair. Best at dusk and after dark on medium fats and lighted slip-bobbers.
Surface temps should remain stable this week, rising on sunny days. The typical August cool down doesn’t show any signs of coming soon.
Muskie: They’ll be in the weeds, rocks, break lines, and mid-lake humps depending on the lake being fished. Don’t forget to bring the arsenal of baits needed to cover a lot of water. Remember that the proper equipment is needed to use certain baits to make your fishing experience enjoyable.
Northern Pike: Fishing the weed edges with bass style spinnerbaits or inline spinnerbaits such as Mepps #4 and #5 and weedless spoons, such as Johnson Silver Minnows, should get you in a tussle with this fish. Jig and minnow combos fishing near weeds for walleyes will catch a few also.
Walleye: The deep weed edges and sharp drops are where you can find these fish.
Bass: (Largemouth) Bass spinnerbaits (safety pin style) and crankbaits are working well. If fishing weeds, don’t forget to bring top water baits like a Scum Frog or a Zara Spook; adding this approach will add success. Texas and Carolina rigging plastics will also entice that fish to bite. (Smallmouth) Basic live bait rig is always a go to presentation; also plastics and crankbaits will work well.
Panfish: For Bluegills, slip bobber rigs are the way to go baited up with a good selection of live bait such as waxies, small leeches and red worms. Plastics are working under bobbers also, but a twitch of the rod is needed to make sure they have action. Crappies will be looking for cover in the weeds, downed trees or around cribs and a slip bobber rigged with small minnow or plastics. Work them the same way as with Bluegills. Perch are in the weeds too, and using a selection of small leeches, red worms and small minnows on slip bobbers are the
ticket for them.
See perch at the top. Capt. Rich Sleziak at Slez’s Bait in Lake Station said salmon and halfway down in the water column, mostly in Michigan waers in 90-110 feet, straight out of Burns Ditch, trolling east with Spin Doctors and flies best; flatheads and catfish are good at night near the marinas in Burns Ditch on cut bait or Sonny’s.
ROCK RIVER, WISCONSIN
ROOT RIVER, WISCONSIN
The Wisconsin DNR Lake Michigan Report is generally posted on Tuesday and includes a Root river section. Click here for the stream flow update, which can be really important for how good the fishing is.
ST. JOSEPH, MICHIGAN
For perch, see top. Staff at Tackle Haven in Benton Harbor said salmon and trout are being caught in 80 feet and deeper; reports of numbers and size finally at Luddington.
ST. JOSEPH RIVER, INDIANA
Click here for reports from the Indiana DNR.
Staff at Lakeside said lots of walleye are being caught near the bottom, jigging, working jigging spoons or trolling Flicker Shad; bass are being caught on topwaters or soft plastics; crappie are being caught near bottom of the cribs.
The restaurant is open every day. Lakeside is now open 6 a.m.-7 p.m. For more information and reports from Lakeside, go to shabbonalake.com or call (815) 824-2581.
The Wisconsin DNR posts a report at http://dnr.wi.gov/topic/fishing/lakemichigan/OutdoorReport.html. It is usually posted by Tuesday afternoon. Stream flow info is at http://waterdata.usgs.gov/wi/nwis/current?type=flow.
WOLF RIVER, WISCONSIN