Hints of better perch fishing in southern Lake Michigan and other usual summer patterns come around Chicago fishing for this sprawling raw-file Midwest Fishing Report.
By summer patterns, I mean largemouth bass, such as this 17-inch, 3-pounder caught by Keith Vandermeir with crawlers at Mallard Lake.
The MFR appears in a much condensed form Wednesdays on the Sun-Times outdoors page.
Best reports continue to come from the east shore of southern Lake Michigan. SOUTHWEST MICHIGAN:Staff atTackle Havensaid perch were “really good,’’ especially south by “The Chalets’’ in 35 fett; others were going a half mile north of St. Joseph.INDIANA:Staff at Mik-Lurch said that a few perch were being caught east of the donut east of Portage. CHICAGO:If we ever get a couple days of southwest wind again, the perch fishing should spike again. Staff atPark Bait said a few are being caught at Montrose. Those being caught are quality fish.
Staff at Henry’s Sports and Bait said catfish were stocked in the lagoons on the West and South Sides.
Ken “Husker” O’Malleysent this:
Hey Dale, There are plenty of smaller bass to be caught on area lakes. With the warm up last week, there’s floating moss on many lakes. Heavy line (20lb braid) is a must to get fish out of this cover. Various plastics pitched to open pockets have produced. Top water baits early are still producing good numbers. TTYL Ken Husker O’Malley Huskeroutdoors Waterworks fishing team
AREA WATER LEVELS
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
Hooksetter’s Guide Service sent this:
(Head): Strong bite for musky, crappies, bluegills, smallmouth bass, and walleye ; all in and amidst the lakes and the Wisconsin River in Wisconsin’s Marathon and Lincoln Counties (near Mosinee and Wausau). Central Wisconsin has been outstanding for action all summer long and this past week was another one for the books. With big muskies and numerous walleyes and panfish along with great bass fishing why would anyone go anywhere else? The musky bite continues to be above average for this time of the year.Most of our action is still coming on large bucktails being burned lightly under the surface or by what we call just bulging the surface as you bring them in. There is nothing better than seeing a big musky inhale a large bladed bucktail that is being burned in on the surface! The crappie and bluegill bite has been fantastic this past week. If you want to get your kids into fishing this is the way to do it. We have been having the best season for crappies that I can remember. Most of these fish are in 12 to 16 feet of water and they can be caught by running minnows or Mini Mite’s under slip bobbers. The bluegills are holding tight to structure (weeds and wood) and can be caught with a worm or piece of crawler suspended below a bobber. Smallmouth bass anglers are having a great season. With the warmer temperatures the bass are holding in deeper water associated with wood and rock. Most of the fish we have been catching have been by running jigs tipped with beaver tails and or large minnows right on or in the structure. The Walleye bite continues to be very good with nice catches coming in on every trip. A lot of the action is still during the early morning hours and late in the day but we are picking up some mid-day fish by working deeper water.
CHAIN O’LAKES AREA
Art FrisellatTriangle said catfish are very good from shore on stinkbait, crawlers or leeches; bluegill remain good on small ice jigs with spikes or wax worms or on a small gold hook with red worms; for walleye, work leeches or fatheads around bridge areas; white bass are good in main lake basins down 8-12 feet.
Check Chain updates at Fox Waterway Agency or by calling (847) 587-8540.
For more reports, see http://www.foxlakefishing.com/
COOLING LAKES/STRIP PITS
MAZONIA: Lakes are open daily 6 a.m.-sunset.LaSALLE:Hours are 6 a.m. to sunset daily. There is a concessionaire with bait and food options.HEIDECKE:Launch opens 6 a.m., shore fishing at 6:30 a.m.; close is sunset.BRAIDWOOD:Lake is open daily 6 a.m.-sunset.
DELAVAN/LAKE GENEVA AREA, WISCONSIN
GENEVA:Arden Katz reported good smallmouth bass on drop-shots fishing at night in 15-20 feet on flats and points.
Dave DuweofFishLakeGeneva.com sent this:
Lake Geneva 7/27/15 through 8/3/15 The fish are starting to come into their mid summer patterns. The fish are moving deeper and are actively feeding. The only problem has been the summer time boat traffic which has been excessive after 10 a.m. most days of the week. Smallmouth bass fishing is good if you can find the active school of feeding fish. A few times last week it took me several hours to find a feeding school. The best depth has been 21-25 ft of water. They’ve been associating with deep water structure. They are feeding on the schools of small yellow perch. Some of the good locations are in the deep water in Geneva Bay, Fontana Beach area and Belvidere Park. The key to catching them is fishing where you mark the fish and if they don’t bite in 10 minutes or so, move on. It might take a while, but when you find an active school they will come fast and furious. You can catch them on drop shot rigs with a 4 inch green pumpkin Yum Houdini worm or a lindy rigged nightcrawler with a 24 inch leader. Largemouth bass have been hit or miss. There are a lot of fish in the 9-12 ft range however, they are relatively small, around 12-14 inches. Most of the fish are coming by Colemans Point or Knollwood. The best approach is either a split shot rigged nightcrawler or a Texas rigged 6 inch green pumpkin plastic worm. Bluegills have started to move deep. The best success for the bigger fish is in 16-20 ft of water. Look for the fish by Gage Marine or by Elgin club. The best approach has been straight lining leaf worms on a split shot right beneath the boat. As the water warms this bite should improve. Lake Trout fishing has been excellent in the main lake basin. The best depth has been 108-120 ft of water. Look for them suspended in 70-90 ft of water. The best time is early a.m. you want to use chrome and blue or chrome and green spoons fished about 20 ft behind the down rigger ball. Yellow perch are starting to show up in the 8-10 ft depth range in Williams Bay by Conference Point. Most of the fish are being caught on split shot rigged nightcrawlers. You have to due a lot of sorting to find the bigger fish, although last week I did catch several over 12 inches. Walleye fishing has been good at night. You want to go out on nights that have some wind, they tend not to bite if it’s calm. The best location has been by Trinkes and by Fontana Beach. Try trolling crawler harnesses in purple color or lindy rigged jumbo leeches. The best success is between 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. Good luck and I hope to see you on the water. For guide parties, please call Dave Duwe at 608-883-2050
DELAVAN:Dave DuweofFishLakeGeneva.com sent this:
Delavan Lake Fishing Report 7/27/15 through 8/3/15 Fishing on Delavan Lake continues to be very good. The only problem is the excessive fishing pressure. For the best success, you want to be out very early in the a.m. or late in the afternoon. The fish are holding in tight schools so when you catch one there are more to be had. That is the reason you need to get out there early. Largemouth bass are positioned on the deep weedlines in 15-20 ft of water. They can be caught on lindy rigged medium suckers or split shot rigged nightcrawlers. For artificial bait users, drop shot rigs with a 4 inch Houdini worm in green pumpkin is producing most of the action. Look for the fish on weedy hard bottoms. They key is scattered weeds with a sand or gravel bottom. Good locations are by the Yacht Club point, Willow Point or right in front of Browns Channel. Bluegill fishing has been a little below average. Most of the fish are coming out of 12-15 ft of water which is slight shallower than normal. The fish can be caught on a split shot rigged leaf worm or hellgrammite. Most of the fish are being caught right off of Assembly Park point or just west of the Yacht Club. Walleye fishing remains very good for this time of year. The fish are 22-24 ft down just off the main lake points. A good fish finder is essential to find the actively feeding fish. They can be caught on lindy rigged leeches or nightcrawlers. I fish are chartreuse painted hook on my lindy rig with a 24 inch leader. Remember the size limit is 18 inches and the Wisconsin DNR is actively enforcing the rules. Northern Pike fishing has been average. You can catch a few fish each trip out but the numbers aren’t as high as they were in years past. You want to lindy rig suckers along the weedline in 17-20 ft of water. It is quite apparent that the bigger the sucker the more success you will have. Look for the fish by the gray condos or by the old Boy Scout camp on the West end. As the water warms the crappie are starting to suspend off the weedline in 20 ft of water. They are positioned 5-8 ft below the surface. The best location is by 3 flags or west of the Yacht Club point. I fish a 1/32 oz jig with purple or chartreuse plastics. A slow retrieve with a few pauses equals a lot of success. 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
SHELBYVILLE:Check withKen WilsonofKen Wilson Guide Service.LAKE OF EGYPT/REND LAKE:Check withJason JohnsofBoneyard Fishing.EVERGREEN:Mike Steffasent a note that the road is completely open now. He also sent this basic info:
Bait Shop: Monday – Thursday from 8 a.m. – 4 p.m. & Friday – Sunday from 6 a.m. – 4 p.m. Boat Rental: Open ONLY Friday – Sunday from 6:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Expanded Hours Beginning Memorial Day Weekend! Thank you, Mike
POWERTON:Both shore and boat fishing are open. Hours are 6 a.m.-8 p.m.HENNEPIN-HOPPER:Lakes will reopen this year at an undecided date.EMIQUON:Call (309)547-2730.
From what I heard on a water-willows planting I did Sunday in Warrenville with the Illinois Smallmouth Alliance, the smallmouth are active but on the smaller side around the West Branch.
Lance LaVineatHowie’s Tackle in Sturgeon Bay sent this:
Hi guys. Have been swamped at work with the Kewaunee\Door county salmon tourney. Here’s a quick one…hope it works Salmon fishing out of Door County’s ports can be classed as good to very good pending on the day. Best depths have been as shallow as 65 feet of water out to that 150 foot mark fishing the top 60 feet of the water column. Flasher and fly combos along with an assortment of glow spoon working quite well right no Bass fishing has been a bit slower the past couple of weeks. Though the fishermen that are able to put extra time out on the water are able to keep a bit of a pattern. Smallys are transitioning out to there summer spots which includes those deeper water areas like the reefs, shoals and steep shoreline drops all through the county. Shorty tubes, senko style worms,swim baits and an assortment of drop shot bait are the usual top baits to have in the boat. Perch fishing is now finally picking up. Best areas are….downtown Sturgeon Bay, Sawyer Harbor, areas on the flats and the deeper water mud off of Chaudoirs Dock. Fathead minnows and crawler pieces are the live baits of choice Walleye fishing has been good around the Chaudoirs Dock area along with Larson Reef. Deep diving cranks and crawler harness rigs have been the best
The Wisconsin DNR posts a report, typically updated on Tuesdays at http://dnr.wi.gov/topic/fishing/lakemichigan/OutdoorReport.html
The river has dropped below flood on the upper end. Most launches are open, the one exception remains the closed launch at Starved Rock State Park.
Thom Matejewski at Illinois Valley Outdoors said catfishing has been good; there’s some white bass being caught, too.
Illinois Valley Outdoors is open in Spring Valley with basics, including bait, crankbaits and plastics. The phone is (815) 663-1000.
Access points for Trail Creek can be found on the Trail Creek Access Map.
Norm Minassent this:
river has been dropping lately, little rise starting today . basically I’ve just been fishing whatever strikes my fancy lately. no discernible method to the madness, just scratching itches. I’ve been catching some fish, could I catch more doing other things, maybe, but I don’t care. rattlebaits at the front and back of riffles , cranks and rattlebaits on current seams, chatterbaits, spinnerbaits and buzzbaits in the water willows . peace norm
LAKE KOSHKONONG, WISCONSIN
For perch see, top.CHICAGO: Still some drum around, best bite on the lakefront.Capt. Bob PoteshmanofConfusion Charters said lakers remain very good and consistent in 85-120 feet; while otherwise there are an occasional king, steelhead and coho. WAUKEGAN: Ted Boska sent a photo of his son with a big king and this on fishing in general:
Overall fishing is very inconsistent. Very early morning at the dark you can catch some small fish 60-80’of water. I made many trpis this season to 250-300′ of water for mix beg of fish.on many occasions we come to harbor with box full of fish.is almost nothing between. Mostly lakers, rainbows with few kings, but not many coho.Past Sunday was terrible fishing day from Waukegan harbor. I never saw that many people come back to harbor with no fish and bite.Dog days are on lake Michigan. I hope fishing improve in next few days or next month. Cpt TED Boska (die hard Angler)
NORTH POINT:Poteshman said there are occasional good days inside the hill from Waukegan to Racine, Wis.; otherwise it is in 100-200 feet for occasional steelhead, coho or king.
MADISON CHAIN, WISCONSIN
Checkreports fromGene DellingeratD&S Bait.
Scott HillofFishingthrills Guide Service sent this:
Bluegill: Very good: they are along the weed lines in 12 to fourteen feet of water or drifting over deep water jigging spoon, and big red worms have been what they seem to prefer or ice jig under a slip bobber. Smallmouth Bass: fair to good they are located along weed edges or scattered rocky areas on mid lake bars and points. Jig/craws or split shot/hook with live bait. Largemouth Bass: Good caught Largemouth on Texas rigged plastic worms Purples/Pumpkin or split shot hooked night crawlers. Walleye: Good: along the weed lines and suspended off the breaks, sandy to rocky transition areas were also holding fish the best action was trolling crank baits or suspended live bait along the weed lines. Scott Hill Fishingthrills Guide Service www.fishingthrills.com
MENOMINEE RIVER, WISCONSIN
Check withMike MladenikatMike Mladenik Guide Service sent this:
Fantastic action on the river! The best summer pattern in years as we have been averaging 40-50 smallmouth per day. Lots of big smallmouth hitting a combination of topwater, Case Magic Stiks and Case Sinking Shads.
MINOCQUA:Kurt JusticeofKurt’s Island Sport Shop sent this:
Lots of hot weather for the Northwoods, raising temps on the water and putting fish in some very typical bite patterns. Large Mouth Bass: Very good. Hard to deny this species the top spot due to the action they are supplying! Mornings finding good action on shallow running Cranks (scatter raps, Shallow Shad Raps) Spinnerbaits and chatterbaits later in mornings, cloudy afternoons. Otherwise wacky worm, Carolina rigging creature baits (Sweet Beavers, Cranks etc). Evenings following the heat providing great top water action on winged hard baits( Creepers, Pompadours), Jitter bugs and plastic frogs. Good #’s plus enough 20 fish to make things interesting. Musky: Very good. Stick to evenings on top water baits such as PaceMakers, Whopper Ploppers. Bucktails along deep weed edges during early mornings- rubber baits (Alien eels) over open water late morning early evening. Northern Pike: Good Bladed baits such as # 3 -# 4 Mepps Aglias, Spinnerbaits and Chatterbaits as well as 31/2- 5 swimbaits have been very effective over weed tops. Top water buzzbaits and small Whopper Ploppers fun to fish along weed edges now – or just kick back and soak & sucker while you soak up some sun. Small Mouth Bass: Good. Early mornings casting Shadow Raps, Scatter Raps, and x- Raps. Daytime hit deep rocks drop – shotting plastic Craws ( craw Papis, Christie Craws) or plastic pin- minnows. Big leeches on jig ( 1/8 oz) tough to pass up. Big smallies reported to 21 plenty of hard fighting 14-18 to make for lots of fun! Walleyes: Good. Setting up on classic structure. Deep rocks or wood on natural lakes. Surprisingly shallow along weed weed edges or flowages. While leeches and crawlers getting most the attention, & few local guides doing very well on redtailed chubs and black chubs. Bluegills: Good to very good. Big gills over wood in flowages on ½ crawlers. On natural lakes, small to medium leeches along deep weed edges. Evenings providing great action on top water poppers or dry flies! Crappies: Good . Best on natural lakes over tall curly leaf cabbage. Such as Beetle Spins or Charlie Bees. Small minnows also good under floats. Always check out any drowned wood ( trees, cribs) using slip bobbers or vertical jigging. Yellow Perch: Good. Deep sandgrass flats using frozen soft shells or ½ crawlers on Lindy rigs or below slip floats. Some nice catches up in cabbage flats using crawlers or medium leeches. The hottest weather we have seen in the past three summers has typical summer patterns setting up nicely- finally! Surface temps running 78-82^ during the day- target early morning or late evening for best fishing. Kurt Justice Kurt’s Island Sport Shop www.kurtsislandsports.com
EAGLE RIVER:This report came theEagle River Chamber of Commerce, based on Creative Brilliance interviews with Eagle River guide“Muskie Matt”and legendary George Langley of Eagle Sports Center and hunting enthusiastDan Anderson:
(Head): Northern, panfish, smallmouth and largemouth bass hitting hard, with good action for musky and walleye. Watch for hunting reports starting in mid-August; all in the Eagle River, Wisconsin area. Water temps in the Eagle River, Wisconsin area are in the lower to mid 70s. And while the weather is summer-warm, the fishing is getting even ‘hotter. Now’s the perfect time to get up to Eagle River, have a lot of fun, catch a lot of fish, and enjoy the pristine natural beauty and community activities that have made Eagle River, the go to destination for visitors for over 150 years. NORTHERN: Fish weed beds and weed edges in 15 feet of water or less. The northerns are putting on an aggressive bite. Use a small bucktail, bass style spinner bait, minnow bait, or try a northern sucker under a slip bobber. All day action and the bite is good to excellent. PANFISH: Crappies, bluegills and perch are locating off of weed edges and break edges in 15 feet of water or less. Concentrate on windblown weeds. The perch are tight to bottom, with the crappies and gills suspending up and down the water column. Start deep and work your way up. Use a crappie minnow, small leech, waxie or chunk of crawler on a jig or under a slip bobber. All day action and the bite is good to excellent. SMALLMOUTH BASS: Fish break edges and rock humps, and also try the transition areas from hardbottom to mud. The smallies are hanging in all of these areas, and don’t hesitate to try the very edges of the transition areas, as well. Fish 30 feet of water or less. Use a plastic tube, craw, Senko rigged wacky, or a jig and a leech or minnow. All day action and the bite is good to excellent. LARGEMOUTH BASS: Fish shoreline structure (docks, weeds, drowned trees, brush piles and shallow cribs) in 10 feet of water or less. Use a plastic rigged weedless, spinner bait, buzz bait or miscellaneous topwaters like a Bass Rat or Heddon Torpedo; also work a minnow under a slip bobber. All day action and the bite is good to excellent. MUSKY: Fish weed edges and adjacent break edges in 15 feet of water or less. Use a small to medium size bucktail, topwater, crankbait or jerkbait. Regular retrieve, and always do a figure 8 as your lure nears the boat – -lots of muskies are caught this way. All day action and the bite is good. WALLEYE: Fish break edges and adjacent mud flats in 30 feet of water or less. The walleyes are tight to bottom. Use a jig and a minnow, leech or half of a crawler. All day action with peaks in the evening, and the bite is good. FLY FISHING: With untold numbers of rushing streams, brooks and rivers, Eagle River provides wonderful opportunities for fly anglers of every ilk. And for the adventure of a lifetime go for gamefish with a fly rod on one of the Eagle River area’s hundreds of lakes- – like in musky and northern. The Eagle River Chamber of Commerce (contact information below) can put you in touch with guides who specialize in fly fishing and those guides will provide you with one of the great memories you’ll ever have.
For perch, see top. Staff at Mik-Lurch said panfish have been slower at Willow Slough.
ROOT RIVER, WISCONSIN
The Wisconsin DNR Root River Report is generally posted on Tuesday.
ST. JOSEPH, MICHIGAN
For perch, see top.Staff atTackle Havensaid salmon have been slower.
ST. JOSEPH RIVER, INDIANA
Click here for reports from the Indiana DNR.
Clint Sands at Lakeside said catfish have been good, up to 17 pounds; topwaters are taking largemouth; lots of bluegill and crappie action; tiny torpedoes best when hybrids bust shad in the evenings. Water temperature was 84 on Tuesday.
Lakeside is open 6:30 a.m.-6:30 p.m.For more information and reports from Lakeside, gotoshabbonalake.com or call (815) 824-2581.
The Wisconsin DNR report is at http://dnr.wi.gov/topic/fishing/lakemichigan/OutdoorReport.html. They are generally posted by Tuesday afternoon. Stream flow info is at http://waterdata.usgs.gov/wi/nwis/current?type=flow.
WOLF RIVER, WISCONSIN
No update this week.