Fishing oddities of odd summer: Chicago fishing

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Some odd things and some delayed things continue in this odd summer and figure inthis sprawling raw-file Midwest Fishing Report.

The photo above, a sunrise on southern Lake Michigan, is from one such oddity: fishing for coho in Indiana near “The Wreck.” The coho came back a few weeks ago.

The MFR appears in a much condensed form Wednesdays on the Sun-Times outdoors page.


CHICAGO: Soft shells remain the bait of choice. Staff at Park Bait said perch were good Monday at the mouth of Montrose Harbor. Staff at Henry’s Sports and Bait said 63rd and 87th were two other quality spots. Very little from boaters. INDIANA: Ed McCain at Mik-Lurch said there was a good bite over the weekend in 20-40 feet off Michigan City. SOUTHWEST MICHIGAN:Phil Schuman at Tackle Havensaid there were good bites (before the blow)north and south of St. Joe in 30-35 feet on minnows.


INDIANA: Ben Dickinson, Indiana assistant Lake Michigan fisheries biologist, posted on Facebook this morning:

29 steelhead in the lamprey barrier this morning, and reports were good from the pier as well. Run is starting to pick up!

Ed McCainatMik-Lurch said  there were some by Burns Ditch staging in 50 feet. MICHIGAN:Phil SchumanatTackle Havensaid pier fishermen starting to catch some.


Weather is messing with patterning the bite some, but bluegill and largemouth are the two top bites.

Ken “Husker” O’Malleysent this:

Hey Dale, Bass continue to be very good on area lakes. The cold front that hit mid week pushed bass out from the shorelines to the outside weed edge. Downsizing was the key. Lite line and a 4 and a quarter inch senko in a camo pattern聽was the bait of choice. TTYL Ken Husker O’Malley Huskeroutdoors Waterworks fishing team


Probably another week when it is good to check on water levels and flow. Go to to check area water levels and projection. To get to more specific gauges, even on creeks, in Illinois, go to


Hooksetter’s Guide Service sent this:

(Head): Musky, smallmouth bass, walleye, and panfish all hitting, with bear baiting starting; all in and amidst the lakes and the Wisconsin River in Wisconsin’s Marathon and Lincoln Counties (near Mosinee and Wausau). Cool nights and warm days are making for great conditions for outdoor activities in central Wisconsin. Water temperatures continue to stay in that low to mid 70 degree range which is perfect for fishing. July 1st is a new chapter in Wisconsin’s fishing rule book with trolling opening up. Please make sure you check your regulations for exact rules before you head out. Musky action continues to be outstanding with several big fish caught this past week including a 46, 47, and 48 incher (all released- – of course!) Most of the action has been by running bucktails or top water baits in shallow water less than 5 feet deep. Smallmouth bass action continues to heat up with good action by casting crankbaits and top water baits in heavy current areas with rocks and timber. Walleyes have been active this past week as well. We have had consistent action by working a jig and half a crawler off break lines in 4 to 8 feet of water. The Panfish bite is still very good with lots of nice crappies and bluegills being caught. The bluegills are still holding in the weeds but the crappie’s can be found either suspended out over deeper water or holding in tight to submerged wood structure in 4 to 8 feet of water. Bear baiting has started for the 2015 season and we have begun another chapter. Over the next few months we will be posting pictures and details.


Staff at Triangle said bluegill are still shallow and are still the No. 1 bite; catfish are good on stinkbait or crawlers, pretty much all over; white bass are best on Marie; walleye slow, but good ones in 5-8 feet around any kind of bottom change.

Check Chain updates at Fox Waterway Agency or by calling (847) 587-8540.

For more reports, see


No update.


LaSALLE:Remember the new regs that the wind must be 12 mph or less and often a late opener for boaters on the weekend (many complaints). 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.MAZONIA: Lakes are open daily 6 a.m.-sunset.


GENEVA:Dave sent this:

Lake Geneva Fishing Report 7/6/15 through 7/12/15 Lake Geneva fishing continues to be the best it’s been in several years. Even though the water has been warming daily, the smallmouth and largemouth have remained in the shallow water and are actively feeding. The smallmouth bass fishing has been very good in 12-15 ft of water. The best locations have been by Knollwood and Elgin Club. As the water has been warming, they’ve been moving deeper daily. They are starting to move into the main lake basin so watch for them to continue moving from the spawning flats to the first break line. They can be caught on lindy rigged nightcrawlers or leeches. The bigger fish have been coming out of the slightly deeper water of 15 ft. Over the course of the next several weeks they will have moved to 18-24 ft of water. Largemouth bass fishing has been simply fantastic. The best depth is 8-12 ft of water. The best location has been by Trinkes and just west of Colemans Point. You can catch them in the early morning on top water lures. Try chrome and blue chug bugs or Texas rigged plastic worms in black or green pumpkin. The largemouth bass fishing is the best it has been in many years, with double digit catches very consistently. Lake Trout fishing remains excellent. With all of the water skiing and water sports the floating weeds are starting to be a factor. The fish remain suspended in the early morning hours and as the sun rises they are locating closer to bottom. They are being found in 108 to 120 ft of water. Down riggers fished with chrome/blue or chrome/green spoons have been the most productive. Bluegill fishing has been very good. The best location has been between Elgin Club and Knollwood in 12-15 ft of water. A lot of the Pumpkin Seeds are in excess of 10 inches. I’ve been catching them on leaf worms fished on a split shot rig. Like the smallmouth bass as the water warms, they will be moving deeper. The biggest fish in mid-summer tend to be in 18-24 ft of water. Northern Pike fishing has been slower than normal due to the cooler water temperatures. Usually by this time of year the thermocline has formed however, this year it has yet to form. Within the next couple of weeks, the pike fishing should improve. For the best success, I start in 27 ft of water and move deeper from there. Lindy rigged chubs and suckers are the best approach. Walleye fishing has been excellent at nights when there has been wind. Trolling large Rapallas in Williams Bay and Trinkes have been producing most of the fish. The ideal time is midnight to 4 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 sent this:

Delavan Lake Fishing report 7/6/15 thru 7/12/15 With the holiday weekend fishing was a little tougher due to the heavy fishing pressure. The boats can be stacked several deep in the best fishing spots so patience is required. Go early for the best success. The fishing overall has been consistent with this time of year with several species available for the catch. Largemouth bass are located on the main lake points in 15-18 ft of water. They can be caught on drop shot rigged finesse worms in green pumpkin or black/blue chatter baits. The best locations have been by the concrete point and the Yacht Club. The secondary pattern has been in the ultra shallow slop in less than 2 ft of water. They are being caught on scum frogs by the boat launch channel and north of north shore drive. The best days to fish the scum frog have been bright sunny days, and use black or white frogs. Northern Pike fishing has been all right. A lot of the smaller fish have a virus and their skin and don’t look too healthy. The larger fish look fine though. I’ve been lindy rigging large suckers in 20-24 ft of water. It seems that the bigger suckers have been producing most of the fish. 5-6 inch suckers have been limited in their success so use 7+ inch bait. Look for the fish by the clock tower by Willow Point or by the gray condos. Bluegill fishing has been good. My best success has been off the buoy line by Viewcrest. I’ve been fishing leaf worms on a split shot rig in 12-15 ft of water. The bluegills appear to be substantially bigger than the last few years. Walleye fishing remains very consistent. The walleyes that are being caught have been found in 12-20 ft of water. Jumbo leeches or nightcrawlers have been working equally well. I’ve been using a split shot or a lindy rig for presentation. I prefer a painted chartreuse hook and a 24 inch leader. I have been sporadically catching them while fishing for bluegills and largemouth bass so I have yet to find a heavy concentration of walleyes. Crappie fishing has been good. The fish are positioned on the 12 ft weedline. The best location has been by Belvidere Park and just west of Willow Point. You want to use a 1/32 oz jig with a chartreuse or purple plastic trailer. The best approach has been a stop and go retrieve. Good luck and I hope to see you on the water. For guide parties, please call Dave Duwe at 608-883-2050


Marcus Benesch sent this:

Dale, The river has come down nicely as is about at normal levels for this time of year. Only problem is pike fishing is real slow. Panfish and cats about the only decent bite right now. Panfish are hanging around rocks, mostly in and around bridges. Cats are holding in riffles or under low head dams. A 1/16oz fuzzy jig is all you need for the panfish. Cats are hitting everything from spinner baits to nightcrawlers. Mosquitoes are the worst we’ve seen all year so far. Its terrible with out protection or proper clothing along the river right now. Marcus Benesch River Grove, IL


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.


No update.


Water levels are the best of area rivers on the Fox. Ken Gortowski sent a report of very serious bloom or pollution from Batavia downstream on his Click here to read and see it fully.


No update this week fromLance LaVineatHowie’s Tackle in Sturgeon Bay. 

The Wisconsin DNR posts a report, typically updated on Tuesdays at


Portions of the upper river should fall below flood by the weekend.

Illinois Valley Outdoors  is open in Spring Valley with basics, including bait, crankbaits and plastics.  The phone is (815) 663-1000.


The steelhead run appears to be underway as noted at the top.

Access points for Trail Creek can be found on the Trail Creek Access Map.


River is back in its banks in most places, but high and fast. It had started to come down rapidly, but then a major rain came again Monday and Monday night.

Norm Minas sent this on Monday, before the new big rains arrived:

River is mow only flowing 10,000 cfs more than normal . Of course there is a chance of rain the rest of the week. Only critters digging more water are the skeeters. There are more skeeters out than there would be guys at a free all you can eat bacon affair . Visibilty extremely poor, still haven’t bothered with temps . Just because I felt like it, I tossed some Rapala X Rap minnows from the current seam in . I caught some fish, maybe not as many as with something else, but it scratched an itch. Made me happy, which is all that matters. Fishing flooded water willows is an option again. For me a 9/16 oz tandem willow spinnerbait tickling the tops of the willows out produced the chatterbait. Well, at least for that trip, who knows next time. Peace Norm


Prospects look good for walleye and perch this year; smallmouth fair but improving. Click here for update. The Ohio DNR has general Lake Erie info and a fishing report.


No update.


For perch see, top.CHICAGO:Lots of quality drum around harbors.Capt. Bob PoteshmanofConfusion Charters said that lakers remain great in 100 feet and deeper; some steelhead, coho and occasional kings are in 60-70 feet. NORTH POINT/WAUKEGAN:Poteshman said there is agood mixed bag around, the majority is steelhead and lakers; but the fish are scattered from the hill some days to deeper other days.


Scott Hill of Fishingthrills Guide Service sent this:

Madison Chain Report (Lakes Mendota and Monona) Bluegill: Very good the best of sometime they are along the weed lines in 8 to 10 feet. 1′ gulp fry minnow, small leeches and worms have been my baits of choice under a 1/32 oz. jig and/or rocket bobber. Smallmouth Bass: good they are located along weed edges or scattered rocky areas on mid lake bars and points. Exceptional fish are being caught and released as smallmouth bass are putting on the feed bag.. It’s been a great time for big fish. Largemouth Bass: Good to Very good many caught largemouth on Texas Rigged Berkley 10 inch power worms Purples/Pumpkin seed colored. Walleye: Good along the weed lines and off first breaks, sandy to rocky transition areas were also holding fish the best action pitching jigs, under a slip bobber or trolling has been working at times Bluegill: Very good they are along the weed lines in 8 to 10 feet. 1′ gulp fry minnow, small leeches and worms have been my baits of choice under a rocket bobber. Hope to see you on the water! Scott Hill Fishingthrills Guide Service 5920 S. Emerson Rd Beloit, WI 53511 608-921-8980

Also checkreports fromGene DellingeratD&S Bait.


Check with Mike MladenikatMike Mladenik Guide Service.


MINOCQUA:Kurt JusticeofKurt’s Island Sport Shop sent this:

Despite a crush of activity on the water for the Holiday weekend, fishing was good. Weather, though constantly changing, brought in just the right mix for anglers and non-anglers alike. Water temps holding in the low 70’s, with some spikes probably coming with some warmer days in the forecast. Largemouth Bass: Very good. Lakes with high populations offering great action on a variety of techniques. Early mornings cast shallow running cranks in panfish and crayfish patterns along inside weed edges. Mid-morning through mid-afternoon switch to pre-rigged plastic worms, wacky worms and beaver baits into heavier cover. On overcast days work chatterbaits and spinnerbaits over weed tops. Towards evening return to shallows with topwater (Jitterbugs, x-rap pops) and plastic frogs. Bluegills: Very good. Live bait best with thunderbugs, small leeches and worms in 6-8’. Calm warm evenings and even some still mornings providing great top water popper action. Walleye: Good. Cool June has kept the walleyes in shallower than usual. Best action in 8-14’ weeds on cloudy days using XL leeches or crawlers on 1/16 oz weedless jigs. Casting #4 through #6 Shad Raps also productive on these days. On high sky days start early (pre-dawn) on late (evenings). Lighted slip-bobbers with big leeches at dusk and after. Not a lot of fish moving on to deeper rocks, but patterns should develop as water warms. Pike: Good. A northwoods monster was caught last week (a 43er…huge pike for these parts). Paddle tail minnows in 4,5 and 6 over weed tops as well as Johnson weedless minnow tipped with a 4 Twister tail or pork strip. Chubs and suckers, as usual, are good choices. Smallmouth Bass: Good. Though typically better by this time of year, as with the walleyes not as deep as you would expect. Early morning, cast for cruisers using X-raps and Rattlin Rouges. Work weed edges of 14-16’ and watch for signs of chasing on the surface of small minnows. Cast #2 Mepps, #4 Panther Martins or #3 Rapalas. Musky: Good. Bucktails during the day, top water at dusk. Have had good success on jointed twitch baits. Most action reported still weed related in 4-12’. Crappies: Good. Relating to tall weeds (narrow leafed cabbage) in 10-14’. Work small Charlie Bees, Road Runners and 206-208 Roster Tails to locate fish. Settle in with slip-bobbers and small minnows 3-5’ down over these weed tops. Perch: Good. The best sized fish relating to deep sandgrass or drowned wood in 12-18’. Frozen soft shelled crayfish tops! Follow that up with a ½ crawler if craws not available. Perch of 10-13 using these baits over this bottom type but a little searching required. Fishing overall has been good. Fronts and changing wind biggest obstacles, but water temps not fluctuating a lot. If forecast can be trusted, not a cool, but, not a hot July expected. Kurt Justice Kurt’s Island Sport Shop

EAGLE RIVER:This report came theEagle River Chamber of Commerce, based on Creative Brilliance interviews with Eagle River guides“Muskie Matt”of Wild Eagle Lodge,“Ranger Rick” Kruegerof Guide’s Choice Pro Shop,Mat Hegy; and Eagle River hunting enthusiast,Dan Anderson:

(Head): Northern, smallmouth and largemouth bass, and panfish all putting on a good to excellent bite, with musky and walleye good; all in the Eagle River, Wisconsin area. Water temps in the Eagle River, Wisconsin area are holding in the lower 70s range. NORTHERN: Fish 10 feet of water or less in and around weeds. Use a bass style spinner bait, small bucktail, small crankbait, or a northern sucker under a slip bobber. All day action and the bite is good to excellent. SMALLMOUTH BASS: Fish hardbottom areas, break edges or rock humps in 25 feet of water or less. Use a plastic crawfish, tube on a jig, Senko rigged wacky, or a jig and a minnow or leech. All day action and the bite is good to excellent. LARGEMOUTH BASS: Fish 10 feet of water or less, where the largemouths’ are holding near structure – docks, downed trees, weeds, and brush piles. Use a topwater like a Heddon Torpedo, Scum Frog, or Bass Rat; also try a plastic rigged weedless, half of a crawler under a slip bobber, or a bass style spinner bait (which is working very well). All day action and the bite is good to excellent. PANFISH: Crappies, bluegills and perch. Fish break edges and weed edges in 15 feet of water or less. The perch are tight to bottom, with the crappies and gills suspending anywhere in the water column. Use a crappie minnow, chunk of crawler, waxie, or a micro-plastic on a small jig or undr a slip bobber. All day action and the bite is good to excellent. MUSKY: Fish weed edges and break edges in 10 feet of water or less. Use a small to medium size bucktail, topwater, glide bait, or jerkbait. Regular retrieve. Don’t forget to do a figure 8 when your lure nears the boat. All day action with peaks in the evening and the bite is good. WALLEYE: Fish break edges and weed edges in 20 feet of water or less. The walleye are tight to bottom. Use a 1/8th ounce jig and a fat head 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.


Staff at Mik-Lurch said that coho and a few kings are still being caught by “The Wreck’’ on Dodgers and flies. There’s some really big bluegill being caught at Willow Slough.


The Wisconsin DNR Root River Report is generally posted on Tuesday.


For perch and steelhead, see top.


Click here for reports from the Indiana DNR.


Clint Sandsat Lakeside said muskiecontinue absurdly active; catfish are good on weed edges on stinkbait, chicken livers or crawlers; largemouth are still going on topwaters; walleye are hit and miss; water clarity is strong at 4 feet.

Lakeside is open 6:30 a.m.-6:30 p.m.For more information and reports from Lakeside, or call (815) 824-2581.


The Wisconsin DNR report is at They are generally posted by Tuesday afternoon. Stream flow info is at


No update.


No update this week.

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