Summer hanging & heading to fall: Chicago fishing

SHARE Summer hanging & heading to fall: Chicago fishing
SHARE Summer hanging & heading to fall: Chicago fishing

While summer patterns are set up, especially on the rivers, early hints come of fall for this sprawling raw-file Midwest Fishing Report.

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

Did I mention rivers? The photo at the top is a 37-inch northern pike that Marcus Benesch caught on the Des Plaines.


Best reports continue to come from the east shore of southern Lake Michigan. The other good sign, at least for the future, is the baby perch being reported in the bellies of salmon and trout being caught by charter captains, especially in Indiana.

SOUTHWEST MICHIGAN:Staff atTackle Havensaid best is in 30-45 feet north and south of the pier at St. Joseph, varies day-to-day.

INDIANA:Staff at Mik-Lurch said a few being reported around Michigan City and off New Buffalo.

CHICAGO:If we ever get a couple days of southwest winds again, maybe the perch fishing will spike finally. Otherwise, staff atPark Bait said there was a flurry of catches on Monday at Montrose.


Bass are the top bite going.

Ken “Husker” O’Malleyseconded that when he sent this Monday evening:

Hey Dale, The morning bass bite on area lakes is exceptional right now. Top waters (pop r, Excalibur spitting image) worked over weeds and Spro frogs worked on top of the slop have been very good. Follow up missed strikes with a 4 and a quarter in senko. Bass are running on the smaller size , but action is non stop. TTYL Ken Husker O’Malley Huskeroutdoors Waterworks fishing team


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): Walleye, crappie, and bluegills, along with smallmouth and largemouth bass all hitting; with bear baiting in high gear in anticipation of the quickly upcoming black bear hunting season; all in and amidst the lakes and the Wisconsin River in Wisconsin’s Marathon and Lincoln Counties (near Mosinee and Wausau). Wow it’s been another crazy week in the central Wisconsin area. Cool nights dipping down into the 40’s whoever heard of that in August? Oh well the fish don’t seem to mind too much they still have to eat, right? I will tell you this; the cooler temperatures have been a pleasant surprise for the bear baiters! The walleye bite produced some good fish for us this past week with several fish in the mid to upper 20 inch range. The most productive bite has been by working slower current areas and eddies in 5 to 8 feet of water with jig and minnow combinations early and late in the day. The crappie bite remains steady with good catches of fish in the 9 to 11 inch range. Most of the action is still coming by drifting the 12 to 16 foot river edges with 1/16th and 1/8th ounce jigs that are tipped with fathead minnows. Bluegills are a favorite of many and this is a good time of the year to target them. A lot of the action at this time of the year is by working deeper water structure with tiny weed less jigs that are tipped with a piece of crawler. With the water temperatures that are still in the upper 70 to lower 80 degree range we are still not musky fishing. Warm water temperatures are pretty hard on big fish at this time of the year, and it can really stress them out. Not only that there is a much better time period to target them in about a month when they start to bulk up for winter.. Smallmouth and largemouth bass have been very active this past week on area waters. Most of the action has been by tossing topwater baits in and around submerged structure (rocks, wood) but a few nice fish are still coming on jigs tipped with beaver tails and creatures. The 2015 bear season is closing in fast and bear hunters are busy with baiting locations that they hope will produce a big bear for them this fall. Wehave numerous bait stations already set that are being hit by multiple bears, several of these are locations that have produced for us over the years along with a few new ones that we hope will produce for years to come.


Staff at Triangle said that catfish are the main bite, stinkbait is No. 1, followed by crawlers; bluegill are good on the weed lines; white bass are going on Marie, Petite and around bridges; bass and walleye are slow.

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

For more reports, see


No update.


BRAIDWOOD:Steve Palmisanoat Henry’s reported some good catfish catches, and even some decent sized ones. Lake is open daily 6 a.m.-sunset. 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.


Arden Katz reported best smallmouth of the season on the south shore in 15-19 feet with drop-shot rigs; rock bass mixed in.

GENEVA:Dave sent this:

Lake Geneva Fishing Report 8.10.15 through 8.16.15 Lake Geneva is now in it’s mid summer pattern. Most of the quality fish have retreated to their deep water haunts to avoid the summer heat and excessive boat traffic. Northern Pike fishing has been good. The pike are in 30-33 ft of water. They are biting on lindy rigged medium suckers. The lindy rig I use is a ¾ oz walking sinker a 1/0 hook with a 24 inch leader. I fish the rig directly underneath the boat, keeping the line vertical to the bottom. The best location is by the boat launch in Fontana or the north side of the narrows. Smallmouth bass fishing has been good if you can find the active schools of fish. The best depth range has been 22-25 ft of water. I’m concentrating on deep water points with scattered weeds and a hard bottom. The best approach has been lindy rigging nightcrawlers or yellow perch which have been caught in Lake Geneva. I try to use the smallest lindy walking sinker that I can with the wind conditions. Like the Northern Pike fishing, I try to keep my line vertical to the bottom. Bluegill fishing has been excellent in the 18-20 ft depth range. Both bluegills and sunfish are being caught with equal success. I use a leaf worm and a 3/0 split shot straight beneath the boat. The best locations have been by the Elgin club and Gage Marine. Lake Trout fishing has been average. There are a few fish being caught in the early morning hours in the main lake basin between Cedar Point and Conference Point. Chrome/Green and Chrome/Blue spoons have been working while trolled on down riggers. Look for the fish 75-80 ft down in 108-120 ft of water. All of the fish are suspended and when they are suspended it seems that they are actively feeding. Walleye fishing has been good in the late night hours. The best time is between midnight and 2 a.m. The best approach is trolling large Rapala’s in 15 ft of water. Look for the fish by Trinkes and Williams Bay. 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 Reports 8/10/15 through 8/16/15 Delavan Lake fishing has been a little hit or miss. There are still plenty of fish to be had, but the concentrations of recent weeks have dissipated a bit. The warmer water has slowed down the action. The best time has been the early morning hours or later in the afternoon. The best bite remains the largemouth bass. Largemouth bass fishing has been good. The fish can be caught on the weedlines in 15-18 ft of water. They are located near hard bottoms with sand and rock. I’ve been focusing on the main lake points by the Village Supper club, Oriental boat house and Willow Point. The best approach has been lindy rigged nightcrawlers or split shot rigged nightcrawlers. With the heat of the summer, there is a secondary pattern that is working. It is the shallow water slop bite in 2-3 ft of water. Black or White frogs have been producing most of the action. The best location has been by north shore and in the boat launch channel. Northern Pike fishing has been spotty. The best success I’ve had has been while bass fishing and using a split shot rigged leech. The bigger fish however have been biting on a medium to large sucker fished on a lindy rig. The bigger fish are being found in 22-24 ft of water. I’ve been slowly trolling down the weedlines covering a lot of water. Bluegill fishing has been fantastic. The bluegills are on the weedlines in 14-16 ft of water. The average size of the fish are between 7 and 8 inches. The best approach has been fishing a leaf worm on a small hook and fishing straight beneath the boat. Look for the fish by Assembly Park or by the Oriental boat house. I have been catching bluegills throughout the whole lake in that depth range. Walleye fishing has slowed down. I was catching 3-4 fish per trip but have only caught one in the last five trips out. I’ve been locating the fish in a depth range of 22-24 feet on my Hummingbird depth finder but haven’t been able to induce the bite. The largest concentration of fish I’ve been seeing are off the main lake points. Crappies can be caught if you are willing to put in the time. They are scattered on the weedline in 15-18 ft of water. The best approach is small purple or chartreuse plastics fished on a 1/32 oz Arkie jig head. The fish are not in large schools so it takes a while catching one here and there.- Good luck and I hope to see you on the water. For guide parties, please call Dave Duwe at 608-883-2050


Marcus Beneschsent this:

Dale, River is in good shape all through Cook County. Clarity is about the best it’s been all summer. Recorded a 72 degree water temperature Sunday afternoon. Primarily concentrated on pike this week. Caught a lot of small fish. Half the bites coming on top water, finally. The best pike came on a 1oz spinnerbait with a trailer hook. Most of the fish were hugging weedlines and timber. Attached a couple photos of the big girl. Measured 37.5inches. 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 this week.


Steve Palmisanoat Henry’s called the catfishing on the Fox the best in the area.


Lance LaVineatHowie’s Tackle in Sturgeon Bay sent this:

Good morning folks Here is the updated fish report for Monday August 10, 2015 Salmon fishing can be classed as good throughout the whole Door County peninsula. Not crazy action, but consistent action never the less. Best depths have been in that 90 to that 140 foot range and still fishing the top 60 foot of the water column. The best baits continue to be Howie Flies behind flashers along with an assortment of spoons like Maulers, Moonshines and Silver Streak spoons. Bass fishing is getting better and better as the days go on. The better areas have been the deeper shoreline drops, reefs and shoals throughout the county. Best baits to have in the boat are tubes, drop shot plastics, swim baits and top water baits. Best depths have been from 15 feet of water out to 25 feet of water pending on the day Perch fishing is getting better as we move through summer. Spots to try are…downtown Sturgeon Bay, Sawyer Harbor, the Flats, Little Sturgeon and the deeper water mud off of Chaudoirs Dock. Minnows and worms have been the best baits. Walleye fishing has been really good. Areas that have been good are…Chaudoir’s Dock, Henderson’s Point, Larson’s Reef along with all of the off shore structure to the north of Sturgeon Bay. Trolling crank baits and crawler harnesses have been the best, but there is also a fair jig bite going on right now too. Thanks; Lance LaVine Howie’s Tackle 1309 Green Bay Rd Sturgeon Bay, WI 54235 Ph: 920-746-9916

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


Thom MatejewskiatIllinois Valley Outdoors said the river is actually low and so is the current; so catfishing, best on cut bait, is the best thing going; sauger and walleye slowed with the slower current; white bass are fair.

Illinois Valley Outdoors is open in Spring Valley.  The phone is (815) 663-1000.


Staff at Mik-Lurch said they are hoping on steelhead. Access points for Trail Creek can be found on the Trail Creek Access Map.


Norm Minas sent this:

river has been really dropping, only a little over twice it’s normal flow rate. water is getting clear, haven’t had any algae issues , yet . the fish are pretty much any where they want to be , hence using lures that allow significant coverage. one knock sppoks, magnum flukes, 5 to 6 inch swimbaits on 3/8 to 1/2 oz jigs, rattlebaits, crankbaits , buzzbaits and tandem spinnerbaits. going to jig/pig around gnarly cover or in areas I have a lot of confidence in but the fish don’t respond to more aggressive techniques. both numbers and size enough to put a smile on my face. cats, walleye, drum, rock bas and gar also being caught . nice to fish lower water again peace norm

It is nice to fish lower water. I sense some wading in my near future.


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:Still some drum around, best bite on the lakefront, especially on the Montrose horseshoe. staff at Park Bait reported a couple steelhead from shore at Montrose. Capt. Bob PoteshmanofConfusion Charters said lakers are good from the R4 south to off Chicago; a few coho and occasional king and steelhead in 70-120 feet.

WAUKEGAN/NORTH POINT: Poteshman said, “Every day is a new day, just not setting up a pattern;’’ some days on the beach for a few kings, steelhead, coho and browns; next day it is out in 260 for lakers steelhead and coho.


Checkreports fromGene DellingeratD&S Bait.

No update fromScott HillofFishingthrills Guide Service.


Check withMike MladenikatMike Mladenik Guide Service.


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

Not a noteworthy week in many respects. The wind finally laid down enough for better boat control, but some storms (and threat of storms), changed plans and patterns. Musky baits and top water tail baits (Whopper Ploppers and Pace Makers) have worked well over thick weed mats, especially pre – front conditions. Big bladed buck tails / double bladed that move water also good choices. Largemouth Bass: Good. Wind not a friend to bass anglers early in week. Once things calmed down, plastics in the form of Sweet Beavers, Creatures and Craws Carolina rigged produced well. Buzz baits and other top water offerings towards warmer evenings. Northern Pike: Good. Best on spinnerbaits and swimbaits over thick weeds of 6-10’. Live chubs or suckers in and wide gapped weed less jig working well. Walleye: Good. Bite off from early in week when it was best. Picking back up some. Red tails good choice on weed edges in wind. Crawlers or leeches along sand grass of 14-22’. Smallmouth Bass: Good. Some evening top water action for big smallies. Daytime drop – shotting with plastic craws or pin – minnow’s best. Big leeched hard to resist. Crappie: Good. Deep wood best, though some big slabs 14 along deep weeds came to the boat using chubs meant for walleyes. Looks like a good number of 11-13 fish on many of our lakes and flowages. Bluegill: Good. Be better if less windy early. Evenings still good for top water poppers and dry – fly’s. Small leeches along deep coontail edges of 12-16’. Nice gills even taking crappie minnows. Yellow Perch: Fair – Good. Best using ½ crawlers or frozen soft shells over deeper sand grass or along drowned wood (cribs). Water temps dropped early last week, most surface temps running 72 – 74. Flowage water levels also dropping. Kurt Justice Kurts Island Sport Shop www.Kurts island

EAGLE RIVER:This report came theEagle River Chamber of Commerce, based on Creative Brilliance interviews with Eagle River guide“Muskie Matt”and legendaryGeorge LangleyofEagle Sports Center and hunting enthusiast Dan Anderson:

(Head): Panfish bite is excellent, with musky, northern, smallmouth bass good. Walleye and largemouth bass fair, and fly fishing for musky readily available; all in the Eagle River, Wisconsin area. Water temps in the Eagle River, Wisconsin area in the lower to mid 70s. Eagle River fishing stalwart George Langley tells us that fishing right now in Eagle River is mid-summer ordinary, which translates to a slight slowdown in action, and the best fishing is at night. PANFISH: Crappies, bluegills and perch. Time to get the kids and seniors out on the waters in Eagle River – -the panfish bite is excellent right now. The panfish are in 6-20 feet of water, with crappies deepest suspending in the bottom one-third of the water column. The bluegills are shallow right in the weeds, and the perch are on the weed edges tight to bottom. Use a slip bobber with a leech, grub or crawler. Waxies are working particularly well with the gills. All day action. MUSKY: Locating above the weed edges in 6-12 feet of water during the day, and during the evening hours the muskies are just above the weed flaps in the same depth. Use a mid size topwater in the morning and evening, and a bucktail during the day. A 700 series Buchertail is a good measurement for size. Don’t forget to always do a figure 8 as your lure nears the boat. Regular retrieve. All day action into the evening and the bite is good. NORTHERN: The northerns in the Eagle River area are inside the weeds in 8-12 feet of water. Use a small in line spinner, Mepps #4 and #5, a bass style safety pin bait, or the old tried and true Johnson Silver Minnow. All day action and the bite is good. SMALLMOUTH BASS: Fish deep rocks and secondary underwater points (lots of smallies in this area) in 8-16 feet of ater. Use a crayfish color crankbait, jig and a minnow, leech or crawler. They’ll all work. All day action and the bite is good. WALLEYE: The walleye are tight to bottom in 8-14 feet of water off the deeper weed edges. Use a jig and leech, minnow or crawler. If thre’s a bug hatch going on, switch to a slip bobber with a leech over mud flats. All day action, and the bite is fair. LARGEMOUTH BASS: The largemouth are under docks during the day, and in the weeds and shoreline structure in the evening, in depths from the shoreline out to a max of 6 feet. Use a spinner bait during the day, and a topwater in the evening. The bite is fair. 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. Eagle River guide guru, and 35 year avid fly angler for musky, George Langley, tells us that it’s a memorable experience for fly anglers, but realistically you must be able to double-haul cast and attain distances of 70-90 feet on your cast.


For perch, see top. Ed McCain at Mik-Lurch said the best bite is catfish around the area; otherwise there are some kings and coho being caught in 60-70 feet; Willow Slough is spotty at best.


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


For perch, see top.Staff atTackle Havensaid there are a few kings and steelhead deep (80-140 feet); with a few steelhead on surface and a few coho underneath.


Click here for reports from the Indiana DNR.


Staff at Lakeside said that lots of bluegill are shallow; there’s scattered walleye early and late on leeches and crawlers; crappie are in the cribs and largemouth are on the weed lines. Water was 77 Tuesday morning.

Lakeside is open 6 a.m.-7 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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