Though weather did not feel like it Monday and Tuesday, fall is here, including lots of white-bass reports and better crappie reports, for this sprawling raw-file Midwest Fishing Report.
The MFR for Chicago fishing 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.
Jim “The Crappie Professor” Kopjo took members from the Humboldt Park Fishing Society out on his pontoon and, as the photo above shows, they had a day for crappie.
ILLINOIS FALL TROUT
With the variable weather over the weekend, there should still be plenty of trout around. Those 16 and older need license and trout stamp. Daily bag is five.
Nearby sites include in Cook County (Axehead, Belleau, Busse North, Green, Horsetail, Wolf); DuPage (Silver, Pickerel, Grove); Kankakee (Bird Park Quarry, Rock Creek in Kankakee River SP); Kendall (Big Lake at Silver Springs SFWA); Lake (Banana, Sand at Illinois Beach SP); McHenry (Spring Grove Hatchery Pond); Will (Lake Strini, Van Horn Woods).
Click here for the statewide release.
CHICAGO: Stacey Greeneat Park Bait said plenty of salmon and trout being seen, inside and around Montrose; catching slow. Steve Palmisano at Henry’s Sports and Bait said catching has slowed, he suspects in part because of the warmth. WAUKEGAN: Lori Ralph at the Salmon Stop texted it is much the same as last week, spawn sacks or rattling plugs taking some kings and browns. INDIANA: Capt. Rich Sleziak at Slez’s Bait in Lake Station texted that salmon are winding down, mainly in the upper reaches of the tributaries; some steelhead mixed in. SOUTHEAST WISCONSIN: Check the Wisconsin DNR report, usually out Tuesday. SOUTHWEST MICIGAN: Staff at Tackle Haven in Benton Harbor reported slow going; some steelhead at the dams.
Stacey Greeneat Park Bait said snaggers are still taking them at the two Chicago locations.
Here is the word on snagging legally on the Illinois lakefront from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources:
4) Snagging for chinook and coho salmon only is permitted from the following Lake Michigan shoreline areas from October 1 through December 31; however, no snagging is allowed at any time within 200 feet of a moored watercraft or as posted: A) Lincoln Park Lagoon from the Fullerton Avenue Bridge to the southern end of the Lagoon. B) Waukegan Harbor (in North Harbor basin only). C) Winnetka Power Plant discharge area. D) Jackson Harbor (Inner and Outer Harbors).
See fall trout, the top item, at the top.
StevePalmisano at Henry’s Sports and Bait said with the warmth more fishermen are heading inland to fish for crappie, bass and bluegill, but it is scattered all over the place.
Fall and fishing goes together almost as well as baseball and fall go together.
For a change, Chicago fits into that mix of fall and baseball.
With that in mind, I enjoyed the photo (right, above) that Ken “Husker” O’Malley sent along with this report:
Hey Dale, Bass are being caught on a variety of baits on area lakes. Work Pop-R’s for topwater early morning hours. Overcast days best. The rest of the morning and early evening bass can be caught on chatterbaits, jigs, and lipless crankbaits.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
Closed for the season.
CHAIN O’LAKES AREA
Arden Katz reported fishing will only improve as the water finally begins cooling below 60; otherwise bass, walleye, crappie and drum are going in 10-12 feet on Marie and Bluff; bluegill are good on Channel shallow against shoreline, move around until you find the better ones.
For updates, check with Fox Waterway Agency or call (847) 587-8540.
Capt. Pat Harrison (click here for his site) sent this:
Chicago River Fishing report 10/10 – 10/16 Water temps have come down to around 63 degrees on the surface and fish are moving. We‘ve been reeling them in from tight against concrete walls in 18′ of water. While I was also tracking a ton on the Hummunbird at around 8′ – 10’ as well. Small crank baits, jig and worm, and my personal favorite 1/8 oz. white jig and a 1 ½ white twister tail was the presentation of choice. The Bass absolutely love it! Other species caught were Crappie, Bluegill, Warmouth, Perch, Catfish and a Tilapia. Fish ranged for 4 to 13. We boated a couple hundred in total throughout the week. All fish were CPR (catch photo release). The next few weeks fishing should get better and better as the water temps drop and the fish put the feed bags on for winter. Looking for numbers and size of Bass to go way up. We didn’t do much Lake Michigan fishing due to wind and weather. I’ll be back at it this Wednesday (10/19). Hoping to get out on the Lake a bit if the weather lets us. Otherwise I may be starting to run up the South branch. Make sure to follow me on Facebook for realtime updates. Thanks Capt. Pat Harrison — www.patharrisonoutdoors.com Thanks Pat
Yes, my column is on that tilapia.
DELAVAN/LAKE GENEVA AREA, WISCONSIN
GENEVA: Mark O’Neill sent this:
Fishing continues to get better and better on Geneva, even despite our strange weather. Reports from the past two weeks can be found at: http://www.structure-fishing.com/Lake_Geneva_Fishing_.html
DES PLAINES RIVER
EVERGREEN: Mike Steffa sent a note that the bait shop and boat rental are closed for the season. HENNEPIN-HOPPER: Closed for season. LAKE OF EGYPT/REND: Check with Jason Johns of Boneyard Fishing. SHELBYVILLE: Check with Ken Wilson of Ken Wilson Guide Service.
Larry Dozard of larrysfishinghole.com sent this update on Downstate closures:
– RICE LAKE – will CLOSE to fishing on Oct. 15th with Last Day to Fish being Oct. 14th and will Re-Open at end of Duck & Goose season..– BANNER MARSH – Will CLOSE TO BOAT FISHING on Oct. 12th with last day to boat fish being Oct. 11th AND BANK FISHING ONLY ALLOWED AFTER 1PM but NO FISHING ALLOWED in EAST POINT ACCESS AREA, which is CLOSED TO ALL FISHING to provide a GOOSE REFUGE AREA during season till Feb. 1st– DOUBLE T STATE FISH and WILDLIFE AREA – THIS LAKE IS CLOSED TO FISHING As of OCT. 1st and remains Closed till Feb. 1st– EMIQUON PRESERVE – No boating, fishing or ice skating access before 12:00 pm during waterfowl season.– EVERGREEN LAKE – the SOUTHERN PART OF LAKE, AROUND DEER ISLAND and ALL OF SIX-MILE CREEK BAY IS CLOSED TO GAS MOTORS from Oct. 15th through JAN. 1st to allow resting areas for migratory waterfowl. YOU ARE ALLOWED TO STILL RUN A TROLLING MOTOR IN THESE AREAS ONLY.– SNAKEDEN HOLLOW & McMASTER LAKE – Will CLOSE TO FISHING for the Season on Oct. 10th with Last Day of Fishing on Oct. 9th– SPRING LAKE (South & North) – WILL BE CLOSED TO BOAT FISHING in Waterfowl Hunting Area ON OCT. 15th with Last Day to Boat Fish being Oct. 14th with BANK FISHING ALLOWED ONLY AFTER 1pm– & AREAS THAT REMAIN OPEN TO BOATS ARE NORTH OF MAPLE ISLAND with ramp at north end at the Sky Ranch Road launch and IN PIKE HOLE with carry in boats – and Shore Fishing is allowed in entire lake after 1pm in Hunting areas or at boat ramps all day.– POWERTON LAKE – LAKE WILL CLOSE TO BOAT FISHING ON OCT. 15th (Last day for Boat fishing is Oct. 14th) and CLOSES TO SHORE FISHING and ALL FISHING ON OCT. 22nd (Last day for Shore fishing is Oct. 21st) and REOPENS TO SHORE FISHING ONLY ON DEC. 19th AND NO BOAT FISHING till FEB. 15th– SANGCHRIS LAKE – THE WEST and EAST ARMS OF LAKE and Small AREA NEAR DAM ARE CLOSED DURING WATERFOWL SEASON to boat traffic effective Oct. 12th (last day to boat fish will be Oct. 11th) through Jan. 31, 2016 (during this time fishing boat traffic is permitted in the center hot arm only).– PRAIRIE LAKE in Jim Edgar/ Panther Creek State F&W Area – Lake is CLOSED from Nov. 1st to Jan. 15th to Fishing until after 12:01 PM on Wednesday & Saturday.– ANDERSON LAKE – THIS AREA Will be CLOSED TO BOAT FISHING in Main Lake from Oct. 15th (with last day to boat fish Oct. 14th) through Dec. 20th during waterfowl season with bank fishing Only allowed.– CLINTON LAKE – an easterly area of Clinton Lake (The Waterfowl Refuge Area) between the DeWitt Bridge East (CH14) and the Rt. 48 Bridge will CLOSE be on October 10th and will re-open on MARCH 31st…
FOX RIVER: WESTERN SUBURBS
FOX RIVER: WISCONSIN
GREEN BAY/STURGEON BAY
Lance LaVineat Howie’s Tackle in Sturgeon Bay sent this:
Perch fishing has been a very bright spot here in Door County for the past month or so and I just believe the fishing should get better as it usually does as we move deeper into fall. Some of the best areas have been right in downtown Sturgeon Bay alone the edges of the shipping channel, some area on the Sturgeon Bay Flats, Sawyer Harbor, Little Sturgeon and Riley’s Bay all good spots in the fall. Fathead minnows and crawler pieces have been the best live baits as of late Bass fishing reports have been a bit mixed as of late, but should become more consistent as the water finally cools off and gets them out of this extended transition into a definitive fall pattern. Once the Smally’s pattern up in becomes relatively easy or easier to locate them as they school up and put on the mega feed for winter. Generally look for steeper shoreline drop offs, off shore reefs and shoals and or deep channels and pay attention to your graph. Drop shotting, deep tubing, rip style baits like ripp’in raps and shiver minnows, bigger swim baits, spinner baits and live baiting with suckers all good options in the fall. The fall run Salmon fishing is nearing its end, but there are still a few fish to be caught including some Brown Trout. Areas to check out would be some of the harbors to the north like Baileys Harbor and the Sister Bay area, the Sturgeon Bay ship canal, Stoney Creek and the Ahnapee River all good options for those fall run Browns and Kings. Out on the big lake, there is still plenty of time left to get in on some very good fishing for those beautiful 2 and 3 year old Kings along with some Rainbow Trout. The wind has played a key role in that the past month as the wind doesn’t seem to want to give us a break. Prior to the winds, we were getting some pretty darn good fish reports in basically from the Sturgeon Bay area north to Washington Island. If you were to head out, try setting up in that 100 to 200 foot range and fish with an assortment of flasher fly combinations along with some spoons Pike fishing in our area has been fantastic to say the least. Very good numbers of fish along with some really big fish in that 40 inch plus range being caught and released. And that’s generally how it goes, when the perch are around the Pike are close by. Pretty much all the areas mentioned for the good Perch fishing you will find your fair share of Pike. A few other areas that will give up some big Pike include the Sherwood Point area and the Henderson’s Point area especially right now through the end of fall. Large crank baits, spoons, big swim baits, spinner baits along with large sucker minnows all good baits for those Pike Walleye fishing is still a bit tough, but once that water cools off in our area, the fishing should and will pick up. Right now the best bite has been coming from the folks rip jigging during the day and trolling or jigging at night. You need to have a box full of Moonshine shiver minnows and large Rapala jigs, some blade baits, soft plastics like jerk minnows and paddle tails and of course Ripp’in Raps. Most of the fish have been a bit deeper on the outsides or deep edges of the numerous shoals and reefs that we have throughout the county and or steep shoreline drop offs Thanks; Lance LaVine Howie’s Tackle 1309 Green Bay Rd Sturgeon Bay, WI 54235 Ph: 920-746-9916
The Wisconsin DNR report is usually posted Tuesdays and includes reports from both the bay and lake sides.
Closed for the season.
Thom Matejewski at Illinois Valley Outdoors in Spring Valley said white bass are going around the flats and the mouth of the Vermilion on a jig and minnow; crappie are good on slip bogger and minnow around brush piles behind islands or by wooden barge tie-ups.
Capt. Rich Sleziak at Slez’s Bait in Lake Station texted salmon are winding down, mainly well upstream; some steelhead.
Access points for Trail Creek can be found on the Trail Creek Access Map.
River high, stained, but fishable.
The Ohio DNR has general Lake Erie info and a fishing report.
See shoreline salmon/trout reports at top.
NORTH POINT:Capt. Bob Poteshman of Confusion Charters said there is good fishing, mostly lakers with some Chinook, from the Hill to 200 feet, mornings are best, but fish will be caught afternoons, too. CHICAGO: Stacey Greene at Park Bait said that small perch are being caught inside of Montrose harbor. Capt. Bob Poteshman of Confusion Charters said it was slow, for those making the run, there’s a mixed bag at Julian’s Reef. WAUKEGAN: Lori Ralph at the Salmon Stop said her husband, Capt. Augie Ralph, is working 90-120 feet for a mixed bag of fish.
LAKE VERMILION, MINNESOTA
Check Jarek Wujkowski of Rodsbent Guide Service.
Closed for season.
MADISON CHAIN, WISCONSIN
Go to Facebook for the latest updates from Gene Dellinger at D & S Bait.
Closed for the season, but Monster Lake at Mazonia South remains open year-round. Check with Jon Meder at Jon’s Bait Shop–(815) 237-2822–in South Wilmington. Open daily, 6 a.m.-sunset.
MENOMINEE RIVER, WISCONSIN
Check with Mike Mladeik at Mike Mladenik Guide Service.
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:
Fall fishing is in full swing now that last week’s cold nights helped to put the turnover behind us for the most part. You may see surface temps top out in the mid 50’s or higher early in the week due to a couple of warm days, but, that won’t recreate a turnover as sub-surface temps will remain in the low 50’s now. Musky: Very good. Until Sunday, wind and weather helped to trip the trigger of muskies throughout the Lakeland area. Suckers have been the hot bait on the menu. Windy days drifting bladed quick-set rigs (Smity) using 12-16 suckers best. Jerk baits (Suicks), gliders (Smity Jerks) and Twitch baits have been scoring well. Moderate retrieves with small pauses working best. Walleye: Very good…with a catch! Walleyes are feeding well, but, are very tentative. Patience is the key to feeding redtailed chubs up in heavy green weeds. Slow dragging on 1/16 oz. weedless Jack’s jigs or Northland Weed Weasels best. Deeper lakes best using Lindy style rigs, 1/4oz. jigs or Jigging Raps (#5, #7, #9). Good catches of nice eaters with plenty of slot fish to go around. Crappies: Very good. On lakes, anglers finding crappies suspended 9-11’ down being caught by trollers using Flicker Shads, Shad Raps and Jr. Thundersticks. Bluegills: Very good. Surprising since few anglers target gills at this time of year. The consensus is 10’ green cabbage. Worms, leeches or waxies. Nice gills of 8-10. Northern Pike: Very good. Pike taking jig and chub rigs with regularity. Some on jig swimbaits. Perch: Good. A few flowage anglers plying deep wood and shallow weeds picking up decent catches of perch on medium fatheads. Bass: No reports This post turn-over period shouldn’t leave us too soon. Great fall temps (cool/cold morning followed by warm afternoons) should spread this season out a bit. Kurt Justice Kurt’s Island Sport Shop www.kurtsislandsports.com
EAGLE RIVER: B+L, from interviews with guides George Langley, Muskie Matt and Colin Crawford, sent this for the Eagle River Chamber of Commerce.
Temperatures in area lakes are dipping into the low and middle 50’s. This time of the season experiences a lot of turnover due to temperature changes, but patient anglers can still find great success. For a full Eagle River area fishing report, read below. Fishing Report Muskie: Bigger baits such as double 9’s and 10’s spinnerbaits, crankbaits, bigger jerk baits and top water are still working. More anglers are using suckers now. Northern Pike: Fish the deep flats with some type of weeds (could be sand grass or coontail) to find northern pike. Use Jig and minnow combos are the bait of choice. Walleye: Finding them on deep mud flats and still on the deep rock humps. Early and late in the day you can find fish on the tops, but they will go deeper in the mid-day. Jig and minnow combos are working well on the mud flats, while crawlers are having success on the rocks. Bass: (Largemouth) Bass are moving out of the shallows and lurking in the deep weed edges. If fishing weeds, (Smallmouth) Basic live bait rig is always a go to presentation; also crankbaits will work well. Panfish: Bluegills are being found on the deepest weed edges where the greenest weeds are. For these fish, slip bobber rigs are the way to go baited up with a good selection of live bait such as waxies, and red worms. Plastics are working under bobbers with a twitch of the rod. Crappies are starting to suspend over some mud flats and small jigs tipped with minnows or small blade baits like cicadas will work. Perch are being caught on mud flats using small minnows.
See shoreline salmon/trout at the top. Capt. Rich Sleziak at Slez’s Bait in Lake Station texted that crappie have been good in Deep River and the Lake George area and, at night, in deep water on Pine Lake.
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
See shoreline salmon/trout at the top. Staff at Tackle Haven in Benton Harbor said walleye are going in the river.
ST. JOSEPH RIVER, INDIANA
Click herefor reports from the Indiana DNR.
Jim Kopjo sent this:
Had the pleasure of having members of the Humboltpark fishing society on the pontoon this weekend. The fall bite is on with temps dropping to 60 on Saturday and rising to 64 on Sunday after the rains. stayed up late watching the cubs and started around noon. they had a slow start but once hooksets and bobber watching was learned they spanked close to 80 crappie.Jim
Staff at Lakeside said muskie moving to the smaller baits (think bass baits) in the no-motor zone; some largemouth are being caught on topwaters over dying weeds; walleye are still going on Flicker Shads or jigging spoons on underwater weed lines; some perch are being caught; crappie are shallower in low light, otherwise in the cribs.
Lakeside remains open daily, 7 a.m.-5 p.m. daily. The restaurant is closed for the season. 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.
PETENWELL DAM: Jason Fox sent this:
The river is on fire with musky and White bass 44″ check out the girth referring to the fish not my husky buddy
It is one of the sites for fall trout.
WOLF RIVER, WISCONSIN
FREMONT: Bill Stoeger said that there are good white bass, mixed sizes, especially from the Rat River to the mouth of Poygan, best on river rigs with minnows; there are walleye, which will only improve as the water cools, in the river; crappie slowed from last week.