Staying fall (I think): Eyeing Chicago fishing for the week

SHARE Staying fall (I think): Eyeing Chicago fishing for the week

Fall is sticking around for this sprawling raw-file Midwest Fishing Report.

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.

Bridget Griffin weighed the catfish, I am pretty sure it is a blue catfish, pictured above at 24 pounds, 14 ounces, Tom Palmisano at Henry’s Sports and Bait texted. She caught it at Braidwood, which closes for the season next week.


CHICAGO: Stacey Greeneat Park Bait said bite slowed some with the blow last week, but there is still a smattering of kings at Montrose and Belmont. Steve Palmisano at Henry’s Sports and Bait texted that still some kings and coho up and down the lakefront, even with the blow. WAUKEGAN: Lori Ralph at the Salmon Stop said still some kings and steelhead from Government Pier and South Rocks on crankbaits or spoons, some browns bottom fishing with bait. INDIANA: Capt. Rich Sleziak  at Slez’s Bait in Lake Station said rains brought some fish up the streams, skein and spinners taking fish. SOUTHEAST WISCONSIN: Check the Wisconsin DNR report, usually out Tuesday. SOUTHWEST MICIGAN: Staff at Tackle Haven in Benton Harbor said a few kings are in the St. Joe, more at the mouth of the Paw Paw, weather limited pier action.


Fish are being snagged, especially in Chicago. 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).


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.


StevePalmisano at Henry’s Sports and Bait said crappie bite is going, see if the warmup does anything either way.

Ken “Husker” O’Malleysent this:

Hey Dale, Bass have been good on area lakes. Top water baits at first light and spinner bait sin the evening have produced numbers. Bass have been running on the smaller side but action remains good despite the inconsistent weather.Bass have slowed on Area rivers. Water levels have risen and water clarity is about 6 inches at best after recent rains over the past week.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


Final day of fishing is Oct. 11. Check with Jon Meder at Jon’s Bait Shop–(815) 237-2822–in South Wilmington. Lake is open daily, 6 a.m.-sunset.


Staff at Triangle said that white bass are going in 8-15 feet on most lakes; walleye are good on fatheads or crawlers on Lindy or slip-bobber rigs, best on Petite or Fox; crappie and perch continue to improve as water cools, look shallower; for bluegill try looking in 8 feet.

For updates, check with Fox Waterway Agency or call (847) 587-8540.


Capt. Pat Harrison (click here for his site) sent this:

Capt. Pat Harrison’s Chicago River Fishing Report This past week was a tough one with the weather we’ve had recently. Water temps are dropping and fish are biting but it’s been a challenge above water with the rain as of late. This week yielded a few Bass in the 13″- 16″ range along with some nice Crappie and Gills to compliment. I will be out on the River at least one day this coming week to start October off right, then headed to Clinton Lake for the Arlington Anglers Fall Crappie Outing. This is one of my favorite trips which includes cool air, camp fires and big fish. It doesn’t get much better than that! I’ll be back at it on the River full time the following week and will be fishing it as long as Mother Nature allows. Fall is a great time of year here in Chicago and I’m very much looking forward to reeling them in early and often. Are we friends on Facebook yet? I post pictures, tips and results from all of my outings on not only the Chicago River but all of the other trips and fundraisers I participate in throughout the year. I share information on my personal page as well as my Pat Harrison Outdoors – Fishing Adventures page. Let’s connect! Have a great week everyone, Capt. Pat Harrison


No update.


Marcus Benesch sent this:

Dale,The river is stirred up a bit with the week of rain showers we had last week. Pike remain hot, even on top water. Target submerged timber and any visible weedlines. The Miner Street Dam in downtown Des Plaines is now history. That demolition is just about all cleaned up. A lot of folks can’t wait to see dam #3 & dam #4 go. I’m one of them.Marcus BeneschRiver Grove, Illinois

He got that dam part right.


EVERGREEN: Mike Steffa sent this update on fall hours:

FALL HOURS FOR EVERGREEN LAKE BAIT SHOP & BOAT RENTAL: BAIT SHOP: 8:00 A.M. – 4:00 P.M. DAILY BOAT RENTAL: 8:00 A.M. – 4:00 P.M. SAT. & SUN. ONLY Thank you. Michael J. Steffa – Director McLean County Dept. of Parks & Rec.

HENNEPIN CANAL: Thom Matejewski at Illinois Valley Outdoors in Spring Valley said crappie are good, especially around Sheffield, on slip bobber and minnow. HENNEPIN-HOPPER: Closed for season. LAKE OF EGYPT/REND: Check with Jason Johns of Boneyard FishingSHELBYVILLE: Check with Ken Wilson of Ken Wilson Guide Service.

Larry Dozard of 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…


No update.


No update.


Lance LaVineat Howie’s Tackle in Sturgeon Bay sent this:

Good morning fellas… Here is the update a day early Wind, wind and more wind! It has been a very windy 2 weeks here in the Door County making fishing…let’s say a bit challenging. So this is what I have… Perch fishing continues to impress the local Perch enthusiast along with the many visitors to the area that have seen and fished during the so called Perch hey days and during the Perch decline. Though there are not the massive amounts of Jumbo Perch around like back in the day the numbers of Perch, both eater sized and small fish seem to be on the rise according to all of the fishermen we talk to on a daily basis which is extremely nice to see. The better areas have been right in downtown Sturgeon Bay along the shipping channel, Sawyer Harbor, the Flats along with the Little Sturgeon area and some of the deeper water mud south of Little Sturgeon down past the Chaudoir’s Dock area when the winds allow it. Fathead minnows and crawler pieces continue to be the best live baits. Pike fishing has been fantastic in recent weeks with some very nice fish being caught too. Trolling and casting regular and deep diving crank baits, spoons, spinner baits along with drifting with large suckers all effective methods this fall. Downtown Sturgeon Bay, along the Potawatomi Park shoreline, the deeper weed edges on the Flats and Henderson’s point all good spots to try Salmon fishing out on the Big lake from Sturgeon Bay up to Washington Island has actually been going pretty good for those nice 2 and 3 year old Salmon when we have had a stable wind pattern and when you can actually get out there and the conditions allow it. Flasher and fly combinations have been the best out there. 100 to 180 feet has been the best depth. There is also plenty of opportunities for some 4 year old fall run Kings and some Brown Trout in the shallower waters like right in the Sturgeon Bay ship canal along with some of the Northern Door county harbors. Trolling and casting plugs and spoons along with soaking spawn sacs all effective ways to catch a big old 4 year old or Trout in the fall The daytime walleye trolling bite has been a bit slow along the Door Peninsula, but the rip jig bite has been ok around the vast structure throughout the Door. The night trolling bite has been going pretty good as of late, not crazy action, but action never the less. At night, fishermen have been pulling both deep diving and regular suspending crank baits over and along structure and deep shorelines. During the day, fishermen have been locating fish on their electronics, marking those spots and coming back and jigging those fish with shiver minnows, ripping raps and paddle tails 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.


Heidecke Lake is closed for the season.


Thom Matejewski at Illinois Valley Outdoors in Spring Valley said that crappie are going in the backwaters at downfalls or by barge pilings; catfish are good on cut bait; walleye and sauger are going on about any method: Leadcore, three-ways or jigging. Matejewski noted there is a white bass tournament on Sunday. Here is the info from Facebook:

IVO WHITE BASS TOURNAMENT 10/09/2016 barto landing Spring Valley IL. 2 person team ENTRY $125.00 $10.00 optional big fish pot Register at Illinois Valley Outdoors or at the ramp tournament day. FOR MORE INFO CALL 815-503-1528 7:00 A.M. start weigh in 2:00 P.M


Capt. Rich Sleziak at Slez’s Bait in Lake Station texted that rains brought some salmon up the streams, best on skein or spinners. Access points for Trail Creek can be found on the Trail Creek Access Map


Norm Minas sent this:

river up, river down, repeat, repeat, repeat . some floating veggies but it much of a hassle . river off color, cooling temps as usual this time of year . I’ve been getting a lot of gar and more than my fair share of large ones on paddle tail flukes on an unweighted ewg hook at inflows and slower/slack areas . Smallmouth bass taking rattlebaits at inflows, flats, current seams and around bridges . Channel cat and smallmouth taking jig/pig on current seams and flats . Walleye on suspending rogues on flats in low light conditions . peacenorm

He’s got that right about the river going up and down, up and down.


The Ohio DNR has general Lake Erie info and a fishing report.


See shoreline salmon/trout reports at top.

CHICAGO: StevePalmisano at Henry’s Sports and Bait texted that are still small perch being caught inside the harbors. Capt. Bob Poteshman of Confusion Charters said that fishing is slow and to be aware if going to fish lakers on Julian’s Reef, there are research nets out.

WAUKEGAN: Ted Boska sent this:

Hello and good morning Dale.Only Monday and Sunday we fish over south reef for Lakers only mixed up with rainbows. Crazy weather patterns and gale force wind makes fishing impossible. After Sunday trip I finished my season on lake Michigan. This coming Thursday leaving country to visit my teammate in Hummerfast Norway, far far north.Cid fishing is excellent this year and many fish over 100 lbs are taken. I can’t wait for this magical moment and catch another big halibut as well. We are going on my friend 150′ Longet family fishing boat for herring. They are planning to catch over 30,000 lbs of fresh fish for winter month’s. I am sorry-for my mistake (Cod) fishing not Cid fishing. I hope weather conditions be very good,because this are is well known for very dense Fogg. I try send you a picture if possible Thanks Ted ( DIEHARD ANGLER ) BOSKA

NORTH POINT: Posteshman said that it is mostly lakers with the occasional steelhead, king or coho in 150-200 feet; but there is an inshore fishery for browns and smaller kings on good days around Racine, Wis.


No update.


No update from Jarek Wujkowski of Rodsbent Guide Service.


The cooling lake south of Seneca is open daily, 6 a.m.-sunset. Final day of fishing is Oct. 15.


Go to Facebook for the latest updates from Gene Dellinger at D & S Bait.


Final day of fishing is Oct. 11. 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.


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:

It’s beginning to look a lot like FALL! Morning temps in the 40’s, highs in the 60’s. Most lake’s surface temps in the 59-63 degree range. If you can fish early or late and stay out of the no cloud little wind days, fishing has picked up. Walleye: Good-Very Good. Best over deep gravel humps along gravel/mud transition zones in 18-34’. Jigging Raps hot and produce the best hard hits. Jig and minnow/crawler as well as Lindy rigging chubs also working well. On Flowages (Willow, Turtle) drowned wood using slip-floats or weedless jigs to present large fatheads or ½ crawlers best. Musky: Good-Very Good. High skies shut mid-day fishing down, but, mornings, evenings and cloudy times very good. Top water has proved to be best choice personally (Pacemakers, Whopper Ploppers and Top Raiders) and should continue till lakes turn over (around 53-55 degrees). The sucker bite is ramping up. Rigs with spinner attractant best. Most action along and over shoreline weed beds. Pike: Good-Very Good. Active on Mepps #4 and #5 Aglias and Comet Minnows worked over weeds of 6-12’. Try spinnerbaits or chatter baits for a more weedless approach (Boonies, Booyahs). Jig and chubs/suckers of 5-6’ also good….as always. Crappies: Good. Not as good as usual, but, still good. Work drowned timber in 15-18’ using medium fatheads. Also picking up some slabs over mud/gravel transition areas jigging #5 Jigging Raps or medium fats on 1/8oz jigs. Smallmouth Bass: Good. Try over off-shore gravel humps topping at 22-28’. Drop-shotting 3 worms, 2 ½-3 plastic minnows/craws. Largemouth Bass: Good. Scattered reports. Some in shallow slop on top-water frogs, buzzbaits, Jitterbugs. Others out on flats of 8-12’ on shallow cranks and Boonie Baits while still other bites on deeper weed edges (12-16’) on Wacky worms and deeper running twitch baits. Perch: Fair-Good. Best on flowages around deep wood. Half crawlers on medium fatheads for big perch up to 12. Bluegills: Fair. Despite beautiful weather, few anglers targeting these fish. Nice bulls on flowages in deep wood (15-18’), mostly by anglers targeting crappies. We are coming up on what is generally considered the best 2 weeks of the musky season. A great time with top-water and spinnerbait action and the sucker bite is getting hot! Kurt Justice Kurt’s Island Sport Shop

EAGLE RIVER: B+L, from interviews with guides George Langley, Muskie Matt and Colin Crawford, sent this for the Eagle River Chamber of Commerce.

Fishing Report Muskie: Bigger baits such as double 9’s and 10’s spinnerbaits, crankbaits, bigger jerk baits and top water are still working. Suckers are starting to be used also. 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 the ticket here. 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. 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, and red worms. Plastics are working under bobbers with a twitch of the rod. 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 red worms and small minnows on slip bobbers is the ticket for them.


See shoreline salmon/trout at the top. Capt. Rich Sleziak  at Slez’s Bait in Lake Station said crappie starting to hit minnows in Burns Ditch and Deep River along log jams and bridges, also around bridges at Lake George.


No update.


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.


For shoreline salmon/trout, see top. Staff at Tackle Haven in Benton Harbor said there’s some salmon and trout in 85-90 feet; perch to the south off “The Chalets”; some walleye in the river by the hospital.


Click herefor reports from the Indiana DNR.


Clint Sands at Lakeside said hybrids are picking up evenings, his dad Denny Sands caught 24- and 26-inchers this week; walleye are going jigging Raps or jigging spoons; muskie are active; for crappie try around shallow cribs.

Lakeside remains open daily; after Columbus Day the hours will be 7 a.m.-5 p.m. daily. The restaurant is open Friday through Columbus Day, then closes for the season.

For more information and reports from Lakeside, go to or call (815) 824-2581.


The Wisconsin DNR posts a report at It is usually posted by Tuesday afternoon. Stream flow info is at


See Wisconsin sturgeon note at top.


No update.


FREMONT: Bill Stoeger said the walleye are going good in the river, white bass are starting, especially from Boom Island down to the mouth of Poygan. Water needs to cool a bit more to really kick it in.

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