Summer lingering on Chicago fishing: Midwest Fishing Report

SHARE Summer lingering on Chicago fishing: Midwest Fishing Report

Summer hangs on, so much so I doubt that early ice fishing will be any time soon up North; with that, here is the 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.

Chuck Gonzalez caught the carp above on corn Saturday on a Schaumburg pond.


Pickings are getting slim, but this weather sure makes the idea enticing. 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.


INDIANA: Capt. Rich Sleziak at Slez’s Bait in Lake Station texted the best news, a few lake trout have shown up on the reef at Burn’s Ditch. CHICAGO: Steve Palmisano at Henry’s called it “spotty” in general on the lakefront. Cory Gecht at Park Bait said nothing at Montrose. WAUKEGAN: Lori Ralph at the Salmon Stop said it is slowing down on the pier; but Capt. Augie Ralph said there are browns shallow from harbor south. SOUTHEAST WISCONSIN: Check the Wisconsin DNR report, usually out Tuesday. SOUTHWEST MICIGAN: Staff at Tackle Haven in Benton Harbor reported very little off piers, just a few steelhead in the rivers.


Slowing down enough that Steve Palmisano at Henry’s said Polaroid glasses are becoming important to sight snag. 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 trout at top. Steve Palmisano at Henry’s said, with this weather, crappie and bluegill have been the best bite going at forest preserves such as Saganashkee Slough in Cook, many lakes in DuPage and Chaminwood in Will.

Ken “Husker” O’Malleysent along with this report:

Hey Dale, Bass have been good on area lakes. Work jigs and lipless crankbaits during the late morning and early afternoon hours. Sunny warmer days in-between fronts have produced best consistent bite. Crappie have been good also on lipless cranks as well.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


Closed for the season.


Arden Katz reported that Marie and Bluff are best for walleye (see Fish of the Week to come), rip-jigging minnows in 10-13 feet; that also produces good white bass (including fish to 16 inches) and some crappie; drifting if the wind is right; otherwise it is trolling at .5-.75 mph. Greg Dickson at Triangle said suckers are taking muskies. lots of guys trying; with the warm waters, catfishing remains good.

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 10/22 – 10/28 Out a couple times surface temps are dropping 56 to 58 degrees on the main river. Up to 62 on the North branch because it’s a bit more stained than the main branch. Still catching some nice gills up to 9 and Crappie up to 11 Bass 12’ to 17. Right now the surface temps are about the same as the discharge temps so discharge fishing slowed a bit but fish are still there just harder to catch. I will be out again a few times this week with clients the water temps should be colder than the discharge temps so fish will be moving in. Look for spots that get sun and area degree or two warmer than surrounding water. I will fish the river till I can’t for the couple weeks it gets surface ice and then back at it as soon as the ice is off. Have a Great week go catch some fish. I am starting a E mail news letter for Pat Harrison Outdoors if your interested Please email me at to be put on the mailing list. Your E mail address will not be shared. Thanks Capt.Pat


GENEVA: Posts on fishing by Mark O’Neill can be found at


No update.


HENNEPIN CANAL: Thom Matejewski at Illinois Valley Outdoors in Spring Valley said crappie are going. 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 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…


Pete Lamar sent this:

Hi Dale, I got out to some of the Fox tributaries on Sunday afternoon. I fished farther upstream than usual-more Kane County than Kendall-and as one would expect, the streams were narrower and faster than they are down towards the Fox. But the fishing was similar to elsewhere in the watershed: good numbers of rock bass of all sizes; a nice smallmouth out of a deep pool; a tiny crappie; some minnows I could not identify. All fish came on white streamers. One thing that was noticeable is how much corn is still standing in the area. Elsewhere in the state it seems that most of the corn and soybeans have been harvested, but much of it is untouched between Aurora and Shabbona. I’m sure your readers who bow hunt the area are all too familiar with that fact. That’s not exactly a comprehensive, in-depth report, but I hope it helps. Pete


No update.


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

Good afternoon fellas….here is a quick update The Bass fishing has been good especially to the north of Sturgeon Bay. Basically from the Egg Harbor area north to Washington Island. The fishing will just continue to get better as the water cools down. 15 to 30 feet is the main depth this time of year. Steep shoreline drops, reefs and shoals are the best areas. Drop shot plastics, tubes, paddle tails, blade baits and sucker minnows are the best baits Perch fishing is still going very good in our area. The better areas continue to be…downtown Sturgeon Bay, the Sturgeon Bay flats, Sawyer Harbor, Riley’s Bay and Little Sturgeon. 5 to 15 feet has been the best depth and fathead minnows and crawler pieces the best baits Pike fishing has also been very good and should just continue to stay good through fall as it usually does. Basically all of the same spots as the Perch as those fish will follow those Perch around and snack on them all day long. Trolling and casting large crank baits, spoons and spinner baits along with dragging large suckers around all very effective this time of year. Walleye fishing is still a bit stale at least in our neck of the woods, but that should change as the water temps finally start to drop to 50 degrees and below. The night bite can be excellent here in the fall as those fish put on the feed bag for winter. Trolling shorelines and tops of reefs with large crank baits always a great method. During the day, fish those same areas, but just a touch deeper with deep diving crank baits and or rip jig those fish with Rapala jigs, Moonshine shiver minnows, blade baits, hair jigs, plastics and large sucker minnows Heading off to the deer stand, talk to you in a few weeks 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 best for white bass is the mouth of Spring on jig and minnow; three-ways with minnows are taking decent sauger and walleye; there’s good crappie at bridges and barge tie-ups.


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


No update, other than some quality walleye (see Fish of the Week to come) and water levels are good for wading for smallmouth.


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


See shoreline salmon/trout reports at top.


Check Jarek Wujkowski of Rodsbent Guide Service.


Closed for season.


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.


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:

With the end of October, interest in fishing drops off. Anglers are still in pursuit of Musky. Some walleyes and a few crappie/perch fisherman can also be found. With water temps a bit above average (reports of 47-53 degrees) there is still plenty of time to get out and pursue your favorite fish. Musky: Very good. By far the most action has been on suckers. Lots of multi fish days this past week. Still worth working gliders, jerks and twitch baits as well as slow moving jointed and plastics. Walleye: Good-Fair. Deep water vertical fishing best on larger lakes. Probe 22-45’ depths using redtail chubs and black chubs or suckers. On smaller lakes and flowages, stick to smaller minnows and slowly drag through weed growth in 5-7’. Crappies and Perch: Fair. Few reports. Most from anglers slip-bobbering drowned wood in 14-18’. Medium fatheads best choice. While some low 30 degree mornings cooled lake temps, average highs this week in low 50’s should keep lakes at fairly consistent temperatures. Kurt Justice Kurt’s Island Sport Shop

EAGLE RIVER: B+L, from reports from Colin Crawford, sent this for the Eagle River Chamber of Commerce:

Fishing Report Muskie: Suckers and sucker imitations are the way to go at this time. The occasional big spinnerbait will get some action. Northern Pike: Weed edges and other types of cover are where these fish are. Jerkbaits are the ticket. 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 suspending 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 crappie are going in the rivers, at Burns Ditch and Deep River.


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.


See shoreline salmon/trout at the top. Staff at Tackle Haven in Benton Harbor said there is some walleye in the river.


Click herefor reports from the Indiana DNR.


Clint Sands at Lakeside said crappie (more brush piles than cribs), muskie (shallow) and walleye (by handicap pier and on road bed) are the top bites; water is in the mid-50s.

Lake hours are now 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Lakeside remains open through Sunday, then is closed until ice fishing. The restaurant is closed 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


No update.


It is one of the sites for fall trout.


Bill Stoeger said the white bass are best from the Rat to the mouth of Poygan on minnows; water is holding around 50 degrees, which should bode well for a continued white bass bite.

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