Perch, waiting on 1st ice: Midwest Fishing Report/Chicago Fishing

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Perch on southern Lake Michigan and waiting on first ice leads 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.

Larry Jennings messaged the photo above and a report of good perch going Tuesday. Late Tuesday, Steve Palmisano at Henry’s texted a photo of a limit of perch he took at 87th. Perch are here and even better than my column for tomorrow.


The key areas are around 87th, 89th and 95th. Arden Katz said if you put in your time and sort for keepers you will get them; minnows are a must for keepers. Gary Bloom said there are lots of smaller perch at Montrose. Cory Gecht at Park Bait said they are still catching small perch at Montrose and Diversey. Steve Palmisano at Henry’s said the catch is picking up at DuSable, too. Capt. Rich Sleziak  at Slez’s Bait in Lake Station, Ind.,  texted that fatheads or baby roaches were producing for shore fishermen and boaters, mainly around Cal Park and the Calumet system; not so many outside of the Ditch or on the Gary Flats. Lori Ralph at the Salmon Stop texted that a few guys still perching off Johnson pier.


The pier passes for legal access to fish select piers at Jackson, Burnham, DuSable, Diversey, Belmont and Montrose harbors in Chicago are available at Henry’s ($6 cash, one per valid fishing license).


Ken “Husker” O’Malleysent this:

Hey Dale, Area lakes are still producing good numbers of bass and crappie. Live bait has been the way to go. Work roaches under a slip float worked along the outside weedlines during early morning hours. Using circle hooks allows the fish more time to take the bait without worry of gut hooking them. Jigs with a Berkley chigger craw have taken a few bass 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.


BoRabb Williams posted crappie photos and this, “The Calumet River system is still going strong Dale Bowman” on Friday.


Greg Dicksonat Triangle Sports and Marine in Antioch said the big thing is guys muskie fishing, especially with suckers. Otherwise, it is crappie fishing, keep moving until you find them; or white bass in the river. Watch the low water levels when navigating or launch in the lake you’re going to fish.

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


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

Pat Harrison Outdoors fishing report 11/19/16 11/25/16. Only spent one day on the water with it being Thanksgiving week Enjoyed time with the family. I had a trip cancel for 11/19 I was already on the water so I fished a few hours hit the walls and wood as usual and caught some fish. I was fishing 1/4 to 1/64 jigs with a twister tail or small plastics etc. some tipped with a waxy or minnow. Fish were about 6’ down in 12’ to 14’ of water. Most fish came on a slow drop and it was a mix of Gills, Sunfish, Crappie, Bass, White Bass and a couple Perch. It was fun it was like ice fishing without the ice. This is the time of year to start downsize and start thinking like your ice fishing. This is Transition time Fish are putting on the feed bag but are looking for an easy meal. They don’t want to exert energy to chase a lot of baits they are looking for an easy meal to bulk up for a long cold winter under ice in most places. That’s one of the reasons I fish river systems there are rivers that do not freeze hard were a small boat or a barge can break them up. We can still throw some baits and get fish to go because these water are in the mid to upper 30’s even into the 40’s in some areas. I will be fishing the Chicago Illinois and a couple others all winter if you’re interested give me a call 847.980.4640 or go to Mention where you saw my fishing report and get a 10% discount when you book your trip with a $50.00 Deposit through December. This would make a Great Christmas for the angler in your family. Have a Great week catch some fish. — www.patharrisonoutdoors.comThanks Pat


GENEVA: Mark O’Neill posts fishing reports at

DELAVAN: No Update


No update.



Check with Jason Johns of Boneyard FishingSHELBYVILLE: Check with Ken Wilson of Ken Wilson Guide Service.EVERGREEN: Bait shop and boat rental are closed for the season. HENNEPIN-HOPPER: Closed for season.

The updates on Downstate sites below come from Larry Dozard of

        – RICE LAKE –. . , 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 – . . . 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 – closed– 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 – 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…


High and/or rising in most areas; otherwise, no update.


No update.


No update from Lance LaVine at Howie’s Tackle in Sturgeon Bay (I think he is deer hunting). The Wisconsin DNR report is usually posted Tuesdays and includes reports from both the bay and lake sides.


Closed for the season.


Projected to crest Thursday at 18 feet, just under flood stage, at LaSalle. Also remember that Illinois Valley Outdoors is closed. Have bait and terminal tackle before going.


Access points for Trail Creek can be found on the Trail Creek Access MapCapt. Rich Sleziak  at Slez’s Bait in Lake Station texted that with the rain more steelhead are and will be trickling into the tributaries.


High and/or rising.

Norm Minas sent this from a Thanksgiving outing:

I had a lot of time today before dinner so I decided to use it wisely and go fishing. Nothing on the boob tube held any interest , all the chores were caught up and no one in the immediate family has interest in the shopping nonsense . The river is coming up, better than 3 times it’s normal flow rate and still rising . Water temps in the low 40’s , no visibility, debris floating down river . Still have algae on the bottom in many stretches, maybe the high, muddy and cooler water will help get rid of some of that before the true cold water period starts . I decided to travel light, medium light spin rod, matching reel and 10lb nanofil with no leader . One small box that fit in my coat pocket, some jig spinners, handful of 1/8 and 1/4 oz jigs, walleye assassins and sassy grubs . The plan was to hit a series of creek mouths , that went out the window from the start . First spot had someone camped on it with 5 or 6 rods , second spot parking area full likely folks out walking the nature trail building an appetite and third spot the parking area was too muddy to take a chance on getting stuck . I got to the fourth spot and to my surprise not a single car parked, time to fish . I started with a jig spinner with a size 2 orange Colorado blade, 1/4 oz darter head jig and a walleye assassin rigged upside down. Working back slowly against the current on the creek/river seam got two nice smallmouth 16-17 inch range in the first 1/2 hour. I worked the area upstream on the creekmouth with the same rig , got 3 walleyes in the lower 20 inch range . I took a little hike to get to the point pool downstream of the creekmouth , figuring there might be some smallmouth staging there with the higher flow . After the 1/4 oz jig didn’t produce , I switched to an 1/8 oz darter head , walleye assassin rigged upside down and changed the jig spinner to a size 1 gold Colorado blade. I worked in from the seam to the shore , slow rolling it just above the bottom . No smallmouth but 4 walleye in the mid to upper twenty inch range . I made another change to a 1/8 oz ballhead jig with a shorter shank , a sassy grub and switched to a jig spinner with a size 1 nickel Colorado blade . As I was working thru the area again slow rolling above the bottom, I got bit on the drop about halfway down . That turned out to be a very fat crappie about 11 inches long . I spent the rest of the time counting down and working the mid depths of the water column. I ended up with 6 more crappie , none as long as the first one but all very fat . Good thing for those crappie that I prefer to eat my fish fresh and I knew my wife was making a turkey dinner with all the trimmings. If not for that dinner would have been fried crappie, corn bread and iced tea. It turned out to be a good thing I didn’t fish the first three spots because I never would have made it to that point pool otherwise . Catching river crappie is not my strong suit so I always appreciate it when it happens.peacenorm


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


See perch at top. Cory Gecht at Park Bait said they are starting to catch a few steelhead in North Side harbors.

SALMON SNAGGING: 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).


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.


Waiting on first ice. Muskie season ends Wednesday, Nov. 30.

EAGLE RIVER: This came from B+L, from reports from Colin Crawford and George Langley, for the Eagle River Chamber of Commerce:

Fishing Report Muskie: They are feeding on cisco, so look to deeper areas nearby to find them. Slow-moving artificial baits like Suicks, Eddie Baits and Bulldawgs are getting action (Reminder: Muskie season ends Nov 30). Northern Pike: Weed edges and other types of cover key locations to look. Jerkbaits are the ticket. Walleye: Colder temperatures are increasing their activity. They are being found mostly near holes in smaller lakes and right near drop-offs in larger lakes. Jig and large minnow combos, as well as lindy rigging with large red tail chubs seem to work best. Bass: (Largemouth) Bass are 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 perch at top. Capt. Rich Sleziak  at Slez’s Bait in Lake Station texted that lakers are being caught jigging on the reef or with Spin-N-Glows; some whitefish and steelhead off the end of the Michigan City pier over the weekend.


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.


Phil Schuman at Tackle Haven in Benton Harbor said steelhead are going in the lower river and up to the dam and walleye are going in the river; there’s some steelhead and a few whitefish off the piers.


Click herefor reports from the Indiana DNR.


Lake hours are now 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Lakeside  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.


No update.


Bill Stoeger said walleye have been slower, especially keepers.

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