Perch opener & summer: Chicago fishing

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The reopening of perch fishing Thursday in the Illinois waters of Lake Michigan leads 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.

Clint Sands sent along the photo from Lakeside of an 11.7-pound, 27-inch hybrid striper caught by by Bill Krachala of Elburn.


With perch reopening on Lake Michigan in Illinois on Thursday, here is a visual reminder of what perch in a bucket look like in this photo from last year.<br>Credit: Dale Bowman

With perch reopening on Lake Michigan in Illinois on Thursday, here is a visual reminder of what perch in a bucket look like in this photo from last year.
Credit: Dale Bowman

Perch fishing in the Illinois waters of Lake Michigan reopens Thursday, June 16.

I posted the photo to the left just as a reminder of what a bucket of perch looked like on the lakefront.

Stacey Greene at Park Bait is starting something new, Perchapalooza, a competition for the biggest jumbo perch. It will run in two-week increments, beginning Thursday, through late August.

She said there have been incidental catches of perch for the past week or two. She has plenty of soft shells in stock, but thinks with the cold water that minnows will work just as well.

Steve Palmisano at Henry’s Sports and Bait said, “We have fresh soft shells and pond craws in stock, anticipating and opening a little early at 5 a.m. It is time to go.’’

Yes indeed, time to go, I intend to be on the lakefront bright and early for the opener Thursday.


Illinois holds its free fishing Friday through Monday. No licenses or stamps are required, but other regulations apply.


The season opens Wednesday, June 15, for bullfrogs in Illinois (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.


Bluegill are bedding on some lakes, already pulled off on other lakes. Otherwise, it is largemouth early and late on frogs, other times on Senkos or plastic worms on weed lines.


Go to to check area water levels and projection, depending how much rain comes, that might matter. To get to more specific gauges, even on creeks, in Illinois, go to


Site staff reported 89 degrees on the north end, 94 on the south end on Monday, that may change with the weather.

Site fishing hours are 6 a.m.-sunset daily.


Staff at Triangle said catfish are good on crawlers or stinkbait, early or at night; bluegill are about done spawning; bass are on the weed lines or shallow; walleye are “hit-and-miss,” rain and more flow might help; there’s some muskie action.

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


No update.


DELAVAN:Dave Duwe sent this:

Delavan Lake Fishing Report 6/12/16 through 6/19/16 Fishing on Delavan has been excellent. Most of the fish have completed their spawn. The largemouth bass and bluegills have moved out on the weed line. The best location for the bluegills has been by Browns Channel or Assembly Park. The fish have pulled out of the shallows and are now in 12-13 ft of water on the weed edge. The best approach has been a small hook with a split shot. The fish have been very active so if you don’t get bit in an area, you want to move to a new location. Yellow perch fishing has been excellent. The best location has been by Assembly Park or by 3 flags. The best depth has been 6-8 ft of water. You want to fish with hellgrammites on a bobber. Fish the bait about 1 foot above the weeds. Most of the fish have been averaging about 8-10 inches. Crappie fishing has been very good both in numbers and size. They are biting on small plastics. Purple is a good choice for color. Like the bluegills they are on the first break on the weed line in 11-12 ft of water. They are biting on a slow, stop and go, retrieve. The best location has been by Willow Point and by Browns Channel. Walleye action has been improving. They are readily being caught on leeches on lindy rigs in 15-17 ft of water. The best location has been by Browns Channel or by Assembly Park. They are adjacent to the weed edge in open water. Northern pike action has been spotty. Some pike are starting to show up on the weed lines in 17-19 ft of water. They are aggressively hitting medium suckers fished a foot off bottom. The best location has been by Belvidere condos or on the west end by the old Boy Scout camp. Largemouth bass have completed spawning and are out on the deep weed lines in 15-17 ft of water. They can be caught by drop shotting 4 inch plastic worms or casting a split shot rigged nightcrawler. The best location has been by the Yacht Club and by Willow Point. Good luck and I hope to see you on the water. For guide parties, please call Dave Duwe at 608-883-2050

GENEVA: Arden Katzsaid there was good rock bass, smallmouth and largemouth on drop-shots in 17 feet.

Duwe sent this:

Lake Geneva Fishing Report 6/12/16 through 6/19/16 With the warming water temperature, fishing has started to improve greatly. Both the largemouth and smallmouth are becoming very active. Smallmouth bass have completed spawning and they are located on the break line near their spawning flats. The best location has been by Elgin Club and Linn Pier. I’ve been drop shotting 4 inch finesse worms or nightcrawlers fished on a lindy rig. The best depth has been 12-15 ft of water. Largemouth bass are getting very close to spawning. The fish have been starting to bite in 10-12 ft of water. The fish are biting on split shot rigged nightcrawlers and green pumpkin Senkos. Bass fishing should be good for the next week until they complete their spawn. Right now there are good numbers and big fish. The best location has been on the east side of Williams Bay or Trinkes bay in the weed flat. Rock bass remains excellent. The best depth has been 10-12 ft of water. The best approach has been split shot rigged nightcrawlers. Most of the fish are coming by Colemans Point or in Cisco bay. This bite will continue to be excellent as long as the weather doesn’t get too warm. Bluegill fishing has been good in the shallows in 5-6 ft of water. The best location has been by Piers 1-10 or by Trinkes. You want to fish the scattered sand pockets in the weeds. The best approach is bobbers fished with leaf worms. This bite will last another 10 days to 2 weeks. Yellow perch fishing has been great in 6-8 ft of water. The best location has been by Knollwood or Belvidere Park. The perch are biting on small fat head minnows fished on a bobber. The average size of the perch is 6-7 inches, although I did catch a few 10-11 inch fish. Lake Trout fishing has started to pick up at first light. They are located 70-80 ft down in 108-110 ft of water. They are biting on nickel and green and nickel and blue spoons. Good luck and I hope to see you on the water. For guide parties, please call Dave Duwe at 608-883-2050


No update.


HENNEPIN-HOPPER: Thom Matejewski at Illinois Valley Outdoors in Spring Valley said that pike and largemouth are excellent, mostly by frog fishing because of weeds. The Wetlands Initiative will have the fishing season at the Dixon Waterfowl Refuge (Hennepin-Hopper) through Sept 5, except closed Mondays (open on holidays). Regulations will be the same as last year, with an emphasis on reminding fishermen there may be no large motors on boats. Click here for detailed information. LAKE OF EGYPT/REND LAKE:Check withJason JohnsofBoneyard Fishing.POWERTON:Summer hours are 6 a.m.-8 p.m.EMIQUON:Because of Gov. Bruce Rauner’s shutdown, fishing and boating permits will be done at the launch. Call (309)547-2730.SHELBYVILLE:Check withKen WilsonofKen Wilson Guide Service.

EVERGREEN:Mike Steffasent this earlier and I did not get the hours update yet:



No update.


No update.


No update.


Lance LaVineatHowie’s Tackle in Sturgeon Bay sent this:

Hey fellas Here is a quick update on the fishing Fishing out on the lake has been outstanding basically from Baileys Harbor south to Algoma for a mix of Rainbows, Kings, Coho’s and a few Lake Trout. 100 to 250 feet of water has been the best depth and the top 60 feet of the water column has been the best. Mauler spoons, Pro-Kings, Stinger spoons and flasher fly combinations have been the best Bass fishing is still going pretty good throughout the county with the biggest fish coming to the north of egg harbor right now as there are still some pre-spawn fish up there. To the south from the Sturgeon Bay area south to Little Sturgeon the bass fishing has been ok as those fish are moving into their post-spawn patterns and are starting to move out to some deeper water. Tubes, drop shotting, paddle tails, senko’s and spinner baits all taking their fair share of fish. Perch fishing reports are finally starting to get better, not great, but better each week. Areas to fish would be…the marinas in Sturgeon Bay, the Sturgeon Bay Flats, Sawyer Harbor, Little Sturgeon and some of the deeper water mud around the Chaudoir’s Dock area and south toward Bay Shore Park. Fathead minnows and crawler pieces have been the best Walleye fishing has been good during the day from the Bayshore Park area and south to the lower bay of Green Bay. Flicker shads and minnows along with crawler harnesses working down there. To the north, from Chaudoir’s Dock north past the Stone Quarry along that primary drop off. Suspending cranks like Husky jerks and Rogues have been the best. Soon that off shore reef bite will be starting as those fish start to move out to their summer feeding areas. Thanks; Lance LaVine Howie’s Tackle 1309 Green Bay Rd Sturgeon Bay, WI 54235 Ph: 920-746-9916

The Wisconsin DNR Lake Michigan Report, typically updated on Tuesdays, includes reports from both the bay and lake sides.


Depending on the day, good reports on walleye, hybrids and crappie. Fishing hours are 6 a.m.-sunset.


Thom Matejewski at Illinois Valley Outdoors in Spring Valley said catfish are the top bite, stinkbait for smaller ones, cut shad, herring or Asian carp for the bigger ones.


Should be some steelhead going soon, especially with the rains to kick up the flow.Access points for Trail Creek can be found on theTrail Creek Access Map.


Norm Minas sent this:

River smallmouth slamming and crushing rattlebaits with shoulder jarring strikes, then going airborne . Hopefully no one is so jaded that such experiences don’t bring a thrilling, heart pounding joy to the soul.up at 0 dark thirty . home in early afternoon . nap time after this report , likely hit some ponds later . river well below normal flow 2490 cfs 1.58 on height . fairly clear , still not a lot of algae. water temps up near 80 . hotter as the day went on, actually pleasant early on . multiple patterns for smallmouth, flukes around and over emergent vegetation , rattlebaits and crankbaits around humps, dumps and riffle areas. short burst of top water action on a shallower flat, spook was the ticket . as the day went on faster water was the key, if it had shade even better . rattlebaits and crankbaits for that . hit the bridge downstream from my house , some excellent smallmouth grabbing rattlebaits off the upstream side of abutments . got a couple on rattlebaits alongside and behind the abutments but did much better with a crankbait . walleyes early on, cobblestone flats 2-3 ft deep, gobbling crawdads but still willing to make time for a rattlebait . catfish mostly spawning right now , got a couple at neckdowns on plain football head jig with twin tail grub . also got a carp on the same lure/ current situation . got some gar on spinnerbait that were chasing minnows in slower water.river a tad lower both in flow and height, water temps high 70’s, clear, no real algae problems yet . cooler and more overcast . same as yesterday out early morning, off early afternoon . fished three different bridges , rattlebait bite real strong, fish chasing and feeding up more than yesterday . really didn’t need a crankbait, quit using it after the first bridge . rattlebait in riffle areas and around humps as well . I fished weighted keepers/ 5 inch twisters everywhere I stopped just because I felt like it . It got some fish but with the strong rattlebait bite it was just playing around for no good reason . Walleye still eating craws on shallow cobblestone flats early and taking rattlebaits. I brought my C-rig box with today but was having so much fun with rattlebaits , I never rigged up . I had thought of another wrinkle to try, guess I’ll do it on another trip . I didn’t wade down to my catfish spots, was feeling lazy . I had a follow from something toothy wasn’t sure if it was a pike or a musky, definitely not a gar , a bass or a walleyePeaceNorm

NOTE: The bridge over Rock Creek on Route 102 is being worked on. Access to the state park and Warner Bridge will require some driving around.


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


Remember the perch closure on Lake Michigan runs through Wednesday, June 15 on the Illinois waters; but fishing reopens Thursday, June 16.

CHICAGO: Smallmouth continue to be one of the tops bites.Stacey Greene at Park Bait said the drum bite builes. Capt. Bob Poteshman of Confusion Charters said that there were good lakers, some steelhead and coho, and an occasional brown or king in 60-100 feet.

WAUKEGAN:Ted Boska sent this:

Hello and good evening Dale.West wind’s bring very cold water near shore.Many coho we caught walking almost on the beach from 20’to 60′,mixed with some big kings,very early morning. My king’s was full of aleviewes and this picture is good example. I hope aleviewes survive and we be having good fishing in the future. Sunday north wind hold everyone in the harbor .Lakers still scared all over deep water -240’Thanks Ted ( diehard angler ) BOSKA

NORTH POINT:Poteshman said that fishing was great last week inside the hill, slowed some since, for coho and kings.


No update.


The cooling lake south of Seneca is open daily, 6 a.m.-sunset.


Go to Facebook for the latest updates fromGene Dellingerat D & S Bait.


Still my pick, especially for panfish. I need to do my spring, well, summer, trip there. Open daily, 6 a.m.-sunset. Conditions should be near perfect.


Check withMike MladeikatMike Mladenik Guide Service.


Check the Wisconsin DNR Lake Michigan Report, which generally comes out Tuesdays for updates.


Ken “Husker” O’Malley sent this:

Hey Dale, Fishing up in Northern Wisconsin continues to be excellent. The warm up has water temps in the mid to upper 60’s. Smallmouth are very good on KVD perfect plastic worms or Gulp leeches fished on a drop shot rig. Focus on points with rock. Largemouth are also good along shoreline cover and inside weed edges on senkos. Watermelon with black and gold flakehas been the best color. Northern are good in emerging coontail with #5 Mepps.TTYL — Ken Husker O’Malley Huskeroutdoors Waterworks fishing team

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

The past week ended with a huge storm, knocking out the power in much of the Lakeland area this past Friday night. A week of very changing weather: sun, clouds, cold (launched boat at 32 degrees on 6/7), wind, and flat calm. Crazy ups, downs, and sideways so anglers had a lot of changes to deal with. Largemouth Bass: Very good. Post spawn, hungry fish. A wide variety of techniques working, much dependent on weather, but, lots of great action. Spinnerbaits (Boonies, Booyahs) best to start covering weed tops of 5-9’ of cabbage. On cooler mornings switch to twitch baits (Rattlin Rouges, X-Raps, Shadow Raps).Surface lures best on warm evenings. Plastics such as Wacky worms, Jig and Craws and Sweet Beavers have all been working well as anglers reworking areas that were covered by faster moving baits pick up, the more aggressive fish. Lots of 14-18 fish with several 20+ being caught and released. Bluegills: Very good. Still bedding on the larger lakes. Fun for popper fishing in the evenings. Small 1 tubes, small leeches, Thunderbugs and worms all tough to resist. Once off beds, gills are think in 4-8’ cabbage. Pike: Very good. Actively slamming blade baits (Boonies, Booyahs, Chatter baits) and swim baits in the 3 ½-4 size. Twitch baits (4 ½ – 5) and lipless cranks are also hot. For a more relaxed pace, cast 4-6 chubs and suckers on jigs or under floats. Walleyes: Very good. Cloud cover is walleye angler’s friend and on cloudy days work cabbage beds in 6-10’.While leeches and crawlers working well, Dace and smaller redtails are also producing in the mid 60 degree waters. Twitch baits such as Husky Jerks (#8) and Shadow Shads also picking up better than average walleyes (19-24’) over and through early morning cabbage of 5-10’. Top fish of the week: 26er on a Boonie Bait.Released. Smallmouth Bass: Good. At dawn, work shallows with X-raps, Shadow Shads. As smallies move out during day, working the next break lines of 8-15’ using plastic craws, wacky worms best. Crappies: Fair-Good and Improving. Starting to find crappies working upper column of weeds in 8-12’. Cast light jigs tipped with small minnows or 1 ½ tubes. Wood is key in deeper water. Angler reporting action increasing with several big slabs of 13-14 being caught. Musky: Good. Topwater, bucktails and 7 twitch baits. Lighter rubber baits also moving fish. Perch: Fair-Good. Action picking up. More perch being caught in weeds of 8-12’. ½ crawler, medium fatheads working best. Between fits of weather, anglers have found good to very good fishing. Waiting out slow periods have paid off big. The last big hurdle for patterns to settle in for summer will be the impeding Hexagemia (Mayfly) hatch. Kurt Justice Kurt’s Island Sport Shop

EAGLE RIVER: No update fromB+L, from interviews with guidesGeorge Langley,Muskie MattandColin Crawford, for the Eagle River Chamber of Commerce.


Capt. Rich Sleziak atSlez’s Bait in Lake Station said decent numbers of panfish are being caught on area ponds; steelhead are steady most mornings at Michigan City pier and Portage Riverwalk on shrimp, skein or crawlers under bobbers; on Lake Michigan, there is a mixed bag in 40-50 feet east and west of Burns Ditch on spoons or Dodgers and flies; catfish are good on Deep River and Burns Ditch.


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 SchumanatTackle Haven in Benton Harbor said that skamania have been being caught off the pier, sometimes trollers are getting them in front of the pier; otherwise boaters are working in 150-250 feet for a mixed bag; walleye have been good in the river, including a 10-pound-plus fish in the last couple weeks.


Click here for reports from the Indiana DNR.


Staff at Lakeside said that catfish are going on everything; smallmouth are good on the dam face; bluegill are by the weed beds;  crappie are best in deep trees down 10 feet; muskie are slow.

Therestaurant is open every day. Lakeside is now open 6 a.m.-7 p.m. For more information and reports from Lakeside, 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.


No update.

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