Summer in Chicago fishing: Pick your fish and go fish

SHARE Summer in Chicago fishing: Pick your fish and go fish
SHARE Summer in Chicago fishing: Pick your fish and go fish

Lots of (used plethora last week) things to fish for in 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.

As of today,Jarek Wujkowski of Rodsbent Guide Service is sending reports on Minnesota’s Lake Vermilion for the MFR.

Photo is from Marcus Benesch, who supplies the Des Plaines River fishing reports, on his first outing with his 1-year-old son.


CHICAGO: Steve Palmisano at Henry’s Sports and Bait said the perch are“very spotty, move with them.’’ Most are using minnows, try soft shells as water warms.Stacey Greeneat Park Bait said perch were “sporadic and spotty,’’ some off Beaver Point at Montrose Tuesday; inside Belmont has been the steadiest.

WAUKEGAN:Lori Ralph at the Salmon Stop texted that nice sized perch are being caught off Government Pier using large fatheads and some by jigging with soft shells.

INDIANA:Capt. Rich Sleziak atSlez’s Bait in Lake Station said some perch east of “Donut” towards “Black Ditch” in 18-30 feet with baby roaches or glow perch flies.

MICHIGAN: Phil Schuman atTackle Haven in Benton Harbor said very few perch, even at South Haven.


The Northern Illinois Anglers Association’s 33rd annual derby with tagged fish and the Big Board begins Friday and runs through July 10. It is the usual $20 entry for family or individual.  Click here for more info. FYI, the web site has been spotty earlier this week. Hopefully, it is going for the derby.


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.


Bass and weeds, it’s that time.

Here’s howKen “Husker” O’Malley sent it:

Hey Dale, The summer bass pattern is in full swing on area lakes. Pitching 4 inch Berkley chigger craws Texas rigged into open weed pockets have produced good numbers. Heavier line is a must with this presentation to get the fish out of the weeds. Sometimes the weeds out weigh the bass.Overcast mornings have been better as fish seem to bury themselves deeper in the slopon sunny mornings.Thought I would share this cool pic with you of mallards enjoying a lazy morning in the sun. They let me come right up to them.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


Jon Meder at Jon’s Bait Shop–(815) 237-2822–in South Wilmington said channel catfish are the best bite going. On Facebook, some of the bass regulars are popping some fish.Site fishing hours are 6 a.m.-sunset daily.


Staff at Triangle said that catfish are good nights with Sonny’s or crawlers; bluegill are shallow or suspended (with some crappie); bass are on weed lines or shallow, depending on lake; trollers on deeper weed lines catching some muskie; walleye are tough with the low current.

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


No update fromCapt. Pat Harrison (click here for his site).


DELAVAN:Dave Duwe sent this:

Delavan Lake fishing report 6/26/16 through 7/3/16 Delavan Lake fishing is in the fantastic summer time pattern. It has been awesome for fishing but there is excessive boat traffic, so plant to go early or late. Strong winds this week have also made some locations difficult to fish. With the warmer weather of late, the northern pike have been pushing to the deep weedlines in 17-19 ft of water. The best locations have been by the gray condos, Browns Channel or the west end by the old Boy Scout camp. The fish have been aggressively hitting medium or large suckers fished a foot above bottom. I’ve been fishing the suckers on a lindy rig with a 24 inch leader and a 1/0 hook. Walleye action remains consistent. The walleyes are on the weedline in 15-17 ft of water. They can be caught on a split shot rigged leech or nightcrawler. Most of the fish are being caught by Browns Channel or 3 flags. The time of day doesn’t seem to matter. Last week I was able to find them at two in the afternoon. Largemouth bass are starting in their summer pattern and starting to school. I’m catching them on either a split shot rigged nightcrawler or drop shotting a green pumpkin finesse worm. You want to concentrate on main lake weed points in 15-17 ft of water. It has been typical that if you catch one, you can catch 3 or 4 in one location. The biggest concentration I’ve found with the SW wind has been by Willow Point and the Yacht Club. The bigger bluegills remain tight to the weedline in 13-15 ft of water. Most of the action has been while casting leaf worms on a split shot rig into the weedline. The best location has been by Browns Channel or by the Village Supper Club. 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 that bluegill and pumpkinseed are very good in 10 feet on spikes and jigs, good rock bass mixed in; bass are good in 13-14 feet, drop-shotting, better when boat traffic settles.

Duwe sent this:

Lake Geneva Fishing Report 6/26/16 through 7/3/16 Lake Geneva fishing has been excellent. The largemouth and smallmouth bass remain very accessible to the average angler. The thermocline still has not formed but with the warmer weather, it should happen in the next week or so. Largemouth bass action has been very good by Trinkes and just east of Cedar Point. The best depth has been 12-14 ft of water. For the most success, try green pumpkin Senkos or nightcrawlers. Bluegills and Pumpkin seed have been readily available in Trinkes or in Geneva Bay from pier 1 to pier 20. The best depth has been 8 ft of water. The best action has come off of leaf worms or nightcrawlers fished on a split shot rig. Lake Trout fishing has really started to improve with the warmer weather. The fish are 70-80 ft down in 110-120 ft of water. Most of the success is coming between Cedar Point and Conference Point. You want to fish in the early morning hours when the fish are suspended. As the sun rises, the fish will push tight to the bottom making them very hard to catch. With the warmer weather, the smallmouth bass remain in the 12-14 ft depth range but they are starting to scatter and getting more difficult to catch. The best approach is small crank baits in nickel and blue or nightcrawler or leeches. The best action has been by Linn Pier or near Knollwood. In the next week or so, the fish will start to suspend over open water chasing schools of bait fish making them very hard to catch. Northern Pike action is still slow until the thermocline forms. The thermocline should be forming in the next week. Look for the fish starting in 27 ft of water and eventually going down deeper. The best location will be by Fontana Beach or by the narrows. I will use lindy rigged suckers or chubs with a 24 inch leader. Good luck and I hope to see you on the water. For guide parties, please call Dave Duwe at 608-883-2050


Marcus Benesch sent this:

Dale,As fisherman and resident along the Des Plaines River, I pray for long periods without rain. Right now in Cook County the river is in pretty good shape. Water levels are perfect and clarity is great. I took my son out for his first outing along the Des Plaines, as he will be turning one later this week. We just walked around town all the while I was throwing small jigs 1\16th with tiny paddle tail grubs for panfish. In the Cook County sections of the Des Plaines, Rock Bass are kings of the current and bridge pillings. One of my favorite of any specie to target. Caught enough to start getting bored and it was on to the almighty important after fishing nap..Marcs BeneschRiver Grove


LAKE OF EGYPT/REND/KINKAID:Jason JohnsofBoneyard Fishing said that night bass fishing is very good with such basics as black spinner baits or Senkos; best crappie are suspended near brush on Lake of Egypt or Kinkaid; on Rend, catfish are going on rocks or main lake flats, crappie are by brush in any depth on minnows or jigs. HENNEPIN-HOPPER: Earlier this monthThom Matejewski at Illinois Valley Outdoors in Spring Valley said that pike and bass are good, but it is mainly things like frogs because of the weed growth. 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. 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:

Good afternoon guys…here is a quick update Fishing out on Lake Michigan has been excellent basically from Baileys Harbor south past Algoma with good numbers and some really big, healthy, well fed Kings being caught. Also, the Gills Rock and Washington Island area is starting to get going to with some positive reports coming in as of late up there now too. 60 to 180 feet of water has been the best depth and the fish have been scattered throughout the water column. Howie Flies behind flashers along with an assortment of spoons working quite well right now. Walleye fishing has been a bit slower the past couple of weeks, but we have had a few decent reports as of late, so we anticipate the bite to pick back up here shortly as it usually does. The lower bay of Green Bay has had the best numbers for the day time trollers. Flicker shads, Flicker Minnows and crawler harnesses have been the best baits there. The jig bite from Henderson’s point north to Sister Bay can be classed as OK, but again should be ramping back up here shortly. Rippin Raps, blades, hair jigs and paddle tails all good options The Perch fishing is getting better and better as we move deeper into the summer and the weed beds continue to grow. I wouldn’t say it’s great by any means right now, but folks are catching a few meals of fish. The better areas to fish are…Downtown Sturgeon Bay around the marinas, the Sturgeon Bay Flats can be good when the winds allow it, Sawyer Harbor, Little Sturgeon along with some of that deeper water both north and south of that Chaudoir’s Dock. Fathead minnows, crawler pieces and leaf worms all working for live bait Bass fishing reports have been very good from Sturgeon Bay north to Sister Bay and we anticipate the fishing to be outstanding up on Washington Island once the season opens on July 1st. Tube jigs, paddle tails, grubs, drop shotting and senkos have been the top baits as of late Thanks; Lance LaVine Howie’s Tackle 1309 Green Bay Rd Sturgeon Bay, WI 54235 Ph: 920-746-9916

The Wisconsin DNR Lake Michigan Report is typically updated on Tuesdays and 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.


River is forecast to crest near 17 feet at LaSalle by Friday and begin a steady recede. Illinois Valley Outdoors is open in Spring Valley.


Some steelhead are up in the streams. Access points for Trail Creek can be found on the Trail Creek Access Map.


Remember the derby begins Friday.

Norm Minas sent this:

River came up quite a bit after the rain, muddy of course. The waterwillow pattern was on. Algae on the bottom not an issue, water temps in the 80’s. Buzzbaits and chatterbaits over the tops, spinnerbaits on the edges [pockets and points key areas ] getting blasted by smallmouth bass. As the water dropped the smallmouth moved, holding from the waterwillow edges out to the current seam. They still liked spinnerbaits along the edges but showed a marked preference for crankbaits along the seams and whatever slower flow there was twixt the weed edge and the seam. As it dropped some more the willow edges quit producing for me. They spurned the crankbait. They liked a jig/pig bounced along the seam and in the slower flow. Hot and muggy, start early, off the water by 11. It’s a good feeling when you can look at the gauge before you go and plan to fish a pattern and it pretty much plays out like you thought it would. PeaceNorm

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.


See perch at top.CHICAGO: Stacey Greenat Park Bait said drum are going very well. Capt. Bob Poteshman of Confusion Charters said that steelhead, coho, some kings and lakers are being caught in 40-60 feet; more lakers in 80-110; higher speed (to 3 knots) is key.

WAUKEGAN:Ted Boska sent this:

Hello and good morning Dale.Middle of the week coho action was good very early morning between 130 to 160 feet of water, but after sun rise fish move on to deeper water. For mix beg of fish with Lakers dominated spices over 240 feet, mixed with few big kings. Biggest king weight 21 lbs.I hope weather stays like this for incoming national holiday weekend and many other people can enjoy fishing and time on lake Michigan water, celebrating our national holiday. Thanks Ted ( diehard angler ) BOSKA

NORTH POINT: Posteshman said that nice cohosteelhead, and the occasional brown or king are being caught by the hill, sometimes beyond it, sometimes on it, varies; “Taking a myriad different baits, speed is the one constant.’’


No update.


Jarek Wujkowski of Rodsbent Guide Service sent this:

LAKE VERMILION FISHING REPORT – 6/27/2016Walleye – There are now mayflies emerging on all ends of the lake, however we are either not in the full swing of the hatch or we will not have a very large hatch this year. With surface temps hovering between 67-70 in the past few days and the sustained mayfly emergence, a lot of fish are beginning to set up shop in there typical summertime areas. Most of the fish I have been working have been from the deeper mid-lake structure, however there are still smaller fish being caught lindy rigging in the mud and sad transitional areas from 12ft all the way to 28ft. I have been fishing almost exclusively rock and sand points and reefs. The bite window has been short many days so getting out early has been crucial to sustained success. I have been starting off atop shallower areas of 10-17ft early, and then moving to deeper areas as the day progresses. Slip bobbering has been the most common method of take, but casting jig heads or even 1/8oz lindys has proven successful as well. Leeches and crawlers with a shot of air have both worked just as well for me. Bottom bouncing over larger reefs has also caught fish, but this method of take is not for the faint-hearted. Use your Hummingbird’s down and side imaging to confirm bottom structure and focus on sand and rock lines atop midlake structures or fingers. I say it time and time again, be MOBILE and do not get hung up on one spot if it isn’t consistently producing. Once you find the right mix of these factors you should be in for some good fishing!Musky – I have pulled fish out of every which direction in the past week. Deeper weeds have caught fish on big #8 blades, as well has topwaters. There are also reports of anglers having success on middle structure adjacent to deep water casting rubber and topwater providing flatter conditions. I have pulled out most of my fish in my boat trolling and casting into high concentrations of suspended baitfish. Keeping your bait higher in the water column (top 10ft) has put the most fish in my boat, and some big ones to boot.Bass – Bass fishing has been spectacular! The bigger largemouth are holding up in shallow reeds and emergent vegetation and are all spawned out. The big smallies I have been catching are still holding spawn, and are coming off beds. Look for a good mixture of sand, gravel or smaller rock to find a concentration of smallmouths roaming or guarding beds. Larger smallmouth of up to 5lbs are being caught in 4-10ft on crayfish types plastics. Drop-shotting and slowing down a bit has put the most big smallmouth in my boat. Crayfish colored shadow raps and shad raps have caught fish too. Jarek Wujkowski – Rodsbent Guide


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.


Jon Meder at Jon’s Bait Shop–(815) 237-2822–in South Wilmington said the big redear and big largemouth (6s and even some 7s) has slowed down a bit, but it is still good.Still my pick, especially for panfish. I need to do my spring, well, summer, trip there. Open daily, 6 a.m.-sunset.


Check withMike MladeikatMike Mladenik Guide Service.


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


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

Minocqua Area Fishing Report 06/28/16 The weather didn’t follow the forecast exactly. Some rain, lots of wind, but overall, fishing remained good. Largemouth Bass: Very Good. Lots of numbers on a variety of lures and baits (makes them all the more fun to fish for). For plastics, YumDingers and Yamamoto Senkos fished wacky style and staple. Spinner baits by Boonie, Booyah and Northland working over weed tops, as are Chatterbaits. When the wind allows, the lakes mid 70⁰ surface temps are prime for top-water frogs and walk the dog style Zara Spooks. Big Leeches and Crawlers on a 1/16 oz. weedless jig- always a good back up. Northern Pike: Very Good-Good. Bladed bats such as Boonies and Chatters are a great choice. Swim baits in the 3 ½ – 4 range as well as stick baits such as Husky Jerks and Rattle Rouges worked over weed tops. Lots of interest in 5-6 chubs and suckers for pike bait this past week. Bluegills: Very Good- Good. With most spawns over, next available cover, (mainly weeds, some wood) holding lots of willing bluegills. Small leeches, worm, waxies, and even small crappie minnows are doing well. Tiny tubes, Gulp crickets, mini-mite (red, purple tops) and wet flies. With flat evenings- poppers on the top are a blast. Smallmouth Bass: Very Good- Good. Shadow Raps and Shads in the A.M. shallow. Move out deep to drop-shot off shore humps of 18-20’ using JackALL cross tail shads, Gulp 2 ½ minnows and ½ killer crawlers as well as 3 YumDingers and 3 Senkos. Walleyes: Good. Best very early or late, or during high winds (how fun!). Winds bring action shallow using 1/16 oz. slo-poke jigs tipped with small redtails or ½ crawlers. Lipless cranks worked over 3-6’ weeds in wind also effective. Deeper weed edges, off-shore humps later mornings/brighter conditions- 1/8-1/4 oz. jig with X-Large leeches. After dark- lighted slip-floats with big leeches; also casting Rattlin Rouges, and X-Raps. Perch: Good. Up in 7-10’ weeds using ½ crawlers and medium fats on slip-floats. Anglers using frozen soft-shelled crayfish scoring over sand grass flats of 14-22’. Crappies: Good. Finding crappies taking small 1-1 ½ tubes, Gapen Freshwater Shrimp and small 1 twister tails through top 1/3 of standing cabbage. Musky: Fair-Good. Best bet has been evenings on top-water baits such as Pace Makers, Tally Wackers and Whopper Ploppers. Despite not being able to trust the weather people, fishing overall has been good. Traffic on the water has been lighter than usual, giving more room for those to show to try new places.

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 salmon and trout were great last week in 55-75 feet, mainly with spoons or Dodgers and flies; catfish are good in Burns Ditch and Deep River on Sonny’s; panfish are going along the banks of 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.


Phil Schuman at Tackle Haven in Benton Harbor said steelhead slowed off the pier, they should be back if cooler water comes in. Lake Michigan has been slow.


Click here for reports from the Indiana DNR.


Staff at Lakeside said that walleye (rock piles, road bed with leeches or bigger minnows) and catfish (edge of weed lines) are the best bites; there’s some crappie in deep trees on the main lake; panfish are biting in weeds; largemouth are hit and miss.

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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