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Summer variety of Chicago fishing: Midwest Fishing Report

Summer variety in fishing 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.

Daniel Mspl Sala sent this and the photo of a fine bass

Hit the water this morning on little Calumet and my buddy will harl got into some nice smallmouth bass and hybrid stripers on a inline spinner. After things slowed down we hit a few local Southside ponds and got
some decent largemouth bass on dropshit, Ned rigs and spinner baits. Caught a ton of shorties but all in all a great day. Until next time tight lines my friends

LAKEFRONT PERCH

SOUTHWEST MICHIGAN: Phil Schuman at Tackle Haven in Benton Harbor said perch were good in 40 feet, north and south of St. Joe, on minnows. INDIANA: Capt. Rich Sleziak at Slez’s Bait in Lake Station said perch slowed with cold water shock, was good before that last week from West Beach to Michigan City. CHICAGO: Staff at Park Bait said there were some perch, good sized, mostly on lake side of Montrose.

FROG HUNTING

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.

AREA LAKES

Bluegill are on the outside weed lines or burrowed inside of them.

As to bass, Norm Minas sent this:

first pond report, fished a shallower pond with quite a lot of it filled with emergent vegetation to the surface on an overcast morning . I know frogging is all the rage these days with more choices in artificial frogs than I can wrap my head around. I still use the old tried and true , uncle josh pork frogs on a single hook with a wire weed guard . I skittered, slithered and slid the chunk on top of the weeds and let it sink into pockets . At some point everything I tried brought at leas a few largemouth but dropping in pockets caught the biggest fish . second pond report fished a deeper pond , much more stained in color not much in the way of emergent veggies except for some sandgrass . It does have quite a bit of willows and other shrubs growing along shore and hanging out over the water . It was a bright sunny day when I fished this one, started by plastic worming the bottom with nary a pickup. I tried bouncing a crankbait off the bottom , same result. I decided to try fish the shade and over hanging willows with either a cigar type worm or a jig/pig . I took the crankbait off the snap and as I was putting it away there was a wakebait two trays over that started calling to me . what the heck I enjoy aggressive more than finesse so I went with it. I have found over the years that gut feelings generally pay off and this one did as well . Probably my best day for numbers and size on a pond for largemouth this year . I was cranking it as fast as I could, every hit was rock solid with several monster blow ups .peacenorm

Here’s how Ken “Husker” O’Malley put it in the report he sent:

Hey Dale,

Area lakes continue to give up bass. With the continued heat, work deep weed edges or pitch to weed mats adjacent to deep water. Berkley chigger craws or BPS crack craw have produced the best. Making multiple pitches a must to produce strikes. Early morning hours best.TTYL—

Ken “Husker” O’Malley

Huskeroutdoors

Waterworks fishing team

AREA WATER LEVELS

Go to http://water.weather.gov//ahps2/index.php?wfo=lot to check area water levels and projection. To get to more specific gauges, even on creeks, in Illinois, go to http://waterdata.usgs.gov/il/nwis/current/?type=flow

BRAIDWOOD

Pete Banach sent this report from Sunday:

Went out Sunday. A few dead bass and stripers left from the previous week. Didn’t see nothing fresh. Maybe 40 total. Water cooled 10-12 degrees. Action was awesome. Thomas Sanders and I had 24 pounds with our best 5. Biggest fish was 6.48. Our best three was at 16.20. Caught some great fish. Our best day ever out there. That picture was a 6.48 and a 4.62 that was a double. Also had a 5.1. Several 4s. And a ton of 3s. I know sounds like a fish story but it was unbelievable. Caught about 35. 90% over 3 lbs.

I would say that is a quality bass.

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

CHAIN O’LAKES AREA

Staff at Triangle said catfish (crawlers or Sonny’s) and bluegill (either shallow or on the weed lines) are the best bites; there’s some white bass going in the river; some largemouth are being caught frogging, more on caught on the weed lines.

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

CHICAGO RIVER

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

Chicago River Report

Last week was a good week on the Chicago River. Had some Great Groups out and we caught fish every trip, 7 species in all Sm Lg Mouth White Bass Crappie Bluegill Perch Catfish. Numbers were good some are getting a little harder to find.Water temps are in the mid seventies. there was a lot of added boat traffic with the Tall Ships in town but it was a fun week. On a side note Sunday at the Richard J.Daley ramp was the busiest day I have ever seen there and not very fun. there were at least 40 boats and just as many jet ski’s. People were pulling the wrong way passing others waiting to launch and that spilled out into the water. there is a NO WAKE ZONE at the ramp and jet ski’s and boats were flying around it. Water Safety is very Important, People were leaving the ramp with adults and children out on the bows of pleasure boats and running full bore up river to downtown. At anytime on the river there can be large logs branches and other debris floating that can turn a Fun day into a Bad day. There are various NO WAKE ZONES 5 mph or less No ripples on the water. The south branch of the river is very commercial its not a Recreational Area as you round a turn at 35 mph there may be a barge coming right at you, Everyone one has the right to have fun on the River but please know the hazards and a little Boat safety and educate. Just a few Safety tips 15 years of age and under must wear a life Jacket at all time. NO WAKE %mph or less Stay to the right up and down the water way just like on the street Bow riding 5 mph and less Most of all know the body of water you are on and respect it and others that are on it with you.. Safety and Fun boating have to go together so we all have fun.

Jeff Nolan of Bridgeport Bass sent this:

South branch is about dead to game fish due to lack of D.O. now that fisk power plant does not circulate millions of gallons of water a day(resulting in great D.O.) .Main stem is doing very well due to much more boat traffic churning water and causing better D.O.. Wolf point is on fire…..Bass/Gills/strioers/even big shad and a few small trout at chump tower out flow. North branch has some good 12inch bass at Diversey near river bowl on craw imitators rolled over discarded bowling balls near shore. …….Shout out to Mark and his boys Noah and Ethan on their first time fishing the Chicago river …….They are now hooked on Chicago river urban fishing ………………..Jeff Nolan,Bridgeportbass

DELAVAN/LAKE GENEVA AREA, WISCONSIN

GENEVA: Dave Duwe sent this:

Lake Geneva Fishing Report 8/1/16 through 8/8/16

Lake Geneva has been rather slow in the last week. The lake has been full of 3-4 inch bluegills throughout the water column which makes the game fish tricky to fish. I’ve caught these bluegills anywhere from 6 to28 ft of water. With the warm summer, the water temperature is some of the highest I’ve seen on Lake Geneva.

Bluegill fishing is very easy, however the trick is finding the bigger fish. The biggest fish I found this week were in 21 ft of water by Gage Marine or by Elgin Club. I’ve been fishing them vertically with small leaf worms using my trolling motor to keep in position. Some of the biggest sun fish I caught last week were in Trinkes Bay in 12 ft of water. They were caught while drifting split shot rigged nightcrawlers.

Northern Pike fishing has been typical for this time of year. The fish are in 33-35 ft of water. The best success is coming in Williams Bay or the beach in Fontana. The best approach remains lindy rigging medium suckers. I’ve been using slightly bigger suckers than normal, the average size is 6-8 inches.

Smallmouth bass action has been spotty. The best concentration I’ve found is by Gage Marine in 23-26 ft of water. The fish I’ve been targeting have been tight to the bottom. The best approach has been lindy rigging nightcrawlers with a slow back troll.

Largemouth bass fishing has been marginal. The best bite on the lake has been the top water bite in the first hour of daylight. The best success has come in Williams Bay or on the north side of Geneva Bay. I prefer using hard baits with a walk the dog retrieve. The bait I prefer is a chrome and blue chug bug. Later in the day, I’ve been catching a few bass in 12-14 ft of water in Trinkes or by the beach in Williams Bay.

Good luck and I hope to see you on the water. For guide parties, please call Dave Duwe at 608-883-2050

DELAVAN: Duwe sent this:

Delavan Lake Fishing Report 8/1/16 through 8/8/16

Delavan Lake fishing remains a bit slower than in recent years, however the boat traffic is substantially lighter than in past years.

Bluegill fishing is fantastic. The overall size of the fish is about 1 inch longer than in past years. The fish are averaging about 8 inches. The best water depth has been 13-16 ft on the outside of the weed line. The bigger fish I’ve been catching have been by the concrete point or by Willow Point. I’m using giant reds or trout worms fished on a split shot rig straight lined beneath the boat.

Largemouth bass fishing has been a bit slow. The best success is coming in the early morning hours on top water fished around the piers or when the sun comes up casting nightcrawlers or jigs underneath the piers. The best depth has been 6-8 ft of water. I prefer the docks on the north shore between the Yacht Club and Willow point. I have caught some fish on the deep weed line but it’s been pretty hit or miss. The fish seem to bite better after a rain storm.

Northern pike action has been steady in 22-24 ft of water. The key location for me has been by the old boy scout camp or by the gray condos near Assembly Park. The best approach is medium suckers fished on a lindy rig. The larger the sucker, the better action it seems.

Walleye fishing has been slow. The fish seem to be in the main lake basin and are scattered. They’ve been hard to locate to even present the bait. When the water starts cooling the fish should start moving tighter to the weedline, making them easier to locate and catch.

Perch fishing remains very good. The fish are in 8-10 ft of water around the piers by Browns Channel or Assembly park. The best bait is hellgrammites or nightcrawler pieces.

Good luck and I hope to see you on the water. For guide parties, please call Dave Duwe at 608-883-2050

DES PLAINES RIVER

No update.

DOWNSTATE NOTES

LAKE OF EGYPT/REND/KINKAID: Check with Jason Johns of Boneyard Fishing. HENNEPIN-HOPPER: 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 with Ken Wilson of Ken Wilson Guide Service.

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

EXPANDED HOURS BEGINNING MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND!

QUESTIONS? CALL THE COMLARA PARK VISITOR CENTER AT (309) 434-6770.

DuPAGE RIVER

No update.

FOX RIVER: WESTERN SUBURBS

No update.

FOX RIVER: WISCONSIN

No update.

GREEN BAY/STURGEON BAY

No update this week from Lance LaVine at Howie’s Tackle in Sturgeon Bay.

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

HEIDECKE LAKE

Fishing hours are 6 a.m.-sunset daily.

ILLINOIS RIVER

River is steadily receding.

Illinois Valley Outdoors is open in Spring Valley.

INDIANA STREAMS

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

KANKAKEE RIVER

Norm Minas sent this:

river level steadily dropping but still above normal flow, green stain, about 1 ft visibility . a variety of current situations were working . crankbaits on current seams, rattlebaits at both the upstream and downstream side of riffle areas and a short arm singlespin tipped with a 5 inch twister pitched into stands of emergent vegetation and allowed to drop along edges, slots and clear patches in the weeds. all smallmouth, wide variety of sizes . 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.

LAKE ERIE

Arden Katz reported outstanding perch, size is not quite Lake Michigan standard, but numbers are great; walleye were fair over the weekend.

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

LAKEFRONT

See perch reports at top. Capt. Bob Poteshman of Confusion Charters said one oddity is that good numbers of 1/2- to 1-inch perch, high in the water column, are showing up in cleaned salmon and trout again.

CHICAGO: Capt. Bob Poteshman of Confusion Charters said fishing remains “darned good,’’ though water warmed and fishing slowed from the greatness of last week for steelhead, Chinook and coho. Most action, depending on time of day, is in 60-110 feet, from outside of the Wreck to the R4; he added, “Might be time to fish lakers again.’’

WAUKEGAN: Ted Boska sent this:

Hello and good evening Dale.All weekend long fishing around the hill continue to be very good for big coho and king’s very early morning. Saturday north wind kept all boat’s in the harbor.Sunday good fishing on 160 feet for mix bag of fish, many Lakers with big rainbows again. Thanks Ted ( diehard angler ) BOSKA

NORTH POINT: Posteshman said just about anything is working, ranging in depths from 110-250 feet.

LAKE KOSHKONONG, WISCONSIN

No update.

LAKE VERMILION, MINNESOTA

No update from Jarek Wujkowski of Rodsbent Guide Service.

LaSALLE LAKE

Fish of the Week indicates very good blues continue to be caught, even with high water temperatures. The cooling lake south of Seneca is open daily, 6 a.m.-sunset.

MADISON CHAIN, WISCONSIN

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

MAZONIA

Check with Jon Meder at Jon’s Bait Shop–(815) 237-2822–in South Wilmington. Open daily, 6 a.m.-sunset.

MENOMINEE RIVER, WISCONSIN

Check with Mike Mladeik at Mike Mladenik Guide Service.

MILWAUKEE HARBOR

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

NORTHERN WISCONSIN

MINOCQUA: Kurt Justice of Kurt’s Island Sport Shop sent this:

While not as warm as the previous week, the continued warm weather meant some stable patterns and fairly consistent fishing. A few high sky days meant the best times were early or late, but, overall the bite has remained good.

Smallmouth Bass: Very good. Off-shore humps remain best. Rock and gravel of 18-28’. Drop-shotting rubber craw imitations, 2 ½” Gulp minnows. The outside weed edges have also produced well for anglers tossing tubes and wacky worms.

Largemouth Bass: Very good. Top water action in the evenings on plastic frogs, Jitterbugs, Hula Poppers and weedless spoons. During mid-day work spinnerbaits and chatter baits as well as pre-rigged plastic worms over cabbage beds of 8-12’. Early mornings twitch baits are drawing fish up.

Walleye: Good-Very good. Must fish prime times to get best bites. Mid mornings to mid afternoons not so good. Crawlers and leeches are most effective for walleyes up in shallow weeds during low light periods. Redtail chubs doing well also as fish are feeding heavily on small perch. A few reports of casting #6 Shad Raps and Flicker Shads at dawn and dusk.

Bluegills: Good-Very good. Actively taking poppers towards dusk around emergent vegetation (Lily pads, etc.). During the day 6-10’ cabbage on most lakes though deeper lakes seeing best fish suspending off coontail edges in 12-18’.

Pike: Good. Fish bladed baits (#4 Mepps, Boonie Baits or Chatter baits) as well as 4” swim baits over heavy cover.

Perch: Good. Drowned wood (tree stumps or cribs) best as these fish love to pick crayfish off these areas. Half crawlers, medium leeches, medium fatheads best.

Crappies: Good. Fish tops of tall, narrow leaf cabbage. Small minnows and jigs or 1-2” twister tails.

Musky: Fair-Good. Surprisingly best action on recent outing on 7” twitch baits. Though typically bucktails this time of year. Throw top water early and late in the day.

Surface temps have cracked 80 degrees on many lakes due to lots of sun. Mid days have been a bit slower on high pressure days. Best to chase bluegills and Largemouth during those times.

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: Weeds, rocks, break lines, and mid-lake humps depending on the lake. Don’t forget to bring an arsenal of baits to cover a lot of water. Remember the proper equipment is needed to use certain baits.

Northern Pike: Fishing the weed edges with bass style spinnerbaits or inline spinnerbaits such as Mepps #4 and #5, and weedless spoons, such as Johnson Silver Minnows. Jig and minnow combos fishing near weeds for walleyes will catch a few also.

Walleye: With high water temps and a lot of recreational boaters, plant to fish early morning hours or later evening hours. Have lots of options ready.

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; adding this approach will add to success. 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, small leeches and red worms. Plastics are working under bobbers with a twitch of the rod to make sure they have actions. 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 small leeches, red worms and small minnows on slip bobbers are the ticket for them.

NORTHWEST INDIANA

See perch at the top. Capt. Rich Sleziak at Slez’s Bait in Lake Station said salmon and trout continue oddly very good in 90-110 feet straight out of the Ditch and west toward Chicago; spoons best, but flies and Spin-doctors also working; there was good steelhead with cold water at Michigan City over the weekend, but it slowed since; catfish continue good on Sonny’s around the Riverwalk at Portage and some nice flatheads are being caught in Burns Ditch.

ROCK RIVER, WISCONSIN

No update.

ROOT RIVER, WISCONSIN

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.

ST. JOSEPH, MICHIGAN

For perch, see top. Phil Shuman at Tackle Haven in Benton Harbor said boaters are working 100-150 feet for more big kings recently; a few steelhead over weekend being caught off pier, but that slowed again with warmer water near shore.

ST. JOSEPH RIVER, INDIANA

Click here for reports from the Indiana DNR.

SHABBONA LAKE

Staff at Lakeside said catfish are good; hybrids starting to bust surface evenings; walleye are being caught on rock piles; decent muskie being caught; largemouth and smallmouth are active.

The restaurant is open every day. Lakeside is now open 6 a.m.-7 p.m. For more information and reports from Lakeside, go to shabbonalake.com or call (815) 824-2581.

SOUTHEAST WISCONSIN

The Wisconsin DNR posts a report at http://dnr.wi.gov/topic/fishing/lakemichigan/OutdoorReport.html. It is usually posted by Tuesday afternoon. Stream flow info is at http://waterdata.usgs.gov/wi/nwis/current?type=flow.

WISCONSIN DELLS

No update.

WOLF LAKE

No update.

WOLF RIVER, WISCONSIN

Fishing for wht bass this weekend was great. Found the gulls hitting the water. All large whities. Threw at least 100 back . Only fished a few hours both mornings. Picture of my Dad Casey with a 33 inch pike, and my twin sis with an 18 inch walleye. Blade baits jigged under the boat, after finding them on the graph. Could have caught a boat full. Lots of bait in the river, shouldbe a great fall season just like last year. Hope all is well there . (. GAR )