Dog(fish) days and early kings: End of summer Chicago fishing

SHARE Dog(fish) days and early kings: End of summer Chicago fishing

The kings coming to shore highlight 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.

The dogfish photo at the top is from the Des Plaines, caught by Marcus Benesch.



CHICAGO: Stacey Greene at Park Bait said at least two kings and one coho were caught Tuesday morning at Montrose; Moonshine glow spoons were key. INDIANA: Ben Dickinson, assistant Lake Michigan fisheries biologist, posted that 19 kings and a handful of steelhead were in Monday at the Trail Creek barrier. Capt. Rich Sleziak at Slez’s Bait in Lake Station said that he marked kings in 40-45 feet out of the Ditch, best on Moonshine spoons or Ace Hi plugs (which keep the drum off). “They are staging to run up the creeks.’’ SOUTHEAST WISCONSIN: Port Washington: John Carlson sent this Tuesday and the photo just above:

Dale Here are 2 of the 3 Kings my son has caught on the Port Washington pier early this morning. The smallest one( not pictured was 18 pounds). Water temps at the pier this morning 56 but will probably be rising with current winds. John

SOUTHWEST MICHIGAN: Staff at Tackle Haven in Benton Harbor said, “On verge of coming in;’’ kings are shallower (50-60 feet).


SOUTHWEST MICHIGAN: Staff at Tackle Haven in Benton Harbor said perch are sporadic in 40-45 feet. INDIANA: Capt. Rich Sleziak at Slez’s Bait in Lake Station said perch have been good, when weather allows from West Beach to Michigan City in 18-25 feet; but very few boats are out. CHICAGO: Stacey Greene at Park Bait said there are some small ones at Montrose.


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.


Bluegill are on the outside weed lines or burrowed inside of them, but the main bite is largemouth bass on topwaters early or plastics otherwise.

Ken Husker” O’Malley sent this:

Hey Dale, Top water bite for bass have been good on area lakes. Popping baits like the pop r have been best. Bass slowed after the cold front pushed through. Working a BPS tri-color worm on a drop shot rig along outside weedlines took larger bass. Key was working the bait slowly.TTYL — Ken Husker O’Malley Huskeroutdoors Waterworks fishing team


If fishing rivers south or southeast of Chicago, good week to check beforehand. Go to to check area water levels and projection. To get to more specific gauges, even on creeks, in Illinois, go to


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


Staff at Triangle said water remains very warm; bluegill and catfish are top bites; there are some suspended crappie; heavy jigs worked deep on weed lines are best for bass; some white bass are going evenings on flats or in the river.

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


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

Last week was a hot one surface temps in the mid eighties most of the week with rain and hi temps. We worked hard to get fish a couple trips were put off due to weather etc. Two ½ day trips for Saturday were a wash due to weather it cleared up in the afternoon but clients decided before that to rebook the trip. Got out Sunday and got a pleasant surprise surface temps 67 to 72 degrees about a 15 to 20 degree change depending on where you were. There was a lot of boat traffic due to the air show but the fish were moving a bit and we got a few to make their way into the boat. By the time I got off the river at 6;30 the surface temps were back up in the mid seventies. With these cooler nights and morning the temps are going to start to drop through out the water column and the fish are going to start to turn on I’m looking forward to an improvement for sure. This coming week should start to produce some nice fish. Yesterday we had a couple smallies about 17/18 inches and lost a Nice Large mouth at boat side about 18 to 20 but the ones that get away are always Bigger. Here’s hoping next weeks report has some nice catches reported. Have a Great week Fish on.


GENEVA: Dave Duwe sent this:

Lake Geneva Fishing Report 8/22/16 through 8/29/16 Fishing on Lake Geneva has been a bit difficult the last week or so. The most consistent bite has been largemouth bass and bluegills. Due to the cold front that just arrived fishing will be tougher than average for the next few days but then it should start to improve. Bluegill action remains consistent in the 18-20 ft depth range. The best location has been by Elgin Club or by Gage Marine. The fish are located about 1 foot off bottom. Trout worms or leaf worms fished on the split shot rig have been producing most of the action. Largemouth bass fishing has been very good by Covenant Harbor, Maytag Point and Colemans Point. The best approach has been using 4 inch drop shot worms in root beer red flake color pattern. The best length for the dropper is 12 inches. Due to the water clarity of Lake Geneva, I prefer to use 4-6 lb fluorocarbon line on my spinning reel. Northern Pike action has been good by Fontana Beach and by the Narrows. The best water depth has been 32-35 ft of water. You want to fish lindy rigged suckers on or near the bottom. The best size for the bait is 4-6 inches. Rock bass have been starting to become more active with some of the cooler weather we have had. They are aggressively biting in 22-25 ft of water. I’ve been fishing them by Linn Pier or by Elgin Club. The best approach has been nightcrawlers fished on a lindy rig right on bottom. The size of the rock bass has been decent at 8-12 inches.

DELAVAN: Arden Katz said drop-shotting took smallmouth and rock bass in 15 feet.

Duwe sent this:

Delavan Lake Fishing Report 8/22/16 through 8/29/16 Fishing has been up and down. The heat of the summer has slowed fishing and then at the end of the week we had thunderstorms followed by a massive cold front. There is some good fishing to be had but you need to move around a lot and try different locations and techniques. Largemouth bass has been the most consistent bite on the lake. The best approach is drop shotting root beer colored small worms with red flake. The dropper length producing most of the action has been 8-12 inches. The best location has been west of the Yacht Club in 13-15 ft of water. I have been catching a few largemouth bass slightly deeper in 22-24 ft on lindy rigged nightcrawlers. For that bite, I’ve been closer to 3 flags on the south shore. With the cooling water temperatures, the bite should start to improve making them feed aggressively. Bluegill fishing has been hit or miss. Some days the big ones are biting in tight schools and the next day they are spread out throughout the weed line. The biggest concentration of fish has been in 13-15 ft of water. The best approach has been a small hook, with a very light split shot fished about 6 inches above the weeds. The best days to fish them have been days with bright sun and light winds. When there is a heavy wind, it’s hard to position the bait correctly. With the forecasted cooler weather, the walleye fishing should become more active. I’ve been picking up one here or there in 18 ft of water using a nightcrawler on a lindy rig with a 24 inch leader. If you are able to find large leeches that would be best. The best locations have been those adjacent to deep weed points, such as Willow Point. As fall moves closer, the walleye bite will start to improve daily. Northern pike fishing has been spotty. Most days I can catch one or two. The large quantities of fish have been few and far between this year. The best location has been by the old Boy Scout Camp in 20-22 ft of water. Lakeside Bait and Tackle had some really nice chubs that were quite effective last week. You want to position the bait about 1 foot off bottom. Crappie fishing has been good, the fish are located on the weed line in 13 ft of water. Use thill slip bobbers with small fat head minnows for the best success. The best location has been by 3 flags and by Willow Point. With the high water temperature, I prefer to put the fish directly on ice to preserve the quality of the catch. 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 Monday:

Dale,River levels fluctuating in the south, levels more stable in Lake County. I went out Saturday in the rain chasing that good largemouth bass bite and I did not get let down. My brother in law and I both caught bass over 4lbs. And just a good bag all around with most fish around 3lbs. Later on my brother in law caught a channel cat on a top water buzzbait! Hilarious, river fishing never ceases to amaze me. Right before we ended the trip I hook into a large bowfin on a powerworm. What a nice bonus that was.Attached a picture of my brother in law Dan Kiska with a 4.5lb largemouth and picture of the mean old dogfish I wrangled. That dogfish did slap me face with its tail, I never seem to find the right way to handle the specie.Marcus BeneschRiver Grove


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



No update.


No update, but water levels on it are the best of the local waters.


No update.


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

Good Morning Fellas Here is what I got as for an updated fish report The Salmon fishing out on the lake slowed a bit with all of the warm water that we have had for the past few weeks, but with the hard blow over the weekend from the west, we anticipate the water to get cooler and the fish to become more active and concentrated. There are some fish starting to stage up out in front of the harbors and getting ready to take their last swim, so there will be some shallow water options also. And once the Salmon do come in, fishermen will be trolling and casting in the Sturgeon Bay ship canal and out in front of the harbors. Glow spoons, crank baits and some spawn will all be good options to land a big 4 year old King or Brown Trout as they will also be moving in Perch fishing continues to please anglers throughout the area as there are a bunch of fish around. There are lots of small fish that you have to filter through, but there are plenty of nice eater sized fish even some limit catches being reported. The Sturgeon Bay ship canal, the Flats, Sawyer Harbor, Little Sturgeon along with some of the deeper water to the south of Henderson’s point. Fathead minnows and crawler pieces have been the best live baits Walleye action continues to get better and better as we figured it would as we move through August and into September. Areas to fish include…the Chaudoir’s dock area, Henderson’s Point, Larson’s Reef along with the vast structure to the north of Sturgeon Bay all the way up to Sister Bay. Deep diving crank baits like Flicker Shads and minnows, Deep Husky Jerks, Smithwick Rogues, Reef Runners and crawler harnesses all working well. And there has been a good jig bite going on in all of those same areas. Best baits for that application have been Rapala Jigs, Shiver minnows, blade baits and the Rippin Rap Pike fishing is heating up throughout the area…look for deep weed edges and troll or cast with suspending crank baits, spinner baits, spoons, large plastics, Rippin Raps and or soak medium and large suckers. Bass fishing continues to stay hot throughout the county basically from Sturgeon Bay north to Washington Island and will continue to stay good now through fall. 10 to 25 feet of water is the general depth to look for along deeper channels, steep shorelines and off shore structure. Best baits are tubes, assortment of drop shot baits like Set the Hook and Jackalls, Paddle tails and Senko’s. 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.


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


Crested at LaSalle on Monday, just under flood stage, projected to do a steady drop.

Illinois Valley Outdoorsis open in Spring Valley.


Access points for Trail Creek can be found on the Trail Creek Access Map. Considering kings and a few steelhead have started, good info to have.


Again time to shore flooded shorelines and tight to shore. The Illinois portion is coming off near flood stage and projected to stay high. Indiana sides are in flood, some areas in significant flood.

Norm Minas sent this:

Just my luck, go on vacation and get high water . Thankfully not to the extent that others in the country had, my sympathy for all that suffered from those extreme water levels . It started out with flooded waterwillows and the answer was chatterbaits, singlespins, buzzbaits and swimjigs tipped with swim baits . Just about all smallmouth action, couple nice cats and rockbass and 2 largemouth over the course of several days . I covered a lot of the river down in my neck of the woods, the action was smoking to steady . I really enjoy this pattern , fish are in predictable areas, eating predictable lures, the only wading was in the waterwillow beds themselves and only to get better casting angles. Wading outside of the beds would have been idiotic and possibly fatal the way the current was moving . After more rain the river came out of its banks and the current was blowing too hard to even get in the waterwillow beds . I fished flooded cover, natural and manmade with singlespins, swimjig/swimbait combo and a weighted keeper/twister combo . Multi species days, smallmouth, largemouth, rock bass, catfish, carp and pike . The action started slowing on Monday after the river crested and started dropping . Even with the river dropping I couldn’t catch a fish on the current seam to my surprise . You go with what Ma gives you and enjoy it . Shoot I had one smallmouth chase a spinnerbait almost to my feet in the parking lot before it saw me and took off . peace norm

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 and shoreline salmon reports at top.

CHICAGO: Capt. Bob Poteshman of Confusion Charters said there is still good fishing, but there are more lakers now, the R4 is best.

WAUKEGAN: Ted Boska sent this:

Hello and good morning Dale.Fishing continues to be very good around hill all way far south from harbor. I can’t believe that myself -how many big rainbows with caught in last few weeks, mixed with coho fishing around 140 feet of water. This is really crazy pattern of crazy fishing this year. In the past we caught many deep from 75 feet down ,but this year mostly in top 40 to 50 feet down and many on shallow running diver’s. Few king’s as well. I checked all fish we caught -natural reproduction fish.Saturday was brutal fishing because of weather conditions, today nobody leaves harbor because of gale force wind, why I am sending you this emails, thinking about next trip to south reef, checking what is going on on the reef. Thanks Ted ( diehard angler ) BOSKA

NORTH POINT: Posteshman said, “Can’t get any better.’’ Lakers and steelhead are being straight out, hill to 150 feet, both sides of the Wisconsin-Illinois line are good.


No update.


No update from Jarek Wujkowski of Rodsbent Guide Service.


Reports just keep coming of big blue catfish. The cooling lake south of Seneca is open daily, 6 a.m.-sunset.


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


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:

Minocqua Area Fishing Report 08/21/16 Lots of rain to end the week, kept most anglers off the water. Things had slowed for certain, though enough action overall to keep anglers’ attention. Largemouth Bass: Good. The most consistent action all summer, yet a bit slower this past week. Wacky worming in 7-12’ weeds is best, warm up by mid-week should bring top-water back into play, frogs, Jitterbugs, buzzbaits. Twitching stick baits over weed tops produced well for and pain of local anglers this past week. Smallmouth Bass: Good. Outside weed edges of coontail in 14-18’ using skirted grubs Carolina rigged. Countdown lipless cranks over sandgrass flats of 16-22’. Gravel humps topping at 22-26’, 2 ½ minnows, leeches. Northern Pike: Good. Best on double-bladed Boonie Baits as well as Chatterbaits over 6-10’ weeds. Live baiting with chubs and suckers are working well. Bluegill: Good. Fewer, but nicer gills are working cabbage flats. Seem to be more gills as predator fish leaving some of these areas. Small leeches are best and Mini mites- red, purple. Musky: Fair-Good. Best on bucktails, twitchbaits. Top-water is producing early and late. Many anglers are choosing to soak smaller suckers (8-10) despite surface temps in upper 70’s to low 80’s. Yellow Perch: Fair. Not a lot of reports. Mostly anglers are fishing other species (Walleyes, deep crappies), and catching a few nice perch- ½ crawlers are best. Crappies: Fair. Anglers are targeting crappies, finding few fish in typical August haunts. Doing best in tall, curly, leaf cabbage at 10-14’. Small minnows are best. Walleye: Fair-Poor. This could be a time of transition on some lakes. Despite warm temps, this species will tend to migrate to deep gravel on certain lakes. Shallow wee bite has slowed, after dark is best on lighted slip-bobbers and leeches or casting deep running minnow baits along outside wee edges. Despite a short term cool off for Sunday/Monday, Mid-week looks to hit low 80’s again. Prolonging early fall patterns from happening. More rain means flowages continue to be full as well as lakes.

EAGLE RIVER: B+L, from interviews with guides George Langley, Muskie Matt and Colin Crawford, sent this for the Eagle River Chamber of Commerce.

Muskie: With the growing of this year’s bait fish, throw bigger baits such as double 9’s and 10’s spinnerbaits and bigger jerk baits. Remember that the proper equipment is needed to use certain baits to make your fishing experience enjoyable. 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, should get action. Jig and minnow combos fishing near weeds for walleyes will catch a few also. Walleye: Look for the deep weed edges that are by sharp breaks for the best results. If the wind picks up, don’t hesitate to go with a heavier jig to maintain bottom contact. 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 to add to your 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 also; twitch the rod to make sure they have movement. 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 well with a twitch of the rod. Perch are in the weeds too, and using a selection of small leeches (if you can still find them), red worms and small minnows on slip bobbers are the ticket for them.


See perch at the top. Capt. Rich Sleziak at Slez’s Bait in Lake Station said


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.


For perch and shoreline salmon, see top.


Click herefor reports from the Indiana DNR.


Clint Sandsat Lakeside said muskie picked up (trolling) over weekend as water cooled into the 70s; walleye are being taken on weed flats or drops; wacky-worming is producing bass on dam face.

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 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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