Summer comes, well sorta, to Chicago fishing: Midwest Fishing Report

SHARE Summer comes, well sorta, to Chicago fishing: Midwest Fishing Report

We yo-yo yet again into the summer months for this sprawling raw-file Midwest Fishing Report.

We add reports from Dustin Murguia, Dusty Yakker,” this week and plan to have him in regularly. He opens with a holiday weekend report from Busse.

Aptly enough, the bass photo above is from Rob Albright at Busse:

20 inch ,4 lb 4 oz.bass caught by rob albright at busse southpool on a night crawler weed edges. We hooked 20+ bass ,half 13 inches.great day.!

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.


Perch fishing is closed in the Illinois waters of Lake Michigan through June 15.


Dustin Murguiaemailed:

Busse Woods (May 19th – 25th)With water temps rising (71-73) and the spawn finished, bass are positioning themselves along the outside edge of weed clumps in the Main Pool in 2-4 feet of water. 1/4 oz and 3/8 oz Chatterbaits burned high over or next to weed patches along with weightless Zoom flukes in pumpkinseed or any dark color were working very well. South pool saw some some consistent bass on chartreuse spinnerbaits in morning hours esp by offshore weed clumps directly out from launch piers. Shoreline fisherman were reporting decent blue gill catches working wax worms on 1/16 th oz jigheads and a bobber in shallow water next to large laydowns. Not much walleye action near the dams according to some regulars (very few 12-14 inch eyes on large fatheads in 7-8 ft near dam) and unconfirmed reports of a 40 inch Musky caught and released near the Main Pool dam on Tuesday were offered by a local shore fisherman.Thanks Dale!Dustin Murguia aka Dusty Yakker

Steve Palmisano at Henry’s said bluegill are bedding all over; some good ones at Monee; Saganashkee still producing crappie.

Norm Minas sent this:Truth be told , I spent most of the holiday weekend on checking out ponds I’ve found and going back to fish the ones I really like . Every pond I went to the bluegills were on the beds . small float/splitshot/ice fishing jig and bee moths were all one needed . I finally quit fishing for them as It was way too easy . That being said I saw too many people not catching them because they didn’t match their tackle to the fish.Big to giant round bobbers, too much weight, hooks too big for a bluegill to swallow and using the whole night crawler . A small skinny float, enough split shot to cock the float up right and size 6 to smaller hooks. If you use nightcrawlers and are fishing with kids , put just enough crawler on to cover the hook. The crawler supply will last longer, the kids will catch fish because the gills can get that into their mouths and you can make lot’s of lasting memories . Bass were ok, flukes and wacky rigged cigar type worms worked best for me . I picked up some crappies here and there working a jig/twister combo about 1/2 to 3/4 way down in the water column . PeaceNorm

Ken “Husker” O’Malleyemailed:

Hey Dale, Bass have been very good on area lakes. Working a 4 1/4 inch senko along outside weedlines have produced numbers in the morning and evening hours. A few bluegill have starting bedding. Bass will start moving shallower once their spawn goes into full swing.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


Braidwood is open daily. Hours through June 11 are close is 8 p.m.; from June 12-July 16, close is 8:30 p.m.; from July 17-Aug. 13, close is 8 p.m.; from Aug. 14-Sept. 10, close is 7:30 p.m.; from Sept. 11-24, close is 7 p.m.; from Sept. 25-Oct. 7, close is 6:30 p.m.

Check with Jon Meder at Jon’s Bait Shop–(815) 237-2822–in South Wilmington.


No update.


Art Frisell at Triangle said bluegill are the top bite, mostly around shoreline areas, on spikes, waxies or small minnows (bigger fish); crappie continue good, moving shallower toward evening; catfish are picking up with warming waters on stinkbait or crawlers; for white bass, try in 8-12 feet; muskie reports are spotty.

For more info and lake updates, go to Fox Waterway Agency or call (847) 587-8540.

STRATTON LOCK: There are changes this year for the operation of the Stratton Lock at the Chain O’Lakes. Here is the word from the Fox Waterway Agency:

The Stratton Lock will open for the 2017 season on Wednesday, May 3. IDNR lock tenders will operate the Stratton Lock on Wednesdays and Sundays from 10:00 a.m. until 10:00 p.m., and on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays from 10:00 a.m. until midnight through October 29. The lock will be closed on Mondays and Tuesdays (with the exception of holidays) for the 2017 season. The Stratton Lock is also closed for the winter season each year from Nov. 1 through April 30.


No update so far from Capt. Pat Harrison.


GENEVA: Dave Duwe emailed his:

Lake Geneva Fishing report 5/29/17 through 6/4/17 This time of year, Lake Geneva is historically a great place for fishing however, due to the cooler temps and frequent rains, the water temp is lower and the lake is about two weeks behind schedule. There are fish to be caught but the overall numbers are down. Largemouth bass fishing has been the best in Abbey Harbor or in Geneva Bay by the Riviera docks. The best approach has been small four inch finesse worms in green pumpkin fished a small jig head. They have not yet started to spawn. Smallmouth bass fishing has been all right if there is a little bit of chop on the water. Currently if it’s a calm day the water is too clear. The fish are spawning currently which typically makes them easy to fish for but that’s why you need chop. I’ve been catching them on white hair jigs suspended off bottom. With live bait, I’m using large fat head minnows or nightcrawlers on a split shot rig. Rock bass fishing has been good in and around the spawning bass. The best location has been by the South shore club or by Belvidere Park near Fontana. The highest concentration of fish has been in the 10-12 ft range. I’m catching most of my fish split shot rigged nightcrawlers. The most consistent bluegill action has been in Abbey Harbor in 3-5 ft of water. Leaf worms fished beneath a bobber have yielded the best results. In the next week or so, the bluegills will start to spawn. The best spawning areas are by Trinkes or in Geneva Bay. Good luck and I hope to see you on the water. For guide parties, please call Dave Duwe at 262-728-8063

DELAVAN: Dave Duwe sent this:

Delavan Lake Fishing Report 5/29/17 through 6/4/17 Delavan Lake has been up and down with the weather. Some days the fishing is better than other but we still don’t have a consistent pattern. With the heavy winds and significant days of rain, its been a little tough to even get out to fish and then the wind can prevent you from fishing the choice spots. The largemouth bass I’ve been catching have been in 3-8 ft of water. Some are spawning and some are done already. I caught several post spawn females while others are just about ready to spawn. The best location has been by Lake Lawn by the golf course or Viewcrest Bay. My best success has come off of 5 inch Yum Dingers in root beer and red flake fished Wacky style. The tried and true split shot rigged nightcrawler has also been pretty successful. Bluegill fishing has been improving. The fish are starting to spawn. They appear to be in a bit deeper water than normal. Look for them in 6-8 ft of water, historically the depth has been 3-4 feet. The best presentation is still a bobber fished with a leaf worm. Good places include west of Willow Point and in the back of Viewcrest Bay. Some walleyes have been showing up. The best depth has been 15-16 ft of water right on the weedline. The best approach has been lindy rigging fat head minnows or a split shot rigged nightcrawler. They are not schooled up and hitting regularly yet, it’s been one here and there. Browns Channel and just east of Willow Point on the north shore have produced a couple. Crappie fishing has been good in 10-12 ft of water. The best location has been in the bay west of the Village Supper Club. Chartreuse plastics fished on a 1/32 oz jig or a slip bobber rigged minnow have been producing the majority of the action. Yellow perch fishing was fantastic last week. They are in the 4-5 ft depth range near Lake Lawn Lodge golf course. Some of the perch I caught last week were over 11 inches. Bobbers fished with leaf worms have been producing most of the success. Good luck and I hope to see you on the water. For guide parties, please call Dave Duwe at 262-728-8063


No update.


HENNEPIN-HOPPER: The parking lot has been full several times since the reopening. The hot fish is northern pike, including some of the keeper size, according to The Wetlands Initiative staff. The lakes are open through Labor Day, Sept. 4. Fishing is closed on Mondays other than Labor Day. Click here for complete list of regs and details. POWERTON: Boat and shore fishing is open. Hours are 6 a.m.-8 p.m.  LAKE OF EGYPT/REND LAKE: Check with Jason Johns of Boneyard Fishing. LAKE SHELBYVILLE: Check with Ken Wilson of Ken Wilson Guide ServiceEVERGREEN LAKE: Will find out about bait shop and boat rental hours.


Steve Palmisano at Henry’s said catfish reports have been picking up, as well as smallmouth.


No update.


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

The Wisconsin DNR report is usually posted Tuesdays and includes reports from both the bay and lake sides.


Some really nice walleye are being taken, but it can be sporadic. Crappie are hit and miss, according to guide John Mannerino. As always, lots of good yellow bass. A trip with Mannerino is what the Wednesday column is about.

Click here for my preview column, which included some prospects from fisheries biologist Rob Miller; good news is that walleye looked good last fall in the survey and white bass, hybrids and yellow bass were solid, too.


B & B Live Bait–(815) 433-0432–is open in Ottawa, as is Cajun’s in Utica.


Access points for Trail Creek can be found on the Trail Creek Access Map. Access points for Little Cal and Salt Creek, which are closer to Chicago than Trail Creek, may be found at littlecal_saltcreek_access.


Norm Minas sent this:

River has been above usual levels and still not at a stage I’m comfortable wading in Didn’t bother with water temps as i didn’t spend a lot of time there what with the holiday weekend . Smallmouth were spotty at best on anything I tried, everywhere I tried it . Best bite was channel cats on jig/pig , judging from numbers caught , that is what I would be fishing for with traditional catfish baits/techniques. The sucker bite around riffles and creekmouths on a simple splitshot/hook/ crawler rig was fun as well . As the creeks dropped done switched more of the focus to them . Smallmouth very spotty, rockbass ok, sunfish better. . Carp and suckers on the crawler/ splitshot rig was excellent . Gar on flukes was ok in one creek, used tieable wire leader .PeaceNorm


Click here for the Ohio DNR’s annual fishing prospects. The Ohio DNR has general Lake Erie info and a fishing report.


See perch closure note at the top.

CHICAGO:  Steve Palmisano at Henry’s said they are still catching smallmouth, some of them are already spent, mostly on grubs. Capt. Bob Poteshman of Confusion Charters said there’s some coho past 120 or 130 feet, lakers slowed in shallow, still some in 90-100 feet.

WAUKEGAN:Lori Ralph at the Salmon Stop texted:

Boats anywhere from 150 to 250, mainly south, mainly cohos with a few lakers,, spoons and peanut flies. Pier kinda slow, but seeing browns

NORTH POINT: Poteshman said fishing is “exceptional” outside of 140 feet to 300, though a couple days last week were also good in under 50 feet; it’s lots of coho with a few steelhead and lake trout and the occasional king.


Check Jarek Wujkowski of Rodsbent Guide Service.


The cooling lake south of Seneca is open daily, 6 a.m. to sunset. Click here for my column about prospects. Also, boaters should be aware that there will be no launching if wind is 14 mph or higher.


Check the latest from D & S Bait on Facebook.


Should be the time and conditions to fish these lakes for multiple species. Check with Jon Meder at Jon’s Bait Shop–(815) 237-2822–in South Wilmington. Close is now 8:30 p.m.


Check with Mike Mladeik at Mike Mladenik Guide Service sent this:


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


MINOCQUA:  No update this week from Kurt Justice of Kurt’s Island Sport Shop in Minocqua, Wis.

EAGLE RIVER: No update from B+L, from reports from Colin Crawford of Colin Crawford Guide Service for the Eagle River Chamber of Commerce,.


Capt. Rich Sleziak at Slez’s Bait in Lake Station, Ind., texted:

Coho and lake trout action really good in 90 to 120ft of water straight out of burns ditch east all the way to new buffalo coho top 40ft of water on spoons and dodger flys and lake trout are near the bottom with dodgers and spin glows. Bluegill spawning in most area lakes a lot of good catches over the last week beemoth and crickets being baits of choice. Catfish starting to heat up in area rivers cut skipjack and sonnys stinkbait best baits. I’m on summer hours now till Labor Day 5pm to 8 pm every day.

BOATER NOTE: East Chicago is closed for launching, so use either Hammond or Portage. LAKER REMINDER: Indiana now has a daily bag of three lake trout on Lake Michigan, to match Michigan. Illinois’ daily bag remains at two.


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.


Staff at Tackle Haven in Benton Harbor said coho, kings, steelhead and lakers are being caught in 150 to 230 feet; walleye and smallmouth are going good in the high river.


Click herefor reports from the Indiana DNR.


Staff at Lakeside said everything is going, bass are shallow but done spawning; crappie are moving back deeper toward cribs; more catfish reports are coming; walleye are on the rock piles; there’s been a few muskie, including some first catches; water is in mid-60s.

Lake hours are 6 a.m.-10 p.m.

Here are the hours for Lakeside for the next few months:

Shabbona Lakeside is now OPEN for the SEASON Lakeside will be open everyday, 7 days a week, April 11th to September 5th 6 AM to 7 PM September 6th to September 30th 6 AM to 6:30 PM October 1st to October 10th 6:30 AM to 6 PM October 11th to October 31st 7 AM to 5PM

Clint Sandssent this update on hours for the bait shop, camp store and cafe.

Pokanoka’s Cafe will be opening for the season on April 8th and will be open Saturdays and Sundays 11 AM to 4 PM! The Camp Store will be opening for the season on April 7th. If you need firewood before the camp store opens for the season, see the friendly campground hosts at site 132. They have large bundles of wood available for sale. If you need anything from the camp store when it is closed. Call the bait shop and we can meet you over at the camp store so you can get anything you need. Spring hours are Fridays 5 PM to 8 PM, Saturdays 8 AM to 8 PM and Sundays are 8 AM to 12 PM.

For more information and reports from Lakeside, go to or call (815) 824-2581.


The Wisconsin DNR posts a report during open water at It is usually posted by Tuesday afternoon. Streadsm flow info is at


Steve Palmisano at Henry’s said walleye, even on the Illinois side, largemouth and bluegill are good.


FREMONT: Bill Stoegersaid on Friday that the white bass were going again for the holiday weekend.

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