Lakefront kings, summer return: Chicago fishing/Midwest Fishing Report

SHARE Lakefront kings, summer return: Chicago fishing/Midwest Fishing Report

Lakefront Chinook are the main story, well, that and the return to summer, to lead this sprawling raw-file Midwest Fishing Report.

BoRabb Williamsmessaged the photo above from Jackson Park. He caught them on Moonshine spoons and sent this:

7 fish were caught on 63rd…. I got 2.

Williams was out again Tuesday morning and lost one.

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.


CHICAGO:“Starting to see them porpoise now [over the last four or five days], so we know they are here,’’ said Steve Palmisanoat Henry’s. Spoons and crankbaits are best, early and in low light, for the kings.Cory Gecht at Park Bait said there’s some Chinook being caught every night at Montrose.

WAUKEGAN: Lori Ralph at the Salmon Stop texted:

Still been a little slow, but seeing some nice Kings and some trout on the bottom using shrimp and spawn sacks, the kings are still hitting glow spoons. Everyday is a little different, seems to be later in the evening from about 6 2 after midnight

Capt. Scott Wolfeof School of Fish Charters and president of Trollers Unlimited sent this report:

Hi Dale – Waukegan action is slow both in the harbor and offshore. The harbor is absolutely loaded with kings but they are zombies due to the warm water. Over the weekend I saw a few on stringers on Government Pier, very few. One of our mates/relief captains got a king on a chunk of skein early Saturday morning before our charter trips. That’s the first I have heard of on skein this year.

SOUTHEAST WISCONSIN:In Milwaukee, Arden Katz said kings slowed some with the saner weather, but they still boated one and lost a monster that stripped 200 yards of line. Otherwise, check the Wisconsin DNR Lake Michigan Report or the Root River Report.

INDIANA STREAMS/NORTHWEST INDIANA: Capt. Rich Sleziak atSlez’s Bait in Lake Station, Ind., texted:

Decent run of coho and few kings in all tributaries trail and salt best skein spawn saks and creek spinners best baits

On Friday, assistant Lake Michigan fisheries biologist Ben Dickinson posted:

Over 2,100 cohos have gone through the South Bend Fish Ladder in the last 12 days! That’s already 50% more than last year and we still have at least a month more of migration to go…

SOUTHWEST MICHIGAN:Staff at Tackle Haven in Benton Harbor said some coho are moving through Berrien Springs, a few steelhead are in the river.


Summer returns, not sure what it will do for the crappie fishing. Pete Lamar said in various outings in various conditions that found lots of subsurface bluegill activity.

Ken “Husker” O’Malley sent this:

Hey Dale, Here is a recap of this past week’s fishing.Area Lakes-bass are good on senkos and finesse worms worked along outside weedlines. Better numbers are during the Evening hours. Morning bite has been a bit slower as those overnight temps drop.TTYL—Ken Husker O’Malley Husker Outdoors Waterworks fishing team

AREA WATER LEVELSClick here to find river closures listed by the Illinois DNR. 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. Through Sept. 24, close is 7 p.m.; from Sept. 25-Oct. 7, close is 6:30 p.m. Final day of fishing is Oct. 17.


No update.


Art Frisell at Triangle Sports and Marine said that bluegill have been better recently shallow; muskie are improving; white bass are fair, try the wind-blown side of lakes in 8 feet; walleye are fair with the yo-yoing temperatures on main lake points; crappie are also fair. Water temperatures are going to be shooting up.

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


Capt. Pat Harrison of Pat Harrison Outdoors sent this:

Chicago River and Lake Front Report Out a couple there is a future for the Fishery for sure. The Catfish are biting for sure and ranging 12 to 25. In a few of my spots the Crappie are starting to show up again I hope this continues we got few in the 11 to 12 range but most were 6’ to 8 but the big boys will be coming in soon if water temps drop. The guys and gals from Gone Fishin a group that shore fishes the Lake Front at night and getting some nice Trout and Salmon they fish most of the harbors all the way up to Wisconsin. Get out and fish folks the fish will be starting to feed for the season change for sure. times last week water temps from 69 to 72 degrees we had some nice cool nights I thought we were headed for the change of season. I’m looking for the temps on the river to get down to 58 to 54 and the fish will be on for sure. We caught a lot of smaller Large mouth 13 to 15 some as small as 8which tells me — Thanks Pat


GENEVA:Mark O’Neill on his site,, noted there are good largemouth on the very edge of deep weeds, some smallmouth deeper, basically, summer patterns are holding.


Marcus Benesch sent this:

Dale,A bit of a return to summer lately. Water temps creeping over 70 degrees in most stretches. Its just overall a great time to fish the river. Panfish of all sorts, bass, pike, all biting good. Took my son out on the kayak for some blue gills and crappies. He had a blast and the action was non stop on his $8 Zebco combo with a 99 cent package of fuzzy jigs.Not bad for a 2 year old.

Not bad at all for young Jackson Benesch, pictured below.



POWERTON:Boat and shore fishing is open. Final boat day is Oct. 20; final day of shore fishing is Oct. 27.HENNEPIN-HOPPER: Closed for the season.

Larry Dozardof sent this update on upcoming closing dates:

Dale,Here arethe WinterLakeClosures I havefrom IDNRfor Central IL (& couple extra). ANDERSON LAKE –– – THIS AREAWillCLOSE TO BOAT FISHING in Main LakeonOct. 21stwith Last Day to Fishing beingOct.20th during waterfowl season with bank fishing Only allowed.BANNER MARSH –** THIS AREA WILL CLOSE TO BOAT FISHING Oct. 18th (last day to boat fish will be Oct. 17th) —AND BANK FISHING ONLY ALLOWED AFTER 1PMbut NO FISHING ALLOWED in EAST POINT ACCESS AREA, which is CLOSED TO ALL FISHING to provide a GOOSE REFUGE AREA during season till Feb. 1st – –CLINTON LAKE -REMEMBER an easterly area of Clinton Lake between the DeWitt (CH14) and the 48 bridgeswillCLOSE to protect fish and wildlife FROM OCT. 10th through– typically March 31st– but with weekend, could be March 30th, 2018..?DOUBLE TS.F.&W.A.** THIS AREA WILL CLOSE TO FISHING Oct. 1stwithLAST DAYto Fishbeing Sept. 30thand will remain CLOSED till Feb 1st..EVERGREEN LAKE –-Bait Shop Fall Hours: 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. 7 Days And LAST DAY BAIT SHOP OPEN is Oct. 14th (Depending on bait supply)–Boat Rental Fall Hours:8:00 A.M. – 4:00 P.M.SAT. & SUN. ONLY – BOAT RENTALwillCLOSE for the seasonOct. 8th – – A SOUTHERN PART OF EVERGREEN LAKE – AROUND DEER ISLAND and ALL OF SIX-MILE CREEK BAY IS CLOSED TO GAS MOTORS from Oct. 15th through JAN. 1st to allow resting areas for migratory waterfowl. YOU ARE ALLOWED TO STILL RUN A TROLLING MOTOR IN THESE AREAS ONLY.-HENNEPIN-HOPPER LAKES– Lakes are CLOSED for the SeasonMcMASTER LAKE at SNAKEDEN HOLLOW –* THIS AREA WILL CLOSE TO FISHING for the Season on Oct. 16th(last day to fish is Oct. 15th) till Feb. 1st—NEWTON LAKE –As written in the fishing regs booklet :** The cold arm of Newton Lake shall be Closed daily from one-half hour before sunrise until 1:00 pm to all fishing and boat traffic except for legal waterfowl hunters during waterfowl season commencing with regular duck season through the close of the Canada goose and regular duck season. * For here – Regular South Waterfowl Season: Nov.23– Jan. 31POWERTON LAKE –WINTER HOURS (Oct. 1st – April 30th): 8am – 4pm – THIS LAKE WILL CLOSE TO BOAT FISHING ON OCT.21th(Last day for Boat fishing will be Oct.20th)and CLOSES TO SHORE FISHING and ALL FISHING ON OCT. 28th (Last day for Shore fishing is Oct. 27th) and REOPENS TO SHORE FISHING ONLY ON DEC. 26thAND NO BOAT FISHING till FEB. 15th – –PRAIRIE LAKE in Jim Edgar/ Panther Creek State F&W Area – Lakeaccessis CLOSED to Fishing from Nov. 1st – Jan. 15thuntil After 12:01 PM on Wednesdays and Saturdays.RICELAKE–* THIS AREA WILL CLOSE TO FISHINGon OCT. 21stwith Last Day of Fishing being OCT. 20thand Will Re-Open at end of Duck & Goose Season..SPRING LAKE (South & North) –* THIS AREA WILL BE CLOSED TO BOAT FISHING in Hunting Area ON OCT.21stwith Last Day to Boat Fish being Oct.20th –with BANK FISHING ALLOWED ONLY AFTER 1pm–AREAS THAT REMAIN OPEN TO BOATS ARE NORTH OF MAPLE ISLAND with ramp at north end at the Sky Ranch Road launchand IN PIKE HOLE with carry in boats –AND Shore Fishing is allowed in entire Lake after 1pm in Hunting areas or at boat ramps all day..SANGCHRIS LAKE –* THE WEST and EAST ARMS OF LAKE and Small AREA NEAR DAM ARE CLOSED DURING WATERFOWL SEASON to boat trafficeffective Oct. 18th (last day to boat fish will be Oct. 17th) through Jan. 31, 2018(during this time fishing boat traffic is permitted in the center hot arm only).Keep up the Good Work,Enjoy the Fall& GOOD FISHINGlarrysfishinghole.comLarry

SOUTHERN ILLINOIS:Check withJason Johnsof Boneyard Fishing.LAKESHELBYVILLE: Check withKen WilsonofKen Wilson Guide Service.


No update.


No update.


No update fromLance LaVineatHowie’s Tackle in Sturgeon Bay. Wisconsin DNR report is usually posted Tuesdaysand includes reports from both the bay and lake sides.


An accident with the fence caused the temporary closing of shore fishing.Final day is Oct. 10 Lakeis open daily 6 a.m. (6:30 shore side) to sunset.


B & B Live Bait–(815) 433-0432–in Ottawa is open.


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 atlittlecal_saltcreek_access.

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

Decent run of coho and few kings in all tributaries trail and salt best skein spawn saks and creek spinners best baits


Decent shot of rain hit most of the basin Monday night, so water came up slightly, but still very good wading conditions. Check withNick Carr at Kankakee River Trading Post in Altorf.


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


Shoreline salmon/trout at the top.

CHICAGO: Capt. Bob Poteshman of Confusion Charters said lakers were good Tuesday in 150 feet.

WAUKEGAN:Capt. Scott Wolfeof School of Fish Charters and president of Trollers Unlimited sent this report:

Hi Dale – Waukegan action is slow both in the harbor and offshore. The harbor is absolutely loaded with kings but they are zombies due to the warm water. Over the weekend I saw a few on stringers on Government Pier, very few. One of our mates/relief captains got a king on a chunk of skein early Saturday morning before our charter trips. That’s the first I have heard of on skein this year. Trolling has been in the 110 to 150 level for lakers with hit and miss results. Jimmy Fly Mo rigs in Green/Silver right on the bottom were best behind chrome Luhr-Jensen Dodgers. Copper lines in 150 to 300 feet off of trolling boards with Glow Warrior and Moonshine spoons and UV Warrior spoons got us a few bonus Brown trout and Kings. Bloody nose type patterns were best. The browns were up to 14 pounds and the kings were also up to 14 pounds and were not spawners (3 year olds). Those are bigger than average. Hopefully a good sign for next year. Please let me know if you have any questions. Have a great week. Capt. Scott Wolfe

NORTH POINT: Capt. Bob Poteshman of Confusion Charters said there’s a mix oflakers, kings, coho and steelhead around in 100-250 feet.


Final day is Oct. 15. The cooling lake south of Seneca is open daily, 6 a.m. to sunset.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.


Through Sunday, Sept. 24, close is 7 p.m.; from Monday, Sept. 25-Oct. 7, close is 6:30 p.m. Oct. 17 is the final day, except Monster Lake remains open year-round.

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


Check withMike MladeikatMike Mladenik Guide Service sent this:


See Arden Katz report at top. Check the Wisconsin DNR Lake Michigan Report, which generally comes out Tuesdays for updates.


MINOCQUA: Kurt Justiceof Kurt’s Island Sport Shop in Minocqua, Wis. sent this:

Warm temps moved water temps on our area lakes from the 62-64 degree range up to the 70-72 degree range by Saturday (9/16). A short cool down brought temps back into the 60’s, but forecast for the coming weekend with highs in the lower 80’s will inevitably drive water temps back up! Largemouth Bass: Good–Very Good – Possibly due to their wide spread populations, LMB’s found in shallow weed flats (6-10’ on spinner baits, chatter baits and pre-rigged plastic worms). Out in deeper weed beds/edges Wacky worming, Carolina rigging and Texas rigging Sweet Beaver/creature baits effective. Bluegill: Good-Very Good – The flying ants were out, giving Bluegill anglers clues to where to find Gills. In calm bays Gills found slurping ants off the surface. Nice catches using dry flys or small jigs 1-2’ below the surface. Smallmouth Bass: Good-Very Good – Real whoppers this past week, fish of 19-21. Tubes, drop-shot rigs best along 14-18’ gravel humps. Some anglers took advantage of warming temps to get in on some great top-water action come evenings. Musky: Good – Fish moving, but not always taking, on bucktails. Warm weather causing fish to move, investigate. Some reports of fish out away from weeds while some up shallow as pointed out by Walleye angler (C&R) a 48 from weedy shallows. Crappie: Good – Maybe not the numbers expected in September, but BIG slabs, many 13-14 with some 15. Use medium fatheads, jigs with flash around flooded timber in 14-18’. Deep coontail edges of similar depth also producing. Night time with lighted slip-bobbers up by docks, boathouses and pilings effective. Walleye: Fair-Good – Working lots of locations, finding fish one day means looking somewhere else the next. Despite the spotty action for most anglers, guide Greg Bohn scored and incredible 33, 13#+ Walleye (C&R) on a slip-bobber and fathead this week. Northern Pike: Fair-Good – Like the water a little cooler. Still decent action on spinner baits and swim baits in slightly deeper water of 8-12’. Yellow Perch: Good-Fair – Not as many reports. Nice fish of 10-11 but not the #s. Unseasonably warm weather (avg 10-15 degrees above normal) in forecast. Will help the Bass and Bluegill anglers, may hurt the rest. Should be great time to be on water though. Kurt Justice Kurt’s Island Sport Shop Like us on FaceBook

EAGLE RIVER:B+L, from reports fromColin Crawfordof Colin Crawford Guide Service for the Eagle River Chamber of Commerce, sent this:

Fishing Report With days getting shorter and water temperatures dropping, shallow weeds will start dying, moving fish into deeper areas to follow the oxygen that is left in the water. As this turnover starts, it will reoxygenate water levels from top to bottom as the thermocline will disappear. Panfish:Perch are found around the deeper weeds. Using slip bobber rigs tipped with minnows or a piece of red worm should catch you a bunch. Crappies are in the deeper weeds and around lay downs, so a slip bobber rig tipped with small minnow or plastic will work on these. Bluegills are up in the shallows, so a slip bobber rig tipped with a small piece of worm or wax worm will work on these fish. Bass:Largemouth will be found around structures such as, laydowns and docks. Throwing spinnerbaits and plastic will work even near top water and around pads and reeds will spark action. Smallmouth are going to be in and around the rocks, so jigs tipped with live bait, plastics, and crankbaits will work here. Northern:You will find these fish in and around the deeper weeds as the shallow weeds are starting to die. Walleye anglers will catch these while jigging. You can use smaller spinnerbaits like #3 or #4 Mepps. Safety pin style spinnerbaits are an effective choice. Walleye:These fish will be found on the deepest weed edges and on the rock piles. Minnows are working better now and crawlers will still work until water gets colder. As the month goes on, these fish will start moving towards the deeper breaks. Early mornings and later evenings will be the best times to catch a few for a fish fry. Muskies:Every strategy is working for these beasts, As the water temperatures start to cool off, fish will start moving to the deeper weed edges. Bucktails, rubber baits and crank-baits will all work this month.


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

Decent run of coho and few kings in all tributaries trail and salt best skein spawn saks and creek spinners best baitsTrolling slow out of burns ditch inshore and offshore fish here and there that’s itCrappie and gills in the ditch in the sticks and old boat docks for those that have went minnows and beemoth best baitsLots of groups out with the nice weather all over the place there fishing

WILLOW SLOUGH NOTE: J.C. Murphey Lake is closed through Sunday, Sept. 24. LAKERREMINDER: 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 Root River Report from the Wisconsin DNR has started again.TheWisconsin 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.


Shoreline/trib salmon/trout report at the top.

Staff at Tackle Haven in Benton Harbor said there is good laker fishing on the lake and finally starting to see a temperature break on the buoys at Cook and South Haven; pier is very slow.


Click here for reports from the Indiana DNR.


Park is open 6 a.m.-10 p.m. Lakeside is open 6 a.m.-6:30 p.m.  The restaurant is open weekends.

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, 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

For more information and reports from Lakeside, 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


Sturgeon season runs through Sept. 30. Click here for regulations and information. Staff at River’s Edge said some legal-sized sturgeon have been caught, but released. Otherwise, there are lots of sturgeon being caught. In other fishing, lots of walleye, smallmouth and white bass are being caught, crappie are fair; water is low.


No update.


No update.

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