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Waiting on Chinook, Labor Day options: Chicago fishing, Midwest Fishing Report

Lake Michigan Chinook.
Provided/Andy Mikos

Some thoughts for Labor Day weekend are the key points in this sprawling raw-file Midwest Fishing Report; well that and the joy of more general reports of Chinook coming on shore and off shore.

Andy Mikos sent the photo at the top and this note on Sunday:

89 year old Sey Gottlieb caught this beautiful 23 pound male king out in 230′ of water today. Went out there for cohos but got 3 lakers and this king on a dipsy out 220′. Lost what might have been a bigger king down 124′. Sey’s king was no where near coming in towards shore. It had over 10 alewives in it and did not have a lot of color. If the shore guys put in their time they have a shot at a good fish. Heavy southwest wind should bring in cooler water and kings In this week.

The condensed Midwest Fishing Report appears Wednesdays on the outdoors page of the Sun-Times newspaper. The sprawling raw-file report is posted here online on the Sun-Times outdoors page.


Chinook out of North Point.<br>Provided
Chinook out of North Point.

Certainly are seeing some big Chinook from boats.

John Miller sent the photo above and this note from a trip on the Salmon Caddy with Capt. Jim Miller out of North Point:

We caught this 21 lb King on the salmon caddy Sunday morning it broke the line just as captain Jim miller scooped it with the net we also got an 18 lb laker and a 15 lb steelhead

My name is John Miller (no relation to captain Jim)

We were on a charter with a group of union carpenters from local 1185

On the very day that Andy Mikos sent the note and photo above, he proved prophetic as shown Sunday by action at Montrose.

Shoreline king caught at Montrose.<br>Provided from Facebook
Shoreline king caught at Montrose.
Provided from Facebook

Stacey Greene at Park Bait posted the photo above, one of at least three kings caught Sunday at Montrose, and this note:

Nice king caught by Dio. I didn’t weigh it but he said he did and it was 17lb.

Staff at Park Bait said Tuesday that other kings were caught at Montrose on Monday and at least one Tuesday.

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

Labor Day weekend is perennially when a few fish show around number 4 marker and down the port of Indiana wall short coppers with silver horde plugs or j plugs good baits to try moonshine mag glow spoons mid water column good bet alsoHow many fish show up is anybody’s guess I’m sure thel be some coho but how many kings will have to see usually best chance is super early am and sunset


Frog hunting in Illinois, bullfrogs only, is open. Daily bag is eight. Fishing license is required; bullfrogs may be taken by “hook and line, gig, pitchfork, spear, bow and arrow, hand, or landing net.”


Ken “Husker” O’Malley emailed this:

Hey Dale,

Here is a recap of this past week’s fishing.

Area lakes- If one word could describe this week it would be ever changing. From high water, cold fronts, and now extreme heat. Through all that, the bass bite still remains good. Evening hours have been best as the morning hours have been slow. Focus on inside weedlines for the most aggressive fish. Lipless crank baits have been the best.



Ken “Husker” O’Malley

Husker Outdoors

Waterwerks fishing team

Bonus points for the shirt.


Click 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


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


No update.


Brad Irving at Triangle Sports and Marine said that catfish are good all over on stinkbait; bluegill are on weed lines or docks; white and yellow bass are going on small Mepps or small crankbaits on most lakes; some crappie on south end of Pistakee; frogs working well on Loon.

Check Fox Waterway Agency or (847) 587-8540 for more information.

STRATTON LOCK AND DAM: Open daily 8 a.m.-midnight through Sept. 30. Click here for more info on the lock and dam.


Capt. Pat Harrison at Pat Harrison Outdoors sent this:

Chicago River Report,

First Sorry for not reporting last week got caught up in things. Last week I was a few times. Water temps are back down in the mid 70’s on the river and about the same on the lake. We caught fish but had to work for them Bass are moving a bit smallmouth ranged from 12” to 18”on Creature baits. Panfish as always white jig and twister tail tipped with a Waxie but the jig head size is a bit bigger 3/16” and ¼” to drop to the bottom quicker. Blue Bird Skies and bright sun are pushing fish to the bottom in the clear water.

I had the Honor Last week to be the back ground guide for a episode of Operation Fishing Freedom. Jay uses his boat to Honor and share the stories of Our Veterans with PTSD. We filmed for two days on the river. It was Awesome to spend the time with the Veteran and the crew I will post when the show is scheduled to start the new season in 2019. You don’t have to wait for this show to air search Operation Fishing Freedom and watch some of the current shows

This coming week are going to start trolling for Trout and Salmon to try and get on the bite and follow it through fall, we will share how it goes, going to do some go pro stuff to show what we’re using and how we are using it. I’m somewhat new to this but have a couple buddies Nick and Mike that have done it for years and are showing me the ropes.

Till Next week Tight Lines and Big Fish, If your interested in a trip feel free to contact me there are still some open dates. Please feel free to share pictures of your catch on my Face book fishing page Pat Harrison Outdoors – Fishing Adventures.

Thanks Captain Pat


Dave Duwe sent this:

Delavan Lake Fishing Report 8/27/18 – 9/3/18

The expression goes; “ if it isn’t broken, don’t fix it.” This holds true for the largemouth bass bite which has been phenomenal. All week, we did basically the same thing with great results every trip.

Largemouth bass can be caught adjacent to the main lake points in 15-17 ft of water. Lindy rigged nightcrawlers are the best approach. The fish are concentrated in large schools, so once you find the active fish, you can be there for a while. The size of the fish is varied, we are catching fish anywhere from 12 inches to 5 lbs.

Crappie fishing has been excellent on the west end of the lake along the buoy line on the Viewcrest side. The fish are in 12-13 ft of water right in the weeds. They can be caught on small plastics or Thill slip bobbers fished with a fat head minnow.

Northern pike action has been good. They are slightly shallower than normal. They can be caught associated with the weed flats while casting chatter baits or white spinner baits. Look for the fish by Viewcrest bay or in Highlands Bay.

Walleye fishing remains very spotty. I only caught a couple last week and both were undersized. I’m catching them on lindy rigged nightcrawlers fished in 18-20 ft of water. The best success has been by Belvidere Park condos or Assembly Park point.

Bluegills remain very active. Like the northern pike, they are shallower than typical for this time of year. The best success is coming in 13-15 ft of water. Look for the fish by the Assembly Park Point or by Browns Channel.

Good luck and I hope to see you on the water. For guide parties, please call Dave Duwe at 262-728-8063


No update.


LAKE SHELBYVILLE: Ken Wilson of Ken Wilson Guide Service texted:

Dale.. Got your message. Lake Shelbyville fishing report is basically the same as the last one I email you last week. I don’t think I gave you the water temp last time. Today it is 82* and clear. lake level is normal summer pool. Tight lines… Ken

Here is the report he emailed last week:

Ken says: The lake level stands at 599.5 as of today’s report and is at normal summer pool is 599.7 The tail water flow is 40 (cfs). Tail water fishing report has been fair to good on the crappie, white bass, catfish with the Muskie bite the best. Evenings and first light our your best time. On the lake the crappie are good and still out In 8-15 feet of water so we have been trolling 200- 300 series Bandit crank baits and bottom bouncer with spinner rigs. We look for the shad schools on main lake and the mouth of coves on the depth finder and you can see the crappie and white bass underneath the shad schools. Use line counter reels so you know how much line you have out and run your speed at .08- 1.6 on GPS . The learning curve on this technique is short so by midday you should have it down. White bass are slow to fair with some coming on two jig rigs on days you have wind on sand flats on what’s left off the flooded vegetation. If no wind it is a hit a miss so we been targeting the crappie which are more reliable and better table fair.. The large mouth bass should be on main lake points up in the day and shallow early in morning. Buzz bait early in morning will work here. Then when sun gets high in the sky go to black and blue brush hog or 10″ red shad worm on a heavy shaky head jig to get through the heavy cover. Heavy rod and line are a must to get these fish out of the cover. Walleye are slow are fair and can be caught from first light and evenings up feeding on sand flats and rocks and the outside of boat ramps rock. Also they can be caught trolling shad raps on main lake points up in the day. Be safe and watch for other boaters… Tight Lines

HENNEPIN-HOPPER: Last day of fishing for the year is Monday, Sept. 3. Click here for regulations and other information.

SOUTHERN ILLINOIS: Jason Johns of Boneyard Fishing said that on Rend, catfish are good all over, while crappie are just OK on minnows and jigs in 2-10 feet; on Kinkaid, bass and white bass are schooling, crappie are on and off; on Lake of Egypt, night fishing really good for bass, while crappie are OK on minnows in grass or laydowns; on Crab Orchard bass “are going nuts.”

EVERGREEN: As posted on the web site:

Evergreen Lake Bait Shop & Boat Rental – NOW OPEN 6-6 EVERY DAY!

POWERTON: Open 6 a.m.-6 p.m.


No update.


No update.


Arden Katz said that drop-shots are taking smallmouth, good size but fair numbers, in 17-20 feet on points; some largemouth are shallower.

Dave Duwe sent this:

Lake Geneva Fishing Report 8/27/18 – 9/3/18

As the summer winds down, the boat traffic will fall off tremendously making it a great time to fish Lake Geneva. The best bite on the lake continues to be Walleyes at night or the deep water bluegills are also active.

Bluegills remain in the deep waters, roughly 18-20 ft of water. The fish are associating off the weed lines in the main lake basin. The best location has been by Elgin Club or by Gage Marine. The best approach is fishing leaf worms with a small split shot straight beneath the boat.

Rock bass fishing is also very good. Use split shot rigged nightcrawlers in 14-16 ft of water. The best locations are by Abbey Springs, Covenant Harbor, and by the South Shore Club.

Largemouth bass fishing is good. The bass are concentrating on hard bottom locations in deep water with scattered weeds. The best location has been by Trinkes or off the main lake points. The best depth has been 20-24 ft of water. They can be caught drop shotting 4 inch finesse worms or Carolina rigging green pumpkin lizards in the 6 inch size.

Northern pike action remains consistent. They can be caught every time out however, the numbers have been on the low side. Look for the fish in Fontana Boat Channel or just west of Cedar Point. Works a depth of 35 ft of water. Use medium lindy rigged suckers for the best success.

Walleye fishing remains good at night. The best option is trolling for them. Look for the fish in Williams Bay weed line or by Abbey Springs. Medium diving stick baits have been working well. The best depth has been 15-17 ft of water.

Good luck and I hope to see you on the water. For guide parties, please call Dave Duwe at 262-728-8063


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

Click here to see the Wisconsin DNR’s Lake Michigan Fishing Report.


Lake hours are 6 a.m. to sunset daily; well, shore fishing is always scheduled to open at 6;30 a.m.


River at Starved Rock is very low and warm; catfish are top bite, according to B&B Live Bait in Ottawa–(815) 433-0432.


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.


Kyle Lund messaged:

Not much has changed on the Kankakee. Smallmouth are still actively feeding late in the day through the night and into early the early morning. There has been some new water in from a little rain but it went as quickly as it came. It looks like that pattern should hold. Rain is forecast over the next week but no major rain events that will make water levels jump. Stick to fast moving deeper water during the heat of the day and try up shallow as the sun sinks with topwater moving baits. Be aggressive. The only reason fish are coming up shallow right now is to eat and that’s it so don’t be afraid to throw something big and move some water. If you are fishing during the day finesse is key. They will be less willing to chase a bait but they will eat if you put a bait in their face. Cast upstream and let you bait work naturally though the area you are fishing. Remember you are trying to replacate a minnow/craw/ bug that has been swept down stream as is disoriented making it an easy meal. Experiment with weight. You want the bait to rest on bottom but also want to be able to lift up and let it be swept down stream a little at a time. This presentation will be most effective casted upstream and coming down. Fish almost always sit with their nose pointed upstream or at a slight angle to upstream so they can see what is being washed to them. (Rivers are food delivery systems) Catfish are being caught at all hours of the day. Some really big flat heads have made an appearance this week. Fish above the dam in logs and down trees. I fish as many spots as I can. Soak a live gill on the upstream side of a tree and cut bait on one of the edges.15 mins no fish I’m moving. Mid river or onshore the fish have been in both places at all hours of the day. If there are 2 places with trees and they are more that 10 feet apart during the heat of the day give each location 15min. The fish didn’t get that big by swimming around all day. If they are not hunting they are not moving. Cooler temps next week may help it feel a little closer to fall and it’s a push in the right direction. Stay safe and take a kid fishing!


Click here to see the Wisconsin DNR’s Lake Michigan Fishing Report. It generally comes out Tuesday.


Click here for bag limits and prospects for the season from the Ohio DNR. The Ohio DNR has general Lake Erie info and a fishing report.


Big lake trout caught off Chicago on Kingseeker Charters.<br>Provided
Big lake trout caught off Chicago on Kingseeker Charters.

Jim Kovacek sent the photo above on Sunday and this message:

Hi Dale. Capt. John Warren from King Seeker Charters asked me to send you a picture of this laker. Caught off of Chicago in 125ft of water on a 450 copper rod on a mag dreamweaver carmel dolphin.

It was caught today. Don’t know the clients name . It was 31pound 11ounces

Steelhead at Montrose.<br>Provided from Facebook
Steelhead at Montrose.
Provided from Facebook

Stacey Greene at Park Bait posted on Facebook the photo above and this note:

Nice 11lb steelhead this morning. Joe caught it Mike is just the model lol. Also heard of 3 kings this morning. 1 on Horseshoe 2 at mouth of harbor.

Capt. Bob Poteshman of Confusion Charters said that off of Chicago lakers are pretty good with the occasional steelhead, coho, king and brown. “I think there is a lot of bait in deeper water past 100 feet,” he said. Mornings are “radically better.” Most of the fishing is being done outside of the Wreck in 100-150 feet. Out of North Point, there is the occasional king on the hills, but a lot of baby coho and kings; out deeper in 170-320, there’s steelhead, some lakers and the occastional coho, but not numbers and not consistent.


Lake is open daily 6 a.m.-sunset.


Gene Dellinger at D & S Bait said launches are generally closed because of the flooding and he expects most to remain closed through the holiday weekend.

Check updates from D & S Bait on Facebook.


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


Check with Mike Mladeik at Mike Mladenik Guide Service.


Click here to see the Wisconsin DNR’s Lake Michigan Fishing Report. It is generally out Tuesdays.


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

Fishing has improved along several fronts as clouds, rain and assorted weather has helped fishing.

Surface temps have cooled a little, many lakes seeing temps of 72-74 degrees, down from the upper 70’s of early last week. A few signs of a little die off on certain weeds, may be seeing a little transition away from these areas ‘til die off over.

Smallmouth Bass: Very Good – Drop-shotting 3” plastic worms, craws and minnows best. Ned rigs, though heavier jig heads needed, for deep rocks has been hot. Also, any stand up (Football style) jigs tipped with craws or skirted grubs have been hot.

Largemouth Bass: Very Good – While storms have quieted bites at times, overall very good action on pre-rigged worms, spinnerbaits and shallow Shad Raps over weed tops. Wacky worming and Ned rigging TRD worms has been hot. Try small swimbaits (2 ½ – 3”) or 4” power worms on 1/8 – 1/4 swimming heads or 1/2 moon jig heads over cabbage in 6-10’. Don’t forget top-water! Whopper Ploppers, Pompador Jr’s, Tornado tails and Jitterbugs!

Musky: Good – Action picking up. Top-water best on tail baits such as Whopper Ploppers, Pacemakers, Tally Wackers. Good action on large spinnerbaits. Savage swimbaits in Bluegill and Burbot models and fast moving twitchbaits such as Cranes and jerkbaits with tails. #’s of fish in mid-30’s to low-mid 40” range.

Northern Pike: Good – Spinnerbaits, chatterbaits and swimbaits worked over and through existing green weeds of 8-14’.

Bluegill: Good – Weather took some of the gloss of this species. Still best outside coontail edges of 12-14’ suspended 4-8’ down. Try medium/small leeches, thunderbugs and worms. Small twister tails on 1/32 oz jigs or Mini-mites tipped with waxies.

Walleye: Fair – Best on overcast days or after dark. Daytime bite on crawlers, large leeches along 12-16’ weed edges or out over 14-24’ gravel humps. At night, lighted slip-bobbers suspending red-tailed chubs, black chubs or suckers of 3-5” over off-shore humps best.

Crappie: Fair – Reports vary. Best over drowned wood on flowages using medium fatheads. Try 1-2” white twister tails on 1/32 – 1/16 oz jigs heads twitched over weed tops of 8-12’.

Yellow Perch: Fair – Mostly incidental catches from anglers using 1/2 crawlers medium fats for Walleyes or Crappies.

May have some weather for early part of Labor Day holiday weekend, but as waters cool ever so slightly and water levels continue to fall on our flowages, early fall fishing should improve.

Kurt Justice – Kurt’s Island Sport Shop

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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:

Lake trout in 100ft on bottom metal dodgers spin n glows or magnum spoons

Labor Day weekend is perennially when a few fish show around number 4 marker and down the port of Indiana wall short coppers with silver horde plugs or j plugs good baits to try moonshine mag glow spoons mid water column good bet alsoHow many fish show up is anybody’s guess I’m sure thel be some coho but how many kings will have to see usually best chance is super early am and sunsetSlezs is open 5am to 7 pm all weekend and Labor DayNot many people out for perch but a few being had west of Michigan city more small ones than keepers tho


No update.


No update.


The Wisconsin DNR’s Root River Report is usually out Tuesday or Wednesday. Click here to see it.


Staff at Tackle Haven in Benton Harbor said there’s lakers and a few coho being caught in 90-120 ifeet; there was one king caught off the pier last week; river is slow.


Click here for reports from the Indiana DNR.


Clint Sands at Lakeside said there are lots of hybrids, including one to 28 inches, being caught; catfish are good all over; topwaters early and late or crankbaits during day are taking largemouth; there’s been a few walleye caught on jigging Raps, spoons or Flicker Shads; crappie (take sorting) are being caught; there’s also some nice perch and bluegill for boaters; water is 80 degrees, down slightly with clarity of two or three feet.

Lakeside–(815) 824-2581–is open 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. Park hours 6 a.m.- 10 p.m. After Labor Day, the restaurant will be open on weekends only.


The Wisconsin DNR’s Lake Michigan Fishing Report restarted. Click here to see it. Streams flow info is at


No update.


Smallmouth on Wisconsin River.<br>Provided
Smallmouth on Wisconsin River.

Rob Abouchar sent the photo above and this note:

Hi Dale

The successful run of guide trips for Big Fish Rock And Roll Guide Service continued last weekend on the Wisconsin River in Merrill and on the Alexander Flowage. Roy Coakley the husband of one of West Leydens’ finest Support staff Becky Coakley fished with me on Saturday and connected with all four species of the Northwoods Grand Slam. A small muskie came to the boat on a black and orange spinner, Northern pike came on a Rebel Pop R, a giant Smallmouth bass on the Pop R and even a walleye from under the bridges in Merrill. The Smallmouth Bass was one of the biggest to be brought to the boat so far this season at 5 solid pounds on the MLF digital scale. It was Roys personal best Smallie and a real beauty!! Also the migration of the nighthawks filling the skies was something to behold. More fall colors are emerging and the water temps are down to 69-70 degrees and cooling. The Big possums will be walking late in the coming weeks.Tight linesRob


Check with River’s Edge.


No update.


FREMONT: Guide Bill Stoager said there are a few white bass–but “it will be a ways yet”–and some crappie, nothing special.

[ADDED] WINNECONNE: Gary Bloom just messaged that Winneconne was hit with heavy rains in the last 24 hours.