[Update 1] Receding rivers, hoping on kings and other things: Chicago fishing, Midwest Fishing Report

At least for now the rivers are receding around Chicago fishing, but the main hope remains big lakefront Chinook for this sprawling raw-file Midwest Fishing Report.

SHARE [Update 1] Receding rivers, hoping on kings and other things: Chicago fishing, Midwest Fishing Report
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A sign, too common since Friday, still valid Monday evening in the hard-hit south and southwest suburbs.

Dale Bowman

The hope of big kings continues to dominate Chicago fishing but there are plenty of other options (even with our high or flooding rivers) for this sprawling raw-fie Midwest Fishing Report.

Speaking of water, it looks like some areas have potential for significant rain again over the next couple days, which obviously could alter conditions.

And this week Erik Brztowski begins adding reports from his adventures. I am looking forward to his insight and his travels.

BENEFIT

Bent Rods Bass Club holds a catch-photo-release tournament Saturday ($25 per angler entry) with all proceeds benefiting the Crisis Line of Will and Grundy Counties.

This event is open to all of Banner Marsh and will be hosted on TourneyX.com

https://tourneyx.com/app/tourney/bent-rods-charity-event-banner-marsh-il

https://www.facebook.com/events/354293318596683/

SHORELINE SALMON/TROUT

CHICAGO: Stacey Greene at Park Bait at Montrose Harbor texted:

About the same as last week.

A few, a mixed bag, are being caught from shore. I am seeing more than the usual number of people catching their first shoreline salmon or trout, see the FOTW tomorrow.

WAUKEGAN: Lori Ralph at the Salmon Stop texted:

Good morning, browns and steelies on the bottom,shrimp and spawn,kingson our own custome painted lures, and of course snagging opened today

Capt. Scott Wolfe emailed:

Waukegan shore fishing wasgenerally slow and slow for several kayakers too.The few fish taken by casting have been coho, with some really nice size ones landed.Skein and now spawn sacks are defiantly the way to fish.I know casting is more fun than watching a bobber, but the skein or spawn sack bite is more effective now. There are brown trout and next year’s coho all up and down the West shore of Lake Michigan from Milwaukee to Chicago.For persons wanting to avoid the grappling hook throwers, piers and harbors where snagging is not allowed will have the trout and small salmon swimming in and out.

It’s taken a while, but it looks like fall is finally poking its nose in this weekend.

NORTHWEST INDIANA: Capt. Rich Sleziak at Slez’s Bait in Lake Station texted:

With all the rain we got here creeks got to high and muddy for fishing need couple days to clear up and go down look for what fish we did get this year to be in the upper stretch’s of the creeks

ROOT RIVER, WISCONSIN: From the Wisconsin DNR Report on Tuesday, Oct. 1:

The Root River saw a major increase in activity this week as the King salmon run starts to come into full swing. While activity on the river increased, the lakefront saw a decrease in fishing activity. Very few boats were seen on the lake and not as many anglers were fishing from shore.

The Wisconsin DNR usually issues updates on Tuesday or Wednesday at https://dnr.wi.gov/topic/fishing/lakemichigan/rootriverreport.html

SALMON SNAGGING

Salmon snagging opened Tuesday, Oct. 1. Here are the details from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources:

4) Snagging for chinook and coho salmon only is permitted from the following Lake Michigan shoreline areas from October 1 through December 31; however, no snagging is allowed at any time within 200 feet of a moored watercraft or as posted: A) Lincoln Park Lagoon from the Fullerton Avenue Bridge to the southern end of the Lagoon. B) Waukegan Harbor (in North Harbor basin only). C) Winnetka Power Plant discharge area. D) Jackson Harbor (Inner and Outer Harbors). d) Disposition of Snagged Salmon and Paddlefish. All snagged salmon and paddlefish must be removed from the area from which they are taken and disposed of properly, in accordance with Article 5, Section 5-5 of the Fish and Aquatic Life Code.

AREA LAKES

Inland fall trout season opens Oct. 19. The limited catch and release fly season opens Saturday, but the most local spot—Rock Creek in Kankakee— was so blown out by the weekend rains that it was canceled there. The statewide press release is at https://www.dnr.illinois.gov/news/Pages/Illinois-Fall-Trout-Season-Opens-October-19.aspx.

Ken “Husker” O’Malley emailed:

Hey Dale, Here is a recap of this past week’s fishing. Area lakes-6 plus inches of rain didn’t stop bass from biting. With water levels extremely high and dirty, focus on in-flows, flooded shoreline trees, and casting tight to chunk rock. Best baits were chatter baits and lipless crank baits. Bright colors triggered the best bite. TTYL

Pete Lamar emailed:

No moving water report-that’s not going to be in the cards for at least a few days yet.Bluegills and bass hitting close to shore, better towards nightfall, on local ponds and lakes.With the warm windy conditions today and tomorrow, I’m anxious to get out and throw some foam hoppers and see who’s interested. I’ve had the local water pretty much to myself lately, with the exception of a couple of horned owls who observed my attempts from nearby dead trees.

BRAIDWOOD

Final day of fishing is Oct. 15.

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A scene from the Sublime Wear, USA Oak Lawn Community High School Bass Tournament at Braidwood Lake.

Provided by Rob Abouchar

Rob Abouchar emailed this report on the Sublime Wear, USA Oak Lawn Community High School Bass Tournament: :

Hi Dale Saturday was a big day for High School anglers at the Sublime Wear Oak Lawn Bass Fishing Tournament.Over 50 boats and 150 anglers and their coaches were chasing bass on Braidwood after the severe storms.The water was a couple feet high and stained like thin pea soup making for a slower than usual bite on the cooling lake.Several 5 fish limits of 12 Bass or better came to the scales.The top 4 schools were; 1st Naperville Central 5 bass for 10.69 lbs Ryan Kouchoukos and Ryan Laper.2nd Minooka High School boat#1 5 fish for 10.45 lbs Hunter Petrovic and Wyatt Pazdro.3rd was Gardner South Wilmington with 5 fish for 9.89lbs Grant Olsen Ryan Olsen.4th place went to Reed Custer boat #4 5 bass for 9.17lbsBlake and Eddie Gadd.Blake Gadd had the big bass of the tournament a 3.72 pound largemouth.Best baits going Saturday on Braidwood were soft plastic crawsand plastic worms.Also crankbaits still getting good bass.My Leyden team enjoyed participating in their first open tounamentand a couple of the guys got some bass but were just a little short.When a shore angler got in his car and ran into my trailer and sped off in reversewith nobody seeing his plates it was time to take it to the house. Still a few weeks of fishing to be done on the Wisconsin River...will report. Tight Lines Rob

CHAIN O’LAKES AREA[UP

[UPDATE1] The entire system, all three zones, went no-wake as of Wednesday, Oct. 2. Check updates at foxwaterway.com or (847) 587-8540.

Zone A (lower river) is no-wake, other zones are open. Check updates at foxwaterway.com or (847) 587-8540.

Brad Irving at Triangle Sports and Marine in Antioch said white bass are going, try shallower over sand bottoms; crappie are deep on Pistakee and Fox; largemouth picked up shallow again; muskie are very active on bucktails than topwaters evening, try Channel, Catherine, Marie and Petite; chicken liver or cutbait has been working for catfish and bluegills are going again.

DAM NOTE:The Stratton Lock and Dam will be closed on Mondays and Tuesdays (with the exception of Labor Day and Columbus Day) through the end of the 2019 navigational season.In October, it will operate Wednesdays through Sundays 8:00 a.m. -8:00 p.m.

Go to http://www.foxwaterway.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/20318-IDNR_Announces_Updated_Operating_Schedule_at_Stratton-Bolger_Lock_and_Dam.pdf for details.

CHICAGO RIVER

Jeffrey Williams

Wats up Dale Its amazing how fast summer went by, but over all its been a good summer, broke my carp and crappies l record so no complaints over here. Been hitting the river the past week and it has its days. One day could be good and next couple of days could be bad, especially with all the rain we had the past few days. Still catching some good size gills and decent size crappies. Gills coming in between 8-10 ins, crappies around the same size. Been hitting em under the bridges with a white underspin with a gulp minnow or a rooster tail tipped with a waxie. Excited that im going to be going Salmon fishing for the 1st time in the winter. Wish eveyone luck if ur going out this week to go fishing.

Good to hear from Jeffrey again.

DELAVAN LAKE, WISCONSIN

Dave Duwe emailed:

Lake Delavan – 9/30/19 through 10/7/19 This past week we again has up and down weather patterns to contend with. The early part of the week had temps in the mid 80’s and by the end we were in the 60’s. The most difficult fishing came with the strong winds that prevailed from the west almost all week. This wind made fishing nearly impossible several of the days. Walleye fishing has been improving by the day. A lot of fish are now being caught during the day as well as at night. I’m still primarily using night crawlers, but have started to convert to the fat head minnow. The fish can now be caught anywhere from 15 – 20 ft. of water depending on the day. I have been fishing the south shore most of the time. One of the best things about fall fishing is that the fish are starting to put on the feedbag in preparation for the long winter. I am catching several legal fish per trip on most occasions. The largest fish for me this year has been 22 inches. Keep in mind that the best bite should occur around the full moon in October. (Around the 20th) Small mouth bass are starting to show up shallow again. The water is cooling and they are now again associating with the rock and gravel bottom areas, such as Browns Channel, Willow Point and the Yacht Club point. All of the fish I caught last week were caught on night crawlers fished in 14-15 ft. of water. Northern Pike fishing was better this week. It seems as if they are becoming more active. The northerns, like the walleyes, are starting to bite a lot before the winter. This week I was using 8 inch suckers. I will slowly be increasing the size as the water cools and the lake turns over. My largest fish on Delavan was caught last year in the 3rd week of October and the fish was just over 44 inches. The presentation I use is a dead stick over the side of the boat. I use a Garcia clicker reel to indicate a bite. The best depth has been 15-16 ft. of water. Crappie fishing is still very productive. They are again in the weeds in 8-14 ft. of water. Most of the limits are being taken at night, which makes it tough in the cool weather. Some good locations are the Village Supper Club and in front of Assembly Park. The best success is produced on small fat head minnows fished beneath a slip bobber. Keep moving to find the active fish. Good Luck and I hope to see you on the water. For guide parties, please call Dave Duwe at 262-728-8063.

DOWNSTATE

EMIQUON: Go to http://experienceemiquon.com/content/nature-conservancy-emiquon-preserve-lake-access. SHELBYVILLE: Check with Ken Wilson of Lithia Guide Service. SOUTHERN ILLINOIS: Check with Jason Johns of Boneyard Fishing. HENNEPIN-HOPPER: Closed for the season.

FOX RIVER

The river is projected to be in flood or near flood at Montgomery for the coming days.

As Pete Lamar emailed:

No moving water report-that’s not going to be in the cards for at least a few days yet.

GENEVA LAKE, WISCONSIN

Dave Duwe emailed:

Lake Geneva 9/30/19 through 10/7/19 If you were able to get out on the water, anglers saw relatively good fishing this week. Fall winds made some of the days this week pretty tough for any kind of boat control. Small mouth bass are again moving back into the shallows. They are positioned on the main lake points such as Black Point, Coleman’s Point and Conference Point. Some of the secondary spots to try include the prevalent spawning flats, such as Elgin Club and the Military Academy. The best depth has been 10-12 ft. of water. I’m primarily using night crawlers on the split shot rig or using Kalins grubs fished on a 1/8 oz darter head. I’m using a very slow retrieve. This pattern should be very effective for the next few weeks. Northern Pike fishing has been very good. The thermo cline has now dissipated and most of the fish are in their shallow water haunts. They are again associating with weed beds and the juvenile pan fish. The best success can be on slip bobbers fishing medium to large golden shiners in approximately 12-15 ft. of water. The best locations are the Fontana Beach area and Knollwood. Large mouth bass fishing was average last week. Most of the fish were caught in the shallow water. I have been exclusively drifting night crawlers on the split shot rig. Some of the best locations have been in Geneva Bay, the weed flat east of Knollwood and by the Military Academy. Perch fishing has been awesome. You have to sort through them, but if you put in your time you can catch a good selection of 9-10 inchers. The fish are in shallow weeds with a hard sand bottom. Most of the action is coming on small minnows fished with a slip bobber. Some good locations are Rainbow Point and near Knollwood. Look for them between 7 and 10 ft. of water. Rock bass are plentiful, with the cooling water. Wherever you find active rock bass, you will most likely find a few small mouth as well. The best depth has been 8-12 ft. of water. All the fish I caught last week were on night crawlers. Good luck and I hope to see you on the water. For guide parties, please call Dave Duwe at 262-728-8063

GREEN LAKE AREA, WISCONSIN

Resized/Sun-Times

Guide Mike Norris himself shows what some of the smallmouth are like in the Green Lake area.

Provided

Guide Mike Norris emailed:

Fishing Report – 9/27/2019 Mike Norris Big Green Lake - My clients and I are still catching smallmouth bass by wacky worming Senko’s and on drop shot rigs over rocky areas 7 – 15 ft deep.Most bass are running 13 – 17 inches but I did land a fat 20 incher that weighed in just short of 5 lbs. late last week.The walleye bite remains good trolling with crankbaits and worm harnesses over weed tops in 13 – 15 ft of water outside of Dodge Park and along the southeast corner of Big Green.Lake trout have been fair to good on white tube jigs and Jigging Rapala’s in 70 – 90 ft of water along deep flats on the north side of the lake.The lake trout season closes at the end of the day on September 30th. . . . Fox Lake – The walleye bite has improved on Fox Lake as anglers are reporting catches of walleyes trolling Flicker Shads.Try trolling the Boat House shoreline and near the condos along the north shore of Fox Lake.A couple anglers are reporting catches of walleyes trolling crankbaits right down the middle of the lake. Contact Mike Norris, Wacky Work Guide Service, at 630-842-8299 for Big Green Lake and other central Wisconsin guided fishing trips.

HEIDECKE LAKE

Final day of fishing is Tuesday, Oct. 8.

ILLINOIS RIVER

Crested at Ottawa today, projected to be in flood until further notice at LaSalle.

KANKAKEE RIVER

High and stained, but receding. NOTE: Because of the high water and flooding, Rock Creek will not be open for early catch-and-release fly fishing.

LAKE ERIE

Check the report at http://wildlife.ohiodnr.gov/fishing/fishing-forecasts-and-reports/the-fish-ohio-report

LAKEFRONT

Stacey Greene at Park Bait at Montrose Harbor texted: About the same as last week. (a few catches but more seen than caught) Oh but there has been a few perch caught

Capt. Bob Poteshman of Confusion Charters said that weather limited effort, but when they got out on Monday, there were good lakers in 140-160 off Chicago; while at North Point lakers are congregating more around the reefs, it is that time.

Lori Ralph at the Salmon Stop texted:

Good morning, browns and steelies on the bottom,shrimp and spawn,kingson our own custome painted lures, and of course snagging opened today

Capt. Scott Wolfe emailed:

Hi Dale – Waukegan shore fishing wasgenerally slow and slow for several kayakers too.The few fish taken by casting have been coho, with some really nice size ones landed.Skein and now spawn sacks are defiantly the way to fish.I know casting is more fun than watching a bobber, but the skein or spawn sack bite is more effective now. There are brown trout and next year’s coho all up and down the West shore of Lake Michigan from Milwaukee to Chicago.For persons wanting to avoid the grappling hook throwers, piers and harbors where snagging is not allowed will have the trout and small salmon swimming in and out. Due to weather, not many trips were run by the fleet.My boat is now hauled out until April 1.As is typical of fall,when the weather gives a window fishing had been excellent with lake trout in big numbers still holding to the spawning humps from Waukegan South Reef down to Gumby’s Reef off Evanston. Those fish should be moving in to feed shallower soon.There are good numbers of Brown trout and small coho in shallow water North of the harbor.I have not heard of anyone trying in the area from Great Lakes to the R2 yet.Typically that area is loaded with Brown and small coho this time of year.Small spoons in Warrior Flutter and Warrior XL sizes trolled on 2 or 3 color leads or 60 plus feet behind a slidediver are the best presentations.Body baits like Rapalas and Rogues custom painted in Great Lakes colors sometimes work well too. Although I am out for the season we have several buddies who will keep their big boats in through October and others with outboard powered boats who fish the big lake all winter with small groups.I would be happy to point any of your readers and followers in the right direction. My boat is also accepting reservations for 2020.People can place a hold on a date now and I’ll get the deposit after January 1.Have a great week. Capt. Scott Wolfe School of Fish Charters www.schooloffishcharters.com 630-341-0550

LaSALLE LAKE

Final day of fishing is Oct. 15.

Erik Brztowski messaged:

Lasalle lake blues: With cooler temps and lower pressure, the cooler side of the lake has gone down tremendously making the cats a bit more active then usual. Stacking up a bit more also. Fish in the 40 pound class have been caught also.

MADISON LAKES, WISCONSIN

Guide Mike Norris emailed:

Fishing Report – 9/27/2019 Mike Norris . . . Madison Chain – I had a couple of guide trips to Lake Monona last week and caught limits of bluegills up to 8 inches on each trip.On the first trip I set up in 11 ft. of water on weed edges adjacent to the rocky shoals in Squaw Bay and on the second trip I vertical jigged at both the seawall at Monona Terrace and near the Triangle on west side of Lake Monona.Lake Mendota is producing gills over 9 inches but fewer numbers.Try fishing slip bobbers rigs with a jig and red worm or by vertical jigging in 25 – 30 ft. of water in both Spring Harbor and Marshall Park areas. . . . Contact Mike Norris, Wacky Work Guide Service, at 630-842-8299 for Big Green Lake and other central Wisconsin guided fishing trips.

Check the D&S Bait update at https://www.facebook.com/dsbaitandtackle/.

MAZONIA LAKES

Final day of fishing is Oct. 15, except Monster Lake remains open year-round.

NORTHERN WISCONSIN

Kurt Justice at Kurt’s Island Sport Shop emailed:

Feels like fall now!Following a week of warm weather and rising water temps, the past weeks weather has brought lake temperatures back down in a hurry.Lakes and Flowages that saw surface temps hit 70-71 degrees 10 days ago, now see most lakes sitting in the 60-63 degree range.With the exception of a hic-cup on Thursday afternoon (9/26) fishing has improved for several species as the water has cooled. Crappie:Very Good –Not only has the bite gotten better, mostly with medium fatheads under slip-floats in 14-18’ over wood or along coontail edges, but some truly big fish.13-14 have been reported by a lot of anglers, but a 15 ½ followed by a 16 ¼ monster were brought into the shop last week. Musky:Good-Very Good –This next week to 10 days leading up to the turn-over on most lakes should be key for Musky action!Good time to continue with top-water and bladed baits.Higher riding, plastic and swim baits also hot.Suckers, especially on bladed quick-set rigs have been scoring well. Walleye:Good –Definite up tick in action as waters cool.Vertical jigging 1/8 – 1/4 oz jigs tipped with large fatheads or ½ crawlers.Jigging Raps, Shiver Minnows and Hyper Glides over 22-38’ gravel/rock humps.On Flowages 1/16 – 1/8 oz Invasion or Jacks weedless jigs tipped with large fats or smaller chubs working in drowned wood and even shallow weeds on windward shorelines. Northern Pike:Good –Most reports from anglers targeting Musky using smaller bucktails or twitch baits Mepps #5 spinners as well as 4 swim baits also effective. Smallmouth Bass:Good –Fewer reports anglers targeting = less reports.Best along base of gravel humps.Drop-shotting and vertical jigging. Yellow Perch:Good –Best on Flowages around wood using ½ crawlers under floats. Largemouth Bass:Fair –Not many targeting.Most reports from deeper weed edges using Sweet Beavers on Carolina rigs or drop-shotting 3 Wacky Worms Bluegill: Fair - Few reports Seems the warm September has everything held back.Not a lot of color in trees unless you head north of here.Warm lake temps threw patterns off but now things starting to line up! Big question will be when is turn-over?All the lakes won’t turn-over at same tie due to surface area and depth differences, but watch surface temps.Once they get to the 53-55 degree range it could start.Lakes without current (Flowages) and depth (under 24’ Max, typically) won’t experience turn-over.This pre-turn-over time can bring on some hot fishing as fish seem to feed up prior to the shutdown stage when the mix is happening, so get ready! Kurt Justice Kurt’s Island Sport Shop Like us on FaceBook

It’s taken a while, but it looks like fall is finally poking its nose in this weekend.

NORTHWEST INDIANA

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

With all the rain we got here creeks got to high and muddy for fishing need couple days to clear up and go down look for what fish we did get this year to be in the upper stretch’s of the creeks Perch still can be had out of burns ditch for those willing to go when weather allows Still a lot of people fishing local ponds and lakes in the area doing fair on gills and crappie feeding up for the winter

ROOT RIVER, WISCONSIN

The Wisconsin DNR’s Root River report included this Tuesday, Oct. 1:

The Root River saw a major increase in activity this week as the King salmon run starts to come into full swing. While activity on the river increased, the lakefront saw a decrease in fishing activity. Very few boats were seen on the lake and not as many anglers were fishing from shore.

The Wisconsin DNR usuaully issues updates on Tuesday or Wednesday at https://dnr.wi.gov/topic/fishing/lakemichigan/rootriverreport.html

SHABBONA LAKE

Staff at Lakeside said the water is high, but receding, and a little bit of everything—bass, crappie, walleye, bluegill—are being caught along with a few catching nice catfish on the weed lines; muskie slowed. Water is in the mid-60s.

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

SOUTHEAST WISCONSIN LAKEFRONT

For the southern Lake Michigan reports from the Wisconsin DNR, go to https://dnr.wi.gov/topic/fishing/lakemichigan/outdoorreport.html#01

WISCONSIN DELLS

Erik Brztowski messaged:

. . . Wisconsin river: Sturgeon season wrapped up officially last weekend, with the flow going down fishing was a bit on the tougher side for people. Fish were still caught but mostly on the smaller side. But all in all it was a way better season then the last few years in the dells area with the high water and cooler temperatures. With the higher water, and cooler water walleyes should start to come up from lake Wisconsin soon. The good ol jig and minnow, flicker shads, lindy rigs, jig and twister tails, and a 3 way rig with a fly and minnow has been a very successful rig on the Wisconsin river in the past few years. Musky and pike wise fish are being caught mostly in current breaks in Eddy’s. Find the bait find the fish. With cooler temps coming, the live bait bite should get good on the river. Crappies are still getting caught on the bluff walls, just a slip bobber and a minnow or crappie jig. White bass by all dams have also been better then usual. Smallmouth can still be caught also, and schooled up a lot more then in summer, if you can find them.

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