Perch begin for Chicago fishing, and add inland trout and lakefront salmon/trout for the Midwest Fishing Report

Best news for this sprawling raw-file Midwest Fishing Report is the beginning of perch reports on the Chicago lakefront.

SHARE Perch begin for Chicago fishing, and add inland trout and lakefront salmon/trout for the Midwest Fishing Report

Capt. Bob Poteshmand (right) with customer Larry and a monster lake trout caught Friday out of North Point.


[NOTE: The perch report and photos at 87th were removed until we sort out what is truth and what is miscommunication.]

Some reports begin of perch around Chicago fishing while some shoreline salmon and trout continue for this sprawling raw-fie Midwest Fishing Report.

And I suspect with this weather that crappie will be the main target of many inland soon.

Capt. Bob Poteshman of Confusion Charters (right, Larry is on the left) emailed the photo above of a 36-pound lake trout Friday afternoon.

If you assumed, as I did, that it was caught off the reefs, no Potesman said it came from 160 feet of water straight out of North Point Marina near the Illinois-Wisconsin state line.

It was 41 inches long with a girth of 24 inches.

If you’re wondering, Theodore Rullman caught the Illinois record (38 pounds, 4 ounces) on Aug. 22, 1999.



Federico Saavedra caught his trout limit Saturday


Federico Saavedra emailed the photo above on Saturday and this report:

Trout season opener and caught my limit using a spinner.

I’ve heard of good and/or limit catches and some of the usual kvetching about size.

Fall trout season opened Oct. 19 and I think overall take on opening weekend was strong. I included an inclusive list of sites (not all of them are listed on the state press release) below the basic information.

Here are the basics from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources:

All anglers — including those who intend to release fish caught before Oct. 19 — must have a valid fishing license and an Inland Trout Stamp, unless they are under the age of 16, blind or disabled, or are an Illinois resident on leave from active duty in the Armed Forces. The daily catch limit for each angler is five (5) trout. Illinois fishing licenses and Inland Trout Stamps are available at DNR Direct license and permit locations, including many bait shops, sporting goods stores and other retail outlets. Check the IDNR website at: Fishing licenses and trout stamps also can be purchased by using a credit card through DNR Direct online via the IDNR website at

Here are sites open in the nine-county Chicago area:

Cook County: Axehead, Belleau, Busse Woods North, Green, Horsetail, Sag Quarry East, Wolf DuPage: Silver, Pickerel, Grove Kankakee: Bird Park Quarry, Rock Creek (Kankakee River SP) Kendall County: Big Lake (Silver Springs SFWA) Lake: Banana, Sand (Illinois Beach SP) McHenry: Spring Grove Hatchery Pond Will: Lake Strini, Van Horn Woods

Go to for the statewide release.


Focus over the weekend was on trout, but crappie will become more important with the cooling weather.


Brad Irving at Triangle Sports and Marine in Antioch said crappie are moving into the channels on Fox, also suspended over the holes on Fox and Pistakee; suckers, bucktails and Shallow Raiders working for muskies, especially on Marie, Channel and Catherine; some outstanding perch in Channel in 20-25 ft.; walleye are still going on mostly minnows with the drawdown; white bass are best on bladebaits or large fatheads; bluegill are in the channel mouths.

Chain and upper river are open, lower river remains no-wake. Check updates on water conditions at or (847) 587-8540.

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. Through September, the lock will be operated on Wednesdays through Sundays 8:00 a.m.-midnight. In October, it will operate Wednesdays through Sundays 8:00 a.m. -8:00 p.m.

Go to for details.



Perch on the Chicago River.

Provided by Jeffrey Williams.

Jeffrey Williams sent this report:

Thought i give a update on the river Started off under the state st bridge with a fathead minnow on a drop shot and hopefully hit on sum crappies and managed a few and surprise to me caught a couple of perch biggest was around 9 in. Stayed their for a hour and moved down to the gardens across from the Merchandise Mart hoping to catch sum Carp but came up empty, I decided to c if I could have luck with crappies and Perch but nothing doing. Got in a couple small gills and nothing else. Hoping river picks up the last couple of weeksof October, sitting on 866 pounds of Carp for the year and hoping to hit 1,000 before years end. Stay safe and Warm Tight Lines Eveyone

That perch in the river makes me happy.


Braidwood, Heidecke, LaSalle and Mazonia (except Monster at Mazonia, which is open year-round) are closed for the season.


EMIQUON: Go to SHELBYVILLE: Check with Ken Wilson of Lithia Guide Service. SOUTHERN ILLINOIS: Check with Jason Johns of Boneyard Fishing. HENNEPIN-HOPPER: Closed for the season. POWERTON: Reopens to bank fishing on Dec. 23. Boat fishing reopens Feb. 15.



Bob France with a Geneva Lake bass on the weekend of a daughter’s wedding.


Robert France messaged the photo above and this note from the weekend:

I am up in Lake Geneva this weekend for my youngest (of 4!) daughters wedding. Of course I had time to fish a little...



Tim and Gary Willis with some nice Green Lake smallmouth bass just before release

Provided by Mike Norris

Guide Mike Norris emailed the photo above:

Gary and Tim Willis from Libertyville, IL pose with a nice catch Green Lake Smallmouth Bass just before releasing the fish.

Norris also emailed this fishing report:

Fishing Report – 10/21/2019 Mike Norris Conditions improved last weekend in the south-central region of Wisconsin with the arrival of warmer temperatures and dryer conditions. This brought anglers back out to area lakes. Add in a full moon last Thursday and I saw angler success improve dramatically. Big Green Lake – Fishing for smallmouth bass is best described as excellent now. Last weekend my client catches included smallmouth bass running up to five and a half pounds and many of my clients achieved their personal best catches as the big bass bite was on. Those of you who follow me know I preach about water temperature being a big trigger for when the biggest smallies in the ecosystem go on the feed bag. After last week’s cold and windy weather, water temperature on Big Green slid down to 54 degrees, which triggered the arrival of big bass who were previously residing in deep water and followed bait fish into shallower waters with one intention on their minds - eat as much as they can before the onset of winter. With the fall turnover near completion, I found big smallies residing anywhere from in and around docks to mid-depth flats where healthy patches of coontail attract baitfish. Both hard and soft bait presentations worked well. The smallmouth bite should remain excellent, weather permitting, for the next three weeks. . . . Fox Lake – The overall bite on Fox Lake should improve now that the water has dropped to 55 degrees there. Anglers are starting to catch a few walleyes drifting with blacktail chubs along the edge of the drop-offs .around Dead Island. Other anglers drifting across the main lake basin with a split shot and minnow are still catching crappies. Contact Mike Norris, Wacky Worm Guide Service, at 630-842-8199 for Big Green Lake and other south-central Wisconsin guided fishing trips.


Check the Wisconsin DNR weekly report at


Check the report at


[REMOVED: Perch report from 87th was removed because of miscommunication of photos and information.]

Capt. Bob Poteshman of Confusion Charters sent the photo of the monster lake trout at the top.

Lori Ralph at the Salmon Stop texted:

Boats are shallow,20 30 feet, cohos, Aug is doing deep water getting big Lakers, I’ll send a picture. Snagging , well,,,, is snagging, getting fish, bottom fishing on the pier had been decent, shrimp and spawn on the bottom

Capt. Scott Wolfe emailed:

Hi Dale Waukegan fishing changed this week to off-shore fishing. The near shore fishing dried up and the fish seemed to move Northeast. Boats had good catches in 125 to 175 feet North of the harbor to the state line. Mixed bags of 2 year old coho, 3 year old kings, big lake trout and occasional browns and Steelhead. Smaller spoons in Warrior XL and Flutter in bright patterns with Pinks and oranges were best. Several limit catches and some grand slam, all 5 species. With the big winds this week I expect next weekend will be about the same with the best fishing being offshore. Capt. Scott Wolfe School Of Fish Charters 630-341-0550

SALMON SNAGGING: Here is the word from the IDNR:

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.


Guide Mike Norris emailed this fishing report:

Fishing Report – 10/21/2019 Mike Norris Conditions improved last weekend in the south-central region of Wisconsin with the arrival of warmer temperatures and dryer conditions. This brought anglers back out to area lakes. Add in a full moon last Thursday and I saw angler success improve dramatically. . . . Madison Chain – Shore anglers are still catching decent sized bluegills fishing from shore at Lake Monona. Try the park access areas along Brittingham Beach, John Nolen Drive, and the Trestles. Red worms threaded on a small 1/32 oz. orange jig floated below a slip bobber works best when fishing these areas. Other anglers are catching walleyes at night fishing from shore in the same areas casting countdown Rapala’s and working them slowly back to shore. An Entire Lake - Slow No Wake order remains in effect for all the Madison Chain of Lakes, which includes Mendota, Monona, Waubesa and Kegonsa. . . . Contact Mike Norris, Wacky Worm Guide Service, at 630-842-8199 for Big Green Lake and other south-central Wisconsin guided fishing trips.

Check the D&S Bait update at


Christian Howe sent this report:

. . . Fishing wise, Reports from the local guides are not good. The terrible rain/snow/wind and temperature swings have resulted in limited efforts the past week or so for musky. Those who have been successful are favoring suckers if you can find any. The high water has effected the bait guys harvests. Walleye taking chubs and xl fatheads on outside weed edges on 1/8-1/4oz jigs in 12+ water. Some walleye being taken over shallow weeds or wind swept shores at night in 6-10’ on #11 rapalas in blue and yellow, shiner flicker shads ok too on the deep side/edge. Most lakes haven’t turned over yet, but it looks to be any day. Crappie are fair on jigs and Minnows under a slip float when you can find them. Perch are out there somewhere. Maybe I’ll find them. . . . I hate that it’s that time of year to shut it down up here. But, before I know it I’ll be back. Plenty in Chicago to keep me occupied this winter. Thanks Dale, Chris Howe.


Northern Wisconsin crappie

Provided by Howard Bass

Howard Bass sent the photo above and this:

Hi Dale, Not sure I entirely agree with Howes report. I got walleye anywhere from 18 to 30 ft(1/4oz jig minnow). Crappie 18 to 22 over wood and remaining weeds(plastics working better at times). Musky were hitting paddle tails a couple days this week in 5+ft water in typical musky territory (hard bottoms point breaks and inside weed lines on very windy days). Pike hard to come by for some reason and caught some smallmouth in 18 to 25ft on jig and minnow. Fishing was tedious at times over the last two weeks and weather was brutal. Interesting to watch as patterns shift in October. Shiner came on fly rod #20 bead head. I was curious what was boiling one night near docks. Looked exactly like a bronze #5 aglia when it came out of water. Hunter was on electric bike. I don’t fish crappie too much just enough for a couple meals(not sure why and actually should have been doing more of it). Walleye and crappie were caughing up choronomid bloodworm type larvae in the live well. the clumps looked exactly like the back of small white tube jig. Pike was from two weeks ago. Canoe day trip was Manitowish river. Go pro is pretty cool, this is my first year playing with the camera. Definitely better than phone pics. H

Kurt Justice at Kurt’s Island Sport Shop emailed:

The fall of 2019 will be remembered as the Musky Season of NO SUCKERS! Last winter’s heavy snow wiped out the commercially raised suckers from Minnesota. Record high water has made seining wild suckers near impossible. Yet Muskies still to be caught! Musky: Good-Very Good – Where and when available, suckers scoring well (as are the rare Brook Trout, more on that at the end of this report). Yet as is usual, gliders, jerks and twitch baits, as well as, large rubber baits popping nice fish. Most fish coming from 12-20’ of water outside weed edges or over drowned wood. Plenty of high 30 to mid-40 fish reported with fish to 48 mid-week. Crappie: Good-Very Good – Weather permitting (been windy most days) lots of big slabs in the 13-15 range coming in on medium-large fatheads under slip-floats in 14-18’. Jig and minnows also working, but on most days too windy to get good feel. Walleye: Good – Deeper has been better as evidence of a 31 giant caught jigging large chubs in 32’ or water. Look to soft bottoms at the edge of gravel slides. Northern Pike: Good – Best on live bait, big chubs etc. Deep edge of weeds in 12-16’. Due to a scarcity of suckers, it was discovered that live Brook Trout, hatchery raised and proof of origin required, can be used as bait. First foray – 6 hours no takers, second outing, a fat 39 ½ er. Another angler reported a 37 & 41, while local guide, Jake Smith boated a 32 Pike on one. Expensive, but beautiful bait. Very lively, a little tougher to rig, but so far, a decent alternative when the suckers fountain dries up. Water temps averaging 46-49 degrees, don’t see them falling much this week. Participation on the lakes falling off as usual for this time of year, still some good Musky fishing to go. Kurt Justice Kurt’s Island Sport Shop Like us on FaceBook

A Muskie Season of No Suckers, yikes.


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

Perch will be soon in cal park and up river along with winter run steelhead and lake trout it’s all coming Panfish bite in deep river and burns ditch going good for those that are going lots of gills and crappie jigs in chartuese or orange or white tipped with waxworms best bait Crappie at evening and into night food on lake George in Hobart on Wisconsin street bridge minnows best bait Please post my late fall winter hours dale 5 to 5 daily

Truth on the perch.


The Wisconsin DNR usuaully issues updates on Tuesday or Wednesday at


Staff at Tackle Haven in Benton Harbor said there are steelhead with a few dark kings at the Berrien Springs dam, no whitefish yet on the piers.


Staff at Lakeside said at least six muskies were caught over the weekend; crappie remain shallow on the fish cribs; bass and walleye slowed; water cools through mid-50s.

Lakeside is open daily 7 a.m.-5 p.m. Park hours are 6 a.m.-10 p.m. The restaurant is open weekends only.


For the southern Lake Michigan reports from the Wisconsin DNR, go to



A 50-inch muskie on the Wisconsin River.


Erik Brztowski sent the photo above with this explanation earlier this month:

Here’s the 50 my buddy got today Below castle rock

Brztowski sent this fishing report last week on fall fishing:

The true fall fishing of the Wisconsin river is back in full force. Walleyes are starting to make their way up to the dams in prarie du sac, dells dam. Fishing is getting better and better. Many anglers getting their prefishing in for the rivers edge walleye tournament later this month. Lots of fish being caught by the dam in the dells and also shallower eddies adjacent to deep water or structure are producing well. The usual offerings of jigs tipped with minnows or leaches. If fish are moody a split-shot and minnow can get those finicky fish to bite by just having enough weight to keep bottom contact. In the evenings and night up by the dam fish are being caught on cranks, bigger plastics, jerkbaits, also a not so talked about pattern in the dells but a pattern that will get better and better as the weather cools is a rippin rap, jigged on the bottom. Working it aggressively is also a good choice too. Next off, in castle rock. The dam has been extremely hot lately. Musky, walleye, whitebass have all been very active for boat and shore anglers. For the walleye, lindy rigs with worms or minnows have been great. Also fishing cranks and plastics low light have produced many fish over 20 in the last week or two. Musky wise, many fish are on the prowl below the dam in preparation for winter. Lots of guys still catching some nice fish on lures. Soft swimbaits, Medusa’s, Mepps are still catching fish. But the live bait bite has been really good for lots of anglers especially shore fishing below the dam for musky. Including a 50 incher caught from shore on October 16th. Also, whitebass are really active below the castle rock dam, minnows, plastics have been helping get limits for a lot of people. In the lake, walleye are hot just like the whole river. Bigger fish are being caught more regularly compared to summer. Below the petenwell dam, walleyes of course are on fire. Fishing current seams by the cute under the dam. Channel catfish have also been being caught in a lot of numbers. White bass have also been really good, if you can find them.


Guide Bill Stoeger texted:

Picking up some nice walleye , not limits but mixed in with some crappie and a few perch, keeping it interesting. Water temp 48, I think the white bass may be over

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