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After the heat, after the blow, the Chicago fishing: Midwest Fishing Report (Update 1, Green Lake area)

Lake Michigan and Chicago-area rivers should settle down after the blows and storms and fishing looks more promising later this week in this sprawling raw-file Midwest Fishing Report.

Resized/Sun-Times
Bullhead on the fly at Belmont.
Provided

Lake Michigan settles down, rivers should recede and the heat has cooled around Chicago for this sprawling raw-file Midwest Fishing Report.

Howard Bass emailed the photo above and this note:

I know how you love concrete fish pics but this cracked me up for some reason. Yellow Bullhead ate the black wooly bugger at Belmont

Not sure what I found most unusual or at least unexpected by this, but I loved it, but Bass supplied more information:

Yes he slammed it. The fish came off the wall on bottom. I think he was defending territory. Lots of rock bass and gills pissing it off. I saw him chase fish a few times before it hit the bugger.

AREA LAKES

I’ve found active bluegill and redear around weeds; and bass on topwaters.

Ken ``Husker’’ O’Malley emailed this:

Hey Dale,

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

. . .

Area lakes-the recent heat wave has the topwater bite on fire. Bass are feeding heavily at night. The last hour to just after dark has been best. The Berkley Chopoo in black has been the bait of choice. Bug repellent also is a must.

TTYL

--

Ken “Husker” O’Malley
Husker Outdoors
Waterwerks fishing team

CHAIN O’LAKES AREA

Lower River is no-wake, otherwise boating is open on the Chain and upper river with a debris advisory. Check updates at foxwaterway.com or (847) 587-8540.

Brad Irving at Triangle Sports and Marine in Antioch said that, believe it or not, bluegill are still bedding in places, especially deeper points; catfish are good on cutbait or stinkbait and being caught on Pistakee Bay on crawler harnesses; ``frog bite is awesome evenings’’ for largemouth; walleye are being caught trolling Flicker Shads or jigging with leeches or crawlers around bridge pilings; a few crappie are being caught on the deep weed lines on East Loon.

CHICAGO RIVER

Capt. Pat Harrison messaged:

Finally Back at it out wetting a line spent a couple days last week on Bangs Lake. The Crappie and Bass have been pretty good some nice 10” to 12” Crappie and the Bass from 12” to 17”. Trying to spend some time and learn the lake a bit as I’m up at the store in Wauconda quite a bit. I should be back on the Chicago River in a few weeks had to Renew my USCG Approved Captains License. I was a little late in filing. Hope to see folks soon on the River.

Nice have his reports back.

DELAVAN LAKE, WISCONSIN

Arden Katz said bluegill are ``on fire’’ in 13-15 feet on the points; largemouth best on drop-shots in 12-15 on points and secondary points.

Resized/Sun-Times
A pike from Delavan.
Provided by Dave Duwe

Dave Duwe emailed the photo above and this report:

Delavan Lake 7/22/19 through 7/29/19

Fishing remains fantastic. The fish are in their mid summer pattern and they have schooled up and can be caught if you find the schools.

Northern Pike fishing has been relatively slow this week. I think most of the problem is that the bluegills have slid off the weedline and are in 18-24 ft of water. The few pike I’ve been catching have been in 22-24 ft of water. The pike are getting filled up on the small bluegills. Either that or the anglers are so good there aren’t any left. The best locations that I’ve found have been by Willow Point or by Belvidere Park.

Bluegills are literally everywhere on the lake. If you find a weed line, you will find the bluegills. Unlike prior weeks, the bluegills schools are all integrated with different size fish. You can fish a school and catch big ones, even though there are small ones present. The biggest fish I’ve caught have been by Willow Point or Belvidere Park. The best depth has been 20 ft of water. I’ve been casting the split shot rigged leaf worm and catching all I care to catch.

Largemouth bass are schooled up really heavy right now. They can be caught on jigs and split shot rigged nightcrawlers. The key is finding areas with rock and weed. They are schooling up very heavy. At certain times last week, I fished for four hours with a guide party and never left the first location. The key is to stay in a location where the fish are feeding, if you catch one, you should catch many.

Walleye Pike have been a bit slow. The only fish I’ve heard about have come from trolling crank baits in 20 ft of water, right off the weedline. The best location is by Delavan Lake Marina or by Belvidere Park. You want a crank bait that dives 16-18 ft and then troll it at 1 ½ - 2 mph. The best color has been pearl.

Crappies have again been biting over the medium depth weeds in 12-15 ft of water. They can be caught by the Oriental boat house or by Assembly Park. The best approach is small plastics, try purple or chartreuse. The fish have been on the smaller side, the average size has been about 8-9 inches.

Good luck and I hope to see you on the water. For guide parties, please call Dave Duwe at 608-883-2050

FOX RIVER

Violet Talley messaged:

The Fox River level has risen over the weekend so wading may be too dangerous at this time. Bass are still scattered, however, you can still find a few of them holding tight to shores with rock, concrete/metal walls and around docks. There have been good reports of shore fishing for bass from Algonquin Dam down to Batavia. Hair jigs, ned rigs, lipless crankbaits, jerkbaits, plastic craws... pretty much anything will catch bass right now, you just have to find them. Channel cats have been caught in St Charles on the east side of the river south of the Prairie St. bridge, in South Elgin at the dam and in Batavia along the west shoreline just south of the dam. Anglers have been using crawfish, minnows and nightcrawlers and keeping them just off the bottom with 3-4oz weights.

GENEVA LAKE, WISCONSIN

Dave Duwe emailed:

Lake Geneva 7/22/19 through 7/29/19

Fishing on Geneva remains very consistent. There are fish to be caught every time out. The best bite is the Northern Pike and Walleyes after dark.

Northern Pike fishing has been excellent. Most of the fish are being caught in 30-32 ft of water. The best location is in Fontana or the north shore in the narrows. The best presentation is lindy rigged medium suckers right on bottom. Most of the fish can be seen using your electronics. I typically will not fish a spot unless I see active fish.

Lake Trout are being caught on the main lake basin. They are in 108-120 ft of water, 70-80 ft down. Nickel/blue and nickel/green spoons have been the best presentation. I have been doing a big circle from Conference and Cedar Point. The best bite still remains ½ hour before sun up and ½ hour before sun down.

Perch have been very aggressive. They have been in the 10-12 ft depth range. They can be caught on ½ nightcrawlers or fat head minnows. The best location has been by Rainbow Point or Knollwood. The biggest issue as always is the size, you need to sort through a lot of small fish to get to the keepers.

Rock Bass have moved deeper. They are in the 14-18 ft depth range. They can be caught on split shot rigged nightcrawlers. The best location has been by Elgin Club or by Maytag Point. With the water temperature being so warm, their meat is getting soft. I wouldn’t recommend keeping them this time of year.

Walleye Pike fishing has been good at night if there is some wind. Without wind Lake Geneva is a dead sea for Walleye. The best location has been by Fontana Beach or Abbey Springs. Work a depth of 16-18 ft of water with medium diving crank baits. I prefer chrome/black Walleye Bandits.

Largemouth Bass can be caught in the shallows or on the deep weedline. The shallow fish can be caught on split shot rigged nightcrawlers or on top water lures. The best location has been Trinkes Bay or by Linn Pier. I’ve been working a depth of 10-12 ft. Some of the largemouth are starting to school on the hard rock bottom in 18-25 ft of water. They can be caught Carolina rigging Arkie Crawlin’ grubs or drop shotting 4 inch finesse worms. In either case, green pumpkin is the only color to tie on.

Good luck and I hope to see you on the water. For guide parties, please call Dave Duwe at 608-883-2050

GREEN LAKE AREA, WISCONSIN

Guide Mike Norris emailed:

07/23/2019 Fishing Report

Big Green Lake – Big Green remains good for both large and small mouth bass. It’s the best fishing I have seen in the 11 years I have been guiding here. Throw jerk baits, top water baits or rattle baits over cabbage beds. My clients and I are still catching walleyes mixed in with the smallmouth bass when fishing anywhere from 8 – 25 ft of water. When fishing deeper I rely on a tube jig, drop shot or shaky head jig and plastic combination. On sunny days I’m pitching Senko’s around and in between docks and skipping tube jigs under the docks for big large mouth bass.

Little Green Lake – We are still getting bluegills out deeper in 9 – 12 ft of water. Crappies have moved to the middle of the lake and can be taken by drifting a split shot and minnow rig. Bluegills are falling to wax worms and red worms on a drop shot rig. Largemouth bass are being caught around piers with Senko’s. Muskie fishing is slow right now.

Fox Lake – This lake is giving up oversized largemouth bass right now. Look for them in 6 ft of water where there are green weeds. All kinds of baits are working. Pike have also moved very shallow and anglers are reporting multiple catches. Walleyes and crappies have moved deeper and are scattered right now. Bluegills are biting well on deeper weed lines and along seawalls.

For guide trips, please contact Mike Norris, Wacky Worm Guide Service, at 630-842-8199.

KANKAKEE RIVER

High and stained, but should be in good wading shape by later this week. Before the Sunday rains, all species were going. (See my column tomorrow, July 24, 2019.)

Ken ``Husker’’ O’Malley emailed:

Hey Dale,

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

Kankakee- midweek and weekend rains have the tributaries up and dirty. Depending on the week, they may become wadeable again.

. . .

TTYL

--

Ken “Husker” O’Malley
Husker Outdoors
Waterwerks fishing team

LAKEFRONT

The lake was very dangerous on Monday, including two anglers needing to be rescued at Montrose. Story at https://chicago.suntimes.com/2019/7/22/20704305/fisherman-rescued-lake-michigan-montrose-beach.

Stacey Greene at Park Bait texted:

No after those horrible winds out of the Northeast yesterday with those 7 foot waves this Lakes going to take a little time to recoup.

Capt. Bob Poteshman of Confusion Charters said that out of North Point, fishing has been good from the hill out to beyond 200 feet with a lot of coho, ``a variety pack of lakers,’’ and some steelhead. He said that Chicago has been decent, with some ``really nice chunky coho, 8-, 10- and 12-pounders around., some smaller lakers high on Leadcores, some bigger ones are deep but not real active yet.

Capt. Scott Wolfe emailed:

Dear Dale –

Waukegan fishing continued to be very good the past 7 days. Despite inconsistent and changing weather, the fishing has stayed on a consistent pace of 15 to 20 fish per full trip. The only time we fell below that range was when we had to cut a trip short due to conditions. There was not enough Southwest wind to move the fish shallower and 150 to 200 feet of water between Waukegan and the Wisconsin state line continued to be the best area. Coho continued to make up most of the catch with lake trout becoming more frequent despite the fact we have not been targeting lake trout at all. We did not run the traditional laker rigs at all. Bonus steelhead and kings were coming too. In the past week we had more steelhead but less kings. As you wrote last week, the coho were huge. The average had to be 8 pounds, with many over 10 and our biggest last week at 14 for us. Steelhead also had a really big average with several over 10 pounds, as well as nice lakers. The huge kings seemed to be scarce last week in Illinois waters. I think they mostly migrated north. The big K/D tournament saw several over 30 pounds and the Ludington Classic had one of 37.2 pounds take the big fish award. I recommend trollers change lures until they figure out what the fish want. Early last week it was mostly spoons. Then suddenly the spoons died and the big 8 inch dodgers and flies were taking everything. On Friday and Saturday that changed back to almost all spoons again. In our last trips not cancelled due to wind and waves on Friday and Saturday, Warrior spoons in the new XL size and in the standard size took almost all the fish on leadcores of 2, 5, 8 and 10 colors. 200 and 300 coppers were also good and some on downriggers 35 to 75 down. Diver rigs were not as good, but I kept dodger/fly combos on those. The best spoons were Warrior XL and standard size in Super Jordo, Green Menace, UV Hey Babe and UV Blue Dolphin. The best files were Jimmy Fly Maniac and LBB and Great Lakes Angler in Green Liz and Black Liz (big size, not the peanut size).

Chicago had been quite slow but in the last 2 trips good lake trout fishing with some coho and kings in 110 to 160 feet. Again lure choice varied day to day as the fish seem to be changing their minds about what to eat. Due to the long run to get to that depth of water and the nasty weather we have had, the Chicago boat has needed to cancel more trips that it ran. Safety and comfort of the guests always takes priority and as is typical this time of year, we get lots of families with young kids out of school. We don’t want their first Lake Michigan fishing experience to be in 4 foot waves and 30 knot wind.

Let’s hope this big North wind hasn’t chased the coho away.

Capt. Scott Wolfe
School of Fish Charters
630-341-0550
www.schooloffish.com

NORTHERN WISCONSIN

Kurt Justice at Kurt’s Island Sport Shop emailed:

Last week’s hot weather finally broke thanks to some storms. The heat helped some, while others on the water struggled to find certain species.

Crappie: Very Good – Staging in the upper portions of tall cabbage. Small jigs (Bunny Butts, Gapen Freshwater Shrimp, VMC Boot Tails and Charlie Bees), small beetle spins or 1/32 oz jig tipped with small minnows. Work these upper portions of the weed beds, Crappies come up from below their prey most times.

Note: Some anglers find Crappies to be “soft” in summer. Important to keep Crappies you intend to keep alive or on ice to help combat this in hot weather.

Largemouth Bass: Very Good – Loving the Wacky Worms! Great action in cabbage flats working Wacky Worms. Jig and creature, as well as Flukes, also working well. Top-water bite best at the end of the hot days. Whopper Ploppers, Pompadours, Torpedos and Pocket Frogs all working well for top-water/evening action, besides being the most fun way to catch Bass.

Smallmouth Bass: Very Good – Working tubes, Ned rigs and drop-shots along coontail edges of 14-18’ best. Rock reefs topping at 18-26’, use heavier jig to work TRD worms or craws!

Bluegill: Very Good – In and along cabbage flats and even some coontail beds. Gills being found suspending taking small leeches, worms, Crappie minnows and Mini-mite jigs tipped with waxies.

Northern Pike: Fair-Good – Action improved with the cooling off this past weekend. Spinner baits, chatter baitsa and 4” swim baits. Jig and chub/sucker on wire leader good choice in 6-10’ cabbage.

Yellow Perch: Good – ½ crawlers, medium leeches. Nice Perch of 8-10”+ along weed edges of 8-12’.

Musky: Good-Fair – A little slower with cool down. Top-water baits, as well as #7 bucktails best. Big spinner baits such as CJ’s, Boonies and Bucher Slop Masters also moving fish.

Walleye: Fair – Some good reports from larger lakes from anglers fishing early or late along outside weed edges using big leeches, crawlers or chubs on jigs or below slip-floats. A few fish being caught by anglers casting #6-#7 Shad Raps parallel to 12-14’ contain edges towards dusk.

Surface temps still in mid-70’s, but morning temps in mid-50’s slowing early bite. Stable weather (forecasted) should help anglers figure out patterns.

Kurt Justice
Kurt’s Island Sport Shop
Like us on FaceBook

NORTHWEST INDIANA

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

Perch good up until Sunday wind blew kept most off lake fishing for perch from ditch to Michigan city in 15 to 30 ft was good

Should get going good at end of week

Lake trout with some silver fish in 90 to 120 out of burns ditch trolling east towards Michigan city steady bite when u can get out there

Few steelhead being had here and there from trollers and peir fishermen at portage riverwalk and Michigan city peir

SOUTHWEST MICHIGAN

Staff at Tackle Haven in Benton Harbor said perch were going good until the big storm,, ``now we will have to start all over’’; some skamania showed up off the piers on Saturday and Sunday when lake flipped over and water temperature changed; trollers are going to 80-100 feet for lakers, 130-150 feet for coho and a few kings, and a couple kings, more to 200-220 for coho and steelhead; while about everything—drum, catfish, walleye, smallmouth—has been going in the river.

SHABBONA LAKE

Staff at Lakeside said bass (shallow on frogs, topwaters, wacky worms , eeches and crawlers) and walleye (east bay weed line, northeast bay, rock piles, road bed) are good; catfish have been decent with some big ones weighed in; bluegill are shallow ad crappie continue to be caught by the campground cribs; water is around 80 and cooling.

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

WISCONSIN RIVER

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Wisconsin River scene.
Provided by Rob Abouchar

Rob Abouchar emailed the photo above and this:

Hi Dale

The Wisconsin River was still a bit stained but water levels were normal last week. This allowed access to the river in town at Otts Park and the action was on. Old High school friend Kevin Fisher from Just accross the Mississippi near LaCrosse and none other than Jim Schultz the Wing King and Owner Operator of Franks for the Memories Restaurant in Mundelein were up for the weekend. Smallmouth, Pike and Musky were on the chew. A variety of plastics were getting bites; Stick worms, tubes, grubs, and craws in black n blue, baby bass and green pumpkin were best. The top-water bite is on with bug hatches happening. Jim put the finishing touches on the weekend with a nice river musky taken on a Rapala Skitter Prop in Fire tiger. After landing the fish in the net and getting it boat side it rocketed out of the net only to be captured again amid uncontrollable laughter. Yes I need a bigger net and the wing King is on the board!!! The bite on Alexander flowage was slowed with stained water and heavy pleasure boating during high season. We stopped at the Rock Island Bar on Alexander for some drinks during the slow bite and ran into a live acoustic set by The former Bass Player from Badfinger. I think his name was Mike. Yes If you want it here it is come and get it .

Tight Lines

Rob