Flatheads, kings and other things: Chicago fishing, Midwest Fishing Report (2 updates)

Flatheads are one of the top bites inland around Chicago fishing while the annual return of kings to shore begins for this sprawling raw-file Midwest Fishing Report.

SHARE Flatheads, kings and other things: Chicago fishing, Midwest Fishing Report (2 updates)

Ricky Sjurset shows that, yes, flatheads are going on the Fox River.


Flatheads, catfish and bass are going inland around Chicago fishing and the return of kings to shore begins for this sprawling raw-file Midwest Fishing Report.

Ricky Sjurset messaged the photo above and this:

Fox River.. The flathead are in full swing with post spawn feeding patterns.. They are feeding really heavy right now.


Ken Husker O’Malley emailed:

Hey Dale, Here is a recap of this past week’s fishing. Areas lakes- frog bite continues to be good for bass in bay areas with Lilly pads and weed matts. Evening hours are the best bet working this presentation. Hook up percentages are not the best with this presentation, but you can’t beat the action. Do a 5 count before setting the hook will increase your odds. TTYL -- Ken Husker O’Malley Husker Outdoors Waterwerks fishing team


Staff at Triangle Sports and Marine in Antioch said catfish are going on stinkbait; white bass “are going crazy,” look for them schooling, especially on Pistakee; lots of smaller walleye being caught; for bass, it is working docks and wood with jigs or creature baits; lots of smaller bluegills.

Check updates on water conditions at foxwaterway.com or (847) 587-8540.



BoRabb Williams with a blue from Braidwood.


BoRabb Williams posted the photo above and, as it shows, the blue catfish are going.


Arden Katz said they ``tore up the bluegills. Find the right spot and you can get 100.’’ He was sitting the boat in 14 feet and casting to the weed line in 12. For bass, they were throwing wacky worms shallow or drop-shotting on the weed lines.

Dave Duwe emailed:

Delavan Lake 8/12/19 through 8/19/19 Fishing on Delavan remains very consistent. The only problem has been the excessive fishing pressure. It isn’t too hard to get on the water, but getting off has been a constant battle. Largemouth bass can be caught on the deep weed line and weed flats. They can be caught on either deep diving crank baits or drop shotting along the weed line edge. Some of the best catches are coming off small finesse worms. For the crank baits, use fire tiger, that color seems to produce the most action. Work the weed edge in 16-19 ft of water. I am working the depth of 12 feet on the weed flat. Most of the fish are in excess of 1 ½ lbs, with some reaching over 5 lbs. Live bait fishermen can still catch them, however there are so many pesky bluegills, you will go through dozens of crawlers. Northern Pike fishing has been very good. Like the largemouth bass, they are off the weed edge in 17-19 ft of water. You can either catch them on a live bait rig with a sucker or chub or by casting large swim baits off the weed line. The best location has been on the west side of the lake by the island or by Browns channel. Bluegill fishing has been outstanding. You can’t really fish anywhere without catching a mess of 8-10 inch fish. Most of the fish are being caught on small red worms or leaf worms. The fish I’ve been catching are off the weed line in 20-22 ft of water. I have not fished a place on the lake where I was unable to catch any. Crappie fishing has been average. The fish are right on the weed line break in 12-15 ft of water. Most of the success the past few days have come off small fathead minnows fished on a slip bobber. Plastics will still work, however live bait is out-fishing them 2:1. Walleye fishing remains almost non-existent. I haven’t heard of anyone having any success. You can occasionally pick up 1 or 2 but there still has been no pattern. Hopefully once the water starts to cool this will improve. Good luck and I hope to see you on the water. For guide parties, please call Dave Duwe 608-883-2050


Violet Talley messaged:

Hi Dale, haven’t heard much going on with the Fox River. The water level is low and the bass are hard to find. There has been better luck in the upper portion of the River just south of the Fox chain, north of Algonquin dam, but they are still few and far between. Most of them have been caught under structure, grass mats, and around rock points. Smaller soft plastics have done the go-to bait... usually crawling them along the bottom.


Dave Duwe emailed:

Lake Geneva 8/12/19 through 8/12/19 Fishing has improved quite a bit over the last few weeks. The only factor is the boat traffic which has also picked up. Northern Pike fishing is still above average. Most of the fish are in 30-38 ft of water. The best approach remains lindy rigging medium suckers. This summer more than most, you need to fish multiple spots to have success. There are not the large schools of pike as previous years. You are picking one here and one there. A good trip is between 7-8 fish in a 4 hour trip. The key is don’t get disappointed if your first few spots don’t pan out, keep moving. Smallmouth bass are starting to school up on the deep breaks. The best depth is 22-27 ft of water. Look for the fish by the Military Academy, Elgin Club or over by Fontana Beach. The best approach is either lindy rigging nightcrawlers or drop shotting 4 inch worms, green pumpkin or watermelon seed are good color choices. This bite should be improving as late summer turns to fall. Pan fishing remains excellent. The best depth is 20 ft of water. Look for the fish by Elgin Club or by Linn Pier. Leaf worms fished on a split shot rig or a drop shot rig are very effective. Lake Trout are again biting in the main lake basin. Most of my success has come at first light or right before dark. The fish I’ve been fishing for are suspended of the bottom anywhere from 50-95 ft down in 100-120 ft of water. Nickel and blue spoons were the best color last week. Walleyes are biting sporadically at night. The best success has come trolling large stick baits like the Bandit Walleye minnow or large Rapalas. Look for the fish in 15-17 ft of water, by Trinkes, Williams Bay or by Knollwood. The best success on largemouth bass is coming while flipping piers or fishing top water lures in 8-10 ft of water. Fishing top water has been the best bite in the early morning. Either chug bugs or Pop-R’s are producing most of the action. Chrome/Blue or Chrome/Black are the best colors. Ned Rigs and Drop shotting are working in depths of 16-20 feet of water. Green Pumpkin finesse worms. Good luck and I hope to see you on the water. For guide parties, please call Dave Duwe at 608-883-2050


Guide Mike Norrisemailed:

Hi Dale.....here you go! 8/12/2019 FISHING REPORT Big Green lake – As we head into mid-August smallmouth bass fishing is slowing down on Big Green. Some days I can’t go wrong catching big smallies with soft plastics in the 8 – 12 ft range, and on other days I might only catch smaller bass. The topwater bite is still good early in the morning but quickly dies off after 8 a.m. Whopper Ploppers worked along rocky shorelines have produced a handful of big largemouth bass. I’m moving out to the deep weed lines and drop shotting with plastics or a half nightcrawler for both large and smallmouth bass as the sun gets higher in the sky. Walleye fishing is still good early and late in the day. Troll crawler harnesses over weed tops in 12 – 18 ft of water. I also beginning to target northern pike by slow trolling with chubs. Pike are on or near drop-offs and can be found just above the thermocline in 30 ft of water. Focus on where large weedy flats taper into the deep water basin. Little Green Lake – Bluegills are still biting but the fishing is slower. Perch can be found along the edge of the rocks in 9 ft of water. Crappies are 8 ft down over 15 – 20 ft. of water. They can be caught drifting with minnows. Fox Lake – Largemouth bass and northern pike are still being caught casting chatter baits over the shallow weed flats, but the numbers have slowed. Crappies and walleye remain slow also. Bluegills are being caught along weed lines in 12 – 17 ft of water. Lake Puckaway – Bluegills are being caught along the reed beds. Perch and walleye are still being caught trolling Salmo Hornets in the west basin of the lake. For guide trips, please contact Mike Norris, Wacky Worm Guide Service, at 630-842-8199.


Lance LaVine at Howie’s Tackle in Sturgeon Bay emailed this:

Hello fellas, here is the latest fishing update Bass fishing has been very good throughout the county from as far south as Little Sturgeon north up to Washington Island. Howie’s shorty tubes, ned rigs, drop shot baits and spy baits all good baits to have in the boat. 12 to 20 feet of water has been the best. Fishing out on Lake Michigan has been good for a mix of Kings and Rainbows. 200 all the way out to 600 plus feet of water has been the best depths and fishing the top 70 feet of the water column has been the best. A mix of flies and spoons have been the top baits Walleye fishing has been outstanding in the county for both the trollers and the rip jig fishermen. Husky Jerks, flicker minnows and shads, Bandits and Salmo Hornets have been the best baits for the trollers. And for the jig fishermen, the best baits have been Moonshine Shiver minnows, Rapala jigs, blade baits and tubes Perch fishing has been going well as of late and should continue to stay good right through summer and into fall. Areas to fish include….Downtown Sturgeon Bay, the Flats, Sawyer Harbor, Little Sturgeon, Rileys Bay along with the deeper water mud down by Chaudoirs Dock south to Bay Shore park. Fathead minnows, crawlers and leaf worms have been the best live baits Thanks; Lance LaVine Howie’s Tackle 1309 Green Bay Rd Sturgeon Bay, WI 54235 Ph: 920-746-9916


Even with the storms last night, the river remains very low and wadeable; however, be aware that it is low enough that moss is a factor.

Nick Carr at Kankakee River Trading Post said smallmouth are the main bite, focus near current with the high temperatures, with some catfish at dams and bridges.



A 31-pound king out of North Point Marina.

Provided by Josh Slawkin

Josh Slawkin messaged the photo above and this:

31lb king caught on Bama Breeze Sportfishing out of Winthrop Harbor yesterday morning. 175 FOW on a rigger down 55 with a bullfrog/glow stinger spoon.


A small king signalling the changes.

Provided by Andy Mikos

Andy Mikos emailed the photo above and this:

This is not the biggest king(8.5lbs) but it was one of three jacks we caught on Sunday. All three were males that were just starting to turn colors. The pictured fish was important because we were slowly trolling in from the R4 cleaning fish and clearing lines when this fish hit in 59’ of water at about 10:45 am. I bet it was going to be at Montrose by night fall or the next day. The shore fisherman should start seeing fish very soon. The males are starting to stage in close.


Fish of the times on Lake Michigan.

Provided by Ron Kopec

Ron Kopec emailed the photo above and this:

Dale: Greetings. Just four of the thirteen salmon and trout caught this weekend off Ric DiMonte’s boat the Romance Saturday morning in 220 feet of water. The king was 23 pounds. Life is good. Hope all is well. Ron Kopec


Big fish of two kinds on Lake Michigan.

Provided by Bruce Kalinowski

Bruce Kalinowski emailed the photo above and this:

another nice catch out of northpoint marina a nice lake trout 26 lb caught by alex Kalinowski (right) and a 15 lb steel head caught by mike strugalski (left) both caught on the setup off the stacks in 200 fow laker came down 140 on a silver dodger and a caytlin jenner spin and glow the steel head came on a dipsey diver out 200 with a warrior psycho perch . said day for our club tu knowing our friend mitch is gone for a year . we all miss you mitch

Good memory of a sad day by Kalinowski

Stacey Greene at Park Bait texted:

Hi Dale there’s been a guy that’s been perch fishing here with minnows at the mouth of the harbor he’s been getting small perch everyday think he’s the only one trying. With this North/East wind the guys are back out on the Horseshoe catching Sheepshead. A girl on Friday caught a beautiful Northern 38in or so. I have had my regular guy Joe who was the first one to catch one last year round here he’s lost 2 so far. The one he had on this morning he played for a while, he got it about 10 feet from him and it broke off. He said it was about 20 lbs. I’ve heard of a few others being lost but no solid catches yet.

Capt. Bob Poteshman of Confusion Charters said there is decent fishing out of both Chicago and North Point, mostly lakers at both places with a few coho, steelhead and the occasional king at North Point. Morning trips are definitely better. “Early bite is important to the catch lately,” Poteshman said. Fish are coming from big lakers on the bottom to fish higher in the water column. Out of North Point, there are fish on the hill, but it is mainly working 180-260 feet; while out of Chicago it is 105-135. It is both flies or spoons. “You got to have a variety pack out, a smorgasbord of lures.”

Lori Ralph at the Salmon Stop texted:

70 to 150 feet for private guys who don’t care to go deep. Kings and coho with a few steelies, deep water for Lakers.

Capt. Scott Wolfe emailed:

Dear Dale - Waukegan fishing was tougher this week then in weeks prior. Average catches dropped and the fish seemed less active. Catches are still good though with about a 13 fish per trip average. Big staging kings are around. A 33.6 pound king was taken last week off Waukegan as were several in the 20’s. Big lake trout, steelhead and coho are still available. The best action has been 170 to 250 feet. Lake trout have been consistent with limits or near limits each trip. The other species have been off and on. Every trip has had at least a few nice silver fish to add to the lakers. For rigging the big magnum Warrior spoons in Blueberry Muffin UltraGlow and Chicken Wing patterns on long lines 300 foot or greater coppers took all species. Lakers were good on Jimmy Fly Laker Taker Mo Rigs in Orange Guy, Kaitlin Jenner, DW and Mystery on downriggers 170 to 220 down and on wire divers 180 to 250 out. Steelhead were good on leadcores with Warrior Flutter XL in Steelhead Candy, Orange Killer and Super Jordo. Out of Chicago the best success has been a long run to Julian’s Reef with catches like those off Waukegan. Mostly lakers with some high quality silvers mixed in. Same rigs as above with Musselhead Meat rigs taking the most kings on wire divers. Straight off Chicago has been lake trout only using Jimmy Fly Laker takers on the bottom in 110 feet or deeper. We have multiple charter slots available Labor Day Weekend. Take care. Capt. Scott Wolfe School of Fish Charters 630-342-0550 www.schooliffishcharters.com



LaSalle Lake bounty.

Provided by Thomas Jones

Thomas Jones mesaged the photo above and this:

Lasalle lake Saturday 10, and 12lb catfish on Golden Roach minnows


Kurt Justiceat Kurt’s Island Sport Shop emailed:

Mid-August can be the start of a challenge for anglers. Cool nights and the end of the growing season for some aquatic plants can cause a shift in location and feeding habits for some species. As of now, there hasn’t been a drastic change but a cooling trend is something to consider for the second half of August. Largemouth Bass: Very Good – Not a lot new here. Wacky worming has got all other methods (even live bait) beat hands down. Jig and craw combos and pre-rigged plastic worms over weed tops in 6-10’ of cabbage also good choices. Smallmouth Bass: Very Good-Good – Drop-shotting and Ned rigging TRD worms over gravel humps of 18-26’. Some nice fish working coontail edges of 14-18’ using same methods. Bluegill: Very Good-Good – Best Gills out over deeper cabbage or suspended outside coontail edges. Small leeches, minnows or tiny jigs tipped with waxies best. Yellow Perch: Good – Best over sandgrass using Lindy rigs ½ crawlers. Northern Pike: Good-Fair – Limited action but some nice fish in low 30 class on spinner baits. Crappie: Good-Fair – Still working tall narrow leaf cabbage using small jigs tipped with minnows or 1-2 twister tails. Musky: Good-Fair – Top-water and big bladed bucktails over deep weed edges. Evenings best. Walleye: Fair – Transition on some lakes to deeper gravel not quite set up yet. Weed edges with leeches still best. Water temps remain in mid-70’s. Kurt Justice Kurt’s Island Sport Shop Like us on FaceBook


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

Decent steelhead action for trollers over the weekend outside burns ditch in 35 to 50 ft of water some real brutes too Lake trout still decent in 90 to 110 ft of water fishing bottom from straight out of ditch fishing east towards Michigan city Coho and few kings usually show few days before Labor Day at the ditch Perch still decent for those out fishing dunes state park area down to my baldy in 25 to 35 ft baby golden roaches best bait


Phil Schuman at Tackle Haven in Benton Harbor said that perch are going in 35-40 feet, best south of St. Joe; lakers are going in 100-120 feet; salmon are slow but there are some big nice kings; river has good catching, smallmouth and a few walleye going.


Staff at Lakeside said catfish improved and are being caught on mainly stinkabit or cutfbait; good numbers of crappie but size is fair; bass are in the weeds; walleye, mainly smaller ones, are on the rock piles. Water is in the upper 70s.

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


Rob Abouchar sent the photo below and this:

Hi Dale With school getting ready to start I took a couple days to fish alone with Bella and gather my thoughts about beginning year 20 as a Special Education teacher. The weather was as good as it has been all Summer and the bite was up and down but some rela nice fish can be taken. The cool nights had the river steaming in the mornings and water temps dipping a little. Friday the Smallmouth were going on Wacky rigged and un-weighted Texas rigged Senkos near the grass edges and in downed wood. The best colors were Black n Blue and Green Pumpkin I also started getting fish on the Schatzee blade baits made by my friend Joe Schatz around grass and lily pads. It seems his blade baits work better and better as the water temps drop. The color patter was white/gold/black or Skeleton Chain as he calls it. My quest for catching a Muskie on a Senko continued and produced a nice Pike but no Musky. As if to tease me a Musky Porpoised right in front of the boat on my first spot of the morning. On a break at the Rock Island resort I learned a Reggae Band from Milwaukee would be playing Saturday. I spoke with the band when they arrived and discussed sitting in with them. The drummer asked if I would take him out for a bit but time would not allow. I returned to Rock Island that night for the show By Kojo. They were a polished veteran reggae band for sure. With the reggae playing and a made to order spectacular sunset I stretched out on the dock to take it all in... no need to sit in this was pure R & R ! Tight Lines. Rob


Wisconsin River

Provided by Rob Abouchar

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