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Waiting on big kings and unsettled weather: Chicago fishing, Midwest Fishing Report

Tuesday’s weather made for uncertain fishing around Chicago and the sprawling raw-file Midwest Fishing Report.

Kankakee River walleye
Jeff Tempus

It is mainly waiting for the weather to settle and for the big fall kings to truly start on the lakefront for this sprawling raw-file Midwest Fishing Report.

Jeff Tempus emailed about good walleye on the Kankakee River:

Here is a photo of a 26 inch walleye caught under the 57 bridge on the Kankakee river [Wednesday], ended up about 12,3 over the slot and kept 3...Last week same spot caught 40...Fishing cannot get any better. Thanks Jeff Tempus.


Lake County crappie
Provided by Charles Zheng

Charles Zheng emailed the photo above and this:

Dear Mr. Bowman,

Good afternoon. Respectfully, just wanted to share that fishing certain Lake County Forest Preserves for crappie has been great lately. Caught many fish well over 12”, with the biggest slab in the photo being 16”! Artificial lures have been getting more bites from crappie than live bait.

While I appreciate respect, I am not Mr. Bowman. Dale is fine.

Ken ``Husker’’ O’Malley emailed:

Hey Dale,

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

Area lakes-bass are very good on chatterbaits, jerk minnows, and 4 1/4 inch senkos wacky rigged. Outside weedlines and inflows from the heavy rains over the weekend are the best areas. Bass were stacking up along the current seam looking for an easy meal.


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


Brad Irving at Triangle Sports and Marine in Antioch said white bass are going on blade baits or spinner and yellow bass on crawlers, try around C.J.’s or the McHenry Dam, but also Channel and Catherine; muskie action has picked up particularly evenings on topwaters; catfish are going on cutbait and stinkbait.

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.

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


Dave Duwe emailed:

Delavan Lake Fishing Report 8/19/19 through 8/26/19

Fishing on Delavan has been a bit tough lately. The boat traffic and fishing pressure both remain very high. You can still catch some large fish but the numbers have been reduced significantly.

Largemouth bass have moved from the deep weedlines into the shallows in 6-8 ft of water. A lot of fish are also being caught around the boat docks. The best docks to fish are on the north shore from the Yacht Club to Willow Point. The best approach is casting small finesse worms in green pumpkin or watermelon seed around the pier posts.

Yellow Perch fishing has been fantastic on the west end by the Viewcrest Bay. You want to anchor the boat in 20-22 ft of water. They are biting on slip bobbers with hellgrammites. Hellgrammites are outfishing any other bait about 5 to 1.

Northern pike fishing has been average. Most of the fish are coming off of white spinner baits or casting lipless crankbaits in 8-10 ft of water. The best location is by Assembly Park or just west of willow point.

Bluegills are biting in the 15-18 ft depth range. The best location is by Browns Channel or in front of Assembly Park. The bite of choice is leaf worms fished straight beneath the boat or casting into the weeds. If your casting into the weeds, the trick is to use a lighter sinker, it will help prevent you from getting snagged.

Walleye fishing is slow. We had a couple bug hatches last week, which really shut them down. Some people are catching a few on leeches, however I spent a whole morning trying to catch them and didn’t even get a bite. Once the water cools some more, fishing for walleyes should improve greatly. The best bite is typically late fall.

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


EMIQUON: Go to SHELBYVILLE: Check with Ken Wilson of Lithia Guide Service. SOUTHERN ILLINOIS: Check with Jason Johns of Boneyard Fishing. HENNEPIN-HOPPER: Open Tuesday through Sunday through Labor Day. Go to


Dave Duwe emailed:

Lake Geneva 8/19/19 through 8/29/19

Fishing on Lake Geneva continues to be excellent. I have not seen fishing this good in recent years. I am consistently getting double digit catches of both smallmouth and largemouth bass. The only species that is slower than normal for this time of year is the northern pike, and I’m not sure why.

Smallmouth bass are actively feeding in 21-28 ft of water off the main lake points. Look for hard bottom and scattered weeds. They are aggressively hitting nightcrawlers and small yellow perch caught in Lake Geneva. Some of the fish I caught were in excess of 20 inches. For fishing the yellow perch, I use a Abu Garcia 6500 with a clicker reel and a lindy rig with a ¾ oz walking sinker and a 1/0 hook. I want to position the bait approximately 2 ft off bottom for the best success. Look for the fish by Gage Marine and by Yerkes Observatory.

Largemouth bass fishing has been very good at Trinkes and in Williams Bay. The best location has been 18-24 ft of water. The best approach has been drop shotting small Yum Houdini worms in green pumpkin color or lindy rigging nightcrawlers. The early a.m. bite is the best so get out early for the most success. Some top water success is coming in the areas of the lake with the emergent weeds. The weeds are few and far between, there’s a nice patch by the old Military Academy and by Linn Pier. Once you find them, the bass are underneath and are accessible in shallow water.

Bluegills and Pumpkin seeds are ferociously biting right now. The best is 20-21 ft of water. They are aggressively hitting leaf worms fished on a split shot rig. Look for the fish by Elgin Club and the old Military Academy. Some of the bigger fish are coming in excess of 21 ft of water.

Northern Pike action has been very slow. Some of the bigger fish are being caught in the Fontana Beach channel. The best depth is 32-33 ft of water. You want to lindy rig medium suckers on a ¾ sinker with a 1/0 hook and a 24 inch leader.

Lake Trout fishing remains excellent. You want to position your bait 70-76 ft down in the main lake basin; anywhere between 108-110 ft of water. Nickel and blue and nickel and green are out producing everything else.

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


A good double in the Green Lake area of Wisconsin.
Provided by Mike Norris

Guide Mike Norris emailed:


Here is this week’s report. . . .


Big Green lake – I’m still catching numbers of smallmouth bass with a few largemouth bass mixed in on my guide outings. Neko rigged Senko’s and drop shotting with ZMan Trick ShotZ’S are accounting for most of my fish. Bluegills are schooling up nicely in 22 – 30 ft of water adjacent to weed lines and will get nothing but better as we move through August and into September. A small number of gills are measuring 10 inches or more. Try drop shotting with a red worm on a #6 hook for bluegill. Walleyes remain good trolling night crawler harnesses over weed beds early and late in the day. Northern pike fishing is good in 25 – 35 ft of water. Locate the arches with traditional 2-D sonar and then slow troll sucker minnows or chubs on a live bait rig through those areas to target the pike.

Little Green Lake – Anglers are catching few 8 – 10-inch perch of the rock piles in 12 – 16 ft of water. A few walleyes are being caught in deep water, but they are nothing to brag about. You can catch a lot of crappie, but you need to sort through a lot of small ones. Crappies are 8 ft down over 15 – 20 ft. of water. They can be caught drifting with minnows.

Fox Lake – Crappies are starting to bite. Drift with minnows and a split shot out in 14-ft of water off Maple Point and along the south shoreline. You will have to sort through a few fish, but the bigger crappies are running 11 -13 inches long. Bluegills are still being caught along weed lines in 12 – 17 ft of water. Largemouth bass can be found under docks and northern pike fishing remains good.

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

Panfish in the Green Lake area.
Provided by Mike Norris


Before the rains, the river was low, but as noted at the top, some good walleye around I-55. Otherwise, check with Nick Carr at Kankakee River Trading Post


Tuesday’s weather limited reports and effort; mainly waiting on big kings to come back to shore.

Capt. Bob Poteshman of Confusion Charters said that out of North Point it si mainly lakers with a few coho, few big kings and steelhead in 150-250 feet; the surprise is some smaller coho and kings showing up; out of Chicago, it is mainly lakers off The Wreck in 120-130 with a few kings, coho and steelhead.

Lori Ralph at the Salmon Stop texted:

Pretty much the same, good news,,,the pier will be back open on the 22!!

That’s good news and big news for shore anglers.

Capt. Scott Wolfe emailed:

Dear Dale -

Waukegan fishing was fair at best this week. Lake trout continue to predominate the catch. Many, but not all, trips have had laker limits. They seem to be transitioning to the reefs to spawn However, we found the bigger fish still in deeper water, over 200 feet. There appear to be more but smaller fish on the reefs. We had some lakers dumping eggs and milk on the boat when caught. It seems like they are spawning early this year, which is surprising to me giving the weather. Quality silver fish are tough to find with basically zero staging kings. Typically this time of year most of the catch would be mature kings. Not so far this year. There are occasional nice big coho taken. For steelhead, a few boats have found some in waters over 260 feet out to over 300 feet. Even then there have not been great numbers. There are dink 8 to 10 inch coho literally everywhere. They are 2 year olds that we will be intentionally catching next year. Trollers should be checking their lines almost continually. It actually got to the point of being annoying as they have been on nearly every rod checked at times. For rigs, Jimmy Fly Lakers Taker Mo Rigs near the bottom in Orange Guy and Mystery took most of the lakers. 8 and 10 color leads with Warrior XL Pink Alewife and Purple Ale Wife spoons were good on trout and coho.

Out of Chicago it’s almost all lake trout with large numbers and many big fish. It’s the best Laker fishing of the year with limits expected. The best success has been in shallower waters of 100 – 130 feet. It appears the Lakers have completely moved in at areas south of Julian’s Reef to try to spawn on the humps in those depths. Boats that have tried out by Julian’s itself have done poorly. There were a few staging kings with Musselhead Meat rigs on wire divers.

We are now fishing the weekends only for the rest of the season. We have multiple charter slots available Labor Day Weekend on Sunday and Monday. Take care.

Capt. Scott Wolfe
School of Fish Charters


Kurt Justice at Kurt’s Island Sport Shop emailed:

Warm days, some cool nights, a few storms here and there…sort of typical mid-August. Haven’t seen nights cold enough to turn a few sugar maples, but it will be here soon.

Largemouth Bass: Very Good-Good – Lots of action relating to cabbage flats of 8-12’. Wacky worming, Dirty Jigs w/ Yum Chunk or Jackall Chunk Craws for trailers. Sweet Beavers Carolina rigged. Top-water action still very good for anglers fishing evenings when water temps rising! Lunker Hunt Frogs, Savage Cicadas and Whopper Ploppers bring in best reports.

Smallmouth Bass: Very Good-Good – Ned rigging TRD’s or TRD Craws been tough to beat. Drop-shotting 3” Gulp Minnows and 3” Clone Fry’s good over deeper gravel humps where Ned rigs may be too light. Coontail edges, 3” Tube jigs best.

Bluegill: Very Good-Good – Not hard to fish once located. Larger Gills suspending off weed beds in 14-20’. Cast 1” twisters as you would for Crappies to locate schools. Once found, stick to small plastics or small minnows or leeches. Nicer Gill in the 7 ½ to 8 ½” + category, good eaters!

Northern Pike: Good – Covering weed flats of 6-10’ using spinner baits, swim baits and chatter baits producing good action from fish of 22-27”, a few cracking low 30” range reported.

Yellow Perch: Good – Best over sandgrass flats of 14-22’ using Lindy style rigs or slip-floats to work ½ crawlers. On Flowages, relating to weed, crawlers best.

Crappie: Fair-Good – Some action along deep coontail edges on medium fatheads.

Musky: Fair-Good – Big bladed spinner baits and bucktails over weed flats, fish in or right on edges (probably keying on Gills where Cisco not available)

Walleye: Fair-Good – On days with clouds and wind, some anglers finding Walleyes moving into 8-14’ weeds to feed. Crawlers and leeches best. Once sun is out, bite dies, start searching deeper rock humps.

Nothing drastic as of yet for August. Some weeds are dying back, but surface temps remain stable for now, most in low-mid 70’s as afternoons in upper 70’s to low 80’s warming up water after overnight cooling off.

Kurt Justice
Kurt’s Island Sport Shop
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A big catch on Triple Catch Charters.
Provided by Triple Catch Charters

Capt. Rich Sleziak at Slez’s Bait in Lake Station texted the photo above and this:

This was taken Sunday before storm triplecatch my boat 65 ft down in 100 ft of water on a moonshine blue flounder pounder

Sleziak sent this main report:

Kids going back to school and that spill has got it quieted down some

Lake trout with a few kings showing up in 90 to 110 ft of water fishing straight out of ditch and east towards Michigan city

Over weekend not many perchers out at all around here what was out worked hard for hours to get some the spill has people Leary over here plus the time of year


Staff at Tackle Haven in Benton Harbor said a 25.8-pound king was weighed Tuesday, it was caught 105 feet. Several kings of 20-pounds-plus have been caught; hope is for 30-pounders by the weekend. There’a a few steelhead in 200-220 and lakers in 80-110; perch are spotty, but when good very good; river has some walleye, catfish and drum and a few smallmouth going.


Staff at Lakeside said bass along the weed lines and rocks (points, dam) were coming back strong; crappie are going in the deep trees, including a 14-incher in the last week; more catfish are being caught on stinkbait on the btoom; some smaller walleye; water reached 80s last week.

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 emailed this music report with bits of a coming fishing report (OK, I just enjoy reading this):

Hi dale

I stayed home from the Northwoods last weekend to attend the Anthony Cruz Show at the Wild Hare. A couple of rum punches and my friend Anthony aske me onto the stage not to sing but to dance. Ge figure truth is stranger than fiction. The next day was going to be reserved for some recording of my original reggae music. The phone rang and I was asked to fill in on keyboards at a pool Party in Plano Illinois. The party was hosted by so Military people and had it all with fireworks and a Michael Jackson impersonator named Ed House who was reaally quite excellent. You never know what is going to happen next in this reggae music thing I am doing now. This coming Saturday I will be taking my Bass Fishing Team to Northpoint Marina for the second Salmon Unlimited tournament. I am looking forward to seeing some big Kings come to the scales. I hope to be back on the river next week as the nights cool and the fish begin to feed up!

Tight LInes

More arts and music than fishing.
Provided by Robert Abouchar