Hoping on kings and expanding on holiday options for Chicago fishing: Midwest Fishing Report
The wind shift has cooler water on the Chicago lakefront and raised hopes for shoreline kings for this sprawling raw-file Midwest Fishing Report.
Cooler water temperatures Tuesday on the Chicago lakefront may be the best news for this sprawling raw-file Midwest Fishing Report; as usual, going into a long holiday weekend, there are expanded reports from around Chicago fishing, including a video from BoRabb Williams on blue cats on Braidwood Lake.
Rob Abouchar emailed the photo at the top and this:
Hi Dale . . . Sunday was way too nice to be inside painting and cleaning as I get ready to list the house. I stopped by Lake Arlington for a few casts before the Mr Blotto show at the Palatine fest. With the same squarebill and a nice park district bass took the bait in the shallow grass and it was on to the Blotto show. At the Palatine fest a great Who cover band was finishing their set. Mr Blotto had the closing set and as always it was fantastic. I get emotional when I see this band for some reason but it feels like some kind of purging but I digress. By the time the guy with the love birds showed up it was a true state of Blottopia. Headed to the Wisconsin River this holiday weekend to continue the Senko Muskie quest . Tight lines
Ken “Husker” O’Malley emailed:
Hey Dale, Here is a recap of this past week’s fishing. Area lakes-bass are very good early morning hours on top water and senkos. Decided to pull out a classic weedless jitterbug for the job.Toss a 4 1/4 senko after missed strikes. Outside weedlines have been holding the most active fish. TTYL -- Ken Husker O’Malley Husker Outdoors Waterwerks fishing team
Rob Abouchar emailed the photo at the top and this:
Hi Dale The Salmon Unlimited Tournament Saturday out of North Point Marina was cancelled due to the dangerous wind and currents. With the day open I had Joe Schatz down to Melrose Park for a session of our musical duo Instant Classic. Always good time spent working on the original material. We then headed to Norhbrook to visit my Brother in Law Tom and took a few casts at the Wood Oaks Green Park and Lake Shermerville. The weather was spectacular but only had a small bass chase the squarebill crank. Sunday was way too nice to be inside painting and cleaning as I get ready to list the house. I stopped by Lake Arlington for a few casts before the Mr Blotto show at the Palatine fest. With the same squarebill and a nice park district bass took the bait in the shallow grass and it was on to the Blotto show. At the Palatine fest a great Who cover band was finishing their set. Mr Blotto had the closing set and as always it was fantastic. I get emotional when I see this band for some reason but it feels like some kind of purging but I digress. By the time the guy with the love birds showed up it was a true state of Blottopia. Headed to the Wisconsin River this holiday weekend to continue the Senko Muskie quest . Tight lines
OK, I just like the variety of Abouchar’s reports.
CHAIN O’LAKES AREA
Art Frisell at Triangle Sports and Marine in Antioch said crappie are picking up with cooling temperatures, try channel mouths in 8-15 for suspended crappie;catfish are very good on Triple S stinkbait; bluegill are fair, some around shorelines, most deeper (8 feet) on ice jigs with plastics; walleye are good, try main lake points, bridges and current areas with large fatheads, leeches and crawlers on Lindy-type rigs; white bass are fair, most in 8-15 ft. using spikes or small piece of worm/
Check updates on water conditions at foxwaterway.com 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.
BoRabb Williams posted:
Unbelievable baby...... Braidwood Lake Blue Catfish..... with Wayne Wonder & Catdaddy
DELAVAN LAKE, WISCONSIN
Dave Duwe emailed:
Delavan Lake 8/26/19 through 9/2/19 After the past few weeks of rather slow fishing, the overall bite on Delavan is starting to improve. Most of the anglers are having success for most species, with the exception being Walleye which are still tough to find. The boat traffic will remain heavy through Labor Day and then we typically see a drop off on week days. Largemouth bass are in the weed flats in 15-16 ft of water. They are accessible by using split shot rigged nightcrawlers or drop shotting green pumpkin worms. Some success is also coming along the boat docks on the north shore. The best approach is a Wacky rigged worm in green pumpkin or a split shot rigged nightcrawler. The best place to cast is the location right behind the outboard motors of the moored boats. Bluegill action has been very good. You need to search a bit for the larger fish. The best location for the larger bluegills has been in the 12-13 ft depth range. Look for the fish by Assembly Park or just west of Willow Point. If you don’t have much success, adjust your depth since they are always biting. If you are catching small fish, try adjusting your depth a bit deeper. The best approach is a small split shot with a leaf worm and letting it free swim down to the weed edge. Walleye fishing has been very slow for me. Last week, I tried trolling and lindy rigging leeches without success. We did have a bug hatch last week that typically turns them off. I haven’t had much opportunity to try again, but will check it out in the coming week. As fall approaches, the walleye fishing will improve greatly. They should start aggressively hitting chrome and blue rattle traps or Smithwick Rattling Rogues. The best time to try for them is at dark. Northern Pike action has been slow. I am starting to pick up a few more in the 12-16 ft depth range right on the weedline. The best approach has been fishing Thill slip bobbers or letting the suckers free swim beneath the boat. I like to place the sucker about 1 ft above the weedline. The best location has been by the gray condos which are located by Assembly Park. Perch action has been good on the west end just outside of Viewcrest Bay. The best approach is either slip bobbering or straight lining hellgrammites beneath the boat. The best depth range is 20-22 ft of water. Good luck and I hope to see you on the water. For guide parties, please call Dave Duwe at 608-883-2050
HENNEPIN-HOPPER: Labor Day is the final day of fishing Go to http://www.wetlands-initiative.org/dixon-fishing
SHELBYVILLE: Ken Wilson of Lithia Guide Service said crappie are going on minnows spider rigging or under slip floats on brush piles on the main lake and largemouth are good, too; muskie are active below the dam; walleye and white bass are fair; water is about a foot above summer pool, low 80s; boat ramps are all open.
SOUTHERN ILLINOIS: Check with Jason Johns of Boneyard Fishing texted:
Crappie are shallow in brush and stumps minnows or jigs ..bass are good rocks and shallow wood cats are great as always ...that’s rend ...Egypt bass are schooled top waters in am swim jigs in grass crappie suspended on wood and brush minnows are best ..kincaid bass are in grass ..frogs and Texas rigs ..crappies are good there too stumps and brush on minnows or casting jigs
GENEVA LAKE, WISCONSIN
Arden Katz said they found good smallmouth on points in 25 feet tight to deep edges on drop-shot rigs.
Dave Duwe emailed:
Lake Geneva 8/26/19 through 9/2/19 Fishing on Lake Geneva has been really inconsistent for the past few days. The cooler temps have affected the deep water bite for bass. There is hot weather predicted in the coming days so that bite should become better in the week to come. As Labor Day is fast approaching, I expect some of the fish to start moving into their fall patterns so we will be watching for those transitions in the next couple of weeks. The smallmouth bass are still biting in 20-25 ft of water. The only real issue is that the schools aren’t nearly as tight as they have been. You need to keep searching for the fish. Most trips this past week, I tried as many as a dozen spots to catch a dozen fish. The best bet continues to be lindy rigged nightcrawlers or lindy rigged yellow perch caught in the lake. Look for them near Black Point, Conference Point and near Gage Marine. The best bite for largemouth bass is in 8-10 ft of water around the piers. The best location is on the north shore from Coleman’s point down to Elgin club. The best approach is lindy rigging small Yum Dingers or Yum Houdini Worms. The best color is green pumpkin or watermelon seed. While fishing for smallmouth bass, I have been catching a few largemouth in excess of 5 lbs. They are few and far between so I really wouldn’t call that a pattern. If you are interested in largemouth stick to the piers. Bluegill action has been exceptional in 18-21 ft of water. The best location has been by the Military Academy, Elgin Club or Fontana Beach. They are aggressively hitting leaf worms straight beneath the boat. With the warmer weather forecasted, the pattern won’t change and the bite should get even better. Northern Pike action has been very slow. There are a few fish being caught in 35-38 ft of water. The best location has been by the sand bar in Williams Bay or the boat launch by Fontana. The best approach remains lindy rigged medium suckers. Walleye fishing has been very good at night. The weed flats by Trinkes and Williams Bay has been producing most of the action. Trolling stick baits like Smithwick Rogues or Rapalas have been producing most of the action. You want to troll your lures in 15 ft of water half way down in the water column. Lake Trout fishing has been very productive in the main lake basin. They are consistently biting on chrome/blue and chrome/green spoons. The best depth is between 69 and 79 ft down in 110-140 ft of water. The key is the early morning bite when the fish are off the bottom and suspended in the water column. The open water season is fast approaching the end. Make sure to book your last trips in the coming weeks. 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:
August 26, 2019 Green Lake Area Fishing Report Big Green Lake - This summer’s bass fishing on Big Green Lake has slowed down as smallmouth bass have moved from the shallower rocks piles and have shifted to deeper oxygenated waters. Some bass have moved offshore and over deeper water where they are chasing and feeding on schools of baitfish. That’s not to say that smallmouth bass cannot be found in water less than 15 ft deep. Its’ just that the numbers of and bigger smallies aren’t as numerous in the shallows as they were most of this year. To catch the deeper bass shift tactics. Live bait anglers should try slip bobbers in 12 – 20 ft of water with a jig and leech. I like to use heavier football styled jigs matched with a plastic crawfish trailer and cast them out into deeper waters (15 – 25 ft) and hop them back up the break at a brisk pace back to cover more water and trigger reaction bites. Also look for and locate deeper fish with you’re the 2D feature on your electronics and then jig over them with a drop shot rig. One caveat though. It helps to carry along a small underwater camera to verify that the fish are bass and not schools of catfish or suckers. Little Green Lake - Walleyes started picking up a week ago. Walleyes are being caught trolling just outside the rock piles and by jigging the rock piles with a leech. Try the rock piles off Dead Island, Keno Point and Maple Point. A couple 27-inch walleyes were caught here in the last week. Anglers are starting to get crappies drifting with minnows on a split shot rig in deeper water. The aerator buoys off Maple Pont and buoys off Dead Island are spots to check. With the water starting to cool bass are closer to shorelines as are the northern pike. Try flipping plastics around the docks for largemouth bass. Muskie anglers report catching fish in the 36 – 40-inch range fishing in 10 -12 ft of water just before dark. Lake Puckaway – Shore anglers are catching decent sized bluegills with a jig and leech suspended under a slip bobber. Cast this rig around the outer edge of lily pads and cane beds. Largemouth bass are also falling for this technique. Trollers pulling crankbaits along the west end of the lake report catches of a few walleyes, crappies and rough fish. For Green Lake area guide trips, please contact Mike Norris, Wacky Worm Guide Service, at 630-842-8199.
GREEN/STURGEON BAYS, WISCONSIN
Lance LaVine at Howie’s Tackle in Sturgeon Bay emailed this:
Good morning fellas. Here is a quick update on the fishing The Salmon and Rainbow fishing on the lake has been going pretty good as of late. Fishermen are catching a nice mix of Kings and Rainbows in that 150 to 300 foot range. And fishermen are catching really good numbers of mainly Rainbows when they run way out like in that 500 to 700 foot range. And for the most part fishing the top 60 feet of the water column with and assortment of Howie Flies and spoons Bass fishing has been very good throughout the county. 10 to 20 feet has been the best depths up until this point, but as the water cools those fish will gradually move to deeper water. Howie tubes, ned rigs, spy baits, spinner baits along with a wide variety of drop shot plastics working quite well Walleye fishing has been great and should continue right through the rest of summer and into fall as it usually does. Trolling with deep diving crank baits, some crawler harnesses and rip jigging with Moonshine shiver minnows all very good and productive ways to catch a bunch of Walleyes Pike fishing is starting to heat up as it usually does this time of year. Trolling and casting deep weed edges and steeper shoreline drops with weeds throughout the county. Perch fishing has been very good especially if you are willing to move around a bit. Sturgeon Bay, Sawyer Harbor, Rileys Bay and Little Sturgeon all good areas to fish. Minnows, leaf worms and crawler pieces all good live baits to have in the boat Thanks; Lance LaVine Howie’s Tackle 1309 Green Bay Rd Sturgeon Bay, WI 54235 Ph: 920-746-9916
Nick Carr at Kankakee River Trading Post in Altorf said enough water came to flush some of the moss away, but levels did not change much and wading conditions are good. Strongest bites remain smallmouth and catfish; though the tributaries were giving up good rock bass, but their water is low.
The wait for big kings to truly show may finally be over. Tuesday saw a change on the Chicago lakefront.
Stacey Greene at Park Bait texted:
Well I’m hoping there’s good news on the horizon Joe got a small brown this morning and said the water was cold so when I checked it he was right it dropped quite a bit.🤞🤞
The National Weather Service had water cooled to 64 on the Chicago shoreline Tuesday morning and 56 at the Chicago crib.
Capt. Bob Poteshman of Confusion Charters said mornings have been spectacular for fishing lake trout in 100-150 feet off Chicago; afternoons have been decent. Out of North Point, there are not as many salmon, but lakers are good in 180-230.
Lori Ralph at the Salmon Stop texted:
Northerns off the rocks and the gov pier, nice rock bass and white fish off the pier, a few trout on the bottom, bait is worms, shrimp and minnows
As you may note from her report, the piers reopened last week
Capt. Scott Wolfe emailed:
Dear Dale - Waukegan lake trout fishing is very good. All other species are slow except for little 2 year old coho that are hitting everything. The lake trout have almost fully transitioned on to the reefs and humps where they spawn. This is early. Normally at this time they would be holding outside the humps in deeper waters until mid-September. Boats trying deeper waters have done poorly. Boats working the shallower water humps are taking limits or near limits of lakers every trip. Jimmy Fly Mo Rig Laker Takers off the bottom 5 to 20 feet are taking most of the trout. Patterns that worked this week were Orange Guy, Mystery, Goby and Albino Kaitlin. The biggest quality and heaviest trout have been on Magnum Warrior Spoons in Watermelon Ultraglow and a new experimental color that is ½ black and ½ white with UV tape and only part of it glows. The new spoon should be released in 2020. If you put any rig between 20 and 60 feet of water you will have a little dink coho on it anywhere you fish near Waukegan. Unfortunately this interferes with any chance of getting mature coho, steelhead and maybe even staging kings. These fish are actually big for 2 year olds and this makes me excited for next year. It looks like 2020 will be another big coho year. For now, though, they just get in the way. I tried using only huge spoons, huge flys and meat rigs and it does not matter. They are on everything. Off Chicago waters over 100 feet have plenty of lake trout again already on the humps. Trollers need to work the structure near Gumby’s, the R4 and the 125 Humps off downtown. Deeper waters where they would traditionally be this time in August are barren. Same as Waukegan for rigs with Laker Takers off the bottom and Magnum Ultraglows close to the bottom. For trollers who will fish for silver fish only, it’s been tough. There are some steelhead with reports of an occasional big king and mature coho out 18 plus miles at or near 300 feet of water. There is a chance some of those fish are closer to shore but you can’t get past the little 2 year old coho to try for them. Usually there would be staging kings holding in 90 to 150 off Waukegan. I didn’t hear of a single decent silver fish caught in that area this week. I hope that changes but right now it looks like this could be the worst fall shore fishing in memory. Capt. Scott Wolfe School of Fish Charters www.schooloffishcharters.com 630-341-0550
MADISON LAKES, WISCONSIN
Gene Dellinger at D&S Bait said on Waubesa bluegill are outside of the weed lines and some are suspended; on Monona, there’s good drifting for bluegill and some big muskie are also being caught; on Mendota, smallmouth are active on bars near weeds and some perch are in the weeds.
Kurt Justice at Kurt’s Island Sport Shop emailed:
The cool down of late August has started! Lake temps have fallen from mid-70’s to upper 60-70 degree marks. Weeds are starting to pale up noticeable as they die back, marking the end of their growing season. Fish patterns are changing as they usually do this time of year. Most everything is right on time with exception to water levels. Lakes are high and flowages are very high. This shouldn’t affect what we see on lakes, but Flowages could be off from the late summer/early fall norm. Smallmouth Bass: Good – Some good shallow action on surface lures (Whopper Ploppers) and twitch baits (X-Raps). Big fish in the 18-20 range. Other fish off deep gravel humps on Ned rigs and drop-shot rigs in 18-26’. Largemouth Bass: Good – Where weeds have started to die back stay out. Healthy, green cabbage as well as deep coontail edges using tube jigs and wacky worms best. Musky: Good – Top-water action up tight to shorelines and shallow weeds, wood, or rock good. Smitys Flap Tail, Whopper Ploppers, and Hawg Wobblers all good. Most reports are of action fish, mid 30’s. Northern Pike: Good – Like the cool down. Tickle the tops of green cabbage beds with Boonie baits, BooYah baits, chatter baits and shallow jointed hard baits. Bluegill: Good-Fair – Faltering weeds playing on Gills a bit. Where you can find them in deeper weeds, small leeches, minnows and tiny tube jigs. Yellow Perch: Fair – Very scattered from most reports. Drowned wood using beavertails or medium fatheads best. Crappie: Fair – Just starting into early fall patterns. Suspended near wood or off 14-18’ coontail edges. Vertical jig medium fats or fish under slip-floats. Walleye: Fair-Good – Showing up on deeper gravel humps of 18-26’. 1/8 oz jigs with large fats, ½ crawlers. Jigging raps also effective for the most aggressive Eyes. Live bait will be on many anglers’ minds for this fall. Leeches nearly all but done for the season. Wild chubs, red tails, blacks have been tough to get all year. With last years heavy snows in Minnesota killing off lots of the pond raised suckers and rivers so high that wild caught will also be in low supplies this fall. Fatheads and crawlers should be fine. Best to call ahead to your favorite bait shop to get an idea before you travel. Kurt Justice Kurt’s Island Sport Shop Like us on FaceBook
Capt. Rich Sleziak at Slez’s Bait in Lake Station texted:
Not to many perchers out over weekend wind had em staying home around here. New buffalo area gave up some dandy perch some in the 13 inch range Wind is gonna blow all over the place here the next few days Labor Day weekend is usually the start of a few kings and coho show up outside burns ditch. Silver horde plugs and moonshine glow spoons trolled in the 35 to 45 ft range is were to start The people have finally stopped asking about the spill thank god it was getting me worked up Some decent crappie are starting to be caught on Wisconsin street bridge in Hobart fishing lake George minnows under a bobber at evening and into dark
Staff at Tackle Haven in Benton Harbor said lots of lakers are in 110-130 feet with an occasional king, not much off pier with weather; a few walleye and steelhead are in the river.
Staff at Lakeside said a lot of catfish being caught, including some in the 8-pound range; a few are trying for muskie again; bass are in the weeds and on the dam face; some are trying for crappie; water is 76 degrees.
The restaurant is open daily. Lakeside is open daily 6 a.m.-7 p.m. Park hours are 6 a.m.-10 p.m.