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Chicago fishing, Midwest Fishing Report: Lakefront perch, waiting on Thanksgiving and, eventually, ice

Perch fishing on southern Lake Michigan around Chicago leads this sprawling raw-file Midwest Fishing Report; otherwise, it’s waiting on Thanksgiving and, eventually, ice to the north.

Larry Jennings with a scene repeated many times over the last week or so. Provided photo
Larry Jennings with a scene repeated many times over the last week or so.
Provided

Perch from shore and boat lead this sprawling raw-fie Midwest Fishing Report, otherwise, it is waiting on Thanksgiving and, eventually, waiting on ice up north.

Larry Jennings messaged the photo at the top and below, along with this on perch:

Hi Dale, . . . Pick your spot , they are there

And he added this:

All 11inches of him

A jumbo perch. Provided by Larry Jennings
A jumbo perch.
Provided by Larry Jennings

LAKEFRONT PERCH

What Jennings said above.

Arden Katz said over the weekend, security kept anglers out of the private property areas around the South Side slips; the small area by Steelworkers Park was packed with anglers and perch.

On Monday, another lakefront regular said security was not chasing anglers from the private property areas and perch were being caught on every cast.

So be aware that you may or may not be able to fish the private property areas.

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

Perch action and average size has been great dale even Sunday with wind 30 mph steady I know guys had easy limits off the bank wasn’t like that for everybody Sunday in the wind but still lots of fish caught it’s been great over ther mouth of river to 95 th street loads of perch

Perch bite has been steady since last report boat and shore fisherman all doing well.

Xl fathead minnows on crappie rigs or perch fly rigs is the ticket

Stacey Greene at Park Bait at Montrose Harbor texted:

FISHING REPORTMONDAY NOVEMBER 16th, PERCH HAVE SHOWED UP ON THE SOUTH SIDE. 91st, 89th, 87th etc. A FEW REPORTED HERE IN HARBOR SO HOPEFULLY MORE WILL SHOW UP HERE SOON. MINNOWS ON CRAPPIE RIGS, JIGS WITH SPIKES OR WAX WORMS, SPINNERS AS WELL AS ALL THE OTHER BAITS, SOFT SHELLS, SHRIMP, ETC...

AREA LAKES

I suspect the warmer weekend weather will draw out more anglers.

Ken “Husker” O’Malley emailed:

Hey Dale,

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

Area lakes-What a difference a week makes. Back to fall temps have fish adjusting. Bass have been decent on jigs and lipless crankbaits. Most active fish have been along deep weed edges in the main basin of lakes. Crappie can be found in the same area using ice jigs tipped with Maki plastic tails.

TTYL

Ken “Husker” O’Malley

Husker Outdoors
Waterwerks fishing team

Pete Lamar emailed:

Hi Dale,

One outing on which to report this week. Conventional fly fishing becomes pretty unproductive as water temperatures drop, so this time of year I resort to less traditional tactics. I tie minnow, leech and nymph patterns on jig hooks and fish them under a buoyant strike indicator-it results in a more vertical (and slower) presentation than is usually possible. I’ll fish that way for crappies right until ice-up. I tried it on a recent afternoon and got absolutely nothing before sunset. Then there was a brief flurry of activity before darkness: some decent bass and a big bluegill. None fought very well in the cold water. Time to start looking for crappies.

Pete

Yes, it is time to hunt for crappie.

BRAIDWOOD LAKE

Closed for the season.

CALUMET SYSTEM

Reports continue as some perch already well up stream.

CHAIN O’LAKES AREA

Art Frisell at Triangle Sports and Marine in Antioch said to use extreme caution with the low water when launching and navigating. Crappie and white bass are being caught down 8-12 feet over main lake basins; for those able to launch, try for walleye on main lake points relating to deep water with roaches or large fatheads; muskie are fair on suckers or large jerkbaits in deeper water near points; catfish are fair on crawlers or medium roaches.

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

CHICAGO RIVER

Also check out the Fish of the Week.

Jeffrey Williams messaged a season wrap-up, which I found impressive:

it was a odd fishing year for alot, specially Pat, but i managed to set bew records for Carp, Catfish and Black Crappie

Carp: 25 pounds(Chi River) Catfish: 8 pounds(Mckinley Park Lagoon) Black Crappie: 1 lb 4 oz, 16 in(Chi River)

Saying it was an odd year might be understating it.

DOWNSTATE

EMIQUON: Basically, go to the launch. General information at http://experienceemiquon.com/sites/default/files/LakeAccessRules.pdf. Fishing is allowed sunrise to sunset even during waterfowl season this year because The Nature Conservancy has suspended their public waterfowl hunting program this year due to COVID-related issues. TNC hopes to resume the public waterfowl hunting program next year.

POWERTON: Waterfowl season is open, so adjust accordingly.

HENNEPIN-HOPPER: Closed for the year.

SHELBYVILLE: Check with Ken Wilson of Lithia Guide Service. SOUTHERN ILLINOIS: Check with Jason Johns of Boneyard Fishing.

GREEN LAKE AREA, WISCONSIN

Smallmouth bass are gorging on forage this time of the year. Credit: Mike Norris photo
Smallmouth bass are gorging on forage this time of the year.
Mike Norris photo

Guide Mike Norris emailed:

Fishing Report 11/16/2020

Mike Norris

My angling days slowed considerably late last week with the onset of rain and high winds. The good news is the weather forecast indicates a warming trend later this week that should allow my clients and I to comfortably resume fishing on area lakes.

Big Green Lake – I receive several texts weekly asking what the water temperature is on Big Green and last weekend the surface temp registered in at 47 degrees. We are entering a period when many of my clients have a chance to catch their personal best smallmouth. Big bass are gorging on forage right now as they beef up in anticipation of winter. The best locations for finding big smallmouths are rocky flats with adjacent deep drop offs. Concentrate on fishing the drop offs on calm days and move up on the flats when wind crates a nice chop on the surface.

Little Green Lake – Several muskies were caught early last week before the weather turned cooler. Most anglers were using suckers for muskies while a few were trolling. Boat anglers are doing well on crappies up to 9 to 10 inches. Try drifting in 15 to 20 feet of water with minnows suspended five to ten feet from the bottom.

Beaver Dam Lake – Crappie and perch fishing was excellent last week before the arrival of the cold front and should heat up again with the return of warmer weather later this week. Try catching them from shore in neckdown areas where current exists and from boats. Some crappies measure 12 to 15 inches and the perch are running 9 to 12 inches. Minnows suspended beneath a float or fished on the bottom works well for both species.

Phone me at 630-842-8199 to book a guided fishing trip or contact me through my website at www.comecatchsmallmouth.com

GREEN/STURGEON BAYS, WISCONSIN

Click here for the Wisconsin DNR weekly report.

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

Hi guys….Here is a quick fishing report

Perch fishing has been absolutely fantastic when you are able to get out on the water. Sawyer Harbor and Little Sturgeon have been the best areas this fall and that fishing will stay good right up until ice fishing. 5 to 13 feet of water has been the best depths and fathead minnows have been the best live baits.

Bass fishing has also been really good as those fish are putting on their winter weight and pushing out to deeper water as it cools down. That fishing too will stay good right up until It just gets too cold to be out there and or the fish are just too deep to safely fish for them. Howie’s shorty tubes are a must this time of year along with blade baits, rippin raps, Alabama rigs and Keitech paddle tails all work well

Pike fishing has also been great as those fish are having a ball feeding on all those Perch in the shallows. So Little Sturgeon and Sawyer Harbor just a couple of the obvious spots to fish. Jerk baits, spinner baits, spoons, plastics along with sucker minnows all good options for the Pike

Brown Trout action has been fair along the Northern Door County peninsula, not huge numbers like years ago, but some fish nevertheless. Trolling with Mauler spoons along with some crank baits generally the most effective method in the fall

And the night time Walleye bite has been really good as it usually is this time of year and some really huge fish getting caught right now. Henderson’s Point, Sherwood point and Larsen’s Reef all hot spots in the fall. Trolling with large, floating and suspending crank baits along the primary shoreline drop offs and tops of reefs

Thanks;

Lance LaVine

Howie’s Tackle
1309 Green Bay Rd
Sturgeon Bay, WI 54235
Ph: 920-746-9916

HEIDECKE LAKE

Closed for the season.

LAKE ERIE

Click here for the Ohio DNR Report.

LAKEFRONT

See perch report at the top.

People are biking or walking in to fish. Neither fisherman’s parking passes or pier passes are not being sold while the lakefront remains officially closed.

Stacey Greene at Park Bait at Montrose Harbor texted:

FISHING REPORTMONDAY NOVEMBER 16th, PERCH HAVE SHOWED UP ON THE SOUTH SIDE. 91st, 89th, 87th etc. A FEW REPORTED HERE IN HARBOR SO HOPEFULLY MORE WILL SHOW UP HERE SOON. MINNOWS ON CRAPPIE RIGS, JIGS WITH SPIKES OR WAX WORMS, SPINNERS AS WELL AS ALL THE OTHER BAITS, SOFT SHELLS, SHRIMP, ETC... STILL CATCHING TROUT AS WELL AS AN OCCASIONAL COHO OR KING IN THE HARBORS ON MED ROACHES, NIGHT CRAWLERS, SPAWN SACS, SHRIMP AS WELL AS A FEW SMALLER LURES, CRANK BAITS , SPINNERS AND TUBE OR TINSEL JIGS TIPED WITH A WAXIE. AS ALWAYS CALL FOR YOUR UP TO THE MINUTE REPORT WE TELL IT AS WE HEAR IT.

SALMON SNAGGING: Here are the details 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).

LaSALLE LAKE

Closed for the season.

MADISON LAKES, WISCONSIN

Click here for the update from D&S Bait.

MAZONIA

Closed for the season, but Monster Lake at Mazonia South stays open year-round.

NORTHERN WISCONSIN

The nine-day gun deer hunting season opens Saturday and that is drawing the most interest; otherwise a few are still chasing muskies.

NORTHWEST INDIANA

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

Perch action and average size has been great dale even Sunday with wind 30 mph steady I know guys had easy limits off the bank wasn’t like that for everybody Sunday in the wind but still lots of fish caught it’s been great over ther mouth of river to 95 th street loads of perch

Perch bite has been steady since last report boat and shore fisherman all doing well.

Xl fathead minnows on crappie rigs or perch fly rigs is the ticket

Some winter run steelhead being had in the lower stretches of salt creek and lil cal on voodoo jigs tipped with beemoth

Lake trout for boat and shore fisherman around portage and Michigan city. Blade baits seem to do best

Crappie on minnows around the bridges in lake George Hobart

Yes, Slezs bait shop will be open on Thanksgiving Day 5 to 5

Christina Petrites at Stan’s Bait & Tackle Center in Hammond emailed:

Hi, Dale; I hope your doing well, staying safe & cozy! I know I haven’t contributed in a couple weeks; we’re back on track now. Here’s what I have for this week:

~Perch: Great; up & down the lakefront, the Cline Avenue extension, & the Little Calumet River are area hotspots. Minnows working best, with Nightcrawlers & beemoths as backup; some are having success with perch flys & rigs. Most anglers are limiting out with nice sizes within an hour or two.

~Crappie: Moderate; Wolf Lake & Lake George are getting good action.

~Salmon/Steelhead: Fair/Moderate, some anglers still catching in the slips & further down lakefront. Lots of Steelhead are being caught in the rivers, on mag lips & flatfish. Spawn sacs, hair jigs, squid, & beemoths are producing decent results. More than a few have done well recently with bobbers & cut salmon & shrimp.

. . .

~Bass: Good; Nightcrawlers & crawfish are performing great.

~Pike/Musky: Good; Nightcrawlers, Suckers, & blade baits are the favorites at the moment.

ROOT RIVER, WISCONSIN

Click here for the Wisconsin DNR’s report, usually on Tuesday or Wednesday.

SOUTHWEST MICHIGAN

Proprietor Phil Schuman at Tackle Haven in Benton Harbor said steelhead are in the river with boaters trolling bodybaits (be aware of shallow spots) in the upper stretches up to Berrien Springs.

SHABBONA LAKE

Site hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Lakeside, Pokanoka’s Cafe and camp store are closed for the season. Lakeside plans to reopen when ice fishing comes.

SOUTHEAST WISCONSIN LAKEFRONT

Click here for the southern Lake Michigan reports from the Wisconsin DNR.

WOLF LAKE

Christina Petrites at Stan’s Bait & Tackle Center in Hammond emailed that crappie are doing moderately well on the Indiana side.