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Chicago fishing, Midwest Fishing Report: Crappie, ice gone, November warmth, steelhead

Fall crappie, including from some interesting places, lakefront steelhead, disappearing ice up north and steelhead lead this sprawling raw-file Midwest Fishing Report.

Steve Fiorio with a nice mess of crappie from northwest Indiana. Provided photo
Steve Fiorio with a nice mess of crappie from northwest Indiana.
Provided

Fall crappie, including in some interesting places, lakefront steelhead, disappearing ice up north and building November warmth lead this sprawling raw-file Midwest Fishing Report.

Steve Fiorio messaged the photo at the top from northwest Indiana and this:

The biggest is over 15” I would guess close to 2lbs as it was fat. This past weekend

Believe it or not a local pond by my house. They were stacked in there. The pond is more like a lake. It’s a very good size.

He caught them on minnows.

AREA LAKES

Crappie and leftover trout are the prime targets for those getting out and with this weather more will be coming.

ILLINOIS’ INLAND TROUT: A few are still left, more at some sites than others. Here are the Chicago-area sites: (Cook County) Axehead, Belleau, Busse North, Green, Horsetail, Sag Quarry East, Wolf; (Kankakee) Rock Creek, Bird Park Quarry; (Kendall): Big Lake; (Lake) Sand Lake; Spring Grove Hatchery Pond; (Will) Lake Strini, Van Horn Woods.

Brian Athern emailed this last week:

Soft jerkbaits/swim baits on a 1/16 ounce ned rig jig worked with a twitch and flutter fall. Had a pound size largemouth take a topwater before the snow hit this week. I’ll keep trying the jigs. I’m switching to wax worms and ice jigs under slip floats until the ice comes in. Still have a spring wading trip to figure out for us.

Brian Athern

Darien IL

Ken “Husker” O’Malley emailed:

Hey Dale,

Here is a recap of this past weeks fishing.

Area lakes-much like all of this fall, weather dramatically impacted the bite. The crappie bite slowed this week. Once the school was located, it was difficult to pull out any active biters. Bass were decent on sunny days during midday hours. While the numbers were there, they were running on the small size. With the extended forecast showing a nice warmup this week, fishing should be very good.

TTYL

Ken “Husker” O’Malley

Husker Outdoors
Waterwerks fishing team

BRAIDWOOD LAKE

Closed for the season.

CHAIN O’LAKES AREA

Arden Katz said over the weekend, water was 45 nearly everywhere and, before the winds built, white bass were good on Marie when rip-jigging; Catherine has perch and bluegill on shoreline.

Art Frisell at Triangle Sports and Marine in Antioch said there is still enough water to navigate, but use caution and have a longer rope when launching; crappie are still good on small minnow or ice jigs, mostly suspended hanging back in 8-12 feet; walleye are good on small to medium roaches on main lake points, Marie, Bluff and Petite are best; muskie fishing is fair on large suckers or jerkbaits, Fox and Pistakee best; white bass are down 8-12 feet over deeper water; crawlers best for catfish.

CHICAGO RIVER

See FOTW for a beautiful crappie from the Chicago River. Click here for the FOTW story.

Jeffrey Williams with a Chicago River carp. Provided photo
Jeffrey Williams with a Chicago River carp.
Provided

Jeffrey Williams messaged the photo above (and others) and this:

fun week over all, every Carp i caught was over 12 pounds, heres sum of em

biggest was 15 pounds 5 oz

my river fishing should be done but Carp are really biting good

The past week has been fun

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

Guide Mike Norris with a 21-inch smallmouth bass caught last Friday from Big Green Lake. Provided photo
Guide Mike Norris with a 21-inch smallmouth bass caught last Friday from Big Green Lake.
Provided

Guide Mike Norris texted the photo above emailed this:

Fishing Report 11/2/2020

Mike Norris

Big Green Lake – Smallmouth bass are on their fall feeding binge and are active on rocky points in 14 to 25 feet of water. Try swim baits, drop shots, and live bait rigging along weed edges and near drop offs. I am still guiding as this bite should remain good through all of November. Big bluegills are also biting and falling for small ice jigs tipped with wax worms suspended from floats and fished over the remaining green weed beds in Dartmouth Bay. Walleye anglers are having success at night trolling crankbaits in 15 feet of water over the top of and along the deep edges of weed beds. Reports from other area lakes are slow with most local sportsmen opting to duck hunt or fill their deer tags. Shore anglers are still taking walleyes from below the Beaver Dam Lake spillway while trollers on Fox Lake are reporting moderate success on walleye.

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.

HEIDECKE LAKE

Closed for the season.

LAKE ERIE

Click here for the Ohio DNR Report.

LAKEFRONT

People are biking or walking in to fish. Fisherman’s parking passes are not being sold while the lakefront remains officially closed.

Stacey Greene at Park Bait at Montrose Harbor texted:

Good morning Dale

NICE RAINBOW/STEELHEAD TROUT BEING CAUGHT IN THE HARBORS ON VARIOUS BAITS, MED ROACHES, CRAWLERS, TINSEL JIGS WITH WAX WORMS, SPAWN SACS ETC… A FEW BROWN TROUT HERE AND THERE ALSO. SALMON PRETTY MUCH DONE. NO PERCH REPORTED YET STILL A LITTLE EARLY, BUT IT SHOULDN’T BE LONG. BLUEGILLS ACTIVE AT DIVERSEY. SMALLMOUTH ACTIVE IN HARBORS.

Not sure if Greene is trying to tell me something with the all caps.

Lori Ralph at the Salmon Stop in Waukegan texted:

Some browns and steelies off the bottom, a few kings caught with lures, and snagging is doing ok, not a ton of reports

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

Staff at Kurt’s Island Sport Shop in Minocqua said Tuesday that the weather relented and temperatures were into the 60s; they expect even the ice on the smaller lakes will be gone by tomorrow. Those few out fishing are primarily chasing muskies with suckers or trout.

NORTHWEST INDIANA

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

Few fresh steelhead are showing up around the lower stretches of the tributaries spawn sacks and voodoo jigs tipped with beemoth way to go nothing wild yet but few fresh fish around

Some lake trout being caught at Michigan city and new Buffalo pier heads casting a variety of crankbaits, spoons and blade baits

Lake George in Hobart crappie at Wisconsin st bridge on minnows

Look for perch to show up around cal park area real soon

Pay attention to that last sentence about perch should soon be showing around Cal Park “real soon.”

ROOT RIVER, WISCONSIN

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

SOUTHWEST MICHIGAN

Staff at Tackle Haven in Benton Harbor said some steelhead are at Berrien Springs, piers at St. Joseph are not producing (water needs to cool for whitefish to come in).

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

Some lake trout being caught at . . . new Buffalo pier heads casting a variety of crankbaits, spoons and blade baits

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

On the Illinois side, trout fishing is winding down or done. Otherwise, people are trying for crappie and a few for walleye.