Chicago fishing, Midwest Fishing Report: Ice fishing inland before storm, or lakefront perch and burbot

The big question for this sprawling raw-file Midwest Fishing Report is what the winter storm will do to the ice fishing; otherwise, the focus is on lakefront perch and burbot.

SHARE Chicago fishing, Midwest Fishing Report: Ice fishing inland before storm, or lakefront perch and burbot
Bob France found success Sunday in Roselle on the ice. Provided photo

Bob France found success Sunday in Roselle on the ice.

Provided

Ice fishing leads this sprawling raw-file Midwest Fishing Report, but the storm may impact that; otherwise, it is perch and burbot on the lakefront.

Bob France messaged the photo above and this on Sunday:

We ventured out on four inches of ice on a neighborhood pond in Roselle!

LAKEFRONT PERCH

The center of the action remains the Calumet system and the South Side slips. Security varies in its dealings with fishing on the private property areas around the South Side slips. The small piece of Steelworkers Park at the eastern end of 87th is public land.

Arden Katz said perch are still in at the South Side slips, key for his success is using a pencil weight with two Mini-Miters tied a foot apart a foot above, then snap retrieving.

Chicago River perch. Photo provided by Jeffrey Williams

Chicago River perch.

Photo provided by Jeffrey Williams

Reports of perch downtown on the Chicago, including the bucket above on Wednesday and this note from Jeffrey Williams:

hit my limit, via chicago river

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

Seems to be a fresh batch of perch rolled into the river recently boat action still good and shore fisherman have been doing good again Slips and up to 95th street for shore fisherman and boat fisherman from 100 street on up towards Ford plant fair size and good action most days

NEARBY PUBLIC ICE FISHING REGULATIONS

Ice fish at your own risk. Hours are generally sunrise to sunset, unless noted otherwise. Ice fishing is not permitted at the Chicago lagoons, FPD of Kendall County, FPD of Will County and Kankakee River Valley FPD.

FP COOK COUNTY:Ice-fishing lakes are Arrowhead, Axehead, Beck, Belleau, Big Bend, Bode South only, Bullfrog, Busse main and south, Flatfoot, Green, Horsetail, Ida, Maple, Papoose, Powderhorn, Saganashkee Slough, Sag Quarry, Tampier, Turtlehead and Wampum.

FPD DuPAGE COUNTY:Permitted most sites. No ice fishing at Spring Creek Reservoir. Late-night fishing allowed at Deep Quarry, must be out of preserve by 11 p.m.

FPD KANE COUNTY:Permitted only at Lake Patterson (Hampshire South FP), Oakhurst FP, two ponds within Paul Wolff Campground, and Grunwald Farms FP.

LAKE COUNTY FP:When conditions allow, ice fishing permitted 6:30 a.m. to sunset at Hastings Lake, Banana Lake, Independence Grove south bay and Lake Carina; 6:30 a.m. to one hour after sunset at Sterling Lake.

MAZONIA SFWA:Monster at Mazonia South is open year-round, ice fishing or open water. Fishing, ice or open water, reopened at both the North and South units.

McHENRY CCD:Ice fishing at The Hollows (West Lake only).

SILVER SPRINGS SFWA:As a general winter rule, enter through the east entrance.

WOLF LAKE:When conditions allow.

AREA LAKES

My guess is that the storm will greatly alter hopes of local ice fishing, especially with the warmup forecast for next week.

David Bukowski (back) and Bob France ice fishing with success in Roselle on Sunday. Provided photo

David Bukowski (back) and Bob France ice fishing with success in Roselle on Sunday.

Provided

Bob France messaged the photo at the top and the one above and this on Sunday:

We ventured out on four inches of ice on a neighborhood pond in Roselle!

He added:

and I. Caught well over ten each in about 30 minutes after moving twice. Found them on the bottom in 8 to ten foot of water on jigs and wax worms.

Ken “Husker” O’Malley emailed this report and the nature photo below:

Hey Dale, Here is the final 2020 recap of this past weeks fishing. Area lakes- the brief warmup allowed for a small window of open water mid-week. Fishing was slow however. A few crappie in the main basin on minnows under a slip float. The cold front that passed through during Christmas locked up lakes again. As of yesterday, ice was 2 inches but thinning the farther away from shore. This weeks forecast will not help ice conditions depending on how much rain we get. Here is the nature pic of the week. Final open water for 2020? TTYL — Ken Husker O’Malley Husker Outdoors Waterwerks fishing team

Nature photo. Provided by Ken “Husker” O’Malley

Nature photo.

Provided by Ken “Husker” O’Malley

BRAIDWOOD LAKE

Closed for the season.

CALUMET SYSTEM

As noted in the perch report, some perch are well in to around the Ford plant.

CHAIN O’LAKES AREA

Proprietor Greg Dickson at Triangle Sports and Marine in Antioch said, “They are ice fishing here. It is kinda cool. Shallow bays and backwater areas are producing. Not a lot of ice. As we talk every year, you have to be careful.” It’s mainly for bluegill and crappie. He said ice is even better in southern Wisconsin. But everything really depends on what will happen with the wintry weather..

Already over the weekend, staff at Hermann’s Rest-a-While, which offers $5 parking, access and wax worms, along with food and drink on Nielsen’s Channel, texted:

Ice Report Guys are fishing behind the bar 2-1/2 - 3 inches of ice reported No one is on the front Chanel

Since then, anglers have been out to the front.

ICE-FISHING ACCESS: Most places run some version of $5 parking, usually taken off food or bar bill. Hermann’s Rest-A-While (Nielsen’s Channel), Granny’s Lakeside Diner at Spring Lake Marina, Choppers Bar and Grill (Channel), Sandbar Bar & Grille (Marie), Oak Park Lounge (Pistakee Bay), Musky Tales Bait Shop (near the old Mentone’s), Barnacle Bob’s (Marie).

When I posted this earlier, Trevor James messaged a tip worth knowing:

Oak Park Lounge. the best ice fishing parking in the chain! And they also have rental shacks from www.wetnwildoutfitters.com available

DOWNSTATE

If you’re heading Downstate for crappie over the long holiday weekend, you might be picking the right time.

SHELBYVILLE: Ken Wilson of Lithia Guide Service said crappie are biting on main lake ledges (the shallow bite went away), that’s down 10-12 to 15-18 feet. ”That is where they will be all winter long, until prespawn.” Catching a few walleye, usually right at dark or first light.

He said they just opened the gates up and are pulling water. Yesterday at midnight, flow was 1180, by Tuesday afternoon, it was 1500. Muskie and walleye will all start pulling up to below the spillway; anglers are lining up.

REND: Jason Johns of Boneyard Fishing said they are crushing the crappies still. “It’s almost not fair. They are deeper on sets and channels and any kind of jig in 10-17 feet. Any day the wind is not blowing you can crush them. The crappie fishing is amazing. It is not good, it’s great.”

POWERTON:Shore fishing is open 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Boat fishing reopens Feb. 15.

SPRING:Bank fishing is open to regular fishing. Boat anglers may start at 1 p.m.

EMIQUON:Basically, go to the launch. General information athttp://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.

HENNEPIN-HOPPER: Closed for the year.

GREEN LAKE AREA, WISCONSIN

Guide Mike Norris emailed:

Fishing Report 12/27/2020 Mike Norris Winter finally arrived in south-central Wisconsin on the eve of Christmas with evening temperatures plummeting down to single digits.The resulting cold air firmed up ice on many of the area lakes and ice anglers were out in numbers this past weekend with many areas reporting up to 5 inches or more of ice. Big Green Lake remains wide open due to its depth and size, but the ice forming along the shoreline has prevented me from launching my boat.Beyer’s Cove, located in the northwestern part of the lake, is shallow and has a good 5 to 6 inches of ice.Anglers are accessing Beyer’s Cove from the public access area located at the west end of the Cove and are catching bluegills up to 8 inches and perch up to 10 inches on jigs tipped with plastics or waxworms. Over at Beaver Dam Lake anglers are reporting decent crappie fishing off of Edgewater Park with small jigs tipped with minnows.On Fox Lake fishing is good for bluegill off Town Park.Find green weeds for the bluegill and look for crappies on break lines leading into the main lake basin. For information on guide trips reach out to me via my Facebook page at mike.norris.7773 or email me through my website atwww.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:

Good morning. Here is not much of a report, cause we do not have ice yet.So here is what to expect in the upcoming weeks… As the shallow bays of Little Sturgeon, Riley’s Bay and Sawyer Harbor start to freeze and become safe enough to walk on, we anticipate Perch and Pike fishing to be phenomenal as it was right up until this in-between stage that we are currently in.For the Perch, an assortment of jigs tipped with minnows, minnow heads, plastics along with spikes and waxies will be the ticket along with suspending shiners or rosy reds under tip ups.For the Pike, suspending Golden Shiners and suckers under tip ups and auto fishermen is the most popular and effective method. Then, as the big bay freezes, which it is set up to freeze pending on the wind, thousands of fishermen will be heading up to the county to load up on the very abundant and sought after Whitefish.Little Sturgeon, Riley’s Bay, Sand Bay along with the vast shoreline and structure to the north of Sturgeon Bay which is littered with Whitefish. The most popular jig is our Howie’s Whitefish Head tipped with some type of larger plastic baits. Early season Walleye fishing can also be very good at times. Little Sturgeon, Riley’s Bay and Sherwood point the general go to spots. Rapala jigs, Ripp’in Raps, Slab Raps and Odd Ball jigs all very good and must have jigs for Walleye’s Thanks; Lance LaVine Howie’s Tackle 1309 Green Bay Rd Sturgeon Bay, WI 54235 Ph: 920-746-9916

HEIDECKE LAKE

Closed for the season.

ILLINOIS RIVER

Illinois River fishing. Provided by James Stewart

Illinois River fishing.

Provided by James Stewart

James Stewart emailed the photos above and below and this from earlier in December, just a reminder that fishing the Illinois keeps going even in winter:

Went out with a guide in 20 degree weather. My first time fishing the river and my first time fishing in that cold of weather for 4 hours. Dragging jigs and minnows off the bottom in 20 feet of water ...the few crappie we got were still hugging some docks we found.

Illinois River bounty in December. Provided by James Stewart

Illinois River bounty in December.

Provided by James Stewart

KANKAKEE RIVER

Another year where I did not get to try for my Christmas smallmouth bass.

LAKE ERIE

Click here for the Ohio DNR Report.

LAKEFRONT

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

Steve Palmisano at Henry’s Sports and Bait texted:

Similar spotty perch reports at 87th and the lake slip. No reports downtown or north side harbors.? Happy New Year to you and your family.

Lori Ralph at the Salmon Stop in Waukegan texted:

Happy new year! Water is still open at waukegan, Aug has had a few guys in, they are seeing a few browns and steelies on a variety of baits. If more guys would fish, and fish longer than a couple of hours, they would catch more than 2 or 3 fish!This is gov pier, and a few reportsfrom johnson

SALMON SNAGGING: Snagging season ends Thursday, Dec. 31.

LaSALLE LAKE

Closed for the season.

MADISON LAKES, WISCONSIN

Arden Katz said bluegills, some to 9 inches, are good on Monona Bay and Cherokee Marsh for those jigging with wax worms.

Click here for the update from D&S Bait.

MAZONIA

Open for open water or ice fishing.

MILLE LACS LAKE, MINNESOTA

Minnesotan Charles Rothnem with a 37-inch, 13-pound northern pike from Mille Lacs. Provided by Justin Lederer

Minnesotan Charles Rothnem with a 37-inch, 13-pound northern pike from Mille Lacs.

Provided by Justin Lederer

Justin Lederer emailed the photo above and this on Monday from McQuoids Inn in Isle, Minn.:

Hey Dale Justin Lederer checking in from McQuoids Inn Millie Lacs Lake fishing has been slower this week still some quality fish being caught as you can see by Charles beautiful northern.Walleye and Northern are still hitting medium suckers mostly dead sticking or tip ups. The walleye are starting to hit a jig tipped with either a fathead or just the head. Perch are hitting wax worms right now. All three spices are being caught in 10-16 foot of water around weed lines, the edges of drop offs and around structures. Some walleye are starting to hit in the 20-30 foot range. You can get to almost all of the lake by machine’s now skids houses are out in the big bays along with ice castles. Roads are being plowed by the first of the year the lake should be ready for traffic. Bays are holding 10-12 inches of ice a mile or more out. Main lake is holding 4-12 inches of ice just depending on where you are. Happy new year Justin Lederer

NORTHERN WISCONSIN

Kurt Justice at Kurt’s Island Sport Shop in Minocqua emailed:

2020 has been a kind year if you’re an ice angler !! With little snow cover and most lakes averaging 8-12 of ice, conditions are great for this prolonged early ice season. Fishing overall has been very good with the biggestissue being just to find your own piece of the ice! Crappies:Excellent to Very Good While not everyone is catching limits (not everyone everdoes) great action and reports ofLOTSof Crappie up to and just over 14 being caught. Many anglers releasing these big slabs to reproduce or get caught again, taking the 10-12’s for eating! Tip-downs with rosies, emerald shiners and crappie minnows hot!Anglers also finding good bites on plastics fished slowly on a dropping flutter action. While most anglers fishing weeds of 9-12’, some already are spreading out over mud flats of 16-20’ finding fish on spoons. Walleye:Very Good Nice fish being caught close to and just after dusk. A few good early morning bites. Jigging Rap Style baits good for action. Tip-ups always the norm using suckers and shiners. Plenty of eating size fish reported with some big 26-31 eyes. C&R this past week! Nite bite improving! Northern Pike:Very Good Action good on big baits (shiners, suckers) and few on Hot dogs!Mid-morning through the afternoon. Even a few after dark surprisingly ! Bluegill: Very Good Best on moussees, waxies in heavy cabbage beds. Teardrops and shimpo jigs working well. Yellow Perch: Good A few anglers finding fish roaming mud flats in 16-20’ mixed in with crappies. Fish of 9-12 being caught using hali jigs tipped with waxies or spikes and tip-downs with rosies. Largemouth Bass: Good Rarely targeted, but good #’s and size on medium shiners. Ice thicknessranging 8-12 on average (though some larger lakes only have 5-7)ATV and snowmobile travel good on many lakes. Can’t advise truck travel, but you’ll see them out there, sometimes in places they shouldn’t be. Please use caution! — Have a Great Day!

NORTHWEST INDIANA

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

Seems to be a fresh batch of perch rolled into the river recently boat action still good and shore fisherman have been doing good again Slips and up to 95th street for shore fisherman and boat fisherman from 100 street on up towards Ford plant fair size and good action most days Steelhead in area tributaries must cover water move around lots of fisherman fishing for them. Voodoo jigs tipped with waxworms best but some fish still being had on spawn sacks Sketchy ice right now around nwi be careful. But some groups are getting on smaller ponds.

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 not much on the pier, but there are steelhead in the river, especially from mid-river to the Berrien Springs dam.

AJ Cwiok messaged about a successful time at Grand Rapids, Mich. Provided by AJ Cwiok

AJ Cwiok messaged about a successful time at Grand Rapids, Mich.

Provided by AJ Cwiok

AJ Cwiok messaged this evening the report below and photo above:

Two man limit in Grand Rapids this evening

SHABBONA LAKE

Site hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Lakeside is closed for the season.

SOUTHEAST WISCONSIN LAKEFRONT

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

WOLF RIVER, WISCONSIN

Guide Bill Stoeger in Fremont texted:

About the same on fishing, think most are waiting for good driving ice. And a Happy New Year to you , stay safe and healthy

The Latest
Shootings are up 225% in the 18th District, which includes the McDonald’s where the mass shooting occurred. In the 1st District, which covers parts of downtown and the Loop, shootings are up 100%.
Antioxidants neutralize free radicals — substances that occur naturally in the body but can damage cells and DNA.
City Hall and HUD now agree: People shouldn’t have to live in the conditions faced by residents of the badly run, federally subsidized Ellis Lakeview Apartments in North Kenwood.
The citrus fruit has grown in popularity thanks to its unique, juicy splash of tart, tang and just a touch of sweet.
Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth occurs when the optimal balance of bacteria in the small intestine is disturbed.