clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

[UPDATE 1] Chicago fishing: Access notes, coho, largemouth bass, crappie and hints of perch

Updated access notes around Chicago, coho (and perch hints) on southern Lake Michigan, and largemouth bass and crappie inland lead this sprawling raw-file Midwest Fishing Report.

Strange things in strange times, this is from the Salmon Stop. Photo provided.
Strange things in strange times, this is from the Salmon Stop.

Access notes from around Chicago, coho (and hints of perch) on southern Lake Michigan, and largemouth bass and crappie inland lead this sprawling raw-file Midwest Fishing Report.

Lori Ralph at the Salmon Stop in Waukegan texted the photo above and this note (her regular fishing text is in the LAKEFRONT report:

Look what showed up Sunday at the shop!!!

No telling anymore what will be turn up.


Until circumstances change for Wisconsin, Michigan and Ohio/Lake Erie, there will be no reports for them.


IDNR sites remained closed. Click here to read the full release.


Most area forest preserve waters are open and fishable. The biggest exceptions are those lakes stocked with trout, which are closed indefinitely to fishing until trout season opens.

A typical example of that comes from the Forest Preserves of Cook County, which had this posting related to trout waters:

The parking lots and fishing lakes at Axehead Lake, Belleau Lake, Green Lake Woods, Horsetail Lake, and Sag Quarries are closed indefinitely, starting March 30. Parking lots at Chippewa Woods and Iroquois Woods are closed as well.

FPCC have dozens of other lakes open for fishing.

Most Chicago lagoons are open for fishing.

Matt Bach and a big hunking bass. Provided photo
Matt Bach and a big hunking bass.

Matt Bach messaged the photo above on Sunday and this note:

22” long 17” girth 7 pounder FOTW Submission Yo-yo Red Eyed Shad Lipless

Bob France messaged the report and photo below:

My grandaughter Abbie Rickelman caught six bass tonight at an office pond near my house in Roselle. It’s fun to take the grandkids there after a good rain as the bass sit in front of the storm drain with their mouths open!

Bob France and granddaughter Abbie Rickelman with a post-rain bass. Provided photo
Bob France and granddaughter Abbie Rickelman with a post-rain bass.

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

Hey Dale,

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

Area lakes- Timing is everything right now. With fronts moving in and out, pick the days with stable weather. Bass have been excellent on those days casting 1/4 oz lipless crankbaits. Key is to slowly retrieve it over the top of weeds just enough to tick them. Larger bass have been coming in deeper water. Smaller one to two year classes have been up shallow on sunny days.


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

Largemouth and looking right. Photo provided by Ken “Husker” O’Malley.
Largemouth and looking right.
Photo provided by Ken “Husker” O’Malley

Pete Lamar emailed the report below:

Hi Dale,

. . .

I don’t usually go after largemouths too seriously this time of year, but after seeing and hearing about all the caught bass in the report last week, I decided to give it a try. They were cooperative. They were also packed in tight to shore in water barely deep enough to cover their backs. Some good-sized bluegills were just offshore in the deeper water.,


Rob Abouchar emailed the report and photo below:

Hi Dale

Happy day or two after Easter. With the holiday over the weekend there would not have been any fishing so I hit the backyard and cleaned the pond. I released the last of my Koi comet fish to survive the winter in the garage. Two swam up into the filter and were not as lucky as the miracle fish. I will need to get more koi or goldfish in there at some point. The cool weather and the brief warm up have, the Hyacinth and Daffodils holding strong, and the Columbine coming on next. More bird species showing up. Pine siskin and cowbird in back. The Easter Groundhog made an appearance on Sunday afternoon in my front yard. By the time I grabbed my camera he was across the street. He did stop; pause; stand up, and give me a look before running into the culvert pipe. My Lexa 300 reel and Temple Fork rod arrived on the same day, and new trailer plates on the way. We will be ready when the time is right. While watching more Bulls Classics I was taken by Bill Walton commenting on how Kukcoc and Longly couldn’t catch Jordans lob passes...Marv don’t they have enough Television sets in Croatia and Australia to watch video, that’s how you improve. No response from Matt Goukas.

Tight Lines and Good Health


Different sort of fish photo to go with a different sort of report. Provided by Rob Abouchar
Different sort of fish photo to go with a different sort of report.
Provided by Rob Abouchar


Chain O’Lakes SP is closed, as are all other IDNR sites, but there are public launching areas around the Chain.

Arden Katz said bluegill are stacked in the channels, best on jig and spikes, there are crappie, but they seem to be moving out. If you want to target the crappie, go with crappie minnows. Keep moving to find active fish. ``I have never seen so many crappie, it is a good sign for the future.’’

Proprietor Greg Dickson at Triangle Sports and Marine in Antioch said even with the weather, people are still getting out and crappie are holding fairly well; and he added, “Heard of some people getting some catfish, it’s still a cold water thing, mostly on crawlers.”

Triangle is strictly curbside service. “Nobody comes in the store.” Call first at (847) 395-0813.

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


Riverwalk remains closed.


Braidwood and LaSalle are closed, as are other IDNR sites. Heidecke will not open until after the closure on IDNR sites is lifted.


Remember, IDNR sites are closed. As of last word, the Army Corps of Engineers lakes—Shelbyville, Carlyle and Rend—are open for fishing and launching.

EMIQUON: Here is an update to an update:

Due to the COVID-19 issue, for the time being, we are not requiring people to obtain a liability waiver/permit to boat/fish Thompson Lake at the Emiquon Preserve. All other regulations, including no gas motors, remain in effect and are being enforced.

For general fishing/boating regulations, go to

LAKE OF EGYPT: Fishing and launches are open. EVERGREEN LAKE: Fishing and launches are open. HENNEPIN-HOPPER: Closed for the season. SHELBYVILLE: Check with Ken Wilson of Lithia Guide Service. SOUTHERN ILLINOIS: Check with Jason Johns of Boneyard Fishing.


While Silver Springs SFWA, Chain O’Lakes SP and other state sites are shut, there are other access points and launches.


Though IDNR sites are closed, there are other launches, such as Barto Landing in Spring Valley.


Though Kankakee River SP and Des Plaines SFWA are closed, there are plenty of access areas and launches up and down the river.


Chicago lakefront and Chicago harbors remain closed, as is North Point Marina and the surrounding property. Waukegan launches are open and fishing has been going.

Lori Ralph at the Salmon Stop in Waukegan texted:

Yes, still getting nice Cohoes and brown trout, guys power lining and also bait fishing, government pair seems to be the best place.

Guys using sacks, shrimp and fatheads, also casting spoons


Closed, as are other IDNR sites.


[UPDATED] Hammond Marina, Portage Public Marina and the Michigan City launches are open. East Chicago Marina launches are closed through April 21. East Chicago Marina will partially open, including launches, on Saturday, April 18. Click here for more.

Willow Slough is open.

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

Coho on lake spread out from Michigan city to cal park from 20 to 45ft top to bottom thinfish is dodger fly and some spoons

Some Kings starting around dune state park down towards pink house in that 40 to 50 ft area

Crappie good all over really good fishing for them all last week

A couple good catches of perch before the blow in that 50 ft of water straight out from Gary light nice perch

That perch ender is a sign of hope.


Closed, as are other IDNR sites.