[UPDATE 1] Chicago fishing: Inland crappie, access notes and coho on southern Lake Michigan

Inland crappie lead the fishing around Chicago, but there are also access notes and coho on southern Lake Michigan for this sprawling raw-file Midwest Fishing Report.

SHARE [UPDATE 1] Chicago fishing: Inland crappie, access notes and coho on southern Lake Michigan
Justin McGuffin does an artful photo of a carp caught on a fly and released. Provided photo

Justin McGuffin does an artful photo of a carp caught on a fly and released.

Provided

Again access notes, inland crappie around Chicago and coho on southern Lake Michigan lead this sprawling raw-fie Midwest Fishing Report.

Justin McGuffin sent the photo above this report (well I give part of his report):

Carp were starting to spawn and I found a shallow bay they were muddying up and redecorating. I made a cast into a gritty plume and a carp slammed the fly. It was released after a long battle and a quick photo. I moved down a bit and found another pod of rolling fish so I made another presentation. A hard pluck of an eat and another carp was on the line. This fish was bigger, a lot bigger and it quickly tried to return the fly to me via a hard head shake. When I stripped the fly back in, a big green flash came out of the haze and crushed the small carp fly sideways. With a hard run and some skull banging the bass came unbottoned. The blame was on a bad strip set. I was so busy with my eyes on carp that I did not notice the hungry school of bass blitzing and busting on small fish just outside of the carp orgy. I quickly threw on another pattern I like to tie up for bass. A fish producing a huge, ominous wake made a lightning fast charge that followed a thirty foot circular path. I saw the boil over and landed the fly on the edge of it. A few aggressive strips and a behemoth bucketmouth attacked.

In case you wonder why I am leaving it hanging there, I liked some other angles of his story, so I am saving it for perhaps another day.

WISCONSIN NOTE

Until circumstances with regard to visitors to Wisconsin become more open, there will be no Wisconsin reports.

SMELT SEASON

There will be no smelt season this year on the Chicago lakefront.

ILLINOIS’ INLAND TROUT SEASON

In the nine-county Chicago area, trout season has been postponed except for Kankakee County where Bird Park Quarry and a small piece of Rock Creek outside of the state park are open. Those lakes that are on postponement are generally closed to all fishing until trout season opens.

REMINDER

All Illinois DNR sites remained closed. Click here for that release.

OHIO NOTE

Ohio is tightening down in response to the coronavirus. Ohio suspended sale of non-resident fishing and hunting licenses and also asked visitors to self-quarantine for 14 days. To put it plainly, as Ohio Department of Natural Resources director Mary Mertz noted, “making recreational travel unfeasible.” Or to put it even more bluntly, forget that road trip from the Chicago area for the bonanza of walleye on Lake Erie, at least for now.

Click here to read the full release.

AREA LAKES

Most forest preserve lakes and most Chicago lagoons are open for fishing.

Crappie are the lead on most inland waters, as Steve Palmisano at Henry’s Sports and Bait noted that there are some crappie reports at Tampier and Skokie Lagoons.

There are also some surprise catches, such as McGuffin’s above.

Lori Ralph at the Salmon Stop in Waukegan was texted:

. . . most of my people are buying licenses and getting crappies in their favorite fishing places but they won’t tell me where! so when people ask me for a report on a certain type of fish I just tell them go to your favorite hole and if it’s not closed go fish it!

You know that is pretty good fishing advice in general in these times: “Go to your favorite hole and if it’s not closed, go fish it!”

Charles Zheng with a crappie from Lake County. Provided photo

Charles Zheng with a crappie from Lake County.

Provided

Charles Zheng emailed the photo above and the report below from Lake County:

Hey Dale, Again, sorry for emailing so late. Just here to let you know of another crazy week of crappie fishing. All prespawn, float and jig was crucial in days without wind. I’d pause for 30 seconds at times before a crappie would hit. Photo below is an 11.75 beauty, all released. I’ve been a happy guy this week, because people stay home, so I can get more room to fish.

When I asked if he meant Lake County, he replied:

Yes, lake county. I’ve been to many spots and they all have crappie going now.

Ken “Husker” O’Malley with a suburban crappie. Provided photo

Ken “Husker” O’Malley with a suburban crappie.

Provided

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

Hey Dale, Here is a recap of this past weeks fishing. Area lakes- crappie continue to be the most consistent bite. Twitch baits worked over weed beds find the most active fish as up and down temps have schools roaming. TTYL — Ken Husker O’Malley Husker Outdoors Waterwerks fishing team

Roger Zimmerman with a walleye from Lake County. Provided photo

Roger Zimmerman with a walleye from Lake County.

Provided

Roger Zimmerman emailed the photo above and the report below:

Caught in a local pond in Lake County, IL with a 1/8 oz. White Tube Jig & a White Tail on a lite rod with 6 lb. test.Caught mid-afternoon on the north shore of the pond on Friday April 3rd. Roger Zimmerman

Rico Cantu with a beautiful crappie from Lockport. Provided photo

Rico Cantu with a beautiful crappie from Lockport.

Provided

Rico Cantu emailed the photo above and the report below last week:

Hey Dale I got this slab crappie just now on a crappie jig he was about 14 inches , be safe out there and god bless and keep you the good work, Rico Cantu from Lockport iil.

Louis Cook emailed the photo and report below:

Hello Dale, Got out for a little bit today with my life-long friend Rico Cantu and hooked into this beauty! Didn’t weigh her but measured her at 19 inches. Wacky rigged Green Pumpkin Yum Dinger. Rico got a nice Slab White Crappie as well!

Louis Cook with a largemouth bass from Lockport. Provided photo

Louis Cook with a largemouth bass from Lockport.

Provided

CHAIN O’LAKES AREA

Chain O’Lakes SP, same as all other IDNR sites, is closed.

ProprietorGreg DicksonatTriangle Sports and Marine in Antioch said, ``It seems panfish are pretty damn good (shallow protected bays or in channels) and the walleye fishing is very good, it should be turning more to main lake areas (Petite, Pistakee, Marie) with the warmer weather.’’

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

As of 3:30 p.m. Tuesday, the Fox River from the Stratton Lock and Dam to the Algonquin dam was no-wake. Check updates at foxwaterway.com or (847) 587-8540.

CHICAGO RIVER

Riverwalk remains closed.

COOLING LAKES

Braidwood and LaSalle remain closed, same as other IDNR sites. Heidecke has not opened yet because of the statewide IDNR closure.

DES PLAINES RIVER

Des Plaines River scene and Rob Abouchar. Provided photo

Des Plaines River scene and Rob Abouchar.

Provided

Rob Abouchar emailed the photos above and below, and the report below:

Hi Dale Spring is coming on fast with many signs in Melrose Park.3 white Egrets passed overhead on Sunday morning while walking Bella.The backyard feeder is busy with Flickers and Downy woodpeckers making their return,along with purple and gold finches. TheCrocus are going to give way to the Hyacinths and Tulips, and the daffodils are exploding.I snuck over to the Desplaines River near Schiller Park for a quick 30 minute break on Monday beforethe showers hit.The water was high, fast moving and stained.The look of some kind of frozen Latte.A few casts were all that was needed; fish or no fish. I think the next fish that will come to hand is the last of my goldfish/koi hybrids that I raised in my backyard pond over the years.The school went from 45 to 2 last fall.I suspect some late night and off hour raids by a Blue Herronor other critters.I will report with the live release.Being homebound resulted in more on line fishing tackle shopping and viewing of Chicago Sports classics.Hearing Hawk Harrelson refer to the Twinkies on score updates is heartwarming.Almost as good as Johnny red Kerrs analysis during the Bulls Magic playoff game.That being wondering how the backboard and rim are still standing after two first quarter missed alley oop dunks by Shaq Diesel. Tight lines and good health Rob

OK, I just enjoy a fishing report can go from needing to get out to mentioning Hawk Harrelson and the late Johnny “Red” Kerr.

Spring flowers. Provided photo

Spring flowers.

Provided by Rob Abouchar

DOWNSTATE

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.

Joe Connell of Ottawa with a big muskie from Evergreen Lake. Provided by Rod Thorson

Joe Connell of Ottawa with a big muskie from Evergreen Lake.

Provided by Rod Thorson

EVERGREEN: Open to fishing and launching.

Rod Thorson, morning host at WLPO-FM, messaged the photo above and this:

joe connell 18, of ottawa with 46 1/2 inch muskie from lake evergreen.

[UPDATE 1] EMIQUON: Here is an update to an update:

Doug Blodgett emailed an update this morning:

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. Boating and Fishing Permits for the Nature Conservancy’s Emiquon Preserve Due to the closure of Dickson Mounds Museum, boating and fishing permits are available at the small shed at the boat launch parking lot in the Emiquon Preserve’s Visitor Use Area.

Go to http://experienceemiquon.com/sites/default/files/LakeAccessRules.pdf.

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

FOX RIVER

As of Wednesday morning, the Fox River from the Stratton Lock and Dam to the Algonquin dam was no-wake. Check updates at foxwaterway.com or (847) 587-8540.

ILLINOIS RIVER

While Starved Rock State Park and other IDNR sites are closed, there are still places to launch, such as Barto Landing in Spring Valley.

KANKAKEE RIVER

While Kankakee River State Park and Des Plaines State Fish and Wildlife Area remain closed, as are other IDNR sites; there is plenty of other accesses and launches up and down the river.

LAKEFRONT

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

Lori Ralph at the Salmon Stop in Waukegan was texted:

I have not had any reports from the lake today although I’m sure there are people down there, most of my people are buying licenses and getting crappies in their favorite fishing places but they won’t tell me where! so when people ask me for a report on a certain type of fish I just tell them go to your favorite hole and if it’s not closed go fish it! Still no boat reports, maybe coming up in the next few days we will have some. For the government pair I would tell guys spawn sacks fathead minnows worms and throw some spoons

NORTHWEST INDIANA

Hammond Marina launch reopened Tuesday; East Chicago Marina remains closed.

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

Lots lots lots of people fishing Indiana has people everywhere fishing Crappie main thing now with coho second gills number 3 Lots of groups just going and throwing it out whatever hits hits Loomis in valpo potato creek pine lake and lake George all giving up crappie to name a few Coho from portage to cal park scattered some fine a pocket of them and work em

SOUTHWEST MICHIGAN

A.J. Cwiok and his brother are doing well in southwestern Michigan. Provided photo

A.J. Cwiok and his brother are doing well in southwestern Michigan.

Provided

A.J. Cwiok messaged the photo above and the report below:

Fishing has been on fire in west Michigan, with a couple nice surprises. Couple of better fish my brother and I have landed while practicing social distancing!

Proprietor Phil Schuman at Tackle Haven, which is closed as a non-essential business, in Benton Harbor said boaters were doing well on coho, best around Cook plant; last week Berrien Springs was doing well for steelhead.

SHABBONA LAKE

Shabbona remains closed like other IDNR sites.

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