Chicago fishing, Midwest Fishing Report: Bluegill, bass, catfish inland; lakers, coho, perch opener L Mich.

The inland, late spring trifecta of bluegill, bass and catfish are going around Chicago as is the mid-June mix of lake trout, coho and the Illinois perch opener on Lake Michigan for this sprawling raw-file Midwest Fishing Report.

SHARE Chicago fishing, Midwest Fishing Report: Bluegill, bass, catfish inland; lakers, coho, perch opener L Mich.
Randy Shomo tubing on the Indiana side of Wolf Lake. Provided photo

Randy Shomo tubing on the Indiana side of Wolf Lake.


The usual late-spring inland fish of bluegill, bass and catfish as well as the lake trout, coho and the coming perch opener on Illinois’s Lake Michigan lead this sprawling raw-fie Midwest Fishing Report.

Randy Shomo messaged the photo at the top and this:

Tube Fishing Wolf Lake Just Strait Up Fun! Ind Side Off St. Line Road But I Fish All Of Them Lakes Been Tubing For 45Years!!

I need to do that again.


Perch fishing on Lake Michgian in Illinois waters reopens on Tuesday, June 16.


Bullfrogs only are fair game Monday, June 15, when frog season opens in Illinois.

A couple key notes from the Illinois DNR:

A sport fishing license is required to harvest bullfrogs. Bullfrogs may be taken by hook and line, gig, pitchfork, spear, bow and arrow, hand, or landing net. No person shall harvest bullfrogs or any other reptile or amphibian by commercial fishing devices, including, hoop nets, traps or seines or by the use of firearms, air guns or gas guns or during bowfishing tournaments. All other species of unprotected reptiles and amphibians (excluding common snapping turtles and bullfrogs) may only be taken by hand. This shall not restrict the use of legally taken reptiles or amphibians as bait by sport fishermen. Any captured reptiles or amphibians which are not to be retained in the possession of the captor shall be immediately released at the site of capture, unless taken with a lethal method (such as bow and arrow, gig, spear, pitchfork) which does not permit release with no harm. All such taken common snapping turtles and bullfrogs must be kept and counted in the daily harvest. No culling of such taken species is permitted. No person shall harvest or possess any species of reptile or amphibian listed as endangered or threatened in Illinois (17 Ill. Adm. Code 1010 except as provided by 17 Ill. Adm. Code 1070). Season Bullfrogs may be taken only between June 15 and October 15, both dates inclusive. Daily Harvest and Possession Limits The daily Harvest limit for bullfrogs is 8 with a possession limit of 16. For indigenous amphibian and reptile taxon, which may only be taken by hand, (excluding common snapping turtles and bullfrogs) the possession limit is 8 collectively with no more than 4 per taxa.


Bedding bluegill and largemouth bass are the top bites.

Bob France with a bluegill on the fly. Provided photo

Bob France with a bluegill on the fly.


Bob France messaged the photo above and this:

I had a little time to play around this afternoon. A red ant was the bait. Fun on the fly!

PJ Harrison posted the photo below and this:

PJ Harrison I got this one yesterday in Naperville.

P.J. Harrison with a largemouth bass in Naperville. Provided photo

P.J. Harrison with a largemouth bass in Naperville.


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

Hey Dale, Here is a recap of this past week’s fishing. Area lakes-bluegill remain on their beds. Bass have been very good early morning hours on 4 1/2 inch senkos worked over the top of weeds before the sun gets too high. During evening hours, work the areas of bedding bluegills with a baby one-minus. TTYL — Ken Husker O’Malley Husker Outdoors Waterwerks fishing team

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

Ken “Husker” O’Malley with a suburban largemouth bass.


Pete Lamar emailed this report:

Hi Dale, Only one outing on which to report. Are largemouth bass selective or opportunistic feeders? I think anyone who has ever fished for them knows the answer, but I got a chance to put it to the test. I went to a local forest preserve pond that is currently swarming with breeding frogs; a bass could make a living eating nothing else from late Spring through early Fall. But it’s also thick with aquatic vegetation and the only truly weedless flies I’ve got are deer hair mice. Happy to report that the bass were not so focused on the frogs that they refused the mouse. They attacked it aggressively. Pete


The cooling lake in the southwest corner of Will County is open daily 6 a.m. to sunset.


Art Frisell at Triangle Sports and Marine in Antioch said bluegill are the top bite on waxies and ice jigs, he suggested around sandy shorelines; walley are good with crawlers and leeches as the top baits, try current areas and main lake points in 4-12 feet; catfish are very good, too, on stinkbait or crawlers; crappie are good mornings, try drifting around main lake points until you find them; and carp are good.

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

NOTE 2:The Stratton Lock and Dam is closed Mondays and Tuesdays, operating Wednesday through Sunday, 8 a.m. to midnight.


Chicago River crappie. Provided by Jeffrey Williams

Chicago River crappie.

Provided by Jeffrey Williams

Jeffrey Williams messaged the photo above and this:

Went out to a part of the Chicago river and caught these 2 crappies, 11 and 13 in. That was my day, going for Carp but couldnt get em to bite

Oscar Santos emailed the photo below and this:

ite has been DEAD this week on the South Branch,Dale.It went from GREAT to almost nothing.Caught a catfish!!Hoping Captain Pat can give a better report on the main stem.South branch has been DEAD for the last few days.

Chicago River catfish. Provided by Oscar Santos

Chicago River catfish.

Provided by Oscar Santos


Dave Duwe emailed:

Delavan Lake 6/8/20 – 6/15/20 This past week fishing has improved dramatically. The fish are starting to go into their early summer patterns and the weather is also starting to act like early summer. The largemouth bass are in the shallows and can be easily caught on either artificial lures or live nightcrawlers. The best depth is in the 5-6 ft. range around boat docks and shallow weeds. A lot of fish are coming off of white spinner baits or plastic worms. The best color is either grape or black. Due to the thick algae, try to use the lightest weight possible. I usually peg my sinker with a toothpick or use a Florida weight with the screw in holder. Some of the biggest bass I’ve seen in the lake have been caught this year. The best locations are the north shore boat docks from the Yacht Club to Delavan Lake Marina or from Willow Point to the west. The higher the sun, the closer you need to fish the docks. Perch and Bluegills are starting to bite in the shallows. The bluegills and perch are both in about 5-6 ft. of water. The best bait has been leaf worms or small nightcrawlers. I fish almost exclusively a small hook and bobber combination. None of the perch I caught last week exceeded 11 inches but they are starting to show up and bite. The bluegills still have not spawned but very soon they should start to concentrate in the spawning areas. Hellgrammites, when available will be the best bait to use. The bluegills usually spawn in 2-3 ft. of water on hard sand bottoms. Most of the bluegills I caught this week were by Lake Lawn, in the shallow weeds. There are still large numbers of bluegills in deep water, but finding them is a tougher task – anywhere from 15-25 ft. of water. Walleye fishing is starting to pick up. The fish are starting to position on the weed breaks in 15-20 ft. of water. The best bait has been nightcrawlers. I’ve tried leeches several times but haven’t had any luck with them. Also when the fish are in this pattern, medium to deep diving crank banks cast down the break can produce a lot of fish. I prefer either green patterns or perch patterns. The best times of the day are early a.m. before sunrise (4:30-5:00 am) or in the evening just before sunset. I’ve had very little success during the day. There haven’t been any really good locations yet; I’ve caught fish (although sporadically) all along the south shore. I’m still catching an occasional smallmouth bass on the weed line while fishing for walleyes. Some of the smallmouth bass have been really nice approaching the 18-inch size limit. I’ve caught all of the smallmouth bass on nightcrawlers fished on a lindy rig. One of the keys is using the smallest sinker you can get away with factoring in the wind. When it’s calm I start with a 1/8 oz. Sinker and as the winds increase I switch to a ¼ oz. The leader length is approximately 18-24 inches. Good luck and I hope to see you on the water. For guide parties, please call Dave Duwe at 262-728-8063


HENNEPIN CANAL: Did decent for bass, despite high skies, heat and everything on Monday with Pete Riedesel of Fishing Friend Guide Service.

EMIQUON: Basically, go to the launch. General information at

SHELBYVILLE:Check with Ken Wilson of Lithia Guide Service. SOUTHERN ILLINOIS: Check with Jason Johns of Boneyard Fishing. HENNEPIN-HOPPER: Closed, but may reopen later.


Dave Duwe emailed:

Lake Geneva 6/8/20 through 6/15/20 Fishing remains very good overall. The warmer days have been warming the waters. If we can get a stable weather pattern fishing should be excellent for the next few weeks. Largemouth bass are still spawning. They are located in 2-6 ft. of water on hard sand bottoms. The best location is either by Geneva Bay or by Bigfoot beach. Artificial fishermen are catching most of the fish. They are catching them on tube jigs or Wacky worms fished on the beds. The best colors have been smoke, black or purple. Live bait fishermen have been taking some nice fish on leeches. Smallmouth bass fishing has been okay. The fish are still on the spawning flats in 10-12 ft. of water. The best bait has been a split shot rig, nightcrawler or leech. Most of the fish are being caught by Elgin Club or by Knollwood. Some fish can be taken with top water lures when the fish are actively chasing minnows. The best lure has been either a small black and silver husky jerk or chug bug. This bite is best in the early morning or evening. Bluegill fishing remains very good. A lot of fish are being caught in the 6-8 ft depth range. The best bait continues to be the leaf worm or small red worms fished on a slip bobber. The best action has been in Williams Bay, by Gage marine or in Geneva Bay. Perch fishing has been improving. The fish are starting to move into the 12-14 ft. range. The fish can be taken on slip bobbers or by drifting nightcrawlers. The best location has been by Coleman’s point or by Rainbow point. Northern Pike fishing remains slow. Most of the fish are still in the shallow weeds. They can be caught by using white spinner baits or husky jerk baits. The thermo cline usually does not form until the first or second week of July. At that time the fish will start to move to the 27-35 ft depth range. Good luck and I hope to see you on the water. For guide parties please call Dave Duwe at 608-883-2050


Lance Miller from Madison, Wis., with a Fox Lake northern pike. Photo provided by Mike Norris

Lance Miller from Madison, Wis., with a Fox Lake northern pike.

Photo provided by Mike Norris

Guide Mike Norris texted the photo above and emailed this:

Fishing Report 06/08/2020 Mike Norris Fox Lake continues to be to go to place for local anglers right now. My clients and I are averaging between 40 to 65 fish per guide trip right now. Largemouth bass are post spawn but active and the northern pike fishing is ridiculous. Anglers trolling the basin with crankbaits are also doing well for walleye, but do not be surprised to catch a few when fishing the shallow weeds in the Government Area. Bladed jigs remain the No. 1 lure for catching bass and pike here, but Yamamoto Senkos are starting to come on strong as the weeds develop. Beaver Dam Lake - The rock bite is good for walleye. Try a quarter-ounce jig tipped with a 4-inch gulp Minnow and work it around the islands. Look crappies suspending over open water and fish for them with a float and minnow. Big Green Lake is slowly coming to life. The lake water remains somewhat dirty following numerous thunderstorms moving through the area, but smallmouth bass up shallow and bedding. You cannot see them in the dirty water, but they are there. Jig and pig combos and tubes are working well. Look for the smallmouth bass fishing on Big Green to explode soon when the offshore rock bite develops. Phone me at 630-842-8199 to book a guided fishing trip or contact me through my website at


Rob Abouchar with a Heidecke Lake smallmouth bass last week. Provided photo

Rob Abouchar with a Heidecke Lake smallmouth bass last week.


Open daily 6 a.m. to sunset. Walleye and crappie continue to be the top targeted bites, but Rob Abouchar emailed the photo above and this:

Hi Dale, With My fishing dog Bella recovering at home I headed to Heidecke last Tuesday and had some good shore action for Smallmouth Bass. Smallies in various sizes were hitting a Baby Bass Senko and a white Jackhammer Bladed Jig. I had to ride quickly back to the parking lot several times when all sorts of lightning, thunder, wind, and I think hail blew in from what seemed every direction. As the biggest Derecho blew in, the largest fish of the day hit and made a great leap before I was able to drag it up on the rocks. After a quick video and picture it was back to the lot. I could not even get on the bike to ride in the wind, rain and hail as iI headed for the lot. When I went back out again the bite was dead and it was time to head back and check on the pup. Tight Lines and good health Rob


Click here for the Ohio DNR Report.


The Chicago harbors, lakefront and Riverwalk remain closed, but discussions are being held. REMINDER: Perch season on Lake Michigan reopens Tuesday, June 16.

Capt. Bob Poteshman of Confusion Charters said that out of North Point fishing very good with lots of lakers and coho with the occasional king and steelhead from The Hill to 150 feet from the state line to Beach Park, best on Dodgers and flies. Lakers, all you want, are on the bottom. Loaded with alewives.

Capt. Scott Wolfe emailed:

Hi Dale Waukegan fishing was excellent this past week. The Lake has set up in a mid-summer pattern. Trips have had lake trout limits every trip and overall limits or near limits on the silver fish too. Two distinct areas are holding fish. 60-80 feet is holding coho and an occasional steelhead and occasion lake trout. A couple of kings were taken in these waters as well. The fish are hit and miss in this water. Some days were very good and some we could not get these fish to bite. We typically have started out charters here and then moved to deeper water if the fish didn’t cooperate. Dipsey divers, lead cores and shallow downriggers with Red Luhr Jensen Dodgers and Jimmy Fly Blue Liz and Green Liz flys have accounted for most of these fish. More consistent fishing has been in the 100 to 150 foot range with limits of lake trout and good numbers of coho and occasional steelhead and chinook. Jimmy Fly Mo Rig laker takers 10 feet off the bottom in Green Guy and Green Goby and Mid range downriggers and copper and lead cores with Warrior spoons in Blueberry Muffin Ultraglow, UV Hey babe, XL Colville Crusher and Psycho Perch have accounted for these fish. Lots of heavy weather this week. I might spend more time rescheduling trips than fishing. Let’s hope for the best. Have a great week. Capt. Scott Wolfe School Of Fish Charters 630-341-0550


Open daily 6 a.m. to sunset. Winds make boating options tough, but shore fishing has been good, when weather is not too hot. My column is on Darryl Turner and targeting blues.


Click here for the update from D&S Bait.


Open daily for fishing 6 a.m. to sunset.

Bill Meyer messaged on Thursday:

BTW I was in my ‘yak today at Mazonia. A mess of bull bluegill and redear. Largemouth and cats were a bonus.

It’s that time. As in time for me to get a kayak.


A northern Wisconsin scene. Provided by Howard Bass

A northern Wisconsin scene.

Provided by Howard Bass

Howard Bass emailed the report below and photos, including the scene above:

Hi Dale , went north for two weeks. I can’t comment on people, covid or the state of things in our country. I could but I won’t. I caught tons of fish the first week before cold front came through and then the strong winds followed. Depending on the lake, it was mostly lm and sm Bass after that. Walleye became tough(went from minnows to pladdletail or twisters on weedless Ned jigs). That’s except for the 24-25 inches eyes that came on fly rod in six ft of water. Crappies were moving around from staging to six inches of water. and the musky were musky. Also six inches to 15ft. Do figure eights especially if you fish near bluegills. 36 was the biggest. Pike were on fire.

Kevin Ruff tweeted the photo below and this:

Hey Dale. Rhinelander flowage Until 5/27 Crappie spawn is good. Dad [Rich Aird] caught this 13 on a spinner. Minnow good too. Many 10-13. Bass, perch and northern

Rich Aird with a beautiful northern Wisconsin crappie. Provided photo

Rich Aird with a beautiful northern Wisconsin crappie.


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

Moving nicely into June, water temps rising, fish where they should be (for the most part) and despite being a little windy at times, great time to be on the water. Smallmouth Bass: Very Good – Catch and Release only, but lots of very nice Brownies being caught shallow. Ned jigs with Finesse TDR’s, Crawz and Ticklerz slamming fish. Top water with Pop-R’s, Chug Bugs, Torpedo and the new Lunker Hunt Spider providing explosive action. Shy fish can always be tempted with a mud minnow or big leech. Bluegill: Very Good - No signs of bedding on most lakes but fish are shallow and active. Small leeches stay on the hook the best, but worms and thunderbugs are hard to beat. Tiny tubes and Mini Mites under small floats and using flys or poppers in the evenings very effective on warm days. Largemouth Bass: Very Good-Good – Setting up shallow, warming for egg production. 4 Wacky worms, 3 swim baits and smaller, lighter jig/creature combos best. Tubes also working very well in 3-6’. Musky: Good – Top water action good with noisy, tail spinning baits best. (Tally Wackers, Whopper Ploppers, Top Raiders). Glide baits, especially those with tails (Phantom soft tail, Smity Jerk) also effective. Medium buck tails and spinner baits also working well. Walleye: Good – Leeches working very well, concentrate along outside weed edges of 12-16’ using 1/16 oz – 1/8 oz jig or slip-floats. On smaller, shallower lakes, popping or ripping jigs with a large fathead in 5-8’ cabbage. Flowage fish found deeper in 16-18’ mud taking crawlers. Crappie: Good – Anglers searching for Crappies have found most in 8-12’ cabbage on small jigs, though some being found in large schools near shallow rocks. Yellow Perch: Good – Thunderbugs, where still available, best choice over 6-8’ weeds. Small-Medium leeches also good choice. On Flowages, thread a thunderbug on a #8 or #6 Aberdeen hook 12 below a 3/0 split shot to work around drowned root systems. Northern Pike: Good – Chasing well again, spinner baits and chatter baits. Soaking a large chub or sucker along 10-12’ weed edges and inside pockets also good. a…Tropical Depression? Is heading our way, will halt fishing for a day, temps cooling down for Thursday/Friday will see a slow gradual warm up through weekend into early next week. Thank you, Kurt Justice Kurt’s Island Sport Shop Like us on FaceBook


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

Fishing good in 65 to 75 straight out of ditch and to the west towards gong area Ya been solid mix bag out ther wind got us now Wind won’t let us out ther for a while now All area lakes and ponds giving up gills and red ears shallow spawning time crickets and Lil redworms behemoth best baits Catfish going good now at portage river walk and area rivers on sonnys stinkbait and cutbait Slezs bait is open 5am to 7 pm everyday this time of year

Capt. Bob Poteshman of Confusion Charters said that north of The Gong in 50-100 feet there are lots of jumbo lakers with coho and the occasional king, best on Dodger and flies.


Staff at Tackle Haven in Benton Harbor said there are more walleye and catfish in the river; a couple skamania have been caught off the St. Joseph pier; on Lake Michigan, it is mostly lakers scattered from 90-200 feet.


Site hours are 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. Lakeside (6 a.m.-7 p.m.) is open with boat rentals (6:30 a.m.-6 p.m.). Pokanoka’s Cafe is open seven days with limited-menu takeout. Camp store is open Friday, Saturday and Sunday.


Erik Brztowski messaged the photo below and this:

Long but no girth 2 fish over 38 pounds last night which was cool Like every fish I’ve caught lately has been in complete different spots, one on shallow sand, one in a deep hole, another in a sandy current seam.

Erik Brztowski with a good Wisconsin River flathead. Provided photo

Erik Brztowski with a good Wisconsin River flathead.


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