clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Chicago fishing, Midwest Fishing Report: Waiting on shore Chinook; inland bass, catfish and bluegill

The wait for Chinook to come to shore goes on with signs of some kings closer to shore, that leads this sprawling raw-file Midwest Fishing Report; plus the stable summer weather has smoothed fishing for bass, catfish and bluegill on inland waters around Chicago.

BoRabb Williams with a big blue catfish from Braidwood Lake. Provided photo
BoRabb Williams with a big blue catfish from Braidwood Lake.
Provided photo

The wait for Chinook to come to shore goes on as there are signs of some kings closer to shore; that leads this sprawling raw-file Midwest Fishing Report; plus the stable summer weather has smoothed fishing for bass, catfish and bluegill on inland waters around Chicago.

BoRabb Williams texted the photo at the top and this on Monday:

I got some Big Blue Catfish at Braidwood... including a 22 lb Blue..... using fresh shad

I released the Big ones

Kept 6 eaters

I like 5 pounders to 8

A good philosophy.

ILLINOIS FROG SEASON

Illinois’ bullfrog (only) season runs through Oct. 15. A fishing license is required. “Bullfrogs may be taken by hook and line, gig, pitchfork, spear, bow and arrow, hand, or landing net.” Daily bag limits eight, possession limit 16.

LAKEFRONT PARKING

Chicago Park District’s parking passes for the fisherman’s parking lots at DuSable and Burnham harbors are on sale at Henry’s Sports and Bait in Bridgeport and Park Bait at Montrose Harbor.

Readers suggest SpotHero app downtown. Otherwise, here are some basics: Foster (free street parking or pay lot); Montrose (now a mix of metered and free street parking); Belmont (pay lots on north and south sides); Diversey (pay lot or street parking); DuSable Harbor (pay lot or fisherman’s lot); Northerly Island/Burnham Harbor (meters, pay lot or fisherman’s lot); 31st/Burnham (meter parking between McCormick Place and 31st Street Harbor); Oakwood/39th (meters); 63rd Street/Casino Pier (pay lot); Steelworkers Park (free street parking at east end of 87th); Cal Park (free parking).

AREA LAKES

Jonathan Greene with a “pond-hoppin” catfish. Provided photo
Jonathan Greene with a “pond-hoppin” catfish.
Provided

Kevin Greene emailed the photos above and below, and this:

Was waiting on my son Jonathan to do a bit of night fishing for cats and threw out a 1/48oz jig with Bobby Garland swimmin minnow got this nice 3.96 lg mouth just after 8pm Sunday . Not long after my bass Jonathan landed this Channel cat on a nightcrawler . Bites lately few & far between but when they hit its on. NW Burbs still plenty of action for crappie Bluegill Carp Cats and nice bass gotta love Pond Hoppin.

Yes, to pond hopping.

Kevin Greene with a “pond-hoppin” largemouth bass. Provided photo
Kevin Greene with a “pond-hoppin” largemouth bass.
Provided
Ken “Husker” O’Malley with a late-summer largemouth bass. Provided photo
Ken “Husker” O’Malley with a late-summer largemouth bass.
Provided

Ken “Husker” O’Malley emailed the photos above and below and this:

Hey Dale,

Here is a recap of this past weeks fishing.

Area lakes- typical summer patterns continue.

Bass are excellent early morning hours. Senkos are producing the best with top water poppers not far behind. During evening hours, frogs and chatterbaits produce decent numbers.

Bluegill are close to shore during morning and evening hours. Ice jigs tipped with plastics pitched to the schools will take the aggressive biters. It’s a good time to get the kids out for some fun.

Here is the nature pic of the week [below]. Another good day of fishing coming to an end.

TTYL

Ken “Husker” O’Malley

Husker Outdoors
Waterwerks fishing team

Day’s end of fishing scene. Credit: Ken “Husker” O’Malley
Day’s end of fishing scene.
Ken “Husker” O’Malley

Pete Lamar emailed on Monday:

HI Dale,

I’ll submit this now since I won’t be fishing today or tomorrow.

I fished a couple of local ponds/lakes over the weekend. One was a park district pond. Ordinarily I wouldn’t bother on a cloudless hot afternoon. But I had to be in the neighborhood, I had time to kill and a rod in the car. It turned out to be a wise decision: bluegills were in tight to shore and were competing aggressively to eat anything that looked edible.

The next evening, I fished a forest preserve lake that holds some big bass and bluegills. It was so overgrown with aquatic vegetation that all I could do was throw a popper into openings in the weeds and hope. It was not productive. I didn’t see any small boats or kayaks out either. Maybe they didn’t want to fight against the vegetation to row to their usual spots.

. . .

Pete

Dicky’s Bait Shop in Montgomery reported good bass being caught on frogs in the western suburbs.

BIG FISH: The Forest Preserve District of Will County’s Big Fish Contest at Monee Reservoir runs through Aug. 31. Click here for details.

BRAIDWOOD LAKE

Open daily 6 a.m. to sunset. Click here for the preview.

CHAIN O’LAKES AREA

Kyle at Triangle Sports and Marine in Antioch said channel catfish are eating everywhere; muskie are active outside the weed line, especially on Channel, Catherine and Marie; flipping a weedless jig and crawler piece outside of weed lines in 8-10 feet producing walleye; panfish good off docks or along weed lines; some white bass in 15-20 on a jig and minnow or Gulp! under schools of bait.

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

NOTE 2: The Stratton Lock and Dam is open 8 a.m. to midnight through Sept. 30.

CHICAGO RIVER

Steve Palmisano at Henry’s Sports and Bait texted:

The boys have been catching large and small mouth bass in the Chicago river downtown on deep running crank baits.

Jesse Gonzalez with a slab crappie from the Chicago River. Provided by Jeffrey Williams
Jesse Gonzalez with a slab crappie from the Chicago River.
Provided by Jeffrey Williams

On Monday, Jeffrey Williams messaged the photo above and this:

Beautiful Slab

14 1/2 inches

It is a beautiful slab, even more so coming from the Chicago River.

DELAVAN LAKE, WISCONSIN

Dave Duwe emailed:

Delavan Lake 8/16/21 through 8/23/21

. I’ve been catching some however the bite has slowed from the last few weeks. Bluegills continue to be the best bite on the lake, if you can’t catch your limit you should hang up the pole.

Largemouth bass are still on the deep weedline in 15-20 ft of water or in the slop in 3-4 ft of water. The deep fish are biting on drop shot nightcrawlers or drop shot plastic worms, green pumpkin is the best color. Good locations are by the yacht Club or by Willow Point. The big schools of fish are not around anymore, so you need to move around a lot to catch your fish.

Bluegills are pretty much all over. Most of the fishermen are catching them in 18-20 ft of water. You can catch them on wax worms or leaf worms. I prefer straight lining them beneath the boat with leaf worms or Hali jigs tiped with wax worms. The best location is by the gray condo point or by Lake Lawn Lodge.

Walleye fishing has been very slow this week. Most of the fish are coming on large leeches fished on a lindy rig in 15-20 ft of water. Look for the fish by Browns Channel or by the Village Supper Club point. Very few legal fish are being caught.

Northern Pike have not been cooperating much at all. I have fished them 5 or 6 times in the last week with only one or two to show for my effort. I would wait until the weather becomes more stable to try for them. I have no idea why the fishing has been so tough for the Northern.

Good luck and I hope to see you on the water. For guide parties, please call Dave Duwe at 608-883-2050

DOWNSTATE

POWERTON: Hours are 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. through Sept. 30.

EMIQUON: Access permits and liability waivers are again required. They are available Tuesday to Saturday at Dickson Mounts Museum, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

HENNEPIN-HOPPER: Open through Sept. 6. Closed Mondays (except Labor Day). Check regulations at http://www.wetlands-initiative.org/dixon-paddling-fishing.

SHELBYVILLE: Check with Ken Wilson of Lithia Guide Service. SOUTHERN ILLINOIS: Check with Jason Johns of Boneyard Fishing.

FOX RIVER

Dicky’s Bait Shop in Montgomery reported river came up, but it is falling again; generally slow fishing.

Pete Lamar emailed:

HI Dale,

I’ll submit this now since I won’t be fishing today or tomorrow.

. . .

I went to a Fox tributary late yesterday to pursue smallmouths. Lately when I’ve fished the tribs it’s been during or right after a heavy rain; I’ve found myself working upstream to find water clear enough to fish. Not yesterday: water had dropped to normal Summer levels and was clear. I tried poppers and streamers; sub-surface was more productive. Ken G. has mentioned the strong spring flow on this creek. I located some of it yesterday: the water was downright cold near the springs. It felt great to wet wade on an August afternoon.

Pete

GENEVA LAKE, WISCONSIN

Arden Katz said pumpkinseeds and bluegill were good in Geneva Bay in 20-25 feet, drop-shotting Nail Tails and spikes, had to weed through smaller ones, biggest pumpkinseed went 9 12 inches; middle of the night, drop-shotting the points in 17-20 feet produced smallmouth.

Dave Duwe emailed:

Lake Geneva 8/17/08 through 8/24/08

This past week, the boat traffic on Lake Geneva has been immense, this is pretty normal for a week before a holiday and with the kids going back to school soon. After Labor Day, the traffic will slow down and some of the best fishing will occur.

Largemouth bass can be caught either flipping the piers or Carolina rigging on the deep weedlines. The best approach for flipping the piers, is a black and blue jig tipped with a craw. For the deep weedline fish, try a green pumpkin lizard. The best depth for the deep fish is 20-26 ft of water. The key to success is a hard bottom. Look for locations like the 700 club point or Black Point. You want the scattered weeds with the steep break. Some of the fish last week were coming out of 30 ft of water. They were chasing the minnow pods.

Lake Trout has been hit or miss. I trolled several times last week with no success. The floating weeds have been difficult to work around. You want to troll the main lake basin in 55-80 ft of water. Most of the fish that were caught last week were caught off of nickel/blue or nickel/green spoons.

Smallmouth bass have been hitting in 33-38 ft of water. The best approach is either nightcrawlers or small yellow perch fished off the lindy rig. Look for the fish to the west of conference point or by the Military Academy. Some of the fish have been in excess of 20 inches, however there are a lot of 14-15 inch fish as well.

Rock bass and bluegills are pretty much everywhere on the weedline in 15 ft of water. The best approach is split shotting nightcrawlers. The average size of the bluegills is about 8 inches and rock bass can exceed 1 ½ lbs.

Northern Pike fishing has been slower than recent years. You need to fish multiple spots to catch 4-5 fish per 4 hour trip. For some reason the fish aren’t biting as good as they have in the past. Lindy rigged suckers are the best approach. Look for them by the narrows near the red sailboat or by Linn Pier by Pier 666.

Walleye are being caught at night using large Rapalas fished in 15 ft of water. The best location is either Trinkes or Williams Bay.

Good luck and I hope to see you on the water. For guide parties, please call Dave Duwe at 608-883-2050

GREEN LAKE AREA, WISCONSIN

Guide Mike Norris emailed:

Fishing Report – 8/15/2021

Mike Norris

Big Green Lake – Smallmouth bass are biting in 13 -18 ft where cribs are present along drop-offs, and on the outside edge of the deep weed lines. Tube baits and Ned rigs have been my best producers. Largemouth bass are shallower and are relating to patches of weeds located on main lake flats. Bluegill fishing is ridiculous. Massive schools of gills up to 9 inches are roaming just outside of the drop-offs. Locate pods of bluegills in 20 – 30 ft of water with your electronics, then fish for them with a red worm threaded on a #6 hook on a drop shot rig.

To book a guide trip reach out to me via my Facebook page at mike.norris.7773 or email me through my website at www.comecatchsmallmouth.com

GREEN/STURGEON BAYS, WISCONSIN

Click here for the Wisconsin DNR weekly report.

HEIDECKE LAKE

Bob Johnson with a Heidecke Lake smallmouth bass. Provided photo
Bob Johnson with a Heidecke Lake smallmouth bass.
Provided

Bob Johnson emailed the photo above and this;

Hi Dale -

Back to Heidecke Lake this weekend with success. I wanted to get back to River but the rains rose the river too high for how I fish it. I tried several techniques for Bass but the 3/8 oz jig with crawfish tail and texas rig also with a crawfish imitation worked best for these late summer smallmouth and a few largemouth. Crainkbaits, surface lures and spinner baits were not working so stay away from those lures for now on Heidecke

Open 6 a.m. (6:30 bank fishing) to sunset. Click here for the promising preview.

KANKAKEE RIVER

George Peters with a good Kankakee River smallmouth bass. Provided photo
George Peters with a good Kankakee River smallmouth bass.
Provided

George Peters emailed the photo above and this:

water up from showers last week. Fish move more out of the current to feed, like this 18” and a few more in the 15-16” range. G. Peters

LAKE ERIE

Click here for the Ohio DNR Report.

LAKEFRONT

On shore and near-shore, the wait is on for incoming Chinook; in deeper water lake trout continue to make the days with the occasional big king and steelhead.

Chad Misner caught big lake trout in 160 feet of water streight out of Montrose Harbor on the Massive Confusion. Provided by Capt. Tim Frey
Chad Misner caught big lake trout in 160 feet of water streight out of Montrose Harbor on the Massive Confusion.
Provided by Capt. Tim Frey

Capt. Tim Frey sent the photo above and this from the Massive Confusion on Tuesday:

Chad Misner caught a 19lb and 26lb lake trout in 160 feet of water. Streight out of montrose harbor on the massive confusion with captain Tim Frey

Capt. Mike Fuys with a northern pike, part of a harbor grand slam last week at Waukegan Harbor. Provided via Facebook
Capt. Mike Fuys with a northern pike, part of a harbor grand slam last week at Waukegan Harbor.
Provided via Facebook

On Thursday, Capt. Scott Wolfe of School of Fish Charters messaged:

My charter partner Capt Mike Fuys messing around in Waukegan harbor this afternoon

It was part of a Facebook post about smallmouth bass, largemouth bass and northern pike (above) caught in the Waukegan harbor.

On Monday, Jason “Special One” Le texted the photo below and gave this account on waiting on Chinook to come ashore on the lakefront:

No kings yet

Two [carp] today at Montrose harbor

While waiting on Chinook to come on shore, Jason “Special One” Le has had success with the other big fish on the Chicago lakefront, carp. Provided photo
While waiting on Chinook to come on shore, Jason “Special One” Le has had success with the other big fish on the Chicago lakefront, carp.
Provided

Stacey Greene at Park Bait at Montrose Harbor texted:

Just some sheep head that’s about all there is to report

Capt. Bob Poteshman of Confusion Charters said there was good fishing out of Chicago with good lakers in 130-180 feet, “lots of lakers out there;” out of North Point, lots of lakers, with coho, steelhead and two mature pink salmon Tuesday in 200-300 on a smorgasbord of lures; “really good fishing.”

Capt. Scott Wolfe emailed:

Fishing was really good this week. Not many big staging kings but limits of lake trout with big steelhead every trip, an occasional big coho and some 3 year old kings too. 115 to 150 had the most fish. We caught them out to 200 feet this week. Some smaller boats are getting good steelhead out in 300 feet. Spoons continue to be the lures preferred with Warrior Spoiler series (there are about a dozen with “Spoiler” in the name and they are all working), Voodoo and Green Menace all excellent. Downriggers 50 to the bottom and on 10 color leads to 400 coppers worked.

Harbor fishing was also excellent. LM and SM bass, rock bass, northern and the omnipresent sheepshead were all taken casting the weeds. People chasing those species should get out now because the kings, then coho, will be coming in in a week or two. They always seem to chase out or scare the resident fish and those species become hard to find.

Capt. Scott Wolfe

School of Fish Charters/Manipulator
schooloffishcharters.com
630-341-0550

LaSALLE LAKE

Open daily 6 a.m. to sunset. Click here for the preview of prospects.

MADISON LAKES, WISCONSIN

Click here for the update from D&S Bait.

MAZONIA

Both units are open for fishing.

NORTHERN WISCONSIN

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

Stable weather for the past few days (8/13 onward) through the coming week should mean some easier patterning of the bite. Unfortunately, the bites have not been great. Bluebird days make for great experiences on the water, but not the easiest for fishing.

Smallmouth Bass: Good – Some nice fish to 20” this weekend working 16-22’ edges using heavy tubes, drop-shots and Ned worm rigs. Fish not concentrated, but coontail edges and rocky humps producing.

Largemouth Bass: Good – Top-water action picking up on the warm evenings. Buzz baits, Whopper Ploppers and Jitterbug users reporting nice action last two hours before dark. Daytime Wacky Worming in 8-12’ cabbage beds doing well.

Bluegills: Good – Best action suspended outside coontail edges in 14-16’ using small leeches or Mini-Mites suspended 4-6’ down below small floats.

Yellow Perch: Good – Active along outside weed edges on ½ crawlers or medium fatheads. Lots of smaller fish, but sorting through enough to make a meal.

Northern Pike: Good-Fair – Not as good on the brightest days, but wind helps. Spinner baits and chatter baits always a favorite. Weedless spoons (Silver Minnows, Jawbreakers) also good, tip with a 3-4” twister tail for added action.

Crappies: Fair – Tough to find consistent action working weed tops. Some anglers finding a little action outside coontail edges using minnows.

Musky: Fair – Best early or late in the day on top-water baits worked over weeds leading to deeper water. Bucktails bulged under surface, as well as large spinner baits also producing.

Walleye: Fair-Poor – Very early or late in the evening. Whole crawlers worked along 12-18’ edges dropping to deeper water produced some nice “slot” fish but action spotty.

With lows in upper 50’s to low 60’s over night and into the low 80’s through the day forecasted for the next week, the stability should help improve the bite. August can be a finicky month, with some species of weeds dying off, minnow and small fish populations peaked, and very nice weather (read: lots of sun) making for challenging fishing at times. Key in on low light periods and don’t fret the mid-day stuff.

Kurt Justice

Kurt’s Island Sport Shop

Like us on FaceBook

NORTHWEST INDIANA

A Chinook caught near shore Monday at Burns Ditch. Provided by Capt. Rich Sleziak
A Chinook caught near shore Monday at Burns Ditch.
Provided by Capt. Rich Sleziak

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

A few fish are starting to show just outside of burns ditch this one was caught Monday morning

The offshore bite is way out in 150 to 200ft of water and most fish are deep in water column

Willow slough hasn’t stopped giving up gills boat fishing best but early am and at dark bank fisherman are getting a fair amount also

Catfish at night on triple s stinkbait and cut bait fishing burns ditch near portage river walk is still going good.

Crappie in the evening and into dark at lake George in Hobart fishing 3rd street bridge and Wisconsin street bridge using minnows.

Christina Petrites at Stan’s Bait & Tackle Center in Hammond emailed:

Hello, Dale. With the near-perfect weather coming up this week, it gives everyone a chance to enjoy the outdoors. Might as well take advantage of it & get in some good Fishin’ time!

Fishing on Lake Michigan has begun to heat up; some nice kings have been caught at sunrise & sunset. Lures of choice are glow spoons & white paddles with a glow fly.

Perch fishing has really picked up this week fishing in 32-40 FOW. Smaller minnows, beemoths, & red worms are working well.

River fishing remains good for Walleye, Smallmouth, & Catfish.

Walleye are hitting excellently at Wolf Lake on leeches & nightcrawlers.

Bass are hitting well on nightcrawlers, larger minnows, & Senko worms.

Catfish have been caught in nice sizes & numbers at Pine Lake & Dowling Park, with stinkbait, shad, & herring.

Some inland lakes, particularly Bass & Stone, are doing well on Bluegill & Crappie. Willow Slough has been having moderate success as well.

ROOT RIVER, WISCONSIN

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

SHABBONA LAKE

Concessions are going. Site hours through Oct. 31 are 6 a.m.-10 p.m. daily

SOUTHEAST WISCONSIN LAKEFRONT

Chase Breen, 7, with bounty caught out of Waukegan. Provided phtoo
Chase Breen, 7, with bounty caught out of Waukegan.
Provided

Justin Breen tweeted photos of a good outing out of Racine last week:

My son Chase Breen, 7, with two brown trout he caught in Racine

We were on charter boat just off the Root River exit point into Lake Michigan. Probably 1/4 mile into Lake Michigan

If you’re wondering about Chinook, he added:

We had a 20-pound-plus king salmon on the line, and it broke off right at the boat before the captain got the net on it.

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

SOUTHWEST MICHIGAN

Phil Schuman at Tackle Haven in Benton Harbor said perch are very slow; mostly lake trout with a few salmon in 100-150 feet; smallmouth are decent with a few walleye in the river.

Paddle and Pole hosts the Berrien Springs Fish Ladder Camera.

WOLF RIVER, WISCONSIN

Guide Bill Stoeger in Fremont texted:

Water level is still coming up, fishing has really slowed down, or I should say catching has slowed down. Should crest today or tomorrow, then things may get better