Chicago fishing, Midwest Fishing Report: Fox River trifecta, waiting on perch, inland bluegill

A Fox River trifecta, inland bluegill and waiting on perch on southern Lake Michigan lead this sprawling raw-file Midwest Fishing Report.

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Vince Oppedisano with a surprise muskie from the Fox River.

Vince Oppedisano with a surprise muskie from the Fox River.

Provided

A Fox River trifecta, inland bluegill and waiting on perch on southern Lake Michigan lead this sprawling raw-file Midwest Fishing Report.

Vince Oppedisano emailed the photo at the top and this:

Hey Dale,

. . .

Driving down the Kennedy to the river to meet a friend early Saturday morning, air temps were in the mid-thirties and every body of water on the way was fogged up pretty good since the water temps were warmer than the air. Wading wasn’t a problem at all temperature-wise.

As soon as I got there, hooked into a nice walleye in a shallow flat from shore. Would have been more than happy if I didn’t catch anything else all weekend, but within the next hour (with a lot of luck) I pulled off the ol’ Fox River trifecta— a walleye, a nice smallmouth, & a musky. All on shallow running crankbaits.

Bass rod, 12 lb mono, no leader…the musky had the rear treble hook lodged in a piece of tissue right in the corner of the mouth which was just pure luck. Was able to get him to the bank just before the line snapped, quick photo and a clean release….swam off strong into the current to fight another day. I would guess the fish was 36-38 inches. Put in enough time on the water and the stars are bound to align just right every so often I guess.

. . .

Here’s to stars aligning.

His full report is in the Fox River report.

NEARSHORE SALMON/TROUT

Marissa Husenger  with a rainbow trout out of Waukegan Harbor. Provided by Tony Hammon

Marissa Husenger with a rainbow trout out of Waukegan Harbor.

Provided by Tony Hammon

Tony Hammond emailed the photo above and this:

Id love to get my girlfriend in the paper! Waukegan

I took her on my boat that day last week....thats a rainbow we caught on spawn floating spawn

Nate Torres with a big king from Burnham Harbor. Provided photo

Nate Torres with a big king from Burnham Harbor.

Provided

Nate Torres emailed the photo above and this:

hey dale caught this 30lb king jigging a blade bait she smoked it, 20 minute fight just kept running, I think this was better than trick or treating I caught this at Burnham harbor I’m Nate Torres

Have a good one Dale

Tight lines

Tight lines

Stacey Greene at Park Bait at Montrose Harbor texted:

Hi Dale

Steelhead good in the harbors some harbors better than others. Spawn working good as well as Wax Worms and different jigs. Still some Kings and Coho around. Hitting crankbaits and spoons as well as some baits like Spawn, larger minnows, shrimp and crawlers.

. . .

Capt. Dan Leslie at the Salmon Stop in Waukegan said still some silver fish in the harbors, no browns yet.

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

Few lakers and whitefish being caught off the Michigan city lighthouse pier.

Phil Schuman at Tackle Haven in Benton Harbor, Michigan, said some lake trout are being jigging off the river side of the piers at St. Joseph; steelhead picking up, especially with spawn, in the river.

CHICAGO LAUNCH WORK

Be aware that two launches in Chicago are scheduled for repaving, weather dependent, and will not be available on these dates (weather could change dates):

33rd & Western (Richard Daley) Boat Launch - November 3rd (Thursday)

95th Street (Calumet) Boat Launch - November 7th & 8th (Monday & Tuesday)

LAKEFRONT PARKING

Chicago Park District’s parking passes for the fisherman’s parking lots at DuSable and Burnham harbors are on sale at Park Bait at Montrose Harbor and the Northerly Island Visitor Center.

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).

PIER PASSES

Pier passes begin Nov. 15 and run through March 31, then the gates are chained until boating season. The $10 pier passes, which allow legal access to select piers at Jackson Park, Burnham, DuSable, Diversey, Belmont and Montrose harbors, go on sale on Nov. 15 and may be bought at Park Bait at Montrose Harbor (cash only) and Northerly Island Visitor Center (credit-card only).

AREA LAKES

Rob Abouchar with a big bluegill from Island Lake. Provided photo

Rob Abouchar with a big bluegill from Island Lake.

Provided

Rob Abouchar emailed the photo above and this

Yes island lake cooling rapidly very clear big gills

Good reminder that big bluegills are available this time of year, too.

To reinforce the point, see below.

Ken “Husker” O’Malley with a big bluegill Provided photo

Ken “Husker” O’Malley with a big bluegill

Provided

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

Hey Dale,

Here is a recap of this past weeks fishing.

Area lakes-the best fishing of the fall is going on right now. The mid afternoon bite window has been excellent.

Bass continue to be good working jerkbaits along the weed edges.

Crappie have been good working small jerkbaits or WYW custom hair jigs in the main basin. Look for patches of isolated weeds that will hold the active biters.

Bluegill are currently the hottest bite going on ice jigs worked under a slip float tipped with wax worms. The wind blown weed edges adjacent to deeper water is where they are stacked up. Pay attention the the wind directions and bring plenty of bait.

Here is the nature pic of the week. The last of the colors before the recent rains.

TTYL

Ken Husker O’Malley

Husker Outdoors Waterwerks fishing team

Fall colors while fishing. Provided photo

Fall colors while fishing.

Provided

It’s that time of year.

BRAIDWOOD LAKE

Closed.

CHAIN O’LAKES AREA

Arden Katz said perch, crappie and bluegill are on the south end of Channel in shallow flats (3 feet); found crappie around boat lifts on Bobby Garland Baby Shad and minnows down 18 inches under floats.

Kyle Tepper at Triangle Sports and Marine in Antioch said a lot of crappie on all lakes, Channel, Marie and Petite are most popular; on small plastics and minnows casting up shallow on seawalls and docks; same thing with a jig and wax worm for bluegill; white bass slowed, some deeper; muskies, to 47 inches, picking up mostly on big rubber baits or dragging suckers; channel catfish good on cut roaches or cut bluegill; largemouth moved deeper to weeds in 8 feet; walleye weird, some trolling or otherwise casting shallow wth blade baits or jig and minnow.

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

NOTE 2: Stratton Lock and Dam is closed through April 30, 2023.

CHICAGO RIVER

Jeffrey W illiams (I think he’s behind the mask) with a perch from downtown on the Chicago River. Provided

Jeffrey Williams (I think he’s behind the mask) with a perch from downtown on the Chicago River.

Provided

Jeffrey Williams messaged the photo above and this:

Long week of fishing, lost a few bass but bluegills are feeding heavy thoe, also got in a few perch to my surprise, hopefully its a good sign that Perch will be biting more in the coming weeks

Tight lines everyone

Bonus points for that photo.

COOLING LAKES/STRIP PITS

Heidecke, LaSalle, Braidwood and Mazonia (except Monster Lake is open all years) are closed.

DOWNSTATE

POWERTON: Closed until after duck season.

EMIQUON PRESERVE:During waterfowl season, fishing is not allowed until noon. Access permits and liability waivers are required. They are available Tuesday to Saturday at Dickson Mounts Museum, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Randy Smith, Illinois River Project Leader for The Nature Conservancy emailed this update:

Hey Dale,

Good to hear from you, it’s been a while.

I don’t think there is any change from previous years regarding fishing regs, as a reminder, we are closed to fishing until 12pm (noon) during duck season (10/29 – 12/27).

Anglers can be on the water 12pm to sunset.

Judging by the boats on the weekend, the crappie and catfish bite has been on!

. . .

Randy

SHELBYVILLE: Check with Ken Wilson of Lithia Guide Service.

SOUTHERN ILLINOIS: Check with Jason Johns of Boneyard Fishing.

SPRING LAKE: Site superintendent Thad Cook emailed:

Hey Dale, Oct 21st is the last day for boats to be on Spring Lake. Boat fishing will still be allowed from the Sky Ranch ramp up to the narrows throughout waterfowl season. The stoping point in the narrows will be marked with buoy markers. The youth waterfowl hunt is oct 23-24. Bank fishing will be allowed along the south Lake road after 1:00pm during waterfowl season. Thanks. Thad

HENNEPIN-HOPPER: Closed for the season.

FOX RIVER

Vince Oppedisano emailed:

Hey Dale,

Hope you’re having a good weekend.

Fox River is on fire. Just had the best 2 days I’ve ever had on the river.

Water levels in Kane County are still a little low, but the rain last week definitely helped some.

Driving down the Kennedy to the river to meet a friend early Saturday morning, air temps were in the mid-thirties and every body of water on the way was fogged up pretty good since the water temps were warmer than the air. Wading wasn’t a problem at all temperature-wise.

As soon as I got there, hooked into a nice walleye in a shallow flat from shore. Would have been more than happy if I didn’t catch anything else all weekend, but within the next hour (with a lot of luck) I pulled off the ol’ Fox River trifecta— a walleye, a nice smallmouth, & a musky. All on shallow running crankbaits.

Bass rod, 12 lb mono, no leader…the musky had the rear treble hook lodged in a piece of tissue right in the corner of the mouth which was just pure luck. Was able to get him to the bank just before the line snapped, quick photo and a clean release….swam off strong into the current to fight another day. I would guess the fish was 36-38 inches. Put in enough time on the water and the stars are bound to align just right every so often I guess.

My buddy and I landed 22 total on Saturday. Multi species day— smallmouth, walleye, musky, white bass & my friend even caught a river redhorse which I have never seen firsthand before.

This morning I headed back out there and was blessed with another great outing. Only 6 fish this time but one was the biggest walleye I’ve caught from the river, mid-twenties I would guess. Pretty sure it was a reproducing female.

I won’t be able to go back until next weekend, but with the forecast this week the fishing should continue to be pretty good, especially for the colder water species. Hope some of your readers head out to the river this week and have some similar success.

Musky photo attached [at the top].

GREEN LAKE AREA, WISCONSIN

Guide Mike Norris emailed:

Fishing Report – 10/30/2022

Mike Norris

Big Green Lake – nusual warm weather has slowed the fall cool down on Big Green. And we are expecting temperatures to range from 15 to 20 degrees above normal this coming week. The good news is the steady weather has smallmouth bass biting. I am finding bass on shallow rock-strewn flats and on adjacent breaklines. With steady temperatures, bass are chasing both artificial lures and live bait offerings. Umbrella rigs are my choice for finding and catching bigger bass. Sandstone Point and Sugar Loaf are two prime areas to search for bass. I am also finding the biggest bluegills of the year biting in Dartmouth Bay on small jigs tipped with wax worms suspended under a float.

Fox Lake (Dodge County) – Muskie anglers are doing well trolling Super Shad Raps or hanging suckers beneath a float. Crappie fishing is also good right now for shore anglers. Try fishing with a jig and minnow below a float just above the Fox Lake dam or at any of the neckdown areas where the Fox Lake crosses beneath several County roads.

GREEN/STURGEON BAYS, WISCONSIN

Click here for the Wisconsin DNR weekly report.

HEIDECKE LAKE

Closed.

KANKAKEE RIVER

Bob Johnson with his best smallmouth bass of the year from the Kankakee River. Provided photo

Bob Johnson with his best smallmouth bass of the year from the Kankakee River.

Provided

Bob Johnson emailed the photo above and this:

Hi Dale, This 19.5 4 lb Smallmouth Bass fell for a finesse bait. This is my biggest smallmouth this year from the Kankakee and was released after pics. A beautiful fish from our area! The river temp now is 54 and the rains added some stain throughout. Overall the smallmouth fishing has been steady but the Walleye fishing has been extremely slow not just for me but other diehards as well.The forecast for this upcoming week is mild so hopefully walleye fishing improves.

LAKE ERIE

Click here for the Ohio DNR Report.

LAKEFRONT

Smallmouth bass action off Chicago. Provided by James Baranski

Smallmouth bass action off Chicago.

Provided by James Baranski

James Baranski messaged the photo above and this:

Dale, Lake Michigan smallmouth report Saturday 10/29: I went smallmouth fishing with Sir Dale Rehus. Last time out, I managed a bunch of smallies when Dale struggled a bit. Today, Dale unleashed the beast on me and got 2 x 4lb toads, and a few 3.5’s. I managed 1 small one but lost a 5lb plus next to the boat. Overall, a fun day. Weather was awesome for the end of October. Smallies were not super active probably due to the mild weather. Water temps low 50’s. Look for the next cold wave to jump start these bronze backs!

I am a big fan of the Sir Dale moniker, even applied to someone else.

Stacey Greene at Park Bait at Montrose Harbor texted:

Hi Dale

Steelhead good in the harbors some harbors better than others. Spawn working good as well as Wax Worms and different jigs. Still some Kings and Coho around. Hitting crankbaits and spoons as well as some baits like Spawn, larger minnows, shrimp and crawlers. No perch reports yet. No smallmouth reports. Nice big Pike still in the harbors.

We are definitely open into the beginning of December. Hours this week 6am to 6pm then starting next week Monday the 7th 6am to 4pm.

Have a great week!

Limit of lake trout Tuesday out of Waukegan on Fishfood Charters.  Provided photo

Limit of lake trout Tuesday out of Waukegan on Fishfood Charters.

Provided

Capt. Dan Leslie at the Salmon Stop in Waukegan texted the photo above and this about a limit of lake trout in two hours:

Hi Dale

This is Dan from the Salmon stop.

This is what we did today or last charter of the season.

Going to try to maybe get out and do some fun fishing but the boat will cone out next week. The charter boat is Fishfood Charters and they can call the shop or Lori

In a more general report, he said lakers were good and big on the South Reef Tuesday in around 130 feet; some transient kings with attitude out deep, too; still some silver fish in the harbors, no browns yet.

SALMON SNAGGING: Here are the details from the IDNR:

4) Snagging for chinook and coho salmon only is permitted from the following Lake Michigan shoreline areas from October 1 through December 31; however, no snagging is allowed at any time within 200 feet of a moored watercraft or as posted: A) Lincoln Park Lagoon from the Fullerton Avenue Bridge to the southern end of the Lagoon. B) Waukegan Harbor (in North Harbor basin only). C) Winnetka Power Plant discharge area. D) Jackson Harbor (Inner and Outer Harbors).

LaSALLE LAKE

Closed.

MADISON LAKES, WISCONSIN

Click here for the update from D&S Bait, Tackle & Fly Shop .

MAZONIA

Closed, except Monster Lake is open all year.

NORTHERN WISCONSIN

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

While parts of October were down right cold and nasty, the last week of the month, while cool, was rather mild. Maybe too mild. High pressure system hanging over the area seems to have stymied what was a good Musky bite.

Musky: Good-Fair – With surface temps rising a bit and high pressure, bite got tougher than previous week. Weed edges of 14-17’ were better than the deep rock humps as expected. With the reluctance to chase, suckers were key to enticing bites. Mid-mornings and later afternoons (close to dusk) were best for moving fish on jerkbaits and gliders.

Walleye: Good-Fair – Finding fish stacked along transition areas or over mud flats didn’t always relate to bites. Eyes seem frustratingly tight lipped at times. Work medium sized redtails or black chubs on 1/4 - 1/2 oz jigs. Fish depths depending on deepest parts of lake. Most in 28-42’, yet up towards Presque Isle 50-60’ not too deep. Short, soft hooksets and slow reel these fish, very dangerous once you’re deeper than 26-28’ on fish. Work #9 Jigging Raps or #3 Shiver Minnows to pick off the aggressive fish.

Crappie: Good-Fair – Look deep over soft bottoms for Crappies. Drop shotting large fatheads and even small chubs successful over these mud pockets. On Flowages, wood is still key, yet fish are scattered and roaming unlike on lakes.

Smallmouth Bass: Good-Fair – If you can find schools stacking along gravel slides of 24-38- try drop-shotting 3-4 chubs or suckers.

Yellow Perch: Good-Fair – Few anglers targeting, but some reports of anglers finding where bright green weeds exist in 8-10’. Use 1/2 crawlers or medium fats.

We have a mid-week high forecast of 60-65 degrees. Nice for the Crappie/Perch anglers. Weather moving in for Friday-Sunday (11/4-11/6) should be good for Musky and Walleye anglers. Surface temps averaging 48 degrees on most lakes as moderate temps holding for what looks like good fishing conditions for a while.

Kurt Justice

Kurt’s Island Sport Shop - Like us on Facebook

NORTHWEST INDIANA

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

Few lakers and whitefish being caught off the Michigan city lighthouse pier.

Crappie still good fishing the docks near 249 bridge in portage using crappie minnows

Perch still on quiet side lots of groups waiting on that it can’t come soon enough phone has been ringing off the hook.

People are ready for perch to go. And I mean really ready.

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

Hi, Dale! I hope you’re all set to enjoy the lovely weather we have this upcoming week. Here’s what’s been happening:

Steelhead fishing is under way in most rivers, with Mag Lips & Flatfish working best. Spawn off the piers is producing both Steelhead & White Fish.

Inland lake anglers are still catching Bluegill & Crappie, with the baits of choice being beemoths, spikes, & rosy reds for the latter.

ROOT RIVER, WISCONSIN

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

SHABBONA LAKE

Site winter hours—through Jan. 31—are 8 a.m.-5 p.m.

Boondocks is closed

SOUTHEAST WISCONSIN LAKEFRONT

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

SOUTHWEST MICHIGAN

Phil Schuman at Tackle Haven in Benton Harbor said some lake trout jigging off the river side of the piers at St. Joseph; steelhead picking up, especially with spawn, in the river.

Paddle and Pole hosts the Berrien Springs Fish Ladder Camera.

VERMILION RIVER

George Peters with a smallmouth bass on Halloween from the Vermilion River. Provided photo

George Peters with a smallmouth bass on Halloween from the Vermilion River.

Provided

George Peters emailed the photo above and this:

Happy Halloween Dale! Took a ride back to the Vermillion river this am. Water still super low. Only a few bites in deep runs. Our whole area needs rain before freeze time. G. Peters

He’s right on the rain.

WOLF RIVER, WISCONSIN

Guide Bill Stoeger in Fremont texted:

Water temp is holding around 50 degrees. Crappie and white bass action still good. Walleye bite has slowed with warmer weather

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