Chicago fishing, Midwest Fishing Report: Steelhead, bowfin, drum, bass, bluegill, kings, walleye

Summer weather on a long Memorial Day weekend made for a truly sprawling raw-file Midwest Fishing Report.

SHARE Chicago fishing, Midwest Fishing Report: Steelhead, bowfin, drum, bass, bluegill, kings, walleye
Tim “Spike” Davis with his personal-best smallmouth bass, caught on a lure he made.

Tim “Spike” Davis with his personal-best smallmouth bass, caught on a lure he made.

Provided

Summer weather on a long Memorial Day weekend made for a truly sprawling raw-file Midwest Fishing Report.

Tim “Spike” Davis, the great outdoors cartoonist and car mechanic in Uptown, texted the photo at the top of his personal-best smallmouth bass. It was caught on a lure he made. He was fishing with a guide friend on the Muskegon River.

I admire those who make their own lures, accordingly a photo of it is below.

The homemade lure Tim “Spike” Davis caught his personal-best smallmouth bass on. Provided photo

The homemade lure Tim “Spike” Davis caught his personal-best smallmouth bass on.

Provided

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, 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).

AREA LAKES

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

Ken “Husker” O’Malley with a beautiful local crappie.

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-summer patterns are starting the develop.

Bass are good on senkos rigged with a Berkley fusion 2/0 weedless hook pitched up shallow. Look for packs of bluegill as they are starting to come shallow to spawn. A few can be taken on spro frogs as well.

Crappie are hanging tightly on the wind blownoutside weed edges. Work plastics under a slip float to keep it in the strike zone. The best bait has been an IJO Plastics pannie crawler.

. . .

Here is the nature pic of the week. Closing time is nearing.

TTYL

Ken Husker O’Malley

Husker Outdoors Waterwerks fishing team

An evening scene for a nature photo. Credit: Ken “Husker” O’Malley

An evening scene for a nature photo.

Ken “Husker” O’Malley

Pete Lamar emailed the photo below and this:

Hi Dale,

It looks as if the warm weather and warming water got the big bluegills moving.After your column last week about catching smallmouth on topwaters, I went out to our local forest preserve lake to throw some poppers (I was after ditch pickles, not smallmouths).I never did find any bass and would’ve thought the popper was way too big for bluegills, but that didn’t stop them from trying to eat it.A few good ones managed to hook themselves.The next night I went to a different lake with the two weight rod and a more bluegill-appropriate popper.They attacked at on nearly every cast.The two fish in the attached images are 9 ½ inches, caught on consecutive casts.They weren’t outliers or exceptional either: they were typical with all fish caught being in the 8-9 inch range.When I was only catching small and average-sized fish in April and early May, I thought maybe the big fish hadn’t survived the Winter or had been caught and kept. Turns out they were doing fine; it just took them a few extra weeks to get active due to the prolonged cold water.

. . .

Big bluegill caught fly fishing a popper. Provided by Pete Lamar

Big bluegill caught fly fishing a popper.

Provided by Pete Lamar

Sticking with the panfish theme, Dr. Atul Mallik emailed a bunch of photos, including the one below:

Dale,

That fish of the week is something else!

Along similar lines, I got my personal best sunfish on Thursday, 5/26 I didn’t have my ruler, but my best estimate measuring my hand and that wrinkle on my sleeve is 9 1/2 inches. The big ones are fun on light tackle. Cook County Burr Ridge local park district pond.

Also, for fun, I enjoyed the orange flecks to go with the orange eyes (harder to see in this pic) on this one

Had a nice smallie hooked on a berkeley flicker shad in the northern end of Burnham Harbor on Memorial Day, but it shook it before I could net the fish. Made a new friend when I lent him my net so he could pull in a big one off of a night crawler. (Sent with permission).

Thanks, Dale! Hope all is well with you and yours,

Atul

First off, I am grateful for all who consider my health, but especially doctors.

As to the FOTW, click here to read it, Nick Langton’s bluegill is the kind of fish that many of us would consider the trophy fish of our life or a Fish of a Lifetime.

Dr. Atul Mallik with his personal-best sunfish. Provided photo

Dr. Atul Mallik with his personal-best sunfish.

Provided

BRAIDWOOD LAKE

District fisheries biologist Seth Love would like to hear from anglers on hybrid catches at Braidwood. You can email him at seth.love@illinois.gov.

Open daily 6 a.m.-sunset.

CHAIN O’LAKES AREA

Art Frisell at Triangle Sports and Marine in Antioch said the No. 1 bite is bluegill, waxies and ice jigs; No. 2 is white bass, try higher in the water column toward evening; No. 3 is walleye, try main lake points or in the current areas around bridges with slip bobber or Lindy rigs; No. 4 is catfish, with the warmth, moved toward stinkbait; No. 5 is crappie, try Bluff or Marie.

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

NOTE 2: The Stratton Lock and Dam has normal daily operating hours of 8 a.m. to midnight through Sept. 30.

CHICAGO RIVER

Jesse Gonzalez with his personal-best carp, caught downtown from the Chicago River. Provided by Jeffrey Williams

Jesse Gonzalez with his personal-best carp, caught downtown from the Chicago River.

Provided by Jeffrey Williams

Jeffrey Williams messaged the photo above of his brother, then gave the longest report I ever remember Williams giving:

he did it again

40 pounds

We knew it was big cause he was already in the middle of the river, this was one of his longest fights he ever had with a Carp, we had 2 scales and both read 40 pounds, length was 40 also and his gerth was bigger than his previous best, it was 27 round, he still is Determined to beat the State record, he’s slowly getting closer to the record, i believe he could do it, bait of choice was Corn for this brown torpedo, caught out of the main branch of Chicago river in the heart of downtown

On Monday evening, Williams messaged:

update, my brother got 8 more carp today(monday) biggest was 22 pounds, and caught a total of 105 pounds bringing our yearly carp count to 805 pounds

COOLING LAKES

Braidwood, LaSalle and Heidecke are open daily 6 a.m.-sunset.

DELAVAN LAKE, WISCONSIN

Capt. Dave Duwe emailed:

Delavan Lake 5/31/22 through 6/6/22

Happy Memorial Day! While Memorial Day kicks off summer, it also kicks off the pleasure boat traffic on Delavan. Be prepared to fish early and have some patience at the boat ramps.

Fishing has been outstanding. Due to the rain event on Friday, it seemed to push the largemouth bass right on shore. We were catching most of our largemouth bass in 4-5 ft of water on the inside of the weedline. The best success came off of split shot rigged nightcrawlers. The best location was by Browns Channel and west of Willow Point. Most of the bass I caught appeared to be spawned out. Within the next couple weeks almost all of the fish will be on the weedline.

Bluegills are Spawning. They are in 2-4 ft of water in and around the boat docks. The most consistent bite has been by Lake Lawn or just west of Willow Point. I’ve been using bobbers and small ice jigs with leaf worms. The bluegills will be spawning in the next week or so and then moving to the deep weedline.

Walleyes are situated on the deep weedline in 15-20 ft of water. They can be caught lindy rigging or a split shot with a single hook and a leech or nightcrawlers. The best time to catch them is in low light conditions with a slight breeze. The flat calm days do not seem very productive for me. Look for the fish by Delmar or by the Belvidere condos.

The smallmouth bass have been really active. I’ve been catching 3 to 6 every time out. They seem to be in the 12 ft depth range. I’m catching quite a few in the 12-15 inch size class. My success has been coming off of nightcrawlers on a lindy rig. I’ve been using a 24 inch leader with an 1/8 oz sinker and a painted hook. The best location I’ve found has been by Delmar.

Northern pike have moved out of the shallows and are on the weedlines in 16-18 ft of water. Lindy rigging medium suckers close to bottom is the best bet. The best locations have been by Browns Channel and Belvidere condos. My lindy rig consists of a 1/0 hook and a ¾ oz lindy sinker with a 20 inch leader. I only use monofilament in 20 lb test. Once the fish bites, you want to position the boat straight over the top of the fish so you don’t drag your line over its teeth.

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

DES PLAINES RIVER

Sean Whippo messaged on Wednesday, May 25:

Just a quick one: river levels in the Des Plaines are up a bit, and will continue rise a bit with the coming rain, but overall - have fallen off the nearly 2 month high waters that had left the river largely unfishable in many stretches. Rock Bass, Smallmouth, big crappie (with their spawning tuxedos) as well as voracious post spawn Pike have been abundant and the bites been very very good. Bowfin have also been caught with regularity as well as the temps continue to warm overall. 3 Paddle Tail swimbaits have done the deed most often, and shiners hung 3 feet under a float have worked magic.

I also wanted to share that troves of Creek Chubs are also being caught in abundance in many stretches of the river, but notably the central stretches, which is good news because chubs tend to thrive in cleaner water.

A creek chub from the Des Plaines River, a sign of better river health. Provided by Sean Whippo

A creek chub from the Des Plaines River, a sign of better river health.

Provided by Sean Whippo

On Monday, he followed that up with the photo above and this:

Caught another there today!

Monday evening, he emailed the photo below and this:

Will stop spamming you after this, but also caught a gorgeous male Bowfin yesterday too, complete with his spawning colors. They’ve been hitting like crazy in the marshy backwaters of the Des Plaines. Nice female last week too

All on dead shiners

Hands down the most difficult fish to land I’ve ever caught. They go insane. Lost 5 total before landing those, my first two. They didn’t survive 120 million years for no reason...

Cheers Dale

Sean Whippo with a bowfin from the Des Plaines River. Provided photo

Sean Whippo with a bowfin from the Des Plaines River.

Provided

BTW, when you’re sending stuff that interesting, it isn’t spamming. At least not in my world. And I would rate bowfin among greats of freshwater fighters, too.

DOWNSTATE

HENNEPIN-HOPPER: Open through Sept. 5. Closed Mondays, except for Memorial Day and July 4. Check regulations at http://www.wetlands-initiative.org/dixon-paddling-fishing.

POWERTON: Summer hours are 6 a.m.-8 p.m.

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

SHELBYVILLE: Check with Ken Wilson of Lithia Guide Service.

SOUTHERN ILLINOIS: Check with Jason Johns of Boneyard Fishing.

FOX RIVER

Mike Cronsell at Dicky’s Bait Shop in Montgomery reported anglers saying multiple species are in various stages of the spawn; some decent pike below the Montgomery dam.

Pete Lamar emailed:

Hi Dale,

. . .

As far as smallmouth, I waited until the end of the weekend to fish after all the rain that fell late last week.The Fox south of Montgomery (and probably points north of there too) was running high and muddy.The tribs were up and by their standards had a lot of color.But there was still some visibility.Fish were right where they were supposed to be, close to shore and in any kind of slack water to avoid the fast currents.As the levels continue to drop and clarity increases, they will move back out into the main channel.

GENEVA LAKE, WISCONSIN

Capt. Dave Duwe emailed:

Lake Geneva 5/31/22 through 6/6/22

Happy Memorial Day weekend. The official start of summer is here! Fishing has been very good. The water temperatures have been consistently rising. We’ve gained 4 to 7 degrees in surface temperature in the last week.

The smallmouth bass are starting to spawn. They are on their spawning flats. The best location is by Elgin Club, the Military Academy and Belvidere Park. The fish that are spawning are in 8-10 ft of water. They like the sand bottoms with scattered weeds. Most of my success is coming while casting hair jigs, pink head with white hair are the best. I work the bait, swimming it back to the boat. There are catching them on the beds while sight fishing. Calm water is the best aid to success for that method. White or chartreuse tubes are catching a lot of fish. For novice anglers a Kalin grub slowly retrieved back to the boat is also very effective and easy to fish. I like avocado pepper or smoke on an 1/8 oz darter head jig.

Largemouth bass are in and around the boat docks. The best location has been in Geneva Bay or by Trinkes. The best depth is 3-4 ft of water. You basically want to be inside the docks casting almost to shore. The best presentation has been a nightcrawler with a split shot. Some of the bass I caught last week were over 20 inches.

Rock bass seem to be everywhere. The most constant bite is in the 8-10 ft depth range. My best success has been coming by Belvidere Park. The fish seem to be biting hair jigs and nightcrawlers equally. With the warmer water, I have stopped taking fat head minnows along. Some of the rock bass I caught last week were over 12 inches.

Lake Trout has been spotty. The fish that are being caught are within a couple feet of bottom. Nickel and green or nickel and blue spoons in 120-130 ft of water seems to be the ticket. As always the morning bite seems to be the best.

Bluegills are preparing to spawn. They are in tight to shore in 3-4 ft of water. The best location is by Trinkes or in Geneva Bay. Some good action is coming off the piers in Williams Bay for shore anglers. Leaf worms fished on a bobber seem to be producing most of the action.

Walleye fishing remains excellent. Both day and night. I have getting daytime fish on nightcrawers in 12 to 15ft. Nighttime is all about trolling.

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

Don Amacher holds a largemouth bass caught by his wife Carol on a recent guide trip with Mike Norris. Credit: Mike Norris

Don Amacher holds a largemouth bass caught by his wife Carol on a recent guide trip with Mike Norris.

Mike Norris

Guide Mike Norris texted the photo above and emailed this:

Fishing Report – 5/30/2022

Mike Norris

Fox Lake – Largemouth bass fishing continues to be excellent despite surface water temperatures dropping from 78 to 60 degrees.The bass will bite about anything thrown at them.Speed does not matter either.My clients and I are mixing it up.We are fishing Senko’s with a lift, drop, and pause retrieve, Kalin’s curly tail grubs with a moderate retrieve, and we are burning Chatterbaits.Target the rocks along the north shoreline, and the flats in the Jug.Anglers fishing with jig and twister tails are catching walleyes out by the islands.My clients caught over two hundred bass on my last four guide trips this past week.

Big Green Lake – Smallmouth bass are showing up around the roadbed and along shoreline rocks.Try fishing with a Senko or Yum Dinger.Also try casting to the adjacent flats.Largemouth bass are bedding in the T-Channels and in Beyer’s Cove.Muskies remain active in shallow water.One angler caught a 45-inch muskie casting a spinner bait for largemouth bass.

Little Green Lake – Largemouth bass are staging to spawn along the shoreline and muskie fishing remains good right along emerging weed beds.Walleyes are moving offshore now.Locate them out on the rock pile and along the weed lines.

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

GREEN/STURGEON BAYS, WISCONSIN

Click here for the Wisconsin DNR weekly report.

HEIDECKE LAKE

Jason “Special One” Le with one of the multiple species caught at Heidecke Lake. Provided photo

Jason “Special One” Le with one of the multiple species caught at Heidecke Lake.

Provided

Jason “Special One” Le texted the photo above and this on Sunday:

We crushed a lot of sheesh!

We crushed multi species today at Heidecke lake!

I think I will borrow “crushed a lot of sheesh” some time.

He also sent the YouTube video below:

Bob Johnson emailed the photo below and this;

Hi Dale - I did make it out early over the weekend to Heidecke and the bite is still happening. Walleye and Smallmouth were hitting texas rigs with craw trailer with water tempback in the 70’s. Smallmouth are active in 5 ‘ of water off both rip rap shoreline and natural stuff on front side.

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

Bob Johnson with a good smallmouth bass from Heidecke Lake.

Provided

Open 6 a.m. (6:30 bank fishing) to sunset.

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.

. . .

Heidecke is starting to heat up, literally. Going into the weekend waters temps were 71. Walleye have been good trolling the center dike, ledgers, and humps on spinner rigs with crawlers.

. . .

TTYL

Ken Husker O’Malley

Husker Outdoors Waterwerks fishing team

KANKAKEE RIVER

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

George Peters with a good smallmouth bass from the Kankakee River.

Provided

George Peters emailed the photo above and this:

Hi Dale! Back on the kkk. Water fishable warm and about 2 foot visibility. Jigs, spinner baits and surface all working. Last week rain should be run down this week.

With this weather, I think he is right.

LAKE ERIE

Click here for the Ohio DNR Report.

LAKEFRONT

Quinn Wunar with a good steelhead on light line at Burnham Harbor. Provided photo

Quinn Wunar with a good steelhead on light line at Burnham Harbor.

Provided

Quinn Wunar tweeted the photo above and this on Saturday from Burnham Harbor:

Bear down Dale. Bear down.

I received while I was steelhead fishing at Michigan City, where I only saw one caught. Such is life.

He repeated the feat with another good one on Sunday.

A quality bluegill from Belmont Harbor. Provided by Dan Bernstein

A quality bluegill from Belmont Harbor.

Provided by Dan Bernstein

Dan Bernstein, late-morning host on The Score (WSCR 670-AM) tweeted the photo above and this after his shift Friday:

8 Belmont Harbor bluegill.

That’s living right in my world. Bluegill in the harbors are not pursued as often as they should be.

Dr. Atul Mallik emailed a bunch of photos, including the one below:

Dale,

. . .

Had a nice smallie hooked on a berkeley flicker shad in the northern end of Burnham Harbor on Memorial Day, but it shook it before I could net the fish. Made a new friend when I lent him my net so he could pull in a big one off of a night crawler. (Sent with permission).

Thanks, Dale! Hope all is well with you and yours,

Atul

Marcello from Humboldt Park caught this quality smallmouth bass from Burnham Harbor. Credit: Dr. Atul Mallik

Marcello from Humboldt Park caught this quality smallmouth bass from Burnham Harbor.

Dr. Atul Mallik

Stacey Greene at Park Bait at Montrose Harbor texted that a few anglers are trying for drum on the Montrose Horseshoe.

Capt. Bob Poteshman of Confusion Charters said that out of North Point, it takes work but good coho to 8 points being caught from the beach to inside the hill (around 50 feet); key is to find bait, then work that area; “Try all the little spring stuff. Water is freezing cold and they are choked with alewives.”

Out of Chicago, the decent coho are in 25-40 feet, but very scattered from Montrose to Wilmette; lakers very good in 85-120 feet.

Capt. Scott Wolfe of School of Fish Charters emailed:

Hi Dale

Fishing was mostly very good this week out of both Waukegan and Northpoint. The most consistent area was 35 to 55 feet of water from Lake Forest to Illinois Beach State Park. Bigger gear worked the best with Stubbie Dodgers and Aqua or Blue/Green combo flies in Chinook sizes for the coho, run on dipsey divers and downriggers. Somewhat surprisingly, Warrior glow spoons in Blueberry Muffin and Watermelon were working on bright, sunny days in the middle of the day on downriggers. Surface lines were not very productive this week as it seemed the fish were feeding a little deeper. The coho are substantially larger than normal this year and they continue to be stuffed with more gobies than alewife. Boats looking to hunt for kings should go out over 100 feet and run glow and UV standard size Warrior spoons and Musselhead meat rigs in 100 to 300 foot copper lines and on downriggers. The spoons and meat rigs out produced flasher/fly rigs the last two weeks.

Capt. Scott Wolfeschooloffishcharters.com630-341-0550

PERCH: Season is closed from Sunday, May 1, through June 15, on Illinois’ Lake Michigan.

LaSALLE LAKE

Site is open daily 6 a.m.-sunset. As a perched lake, boating is closed when winds top or will top 14 mph. Check daily updates on boating at (815) 640-8099.

MADISON LAKES, WISCONSIN

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

MAZONIA

Hours are 6 a.m. to sunset.

MENOMINEE RIVER, WISCONSIN

Guide Mike Mladenik of bigsmallmouthbass.com emailed Saturday:

Smallmouth on the Menominee River will move into the summer pattern by the end of the month. Expect the topwater bite to heat up with the weather. Should be an excellent summer on the river.

I still have some open June Dates

Book A Trip Now !

NORTHERN WISCONSIN

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

As this report is being written (5/30/22), it’s 85 degrees outside in the Lakeland Area!Bright, sunny and a little wind.Weather can’t make up its mind causing some confusion for both anglers and anglees (fish)!Water temps started out the holiday weekend in the mid to upper 50’s, but are shooting up into the mid 60’s + just today.Uptick in water temp was good for fish activity and should progress the rest of this week.

Walleye:Very Good – Nice weed bite developing any place new green weed growth can be found.Dace, large fatheads and large leeches on 1/16 oz Invasion jigs in 6-9’ weeds very productive.Slip-bobber fishing large leeches in same areas also producing.

Northern Pike:Very Good – Casting across new weed growth using spinnerbaits and 5 swimbaits hard to beat.Jig or slip float with chub or sucker using light wire leader also working very well.

Crappie:Good – In most cases only found out away from spawning areas, cold last week may have pushed them out for last time.Lots of Crappies caught in weeds of 5-12’.Some females carrying spawn, but I believe they are past viable stage.Don’t be surprised if you find eggs in July/August Crappies being reabsorbed.Some just plain missed their chance.Small minnows on tiny hair jigs below slip floats suspended 2-4’ off bottom best.

Smallmouth Bass:Good – Look for this bite to get even better.Smallies bedding on many lakes.Light Ned rigs, creatures and tubes good.On calmer days working top-water over shallows hot!Season not open, so get those fish back quickly, but have fun!

Bluegill:Good – Very shallow, soaking up what ever warm weather we have.Anglers report casting up into 2’ of water with poppers, flys and tiny mni-mintes catching lots of Gills.Not bedding yet, just warming up.

Largemouth Bass:Good – With Monday’s heat, don’t be surprised to find LMB getting ready to bed.So far Wacky worms, 3.5 swimbaits, flukes and tubes good choice.Top-water action also good.Early mornings using Zara Spooks producing nice 1 ½ - 2 ½ # Bass.

Musky:Good-Fair – It was the opener.It is also smack in the middle of the spawn on many lakes (as witnessed by many anglers) yet a few fish did get caught.Seems top-water and small twitchbaits proved tops.Smaller bucktails tagged a few, but most reports were of smaller males.

Yellow Perch:Fair-Good – Improving as Perch being found in greening weeds feeding heavily on insects (dragonfly larvae).Try using ½ a crawler or medium leech in 4-6’ of weeds.A small float to suspend bait a foot off of the bottom.Some respectable catches (10-15) of eaters (8-10) reported by those targeting.A lot also caught by Walleye anglers.

Our hot spell of Monday/Tuesday (5/30-5/31) will cool off the rest of the week to settle in for highs in upper 60’s.Smallmouth and some Largemouth should be found committing to beds. The Walleye and Pike fishing should continue to be good while Musky may need to recover a bit from spawn.Will need another warm up for Largemouth Bass and Gills to fire up spawning activity full force.

Kurt Justice

Kurt’s Island Sport Shop - Like us on Facebook

NORTHWEST INDIANA

Wednesday’s column is about fishing skamania at Michigan City.

Or take the photo below and this from young kayaker Isaac Biggerstaff, who was at Michigan City Saturday evening and caught his first skamania:

Put up a hell of a fight

Took a j13 in orange and had another rip on a watermelon brads

Shrimp and nightcrawlers down 8-9 feet are also doing really well

Fish was around 7 pounds

Young kayak angler Isaac Biggerstaff’s first skamania, caught at Michigan City. Provided photo

Young kayak angler Isaac Biggerstaff’s first skamania, caught at Michigan City.

Provided

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

Steelhead action on portage Riverwalk and Michigan city peir using shrimp and night crawlers few caught casting artic spinners

Lil coho action with a steelhead and king here and there fishing 45 to 55ft of water straight out of burns ditch dodger and fly and spoons best bait

65 to 80 ft straight out of burns ditch and towards the west lots of lake trout and few coho mixed in. Trout best near bottom but all over coho in the 15 to 30ft down range.

Lake George in Hobart giving up a lil of everything.

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

Hi, Dale. I hope you & your family had an awesome holiday weekend! Here’s what’s going on in the fishing world:

Lake Michigan fishing is still on fire! Lots of limit catches of Coho & Kings comprise most of the catches.

Bluegill are now moving up on the beds; beemoths, spikes, & red worms are working wonders.

Crappie are still being caught on smaller minnows (rosy reds having the most success) in most inland lakes.

Catfish in the rivers are still steady; the warmer weather has really got fishing going great.

ROOT RIVER, WISCONSIN

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

SHABBONA LAKE

Sam at Boondocks reported hybrids doing pretty good on Hyper-Rattles; walleye good, but small, in the deep trees and cribs; crappie good on rock points and cribs;

Summer hours—6 a.m.-10 p.m.—run through Oct. 31.

Bait Shop is open 6 a.m.-7 p.m. daily; restaurant, 11-8 daily.

SOUTHEAST WISCONSIN LAKEFRONT

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

SOUTHWEST MICHIGAN

Staff at Tackle Haven in Benton Harbor said real good in 90-110 for lots of kings and coho; walleye are good, especially in the lower sections in the St. Joseph River.

Paddle and Pole hosts the Berrien Springs Fish Ladder Camera.

WISCONSIN RIVER

Rob Abouchar holds a good smallmouth bass from the Wisconsin River. Provided photo

Rob Abouchar holds a good smallmouth bass from the Wisconsin River.

Provided

Rob Abouchar emailed the photo above and this:

Hi Dale

I’m just back from a few days fishing on the Wisconsin River in Merrill. The Lilacs in town were blooming spectacularly. You could smell the fragrance blowing in the northwoods breeze.The water tempwas at 60-62 degrees and the smallmouth bass were on the spawn. The continued cool water still had pike going in weedy areas.The bass were hitting senkos slowly worked around logs, stumps, and rocks/boulders. Some of the biggest bass were tight to the biggest boulders.The Bass were hitting senkos slowly worked tight to the cover. Feeling the initial bite or watching your line for pick ups were critical as the fish seemed to be picking up the bait and droppingit quickly in the spawning situation. One bass had a visibly worn red tail from spawning. Baby bass and Black and Blue were working best. The pike were active in weeds and emerging silver dollar lily pads in 1-5 feet of wanter on a Jackhammer Bladed Jig in Bretts Bluegill with a Kalins grub trailer.I witnessed a lone otter swim out from under an island and meander down the river above and below the surface. I had seen pairs of otters a few years ago but this one was solo. I also met a nice pup at the Rock Island Pub on the river. Jake the terrier jumped right up on my lap for a visit.

On the music front it is another session with Midnight Mile in Good old hometown Mundelein on Friday night at Teddy O’Briens. I have finished all the vocals for the Original reggae album. Art Sound Artist is working on mixing and some back up vocals from Joe The Grasseater Schatz and the first album will hopefully be nearly done. Then it is on to Big Mille Lacs next week for a stay at McQuoids and some giant Smallies.

Tight Lines and Good Health

Rob

WOLF RIVER, WISCONSIN

Guide Bill Stoeger in Fremont texted:

Walleye bite has slowed in the river, but picking up on Lake Poygan.The white bass are still around, rigs, bobbers, and some spinner action along the shoreline. Bluegill are starting to nest in the smaller lakes up river.

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