Chicago fishing, Midwest Fishing Report: Perch, catfish smallmouth, largemouth, bluegill, lakers

Perch and other summer fishing around Chicago leads this sprawling raw-file Midwest Fishing Report; updated Wisconsin River and Northern Wisconsin reports.

SHARE Chicago fishing, Midwest Fishing Report: Perch, catfish smallmouth, largemouth, bluegill, lakers
Lucas Peterson of St. Charles holds a smallmouth bass caught on an guide trip with Mike Norris on Big Green Lake.

Lucas Peterson of St. Charles holds a smallmouth bass caught on an guide trip with Mike Norris on Big Green Lake.

Provided

Perch and other summer fishing around Chicago leads this sprawling raw-file Midwest Fishing Report.

It’s the long weekend of July 4, take your kids and yourself fishing at some point or many points.

LAKEFRONT PERCH

When the perch are around, there have been some outstanding catches of jumbos. See the main column tomorrow.

Perch fishing has been such that two people I enjoy, Tim “Spike” Davis and Jason “Special One” Le, even connected with each other. Something about that pairing just makes me smile.

Meeting of the minds, Jason “Special One” Le (left) and Tim “Spike” Davis, while perch fishing at Montrose Harbor last week. Provided photo

Meeting of the minds, Jason “Special One” Le (left) and Tim “Spike” Davis, while perch fishing at Montrose Harbor last week.

Provided

Ron Reynolds reported perch in at Burnham Harbor Monday morning.

Stacey Greene at Park Bait at Montrose Harbor texted the photo below and this:

Hi Dale, Perch fishing has been really good.I haven’t seen Perch this size in years. . . . Here’s a pic of Cory’s friends fish from the other evening from Diversey on a Shad Rap. 15 fish equaled 5 lbs of filets.

Jumbo perch from Diversey Harbor, caught on Shad Raps. Provided by Park Bait

Jumbo perch from Diversey Harbor, caught on Shad Raps.

Provided by Park Bait

Lori Ralph at the Salmon Stop in Waukegan texted:

Perch fishing ok and getting better!

Mainly gov.pier using shrimp, minnows, and some worms.

Not sure about jigging spoons.

Boat reports for perch are coming in, 30 to 60 feet of water, a bit south.

Perch were on out of Burns Ditch Saturday morning. Provided by Slez’s Bait

Perch were on out of Burns Ditch Saturday morning.

Provided by Slez’s Bait

Capt. Rich Sleziak at Slez’s Bait in Lake Station texted the photo above and this:

Weekend was good for perch for most this pic was Saturday morning.

Some good catches of perch in 20 to 30 ft of water around the dune state park building also.

Staff at Tackle Haven in Benton Harbor, Michigan, said perch were beginning to show before the blow in 40 feet out of St. Joseph.

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).

ILLINOIS FROG SEASON

Illinois’ bullfrog (only) season is June 15 to 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.

AREA LAKES

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

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

Provided

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

Hey Dale,

Here is a recap of the past weeks fishing.

Area lakes- the bass bite has picked up after the weekend rain and cooler nights dropped water temps.

Best bite has been during the evening hours. Work senko style baits weedlessand baby 1-minus crankbaits along the outside weedlines. Just before dark work a topwater bait in the same area.

Here is the nature pick of the week [below]. Catching a ride.

TTYL

Ken Husker O’Malley

Husker Outdoors Waterwerks fishing team

Nature photo of the week: “Catching a Ride.” Credit: Ken “Husker” O’Malley

Nature photo of the week: “Catching a Ride.”

Ken “Husker” O’Malley

BRAIDWOOD LAKE

BoRabb Williams texted:

Nice Blues at Braidwood

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

Tucker Siminak at Triangle Sports and Marine in Antioch said the top bites are bluegill (pulling off the beds) and catfish (cutbait); crappie and walleye are in the main lakes by wood or structure.

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

Indra Mallik with a good crappie from the Chicago River. Provided by Dr. Atul Mallik

Provided by Dr. Atul Mallik

Provided by Dr. Atul Mallik

Dr. Atul Mallik emailed the photo above and this on Thursday:

Hello Dale,

My son, Indra, was up for fishing Chicago River downtown today. He caught tons of panfish while I worked on some carp rigs. The highlight was this 13 crappie. He continues to be a better natural angler than me.

He caught the crappie with berkley soft minnow on a 1/32 jig. We saw some big carp too. Good times.

Thanks,

Atul

Jeffrey Williams messaged the photo below and this:

Crappie bites are getting hot, this guy was a few oz off my PB, 1 lb 8 oz from the chicago river, he choked a gulp minnow on a white jig head

Jeffrey Williams with a good Chicago River crappie. Provided photo

Jeffrey Williams with a good Chicago River crappie.

Provided

Then he added the photo below Sunday evening and this:

my brother actually spent 2 hours to try to get a kid on a carp today, and he did it, he literally tought the basics of carp fishing

Jesse Gonzalez teaching carp fishing on the Chicago River. Provided by Jeffrey Williams

Jesse Gonzalez teaching carp fishing on the Chicago River.

Provided by Jeffrey Williams

COOLING LAKES

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

DELAVAN LAKE, WISCONSIN

Capt. Dave Duwe emailed:

Delavan Lake 6/27/22 through 7/04/22

With the warm weather, I have been positioning myself on the deep weedlines in 20-25 ft of water. Due to the cold spring, the largemouth bass are a couple of weeks behind schedule, the bass are not very thick on the weedline yet. They are in the medium weeds between 8 and 10 ft of water.

Northern pike fishing has been fantastic. The biggest pike are in 27 ft of water. The largest concentration of fish is between 18 and 22 ft of water. The best presentation has been lindy rigging suckers or using Thill slip bobbers about ½ way down the water column. Look for the fish by Browns Channel or by Willow Point. The key I have found is keeping your bait moving. I’ve been electric motor trolling almost exclusively.

Largemouth bass have been a bit slow. I’ve been on the deep weedline. If you are targeting largemouth bass you need to be in and around the docks in 6-8 ft of water. You want to fish split shot rigged nightcrawlers or a black and blue All Terrain jig. The best location has been the North Shore from the Yacht Club down to Willow Point. The few weedline fish I’ve been catching have been over 5 lbs. I’ve been catching them by the Yacht Club or over by Browns Channel. In the next week or so, the bass will be schooled up and be very easy to catch.

Bluegill fishing has also been fantastic. The fish are in 15-18 ft of water. Look for the fish just west of the Yacht Club or by Willow Point. I’ve been catching a lot of fish throughout the lake, location doesn’t seem to matter but the depth is crucial.

Walleye Pike can be caught using two different methods. The first is trolling deep diving crank baits along the weedline in 18 ft of water. You want to use a crankbait in perch or crappie pattern. The second method is lindy rigging jumbo leeches right around the weedline also in 18 ft of water. Look for the fish by the Village Supper Club or by Browns Channel. The one key has been making sure you are fishing the windy side of the lake.

Crappie fishing has been sporadic. They are suspended over deep water. The fish are concentrating on the pods of small bait fish. They can be caught on purple or chartreuse plastic with a 1/32 oz jig. Look for the fish just east of Willow Point or just west of the Yacht Club.

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

DOWNSTATE

HENNEPIN-HOPPER: It will be open on Monday, 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

Pete Lamar emailed:

Report:

We got a lot of rain here on Saturday, but it didn’t affect clarity or levels on the Fox watershed much at all.I saw a lot of people fishing near the dams yesterday-they didn’t have any trouble wading out to the middle of the river.I fished a heavily timbered tributary of the Fox, mostly to get out of the wind.A couple of weeks ago, one of the contributors to the weekly report suggested that it was almost time to start fishing the riffles as the water warms rapidly (more dissolved oxygen there than in the slower water).I’d encourage anyone to put that advice into practice.All the smallmouths I caught came out of riffles or the seams right next to them.Dissolved oxygen isn’t the only reason for fish to be in riffles:as the water drops, the broken water of the riffles affords some protection against ospreys, herons and kingfishers.

Enjoy the rest of your trip.

Pete

I am enjoying my trip, maybe a should have included a Colorado update on trout fishing.

GENEVA LAKE, WISCONSIN

Capt. Dave Duwe emailed:

Lake Geneva 6/27/03 through 7/4/22

Fishing remains very consistent. There are still a lot of fish being caught.

Largemouth bass fishing has been very good. The bass have been located in the weed lines in 12-13 ft. of water. The fish can be readily taken by either drop-shotting with small plastics, green pumpkins and small shiner color are the best or by nightcrawlers drifted with a small split shot. Early mornings and late afternoons when the lake calms down, top water baits have been very effective. I prefer the chrome and blue chug bug. The best location has been by Trinkes or in Williams Bay. Many people last week caught limits of nice bass.

Smallmouth bass can still be caught. They are becoming more nomadic. I have been catching them in several spots and in several depth ranges. I have not found where they are consistently schooled. Most of the bass I caught last week were 15 inches and larger. The best depth seems to be 12-15 ft. of water. Locations that have produced the most fish are by Knollwood, Rainbow Point and the beach in Fontana. Once the green algae dies off, the best approach for the smallmouth is Carolina rigging on the break line. Arkie crawling grubs or Kalin’s grubs are the most productive. I prefer a leader lench of at least 24 inches.

Northern pike fishing has been slow. The northerns are just starting to move out to the weed line. By the end of this week, the fish should be positioned on the 27 ft. weed line. Lindy rigs fished with chubs will produce all the action. The best locations are on the east side of Williams Bay and in the narrows.

Crappies are being caught in 15 ft. of water in the moored sailboats by Conference Point. As always the best bait is smoke colored tube baits or slip bobber fished minnows. Most of the fish are averaging 12-13 inches.

Rock Bass and Bluegills are still being caught all over the lake. Nightcrawlers fished on the split shot rig produce most of the action. The best depth has been 8-15 ft. of water. My best location has been by Coleman’s Point drifting to Knollwood.

Good luck and I hope to see you on the water. Have a safe and enjoyable 4th of July weekend. For guide parties, please call Dave Duwe at 262-728-8063.

GREEN LAKE AREA, WISCONSIN

Guide Mike Norris texted the photo at the op and emailed this:

Fishing Report – 6/26/2022

Mike Norris

Big Green Lake – Surface water temperature has risen to 72 degrees and fishing for smallmouth bass is excellent right now.The bass are post spawn and hungry.I am catching them in both emerging weed beds and over the rocks.Picking up a few good-sized largemouth bass also.Drop shot rigs with a Berkley Flat Worm and Ned Rigs are my choice for lures.Try around the Heidel Bar, Dartmouth Bay, Sandstone Point, and Blackbird Bay.Water temp is 73 degrees.Walleyes are active along the weed edge off the County K launch ramp.Try spinners and crawler harnesses over emerging weed beds.

Fox Lake – Try trolling crankbaits in the main basin of the lake for walleye.Largemouth bass fishing has slowed with the warmer weather.Working for bass around both Brushwood and Elmwood Islands should pick up now.Bluegills are active off the docks.

To book me for 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

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

KANKAKEE RIVER

Bob Johnson with a good catfish from the Kankakee River. Provided photo

Bob Johnson with a good catfish from the Kankakee River.

Provided

Bob Johnson emailed the photo above and this:

Hi Dale - Saturday morning action on Kankakee River, smallmouth Bass and channel catfish. River in good shape with slight stain and temps just reaching 80.Smallmouth were chasing chatter baits and 1/4 oz jigs black blue trailers and channel cats hitting the same. Very aggressive. Pic of Bass is dark but I did weigh it at 2.89 lbs

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

George Peters with a smallmouth bass from the Kankakee River.

Provided

George Peters emailed the photo above and this:

Hi Dale, heat back on in the kkk. Water at about 2 foot visibility. Hard to wade without tripping over a rock, which I did! Well it cooled me off ! Small bass active but big fish still on recoup from spawn. Drought could be on the way. Hope it’s not as bad as 1988. In that year there are pictures of people walking across the river below the Wilmington dam without getting their feet wet. G. Peters

LAKE ERIE

Click here for the Ohio DNR Report.

LAKEFRONT

Perch at top.

Steve Palmisano at Henry’s Sports and Bait texted:

Not much to report. Scattered perch reports. Not mounting to much . Regular hours thru the holiday. Everyday 6am-5 pm. Thanks. Safe travels to you

Stacey Greene at Park Bait at Montrose Harbor texted:

Hi Dale,Perch fishing has been really good.I haven’t seen Perch this size in years. Alot of Sheephead being caught. Some on purpose some on accident while fishing for Perch. Smallmouthare still really active. A few Trout also in the mix. Here’s a pic of Cory’s friends fish from the other evening from Diversey on a Shad Rap. 15 fish equaled 5lbs of filets.

Capt. Bob Poteshman of Confusion Charters said that out of Chicago, lakers with a couple coho in 80-130; out of North Point, it’s mainly coho in 60-100, slightly better south; best on Dodgers and flies over spoons.

Lori Ralph at the Salmon Stop in Waukegan texted:

Perch fishing ok and getting better!

Mainly gov.pier using shrimp, minnows, and some worms.

Not sure about jigging spoons.

Boat reports for perch are coming in, 30 to 60 feet of water, a bit south.

Salmon fishing has been pretty good as well, anywhere from 60 to 160 feet, again a bit south

Capt. Scott Wolfe of School of Fish Charters emailed:

Hi Dale

The West winds that prevailed last week did their usual magic. Fishing was excellent with many limit catches. Mostly coho in 70 to 100 feet of water. Fish were active anywhere from 20 feet to the bottom. The catch was nearly all coho with an occasional lake trout, chinook or steelhead. Best set ups were leadcores with either Stubbie dodgers and Aqua, Blue Liz or bullfrog Jimmy Flies or Warrior Steelhead Candy, Blue Dolphin, Blueberry Muffin or Blue Dragon Slayer. The same lures also worked on divers 45 to 80 out and downriggers from 30 to the bottom, but the leadcores were the best rods last week by far for us.

It looks like the West winds should predominant most of this week too so I expect that the fishing will stay very good. The Waukegan area is loaded with bait fish and they should stay in the area.

In the harbor it looks like the carp are done spawning and that should mean the bass get active. This should be a good week for the shore guys.

Capt. Scott Wolfe schooloffishcharters.com 630-341-0550

Jason Special One Le with a freshwater drum from a Chicago harbor. Provided photo

Jason Special One Le with a freshwater drum from a Chicago harbor.

Provided

Jason “Special One” Le texted the photo below and this:

Do sheepshead caught in Chicago harbor counts? Lol

Yes, they do and make the summers more interesting on the lakefront.

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.

[UPDATED] NORTHERN WISCONSIN

See the Fish of the Week for a good muskie caught this month.

Staff at Kurt’s Island Sport Shop in Minocqua emailed;

As we exit June following a very windy month, with unusual highs (90’s) and lows (40’s). the start of the summer patterns are just starting up.

The Hexagenia hatches (large, tan Mayflies) have just begun to show.The fluctuating water temps energizing, then stalling the hatch as these nymphs work their way to the surface of our lakes to turn into flies, find mates, lay eggs then die in a short 24 hours once transformed.This hatch really messes with the Walleye anglers as fish gorge on the easy to capture nymphs on their nearly two-day swim to the surface.Great time to e a Walleye…not so great to be a Mayfly or a Walleye angler.

Northern Pike:Very Good-Good – These fish seem to care little for Mayflies (though I’m sure they won’t pass up a chance to eat some!)More interested in the Perch and Bluegills that expose themselves to feed on the bugs, then get eaten themselves.Spinnerbaits have been tops with lipless cranks, chatterbaits and weedless spoons all producing good catches!Most being caught in 5-10’ weeds, Broadleaf (Musky Cabbage) best.

Bluegill:Very Good – Lots of action on poppers in the shallows!Casting a dry fly behind a clear plastic float for you spin anglers.Tiny tubes, jigs and #00 spinners all keeping casters happy.Use small leeches (they are tough on the hook) for traditional bobber fishing bait.

Largemouth Bass:Very Good – Lots of shallow water action using a variety of baits and styles from slow (Wacky Worms), stop/start (Husky Jerks), fast (chatterbaits) and top-water (Whopper Ploppers and Jitterbugs)>

Yellow Perch:Good – Still relating to weeds in 6-12’.Find pockets in beds and lower medium leeches or whole beavertails (small crawlers) under floats.

Smallmouth Bass:Good - The last of the bedded fish seem to have left the spawning areas of the larger lakes.Work adjacent breaks using Ned jigs with TRD worms or craws for best action.1/8 oz jigs tipped with big leeches producing also in 10-14’ slides outside spawn areas.

Musky:Good – Windy days helping anglers with bucktail and spinnerbait action over tobacco cabbage of 4-8’.Warm evenings produced nice top-water action on tailbaits and creepers.

Crappie:Good-Fair – Once found providing decent action, though finding not always easy.Tube jigs worked around downed trees produced last week.Oddly, the tubes used were 2 ½, meant for Bass – if that’s any indication of the size of the Crappies (11+).Others found relating to boathouses where shade providing cover.This pattern starting to slow as weed beds fill in.

Walleye:Poor – Could be just this reporter, but Walleye action very slow as clouds of Mayflies seen suspended about half way to the surface on a few of my favorite Walleye Waters.Reports of trollers using crawler harnesses tagging some Walleyes.

Fairly stabilized forecast with temps slowly warming for the 4thof July holiday weekend coming up.Bodes well for anglers targeting most species, Walleye anglers need to wait for Mayfly feast to end.

Kurt Justice

Kurt’s Island Sport Shop - Like us on Facebook

NORTHWEST INDIANA

Roobert Buckmaster with a steelhead out of Portage, Indiana. Provided photo

Roobert Buckmaster with a steelhead out of Portage, Indiana.

Provided

Robert Buckmaster emailed the photo above and this:

Good morning dale.I was out Sunday trolling out of portage in Indiana managed only 1 waves were starting to pick up 10 lbs 4 oz trolling a stinger spoon on 6 colors of lead core. Hope you can use this thanks Robert Buckmaster

Good family outing out of Burns Ditch. Credit: Triplecatch Charters

Good family outing out of Burns Ditch.

Triplecatch Charters

Capt. Rich Sleziak at Slez’s Bait in Lake Station texted the photo above and this:

Fishing all last week good in 65 to 85ft of water straight out of burns ditch and to the west fish 30ft down to the bottom.

Silver or white dodgers and spin n glows for trout. Spoons and dodger and Flys for salmon.

Weekend was good for perch for most this pic was Saturday morning.

Some good catches of perch in 20 to 30ft of water around the dune state park building also.

Catfish going good in burns ditch on triple s stinkbait and cut bait fishing at night.

Slez’s Bait will be open all weekend and on 4th of July regular hours 5am to 6pm.

ROOT RIVER, WISCONSIN

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

SHABBONA LAKE

Adam Honiotes at Boondocks said eater catfish being caught; crappie in the cribs; walleye in the main channel, a couple big largemouth and a few hybrids.

Site 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, Michigan, said perch were beginning to show before the blow in 40 feet out of St. Joseph; coho, steelhead, lakers and a few kings are in 140-160; smallmouth are decent and walleye hit and miss (drifting crawlers) in the river.

Paddle and Pole hosts the Berrien Springs Fish Ladder Camera.

[UPDATED] WISCONSIN RIVER

Wisconsin River scene. Credit: Rob Abouchar

Wisconsin River scene.

Rob Abouchar

Rob Abouchar emailed the photo above and this:

HiDale, It was a business and pleasure trip to Merrill wisconsin to cut the grass secure a gig and do some fishing.The action was good despite the cold front that had air temperatures at 47 and the water temperature at 69-73 in areas. Pike were hitting spinner baits and bladed jigs in black and orange.I was getting nice smallmouth bass on unweighted Texas rigged general and wacky rig senkos in orange green pumpkin with red flake .

My fishing partner Matt honey centanno doubled up on a nice bass and pike to end the day. Then it was off to see Dan Taylor’s to visit Bees nest pub for possible gig.

On the music front the conscious rockers ep is available on the music platforms.Next gig is july 8t at Montrose beach dock.

Tight lines and good health!

Rob

WOLF RIVER, WISCONSIN

Guide Bill Stoeger in Fremont texted:

Bluegill bite on Partridge lake has picked up. Some good walleye action up river and near Lk. Poygan. Trolling on Poygan is producing walleye and white bass.

The Latest
The boy was near a sidewalk about 4:05 p.m. in the 13100 block of South St. Lawrence Avenue when he was shot in the chest.
“This expo not only gives women information, but it also gives them confidence,” said Merry Green, the Expo’s founder.
Wisdom has been playing first base more regularly as the Cubs’ infield undergoes a late-season shuffle.
One man died and three other people were injured about 1:15 a.m. Sunday when they were shot and their vehicle crashed on Interstate 88 in Oak Brook, police said.