Chicago fishing, Midwest Fishing Report: Shoreline kings, pinks, smallmouth, catfish, largemouth

Shoreline salmon headline this sprawling raw-file Midwest Fishing Report, but there are plenty of other options around Chicago fishing.

SHARE Chicago fishing, Midwest Fishing Report: Shoreline kings, pinks, smallmouth, catfish, largemouth
Laurance Reed with a pink salmon in the hump mode, caught on the Chicago lakefront. Provided photo

Laurance Reed with a pink salmon in the hump mode, caught on the Chicago lakefront.

Provided

Shoreline salmon headline this sprawling raw-file Midwest Fishing Report, but there are plenty of other options around Chicago fishing.

Laurance Reed emailed the photo at the top and this:

Dear Dale,

Lucky for me, a couple of good guys - Tom and his buddy Luke with his no-fail net skills -showed up right when this was hooked -and we got a pic of this pretty fish that Aaron took (attached) before reviving and releasing it.Say, any idea why they call it a pink salmon, or how has a nickname like Humpy or something like that?

Look at the profile forward of the dorsal fin!Spectacular.

Chicago is a world class fishery, and it’s so nice to be able to just show up and fish here, drop a line, and meet new friends up and down the lakefront.

Hope you had a great weekend too Dale,

-Laurance

I love how that photo demonstrates the hump.

He added:

It hit a KO Wobbler 3/4 ozCromewith the blue stripe. Couldn’t be happier!!

He should be happy.

SHORELINE SALMON/TROUT

Michael Colvin with a salmon at Burnham Harbor. Provided photo

Michael Colvin with a salmon at Burnham Harbor.

Provided

Michael Colvin asked for some advice on fishing shoreline salmon and it paid off Monday when he emailed the photo above and this:

Burnham Harbor this morning on Croc.Had two strikes on Friday night, but no hook set.Advice on better % of hook set (long vs short rod, angle, etc)?Also, please forgive shirt in the pic.

My thought on the shirt leans more to forgiving himself.

Jason “Special One” Le with a salmon at Montrose. Provided photo

Jason “Special One” Le with a salmon at Montrose.

salmon, Montrose, fishing, outdoors

Jason “Special One” Le texted the photo above and this from Montrose:

They’re are there now

They been killing ‘em

He added this:

Stacey Greene at Park Bait at Montrose Harbor texted:

SALMON FISHING AND CATCHING HAS BEEN GETTING BETTER DAY BY DAY. THEY DID START TO RUN A LITTLE EARLY DUE TO THE WATER BEING COOLER THIS AUGUST BUT ITS SEPTEMBER NOW AND THEY SHOULD CONTINUE TO BE ACTIVE INTO OCTOBER. AS ALWAYS EVERYONE HAS THERE FAVORITE LURES BUT THE GLOW IN THE DARKS TOP THE LIST.TROUT HAVE BEEN ACTIVE ALSO. MOSTLY STEELHEAD (rainbow) ON BASIC DAYTIME SPOONS AND CRANKBITS. A FEW BROWNS STARTING TO SHOW UP SO GET YOUR SLIP BOBBER RODS SET UP AND USE SPAWN SACS, NIGHT CRAWLERS OR LARGER MINNOWS. SMALLMOUTH STILL AROUND IN THE USUAL HARBOR LOCATIONS. . . . STARTING TUESDAY SEPTEMBER 6TH WE WILL BE OPENING AT 6AM. STILL CLOSING AT 8PM

Capt. Scott Wolfe of School of Fish Charters emailed from Waukegan:

. . .

Some kings are being taken in the harbor. Occasional coho, steelhead and browns have been taken as well. I continue to believe that this years king run will be well below average but we may have the best coho run in memory. I know of at least 5 charter captains in Illinois who have taken their personal best or boat record cohos in the last 2 weeks (myself included).

Capt. Scott Wolfe

schooloffishcharters.com 312-933-0552

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 good bluegill from local waters. Provided photo

Ken “Husker” O’Malley with a good bluegill from local waters.

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- Before the cold front, bass have been very good during evening hours.

Work a 4 1/2 inch senko along the wind blown outside weed lines with a 1/0 Vector hooks wacky hook.

Bluegill and crappie have been good working IJO Plasticstwister tails and pannie crawlersalong wind blown coves. Bluegill have been shallower while crappie have been stacked up just outside the bay.

Here is the nature pic of the week.

Beauty and the beast. Picture courtesy of Vickie O’Malley.

TTYL

Ken Husker O’Malley

Husker Outdoors Waterwerks fishing team

“Beauty and the Beast” nature photo. Credit: Vickie O’Malley

“Beauty and the Beast” nature photo.

Vickie O’Malley

Pete Lamar emailed the photo above and this:

Hi Dale,

The fishing this past week could be summed up as a fair amount of variety, but not much size.

I fished after dark a couple of times, but the bass I caught were small.I did however get into some nice bluegills and even a couple of surprise crappies. Cooler nighttime temperatures seem to be helping.

As far as moving water I practiced some two-handed casting below a dam on the Fox.Current and water levels were good in spite of the lack of rain.Managed a couple of smallmouthsand even a channel cat.

Remember that turtle nest I mentioned earlier this Summer at a west suburban beach?They hatched over the weekend.A few made it into the pool but were quickly relocated to the DuPage River.

Pete

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 white bass are excellent on small minnows or spikes on small jigs, Bluff probably best; muskie are good on bucktails; crappie are fair, some early in about 8 feet; catfish are fair on crawlers or roaches; bluegill are fair, in and out in 4-8 feet.

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.

COOLING LAKES

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

DELAVAN LAKE, WISCONSIN

Capt. Dave Duwe emailed:

Delavan Lake 9/5/22 through 9/12/22

Fishing on Delavan has become a bit spotty. Some days the action is better than others. For some reason with the strong east wind fishing on Delavan is very tough.

Walleyes are in the 12-15 ft depth range. They can be caught on Rapala husky jerks or on a ½ oz chrome and blue Rattle trap. The best locations have been the main lake points. Try fishing on the low light periods at dawn and dusk for the most action. Over the next few weeks, fishing should improve I am starting to catch Walleyes almost every trip out now.

Crappies are in the shallow weeds in 10-12 ft of water. Use a small 1/32 oz jig with a purple or chartreuse plastic. I put a small sinker about 1 ft above the jig to cast it further. The best locations have been west of Browns Channel or just west of Willow Point.

Largemouth bass have moved off the deep weedline and now are in 4-5 ft of water. I’ve been fishing either slip bobber rigged suckers or split shot rigged worms. The key to finding the right location is large holes in the thick weed mat. Once you find these sandy spots, you basically just cast your bait out and let it sit and the bass will come and find it.

Northern Pike are in the 10-12 ft depth range. They can be caught on slip bobber rigged suckers or on ½ oz chrome and blue Rattle Traps. The best spots I’ve found were by Belvidere Park and by the gray condos. The fish are starting to put the feed bag on for winter and some of the fish have been extremely big.

Bluegills have been slow for me. I’ve been fishing quite shallow and I think the fish are suspended in the main lake basin in 30-40 ft of water. Look for the fish by the Village Supper Club or just off the Yacht Club in the main lake basin.

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

DOWNSTATE

POWERTON: Summer hours are 6 a.m.-8 p.m. through Sept. 30.

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.

HENNEPIN-HOPPER: Closed for the season.

FOX RIVER

Alex Koepke emailed:

Here’s a report on the fox as well…

With the heavy rain we got last week, it certainly changed the river. It pushed lots of vegetation out and into the shallow pools. Water levels rose, allowing for bigger fish to move. Water was also very stained which made smallmouth fishing a bit challenging. The river has now dropped and is begging for to clear up visibility wise. More fish seem to be active. Plenty of baitfish along the banks. Lots of blowups in the early mornings and late evenings. Smallmouth are chasing bait and blowups are often seen during the day. The fish definitely appear to be more active. With the abundance of live bait around, fishing artificials may be tough. But when they’re feeding, they’re feeding…I have seen plenty of walleye action going on. Some Muskie as well. The river appears to be livening up as fall is approaching. I sure am excited for some good fall fishing!

Thanks for reading Dale! Take care, stay safe!

Alex koepke

Pete Lamar emailed:

Hi Dale,

The fishing this past week could be summed up as a fair amount of variety, but not much size.

. . .

As far as moving water I practiced some two-handed casting below a dam on the Fox.Current and water levels were good in spite of the lack of rain.Managed a couple of smallmouthsand even a channel cat.

. . .

Pete

FLORIDA FISHING

Ben Fowler shares some of the bounty and joy of fishing in Florida. Provided photo

Ben Fowler shares some of the bounty and joy of fishing in Florida.

Provided

Bob Johnson, who usually does reports for the Kankakee River or Heidecke Lake, sent a Florida report and the photo above:

Hi Dale - Got away to Sunny FL, St Pete for a long weekend out on the inter coastal waters. Fished for Snook and unfortunately only landed an undersized snook. My daughters boyfriend Ben Fowler and I did catch several speckled trout and a few other species and enjoyed every cast. Next time!!

GENEVA LAKE, WISCONSIN

Capt. Dave Duwe emailed:

Lake Geneva 9/5/22 through 9/12/22

With Labor Day come and gone, the pleasure boat traffic has started to decrease. The fishing still remains very good. With cooler temperatures forecasted, the fish should start moving into shallow water.

Smallmouth bass are still in the deep water. The best depth is 20-25 ft of water. I like rock points with scattered weeds. The two best approaches are lindy rigging nightcrawlers or Carolina rigging grubs and lizards. I like either root beer or green pumpkin colors. The best location has been by Elgin Club or by Maytag Point. The legal fish have been a bit hard to catch. There are still a lot of bites and it’s common to get 15-20 fish in a trip.

With the cooling water, the largemouth are starting to move shallower. They are in the 12-14 ft depth range. A lot of fish are coming off of medium diving crank baits, like the Bandit 300 series. I like either the bluegill pattern or the pearl. Look for the fish by the weed flats in Williams Bay and by Trinkes. You can still catch quite a few fish drifting nightcrawlers on a split shot rig. Most of my live bait fishing has been on the weedline. I’ve been fishing spots like Knollwood and Colemans Point.

Rock bass fishing has been great in the 20-25 ft depth. I’ve been catching really large fish while fishing for smallmouth bass in the recent weeks. Some of the fish are in the 12-14 inch range. ½ of a nightcrawler has been the best approach.

Perch are starting to school up heavy right now. Look for them moving into 12-14 feet of water near the perch grass. The best approach has been slip bobbers and small minnows or leaf worms. I have been picking them up by Black Point, Colemans Point and Linn Pier. Crappies are being caught on the west side of Conference Point. They are still suspended. Look for them in 15-20 feet of water. Slip bobbers with small minnows or tube jigs are the best bet.

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

Scott Heilman from Rockford with a largemouth bass from Green Lake. Provided by Mike Norris

Scott Heilman from Rockford with a largemouth bass from Green Lake.

Provided by Mike Norris

Guide Mike Norris texted the photo above and emailed this:

Fishing Report – 9/5/2022

Mike Norris

Big Green Lake - Bass fishing picked back up last week for both large and smallmouth bass but shut back down with holiday boat traffic.Bass fishing should resume with fair weather forecasted this week.Largemouth are shallow.Look for areas with good weed growth, particularly areas with pondweed.Work over and along the weed beds with Senko’s and with swim jigs.Smallmouth bass are deeper.Try fishing with a tube or dropshot in 8 to 12 feet.Bluegills fishing remains excellent.Look for them in and around weed edges and cribs.Water temperature is 73 degrees.

Fox Lake –Water color on Fox Lake is good right now and largemouth bass, muskies and northern pike are all biting well.Try chatterbaits or swim jigs around the islands and shoreline piers.Look around along the deep weed edges for panfish.

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

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:

Happy Holiday weekend! Dale Kkk river not so good. Water is low and clear but floating green moss makes it almost impossible to bring in any lure weed free. Got this 19 in a side channel cut that was semi weed free. Need rain to flush river. G. Peters

Forecast does not look promising for a flushing rain.

He added this and the photo below:

Got this 11 rock bass at a creek mouth in some clear water.

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

George Peters with a big rock bass from the Kankakee River.

Provided

That makes my day.

LAKE ERIE

Click here for the Ohio DNR Report.

LAKEFRONT

Stacey Greene at Park Bait at Montrose Harbor texted:

SALMON FISHING AND CATCHING HAS BEEN GETTING BETTER DAY BY DAY. THEY DID START TO RUN A LITTLE EARLY DUE TO THE WATER BEING COOLER THIS AUGUST BUT ITS SEPTEMBER NOW AND THEY SHOULD CONTINUE TO BE ACTIVE INTO OCTOBER. AS ALWAYS EVERYONE HAS THERE FAVORITE LURES BUT THE GLOW IN THE DARKS TOP THE LIST.TROUT HAVE BEEN ACTIVE ALSO. MOSTLY STEELHEAD (rainbow) ON BASIC DAYTIME SPOONS AND CRANKBITS. A FEW BROWNS STARTING TO SHOW UP SO GET YOUR SLIP BOBBER RODS SET UP AND USE SPAWN SACS, NIGHT CRAWLERS OR LARGER MINNOWS. SMALLMOUTH STILL AROUND IN THE USUAL HARBOR LOCATIONS. NO PERCH REPORTS. SHEEPHEAD GOOD ESPECIALLY WITH THE N/E WINDS. A LOT OF NORTHERNS BEING CAUGHT BY THE GUYS CASTING. STARTING TUESDAY SEPTEMBER 6TH WE WILL BE OPENING AT 6AM. STILL CLOSING AT 8PM

Capt. Bob Poteshman of Confusion Charters said that out of North Pooint, good amount of fish near “The Hill” in 100 feet; some lakers out deeper. Out of Chicago, it is 100-150 for lakers with some salmon off Chicago, some salmon off the R-4, too.

Capt. Scott Wolfe of School of Fish Charters emailed:

Fishing continued to beexcellent for coho and lakers off Waukegan. Most of the coho were to the North, off the Illinois State Beach Hotel to North of thestate line. Early in the week deep waters of 180 or morefeet were best.Later in the week 85 to 130 feet was best. Occasional kings and steelhead were taken as well.White or Aqua spoons and flys were best 25 to 70 down on downriggers and lead and copper lines. White flys behind chrome flashers or dodgers and Warrior spoons in Wonderbread, Spoiler, Hey Babe and any green/white combos worked. Most of the kings came on Musselhead Tackle meat rigs behind 11 inch flashers.

Quick limits of huge lake trout are still being taken to the South in 110-140. Jimmy Fly Mo rigs in Yellow Guy, Green Guy and Orange/yellow were great. 300 foot coppers with Magnum Warrior spoons in white or aqua, patterns of Hey Babe, Spoiler, and Two Face worked as well.

Some kings are being taken in the harbor. Occasional coho, steelhead and browns have been taken as well. I continue to believe that this years king run will be well below average but we may have the best coho run in memory. I know of at least 5 charter captains in Illinois who have taken their personal best or boat record cohos in the last 2 weeks (myself included).

Capt. Scott Wolfe

schooloffishcharters.com 312-933-0552

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:

September 5 Fishing Report

Hot Topwater Bite

Read Report

NORTHERN WISCONSIN

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

Well, that’s over!Summer, I mean.Following a lighter than usual Labor Day weekend, boat traffic will subside a little as we try to get down to some serious fall fishing.Labor Day (9/5) morning temps in the mid 40’s took some heat off the lakes.Many that saw temps in the upper 70’s are reporting surface readings in the low 70’s to upper 60’s.The rest of the week looks to have lows in the 50’s to highs tipping 80 degrees by Thursday.Still, cooling off and cause for some transitioning to start.

Largemouth Bass:Good-Very Good – Green Bass working weeds still.Lots of good action on Wacky Worms, jig and beaver baits.Top fish of the week a 22 bucket mouth caught on a spinnerbait over the weekend.Shows how active they are.Also, some good top-water action in the evenings following the afternoon warm ups.

Bluegill:Good-Very Good – Still good action for eaters (7-8+) working deeper (8-12) weed tops.On some smaller lakes with semi-deep (20-30’) basins, look for the better Gills to be suspended.A drop-shot rig with a 1/3 of a crawler or slip-bobbers set 10-20’ down working.

Northern Pike:Good – Action picking up on spinnerbaits and chatterbaits over weed tops.Thick fish in the 26-32 range show signs the Pike like the cooling water and are ready to feed.

Crappie:Good – Anglers finding a good bite working drowned wood using medium fatheads in 12-18’.Coontail edges of 14-20’ holding fish suspended 4-8’ off bottom.

Smallmouth Bass:Good – Gravel/rock humps holding Smallies that look to be feeding on Sculpins.Keep this in mind when working baits among the rocks.Ned Rigs with worms or Ned Craws in light brown, grey of some sort of mottled coloring of each working well.Drop-shotting 3 and 4 Wacky Worms in these colors also effective.

Yellow Perch:Good – While working weeds, try to get your bait down quickly to bypass small Gills hovering above the Perch in 7-10’ cabbage ½ crawler under float or on a drop-shot rig with just 12-14 between weight and hook best.

Walleye:Fair-Good – Walleyes moving into early fall patterns of deeper transition areas.Gravel/rock in 27-33’ on crawlers, chubs or jigging Raps.Also being found holding tight to mud bottoms or similar depth.Crawlers best choice here.Reel your fish up slowly so as not to hurt fish too small/ or big when bring Walleyes or other fish from depths or 30+ feet.

Musky:Good – This next month a good time to be casting shallow weeds and weed edges with top-water baits and high riding bucktails or spinnerbaits.Don’t be afraid to cast a few in shallow (less than 5 feet) as some surprisingly big fish have been coming from inside weed lines.

With water temps starting to fall, we should see some active days ahead.Turn-over is a ways off, most fish seem to react well during this time.

Kurt Justice

Kurt’s Island Sport Shop - Like us on Facebook

NORTHWEST INDIANA

The catch Saturday morning on Tripleatch Charters out of Burns Ditch in Indiana. Provided photo

The catch Saturday morning on Tripleatch Charters out of Burns Ditch in Indiana.

Provided

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

Kings and a few coho outside of burns ditch in 40ft of water using mag moonshine spoons and plugs fishing mid way down to the bottom.

Some panfish action at Loomis lake in valpo use crickets and jumbo reds.

Gonna send u a video of some crazy king action short but sweet Dale. [Link below]

https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=5429408407152906&extid=NS-UNK-UNK-UNK-IOS_GK0T-GK1C

ROOT RIVER, WISCONSIN

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

SHABBONA LAKE

John Honiotes at Boondocks reported good catfish on a chicken parts and Kool-Aid concoction; hybrids on crawlers and chicken livers without any weight and just cast out and allowed to float down (topwaters working some evenings).

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, weekends 8 a.m.-8 p.m.

SOUTHEAST WISCONSIN LAKEFRONT

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

WISCONSIN DELLS

Hook-and-line sturgeon season in Wisconsin runs through Sept. 30. Click here for the details. Click here for the harvest areas. Check with River’s Edge, which reported some shorter sturgeon being caught, river is low.

WOLF RIVER, WISCONSIN

Guide Bill Stoeger in Fremont texted:

For the most part, the river remains slow. There’s some good panfish action in the bayous along the river. Water temp still in the upper 60’s. Crappie and whitebass should pick up soon.

The Latest
“I enjoyed every moment because I had a good time,” Contreras said after the Cubs’ 8-1 win over the Reds on Sunday.
Khalil, who has sickle cell disease, became an honorary officer, received a certificate, badge and was welcomed by bagpipers.
The Bears seemed so intent on stopping Saquon Barkley that it left them vulnerable to play-action bootlegs of quarterback Daniel Jones — and they ended up getting burned by both. Barkley rushed for 146 yards on 31 carries. Jones rushed for 68 yards and two crushing touchdowns.
NFL
Trailing by four at halftime, Pittsburgh coach Mike Tomlin made a move that long seemed inevitable by putting Kenny Pickett in for the erratic Trubisky.
La Russa’s health failed him, and the Sox failed in the way they played for him, too.