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Early Chinook spice up summer doldrums: Chicago fishing, Midwest Fishing Report

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It seems early but a coupleChinook on shore spice up summer for this sprawling raw-file Midwest Fishing Report.

My column tomorrow is about a report from Stacey Greene at Park Bait on Joe Wilk catching a king Friday. It’s early for that.

The condensed Midwest Fishing Report appears Wednesdays on the outdoors page of the Sun-Times newspaper. The sprawling raw-file report is posted here online on the Sun-Times outdoors page.

CHICAGO AIR AND WATER SHOW

If headed to the lake or the lakefront, remember the Air and Water Show is this weekend. Click here for details.

LAKEFRONT KINGS

First reports (see column tomorrow) came Friday at Montrose. I think it is really air and the lake really hot for a serious run right now

ILLINOIS FROG HUNTING

Frog hunting in Illinois, bullfrogs only, is open. Daily bag is eight. Fishing license is required; bullfrogs may be taken by “hook and line, gig, pitchfork, spear, bow and arrow, hand, or landing net.”

AREA LAKES

Rob Abouchar, leading his usual exciting life, sent the photo at the top and this report:

Hi Dale,

It was a great ending to the Summer on Saturday in Plainfield.  I attended the reggae pool party put on by my friend DJ Fyah of Fyre Productions at the Clublands in Plainfield.  The party featured reggae music by one of the best in the midwest Gizzae.  The Clubhouse and pool is located by a nice size lake and we couldn’t resist some angling before the show.  Myself and Joe Schatz of the Schatzee Lure Company took some nice Largemouth Bass on Senkos around the floating moss mats.  Black and blue proved to be true as well as green pumpkin with green n purple flake.  A father and son reported catching 15 bass between them on creature baits.  Joe somehow caught a beautiful bullfrog that was released alive.  Looking forward to the resumption of Tournaments at Braidwood in September.
Tight lines

Ken “Husker” O’Malley sent this:

AREA RIVERS/CREEKS

Most are low, except those impacted by the storms and the storms that may come tomorrow. Click here to find river closures listed by the Illinois DNR. Go to http://water.weather.gov//ahps2/index.php?wfo=lot to check area water levels and projection. To get to more specific gauges, even on creeks, in Illinois, go to http://waterdata.usgs.gov/il/nwis/current/?type=flow

BRAIDWOOD LAKE

Lake is open 6 a.m. to sunset. Check with Jon’s Bait Shop–(815) 237-2822–in South Wilmington.

CALUMET SYSTEM

No update.

CHAIN O’LAKES

Brad Irving at Triangle Sports and Marine said white and yellow bass are good and the best bite on most lakes, best evenings (6:45-8:30) on bladebaits and spinners; catfish are good on stinkbait; there’s been good panfish in Pistakee Bay; water warmed well into the 80s.

Check Fox Waterway Agency or (847) 587-8540 for more information.

STRATTON LOCK AND DAM: Open daily 8 a.m.-midnight through Sept. 30. Click here for more info on the lock and dam.

CHICAGO RIVER

Capt. Pat Harrison at Pat Harrison Outdoors sent this update:

Chicago River and Lake Michigan Report,

 Well to say the least last week was interesting bluebird sky Sun and water temps have changed the game quite a bit. We are catching fish but not the numbers or size that we were tough bite in clear water for sure. Some game changes have helped a bit but still not what I’m looking for. Clients say we understand that’s fishing you can’t predict the weather you can only fish it I appreciate that but as a fishing guide finding fish is what you do. Tough bit means more thinking on my end and I am trying to figure out what it’s going to take.

  I thank those that have contacted me and say they enjoy reading my report every week because it’s Honest. I post how it goes so I am not misleading anyone. Fishing has it’s Good days and Not so Good Day’s any day on the water is somewhat Good but fish in the boat make it an even better day.

  Last week I had 3 trips we caught fish every trip but the Bass bite was way down 1 or 2 Bass a trip the Pan fish were there to play so were the Cat Fish. So fish were caught and fun was had, part of the enjoyment for clients is just being on the boat downtown catching fish with tour boats, pleasure boats, water taxies, Tugs and barges going by People on the riverwalk and bridges watching some clapping as we catch fish.  So yes its still fun to be out but fishing is what the trip is about so I am putting on the thinking cap to try to locate fish in some new and different areas on the river to improve the day on the water.

  I haven’t really seen any difference in the main branch of the river with the dam being removed on the North branch but time will tell.  I plan to spent a day running in the north branch to see if the water clarity is improving just to stay in touch with the environment of the river I do think it is a positive for the system.

 So fishing, as usual white jig and twister tail is still getting panfish and cats on the pilings and wood structure fishing the down current side. The few Bass came on 1 ½ inch Tube over a ½ oz. jig fishing the rocks out on the main lake and breakwalls casting out and pulling back into about 25 fow. Soon the salmon and Trout will be headed back inshore so I’m going to start flat lining some shad Raps, Flicker shads, Rapalas,  spoons and flies.

Have a Great week Hope you catch some fish.

Thanks, Capt. Pat

DELAVAN LAKE, WISCONSIN

Dave Duwe sent this:

Delavan Lake Fishing Report 8/13/18 through 8/19/18

Delavan Lake remains consistently good. Some days are a touch slower but overall the bite is strong. The bass are still schooled up and the bluegills are hungry.

Largemouth bass are in 15-17 ft of water. You want to fish just west of Browns Channel or just west of Willow Point or the Yacht Club. They can be caught on drop shot rigged 4 inch finesse worms or nightcrawlers fished on a split shot rig. In early morning hours, the top water bite has also been very good. You want to fish a depth of 8-10 ft of water over the weeds. Good locations have been by Assembly Park or in the Highlands Bay.

Bluegill fishing has been fantastic. The fish are shallower than they have historically been. Look for them in 11-13 ft of water within the weeds. The best location has been by Browns Channel or in the Highlands Bay. Try using a small split shot and a leaf worm. For the best success you need to have the bait moving not leaving it stationary. There have been some bluegills suspending over the main lake basin about 14-16 ft down. It’s been sporadic at this point so some days they are there and then the next their gone.

Northern Pike fishing has been average. There are fish to be found but the bite has been a bit slow. Fish for them in 15-17 ft of water off the deep weed line. Use a medium sucker on a lindy rig about 1 foot off bottom. The best success has been by the gray condos or just west of Willow Point.

Walleye action has slowed tremendously. The only walleyes I’ve been catching are on lindy rigged leeches in 14-15 ft of water at first light or at dusk. The numbers aren’t strong, so you need to be patient. As fall comes in, the bite should improve significantly.

Smallmouth bass action has been improving. The bass are in some of the same schools with the largemouth. They are on the deep weedlines in 17-19 ft of water. The best locations have been just west of Willow Point or the south shore by DelMar subdivision.

Good luck and I hope to see you on the water. For guide parties, please call Dave Duwe at 262-728-8063

DES PLAINES RIVER

No update.

DOWNSTATE NOTES

HENNEPIN-HOPPER: Last day of fishing for the year is Sept. 3.Click here for regulations and other information. SOUTHERN ILLINOIS: Check with Jason Johns of Boneyard Fishing.  EVERGREEN: As posted on the web site:

Evergreen Lake Bait Shop & Boat Rental – NOW OPEN 6-6 EVERY DAY!

LAKE SHELBYVILLE:  Check with Ken Wilson of Ken Wilson Guide ServicePOWERTON: Open 6 a.m.-6 p.m.

FOX RIVER: WESTERN SUBURBS

No update.

FOX RIVER, WISCONSIN

No update.

GENEVA LAKE, WISCONSIN

Dave Duwe sent this:

Lake Geneva Fishing Report 8/13/18 – 8/19/18

Lake Geneva is having one to the off years for fishing. I cannot believe that the lack of bite is attributed only to the cold spring. There has been a lot more boat traffic but it’s always a busy lake so the jury is still out on why the bite is off.

Bluegill fishing has been very good though. The bluegills are in 18-22 ft of water. The best location has been by Elgin Club or by Gage Marine. You want to fish leaf worms about a foot off bottom. A vertical presentation has been the best so keeping your boat anchored is working well.

Smallmouth bass fishing has been hard. I’m catching a few here and there with no discernible pattern. The fish may be deeper than I’ve been fishing so try for them deeper than 25 ft. Try 4 inch finesse worms on a drop shot.

Largemouth bass have been biting on two different methods. The early morning/late afternoon top water bite or the mid day deep weed line bite. The top water action is best in Williams Bay or by Fontana Beach. You want to use chrome/blue or chrome/black Chug Bugs or something of that nature. I fish the top water in 6-10 ft of water. With the clear water the fish will attack very aggressively in that depth range. For the deep water bass, I’ve been fishing by the 700 club, Pebble point or Black Point. I’ve been drop shotting finesse worms in green pumpkin color or 6 inch zoom lizards in green pumpkin on a Carolina rig.

Northern pike fishing has been okay in a depth range of 33-35 ft of water. The best approach is lindy rigging medium suckers or chubs right on bottom. The best location has been just east of Cedar Point or by the Channel in Fontana.

The best bite continues to be the walleyes at night. Medium diving crank baits in 15-17 ft of water have been the best. Look for them in Trinkes, Cisco Beach or Abbey Springs. You want to fish when there is a slight chop on the water for the best success.

Good luck and I hope to see you on the water. For guide parties, please call Dave Duwe 262-728-8063

GREEN BAY/STURGEON BAY

Lance LaVine at Howie’s Tackle in Sturgeon Bay sent this:

Good morning fellas

Here is what I have as far as the fishing is concerned

Fishing out on the lake for Salmon and Rainbows has been very good as of late.  100 to 180 feet of water has been the best depth and fishing the top 60 feet of the water has been the best.  Flasher and fly combos has been the best followed by an assortment of spoons and meat rigs

Perch fishing can also be classed as good to very good pending on the day of course.  Areas to try include…Sturgeon Bay ship canal, Sawyer Harbor, the Flats, Little Sturgeon and Riley’s Bay. Crawlers and fathead minnows have been the best live baits

Pike fishing is also starting to heat up as it usually does this time of year. Both trolling and casting large crank baits and spoons along with spinner baits and large plastic swim baits can be very effective.  Sturgeon Bay, Sawyer Harbor and Little Sturgeon have all been very productive spots

Walleye fishing has been fantastic pretty much throughout the whole county for both the trollers and jig fishermen.  Trolling with crawler harnesses and crank baits like flicker shads and minnows, husky jerks and bandits.  And for the rip jig fishermen, Moonshine shiver minnows, Rapala jigs and some rippin raps have been the best

Thanks;

Lance LaVine

Howie’s Tackle
1309 Green Bay Rd
Sturgeon Bay, WI 54235
Ph: 920-746-9916

Click here to see the Wisconsin DNR’s Lake Michigan Fishing Report.

HEIDECKE LAKE

Lake hours are 6 a.m. to sunset daily; well, shore fishing is always scheduled to open at 6;30 a.m.

ILLINOIS RIVER

Check with B&B Live Bait in Ottawa–(815) 433-0432.

INDIANA STREAMS (LAKE MICHIGAN TRIBUTARIES)

Access points for Trail Creek can be found on the Trail Creek Access Map. Access points for Little Cal and Salt Creek, which are closer to Chicago than Trail Creek, may be found at littlecal_saltcreek_access.

KANKAKEE RIVER

Water remains very low and clear, fish are scattered or stacked in holes.

KENOSHA, WISCONSIN

Click here to see the Wisconsin DNR’s Lake Michigan Fishing Report. It generally comes out Tuesday.

LAKE ERIE

Click here for bag limits and prospects for the season from the Ohio DNR. The Ohio DNR has general Lake Erie info and a fishing report.

LAKEFRONT

Steve Palmisano at Henry’s Sports and Bait said freshwater drum on the outside deeper water are still going strong on pond craws or crayfish by Chicago harbors, inside it is rock bass and some bluegill.

Stacey Greene at Park Bait said a few kings are being seen porpoising at Montrose.

Bob Poteshman of Confusion Charters said mornings are the better times all over; at North Point they are doing OK for a few kings on the hill, but it is mainly coho, steelhead and lakers in 200 feet and deeper; out of Chicago it is 110-150 feet from Montrose to Wilmette for mainly lakers.

Capt. Scott R. Wolfe of  School of Fish Charters sent this:

Hi Dale –

Out of Waukegan fishing has been very good in the morning and much tougher in the afternoon.  85 to 120 feet of water has got King action as well as lake trout and occasional steelhead.  It’s been best to stick with blues and greens.  Orange, yellow, blacks, purple have been non-productive.  Both spoons and flys have been taking fish.  Our best lure by far this past week was the Warrior Lures Magnum Green Menace run on 300 foot copper.  It took several lakers to 20# and several steelhead to 13#.  Afternoon trips have been less consistent with a few good trips and a few bad.  If you get fish in the afternoon they have been great quality with big kings, lakers and steelhead roaming those depths.  Copper presentationa have been best in the afternoon while in the morning diver and downriggers have been good. Most of the fish have been at least 85 feet down.

Off Chicago trollers need to run up to near the R4 area for any numbers of fish.  There lakers are abundant and there are also kings and steelhead sometimes mixed in.  Any more than about a mile south of the R4 the action has been, very, very slow.

Capt. Scott R. Wolfe

School of Fish Charters
630-341-0550

Capt. Pat Harrison at Pat Harrison Outdoors sent this update:

Chicago River and Lake Michigan Report,

 (the Lake Michigan part) . . . The few Bass came on 1 ½ inch Tube over a ½ oz. jig fishing the rocks out on the main lake and breakwalls casting out and pulling back into about 25 fow. Soon the salmon and Trout will be headed back inshore so I’m going to start flat lining some shad Raps, Flicker shads, Rapalas,  spoons and flies.

Have a Great week Hope you catch some fish.

Thanks, Capt. Pat

LaSALLE LAKE

Lake is open daily 6 a.m.-sunset.

MADISON CHAIN, WISCONSIN

Check updates from D & S Bait on Facebook.

MAZONIA

Lake is open 6 am. to sunset daily. Check with Jon Meder at Jon’s Bait Shop–(815) 237-2822–in South Wilmington.

MENOMINEE RIVER, WISCONSIN

Check with Mike Mladeik at Mike Mladenik Guide Service.

MILWAUKEE HARBOR

Click here to see the Wisconsin DNR’s Lake Michigan Fishing Report. It is generally out Tuesdays.

NORTHERN WISCONSIN

MINOCQUA:  No update from Kurt Justice of Kurt’s Island Sport Shop. If an update comes, I will update and post.

EAGLE RIVER: No update from B+L, from reports from Colin Crawford of Colin Crawford Guide Service, for the Eagle River Chamber of Commerce.

NORTHWEST INDIANA

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

Lake trout fishing good for some in 100 to 110 ft of water straight out of ditch and east towards Michigan city a few steelhead kings and coho mixed in

Perch slow and small
Dogs days of summer a lot of places weedy and water hot groups say mainly slow

ILLINOIS RIVER, ILLINOIS

No update.

ROCK RIVER, WISCONSIN

No update.

ROOT RIVER, WISCONSIN

The Wisconsin DNR’s Root River Report is usually out Tuesday or Wednesday. Click here to see it.

ST. JOSEPH, MICHIGAN

Staff at Tackle Haven in Benton Harbor said some perch are starting again north of the pier in 40-45 feet; it’s mainly lakers in 90-120 feet on Lake Michigan and catfish and smallmouth in the river.

ST. JOSEPH RIVER, INDIANA

Click here for reports from the Indiana DNR.

SHABBONA LAKE

Staff at Lakeside said the best bite was bass early and late on topwaters, especially on the dam face, other times shallow crankbaits by the weeds; crappie are tight to the cribs; water is 81.

Lakeside–(815) 824-2581–is open 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. Park hours 6 a.m.- 10 p.m. The restaurant is open daily.

SOUTHEAST WISCONSIN LAKEFRONT

The Wisconsin DNR’s Lake Michigan Fishing Report restarted. Click here to see it. Streams flow info is at http://waterdata.usgs.gov/wi/nwis/current?type=flow.

WINNEBAGO SYSTEM, WISCONSIN

No update.

WISCONSIN RIVER

No update.

WISCONSIN DELLS

Check with River’s Edge.

WOLF LAKE

No update.

WOLF RIVER, WISCONSIN

No update.