Frog fishing, wet early summer, Chicago fishing: Midwest Fishing Report
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Water, an abundance of it, impacts much of Chicago fishing and so do summer patterns; both show in this this sprawling raw-file Midwest Fishing Report.
On Friday, I wrote in my weekly Wild Weekend Wandering around Chicago outdoors that it is time for me to get out and do fishing of imitation frogs for bass.
Well, Bob France beat me to it and sent the photo above with this note:
He did not want to let it go. I’m not even sure if it was hooked…
Now that is when they are going for frogs. He sent along these details.
Yes. I stopped mid afternoon at an office pond and they were like piranha. Like every cast!
BTW, I think the photo is cool.
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.
Steve Palmisano at Henry’s Sports and Bait said perch are scattered up and down the lakefront; but there have been some good bags of perch from such places as Burnham area on soft shells or minnows.
Staff at Park Bait said soft shells and minnows are taking perch, which take sorting for keepers, at Montrose.
KANKAKEE RIVER VALLEY FISHING DERBY
The 35th annual Kankakee River Valley Fishing Derby opens Friday and runs through July 8. Click here for more information.
The Northwest Indiana Steelheaders’ annual event is Saturday and Sunday out of Michigan City, Ind. Click here for details.
ILLINOIS FROG HUNTING
Frog hunting in Illinois, bullfrogs only, is open. Daily bag is eight.
Here are the details from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources on frog hunting regulations:
FROGS (Bullfrogs Only)
Methods of Taking and Capture
A sport fishing license is required to harvest bullfrogs. Bullfrogs may be taken by hook and line, gig, pitchfork, spear, bow and arrow, hand, or landing net.
No person shall harvest bullfrogs or any other
reptile or amphibian by commercial fishing devices, including, hoop nets, traps or seines or by the use of firearms, air guns or gas guns or during bowfishing tournaments.
All other species of unprotected reptiles and amphibians (excluding common snapping turtles and bullfrogs) may only be taken by hand. This shall not restrict the use of legally taken reptiles or amphibians as bait by sport fishermen.
Any captured reptiles or amphibians which are not to be retained in the possession of the captor shall be immediately released at the site of capture, unless taken with a lethal method (such as bow and arrow, gig, spear, pitchfork) which does not permit “release with no harm”. All such taken common snapping turtles and bullfrogs must be kept and counted in the daily harvest. No culling of such taken species is permitted. No person shall harvest or possess any species of reptile or amphibian listed as endangered
or threatened in Illinois (17 Ill. Adm. Code 1010
except as provided by 17 Ill. Adm. Code 1070).
Bullfrogs may be taken only between June 15 and
October 15, both dates inclusive.
Daily Harvest and Possession Limits
The daily Harvest limit for bullfrogs is 8 with a
possession limit of 16.
For indigenous amphibian and reptile taxon,
which may only be taken by hand, (excluding
common snapping turtles and bullfrogs) the
possession limit is 8 collectively with no more
than 4 per taxa.
Summer patterns–such as frog fishing for bass as noted by Bob France above–are here for bluegills, catfish and bass. Catfish and bluegill in the Chicago lagoons have been hit hard.
Good week to keep tabs on water levels, they are jumping around. 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
Lake is open 6 a.m. to sunset. Check with Jon’s Bait Shop–(815) 237-2822–in South Wilmington.
BoRabb Williams messged:
Yesterday we SPLIT UP Frank CatDaddy Smith went to LaSalle Lake and got 12 Blue Catfish …on cut bait .. couldn’t find any Shads….. I stayed home and continued to kill the channel Catfish and bass…. gills.. perch and Sheepheads in Lake Calumet…. it still plenty of action here
NOTE: As of Tuesday, from Montgomery dam through the Stratton Lock and Dam was closed; while the Chain and upper river to the Wisconsin line was no-wake. Check updates at Fox Waterway Agency or (847) 587-8540.
I would note that no-wake can be a helluva time for fish because of less boat traffic and higher water.
Staff at Triangle Sports and Marine said bluegill are finishing up on the beds; bass have been very good on Senkos (weightless or wacky-rigged) on East and West Loon; with the higher water and no-wake, muskie fishing has been good; walleye are best around the south river mouth or on the holes or deep cuts on the north river; catfish are good on cutbait or stinkbait.
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/CHICAGO LAKEFRONT
Capt. Pat Harrison at Pat Harrison Outdoors sent this update:
DELAVAN LAKE, WISCONSIN
Guide Dave Duwe sent this update:
Delavan Lake Fishing Report 6/24/18 – 7/1/18
Delavan Lake had it’s share of rain last week. At one point, the entire lake was “slow, no wake.” Fishing has slowed a bit from the last few weeks. We are still able to catch double digits in game fish per outing so it’s still better fishing than most other lakes.
Bluegill fishing has been very good on the weed line in 15-17 ft of water. The best locations have been by the Yacht Club and by the Oriental boat house. The best success has been coming off a small single hook with a small split shot to allow the worm to free swim down the water column. This bite should remain steady through the course of the next few weeks.
Largemouth bass fishing has been excellent. There have been two patterns. One is a top water frog bite, the second is a weed line bite in 14-18 ft of water. For the frog bite, the fishing has been the best by Lake Lawn golf course or in the boat launch channel. You want to concentrate in a depth of 3-4 ft. The best success is coming off of black or white frogs. For the weed line bite, look for the fish by Belvidere Park and just west of Willow Point. You can either catch them drop shotting 4 inch green pumpkin finesse worms or lindy rigging nightcrawlers.
Northern pike action is starting to get into its summer pattern. You want to lindy rig medium suckers 2-3 ft off bottom. The best approach is slowly trolling with the electric motor. I’ve been catch most fish from the Yacht Club to Willow Point. This bite should remain consistent for the next few weeks.
Walleye action has slowed slightly. I’m still catching one or two each trip but not the numbers from previous weeks. You want to lindy rig large leeches or nightcrawlers for the best success. The best location has been in 18-20 ft of water near Browns Channel and Assembly Park point.
Some perch are being caught in the 6-8 ft depth range around the piers near Assembly Park. The best approach is slip bobbering hellgrammites about 1 foot above the weeds.
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
Receding off flood stage, especially the upper sections.
HENNEPIN-HOPPER: Click here for regulations and other information. 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 Service. SOUTHERN ILLINOIS: Check with Jason Johns of Boneyard Fishing. SPRING LAKE NOTE: Both the north and south lakes have two regulation changes. Largemouth and smallmouth bass now have a protected slot of 12-18 inches; the daily bag is three bass either under 12 inches or over 18 or some combination of three over or under. Also, the daily limit of 25 crappie may include no more than 10 crappie 10 inches or longer. POWERTON: Open 6 a.m.-6 p.m.
FOX RIVER: WESTERN SUBURBS
As of Tuesday morning, projected to keep slowly receding off flood. As of Tuesday, from Montgomery dam through Stratton Lock and Dam was closed. Check updates at Fox Waterway Agency or (847) 587-8540.
FOX RIVER, WISCONSIN
GENEVA LAKE, WISCONSIN
Arden Katz said the lake is in good shape, even with rain; bluegill are outstanding in Geneva Bay in 12-14 feet on a dropper-rig; rock bass are also good. He said some of the bluegill still had eggs and some males were still spurting. He called bass fishing “awful.”
Dave Duwe sent this:
Lake Geneva Fishing Report 6/24/18 – 7/1/18
With the Fourth of July holiday approaching quickly, the fishing is starting to improve in both numbers and size. One of the keys for this time of year is to arrive early for optimal fishing and parking at the boat launches.
Rock bass have been biting very well in 12-15 ft of water. Most of the fish I’ve been catching are in scattered weeds and sand pockets. The best location is by Knollwood, Elgin Club and Black Point. The best approach is split shot rigged nightcrawlers fished on bottom.
Northern Pike fishing is starting to improve with the warming water. The fish are associating to the weed line in 18-22 ft of water. The best location has been by Williams Bay, Geneva Bay or the boat launch in Fontana. In the next week or so, the thermocline should be forming which will push the fish down as deep as 35 ft of water. Use lindy rigged medium suckers or chubs for the most action. I use a 1/0 hook and ¾ walking sinker and a 24 inch leader for the lindy rig. The bite is very subtle, it will just feel like a little extra weight. At that point, give them line and set the hook.
Walleye action has been very good at night. You want to choose the nights where there is some wind. They bite better with a good chop on the lake. Smithwick Perfect 10’s and large Rapala’s have been working well. Troll the bait about 60-70 feet behind your planer boards. The best location has been by Trinkes Bay or in Williams Bay.
Largemouth bass have been biting on top water or on a drop shot rig in 12-15 ft of water. The best location has been by Trinkes or in Williams Bay. This bite is best in the first few hours of daylight. For the top water bite, I use small chug bugs in chrome and blue. For the drop shot, I’m using 4 inch Chomper finesse worms.
The bluegill and pumpkinseed bite has been very good. The best locations have been Trinkes and Geneve Bay in 8-12 ft of water. The best approach is either fishing slip bobbers with leaf worms or leaf worms fished on a split shot rig.
Good luck and I hope to see you on the water. For guide parties, please call Dave Duwe at 262-728-8063
GREEN BAY/STURGEON BAY
Lake hours are 6 a.m. to sunset daily; well, shore fishing is always scheduled to open at 6;30 a.m.
Projected to fall below flood stage by Thursday at LaSalle. Check with B & B Live Bait in Ottawa–(815) 433-0432.
INDIANA STREAMS (LAKE MICHIGAN TRIBUTARIES)
Ben Dickinson, assistant Lake Michigan fisheries biologist, posted the photo above and this on Monday:
Some bruisers moving in
Just in time for Skamania Mania Saturday and Sunday in Michigan City.
Capt. Rich Sleziak at Slez’s Bait in Lake Station, Ind. texted:
Trail creek some fresh steelhead being had on voodoo jigs under float and #4 Mepps spinners
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 Valley Fishing Derby opens Friday.
Kyle Lund sent this:
Kankakee report Not much new from last week. Water came up so the fish pushed up to shore and into creeks. Slowly falling water now may be spiked again with the potential severe storms predicted for today and into the evening. If the water comes up fast so will the fish and the same goes for when it drops. Extreme heat this weekend may force anglers to fish very early in the day and towards dark in the evening. If the water remains very dirty go with big loud baits and fish them slowly in and along flooded areas out of or just on the edge of current. The Kankakee River Fishing Derby starts this Friday at midnight and runs through July 8th. Hope to see you on the water. Also please remember to be safe with the higher water. No fish is worth your life
That last sentence may be the truest and most important sentence in this report.
Click here to see the Wisconsin DNR’s Lake Michigan Fishing Report. It generally comes out Tuesday.
See perch update at the top.
Steve Palmisano at Henry’s Sports and Bait said beside the scattered perch, there’s been some very good action for drum up and down the lakefront. He said the best drum fishermen use soft shells on heavy catfish-type tackle and 2 to 3 ounces of weight to get far out to the deeper water where the drum are mixed with the smallmouth. He also noted the smallmouth have been moving deeper.
Staff at Park Bait said soft shells and minnows are taking drum, small to big, along with the perch. The nastier the weather, the better the drum fishing seems to be.
Capt. Bob Poteshman at Confusion Charters said fishing improved off Chicago beginning Sunday afternoon with coho, mainly 4-6 pounds, and some lakers throughout the water column Most are fishing from “The Wreck” and deeper, some going as deep as 200 feet. North Point had been doing better over the weekend, but slowed some over the last few days; fishing is from the hill to 200 feet.
Capt. Pat Harrison at Pat Harrison Outdoors included this update on lakefront:
Capt. Scott R. Wolfe of School of Fish Charters sent this:
Hi DaleIn Waukegan fishing continues to be very good. Most trips have produced excellent catches. Occasionally the fish seem to turn off and there is an occasional poor trip. Two areas are consistently holding fish. Bigger fish, kings and large lakers, can be taken in about 100 feet of water. There seems to be a current holding them. Not a great number there. But good quality. Greater numbers but smaller fish, coho, small lakers and Steelhead are in 175 feet plus. Most fish in the top 40 feet of water. Jimmy Fly flies in Spectra and Two Tone have been good in bright sun. If there is fog or thick clouds Purple Liz and June Bug patterns have been better. This week we had a good bite on Magnum spoons with Warrior Blueberry Muffin and Soggy Wonderbread being the stars on leadcore and downriggers.Out of a Chicago the fishing had been really slow until the storms last Friday. After that fishing has been excellent with limit catches in deep water, 170 feet plus. These have been all smaller fish, Coho, Steelhead and small lakers. It’s good to see Chicago fishing pick up, because they have had a tough year so far.This should be the “June Swoon” when Fishing on South Lake Michigan is the worst of the year. Not so again this year. Fishing continues to be really good.Scott WolfeSchool Of Fish Charters
Ray Thompson forwarded this report and the photo above from Jim Hartley:
Ray,Went to LaSalle Lake State Park Saturday.Lots of boats, lots of people there , and fishing was fantastic.Shad everywhere, and so were the hybrids!Fished with smaller cranks looking for yellows, but these buggers made a fun day of it.Many sheephead drum also, could not keep them off the lines. Some big ones too! Had to stay off the humps!Went to Fergy’s Bar in Seneca for a cold beer and a cheeseburger to finish the day!Looking forward to fish the weekend if n its not too hot???Luv you guys!JIM
BoRabb Williams messaged:
Yesterday we SPLIT UP Frank CatDaddy Smith went to LaSalle Lake and got 12 Blue Catfish …on cut bait .. couldn’t find any Shads.
Lake is open daily 6 a.m.-sunset.
MADISON CHAIN, WISCONSIN
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.
Click here to see the Wisconsin DNR’s Lake Michigan Fishing Report. It is generally out Tuesdays.
MINOCQUA: Kurt Justice of Kurt’s Island Sport Shop sent this:
My friend Noah is talking to me again. Last week, during our torrential rains that filled our lakes and Flowages to the brim, he was so busy building some giant contraption in his back yard he didn’t have the time to say a word to me, what a Nut!
The high water has thrown a curve to our local angling endeavors, as has the inconsistent hexagenia, Mayfly hatches. Water temps at the surface of our lakes run about 75 degrees, while I saw Flowage surface temps to 80 degrees over the weekend.
Northern Pike: Very Good-Good – Not as affected by the hatches, Pike have been good sports hammering Spinnerbaits, Chatterbaits and shallow Crankbaits. Work these lures over cabbage tops in 6-10’. Chubs and suckers in the 4-6” range working, but very difficult to come by, as are all wild minnows this season.
Largemouth Bass: Very Good-Good – Also somewhat immune to Mayflys. Green Bass actively hitting Spinnerbaits and 3 ½” Swimbaits. Wacky Worms and Ned Rigs, pre-rigged plastic worms and jointed Cranks. Top water action picking up with the old stand-bys, Jitter Bugs and Hula Poppers, as well as last years hot top water bait, the Whopper Plopper!
Bluegill: Good – Use small leeches, as they stay on the hook well, to find Gills in 6-10’ weeds. Thunderbugs, worms and 1” Twister tails on 1/64 oz jigs also work.
Yellow Perch: Good – Lots of reports of schools of 3-5” Perch being seen, good to see as these are great forage for our Walley, Pike and Musky. Better sized Perch on medium Fatheads or leeches. Frozen soft shells a favorite where available.
Smallmouth Bass: Fair-Good – Somewhat inconsistent reports. Not set up firmly on deep gravel humps yet. Drop-shotting 2 ½” minnow imitations preferred. Tubes and 3” Wackys also producing.
Crappie: Fair – Catching good, it’s locating schools not as easy. Cast small Spinners, Beetle spins over 8-14’ weeds to locate. Then settle in with slip-bobbers and small minnows.
Musky: Fair – Bucktails at average speeds over weed tops, should see some better top water soon.
Walleye: Fair – Been a struggle of late. Fish seem scattered and uninterested (Full?). Leeches and crawlers been best of late.
High temps for coming weekend mean anglers should concentrate early and late. As Mayfly hatches pass, angling should improve for Walleye anglers. Others just look to stabilizing conditions.
The Chain of 28 Lakes is in mid-season fishing form. Water temperatures are reaching mid-70’s as weeds have exploded in growth. Mornings on the Chain of 28 Lakes are calm and primetime to get your catch. As non-anglers find their way on the water, remember safety first.
Northern Pike are being caught while jigging in and along the weeds and by throwing spinnerbaits and spoons. A few good ideas would be bass style safety pin, Mepps #4 and #5, and spoons like the Johnson Silver Minnow.
Walleye can be caught byusing a jig and minnow combo, swimbait, and slip bobber. Green weeds are still producing fish. Bugs are starting to hatch, so it is time to start using leeches and crawlers.
Perch can be caught by switching to the mud flats because bugs are starting to hatch. Crappies can be caught in the weeds under slip bobber rigs using a hook and minnow or twitching a small jig tipped with a plastic under a bobber. Bluegills are moving into the shallows and can be caught slip bobbering tipped with plastic, waxworms, or a piece of crawler.
Muskie: Focus on the weeds with Bucktails, jerk baits and glide baits to find success.
Skamania Mania is Saturday and Sunday out of Michigan City.
Capt. Rich Sleziak at Slez’s Bait in Lake Station, Ind. texted:
Mixed bag action on lake in 80 to 150 ft of water top 40 coho few steelhead lakers below that spoons dodger flys best baitsCatfish on sonnys stinkbait now known as triple s in ditch riverealk area down from portage marinaSome steelhead day to day on Michigan city peir with shrimp under a float few casting ko wobblersTrail creek some fresh steelhead being had on voodoo jigs under float and #4 Mepps spinners
ROCK RIVER, ILLINOIS
ROCK RIVER, WISCONSIN
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 being caught in 40 feet off the pierheads and south; no skamania run yet in river; coho, steelhead and a few kings are being caught in 180-230 in the top 50; lakers are on the bottom from 120-200.
ST. JOSEPH RIVER, INDIANA
Click here for reports from the Indiana DNR.
Clint Sands at Lakeside said “Pretty much everything is going along the weeds in 6-8 feet, find the weeds and you will find fish.’’ That includes some quality hybrids, walleye and bass. Crappie, which take sorting, are in the cribs. Lake has about 1 1/2 feet of clarity. NOTE: The Muskie Rescue is postponed.
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
Rob Abouchar sent this:
Hi DaleI hit the house Merrill last week for a couple days on the Wisconsin River. The river in Merrill was cresting on Wednesday so I hit Lake Pesobic in town for some Largemouth and Pike. Senkos around docks were good for largemouth, Storm 360 Swimbait and Rapala Shadow Rap took nice bass and pike around deep weedline edge. Bass on Lake Pesobic in Postspawn and scattered. Lots of gill beds present in shallows.Thursday I checked Alexander Flowage and the water level was normal but the water was stained. Fish were still biting in dirty water. I landednumbers and good size Smallmouth on Alexander. Wacky rigged Senko was the bait for Smallmouth shallow around rocks and wood. On a tip from friend Joe “The Grasseater” Schatz of the Schatzee lure company i fished his handmade blade baits for Northern Pike action. The Schatzee Midnight Attack Bladebait in Northwoods Black and Orange had pike coming to the boat. I tipped the bait with a Kalins Orange Grub. With the river levels going down the fishing on the river and Alexander Flowage will be moving to Summer peak action.Tight linesRob
Check with River’s Edge.
WOLF RIVER, WISCONSIN