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Hot fishing to cottonwood fluff for Chicago fishing: Midwest Fishing Report

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Well, apparently the heat will eventually break, but either way, we are thoroughly into summer fishing for this sprawling raw-file Midwest Fishing Report on Chicago fishing.

Tom Platt at Henry’s Sports and Bait sent the photo above and messaged,

Nora McElligott BarcelonaNora McElligott Barcelona: Crappie. 16.5″ 2.5lb on a chartruese crankbait, available at Henry’s I’ll show them the exact bait  lol.

See now, if you’re going get a plug in, that is the properly artful way to do it.

He also sent the photo below of Julie Pluta with salmon from the lake.

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

ILLINOIS PERCH REMINDER

Perch fishing on Lake Michigan is closed through June 15. That closure also includes the Chicago River system and the Calumet River.

COTTONWOOD FLUFF

South of the city, the stuff started drifting last week. Expect it is area-wide by now.

AREA LAKES

If you’re not at least once in a while sneaking out to your local pond or lake to play with the bluegills, I don’t know what to tell you except that it is time.

AREA RIVERS

Things will change again, but that is river fishing. I was able to sneak in my first wet wading of the year on Monday and revived my soul.

This is how Tom Platt at Henry’s Sports and Bait put it:

Rivers are high but seeing lots of action with drum and catfish.

AREA RIVER LEVELS

Probably a good week to check levels, especially if headed south, where more significant rains might come. 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

I had a report of a fish kill at Braidwood, so I checked early this morning and did not see anything other than two dead fish. But water is extremely hot, even on the cold side. And this is the kind of scenario that sets up for fish kills. I will check later on to see if anything significant was noted.

Otherwise, Rob Abouchar sent this report:

Hi Dale

Thye parade of tournaments at Braidwood continues last weekend despite the heat.  Saturday the Fishers Of Men Legacy Series tournament was held.  Many 5 fish limits came to the scales.  Two teams weighed in over 17 pounds plus  and 5 teams weighed 15 pounds or better.  1st went to Mike and Landon with 17.26 pounds.  They also had the big bass that weighed 4.75lbs.  Second went to Brett Wysock and Nick Pucel with 16.57 lbs.  3rs place went to Nick Baudino and Evan Bgerschneider who weighed 15.64lbs.  The early morning bite is best at Braidwood.  Bite slowed as the temps increased.
Tight lines!
Rob

Check with Jon’s Bait Shop–(815) 237-2822–in South Wilmington.

CALUMET SYSTEM

No update.

CHAIN O’LAKES

Staff at Triangle Sports and Marine said said the top bite specifically is for bluegill on Loon, but bluegill are going all over; catfish are particularly good on the upper and lower river; walleye are still working around bridges and current areas.

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

FOX WATERWAY AGENCY: Go to Fox Waterway Agency or call (847) 587-8540.

CHICAGO RIVER/CHICAGO LAKEFRONT

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

Chicago River and Lake Michigan Report,

  I was out a couple times last week weather and cold water temps were still around. Surface temps on the River and Lake 54 to 59 degrees and we are in the end of May. I think we are about a month behind at this point. We managed a few small fish still had a Great Time but I would really like to see some fish start moving on the River.

   I’m out a couple times next week and then Saturday and Sunday I will be up in Madison Wisconsin for the Take A Vet Fishing Event  on Lake Wabesa on the Madison Chain. Always a Great Time. Then the following week I will be on the River and Lake almost everyday. I will be catching up on 16 trips that were re-booked and the current trips that are on the books. Once I string 3 or 4 days together I should be able to come up with a pattern for fish.

   Have a  Safe Memorial Day and Please Take a minute to Honor all that gave all so we can live the free Life we live and Please Thank A Vet every chance you get. Till next be Happy and catch some fish.

Thanks Capt. Pat

DELAVAN LAKE, WISCONSIN

Guide Dave Duwe sent this update:

Delavan Lake Fishing Report 5/28/18 through 6/3/18

Memorial Day is upon us. The lake was busier than most Memorial Days in recent history. This is likely due to the unseasonably hot temperatures. The heat wave has been warming the lake and improving the fishing tremendously.

Largemouth bass are still spawning in the shallows in 3-5 ft of water. The best location is by Lake Lawn golf course, Viewcrest Bay or the Highlands Bay. The best approach is fishing Wacky Worm Senkos in green pumpkin red flake. With the warm weather, the best action is between 5 and 9 a.m.

Smallmouth bass are also still spawning on hard sand bottom in 12-14 ft of water. The best location has been by Willow Point or Belvidere condos. They can be caught drop shotting small finesse worms, split shot rigged nightcrawlers or fat head minnows.

Northern Pike action has been good in the shallow, weedy bays. You want to use Thill slip bobbers with a medium sucker fished about 2 feet above the weeds. Viewcrest Bay and Browns Channel have been my best areas. I’ve been working a depth between 8 and 10 ft of water.

Crappie fishing has also been very good on the weed line in 12-15 ft of water. The best location has been by the marina in the middle of the lake or by Belvidere Park. Purple and pink have been my best colors for the plastics fished on a 1/32 oz Arkie jig.

Bluegill fishing has been excellent. The fish are in 4-5 ft of water. On a secondary pattern they are suspended over 14-15 ft of water. For the suspended fish, I’ve been using leaf worms on a single hook fished beneath the boat. Some of the bluegills caught on Sunday were in excess of 10 inches. The shallow fish can be caught on bobbers with leaf worms, hellgrammites or Lindy ice jigs tipped with wax worms. The best location has been by Browns Channel or Willow Point fishing on the hard sand bottom.

Walleye fishing last week was very slow. I had absolutely no success on any depth range. With the bass bite so strong, save the walleye fishing for later in the year.

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: 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 ServiceSOUTHERN 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

No update.

FOX RIVER, WISCONSIN

No update.

GENEVA LAKE, WISCONSIN

No update.

GREEN BAY/STURGEON BAY

No update this week from Lance LaVine at Howie’s Tackle in Sturgeon Bay.

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

HEIDECKE LAKE

No update. 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

I fished and waded on Monday. Water is stained, up slightly but wadeable. Not much going in terms of fish. But that might have been me.

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

Tom Platt at Henry’s Sports and Bait had this observation on the lakefront:

Sean Mulheron of Henry’s puts it best ” fish are biting left and right and the Lake Front is on fire!”.   Lots of fish being caught. Guys are getting lots of accidental perch catches  trying to get rock bass so we’re excited for the season .

Capt. Bob Poteshman at Confusion Charters said  that out of North Point, there is “Tremendous fishing, but it is different every day’’; key is moving around to find the bait and fish every day. It is mainly coho with a smattering of steelhead, kings and lakers. Chicago was difficult through the weekend, but bait started showing on Monday and so did more coho in 40-70 feet.

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

Hi Dale –

Waukegan – everything was perfect the past few days.  There is fish and bait everywhere and all trollers had great success.  Most of the boats were going out to 170 feet of water or more.  More and more were staying in close each day.  We ran all of our trips shallow with most of last week spent in 30-35 feet of water no more than 2 miles north or South of Waukegan Harbor. Limit or near limit catches every trip.  Most trips were trolling fast, 3.0 mph or above.  The workhorse rods were yellowbirds with 00 red Luhr-Jensen dodger and Jimmy Fly Trolling Flies in Lime Rickey, Green Spectra, Purple Liz and June Bug behind 5/8 oz. trolling weights or 2 colors of leadcore.  There was a definite pattern where the greens would hit for a while, then action would stop and then the purple and black would start hitting, then a lull and the greens would start up again.  Also great was Warrior Fin GIrl and Warrior Steelhead Candy on Slide Divers 20-35 out.  It was mostly coho.  Also had at least 1 steelhead each trip, multiple kings hooked up each trip. The kings that made it in were not huge, 14 pounds was the biggest.  Also a few brown trout. The deep water boats told me Jimmy Fly Blue Liz was working along with the Purple Liz and June Bug.  A Warrior spoon called The Mermaid – Dark Green/Silver combo was reported as red hot – I’m ordering mine this week as I don’t have any. 

Out of Chicago our partner, Storm Warning Charters Captain Brian reported things are finally starting to pick up.  Chicago had been slow.  This weekend they started seeing bait and some fish.  Lake trout continue to make up most of the catch.  Coho’s require either a run up to Julian’s Reef (deep water off Highland Park), or straight off the city to 95-100 feet of water.  Both of those are very long runs.  Otherwise there are lake trout to catch in 50-70 feet of water off the north side of the city.  The great thing about Brian, and why we partnered, is that he will make those long runs to get the fish as long as the weather allows it.

I’d encourage your readers and followers not to wait to reserve charters.  This weekend we took multiple calls from persons looking for trips next Saturday and there is literally not a single Waukegan Charter available, every boat is booked.  For the entire month of June we have only 3 weekend ½ day slots available – 6/3 – afternoon/evening; 6/9- 5 AM and 6/17 – 5 AM.  Also for split/shared charters the only available spaces are Father’s Day, June 17 where 3 spaces remain available. There are some weekday charters available.  July weekends are booking fast too.  I still have July 3 and 4 available. 

This is indeed turning into the fantastic Lake Michigan fishing season we expected.  You and your readers and followers can always call, text or email us questions any time.  Have a great week.

Capt. Scott R. Wolfe

Manipulator/ School of Fish Charters
630-341-0550
www.schooloffishcharters.com

LAKE ONALASKA AREA, WISCONSIN

No update from Scott Pirnstill at Cozy Corner Cottages608-304-0371.

LaSALLE LAKE

No update. Would expect high water temperatures with the heat wave. Lake is open daily 6 a.m.-sunset.

MADISON CHAIN, WISCONSIN

Check updates from D & S Bait on Facebook.

MAZONIA

Should be prime time for Mazonia. 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:  Kurt Justice of Kurt’s Island Sport Shop sent this:

In the beginning…of the month of May, 2018…our lakes were ice covered! We lost much of our opening week of the gamefish season due to the late ice out. NOW we have lakes with surface temps we never saw all last summer.

Fish have been bedding and spawning at accelerated rates. Most of what you know of bedding fish timing should be thrown out the window this season! There are largemouth bass and bluegills bedding during the smallmouith bedding time (which is almost already done!) These are things we normally don’t see till mid/late June!

Bluegills: Excellent. Bedding already! Even where they aren’t, they are in shallow and voracious! Thunderbugs, leafworms and small leeches. Poppers, dry flys as well as the tiniest of jigs tipped with plastics are producing lots of nice gills. An 11 ½” er, caught and released was reported late last week. 

Largemouth Bass: Excellent. Top water action in the shallows! Twitching Rapalas, walking baits and various creature baits are hot in shallows. Lots of #’s and fish to 21” reported C&R.

Smallmouth Bass: Excellent. Most done, some finishing up. X-raps, husky jerks and slug-gos. There are reports of hot action, but best early and late due to traffic on holiday weekend.

Crappie: Very Good. Anglers disappointed to not find bedding fish. Good catches out and away from bedding, but not too deep (6-8’). Mini-mites, tiny tubes, gapen freshwater shrimp. minnows, and small leeches under floats.

Norther Pike: Good. Early and later day are best. Spinnerbaits, #3 Mepps, and 3-1/2” to 4-1/2” swimbaits.

Walleye: Good. Some surprisingly shallow evening action on #11 Rapalas, thundersticks. Leeches becoming relevant as water warms. Some crawler action reported.

Yellow Perch: Good. Cruising weed beds of 3-8’. Thunderbugs, small-medium leeches. Nicer perch of 10”+ taking medium leeches on ½ oz jigs.

Musky: Good. Evenings are best. Topwater action, small #500 series bucktails and 6” Twitch baits in shallows as muskies seem to be patrolling bedding bluegills.

Water temps as high as 79 degrees recorded this weekend (could have been higher in places). As this warm water pushes down, look for early mayfly hatches to start playing havoc on walleye bites.

Despite weather almost too hot to fish in (a few days over 90 degrees), fishing is relatively good.   

Kurt Justice

Kurt’s Island Sport Shop
www.kurtsislandsports.com
Like us on FaceBook

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

NORTHWEST INDIANA

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Andrea Ritz sent the photo above and this explanation on a trip from Whiting park in Indiana:

14.2 pounds 9 miles out on Lake Michigan..

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

Slough good for lots of groups fishing in boats crickets redworms and beemoth best

Salmon trout fishing good out of burns ditch and east towards Michigan city for some boats fishing too to bottom hit a double work that area
Catfish going good in burns ditch and deep river sonnys stinkbait and skipjack cutbait
Day to day some steelhead off Michigan city peir
Shrimp crawlers under float best

ROCK RIVER, ILLINOIS

No update.

ROCK RIVER, WISCONSIN

No update.

ROOT RIVER, WISCONSIN

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

ST. JOSEPH, MICHIGAN

Staff at Tackle Haven in Benton Harbor said they are still catching some kings and a little bit of everythign in 80-125 ft., some are even going out past 200.

ST. JOSEPH RIVER, INDIANA

Click here for reports from the Indiana DNR.

SHABBONA LAKE

Clint Sands at Lakeside said that there was a lot of catfish caught over the weekend, shallow, on crawlers or liver; weeds coming up; some walleye starting shallow on crawlers and leeches; crappie are back in deeper cribs and brush; bass are finishing up spawning; water is in upper 70s (though it might be to 80 by now).

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 DELLS

Check with River’s Edge.

WISCONSIN RIVER/MERRILL

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Otherwise, Rob Abouchar sent this report:

Hi Dale

The Wisconsin Rive in Merrill was hot on Friday and Saturday.  I took longtime musician friend Larry “Lixx” Locascio out for some multi species action.  He got a grand slam over two days including his first Musky.  He had no idea what to do which was probabally a good thing.  Bass walleye northern all going on the river.  Crankbaits, spinnerbaits and soft plastics took all species.  River water temp was 70 degrees on Saturday. I will be headed to Minnesotas famed Mille Lacs Lake for a week of field work on Saturday.
Tight lines!
Rob

Stories like that are why I read reports from Abouchar carefully.

WOLF LAKE

No update.

WOLF RIVER, WISCONSIN

No update.