Well, it looks like the high by Friday will drop about 35 degrees from what it was early this week and fall truly comes for this sprawling raw-file Midwest Fishing Report.

Jason Fox sent the photo above and this note:

Hi Dale. My nephew [Anthony Tohuy] and I went to the Mississippi River in Alton and got our Mark Twain on. It was a little slow but we got this 25lber. I know musky is the glamorous fish but they are so weak compared to Catfish. In spite of that I am heading up to the Wisconsin river to chase musky with my friend this weekend

Tuhoy is a freshman at Quincy college across the river from Hannibal, Missouri.

I am with Fox on his fish assessments. And it is muskie time coming in northern Wisconsin.

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.

BTW, a Mark Twain reference up high and a Heraclitus quote in the middle just makes me proud of the faithful readers.

LAKEFRONT SALMON/TROUT

Staff at Park Bait said the bite is swinging more to salmon eggs and a few browns are also being caught.

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

What fish salmon wise is all in mid to upper strengthens low numbers but some fish to be had

Spinners spawn still baits to use for salmon but tough to get them to bite

Staff at Tackle Haven in Benton Harbor said a couple coho have been caught off the pier and . . . there’s a couple coho and kings by Berrien Springs dam.

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

The 4 year old kings are in the Sturgeon Bay shipping channel, around the pier heads and marinas along with the Lake Michigan tributaries so there is plenty of opportunities for shore fishermen and small boat fishermen to get in on the action.  Trolling and casting crank baits and spoons along with soaking spawn sacs.  . . .

And the Brown Trout action is starting to get going in some of the harbors to the north like from Egg Harbor up to Sister Bay including Bailey’s Harbor on the Lake side as they are coming in for their fall spawn.  The Brown Trout action generally stays good from now through November.  Trolling and casting spoons and crank baits along with soaking spawn sacs all good options

SALMON SNAGGING

Staff at Henry’s Sports and Bait said snaggers are doing OK.

Snagging season is open at four spots on the Illinois lakefront.

Here is the word from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources:

Snagging for chinook and coho salmon only is permitted from the following Lake Michigan shoreline areas from October 1 through December 31; however, no snagging is allowed at any time within 200 feet of a moored watercraft or as posted:

A) Lincoln Park Lagoon from the Fullerton Avenue Bridge to the southern end of the Lagoon.

B) Waukegan Harbor (in North Harbor basin only).

C) Winnetka Power Plant discharge area.

D) Jackson Harbor (Inner and Outer Harbors)

ROOT RIVER STEELHEAD FACILITY OPEN HOUSE

The Root River Steelhead Facility Open House is Saturday in Racine, Wis. Click here for details.

CATCH-AND-RELEASE FLY FISHING

Ed Buric fly fishes Rock Creek during the early catch-and-release fly-fishing trout season.

Ed Buric fly fishes Rock Creek during the early catch-and-release fly-fishing trout season in the spring of 2018.
Dale Bowman/Sun-Times

Catch-and-release fly fishing for fall trout is open at nine sites around Illinois. The regular fall trout season opens Oct. 20.

Here are the notes on the early catch-and-release fly fishing from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources:

The Fall Catch-and-Release Fly Fishing Season will be available at nine sites beginning on Oct. 6 at locations marked with an asterisk (*) in the list below.  Fly fishing anglers can use fly fishing gear to catch and release trout beginning Oct. 6 at the nine sites. No trout may be kept during the fly fishing period, but all anglers can keep trout after the opening of the regular fall trout season on Oct. 20.

As to general requirements for the early fly-fishing, the IDNR noted this:

All anglers — including those using fly fishing gear who intend to release fish caught before Oct. 20 — must have a valid fishing license and an Inland Trout Stamp, unless they are under the age of 16, blind or disabled, or are an Illinois resident on leave from active duty in the Armed Forces.

Here are the nine sites that allow early catch-and-release fly fishing:

North region

Jo Daviess County: Apple River, Apple River State Park *
Kankakee County: Rock Creek, Kankakee River State Park *
Ogle County: Pine Creek, White Pines Forest State Park *

Central Region

Adams County: Siloam Springs State Park Lake *
Cass County: Gridley Lake at Jim Edgar Panther Creek SFWA *
Hancock County: Horton Lake, Nauvoo State Park *
Morgan County: Morgan Lake, Nichols Park, Jacksonville *
Sangamon County: IDOT Lake, Springfield *

South Region

St. Clair County: Willow Lake, Peabody River King State Fish and Wildlife Area *

ILLINOIS FROG HUNTING

Frog hunting in Illinois, bullfrogs only, runs through Monday, Oct. 15. 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

With the rains and forecasts of more rain, now is a good time to pay attention to both inflows and outflows on area ponds and lakes.

Ken “Husker” O’Malley sent this:

Hey Dale,

Here is a recap of this past week’s fishing.
Area lakes- The fall bite is starting. Bass have been good on TRD rigs early morning. Work the bait slowly over the top of the weeds using a twitch pause retrieve. Midday and evening hours work a lipless crank bait along outside weedlines.
TTYL
Resized/Sun-Times

Suburban largemouth bass.
Provided

Ken “Husker” O’Malley
Husker Outdoors
Waterwerks fishing team

AREA RIVERS

This is one of those weeks where water levels may be important. 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

Final day of fishing is Tuesday, Oct. 16. 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

Both sections of the river are closed to boating, but the Chain, as of Tuesday evening, is only at no-wake. Check updates at Fox Waterway Agency or (847) 587-8540 for more information.

Art Frisell at Triangle Sports and Marine said white and yellow bass are good on Kastmasters, Mepps and crankbaits running shallower on Marie and Bluff; bluegill are also good shallower; walleye are fair, an 8-pounder reported, on medium roaches or large fatheads, best on Marie shallow; muskie are fair on small jerkbaits, bucktails on Channel, Fox or Catherine.

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

CHICAGO RIVER

No update this week from Capt. Pat Harrison at Pat Harrison Outdoors.

DELAVAN LAKE, WISCONSIN

Dave Duwe sent this:

Delavan Lake Fishing Report 10/1/18 through 10/6/18

The fish on Delavan lake are starting to head towards their fall patterns. For the first time in several weeks, the walleyes are starting to bite. Most species will continue to improve with the cooling water temps and as they are established in their fall patterns.

The walleye are in two patterns. The ones I’ve been focusing on are in 22-24 ft of water off of main lake points. They can be caught using lindy rigged nightcrawlers currently but that will switch to large fat head minnows as the water cools. The secondary pattern is the shallow weed bite. The fish are biting on rattle traps in 8-10 ft of water. Look for the fish by Lake Lawn Lodge or Assembly Park point. All the walleyes I’ve been catching have been during day light hours.

Largemouth bass fishing has been steady. The only problem I’ve had is that some days I catch big fish and the next the fish are 13-14 inches. The fish I’ve been targeting have been on the inside turn of main lake points. The best depth has been 15-17 ft of water. They are biting on split shot rigged nightcrawler or lindy rigs.

Bluegill fishing has been spotty. I’ve been catching one or two while bass fishing. The fish are suspending in the main lake basin about 10-15 ft down in 40 ft of water. The fish will move shallow as the water continues to cool. Once they are in about 10-14 ft of water they will be able to be caught using slip bobber rigs with a leaf worm.

Northern Pike fishing has been steady in the weed flats in 8-10 ft of water. Look for the fish by the Highlands or Viewcrest Bay. White chatter baits continue to be a good bet. As fall moves on, I’ll start to fish for trophy sized pike on big suckers fished beneath a Thill big fish slip bobber.

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

LAKE SHELBYVILLE:  Check with Ken Wilson of Ken Wilson Guide ServiceSOUTHERN ILLINOIS: Check with Jason Johns of Boneyard Fishing.

Larry Dozard of Larry’s Fishing Hole sent this update on closures and fall/winter hours at some Downstate sites:

BANNER MARSH:
* THIS AREA Will CLOSE TO BOAT FISHING on Oct. 17th. With the Last Day to Boat Fish being Oct. 16th
AND BANK FISHING ONLY ALLOWED AFTER 1PM but NO FISHING ALLOWED in EAST POINT ACCESS AREA, 
(lakes to the East) which is CLOSED TO ALL FISHING to provide a GOOSE REFUGE AREA during season
CLINTON LAKE:
An easterly area of Clinton Lake (The Waterfowl Refuge Area) between the DeWitt Bridge East (CH14) 
and the Rt. 48 Bridge will CLOSE on October 10th and remains Closed typically until April 1st.
COFFEEN LAKE:
During the Central Zone waterfowl season: No fishing north of the railroad tracks (upper pool) 
until after 1pm daily through Jan. 31st
DOUBLE T STATE FISH and WILDLIFE AREA:
* THIS LAKE IS CLOSED TO FISHING – From Oct. 1st till Feb. 1st
EMIQUON PRESERVE:
No boating, fishing or ice skating access before 12:00 pm during waterfowl hunting season.
Oct. 27 – Jan. 31
Lake users should be aware that hunting might occur on the Preserve other times as well.
EVERGREEN LAKE:
– A SOUTHERN PART OF EVERGREEN LAKE – AROUND DEER ISLAND and ALL OF SIX-MILE CREEK BAY
 IS CLOSED TO GAS from Oct. 15th through JAN. 1st to allow resting areas for migratory waterfowl.  
YOU ARE ALLOWED TO STILL RUN A TROLLING MOTOR ONLY IN THESE AREAS.
HENNEPIN-HOPPER LAKES:  * Lakes are CLOSED for season.. And will be Open spring 2019.
McMASTER LAKE at – SNAKEDEN HOLLOW:
Lake will CLOSE TO FISHING on Oct 15th during Central zone Waterfowl Season, 
 with Oct. 14th being the Last Day to be on the Lake. 
 Lake will Re-Open on February 1st.
NEWTON LAKE:
As written in the fishing regs booklet : * The cold arm of Newton Lake shall be CLOSED daily 
 from one-half hour before sunrise until 1:00 pm to all fishing and boat traffic except for 
legal waterfowl hunters during waterfowl season commencing with regular duck season through 
the close of the Canada goose and regular duck season.
* For here – Regular South Waterfowl Season for 2018: Nov. 10 – Jan. 31
PRAIRIE LAKE in Jim Edgar/ Panther Creek State F&W Area:
Lake Partial Closures during Waterfowl Season from Nov. 1st to Jan. 15th 
Lake access is CLOSED until after 12:01 PM on Wednesday & Saturday.
POWERTON LAKE:
* The Last Day for Boat Fishing is Oct. 19th
And – Last Day for Shore Fishing is Oct. 26th
– As – LAKE WILL CLOSE To ALL FISHING On Oct. 27th –
– Lake Will RE-OPEN to Shore Fishing on Dec. 24th
– but – Will Remain CLOSED TO BOAT FISHING Until Feb. 15th
RICE LAKE: 
Will CLOSE to Boat Fishing on Oct. 20th 
with the Last Day To Be On The Water is Oct. 19th through Waterfowl Season 
and will Re-Open at end of Duck & Goose season.
SANGCHRIS LAKE:
* THE WEST & EAST ARMS OF LAKE and Small AREA NEAR DAM WILL CLOSE DURING WATERFOWL SEASON to boat traffic effective Oct. 10th through Jan. 31, 2018
SPRING LAKE (South & North):
Last Day of Boat Fishing in Hunting Areas is Oct. 19th 
 As – THIS AREA will CLOSE TO BOAT FISHING in Hunting Area on Oct. 20th
— with BANK FISHING ALLOWED ONLY AFTER 1pm–
– AREAS THAT REMAIN OPEN TO BOATS ALL DAY ARE NORTH OF MAPLE ISLAND with ramp at 
 north end at the Sky Ranch Road launch and IN PIKE HOLE with carry in boats —
and Shore Fishing is allowed in entire lake after 1pm in Hunting areas or at boat ramps all day.

FOX RIVER: WESTERN SUBURBS

River is closed to boating from the Montgomery Dam to Wisconsin line.

FOX RIVER, WISCONSIN

No update.

GENEVA LAKE, WISCONSIN

Dave Duwe sent this:

Delavan Lake Fishing Report 10/8/18 – 10/15/18

This past week, it was hard to find time to get out on the lake with strong winds and an enormous amount of rain. With the cooler weather, the lake temperature is cooling rapidly and the walleyes are starting to bite.

Walleye pike are off the main lake points in 22-24 ft of water. They can be caught on lindy rigged nightcrawlers with a 24-30 inch leader. I prefer using a painted hook on my lindy rig in either pink or chartreuse. As the water cools, the fish will switch to an all fat head minnow bite within the next 10 days or so if the water continues to cool.

Largemouth bass have been spotty due to the ups and downs of the temperature. One day we struggle to hit 60 and the next day it’s 80+. The bass I’ve been catching are on the weed lines in 15-17 ft of water. Look for the fish just east of Willow point or just west of Browns Channel.

Bluegill fishing has been very slow. I’ve only been catching a few fish each trip out. The fish I’ve been catching are in 12-13 ft of water right in the weeds. Look for the fish by the buoy line in Viewcrest and Highlands Bays.

Northern Pike action is steady. The fish are in the weed flats in front of Lake Lawn Lodge, Highland Bay and Viewcrest Bay. White spinner baits and chatter baits have been producing the most action. The only downside is that the fish have been on the small side.

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

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

Good morning fellas….not much has changed, so here is what is going on still

Perch fishing has been going very good as of late and should just continue to get better as we move deeper into fall and the water continues to cool.  Areas to try include downtown Sturgeon Bay, Sawyer Harbor, the Flats, Riley’s Bay and Little Sturgeon.  Fathead minnows and night crawlers still the best live baits until the water gets really cool and then it will switch to all minnows

Pike fishing has been going very good and that too will continue get better as the water cools.  Sturgeon Bay, Sawyer Harbor and Little Sturgeon all very good areas to target.  Trolling and casting large crank baits, spoons, plastics and spinner baits all good options along with dragging and soaking medium and large sucker minnows

The 4 year old kings are in the Sturgeon Bay shipping channel, around the pier heads and marinas along with the Lake Michigan tributaries so there is plenty of opportunities for shore fishermen and small boat fishermen to get in on the action.  Trolling and casting crank baits and spoons along with soaking spawn sacs.  And out on the big lake, there has been very good action out in that 200 to 300 foot of water range fishing for those really nice 2 and 3 year old Kings along with some Rainbows

And the Brown Trout action is starting to get going in some of the harbors to the north like from Egg Harbor up to Sister Bay including Bailey’s Harbor on the Lake side as they are coming in for their fall spawn.  The Brown Trout action generally stays good from now through November.  Trolling and casting spoons and crank baits along with soaking spawn sacs all good options

Walleye action has been just fair for the most part.  The night bite will really start to kick in as it usually does this time of year and will really get going once the water cools even more.  Trolling crank baits like Smithwick rogues, Husky jerks, Bandits, Flicker minnows and Flicker shads all good options

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

Closed for year.

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

Resized/Sun-Times

Kankakee River walleye.
Provided

Kyle Lund sent the photo above of Albert Miarka lV, 9.

Lund also sent this fishing update:

IT’S HERE!! Over the past week fishing was about the same low water summer like pattern but after the rain the river is on it’s way up. Not a huge jump but enough to kick things off and push new bait into the system and that will get fish moving! The next month on the river should be prime time fall feeding frenzy. Rain and a cold front Wednesday will add some more new water and then the following 13 days we see highs in the mid 50’s and mid 60’s with some lows flirting with the freezing mark. That will cool off the water and trigger bait to school and fish to gorge on that bait. Start aggressive and match the size of the bait you see around you. If you are looking for smallies start with topwater and work your way down the water column. Cast into or on the edge of schooled bait or if you can’t see it with your eyes cast in areas bait will likely be schooled. Flats out of the current. Behind downed trees. Slow deeper water are all good places to start. Game fish will be doing 2 things eating or looking for something to eat. Walleye will still be most active during lowlight hours but a cloudy day can be magic as well. As I’ve said before start out deeper on the edge, top, or bottom side of holes close to shallower feeding flats cast out a minnow under a slip bobber and while you wait work a jig and twister tail or swim bait. If you catch one or 2 out deeper and then nothing don’t panic just work your way into shallower water and start to work the whole flat. It wont be the hot and heavy action of peak pre spawn walleye fishing but there is the potential for some fast action for fall marble eyes. Good luck and tight lines! “No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it’s not the same river and he’s not the same man.” Heraclitus

Now Lund is outdoing himself, pulling out a Heraclitus.

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

See lakefront salmon/trout and snagging regulations at the top.

LaSALLE LAKE

Final day of fishing is Oct. 15. Lake is open daily 6 a.m.-sunset.

MADISON CHAIN, WISCONSIN

Check updates from D & S Bait on Facebook.

MAZONIA

Final day of fishing is Oct. 16, except for Monster Lake at Mazonia South, which is open year-round to fishing.

Lakes are 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:  Kurt Justice of Kurt’s Island Sport Shop sent this:

10/9/18

It’s the heat of the fall musky season! Surface temps running 52-55 degrees (and could start dropping this weekend) Sucker bite good, but still good action on artificial.

The wind, rain and cool down has limited the species anglers have been fishing for, not uncommon for this time of year. Also with some lakes in or on the verge of turn-over fishing reports are all over the board depending on the day and the lake.

Musky: Very Good-Good

Lake temps very important to location! The warmer lakes saw fish on the inside weed lines on top-water and bucktails / spinner baits. As lakes cool, outside weed lines best using jointed cranks, plastics and jerk baits. Sucker action good, bladed rigs (Smity rigs) with 12-14” suckers seem to be best. Good numbers of fish with fish to 52” reported this week.

Crappies: Good

Find deep wood or base of coontail edges in 14-18’. Small to medium fatheads below slip- floats. Light colored (white, yellow, silver) jigs also working. Big Crappies to 14”+ this past week. With good numbers of 10-12” fish.

Northern Pike: Good

Most caught by Musky anglers tossing bucktails and twitch baits. For those targeting Pike, outside weed edges soaking a 5-7” chubs on sucker baits.

Walleye: Fair-Good

Best on deeper lakes using chubs or suckers on 1/4 – 3/8oz jigs in 22-34’ of water. Jigging raps working along hard to soft transition zones. A few anglers fishing after dark finding shallow weed walleyes on chubs and casting shallow stick cranks (floating Rapalas, Storm Thunder Sticks and Rattling Rouges)

No reports of bass, bluegill or perch. Some incidental catches by anglers seeking other species, but overall not the weather for anglers choosing those species.

With highs only in the low-mid 40”s forecasted from Thursday through the weekend, expect to find lakes in the midst of turn-over. Check landings before launching, if messy (floating debris, odd color) go someplace else – if clear – launch and fish.

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

NORTHWEST INDIANA

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

What fish salmon wise is all in mid to upper strengthens low numbers but some fish to be had

Crappie bite in deep river and burns ditch starting decent minnows around brush and old docks best
Look for perch and some lake trout to show up end of this month
Spinners spawn still baits to use for salmon but tough to get them to bite

ROCK 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 a couple coho have been caught off the pier; a few walleye are being caught in the river by the hospital and there’s a couple coho and kings by Berrien Springs dam.

ST. JOSEPH RIVER, INDIANA

Click here for reports from the Indiana DNR.

SHABBONA LAKE

Staff at Lakeside said weather has limited fishermen to a handful over the last several days, but the water is relatively clear.

Lakeside–(815) 824-2581–is open 7 a.m.-5 p.m. The restaurant is now open on weekends only.

Park hours are 6 a.m.- 10 p.m. through Oct. 31.

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

Resized/Sun-Times

Wisconsin River northern pike.
Provided

Rob Abouchar sent the photo above and this update:

Hi Dale

What a great day on the water it was on Sunday at the Alexander Flowage/Wisconsin River.  Joe “The Grasseater” Schatz of the Schatzee Lure Company joined me for some big fish hunting action.  Chasing Smallmouth bass and toothy critters with Plastics, Spinnerbaits, chatterbaits made by Joe himself, swimbaits and crankbaits proved to be the ticket .  Despite the cold front and high dirty water some real trophy bass came to the boat.  The pike are becoming more active with the cooling water.  We had a boatside assault from a 40 plus inch  toothy critter that left both Joe and I with shaky knees.  The water temps in Merrill ranged from 48-53 degrees throughout the day and from spot to spot.  Any stable weather days should be prime time for that big Northwoods catch of a lifetime.  Cooler nights are predicted for the northwoods and this should really kick in the Fall feeding frenzy the next few weeks.
Tight Lines
Rob

WOLF LAKE

No update.

WOLF RIVER, WISCONSIN

No update.