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Mid-summer in Chicago fishing: To the Midwest Fishing Report

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Nora Barcelona, bass.
Provided

Mid-summer patterns settle in for this sprawling raw-file Midwest Fishing Report.

On that note, Chris Barcelona sent the photo above and this note:

It’s that time of the year.

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.

LAKEFRONT PERCH

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

Good perching for a lot of boats ditch to Michigan city 20 to 30 ft mainly seems the boats that drift do best baby roaches best bait but when ther bitting any minnow is good

When perch are around decent the steelhead are around they go hand and hand
Hopefully the north blow doesn’t mess it up good fishing around here

Staff at Tackle Haven in Benton Harbor, Mich. said perch are in 40-20 feet, north or south of the pier.

Steve Palmisano at Henry’s Sports and Bait said “the big lake is quiet with perching.”

Stacey Greene at Park Bait said there were “tons of perch biting all day since Sunday” at Montrose, some bigger ones caught Monday, all the action is on the lakeside. She said, “Almost all a minnow bite, mostly shiners, but any minnow.”

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

It’s summer bluegill, bass and catfish. Should pick up after the frontal passage.

AREA RIVERS

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

APPLE RIVER

Ken Gortowski sent this last week and I think it still holds:

I think he is plain enough for those who know the beauty of Apple River State Park.

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 bass are good on topwaters (Pop-Rs, frogs); bluegill are mainly off the beds, white bass are going bladebaits and Mepps No. 3 spinners on Pistakee and Fox; catfish are good, especially on stinkbait with blood; muskies are even chasing bass jigs.

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,

  Last week was a busy week but a Fun one we boated a lot of Fish. We spent some time on the Lake and found Smallmouth in the Rocks in various places. With the bright skies the Smallmouth were doing what they could to get out of the sun they averaged 15” to 18”. On the River the Panfish played along with a lot of 9 to 10inch Gills making clients Happy we would have to sort through Gills from 6 to 10” but we got a lot of 9 1/2 and 10 inchers. Crappie are still a bit slow in most of my spots we did get some but most were 8 to 10 inches. The Large mouth are starting to move in a few spots on the river too.

 Surface temps on the river range from 69 to 73 degrees and the lake is upper 60’s .  fishing is only going to get better as the weather gets a little more stable and the water temps level out. Next week is another busy one with a few out of State and Country clients mixed into the week. 2 of my Clients last week were from New Zealand were they have a Bass site. We were on the Water Sunday and I had a interview with Mike Jackson on the radio I mentioned I had 2 clients on the G3 from New Zealand and Mike said I’ve fished there and loved it. I handed the phone to one of them and they talked about fishing for about 10 minutes. Cut my interview short but it was worth it to share the Chicago River Experience from someone fishing it for the first time that had never seen it before.

Next week is another busy one I hope the fish decide to play a bit more. Enjoy your week. If you have fished with me could I ask you if you took picture Please send some of your Favorites to me PatHarrisonOutdoors@GMail.com  I would like to add them to my website and facebook  page.

Thanks Captain Pat

DELAVAN LAKE, WISCONSIN

Dave Duwe sent this:

Delavan Lake Fishing Report 7/16/18 through 7/23/18

Even with the hot and humid weather, the fishing remains excellent. On the weekends the boat traffic is excessive in the afternoons, I recommend going early in the day to avoid the traffic.

Northern pike fishing has been the best it’s been in the last few years. The fish are in 20-23 ft of water. I’m finding most of the fish on the main lake points, like the Yacht Club, Willow Point and the entrance to Browns Channel. Lakeside Bait and Tackle has very large medium suckers that have been my go-to bait. I fish them about 1 foot off bottom on a lindy rig. My lindy rig consists of a ¾ oz walking sinker, 24 inch leader and a 1/0 hook. I fish 20 lb monofilament line with a steel leader. To prevent bite offs, you want to set the hook directly above the fish, not pulling the line at an angle.

Bluegill fishing has been a little slow for me. One day I’ll find them in 13-14 ft of water and the next day they’re gone. Most of the success has come off of a single hook split shot rig fished straight beneath the boat, tipped with a leaf worm. The best success I’ve had has been by Assembly Park Point or just west of Willow Point.

Largemouth bass are currently on three patterns. My preferred bite is on the weed line in 15-17 ft of water. The bass can be caught while drop shotting 4 inch Chompers finesse worms or nightcrawlers. The best location for this bite has been by the Village Supper Club, west of the Village or by the Yacht Club. The second pattern is fishing shallow emergent weeds with black or white scum frogs. I fish the scum frogs on braided line. The best location has been by North Shore or in the channel by the boat launch. Sunny days have been the best for this bite. The third approach has been medium suckers fished on a lindy rig in 20 ft of water off of main lake points. Most of the bass caught on suckers have been west of Willow Point.

Walleye fishing has been slow due to the time of year. I’ve been catching one here or there on lindy rigged jumbo leeches. The best success has been coming near the main lake marina on the north shore. First light or the evening is the best time to find them.

Crappie fishing has been good while trolling small plastics in chartreuse or purple on the outside edge of the weed lines in 12-13 ft of water. The best location has been by Browns Channel or by the old Boy Scout Camp on the west end of the lake.

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

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Marcus Benesch sent this report and the photo above

Dale,

The river is finally in great shape. And boy are the pike hungry.  I can’t think of an easier target than a pike from the Des Plaines right now.  Topwater bites are  really hot. Shallow weeds,  flooded timber,  sewer pipes, you name it, they’re in there.
Attached a picture of my 3 year boy Jackson.  He’s too afraid to hold some of the bigger ones,  but that one was just right.
Marcus Benesch
Gurnee, Illinois

DOWNSTATE NOTES

SOUTHERN ILLINOIS: Check with Jason Johns of Boneyard Fishing. 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 ServicePOWERTON: Open 6 a.m.-6 p.m.

FOX RIVER: WESTERN SUBURBS

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Flathead, Fox River.
Provided

Luis Gonzalez sent this photo from flathead fishing last week of a 25-pounder. It’s that time of year for flatheads on the Fox.

FOX RIVER, WISCONSIN

No update.

GENEVA LAKE, WISCONSIN

Arden Katz said they are “killing the bluegill in 14-15 feet.”

Dave Duwe sent this:

Lake Geneva Fishing Report 7/16/18 through 7/23/18

For me, Lake Geneva continues to be a harder bite than we’ve seen in years past. I’m not sure what the cause is but I’m just not seeing the action that we’ve seen previously. Part of the difficulty is that Delavan Lake is just so good, it’s hard to put in the time on Geneva to figure out the patterns.

Largemouth bass have been biting on the drop shot rig in 15-19 ft of water. The best location is by Covenant Harbor or off of Maytag Point. I’ve been using a Chompers 4 inch finesse worm in pumpkin seed with purple and red flake. The dropper I’ve been using has been 8-12 inches. In early morning hours (5:30-6:00 a.m.) there is a top water bite in the shallows, 6-8 ft of water. Look for the fish in Williams Bay or the beach in Fontana. I’ve been using Chug Bugs in chrome/blue or chrome/black.

Northern Pike fishing has been good in 30 ft of water. Look for the fish east of Cedar Point, Black Point of Belvidere Park in Fontana. The fish can be caught on lindy rigged chubs or suckers. The lindy rigs I use have a 24 inch leader.

Bluegill fishing has been very good in a depth of 18 ft of water. Look for the fish in Covenant Harbor or Elgin Club. The fish can be caught on leaf worms fished on a split shot directly beneath the boat about 6 inches off bottom. The schools can be seen on your graph, I don’t normally fish for them unless I mark the school.

Walleye fishing is still good at night. The best location has been by Knollwood or Trinkes Bay. Concentrate on a depth of 15-17 ft of water. Troll Smithwick Perfect 10’s or large Rapalas approximately 70 feet behind your planer boards. At night the fish are suspended in the water column and are aggressive.

Rock bass are still biting throughout the lake. Try slightly deeper in 14-16 ft of water. They can be caught on nightcrawlers or hair jigs. They are positioned about 3-4 ft above the weed line.

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

The fishing out on Lake Michigan has been much better as of late with a nice mix of Kings and Rainbows and again some very huge fish getting caught right now.  The best depths have been varying quite a bit…as shallow as 70 feet out to 300 feet of water.  The top 60 feet of water has been the best.  Flasher and Howie fly combinations have been the best along with a few spoons working ok.

Walleye fishing has been going very good as of late especially to the south around the Chaudoir’s Dock area and south to the lower bay of Green Bay.  The best method has been trolling crank baits and crawler harnesses along with jigging with Shiver minnows and rippin raps

Perch fishing has been also going quite well overall.  Sturgeon Bay ship canal, the Flats, Little Sturgeon and the Chaudoir’s Dock area all have been producing nice numbers of fish.  Fathead minnows, leaf worms and crawler pieces have been the best live baits

Bass fishing still going very well pretty much up and down the Door County Peninsula.  The better fish have been coming in a little deeper water as those fish have been sliding out to deeper water.  15 to 20 feet of water has been the best.  Tubes, drop shotting, spy baits and paddle tails all good baits as of right now

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

Staff at B&B Live Bait in Ottawa–(815) 433-0432–said catfish are the primary bite, best on shrimp, liver, cut bait or stinkbait.

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

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Kankakee River, Bird Park launch.
Dale Bowman/Sun-Times

Even with the heavy rains in some areas Monday, the river is near summer levels and dropping. Catfish are the top bite; with dropping levels, search around for smallmouth.

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 perch update at the top.

Stacey Greene at Park Bait said, “With these north winds, they are doing well for drum” on soft shells; smallmouth are still good at Diversey, Belmont and even the mouth of Montrose.

Steve Palmisano at Henry’s Sports and Bait said smallmouth reports are some still in the harbors; others on the rocks and drop-offs; for drum, focus on the outside of the harbors with soft shells and try the dark water and deep areas where smallmouth are.

Speaking of smallmouth, .A.J. Cwiok messaged about a nice smallmouth bass:

Got a chance to make a few casts in between work on storm warning charters. First fish I’ve ever caught out of 31st street.

Capt. Bob Poteshman said off Chicago the coho action is mainly in 60-65 feet up and down the shoreline. “Find a pod of bait and do circles around it,” he said. He said action had slowed at North Point, with nearly all between the hill and the beach, key again is finding bait and working that area; there are lakers out deeper.

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Capt. Scott R. Wolfe of  School of Fish Charters sent this report and the photo above:

Hi Dale

Waukegan – Overall the fishing over that past week was really good.  It slowed substantially in the last two days (Sunday and Monday) however.  Cohos and a few kings and browns are being taken in 50 to 70 feet anywhere from the Wisconsin state line down to Naval Station Great Lakes.  Attached is a picture of a 25 pound chinook we took on Friday, the largest king on our boat this year.  Red dodgers with Jimmy Flys in black and purple and Scotty pattern (basically green and silver) have been good on dipsy divers.  Coho, kings and brown trout have been taken on 8 inch ProTroll flashers and 5 inch green or light blue flys on downriggers and wire divers. Orange or purple spoons on lead core rods have also been good with Warrior Fin Girl, Warrior Steelhead Candy and Warrior Kevorkian all very good.

Chicago – Fishing went from great to good.  Although it slowed, action off Chicago is still solid.  50 to 80 feet of water anywhere from straight off the loop to Montrose avenue.  The smaller flys have been the best producers there with 2 inch Jimmy Fly patterns of Scotty, Green Spectra, Black Spectra and Blue/Green Half and Half best.  Warrior Psycho Perch has taken bonus kings, browns and steelhead.

With the two cold fronts coming this week I would expect the fish to move deeper.  I do not think they will move completely out of the area and the Illinois fishing should remain solid with more Kings showing up each day as we near the run.

Scott Wolfe
School of Fish Charters
630-341-0550
http://www.schooloffishcharters.com/

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

Chicago River and Lake Michigan Report,

  Last week was a busy week but a Fun one we boated a lot of Fish. We spent some time on the Lake and found Smallmouth in the Rocks in various places. With the bright skies the Smallmouth were doing what they could to get out of the sun they averaged 15” to 18”.

. . .

Next week is another busy one I hope the fish decide to play a bit more. Enjoy your week. If you have fished with me could I ask you if you took picture Please send some of your Favorites to me PatHarrisonOutdoors@GMail.com  I would like to add them to my website and facebook  page.

Thanks Captain 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

Mike Mladeik at Mike Mladenik Guide Service emailed about the hot bite and noted:

We have been catching smallmouth in 2-3 foot of water with Case Wacky Jacks.

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:

High skies, hot weather and boat traffic was the talk last week.  Throw in some late Mayfly hatches on our favorite Walleye waters and for some anglers, it was a tough week of fishing.

Largemouth Bass:  Very Good – One of the few bright spots.  Largemouth fishing has been very good towards dusk on top-water lures such as Whopper Ploppers, Spooks, Jitterbugs and Lunker Hunter Frogs.  Mornings, very early, are also good.  Switch to stickbaits for a while after, then start pitching plastics into the cabbage beds.  Spinnerbaits and pre-rigged plastics also have been working when wind or cloud cover moves Bass off bottoms.

Smallmouth Bass:  Good – Not as hot as the Green Bass, but work deep rock/gravel humps in 18-26’ using drop-shop rigs with 2 ½” Gulp minnows, 3” Jackall baits or small tubes.

Bluegill:  Good – Cabbage and some coontail edges holding good #’s with size depending on lake and locale.  Worms, Beavertails, small Leeches. 1” tubes and Mini Mites tipped with Waxies also working. 

Northern Pike:  Good-Fair – Spinnerbaits best working weed flats.  For shot at larger fish, work outside Coontail edges of 12-18’ using 4” Swimbaits or large Chub/Sucker on jig or Lindy style rig.   

Crappie:  Fair – Best reports are deeper over wood using medium Fatheads.  Fan cast narrow Leaf Cabbage tops with small jigs, Spinners, Beetle Spins, to locate Crappies.  Return with small minnows under floats.

Musky:  Fair – Despite a near World Line Class Record Musky being caught (#10 Class, 44 #’er) most action spotty.  Bucktails and top-water best.

Yellow Perch:  Fair – Cabbage beds holding #’s.  Sandgrass for size.  Use ½ crawlers on jigs in cabbage.  Rig frozen soft shells on Lindy style rigs.

Walleye:  Poor-Fair – Deeper cooler lakes best, but late Mayfly (Hexagenia) hatches throwing bite off our best lakes.  Crawlers, Leeches (getting hard to find) best.

Cooler temps this week may make it easier for anglers as far as comfort and maybe (?) less traffic on lakes.  How this will affect mostly mediocre fishing remains to be seen.

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

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:

Good perching for a lot of boats ditch to Michigan city 20 to 30 ft mainly seems the boats that drift do best baby roaches best bait but when ther bitting any minnow is good

70 to 80 ft coho with a few steelhead mixed in pretty solid action 20 and 30 bites a trip for a lot of boats dodger fly and spoons best baits fishing 15 to 50 ft down
Some great steelhead action at the ditch and around port of Indiana in 30 to 50 ft of water some boats had 25 and 30 hook ups big red spoons orange colored stuff did best fish all over the water coloum
When perch are around decent the steelhead are around they go hand and hand
Hopefully the north blow doesn’t mess it up good fishing around here

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 walleye, smallmouth and catfish are going in the river; a few steelhead are being caught off the pierheads near dawn; boaters are working 80-100 feet for coho and steelhead with a king or two on the bottom.

ST. JOSEPH RIVER, INDIANA

Click here for reports from the Indiana DNR.

SHABBONA LAKE

Staff at Lakeside said said bass are good shallow in the weeds on lots of topwaters; crappie are being caught in cribs on north end; walleye are being caught on rock piles; and, during a cool spell last week, muskie were good.

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.