More ice building around the area, especially north, and perch fishing slowing as wind roiled and dirtied the water on the Chicago lakefront lead this sprawling raw-file Midwest Fishing Report.

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.

ICE FISHING

I updated the list of regulations for ice fishing at public sites around Chicago fishing. Click here for that. Plus I included probabilities for nearby ice fishing by the weekend in individual reports.

CHICAGO PASSES UPDATED [UPDATED AGAIN]

Here is an update from Carl Vizzone, program and event coordinator, fishing, for the Chicago Park District, on parking and pier passes becoming available at Northerly Island.

Dale,

       We are finally up and running on selling pier passes and parking passes. They will be available Monday – Friday from 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM. The visitors building is closed on Holidays. December 24th, 25th, 31st, January 1st, 15th, February 12th and 19th. To purchase a pass at Northerly Island. There is a different process. . . . This can be done before coming in or we can do it onsite. Once an account is created, a fishing license must be presented. For a parking pass, we will require both a fishing license and a driver’s license. There may be times the system is down. I would suggest that individuals call before coming to purchase here at Northerly Island. We will take only credit card. Information for Northerly Island below. Any questions, please contact me.

Northerly Island Visitors Center
1521 S. Linn White Drive.
Chicago, IL 60605
(312) 745-2910

LAKEFRONT PERCH

Steve Palmisano at Henry’s Sports and Bait, whose regular hours are  M-F 6:30 a.m.-7 p.m., Sat. 6 a.m.-7 p.m., Sun. 6 a.m.-5 p.m., said that the roiled and dirty water slowed perch, even in the harbors; he suggested trying glow-in-the-dark presentations or rattling spoons until the water clears more, hopefully by the weekend.

Stacey Greene of Park Bait, which closed for the winter on Sunday, texted this update:

Only perch I heard of was at Diversey everywhere else was pretty slow.

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

Over weekend perch fishing was slower due to dirty water most action that did happen was from 92 nd st up to 95th and past that even water was a little cleaner ther guys in boats did better cause they moved around a lot xl fatheads and baby golden roaches did best

The Anglers Outlet in Oak Forest has regular hours of M-Th. 7 a.m.-6 p.m., F 7-7, Sat. 6-5, Sun. 6-3. The shop will be moving to 17036 Oak Park Ave. in Tinley Park, a couple blocks north of Freddie Bear Sports.

ACCESS/PARKING OPTIONS FOR PERCHING CHICAGO LAKEFRONT

Here are some parking and access notes for winter perch fishing. Information on parking passes and pier passes is below under separate headings.

BTW, several guys have said the parking app, Spot Hero, has been working well for them while trying to find parking downtown for fishing.

Montrose Harbor has plenty of free parking within easy walking. . . . At Navy Pier, check in at the parking office in the east lot, then be out by 10 a.m. sharp for $6 parking. . . . For DuSable Harbor, use the small fisherman’s lot. . . . At Burnham/Northerly Island, use the Burnham fishermen’s lot or meter parking north of the old terminal (on days with no events at Soldier Field or the music pavilion). . . . Only legal fishing at the slip north of 87th is on the east end at Steelworkers Park. Plenty of free street parking. The slip at 89th is private property.

PIER PASSES

The kinks have been worked out and the designated piers should be good to go, including that newly allowed pier near the fisherman’s parking lot by Burnham.

Selected piers in the Chicago harbors–Montrose, Belmont, Diversey, DuSable, Burnham, Jackson–are open to fishermen with a pier pass. The $6 passes are available at Henry’s Sports and Bait and Northerly Island (see above).

Resized/Sun-Times

Sample pier pass.
Provided by Chicago Park District

PARKING PASSES

Still hearing of double parking (as in parking in other fishermen at DuSable). Passes ($10 for two months) for parking at the two small fishermen’s lots at DuSable and Burnham harbors are available at Henry’s Sports and Bait and Northerly Island (see above).

AREA LAKES

I would still call it in between, but I think ice will be winning in at least some places by the weekend. Click here for the updated regulations on ice fishing around public sites in Chicago fishing.

Ken “Husker” O’Malley sent this report:

Hey Dale,

Here is a recap of this past week’s fishing.
Area lakes- with the warmup over the weekend and rain, ice came off most lakes to allow some open water fishing. Medium roaches worked along the outside weedlines under a slip float took bass and a few bonus crappie. Circle hooks are a most when using this presentation. Ice will be back again later in the week with the drop in temps. Time to start getting the ice gear ready.
TTYL
Ken “Husker” O’Malley
Husker Outdoors
Waterwerks fishing team

AREA RIVERS

Probably a good week to check on levels if a river fisherman. 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

Closed for the year.

CALUMET SYSTEM

It’s one of the perch hotspots, especially for boaters. See above.

CHAIN O’LAKES

Brad Irving at Triangle Sports and Marine in Antioch said, “By the end of the week, local guys should be on the back channels.”

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

STRATTON LOCK AND DAM: The lock is closed through April 30. Click here for more info on the lock and dam.

CHICAGO RIVER

Capt. Pat Harrison at Pat Harrison Outdoors sent this:

Lake Michigan shore and Chicago River Report,
 Well the weather has not been kind to the fishermen to say the least. High winds,waves, chocolate colored water, ice, snow etc.
 The Perch bite was coming on pretty good when the weather took the dive. Not many people out Perching right now. There will be people at Navy Pier today Monday Dec. 3rd to celebrate Illinois being 200 years old today but I don’t think they will Be Fishing.
 I know a few anglers that are getting out and working hard to scratch out some Perch with a lot of sorting to get a handful of keepers. A Buddy of mine Oscar Santos has been out almost everyday and manages some decent fish with a lot of culling but he puts a lot of time in to do it.
 I have a couple trips on the books yet for this month we’ll have to see what the weather brings. Looking forward to the weather settling down a bit.
 This time of year I also guide the Illinois River as the bite seems to pick up a bit before hard freeze temps come in. Have a Great week.
Capt.Pat

DELAVAN LAKE, WISCONSIN

No update this week.

DES PLAINES RIVER

Still in flood stage in northern areas.

DOWNSTATE NOTES

REND LAKE: Check with Jason Johns of Boneyard FishingLAKE SHELBYVILLE:  Check with Ken Wilson of Ken Wilson Guide Service.

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 . . . 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 – . . . 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 . . . 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:
*- Lake Will RE-OPEN to Shore Fishing on Dec. 24th
– but – Will Remain CLOSED TO BOAT FISHING Until Feb. 15th
RICE LAKE: 
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 . . . 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.

DuPAGE RIVER

High and stained, generally. Receding rapidly off minor flood stage on the East Branch.

FOX RIVER: WESTERN SUBURBS

Coming off minor flood stage at Montgomery.

FOX RIVER, WISCONSIN

No update.

GENEVA LAKE, WISCONSIN

I could use somebody to give winter reports.

GREEN BAY/STURGEON BAY

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

Good morning fellas

Due to the weather, there is not much to talk about as far as the fishing is concerned so here is a projected report.

As of right now there is no ice cover here in the county, but the cool weather is now upon us.  So, depending on the winds, our first ice cover hopefully will be right around the corner.

The first areas to freeze are generally the shallow bays and marinas for obvious reasons.  Little Sturgeon. Riley’s Bay and Sawyer Harbor will be the first 3 ice covered bays in our area and the early season is usually very good for Perch and for some nice Pike.  For the Perch, tip small jigs with wax worms, minnows or minnow heads along with a wide variety of small soft plastics.  And for the Pike, suspend large Golden Shiners and sucker minnows under tip ups throughout those shallow bays

Early Brown Trout action is generally pretty good also during first ice.  Go to spots include in and around the marinas from Sturgeon Bay all the way up to the tip of the peninsula.  Suspending minnows under tip ups and auto fishermen a good bet there along with jigging a variety of baits like spoons and rippin raps

And as soon as some decent safe ice forms out into the bay of Green Bay, thousands of Whitefish anglers will be venturing out a bit off shore to the so called Whitefish grounds to fill there buckets with limits of fish. A few areas that are always go to spots include…Henderson’s Point, Riley’s Point, Larson’s Reef along with the shoreline and structure north of Sturgeon Bay up to Egg Harbor.  A wide variety of jigs rigged with slider hooks work extremely well.  And tipping all your hooks with minnow pieces, waxies, spikes and an assortment of soft plastics all will work for the not so finicky Whitefish!

Thanks;

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

He’s got that right about people chasing whitefish.

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

HEIDECKE LAKE

Closed for year.

ILLINOIS RIVER

River crested in a minor flood at LaSalle and should drop below flood stage by Wednesday.

On fishing and conditions, 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.

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

Once water gets back to normal after all this rain steelhead in creeks will be going good lots of fish have came in the last couple weeks

KANKAKEE RIVER

River is high and stained, but receding.

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 at top.

Steve Palmisano at Henry’s Sports and Bait said there are some lake trout being caught on the South Side, including several by perch fishermen at 87th in the last few days. He suggested trying spinners or bladebaits for the lakers.

Stacey Greene of Park Bait, which closed for the winter on Sunday, texted this update:

Guy got a king yesterday at Montrose in the harbor fishing for perch day before there was a brown caught at Diversey

SALMON SNAGGING: 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)

LaSALLE LAKE

Closed to fishing.

MADISON CHAIN, WISCONSIN

Gene Dellinger at D & S Bait (check updates on Facebook) said that on Cherokee Marsh “ice is fine, the fishing fair.” He said maybe by the weekend there will be ice fishing on Monona Bay.

MAZONIA

Closed to fishing, except for Monster Lake at Mazonia South, which is open year-round to fishing.

MILWAUKEE HARBOR

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

NORTHERN WISCONSIN

Kurt Justice of Kurt’s Island Sport Shop in Minocqua, Wis. emailed this:

With ice thickness slowly building, more opportunities opening up for anglers here in the Northwoods.

Most areas averaging 5-7” and while some of our larger lakes are just locking up, with the lack of snow on these newer freeze ups, the ice will actually catch up on these lakes.

Walleye:  Very Good-Good – Some action even as early as mid-afternoons as anglers working jigging spoons (Clam Flutter Spoons) finding good action.  Best still just before dark, but the mid-day action sign of active fish.  Biggest draw back has been winds this past week making fishing difficult at times.

Northern Pike:  Very Good-Good – Action during morning gets best using big chubs, suckers or shiners in relatively shallow water still (4-9’)

Bluegill:  Very Good-Good – Lots of action, but reports of sorting needed to get a decent bag.  In shallow water, classic lead jigs (Dot Tears, Darts) tipped with waxies all that’s needed in water of 4-8’.  Some anglers on smaller, deeper lakes using tungsten and spikes to get down in 20-25’ for some big Gills.

Yellow Perch:  Good-Fair – Some nice fish being picked up in shallow, cabbage flats of 5-9’. Most on horizontal profile jigs tipped with waxies.  Some minnow bites, but these fish not schooling tight, so bite scattered.

Crappie:  Fair – Had been better, mostly wind keeping anglers from slow dropping rockers with plastics.

Biggest thing holding anglers back was wind over weekend.  Snow (which we didn’t need yet) wasn’t bad and wind actually kept some off lake.  Cold this week will help build ice. Temps for weekend forecasted to be highs in low 20’s should be just right to continue ice build, yet be “workable” for early ice anglers to get out.

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:

Over weekend perch fishing was slower due to dirty water most action that did happen was from 92 nd st up to 95th and past that even water was a little cleaner ther guys in boats did better cause they moved around a lot xl fatheads and baby golden roaches did best

Once water gets back to normal after all this rain steelhead in creeks will be going good lots of fish have came in the last couple weeks

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

Proprietor Phil Schuman at Tackle Haven in Benton Harbor said some whitefish are being caught on “good eggs,” which he defined as “fresh eggs done right.” Otherwise, there’s been a few steelhead off the pier and from shore; the river is dirtied.

ST. JOSEPH RIVER, INDIANA

Click here for reports from the Indiana DNR.

SHABBONA LAKE

Lakeside–(815) 824-2581–is closed for the season (reopening when ice fishing comes).

Park hours are 8 a.m.- 5 p.m. through Jan. 31.

SOUTHEAST WISCONSIN LAKEFRONT

For the Wisconsin DNR’s Lake Michigan Fishing Report, 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

No update.

WOLF LAKE

No update.

WOLF RIVER, WISCONSIN

No update.