Perch hopes, fall crappie, inland trout: Chicago fishing, Midwest Fishing Report
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Smatterings of perch reports and more crappie reports come for this sprawling raw-file Midwest Fishing Report.
And the inland trout program in Illinois just had its second weekend. Ramon Martin sent the photo above and this report:
Hi Dale,my name Ramon Martin Enclosed please find photo of 2 of 4 golden trout that I’ve caught in the last 3 days at Cook co. Forest preserve lake. I think they’re pretty cool looking. Didn’t even have to go out of state
And thanks to Tim Baker for beginning to contribute Delavan Lake and Des Plaines River reports.
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.
INLAND FALL TROUT
Click here for the statewide information on the fall inland trout season, which opened Oct. 20. Here are the nearby sites, including ones not included in the statewide release: Cook County (Axehead, Belleau, Busse North, Green, Horsetail, Sag Quarry East, Wolfe); DuPage (Silver, Pickerell, Grove); Kankakee (Bird Park Quarry, Rock Creek); Kendall (Big Lake at Silver Springs SFWA); Lake (Sand Lake at Illinois Beach SP, Banana); McHenry (Spring Grove Hatchery Pond); Will (Lake Strini, Van Horn Woods).
Here are the important details from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources:
All anglers . . . 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. The daily catch limit for each angler is five trout.
Staff at Henry’s Sports and Bait said crappie are OK at the forest preserves.
Ken “Husker” O’Malley sent this:
Hey Dale,Here is a recap of this past week’s fishing.Area lakes- focus on outside weedlines for most consistent bite. Makki plastics under a slip float will take a mixed bag of crappie and bluegill. An occasional small bass can taken as well.TTYL—Ken “Husker” O’Malley
Waterwerks fishing team
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
Closed for the year.
Art Frisell at Triangle Sports and Marine said the water level is low, but navigation is possible, but use caution; white and yellow bass continue fair around main lake points in 8 feet; crappie are fair, but scattered with drawdown and cooling waters, look around current areas; try for walleye around main-lake points in 6-15 feet; muskie are fair.
Check updates at Fox Waterway Agency or (847) 587-8540 for more information.
STRATTON LOCK AND DAM: On Thursday, Nov. 1, the lock is closed for the season through April 30. It is open daily 8 a.m.-8 p.m. through Wednesday, October 31. Click here for more info on the lock and dam.
Capt. Pat Harrison at Pat Harrison Outdoors sent this:
Chicago River and Lake Michigan Report,
Another week of up and down weather in the books. Fished a few trips last week with the front half of the top up on the boat, kept us a little drier and warmer when we were moving. Still haven’t found the Crappie and the Perch haven’t moved in that I have seen. Gills and Largemouth Bass seem to be the bite right now and the Bass are from about 10” to about 17’ and a number of the Gills are 8 ½ “ plus.
Need a few days of stable weather in a row to start the change. Surface temps are still a bit up 52 degrees on the low, 55/56 on the high. I like to 48 degrees seems like that’s the turn on point for the river. Haven’t been out on the lake been a bit rough. I hope this coming week is a bit drier calmer and stable.
I have been using the time to get organized on the boat and in the fishing room. Took all the reels off my Grandt Rods washed the handles and blanks cleaned and checked the all the eyes with Qtips all are still in great shape. Restrung all the reels with 10 pound Trilene XL. I like using mono because it has a bit of stretch and low memory. My Grandt Rods are in there 5th season with no issues and my clients really like the feel of the All American series they have held up well.
Hope Everyone gets out and catches a few fish, days are getting shorter and colder, Good Luck have a Great week.
Thanks Capt. Pat
DELAVAN LAKE, WISCONSIN
Tim Baker sent this:
Yep! Here are my week one reports!
Lake Delavan Report
Lake Delavan water temperatures continue to drop with surface temperatures reports in the low fifties to high forties this week. Most anglers are reporting moderate success with both Walleye and Panfish. Drift fishing along the deep weed lines seems to be the ticket for Walleye and anglers are finding Perched mixed in as well. Effective methods have been slip bobbers, lindy rigs, and snap jigging. Live bait seems to be the best option but keeping a reaction bait handy is never a bad move. Crappie action continues to improve as fish fall into their wintering patterns with fish being found both shallow while relating to docks and stumps or suspended out deep on the main lake basin.. . .Thanks again!
DES PLAINES RIVER
Tim Baker sent this:
Yep! Here are my week one reports!
. . .Des Plaines River Report
The River remains high and muddy in the south suburbs but the few anglers I’ve talked to have been catching fish. Pike are active and can be caught using spoons, spinnerbaits or crankbaits and also live bait. As the the cold continues to settle in you’ll notice local rivers becoming much more clear so adjusting your bait choice in clearer, cooler water is a good approach.
Local anglers are catching Des Plaines Crappies along brush piles in the south Suburbs. Live minnows or small plastics under a float seem to be the best method but a jigging technique will work as well. Finding the Des Plaines River Crappies is not always easy but when you find some, they’ll be BIG. As the weather cools, the river bite will continue to heat up. Always practice safety! Fish with a friend or leave a note with your trip plans and expected return time!Thanks again!
Larry Dozard of Larry’s Fishing Hole sent this update on closures and fall/winter hours at some Downstate sites:
* 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 seasonCLINTON 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. 31stDOUBLE T STATE FISH and WILDLIFE AREA:* THIS LAKE IS CLOSED TO FISHING – From Oct. 1st till Feb. 1stEMIQUON 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 BAYIS 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. 31PRAIRIE 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. 15thRICE 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, 2018SPRING 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
FOX RIVER, WISCONSIN
GENEVA LAKE, WISCONSIN
I could use somebody to give winter reports.
GREEN BAY/STURGEON BAY
Ed Bohn texted the photo above of Mike Nega and this message Friday evening:
Mike Nega and I hit the water today in southern Door County, Green Bay… out at 1:30 until 5… smashed the mother load… tournament amongst ourselves… Mike boated 4 and I managed a fifth fish at three lbs. to seal him pouring me out first cocktail of the night… Both of us had a 6 and a 5 and a number of 4’s each… All on tubes and smallies moved to the winter bite… Nothing taken in less than 16′ All ridge runners
Closed for year.
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.
Larry Green sent the photo above.
Kyle Lund sent the fishing report below:
Hey Dale have a great fall fishing report from the Kank. The river is low and crystal clear with water temps in the mid to low 50’s. Have seen some really nice smallies being caught in 17 to 19in” range. I went out on the kayaks Thursday. Topwater,cranks, and chatter bait have not produced for me. Did get a few on a swim bait but the golden goose has been the ned rig. Thew the TRD into faster deep water and they were munching. The ones we caught were definitely grouped up in these areas. Caught up to 10 fish out of each location like this that we fished. Size was the only complaint I had. No big fish and only one was average. Did break off a decent one and the rest were all fairly small but when you can make 6 casts in a row and hook 6 smallies it’s a good day. The walleye bite has just started to ramp up as well. Finding them in the same areas the smallies are using but they are hanging closer to the seam of the current next to the flat that they will move in and feed on as the sun sinks. This bite should last a week or two. I like to throw a 1/8 oz jig and a paddle tail swim bait and just crawl it along just above the bottom. The classic jig and twister tail will work also. Fall fishing is in full swing even though the river is low and not the exact conditions most would prefer it should stay good for the next couple weeks.“The true angler can welcome even a low river and a dry year, and learn of it, and be the better for it, in mind and in spirit.“ G.M.W. Wemyss
I am getting to enjoy the closing quotes from Lund, who also sent the photo below and the following note:
Keegan Tofte was excited to land this nice kankakee river bronze back
Click here to see the Wisconsin DNR’s Lake Michigan Fishing Report. It generally comes out Tuesday.
A smattering of perch reports. I suspect it will be another week or two before the true start of perch fishing on the Chicago lakefront, but some are trying. Staff at Henry’s Sports and Bait said there are some salmon and trout around the harbors.
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)
Closed to fishing.
MADISON CHAIN, WISCONSIN
Closed to fishing, except for Monster Lake at Mazonia South, which is open year-round to fishing.
MENOMINEE RIVER, WISCONSIN
Mike Mladeik at Mike Mladenik Guide Service emailed last week about a 22-smallmouth and added:
The Late October bite on the Menominee River means Big Smallmouth and swimbaits are my go to bait!
My favorite is the Case Lil Magic Swim!
The smallmouth are stacked up big time.
Also an excellent time for big pike and walleye.
I still have open dates!
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:
Weather wise, the last weekend of October felt like mid-October and not like the early December feel of the week prior. Unfortunately, despite milder weather, anglers seem to have given up on the open water season for the most part. Surface temps actually rose a couple of degrees on average (43-45 degrees), though coming weather will probably drop them again.
Musky: Very Good-Good – During the week action best on suckers, not as much activity, but good enough for the higher rating. By weekend fishing slowed some, still moving fish and some takers on suckers, glide baits. Note: with colder water expect a lighter sucker bite (by feel), cold water/cold fish, slower, more deliberate bites, the “rush” doesn’t seem to be there, get a good “angle” before hook set.
Walleye: Fair-Good – A few more reports as conditions were easier to take (a lot less wind). Slow jigging and Lindy rigging. Large fatheads for most lakes. Walleye suckers for larger, deeper fish.
Few reports for other species.
With lows in upper 20’s and highs in lower 40’s, shorter sunlight, expect lakes to slowly continue to cool. Pond had skim ice last week, but gone now. Fishing pressure light. Most public piers have been removed, so bring knee high boots for launching.
Capt. Rich Sleziak at Slez’s Bait in Lake Station, Ind. texted:
Laker fishing will just keep getting better as water temp goes downPerch fisherman starting to try cal park area when weather allows xl fatheads best bait it will only get better
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 there’s a few kings at Berrien Springs and a few steelhead in the river.
ST. JOSEPH RIVER, INDIANA
Click here for reports from the Indiana DNR.
Staff at Lakeside said muskie (thick fish) picked up, including three this week, best has been trolling; crappie are hitting in either the trees or cribs, better ones are deep as 20 feet. Lakeside–(815) 824-2581–goes to 8 a.m.-4 p.m. on Thursday, and will be open at least through Saturday. Boat rentals are by appointment only in November.
On Thursday, Nov. 1, park hours go to are 8 a.m.- 5 p.m. and stay that way through Jan. 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
Deadline to buy sturgeon-spearing permits is Wednesday, Oct. 31. Click here for details.
Check with River’s Edge.
Rob Abouchar sent the photo above and this report:
Hi DaleThe Northwoods action continues but is slowly winding down. Water temps around 40 degrees throughout the river system indicate full turnover. Most anglers floating suckers for Muskies. My Friend Roy Coackley and his son stayed at my place in Merrill earlier this week and had a big muskie on a sucker that they lost after a 15 minute battle. I returned over the weekend with Joe Schatz and the bite was very slow with an east wind and another cool front. I had one boatside strike by a muskie on a crankbait in crawfish pattern. The only other bites were two beautiful smallmouth bass on a silver and black X-Rap. The big possums were really walking late as the Smallie was one of my biggest from the river this year. Only another trip or two and we bring the boat home for the season. Also the eagle sightings were spectacular with two adult pairs seen soaring over the flowage throughout the day.Tight LinesRob
Trout fishing remains the top effort, but some are trying for crappie, too.
WOLF RIVER, WISCONSIN