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Waiting on perch, fall trout opener: Chicago fishing, Midwest Fishing Report

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Laura Albright with a big walleye from Busse Lake.
Provided

Waiting on perch to come in good (probably another couple weeks) and the opening of fall trout lead this sprawling raw-file Midwest Fishing Report.

Another fall bite is for walleye, such as the one caught by Laura Albright of Chicago from Busse. The 24-1/2-inch walleye weighed  6 pounds, 4 ounces.

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

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Opening-day trout.
Provided

Illinois’ fall trout season opened Saturday. Click here for the statewide information.

Bob France sent the photo above and this report:

I got 5 on minnows. My buddy got 5 on silver rooster tail
Forest preserve rainbow trout at pickerel/pratts wayne

Ken Gortowski, yes, Ken Gortowski, sent this:

Speaking of Silver Springs, stopped there about 3:30 today and the trout guys were quickly limiting out.

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Wolf Lake trout.
Provided

BoRabb Williams sent the photo above of a day of successful trout fishing at Wolf Lake.

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:

No trout may be taken from any of the stocked sites from Oct. 1 until the fall trout season opens at 5 a.m. on Oct. 20. Anyone attempting to take (harvest) trout before the legal harvest season opening will be issued citations.

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. The daily catch limit for each angler is five trout.

AREA LAKES

BoRabb Williams messaged:

Dale Bowman…. still searching for crappie hot spots…. nothing but pee wee’s… it’s coming though…lol … we started in Cedar Lake Indiana….to Lemon lake… to Wolf Lake for rainbow trout.

Looking at the extended forecast for the weather to remain cool for a long stretch, I think Williams’ “it’s coming though” is absolutely right.

Staff at Henry’s Sports and Bait said crappie are picking up in the forest preserves and at Marquette lagoon.

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 bass during midday hours. Best bite has been on sunny days working lipless crankbaits or a TRD. Working the baits just over the top of the weeds is key.
TTYL
Ken “Husker” O’Malley
Husker Outdoors
Waterwerks fishing team

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

BRAIDWOOD LAKE

Closed for the year.

CALUMET SYSTEM

No update.

CHAIN O’LAKES

Arden Katz said white and yellow bass are excellent with crappie and some walleye mixed mixed in in 15-20 feet, best is rip-jigging a drop-shot sort of rig with minnows on a No. 8 hook while trolling or drifting at 1/2 to 3/4 mph.

Art Frisell at Triangle Sports and Marine said crappie remain good on glow jigs with small fatheads or spikes; the other good bite is white and yellow bass near main lake points in deep water, best on small fatheads or small crankbaits, spikes or worms; walleye are fair, some good fish, try large fatheads or small to medium roaches, Marie best; muskie are fair on small to medium suckers.

Last of the boating restrictions were lifted Monday and water is being dropped quickly on the Chain. Check updates at Fox Waterway Agency or (847) 587-8540 for more information.

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

Capt. Pat Harrison at Pat Harrison Outdoors sent this:

Chicago River and Lake Michigan Report,

The water temps are coming down but the wind rain and weather are no fun.  Surface temp on the Lake was 57/58 the river is holding a bit at 56 degrees. Fishing was a bit tough for the few trips a lot of small fish then a decent one seemed to be the routine for the week.  We are slowing down our presentation and keeping the baits near the bottom.  I drop a thermometer to the bottom on the river and there is usually about a 4 0r 5 degree difference in temperature.

When we catch fish I make sure to hold them long enough to feel warm cool cold etc. it gives me an idea where they are in the water column. For Gills I will sometimes put a tag line and hook on about 3 ft. up from the jig to cover an area better which helps a lot. The bite did slow down a bit with our weather but things will pick back up if we get stable weather for a few days. I am not finding Crappie yet but they will show up.

Friday I spent the afternoon at The Chicago Fishing Day at Wolf Point. From 3 to 6 pm Friends of the Chicago River and the Chicago Park District had rods reels and bait available for anyone that wanted to try fishing the river and a License wasn’t needed. The weather wasn’t the Best but a lot of Kids and Adults came out to give the River a Try a lot of fish were caught and a lot of smiles were seen. Carl from the Chicago park District said this event is growing every year. I am going to do what I can to get more involved with these Groups with the River Events. I was humbled that so many people knew who I was  and said they follow the happenings on the River.

 I am in my 5th season and looking forward to more, I do fish the River through the winter as long as we don’t get a freeze if we do I wait it out and go fishing again. Show season will be here soon too and I will be at all the local shows stop by lets talk Chicago River Fishing. Last Note My G3 Angler 19 is for sale I am going into an Angler 21 for next season.

Thanks Capt. Pat

DELAVAN LAKE, WISCONSIN

I could use somebody for winter reports.

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

Pete Lamar sent this:

Hi Dale,

I went out to a Fox trib on Saturday afternoon.  As there are several access points within a short drive, I’d planned on making a few casts at each spot and then moving to the next.  But the action was so good at the first stop that I never moved:  mostly rock bass, including some large ones;  a crappie approaching a foot in length; a 16 inch smallmouth, which is what I was really after.  All fish were caught on a marabou leech.  Air temperatures were in the mid-30s that day with high winds.  Usually on these creeks it’s a case of find-rocks-find-smallmouths, but that wasn’t the case on Saturday.  All species were caught from deep slow water with more of a muck bottom (dark bottom attracts sunlight and is warmer than the shallow areas?).  Fishing could be good for another month or more.

Pete

I think Lamar’s “Fishing could be good for another month or more” holds for most of our rivers.

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 afternoon fellas

The fishing reports are a bit limited due to the strong winds we have had for the past 3 weeks, but I will give you what I got

Perch fishing has been going very good so far this fall and I anticipate it to keep going good as long as the wind allows you to get out there.  Areas to try include…Little Sturgeon,  Riley’s Bay, Sawyer Harbor, the Flats along with the Sturgeon Bay ship channel.  Fathead minnows have been and will be the best live bait to have in the boat

Pike fishing is also going very good and that will continue to stay good and even get better right through the ice fishing season.  Casting and trolling large crank baits, spoons, spinner baits and plastics all good options along with dragging around big sucker minnows.  Areas to target include…Right in downtown Sturgeon Bay, Sawyer Harbor and both Little Sturgeon and Riley’s Bay all good areas to target

The 4 year old Salmon run is pretty much at the end, but there are still some in the Lake Michigan tributaries and in the marinas you can target.  Along with the salmon, the Brown Trout are also starting to hang around the harbors during their spawn so there is another option.  Casting spoons and plugs along with soaking spawn all good options

The night Walleye bite is starting to get rolling in the Door County peninsula as it usually does this time of year.  Generally concentration your efforts over the tops of reefs and steeper, primary shoreline drop offs is a good place to start.  Trolling with large suspending crank baits is a very good method

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.

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

. . .
Steelhead with some coho in trail creek spawn saks best bait slow fall salmon run here in creeks is trickled down with the amount of people going
. . .
Please post slezs bait is now on late fall winter hours now 5 am to 5 pm everyday rain shine or snow we are here

KANKAKEE RIVER

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Kankakee River smallmouth.
Provided by Chad Rauch

Chad Rauch had a good run last week, including the photo above of an 18-incher smallmouth and followed this note on Wednesday, which has a nod toward the phrasing favored by the late Norm Minas:

They’re still banging. 20 fish this morning, 10”-17” lost what would have been my PB prolly pushing 22”

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

The wait is on for perch to come in good. Salmon are slow.

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

Check updates from D & S Bait on Facebook.

MAZONIA

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

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

VILAS COUNTY: Christian Howe sent this update:

Here’s hoping the fish cooperate for me in between the fall duties.  Reports from the local guides have musky finally going for suckers and some bucktails.  Walleye taking redtails and xl fatheads on outside weed edges on 1/8-1/16 jigs. Crawlers still taking some perch and gils. Some walleye being taken over shallow weeds or wind swept shores in  6-10’ on #11 rapalas in blue and yellow, some days rattled work better.  Crappie are fair on jigs and Minnows when you can find them.  

MINOCQUA:  Kurt Justice of Kurt’s Island Sport Shop sent this:

Rough week of weather for anglers this past week.  Temps in the 20’s and high winds made targeting most species pretty tough. 

It is October (though it feels like November), so Musky is what is on most angler’s minds. Those willing to brave the elements had good things to show for their efforts.

Musky:  Good – Participation was down, but good reports from anglers who ventured out. Guide Jake Smith had a nine fish day, mostly on suckers, but jerk baits also working.  Similar reports from the few and the brave.

Walleye:  Fair – Weekend conditions not favoring Walleye anglers due to boat control issues with winds gusting in the 30’s on Fri/Sat.  When able to fish, the deeper lakes producing in 28-40’ using #7 & #9 jigging raps, Lindy rigs or 3/8-1/2 oz jigs and chubs, suckers or even crawlers.

Crappies:  Fair-Poor – Tough conditions, the cooling water temps also seem to have slowed the bite for now.

Northern Pike:  Good – While not being targeted much, some nice Pike in the mid 30” range being caught by Musky anglers

It’s been a cold October so far, water surface temps are in the low to mid 40’s.  Fish, being cold blooded, feeling the affects as presentations need to slow down.  Forecast with highs in the 40’s and lows in the upper 20’s to low 30’s will only keep temps low.

As long as winds stay down, fishing for late fall targets (Musky, Walleye) should remain good.

Kurt Justice

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:

Crappie action getting better everyday as water cools in the rivers near me burns ditch and deep river minnows or jigs tipped with beemoth

Steelhead with some coho in trail creek spawn saks best bait slow fall salmon run here in creeks is trickled down with the amount of people going
Some lake trout have showed up already around Michigan city lighthouse area casting a variety of crankbaits spoons and blade baits all taking a few fish
Please post slezs bait is now on late fall winter hours now 5 am to 5 pm everyday rain shine or snow we are 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

Phil Schuman at Tackle Haven in Benton Harbor said that steelhead are coming into river; wind/waves have been keeping fishermen off piers. He said there is also good action on the Kalamazoo near Allegan.

ST. JOSEPH RIVER, INDIANA

Click here for reports from the Indiana DNR.

SHABBONA LAKE

Staff at Lakeside said few have been out with the winds; the few who have been out are trying for crappie or muskie. Water cooled to 50.

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

Deadline to buy sturgeon-spearing permits is Oct. 31. Click here for details.

WISCONSIN DELLS

Check with River’s Edge.

WISCONSIN RIVER

No update.

WOLF LAKE

Trout fishing is the top bite, but some trying for crappie, too.

WOLF RIVER, WISCONSIN

Guide Bill Stoeger  said walleye are doing good, mostly on river rigs, though some are drifting and jigging, Fremont and north is best; water cooled quickly to 41 and white bass scattered.