It’s fall big fish time, as this photo of a largemouth caught by Don Letrich shows in this report:
Last Thursday my friend Joe Shury and me caught an enormous Large mouth Bass in Channel Lake Il. At 9:30 am fishing in a Channel lake fish crib the monster hit a Yum Blue Wooly Bug with a yellow jig head…fought like hell. Hope I sent the picture the right way! she was released unharmed didn’t weight her but she was over 7 lbs.
This is the extended online Midwest Fishing Report, which appears in the Sun-Times on Wednesdays. Normally, I will try to have the MFR posted by Wednesday morning.
If you have suggestions, post in the comments section or let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Primary sources: Kolar Bait and Henry’s Sports, Bait & Marine
Crappie fishing is improving throughout, and Tuesday’s cold rain should only help. Mik-Lurch reports some decent crappie in 13 feet at Monee Reservoir.
TROUT NOTE: Fall trout opens Oct. 18 statewide. In Cook, Axehead, Belleau and Horsetail will be stocked. In DuPage, Silver, Deep Quarry and Grove will be stocked. The three DuPage lakes will be closed to all fishing from today until trout opens. All other lakes stocked with trout are closed to trout fishing until the opener. Other stocked lakes in the area: Bird Park Quarry (Kankakee County); Big Lake at Silver Springs SP (Kendall), Banana and Sand lake (Lake).
The complete listing for state stockings is at the bottom.
For an overview of nearby river conditions, go to this NWS site.
BIG GREEN LAKE, WISCONSIN
Primary source: Guide Mike Norton.
Go to www.biggreenlakefishing.com, then click on fishing, then lake report.
CHAIN O’LAKES AREA
Primary sources: Triangle Sports & Marine or Capt. Darrell Baker
Baker simply texted “fall fry feeding frenzy is on” on Monday. He said all species are good. As Letrich’s largemouth showed.
Arden Katz reported very good crappie and white bass in 12-15 feet with minnows on Marie and Bluff. If there’s wind, he drifts; otherwise, he slow trolls. He’s also picking up perch.
More Chain info at www.foxwaterway.state.il.us.
COOLING LAKES/STRIP PITS
Closing time is 6:30 p.m. until the last day of fishing on Tuesday, Oct. 14. Monster Lake in the south unit remains open for fishing year-round..
Last day of fishing is Wednesday, Oct. 15.
Closed to fishing.
DELAVAN LAKE, WISCONSIN
Primary source: Guide Dave Duwe
Change comes to Delavan.
Fishing in the early part of the week was pretty good. At the end of the week, the first big cold front came through. It appeared to me that the lake was beginning to turnover which shut the fish down. Some pike are being caught on large suckers fished on a Lindy rig. Success has been inconsistent. Some of the fish have been very large but there just aren’t that many of them. The best location is by the weed line by the gray condos or east of Willow Point. Walleye fishing has also been hit of miss. A few fish are being caught while trolling crankbaits or on jigging spoons. The best depth is 22-25 ft of water. Look for the fish by the Oriental boat house or by Browns Channel. The crankbaits I’ve been using are Bandit 300 series in pearl or fire tiger. The jigging spoons are medium sized Swedish pimples in pearl or nickel. Largemouth bass are scattered along the weed line in 12-15 ft of water. Crankbaits or split shot rigged nightcrawlers are producing most of the action. The best locations are west of the Yacht club point or by the Village Supper Club. Bluegills are in the 12-15 ft weed flats. The best location is by the weed flat by the gray condos, Assembly Park or the Township Park. Most of the success is coming off of leaf worms or wax worms fished on a slip bobber.
Lake remains 6 feet above normal pool and in the 70s, according to the Army Corps. Crappie are best bite, but most species are good. Muskies are back in coves. For white bass, look for gulls or shad busting surface.
For latest, call (217) 774-2020.
Site bigwig Mike Steffa sent this fishing report Tuesday:
Crappie and saugeye biting good. Reports from fishermen of decent numbers and some decent sized crappie and saugeye. Most are reporting crappies are in tight to shoreline and are biting on jig or jig/minnow combo. Saugeye are biting on jig/crawler or jig/minnow combo and are coming off of mouths of coves and around Swimming Beach and Big Flats. The catfish seemed to have slowed down somewhat, but a few are still being caught around the Pumphouse and Boat Rental. Bass are slow to fair with some catches in coves around structure on plastics or spinnerbaits. Reports are some muskie are following baits, but not many takers.
If there are updates, they are posted here.
Bowfishing is closed until Jan. 19.
Boat fishing ends Oct. 17; bank fishing on Oct. 24. Bank fishing reopens on Dec. 24, the day after central zone waterfowl closes.
FOX RIVER: WESTERN SUBURBS
Primary sources: Kolar Bait and wading guide Ken Gortowski
Gortowski has a more extended entry at http://www.wadauwant.com/wd_journal/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=195.
Otherwise, here is his wisdom:
Missed quite a few fish, especially out of the river. Starting to feel self-conscious about this stuff. I don’t get out any where near as much as I used to. And yet, I’ll have an occasional bad day, but it’s rare. I still think, with this stable weather for the week and the river continuing to come down, there’s some good fishing to be had on the Fox. Nobody has reported white bass at North Aurora and they should be in there. I guess I may have to get my daughter out there and see what we can do. Based on what I’ve been reading, a few will agree with me that things are pretty good. But it sure looks like others may argue that fact. I just may have to get out there for a couple of hours to prove myself right again.
GENEVA LAKE, WISCONSIN
Primary source: Duwe
With autumn in the air and the cooler temperatures fishing has slowed down a bit this week. The best bite remains smallmouth bass and the Northern Pike, nothing else is really biting. The numbers have declined over the past few weeks but with the cooler water the bass will come in shallow and be easier to catch. Smallmouth bass have been sporadic. The best depth is 18-23 ft. The best approach has been drop shotting 4 inch finesse worms or lindy rigging nightcrawlers. I am also catching a few on lindy rigged yellow perch. Good locations include west of Linn Pier or by Maytag Point. Yellow perch are in the shallows in 8-10 ft of water. They are biting on small fathead minnows or nightcrawlers pieces. A lot of success is coming off of slip bobbers or fishing straight lined beneath the boat. The only problem with the perch is that the average size is about 5 inches. It has been a struggle to catch a decent sized bag. Northern pike are being caught while trolling crankbaits on the weed flats in 12-15 ft of water. Good locations are Trinkes Bay or Williams Bay. I prefer trolling between 1 mph and 2 mph. It seems that I get more reaction bites going slightly faster. The biggest fish caught last week that I heard about was around 34 inches. Rock Bass and Bluegills are being caught in 12 ft of water. Good locations are Geneva Bay and Knollwood. I prefer to use leaf worms or wax worms on a split shot rig. There are plenty of fish available but you will have to do some sorting.
ILLINOIS RIVER: STARVED ROCK AREA
Primary source: Guide Buster Culjan or Cajun’s Bait
River is clean and normal with launches fine. Cajun’s reported white bass decent for boaters up and down the river, blade baits are working, but with cooler weather minnows should soon be the choice. Shore fishermen are taking drum on crawlers.
Primary sources: Ed Mullady, “Catfish” Dave Bradigan
River is in good fall shape, Tuesday’s touch of rain should only help.
Mullady has a good piece of advice with waterfowl seasons starting soon:
It is suggested that anyone fishing different areas with hunting to check with the headquarters of these places to be sure fishing is allowed, and when! In Indiana: Point, north of English Lake: Catfish good along shorelines creek mouths. Good on *minnows *chicken liver *nightcrawlers. Croppie good in this area on *jig and minnow *small Mepps Spinners. Pike good along the Kankakee in both IN and IL at ditch and creek mouths on *large minnows *Dr. Spoons *Mepps #5 Spinners. In Illinois: Momence and Aroma Park area good on *smallmouth bass around islands *shore lines. *Station St., Kankakee through Sawmill Creek and Kankakee State Park *Wilmington Area. Good on *jig and Twister tails *fly rod streamers *live minnows *Slab buster Spinners. Some walleye caught through Kankakee State Park Area on *minnows *crawlers *crankbaits.
Primary source: Harborside Bait & Tackle and Capt. Bob Poteshman
Harborside reported browns up to 18 pounds are being taken in the harbor on small things like white tubes, waxies or crawlers on the bottom. There’s a few kings in the harbor, and in the creek, which was closed as of midday Tuesday before the rain. The rain may finally trigger a major bite.
LAKE ERIE: PORT CLINTON
Primary source: Rickard’s and Ohio DNR
Rickard’s said when winds allow 6 miles out of Huron has been good for walleye, otherwise it is fair. Perch are spotty because of the weather.
For Ohio DNR report go to wildohio.com and or call (888) HOOKFISH.
The season opened Oct. 1 and action has been decent. Snagging for coho and chinook is permitted only at Waukegan’s north harbor basin, Winnetka power plant discharge area, Lincoln Park lagoon from Fullerton bridge south and Jackson Park’s inner and outer harbors. No snagging is permitted within 200 feet of a moored boat or where otherwise posted.
Primary sources: Henry’s Sports, Bait & Marine, Park Bait, Capt. Bill Kelly and Capt. Bob Poteshman
The most interesting news is the two pike reported on Monday from North Side harbors, one was caught at Belmont. Another was weighed at 8 pounds at Park Bait.
Shore fishermen had a tough day Tuesday for salmon. The hot spot for salmon in Chicago has been 63rd, according to Mik-Lurch. Perch are slow. Kelly reported fair catches for boaters east of the wreck for mixed bag of smaller fish in 80-115 feet; around 80 feet at the R4 and for lakers in 150 feet east of the R4.
Primary source: Salmon Stop
The Salmon Stop reported some steelhead (spawn or shrimp) and salmon (glow spoons or crankbaits) from the piers. When weather allows, there’s perch (takes sorting) in 45-50 feet off Lake Bluff and Lake Forest. Kelly reported decent lakers on Julian’s Reef.
Primary sources: Eagle River Sports, Pastika’s and Minocqua guide Kurt Justice
Three straight nights of frost has driven most lakes temps past the turn over point. On average surface temps running 49 degrees ( flowages) 54 to 57 degrees (larger lakes). A few lakes still showing signs of algae blooms. But still clearing. Musky–Very Good. Cold snap has triggered sucker bite. On clear lakes use plain quick set rigs. On dark lakes cloudy days or windy use quick set with spinners for flash. Twitch baits still working well over weed tops. Reports of good jerk-bait action (suicks,smitys). Gliders also connecting on fish. Northern Pike–Very Good. Cold has helped this also. Small to medium sized twitch baits (Cranes,Grandmas). Husky Jerks, X-raps. Large chubs and 5-6″ suckers on jigs with wide gapped hooks along 6-10′ weed edges. Largemouth Bass–Good. Bass hunkering down into heavy weeds. Plunging wooly bugs. Jig & pig combos best bet for enticing this species. Fish plastics SLOW. Smallmouth Bass–Good. Rock humps holding fish. Chubs,suckers on lindy rigs, jigs. Drop-shotting 2-3″ power minnows also effective. Crappies–Fair. action slowed from last week. Best bite around drowned wood. Some deep 17-20′ weed bases. Walleye– Fair- Good. Day bite slowed best action at dusk after dark. Fat head minnows, Redtailed Chubs . Glow jigs or lighted slip-bobbers. Perch–Fair-Few reports Bluegill–Poor -No reports Concerns for turn-over almost over. Slow moving lures(stop pause type) and live bait best. Rain during early part of the week will keep some anglers at home. Saturday-Sunday should be very good For sucker fishing.
Primary sources: Mik-Lurch Tackle Outlet, Capt. Chuck Weis and Capt. Ralph Steiger
Mik-Lurch reported best bite is kings and coho in the creeks (spinners in pink have been hot). Limited kings on the big lake, a few at Hammond, Pastrick and Amoco. Browns stocked in Whiting are coming back. Whiting Gun Club has been one of the best spots.
Over the weekend, Weis caught some keeper perch. Some keeper perch from shore. Perch fishing should keep improving.
At Wolf Lake, crappie are staging at the mouth of the corn channel.
The last day of boat fishing at Willow Slough is Thursday, Oct. 9.
Primary sources: TJ’s Bait/Tackle & Canoe Rental
From Jan Prose at TJ’s:
I’ve had a few customers report that the Walleye are really coming on. A lot of small ones, and presently few keeper size except that occasional ‘catch’. Someone caught a 30″ walleye at the dam on the west side with jig/twister tail and minnow about 2 weeks ago. He is having it mounted. Wish I could get a picture! Catfish are biting on liver, and fathead minnows are bringing in some big ones. Flathead are still being caught with large suckers. One customer ran lines 3 nights last week and biggest was 45# and several in the 25# range. I think we’re going to have a good fall ‘bite’.
ST. JOSEPH AREA, MICHIGAN
Primary sources: BJ Sports and Michigan DNR
BJ Sports reported most effort for kings and steelhead at Berrien Springs. Oslo spinners and spawn are good. For boaters, anything with gold has been working. Steelhead are reported as far up as Niles. Some coho off the piers. Walleye are improving at night in the river.
Primary sources: Lakeside and guide Jay Angel
Lakeside reported decent crappie down 7-9 feet around the fish cribs. The fall perch bite is starting on minnows or leaf worms along weed lines in 4-5 feet on the bottom. Water is cooled to 60, muskie should go good.
For more reports, click here.
WOLF RIVER, WISCONSIN:
Primary source: Guide Bill Stoeger
Stoeger said most fishermen are limiting on crappie (25) around brush piles or dock pilings. White bass are improving as the river cools toward 50.
CHICAGO AREA CHAT/REPORTS
CHICAGO AREA INFO
MICHIGAN DNR REPORT
WISCONSIN DNR REPORT
IOWA DNR REPORT
INDIANA DNR REPORT
FALL TROUT RELEASE
For Immediate Release October 2, 2008 Illinois Fall Trout Season Begins October 18 IDNR to stock trout at 37 locations SPRINGFIELD, IL – The 2008 Illinois fall trout fishing season opens on Saturday, Oct. 18 at 37 ponds and lakes throughout the state, Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) Acting Director Sam Flood announced today. Our catchable trout program is a popular activity and the fall is a great time of year to go fishing in Illinois, Flood said. Whether you are an experienced angler or you’re just interested in getting the kids out of the house to have some fun, we encourage you to go fishing. More than 70,000 trout are stocked by the IDNR at the locations listed below just prior to the opening of the fall trout season. Anglers are reminded that no trout may be taken from any of the stocked sites from Oct. 1 until the fall trout season opens on Oct. 18 at 5 a.m. To take trout legally beginning Oct. 18, anglers must have a 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. Anglers are reminded to check the opening time of their favorite trout fishing location if they plan to go fishing on opening day. While regulations allow trout season to open at 5 a.m. on Oct. 18, not all locations will be open that early. For more information on fall trout season and other Illinois fishing opportunities, contact the IDNR Division of Fisheries at 217/782-6424, or check the web site at www.ifishillinois.org. Illinois fishing licenses and inland trout stamps are available at DNR Direct license and permit locations, including many bait shops, sporting goods stores and other retail outlets. Fishing licenses and trout stamps can also be purchased by using a credit card at DNR Direct online via the IDNR website here or by calling DNR Direct toll-free at 1-888-6PERMIT (1-888-673-7648). A new location being stocked with fall trout is Derby Lake located at the World Shooting and Recreational Complex near Sparta in Randolph County. For more information about site regulations, anglers should contact individual sites that will be stocked with catchable-size trout. The 37 locations are: Adams County: Siloam Springs State Park, 217/894-6205 Bond County: Greenville Old City Lake (Patriot’s Park Lake), 618/664-2330 Bureau County: Hennepin Canal Parkway State Park, 815/454-2328 Christian County: Manners Park Pond in Taylorville, 217/824-3110 Coles County: Campus Pond at Eastern Illinois University, 217/345-2420 Cook County: Axehead Lake – Cook County Forest Preserve District, 847/294-4134 Cook County: Belleau Lake – Cook County Forest Preserve District, 847/294-4134 Crawford County: Crawford County Conservation Area Pond, 618/563-4405 Douglas County: Villa Grove West Lake, 217/443-0529 Jefferson County: Mount Vernon Game Farm Pond, 618/547-3610 Johnson County: Ferne Clyffe State Park, 618/995-2411 Kankakee County: Bird Park Quarry in Kankakee, 815/939-1311 Kendall County: Big Lake at Silver Springs State Park, 630/553-6297 Lake County: Banana Lake – Lake County Forest Preserve, 815/675-2319 Lake County: Sand Lake at Illinois Beach State Park, 847/662-4828 Macon County: Rock Springs Pond – Macon County Conservation District, 217/423-7708 Macoupin County: Beaver Dam Lake, 217/854-8020 Madison County: Highland Old City Lake, 618/651-1386 Marion County: Boston Pond at Stephen A. Forbes Park, 618/547-3381 Massac County: Fairgrounds Pond at Fort Massac State Park in Metropolis, 618/524-4712 McDonough County: Argyle Lake at Argyle Lake State Park, 309/776-3422 Randolph County: Randolph County State Fish and Wildlife Area Lake, 618/826-2706 Randolph County: Derby Lake at the World Shooting and Recreational Complex in Sparta, 618/295-2700 Rock Island County: Prospect Park Pond in Moline, 815/454-2759 St. Clair County: Frank Holten State Park Lake, 618/874-7920 St. Clair County: Jones Park Lake in East St. Louis, 618/847-7920 St. Clair County: Willow Lake at Peabody River King State Fish & Wildlife Area, 618/785-2555 Saline County: Jones Lake Trout Pond at Saline County State Fish & Wildlife Area, 618/276-4405 Sangamon County: IDOT Lake in Springfield, 309/543-3316 Sangamon County: Washington Park Pond in Springfield, 309/543-3316 Shelby County: Forest Park Lagoon in Shelbyville, 217/345-2420 Tazewell County: Mineral Springs Park Lagoon in Pekin, 309/968-7568 Vermilion County: Clear Lake at Kickapoo State Park, 217/442-4915 Wabash County: Beall Woods Lake at Beall Woods State Park, 618/298-2442 Warren County: Citizen’s Lake in Monmouth, 309/344-2617 Wayne County: Sam Dale Trout Pond at Sam Dale Lake Conservation Area, 618/835-2292 Whiteside County: Coleta Trout Pond just west of Coleta, 815/454-2759