Midwest Fishing Report: Holiday options

SHARE Midwest Fishing Report: Holiday options

It looks like it could be one of the better holiday weekends for fishing-stable weather, decent weather, passable river conditions–in quite awhile around Chicago outdoors. As usual before holiday weekends, I did a longer version of the Midwest Fishing Report.

The extended online version of the MFR, which appears in the Sun-Times on Wednesdays, is usually posted here by Wednesday morning.

If you have suggestions, post in the comments section or let me know at outdoordb@sbcglobal.net.

I am leading with perch on the Chicago lakefront, but it should be a good weekend for local ponds and lakes and especially the Mazonia lakes.


As Mike Repa at Park Bait put it, “You can walk on them. They ain’t biting all the time, but you can see them down there–every size you want. Some guys, who know what they are doing, [are catching limits].” So, naturally, I asked him what those guys catching limits were doing. He said the key at Montrose is minnows and Paddle Bugs. And the other keys are moving around to find fish, and I would throw in using lighter line. Steve Palmisano at Henry’s said there some at 31st, 39th, Planetarium and even inside of Monroe harbor, but most are still being taken on the rocks and jetties on the outside. He said the biggest perch weighed in for Richard J. Daley Memorial Fishing Tournament is still the 1.5-pounder caught last week at Montrose, but “there are pounders right behind.” Mike Starcevich of Mik-Lurch found a few in a boat near McCormick Place earlier this week. You would think the Navy Pier bite would go for boaters. Maybe it is just a matter of the holiday weekend putting boaters out trying and exploring.


Faithful reader Bill Lanham sent this:

It has been a spring that has left some of us wondering when and if some of our strip pit species will ever have their chance to recreate their species. Seems that every time a crappie or a bass or a redear sunfish takes the notion to come shallow and prepare for one of their life’s most destined moments, they get forced back out due to unfortunate weather changes. Well finally Dale, it has begun. We fished one lake in the South Unit yesterday and one lake in the North’s. They are all returning right now, even some crappie, to finally get their jobs done. Crappies, bass, bluegills and redear sunfish are all, together, getting at it. This week will be big.

I think he is right on it. I hit a couple weeks ago, but may put it on my agenda again.

Click here for site info.


Bluegill are heading toward the beds, largemouth are in or near post-spawn; those are the top two species for the holiday weekend at local forest preserves and ponds. I usually recommend trying the outside of weed edges because of shoreline fuss over the weekend, but I think timing is such that bluegill may be holding tight in bedding areas, fuss or no fuss.


For an overview of nearby river conditions, click here. I included individual river reports, despite some remaining high water.


For guide Mike Norton’s report, go to www.nortonsfishingandhuntingadventures.com, then click on fishing, then lake report.


Triangle Sports reported bluegill are the top bite, best on small worms shallow. Bass are mostly post-spawn, try plastics under the piers or on weed edges. For catfish, try shallow mud areas; water is warm enough to focus on stinkbait. For crappie, focus on shaded backwater areas. For walleye, fish the river, jigs and leeches are best. With the holiday, it is probably best to focus on early morning or the no-wake areas.

For more reports, see http://www.foxlakefishing.com/

More Chain info at www.foxwaterway.state.il.us.


HEIDECKE: Mike Lynch of Binksboat.com sent this:

Heidecke has been hit or miss. The water temps are in the upper 60s and the water is gin clear(not helping fishing). For the most part the walleye Have been very small but if your in the right place at the right time there is still a good shot at some nice fish. crappies are going strong all over the lake. Whites and hybrids have been the most consistent in 4-8 foot of water.

Guide Jay Angel sent this:

Walleye fishing is fair. Look for better fishing on windy days. Walleyes are being caught by anglers drifting live bait rigs through the deeper holes and on wind blown shorelines. Crappies are being caught by anglers drifting minnows through the deeper holes. Striper fishing has been slow. Again, Heidecke may be in my holiday plans.

LaSALLE: Catfish are OK, other action is fair. BRAIDWOOD: Catfish remain the best bite; bass are slow.


DELAVAN: Guide Dave Duwe sent this:

Delavan Lake 5/23/10 through 5/30/10 This is the worst fishing in May that I think I can ever remember on Delavan. I’m not sure if it’s the weather or the tremendous amount of fishing pressure but every trip has been a struggle. Crappies are in the weedlines in 12-15 ft of water. They aren’t really schooled very tight, I’ve been catching 2 or 3 from some of my good spots and then having to move to another spot. All of my success has been coming off of small purple or motor oil plastics fished on a 1/32 oz Arkie Jig. It’s good to see that there is a really nice age class of 12-13 inch crappies in the lake now. The best location is by Assembly Park or by Willow Point. Largemouth bass are still in the shallow water, 3-5 ft. However, it’s hard to get those little rascals to bite. Most of the fish I have caught have either been on nightcrawlers or a Texas rigged All Terrain Stik in green pumpkin color. I’ve been fishing the west end by the Highlands and Viewcrest. Hopefully with the warmer weather, the bass will really turn on. Northern Pike are in 15-18 ft of water. The fish I’ve been catching are on the weedlines. I’ve been using Lindy rigged suckers. My best location has been by the Delavan Marina or by Browns Channel. I have not caught a real good one yet. The best fish this year was around 30 inches. Bluegills are starting to spawn in 2-3 ft of water. On Sunday you could see them on beds throughout most of the shallow waters. Look for the sand bottoms with scattered weeds. The best bait is leaf worms fished on a small bobber. I’ve been fishing from Willow Point west in and around the boat docks. Walleye fishing has been slow, which is typical for this time of year. With the cooler water, they can be anywhere throughout the lake. To fish them successfully, you would need to use a slip bobber fished with a fathead minnow. Try for them in Browns Channel or Willow Point. Good luck and I hope to see you on the water. For guide parties, please call Dave Duwe at 608-883-2050

GENEVA: Duwe sent this:

Lake Geneva 5/23/10 through 5/30/10 Fishing on Geneva remains tough. With the warmer weather forecasted for the next week, fishing will improve greatly. Smallmouth bass are starting to move shallow in preparation for spawning. Sunday there was a bass tournament out on the lake and quite a few people were sight fishing for them. The best depth is 8-12 ft range. Most of the fishermen were throwing grubs or jigs at the fish. Live bait fishermen are catching most of the fish on nightcrawlers. Look for the fish at the Elgin Club, Maytag Point or Geneva Bay. Largemouth bass are in the shallow weeds. The best depth is 4-5 ft. The Abbey harbor or Geneva Bay have been producing most of the fish. All Terrain Stiks in green pumpkin or a split shot rigged Zoom lizard are both catching a lot of fish. Northern Pike action has been spotty, however they are available. Most of the action has been on split bobbered golden shiners or casting white spinner baits. The best depth of water is 8-12 ft on the weed flats. Look for them in Geneva Bay or Williams Bay. Bluegill fishing is starting to pick up with the warmer water. Shore fishermen are catching quite a few in Geneva Bay and Williams Bay. Most of the success is coming off of nightcrawlers and wax worms fished on a bobber. The best depth is 4-5 ft. Perch are still being caught also in the shallow water. 8-10 ft with scattered weeds is working well. Small fathead minnows fished on a slip bobber rig are producing most of the action. Look for the fish by Knollwood or by Belvidere Park. Good luck and I hope to see you on the water. For guide parties, please call Dave Duwe at 608-883-2050 Daily Reports 5/23/2010 – Lake Geneva, water temp 60 degrees, air temp 85 degrees and sunny, winds E at 5-10 mph. Caught 5 largemouth and 1 pike. A lot of the fish are starting to spawn. There were several fishermen sight fishing off the beds. Fished Geneva Bay. 5/22/2010 – Pewaukee Lake, water temp 62 degrees, glass calm, air temp 75 degrees. Fished the weedlines with double cowgirls, didn’t even have a follow. Worked a depth of 9 to 12 ft of water. Fished mostly the east end of the lake. 5/20/2010 – Delavan Lake, water temp 60 degrees, winds 10-15 mph out of the SE. Air temp 65 degrees with some clouds. This was the first trip that I had suckers along. We caught 4 northern pike, 2 largemouth and 12 crappies. We were fishing the weedline in 15 ft of water, casting into about 10 ft. The pike were caught on Lindy rigged suckers, the crappies were caught on purple plastics. 5/20/2010 – Delavan Lake, water temp 60 degrees, light winds out of the SE. Air temp 70 degrees. Caught 4 largemouth, 10-12 crappies and some pumpkin seeds. Fishing was really slow this a.m., with the warm weather and lack of winds, it should have been better. Everything was caught on nightcrawlers today. 5/19/2010 – Delavan Lake, water temp 60 degrees, E wind at 10-12 mph. Air temp 65 degrees. Caught 1 – 19 inch smallmouth, 3 small largemouth, and 15 crappies. The bass were caught on split shot rigged nightcrawlers. The crappie and smallmouth were caught on motor oil small plastics. The best location was by Belvidere Park.


From Andrew Ragas, Counsellor of the Fish Parliament www.fishing-headquarters.com:

May 24, 2010 With the warm weather followed by high humidity, practically everything in the river right now is in summer-mode. That means two or three things: 1) Focus on mid-river structure; 2) Locate the deeper pools with current; 3) Get out there early or late in the day. But it’s not as easy as it may seem. Since my last report two weeks ago, very few notable catches other than the occasional floating remains of humans have been made from the river. Sad, but true. This may have deterred some anglers from fishing the river and I cannot blame them. This may attribute to the lack of any fishing reports. For the most part, Northern Pike have been running on the small side, 15-20 inches, but the bigger fish are still around if you try early or late in the day. Bucktails, shallow running crankbaits, jig and plastic, and spinnerbaits have been scoring up some fish. As usual, the north stretches of river in Lake County have the small fish while larger ones and the chances for them increases the further south you go. Walleye and Sauger = None. Largemouth and Smallmouth Bass = Few reports of Bass are out there right now, but some anglers are catching fish up to 14-16 inches on spinnerbaits and crankbaits, and topwaters. For the most part, things are really slow out there right now. Look for deeper pools with current, laydowns, and the edges of weedbeds for any possible action. Channel Catfish have been active throughout the day as are Common Carp – especially in the shallows and flats. Practically everything working for Catfish while the Carp are there just sitting and waiting to be caught. Nothing much from the creeks. Fishing is tough right now but if it ever cools down, things should pick up once again. Water temperatures approaching 70-degrees, water is stained and dirty, and USGS at 1,000 in Riverside area with a gauge at 3.90. It’s barely wadeable, so use caution if you’re in the water.


SHELBYVILLE: Water is warming toward 70, and the lake is just under normal pool. Guide Ken Wilson–(217) 454-2672–out of Lithia Marina said walleye, white bass and crappie (still shallow) are the top bites. For info from the Corps, call (217) 774-2020. EVERGREEN: Site staff reported:

Fishing reports have been slow the last week. Crappie reports have been fair with most fish being caught away from the shore in 10-15 ft. of water. Saugeye fishing has been good the last week with many reports of fish being caught. Crawlers and Leeches have been working the best with the Saugeye. Bass reports remain fair, with many smaller ones being caught. Catfishing has been slow.

The boat rental and bait shop begin extended hours this weekend. Any updated fishing report will be posted here. SOUTHERN ILLINOIS: Guide Jason Johns reported just about everything doing well. Catfish are very good, flatheads coming shallow. I&M CANAL: Time on the Water Outdoors in Spring Valley reported some good catfish and decent bass. EMIQUON: Emiquon Preserve near Lewistown is open to fishing. Interested parties may request a permit and list of rules between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. at the Dickson Mounds Museum in Lewistown. There is no fee. No gas powered motors are permitted, and bank fishing is not allowed. For more, call (309) 547-2730. POWERTON: Summer hours–6 a.m.-8 p.m.–are in effect.


High water has made it tough, but Frank Macikas started getting out the last week and sent this:

5/18 Got out for about an hour or two after work today. Fished at 111th in Naperville/Bolingbrook. I wasn’t really expecting to get much it was more to check out the conditions to get an idea of how this weekend might be and I was right; NOTHING. Water is still up at least a foot probably closer to two. Visibility is 6-8 inches and water is moving fairly quickly but not as fast as expected. Didn’t really feel like fighting the current to go as far as I usually like to fish so stayed within 100-200 yds upstream of the bridge. Fished the laydowns, current seams and an undercut bank but no takers. I did notice that the high waters seem to have cleared out alot of the algae (I was able to throw a rebel craw without many problems). I think by this weekend things should be pretty close to normal again. Couldn’t really see but I think the eel grass is starting to come up in some spots. Felt like I was walking through some patches and pulled a couple of strands up on my jig. 5/21 I was able to get out for a little while yesterday afternoon 5/21 and hit Hammel Woods area. Water is high, muddy and fast still. Prob had about 6in visibility and water seems even higher than it did earlier in the week when I fished 111th. Seems up a good 18″? One good thing about all the rain we had it really cleared out alot of the algae. Me and my buddy only managed one smallie each prob only 10-12″ both found on the edge of deep water in no current tight to shore. I saw a few others cruising super tight to shore in slackwater. Both smallies were picked up using a rebel craw. 5/22 Fished Hammel Woods again and still a little tough. Water seems like it was somehow even higher and faster than yesterday with little visibility. Took a few hours to find some fish but finally picked up a few smallies and a rock bass. The pattern was the same as yesterday; deeper water super tight to shore. The only thing it seemed that they wanted today was a junebug stick worm texas rigged thrown right against shore. All bites were extremely light. The only way I knew I there was a fish on was to feel he weight when I went to move the bait. Most smallies were around 10-12″ but lost a couple that were definitely bigger. 5/23 Did a float trip in a kayak for the first time. Launched at the dam in Hammel Woods and floated to Sheply Rd. in Channahon. Great looking stretch of water. Water conditions had no change from the last few days. Picked up four smallies and two rock bass. All fish again were picked up in slow moving or slack water tight to shore. All bites again were unnoticeable until I would move the bait and feel the weight. Today’s choice was a power craw. Saw a couple large eddies holding a ton of Rockies on their beds. I am hoping that the weather will stay clear this week and the river gets back to normal shape.


Ken Gortowski sent this, well two versions, and I will give both. First the short report:

Did well on the creeks over the weekend. Found a couple that weren’t high flowing mud and the fish cooperated. Did crap on the river for the half mile I covered. Not a hit. No rain in the forecast, plenty of warm weather and the river is dropping. I would imagine this will be a good thing for the next week or more. I’m waiting for clarity to improve on creeks and the river. Then I’ll be out again.

And now the long report, the one worth reading just to read in my opinion:

An old guy told me once that the trick is to get out when the fishing is good, not just when it’s a good time for you to go fishing. I like that line. Much longer story behind that, but maybe another day. With that admonition in mind I sized up last Friday’s fishing like a hawk on a field mouse. Hadn’t rained for a couple of days. The creek in Batavia is one of the few with a real-time gauge on it and it was saying that the water level was just slightly above normal, which is good. I knew it would be slightly stained, which is also good. Keeps the fish from being spooked. I had the time, which is good and bad, but may as well take advantage of it if the conditions are favorable. It was going to be a cloudy day with a slight chance of rain. Which is good and it did a little bit of raining while I was out there. There was a chance of some real nasty weather called for later in the day. Fishing in front of or at the beginning of one of these extreme weather changes has always been good for me. The favorable conditions made for some pretty good fishing and I wound up staying out there longer than I thought I would and wandering up the creek further than I had planned. For the effort I was rewarded with 24 smallies, 2 crappie and a green sunfish. As well as the same amount of missed hits. The smallies would chase lures into the shallows and just swipe at them, pulling at the tails. I think they were chasing it away more than wanting something to eat. Friday night it poured out down in the Yorkville area. Saturday I scouted out a couple of creeks I like to fish. High fast flowing mud. The Fox was still up and muddy and I didn’t feel up for the fight to fish it. So under bright skies I fished the clear water lakes at Silver Springs State Park. Caught a couple of largemouth, hated every minute of it. I cannot get used to or learn to like walking shores on lakes and ponds and fishing. Sunday morning the Fox had come down to a tolerable wading level if you know what you’re doing. Thought I would break out the crank baits and stick baits I never use and plow the muddy high water trying to coax a hit. On the way to Orchard Road I had to cross a little no name creek. It has no name because I never bothered to look it up. It’s small and shallow and other than pretty, not enough water in it at any give time to hold much of anything other than probably creek chubs. It remotely registered in my brain as I drove over it that it looked normal and relatively clear. The rain from Friday was pretty spotty coverage and maybe this didn’t get hit. I drove on. Combed a quarter mile stretch with baits that made noise so the fish could find them in the muddy mess and didn’t get a single tap. Other than a nice morning to be out, this had turned into the waste of time I try to avoid. Fishing high muddy water is now right up there with walking shores on ponds and lakes. Detestable adventures going into them. Headed for another stretch of the Fox in Montgomery that I knew I could walk in the water. Stopped to look at a creek in Oswego on the way. Almost normal and just a little stained. That was twice I was being told what to do and it wasn’t registering in my brain. Kept going to Montgomery. Wasted more time combing another quarter mile long stretch of high muddy water. Then gave up. I had to cross the creek in Oswego on my way home so I may as well stop and fish, finally. As I was getting ready to head up the creek a guy pulls up. Tells me about the 4 nice fish he caught yesterday in this creek, all released. Tells me that one of them was a 5 pound smallie and it was released. He got out his cell phone and dug for the picture to show me. Nice fish. I looked around me. Funny, I didn’t see any kitchen cabinets hanging in the background like in his picture. I personally think that anglers keeping bass out of rivers at any time of the year has no real effect on their populations. Too much river, not enough anglers, not convinced of the impact. But then, I’m no fisheries biologist so what do I know. If you’re going to keep the fish, then keep the fish. Quit harping on how it was released and for sure don’t show anyone pictures of it while you’re standing in your kitchen. I headed way up stream and the water was stained and not all that bad looking. The rain some how had missed this little watershed. Which was good. If I had been paying attention to what I was observing all morning I would have come here first thing in the morning rather than last. Now the sun was high, the sky was clear and the fish were all sitting in the shade of any hole deep enough to hold them. Wound up picking up 10 smallies and one of the worlds smallest largemouth bass ever to hit a lure. I have no doubt that I would have done much better if I had paid attention to what my observations were telling me earlier in the day. I probably would have gone even further upstream. There’s always a next time.


River remains high, but it is dropping. Thom Matejewski at Time on the Water reported good catfish; white bass and sauger are fair.


River is high and muddy, but receding. Ed Mullady sent this:

The Kankakee is high in several locations, but fishing has been good along shorelines, mouths of ditches and creeks. Catfish good on *chicken liver *cheesebaits *minnows. Both Smallmouth and Largemouth Bass are hitting good….through many areas in Indiana and in Illinois both. Rock bass also good throughout river on *worms*minnows*spinners*flies.


For Ohio DNR report go to wildohio.com and or call (888) HOOKFISH. Talked with Rickard’s on Tuesday, and they said walleye are spotty.


For boat fishermen, Capt. Bob Poteshman of Confusion Charters had this good advice in dealing with the scattered salmon and trout for the holiday weekend, “It’s a matter of just being in the right spot at the right time. Instead of running like idiots, if you find a few, stay on them.” CHICAGO: For perch, see top. Full moon is Thursday, expect another good round of shoreline smallmouth fishing. Capt. Bill Kelly reported some coho at the gap at Chicago Light, lakers east of Diversey in 90-110 feet on Howie green crinkle and Blue Boy flies, coho and kings between T marker and the car ferry in 50-75, coho off Wilmette harbor and the apartments in 10-20, and some big coho, some kings and lakers on big Smoke Dodgers and Howie Blue Boys east of the R4 in 70-90. Andy Mikos limited on cohos off Evanston in 12 feet over the weekend on Dodgers and flies. Poteshman reported lakers booming in 100-130, straight east; some salmon between the harbors and cribs, varies day to day. WAUKEGAN: Salmon Stop reported a few perch off the end of the government pier, a few scattered in 60 feet. Poteshman reported catching some coho south in the morning, varies day to day; best in 40-70. NORTH POINT:

Poteshman reported a nice pod of fish (mainly coho and some steelhead) in 40-100, but it takes work. RICHARD J. DALEY MEMORIAL FISHING TOURNAMENT: Fish may be weighed at Henry’s, Park Bait or Vet’s. In May, the eligible species are coho and perch. CHICAGO’S FISHERMAN’S PARKING: The $10 parking passes for the small fishermen’s lots at Burnham and DuSable harbors are available at Henry’s.


D&S Bait reported bluegill going to beds on Waubesa, soon to on Monona; muskie are improving. On Mendota, smallmouth are in between. Crappie are scattered on deeper weed edges. For D&S Bait, click here.


Guide Mike Mladenik of BigSmallmouthBass.com sent this

Water temps are in the mid 70’s The Smallmouth Spawn on the Menominee River is complete & smallmouth are on the move searching for food. Find Crayfish and you find active smallmouth! Fishing should be fantastic in June.


NOTE: Muskie season opens in the north zone on Saturday:

Why do I have a feeling guide Kurt Justice of Island Sports may have a long lonely cold summer ahead of him. Read this report and pay attention to the first graph:

The month of My wife you know it as May.. But anything that goes from 5″ of snow to 90 degrees in the same month reminds of ….. well you know. The sudden heat spell has shut down some of the action, put several species into a revved up spawn mode and has raised water temps very quickly. Crappies: Excellent to very good. Those that got pushed out back during the cold have raced back into spawn, many finishing in a flurry. Check the shallows on the big lakes, but in many instances the crappies are starting to scatter to deeper weed edges of 8-12′. Small minnows on slips hard to resist. Tiny jigs tipped with 1-2″ twister tails, 1″ Gulp Alive minnows and tinsel (Gapen Fresh Water Shrimp) all producing limit catches. Lots of 10″ plus fish to 14″. Bluegills: Very good. With water temps climbing to their prime spawning marks (68-72), gills are cruising the shallows looking to set up spawning beds. Worms, thunderbugs, small leeches hard to pass up. Excellent popper time on flat evenings or the lee sides of the lake. Smallmouth Bass: Very Good. Many fish bedding. Tubes, flukes and Chug bugs (surface) are what the locals are using and the action is hot! All catch and release! Good fish to 21″ this week, the hot weather speeding things up. Largemouth Bass: Very Good. Due to hot weather, this species is in early and actually bedding in some areas. Lots of shallow water activity as they cruise looking for nest sites. Top water lures, chug bug, creepers, jitterbugs and light plastics (4″ senkos, tubes, flukes) best in the shallows. Yellow Perch: Fair. Not a lot of reports but some good Perch being caught in 4-8′ on medium leeches, thunderbugs. Northern Pike: Fair. Action slowed with heat. Spoons, slow moving spinner baits worked over 5-10′ weed flats. Some pike action on large chubs on floats. Walleye: Poor – Fair. Heat may be causing a transition. Working weed edges of 10-14′ producing some scattered fish on redtails, dace. Leeches on slip floats towards dusk up in weed pockets of 7-10′. This heat will push spawning through. Crappies, smallies will finish with LMB and Gills right behind (in some cases right in with). Keep an eye on your live bait. Keep it cool and well aerated. Muskie fishermen should do well to fish small Rizzo Wizz and #5 (00) series bucktails over 6-10′ weeds. Also 6-7″ twitch baits and surface lures to start out the season.

EAGLE RIVER: Creative Brilliance sent this report for the Chamber of Commerce:

Surface water temps in the Eagle River area range from the low 60s to about 70, depending on the lake. Small mouth bass are putting on an excellent bite in the Eagle River area (all bass fishing at this time is strictly catch-and-release). Fish 5 feet of water or less, over sand and gravel bottom, as the bass are in their spawn. Use a jig and a leech or mud minnow. There is also a strong evening bite using topwaters like Zara Spooks or Heddon Torpedoes. The walleye bite is good in the Eagle River area. All day bite, with peaks early and late. Fish 10 feet of water or less in and around weeds. Use a jig and a fathead minnow. Some nice fish being caught. Northern in the Eagle River area are locating in 10 feet of water or less in and around the weeds. Use a minnow under a slip bobber, a Husky Jerk or #4 mepps. Very good action. Crappies are in 10 feet of water or less in and around weeds, in the Eagle River area. All day bite with peaks at sunrise and sunset. Use a crappie minnow under a slip bobber or a small Beetle Spin. Bluegills are shallow in and around weeds and drowned wood, and on their beds in the Eagle River area, as their spawn is just starting. Fish 4 feet of water or less. Use a chunk of crawler under a slip bobber or a small Beetle Spin. At times the action can be furious. Good bite for perch in the Eagle River area. Fish 10 feet of water or less in and around weeds. Use a 1/16 ounce jig with a fathead or crappie minnow. The perch will be close to the bottom. For you muskie hunters, don’t forget that Eagle River has some of the finest muskie fishing anywhere, and the season opens this Saturday, May 27th. Guides are suggesting that with the warm water temps, the muskies MAY be into summer patterns at the opener. Savvy muskie anglers suggest fishing 10 feet of water or less in and around weeds. Generally use small baits and a slow presentation – -but the speed of your presentation could be greater, IF the muskie, because of the water temps appear aggressive. Bucktails, topwaters and crankbaits may all be working at the opener.

(Report for the Eagle River Chamber of Commerce based on Creative Brilliance

interviews with Eagle River guides “Muskie Matt” of Wild Eagle Lodge,

“Ranger Rick” Krueger of Guide’s Choice Pro Shop, and Mat Hegy).

Contact info for Eagle River:

* Eagle River Chamber of Commerce; 800-359-6315; 715-479-6400; e-mail:

info@eagleriver.org; web: www.eagleriver.org

* “Muskie Matt”, 715-479-8086; e-mail: rfrgoutdoors@gmail.com

* Mat Hegy, 715-571-7544, e:-mail: lunkerclunkerguideservice@yahoo.com

* Guide’s Choice Pro Shop, guide/owner “Ranger Rick” Krueger 715-477-2248

* George Langley, Eagle River Fishing Guides Association, 715-479-8804.

e-mail: fishing@eaglesportscenter.com


Mik-Lurch reported some kings on 55-75 feet and smallmouth are on the beds or coming back on the big lake. There’s very good bluegill at Willow Slough, especially if you go into the back.


OREGON: Jan Prose at TJ’s Bait/Tackle & Canoe Rental sent this:

Most of what I’m hearing lately is about catfish. They were biting on shrimp last week, and more recently night crawlers. Sheephead were also after a crawler. A few flathead were caught recently on suckers. Smallmouth and some walleye action along the rock walls, and back water.


BJ Sports reported perch catches beginning, boaters are taking coho and browns in 100 feet. The river is receding and walleye reports picking up. For those heading to vacation homes, the panfish are going on inland lakes.


Angel sent this:

Water temperatures are in the mid 60’s and the clarity has dramatically improved. Crappies are being caught over the campground and the cribs that surround all of the land piers on the west side of the lake. There have been no reports of crappies in shallow water recently. Crappie fishing is good. Bass are up in the shallow water on their spawning beds. As soon as they are done spawning large numbers of them will be caught using topwater baits in the spawning bays.

I would add that catfish should be a top bite with warmer water by the weekend.

For more reports, click here.


From the Wisconsin DNR Lake Michigan Report:

Southern Lake Michigan Fishing Report: May 24, 2010 Kenosha Co. In Kenosha trollers fishing in 50 feet of water or less have been catching coho, but not consistently. Fishing has been better in deeper water, but the coho action has slowed somewhat. A fair number of 15 pound chinooks have also been taken in the 200 foot range. Dodgers with green or white flies have produced best. Shore fishing in Kenosha remains slow overall, but a few coho have been taken early mornings in the harbor on small silver spoons. Racine Co. In Racine trollers fishing offshore continue to catch limits of coho, along with a few chinooks and rainbows, in water around 200 feet deep. The coho and rainbows have been hitting in the top 50 feet of water, and the chinooks have been 80 to 120 feet down. The coho have been hitting orange or white dodgers with green peanut flies, and the chinooks have been taking spoons in green or cracked ice. Boats fishing in close to shore have been catching a few coho, but numbers have been inconsistent. Shore anglers in Racine have been catching an occasional coho or brown trout, but fishing has been generally slow. Good numbers of alewives can be seen off both piers, and water clarity is good. Milwaukee Co. In Milwaukee trollers have been catching decent numbers of chinooks and coho, along with a few rainbows and lake trout. Blue peanut flies or spoons fished up to 110 feet down have taken the most fish. Overall, Milwaukee shore fishing remains slow.


River’s Edge reported crappie and bluegill are good, smallmouth are decent, white bass are fair and walleye spotty; mostly upriver toward the dam. River is near normal.


Guide Bill Stoeger reported white bass are still spawning. Many males are deeper, while females are still on spawning flats upriver. He spends a lot of time on the water, watching fish and fishermen, and offered this general advice for fishermen trekking north, “If you not moving the minnow, fly or spinner, they are not going to be caught. Trick is to keep the bait moving. People sit there and throw their lines out.” Keep moving your lures or bait, and yourself.


Mik-Lurch reported spotty walleye. I would think the holiday weekend should be good for shallow bluegill and bass.










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