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Midwest Fishing Report: Perch and waiting on ice

Looks like ice fishing in northern Wisconsin will have to wait until next week; that and perch on the southern Lake Michigan lakefront lead this Midwest Fishing Report.

This is the extended online version of the MFR, which appears on the Sun-Times outdoors page on Wednesdays. I am running a bit late today.

If you have suggestions, post in the comments section or let me know at


In Chicago, Arden Katz continues to do well for smaller keepers at Montrose. Katz said to fish minnows on the bottom for bigger perch or jig with spikes for numbers. He uses light line, 4-pound or lighter. He said even 6-pound line makes it tougher. Mike Repa at Park Bait said before the east winds yesterday that better keepers were coming on the outside of Montrose. Steve Palmisano at Henry’s reported some perch from the north side of Navy Pier. When I was there yesterday, the best was in the far western end of the slip at Navy Pier, where the perch were stacked up. It really took sorting. Bob Shirley of Anglers Outlet in Markham reported his staff and customers catching perch in the river at 92nd. Mike Starcevich at Mik-Lurch said slips with cleaner water near mouth of Cal are best.

In Indiana, Starcevich said on Tuesday the guys at the Hole-in-the-Wall did well for quality perch. “It’s just like the old days at the Hole-in-the-Wall,” he said. With the water still dirty in many areas, glow flies or beads are critical. One fishermen caught good perch in 60 feet off the Donut near Portage, that gives hope the Gary Flats will go when the weather settles. Current breaks like the point at 95th or the gap in Cal Harbor have been good.


If you were thinking of combining deer hunting and ice fishing in northern Wisconsin over the holiday weekend, better rethink it. From Minocqua, Wis. on Monday, Guide Kurt Justice of Kurt’s Island Sport Shop e-mailed, “Had two anglers today venturing out to check ice conditions, but we do NOT recommend it.” That’s especially true since this weekend is to be relatively warm.


It’s crappie time.


For an overview of nearby river conditions, click here.


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


From licensed guide and trapper Phil Schweik and guide Glenn Moberg of Hooksetters Guide Service:

(Head): Musky and walleye on the move and hitting, with gun deer season

underway; all in and amidst the lakes and the Wisconsin River of Wisconsin’s

Marathon and Lincoln Counties (near Mosinee and Wausau).

This past week we have been catching nice sized walleyes in the central

Wisconsin area by working the deeper water with large jigs in 3/8 to 1/2

ounce. At this time of the year we are tipping the jigs with small sucker

minnows and red tail chubs that are at least 4 to 6 inches long. We have

been concentrating on water depths of at least 16 feet deep and in some

instances up to 25 feet deep or more. For more consistent action try

targeting water depths of 12 to 16 feet and use smaller jigs like 1/8th and

1/4 ounce. Tip the jigs with large or extra large fathead minnows. You

will see a lot more fish but they will be substantially smaller.

The musky bite this past week in the central Wisconsin area has been pretty

good. We have been averaging 2 to 4 fish per day on outings with most of

the fish coming on suckers in the 12 to 14 inch range rigged up on quick set

rigs in. We have also seen a few nice fish on Suicks and a couple of fish

have come on Depth Raiders. Most of the muskies have been suspended about 6

to 12 feet down over 14 to 20 feet of water.

The 2011 gun deer season is here in the Central Wisconsin area and there are

a lot of great opportunities for hunters taking to the woods in search of

that BIG BUCK! The number one thing to remember when hunting a big buck

during gun season is to target escape routes. As hunters enter the woods

the deer will feel the pressure and turn tail and head for the deepest cover

that they can find. In route to their destination they will travel the

thickest, dirtiest routes possible to get them there safely. If you can

position your stand in a cut-off type area overlooking this type of location

you will set yourself up for a great opportunity at taking a nice buck this



Water is down, so take caution launching. Try Steitz’s or Barnacle Bob’s. Triangle reported good muskie fishing, best on suckers or jerkbaits. Work deep as 20 feet. Look for walleye deep there, too; then moving shallower toward evening. With water dropping, main lake points take precedence for most species.

For more reports, see

More Chain info at


BRAIDWOOD/MAZONIA: Only Monster Lake at Mazonia South remains open year round. HEIDECKE:Closed for the season. LaSALLE:Closed for the season.


DELAVAN: Geneva Lake Bait & Tackle reported walleye at night in 1-4 feet along shoreline on Husky Jerks, X-Raps and Rogues. Sporadic bluegill catches, either deep (40-45) or shallower (8-10). GENEVA: GLBT reported fair crappie in Fontana in 8-10, sporadic bluegills.


REND LAKE: Guide Jason Johns of Todd Gessner Outdoors said water temperatures are holding near 60 and crappie are there to be found. He suggested working near the bridge areas.

EVERGREEN: Any updated fishing report from staff will be posted here.

EMIQUON:With the central zone waterfowl hunting open, fishing on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays is afternoons only. Emiquon Preserve near Lewistown is open to fishing. Interested parties may request a permit (remember you need the new one for 2011) 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.


Click here for something from river wanderer/ponderer Ken Gortowski.


Time on the Water Outdoors reported lots of sauger (takes sorting) on three-ways with a floater or jigging, up and down the river. Crappie are biting by the pilings. Few white bass reports.


Mik-Lurch staff reported fall steelhead keep arriving in all the streams, best on spinners or spawn.


Norm Minas sent this:

a little higher than normal flow, around 2,500 CFS and dropping. clearer in slack areas, still stained in faster flow. water temps twixt 44 and 45 degrees[finally broke out the underarmour]. floating stuff minimal, still algae on bottom in favorite stretch.

air temps good for this time of year, some days windier than others.

It’s been spotty fishing, can’t put together a consistent pattern for location or technique. crankbaits, rattlebaits and spinnerbaits have been abysmal at best in any type of current situation.

a weighted keeper hook/power pulse worm has got some bass on seams and at the base of bars/riffles. Flukes either weighted or not have not produced but hard jerks have in flats, slower-slack areas. neither hard jerk nor soft has produced in any “harder” current.

The countdown Rapala has produced a few fish in softer flows but nothing of any size lately.

The lure that has produced the most fish has been the Rattling Spook over deeper water with softer flows. Usually this time of year windier days are best but it has produced when the wind wasn’t a factor as well as when it was. It has been a real minimal retrieve, a few twitches amongst longer dead stick drifts. The takes were far from explosive, many just gentle slurps. Interestingly, many of the bass either spit up or had shad in the gullet. It can be frustrating committing to topwaters in these water temps. One day I fished them for several hours, got 5 fish in about a 45 minute span. Another day, just a couple fish in over 3 hours of tossing them. On a related note, the Subwalk has not produced any fish when used after topwater action ceases.

Ed Mullady reported:

These river conditions good for fall! Fairly clear, low and decent temperatures!

Very few fishing during the early deer season.

Try for pike around ditch and bayou mouths on* big minnows *Weedless Doctor Spoons.

Walleye fair…sometimes in shallow water near deeper parts of river, because the fish

find food easier to catch in shallow sections…often, right up against the bank.

smallmouth bass continues good usually now at 3 to 5′ depths on *#2 Spinners *crankbaits *live minnows.

Croppie will be good all winter along with bluegill in “ponded” locations.

Catfish continue good, esp. in low light hours on *live minnows *nightcrawlers.


For Ohio DNR report go to and or call (888) HOOKFISH.


CHICAGO: Perch are starting, see top. Park Bait reported some good bluegill at Diversey and Montrose.

WAUKEGAN: Capt. Augie Ralph at Salmon Stop reported bottom fishing salmon eggs (raw best) is taking some steelhead inside the harbor.

SALMON SNAGGING: The end is nearing. Snagging for chinook and coho is open on the Illinois lakefront at four locations only: Lincoln Park Lagoon south of Fullerton Avenue, Waukegan Harbor (North Harbor Basin only); Winnetka Power Plant discharge area and Jackson Park Harbor (inner and outer harbors). No snagging is allowed at any time within 200 feet of a moored watercraft or as posted.

CHICAGO FISHERMAN’S PARKING: The fisherman’s parking pass–$10 for two months and available at Henry’s Sports & Bait–is needed to park south of the main building at Northerly Island. . . . That’s the same pass good for the small fishermen’s lots at Burnham and DuSable harbors.


Click here for D&S Bait.


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

(Head): Good action for walleye, northern and panfish, with musky fair, in

the Eagle River , Wisconsin area.

Water temps are holding in the upper 30s in the Eagle River, Wisconsin area;

with fishing providing good action for anglers.

Walleye in the Eagle River area are holding in 15-30 feet of water off of

weed and break edges, and in the transition area from off break edges to

main lake basins. The walleyes are a foot or less off the bottom. Use a

1/8 ounce jig and a fathead minnow. Good all day action.

Northern in the Eagle River area are locating in 15 feet of water or less in

and around weeds. Use a Husky Jerk in a minnow or walleye pattern, or a

northern sucker under a slip bobber. Good all day bite.

Panfish (crappies, bluegills and perch) in the Eagle River area are hanging

in the same general areas as the walleye. Fish 15-30 feet of water off of

weed and break edges, and in the transition area from off break edges to

main lake basins. The crappies and bluegills are suspending 1 to 8 feet off

the bottom, with the perch a foot or less off the bottom. Use a crappie

minnow on a small jig or under a slip bobber. Good all day bite.

Musky action in the Eagle River area is fair. Fish are being caught, but

anglers are working for them. The muskies are holding outside of weed and

break edges in 10-20 feet of water. Use a medium size crankbait, glidebait

or jerkbait, or a 12-17 inch sucker on a quick set rig. Medium retrieve is

recommended, with a “figure 8” as the lure nears your boat. There are no

specific feeding windows.

(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:; web:

* “Muskie Matt”, 715-891-5980; e-mail:

* Mat Hegy, 715-571-7544, e-mail:

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

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


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

With most outdoorsmen and women in the woods pursuing deer, there are very few anglers taking advantage of this very late open water season. Those that have, have done well though.

Musky: Good-Very good. Despite few reports, anglers have done well. One duo boated two 47″ers and two 44″ers on Saturday 11/19, then a pair of 34″ on Sunday 11/20. Reports of a 49 1/2″er and another 47″er also reported this weekend. Season runs till Nov 30th. Snow on the ground and a few small lakes skimmed over, but forecast with temps in the 40’s, maybe low 50’s by weekend should keep options open.

Walleye: Good. Fish deep. Anglers choosing to use 3-4″ suckers on Lindy style rigs finding walleyes in 30-50′ of water on the deep lakes of Vilas County.

Had two anglers today venturing out to check ice conditions, but we do NOT recommend it.


For perch, see top; for streams, see Indiana Streams. Mik-Lurch reported some nice crappie being caught at Burns Ditch.


Tyler Harmon messaged: Whitefish fishing was good for me and I landed a few steelhead myself. Guys are still having some luck for walleye on many of the area rivers. Plan for the same action to continue on through the week. Any good rain should bring some more steelhead into the river.

Click here for an updated St. Joe report in Indiana. It’s all steelhead now going through at South Bend.


Lakeside is closed, but it will open for ice fishing season.

For reports, click here.



Wisconsin DNR’s Lake Michigan Fishing Report:

Southern Lake Michigan Fishing Report: November 22, 2011

Kenosha Co.

Shore fishing in Kenosha has been generally slow, but occasional browns have been taken in the harbor and off the south pier. Most fish were caught on spawn or orange spoons.

Racine Co.

In Racine, water levels on the Root River are just below average, and the water temperature is 46 degrees. Numbers of steelhead and brown trout in the river continue to increase in downstream areas, while the coho have tapered off. Most angling success in downstream areas has been in Island and Lincoln Parks, and upstream anglers have been working between the Horlick dam and down into Quarry Lake Park. Most fish caught have been taken on flies, and pink has been a popular color. The DNR is finished collecting coho eggs, and the Root River Steelhead Facility is shut down for the season. DNR crews processed a total of 3,828 fish and passed upstream 1,798 Chinooks, 1,258 coho, 57 brown trout, and 18 rainbow trout. A total of 573 coho were spawned.

Milwaukee Co.

In Milwaukee, fly anglers on the Milwaukee River have been catching some steelhead in Kletzsch Park and browns and steelhead near Estabrook Park. When Milwaukee trollers are able to get out on the lake, decent numbers of 3 to 4 pound brown trout have been hitting spoons in 40 to 60 feet of water north of the harbor.

Ozaukee Co.

In Port Washington, shore fishing in the harbor has been relatively slow, but some brown trout have been in the area. Spawn remains the most productive bait. The water temperature near the power plant has been around 46 degrees.

Sheboygan Co.

In Sheboygan shore anglers have reported a few brown trout caught on spoons fished off the piers and in the harbor. On the Sheboygan River the water level is good, and fishing pressure on the river has been generally light. Fly anglers have had moderate success with egg pattern flies for brown trout and steelhead.


Click here for River’s Edge. Walleye are going strong on hair jigs and minnows.


River came up and it sparked a good run of walleye, especially toward the mouth at Poygan. Guide Bill Stoeger reported excellent walleye (lots of limits), jigging down the river. Lots of limits.




Fishing Headquarters



MICHIGAN DNR REPORT,1607,7-153-10364-34956–,00.html