Midwest Fishing Report: Lakes/areas

SHARE Midwest Fishing Report: Lakes/areas

I’m doing a lakes/areas section of the Midwest Fishing Report, but the brutal heat has truly limited effort and has an informal watch on for fish kills later this week at the cooling lakes.

This is the extended online version of the MFR, which appears on the Sun-Times outdoors page on Wednesdays. Well, it is the lakes and areas section. The rivers section was posted last night

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


Largemouth bass are the bite, by far. There’s been a lot of good ones sent for FOTW, including this week’s. Most effort is early morning, a few trying late evening.


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


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

(Head): Musky, walleye crappies, bluegills and catfish all hitting, with bear hunters starting to bait, in and amidst the lakes and the Wisconsin River of Wisconsin’s Marathon and Lincoln Counties (near Mosinee and Wausau). Muskies in the central Wisconsin area have been responding well to the warm weather of the past number of weeks. Anglers are seeing an average of 5 to 6 fish each time they head out, and a few have been real whoppers reaching that 30 pound class. Top water baits and bucktails have been the best producers in shallow weeds and along the outside pockets in the weed beds. Look for that spot on the spot location on each weed bed to find the prime staging location for active muskies. Once you have located that location store it in your memory bank, as you can count on it being productive time and time again. The walleye bite in the central Wisconsin area has been outstanding this summer, and shows no signs of letting up. Jigs tipped with minnows, and now with the warmer water, crawler harnesses run on the bottom are taking a lot of nice fish. Trailing Rapalas and Shad Raps are also working very well. Look for areas in 8 to 12 feet of water along the old river channel or along shoreline breaks, and run your baits so that they just tick the bottom and get ready for that strike. Crappies have been very active in the central Wisconsin area, and limits of slabs are being taken on a regular basis. Most of the fish have been suspended in 10 to 18 feet of water and are running about 4 to 7 feet down. Trolling #5 Shad Raps or drift fishing with slip bobbers set at various depths will take crappies all day long. Bait up your slip bobber rigs with small jigs, tipped with either live minnows or plastics, like Berkley Gulp, or even the new Big Bite baits. Now’s the time to go after catfish in the central Wisconsin area. For consistent action set up over the deepest hole you can find in the river system. Bait up your rod with 8 to 10 pound test, a number 4 octopus hook, and a large bell sinker. Tip the hook with a gob of crawlers and toss it right into the bottom of the scout hole, and let it sit there. Make sure your rod is securely attached to the boat in a rod holder, or it will be ripped out of the boat when a big cat strikes. Bluegills are hitting well in the central Wisconsin area. Shallow weeds or wood in 2 to 4 feet of water will hold a good number of active fish, but if you want the larger bulls, go deeper along the outside weed edges in 6 to 8 feet of water. Run slip bobbers rigged with #8 Aberdeen hooks, baited up with a worm, or a piece of crawler. Set your bait down about 3 to 5 feet and toss it right up to the edge of the weeds. The key to finding fish is to keep moving along the weed edge and not to wait for the fish to come to you. Bear hunters with tags in the central Wisconsin area for this fall should be, if not already getting ready to start baiting. Savvy bear hunters have been out for over a month now and are regularly getting hit by a number of bears throughout the area. Look for areas with the deepest, thickest woods, preferably with some association to water, and set up a location. Look for turned over stumps and depressions, or make a location by digging a hole to place your bait in. Remember that bear baits needs to be completely covered in Wisconsin to be considered legal. Pastries, bread, molasses, cookies or most anything sweet will attract bears to your location. But check with the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) as to baiting, because there are restrictions on the types and quantity of bait that can be used/set out.

Any mid-summer fishing report is enlivened with advice on bear baiting.


Stick to early morning or night fishing. Triangle reported catfish (stinkbait, crawlers or leeches) and bluegill (biting through the day) are the top bites. Look for walleye in the current; leeches are No. 1 bait. Muskies are good very early or late into the evening, topwaters producing some nice fish; Channel and Catherine are best. For white bass, look shallower than usual.

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

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


BRAIDWOOD/MAZONIA: On Saturday, close time reverts to 8 p.m.

LaSALLE:Through Sept. 30, the lake is open Wednesday through Sunday.


DELAVAN: Guide Dave Duwe sent this:

Delavan Lake 7/18/11 through 7/25/11 Fishing overall on Delavan remains very consistent. There are many anglers trying to test their talents on the wary fish. The last week, the boat launch has been the busiest I’ve seen it all year. There is no good time to go to avoid the traffic so patience is a must. Yellow Perch have been biting in front of Township Park in 12-14 ft of water. Locate yourself in front of the beach area for the best success. The best presentation has been using Thill slip bobbers tipped with a leaf worm or a hellgrammite. Most of the fish have been positioned a foot off bottom. The other method for using the leaf worms is fishing a split shot rig straight beneath the boat. Northern Pike fishing has been up and down. Earlier in the week you could catch as many pike as you had suckers. It did slow as the week went on however. The best success has come off of medium suckers fished on a lindy rig. The tight schools have dispersed so it’s been kind of hit or miss as you troll down the weedline. The best location has been west of Willow Point in 20 ft of water. Largemouth bass remain on the deep weedline. They can be caught on nightcrawlers fished on a split shot rig or drop shotting 4 inch finesse worms. They haven’t been schooled as heavy as they were in past years. The key is to keep your boat moving to find the active fish. In years past you could sit on a school for 4 hours and catch them non-stop but that isn’t the case this year yet. The best location is by the Island or by the Village Supper Club. Bluegills remain on the weedline in 15-20 ft of water. They can be caught on Thill slip bobbers with leaf worms or small panfish leeches. You need to keep moving to find the larger fish. My best success has been by Willow Point or by the Oriental boathouse or by the Assembly Park weedline. Bluegill fishing has not been as good as last week, however if you keep moving you should catch a nice limit. Walleyes have remained consistent. The best action has been coming after dark. However, I’ve been catching fish during the daylight too. I’ve been averaging a legal fish every other trip. My best success has come off of leeches or nightcrawlers. I’ve been using lindy rigs with an 1/8 oz sinker or a split shot rigged nightcrawler. Good luck and I hope to see you on the water. For guide parties, please call Dave Duwe at 608-883-2050 Daily Report 7/17/11 – Delavan Lake, 89 degrees, winds SW at 10 mph. Water temp 77 degrees. 7/16/11- p.m. – Delavan lake, 89 degrees, winds SW at 10 mph. Water temp 77 degrees. Caught 3 largemouth, 3 northern pike and 1 legal walleye. Fishing in the afternoon was really tough. The boat traffic and the high pressure seemed to turn the fish off. The good thing about this trip was that the fish were very big. Two of the largemouth were over 18 inches and the pike was almost 31 inches. The northern pike came on lindy rigged medium suckers. 7/16/11 -a.m. – Delavan Lake, 85 degrees, winds calm and the water temp was 77 degrees. Caught 13 largemouth bass and 3 northern pike and 1 walleye. Fished all over the lake, the lake was extremely busy and hard to find places to fish. Caught most of the fish on a split shot rigged nightcrawler. Caught some of the bigger largemouth bass on Thill slip bobbers and medium suckers. 7/15/11 – Delavan Lake, 80 degrees, winds light out of the north. Water temp 78 degrees. Caught 12 bass and 2 northern pike. The best fishing was west of the Yacht Club in 15-20 ft of water. All our fish were caught on nightcrawlers fished on a split shot rig. The sucker fishing today was very slow. 7/13/11 – Delavan Lake, 85 degrees, SW winds at 10 mph. Water temp 77 degrees. Caught 8 largemouth – 3 were legal, 4 northern pike and 1 walleye. We were fishing the deep weedlines in 15-20 ft of water. The best approach was split shot rigging nightcrawlers. We also caught quite a few fish on Thill slip bobbers with suckers in the weedline.

GENEVA: From Duwe;

Lake Geneva 7/18/11 through 7/25/11 Lake Geneva fishing is still going steady. There are several active species and some numbers on the panfish as well. The mid summer traffic is heavy but there’s always room to fish on Geneva. Bluegill fishing has been good in 16-18 ft of water. Look for the fish by Elgin Club or by Covenant Harbor. The best approach is split shot rigging leaf worms straight beneath the boat. I prefer to drift and once I find a school, I will anchor on them. This time of year, I catch my biggest bluegills of the year in the deeper water. You need to move until you find an active school. Largemouth bass are being caught in 14-16 ft of water. The best approach is drop shotting small finesse worms in green pumpkin or watermelon seed. The best location is on the weedline in Trinkes or by Linn Pier. Another approach this time of year is dragging a oz football head jig along bottom with an Arkie Crawlin’ Grub in root beer red flake. You can also catch largemouth bass on top water lures by the old Military Academy or in Williams Bay. Any top water lure in chrome/blue or chrome/black will do the trick. Lake Trout fishing has been excellent. The fish are in 108-110 ft of water approximately 75-90 ft down in the main lake basin. They can be caught on Dodgers and Flies. Use a silver Dodger and a green fly. Some success has also been coming off of nickel/green or nickel/blue spoons fished on down riggers. The best time to fish is the first two hours of sunlight or the last two hours of sunlight in the evening. Rock bass continue to be the most active fish in the lake. They can be caught in 12-15 ft of water. The best location is by Belvidere Park or by Knollwood. The rock bass can’t resist a split shot rigged nightcrawler. Walleye fishing has been good after midnight. The key to walleye fishing is to fish an evening when there is some winds. If there isn’t any wind, they don’t seem to bite as well. Look for the fish in Williams Bay or by the beach in Fontana. You can catch them one of two ways. Lindy rigging Jumbo leeches or trolling medium diving crankbaits. Good luck and I hope to see you on the water. For guide parties, please call Dave Duwe at 608-883-2050


EMIQUON: 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.

EVERGREEN: Site staff sent this report:

Evergreen Lake Fishing Report – July 12, 2011 Water Condition Water Clarity: 1-5 ft. Water Level: At Capacity Water Temp: Low to Mid 80’s Fishing over the weekend was good on Evergreen. Bass are currently the top catch this week. Several lunkers have been caught, mostly on top water baits fished around structure and near docks. Crappie fishing has stayed the same, with many limits being reached in deep water on jigs and minnows. Saugeye fishing has slowed with some smaller ones still being caught at the pump house. Catfishing has also remained good on crawlers, livers, and stink baits. Bluegill have mostly been caught in the mornings and later in the evenings around weeds and downed trees. Muskie fishing has been slow this time of year with most reports coming from Bass fishermen getting follows while throwing top water baits. Good Luck, Brad

Any updated fishing report will be posted here.


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


PERCH REMINDER: During July, those 15 and younger, may catch and keep 10 perch while the season is close for those 16 and older.

CHICAGO:: Capt. Bill Kelly of Leprechaun Charters reported good lakers in 90-115 feet east of Evanston mixed with coho and rainbows. There some coho and rainbows in 40-75 from the Pink Hotel (Edgewater) north to Evanston and south to Montrose.

WAUKEGAN: Salmon Stop reported green/blue flies and some spoons taking a mixed bag deep, as deep as 245 feet. Shore fishermen with white, blue or green 1-ounce Kastmasters are taking a few steelhead very early. Kids are finding perch in the harbors.

NORTH POINT: Capt. Bob Poteshman of Confusion Charters said more kings are showing up along with big coho and steelhead. He said the hill in Wisconsin is a little better, otherwise it’s 120-200 feet. Spoons are starting to work, but it is mainly Dodgers and flies.

CHICAGO NOTE: 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.

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, and now the south side at Northerly Island.

RICHARD J. DALEY SPORTFISHING DERBY: Runs through Sept. 30. In July, the species are carp, catfish, coho, chinook, steelhead and perch (for those 15 and younger). Register fish at Henry’s Sports & Bait, Park Bait or Vet’s Bait. Go to henryssports.com or call (312) 225-8538.


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

(Head): Good action for northern and panfish, with musky, walleye and largemouth bass putting on a fair bite, in the Eagle River, Wisconsin area. With water temps in the low to mid 70s, some of the fishing action in the Eagle River area has picked up. Northern are hitting well in the Eagle River area. Fish 10 feet of water or less in and around weeds. Use a small Mepps, or a bass style spinner bait. Good all day bite. Crappie, bluegills and perch are all biting well in the Eagle River area, and are locating in the same general area. Fish 10 feet of water or less in and around weeds. The crappies and gills are suspending up and down the water column, with the perch holding tight to the bottom. Use a crappie minnow or a chunk of crawler under a slip bobber, for action on all species. Musky action is fair in the Eagle River area. Fish outside weed edges in 10 feet of water or less. Use a bucktail or a topwater. It’s an all day bite, with peaks early and late in the day. Walleye in the Eagle River area are putting on a fair bite. Fish 10 feet of water or less at outside weed edges. Use a jig and a minnow or a jig and half a crawler. Peak action times are early morning or late in the day. Largemouth bass in the Eagle River area are holding tight to structure (downed trees, docks, heavy brush, heavy weeds), in 6 feet of water or less. Use a floating frog or rat, plastic, a bass style spinner bait, or a Texas Rig with a plastic crawler. Action is fair. (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, 715-891-5980; 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

MINOCQUA: Guide Kurt Justice of Island Sports sent this:

First a cool down, then a heat wave. Last weeks fine fishing took a hit when water temps first dipped 5 degrees overnight, then shot up with the heat. Humidity and heat are making it hard to stay on the water mid-day. Very early mornings and dusk (literally) and after dark best. Largemouth Bass: Good-Very good. Early find these fish tight to shore feeding on minnows, crayfish, smaller x-raps and Husky Jerks as well as 3″ twisters on 1/16 oz jig heads. Later in day, plunge Texas style with creature baits or Wooly Bugs to pick fish out of pockets. Top water frog action is HOT in the evenings. Smallmouth Bass: Good. Moving out to summer haunts. Tubes, football jigs with creature baits or plastic craws and drop-shotting 3″ trick worms or 3″ Gulp minnows effective over 18-26′ sandgrass or gravel. Bluegills: Good. Aggressively taking Thunderbugs, small leeches, mini-mite jigs. Nicer gills out away from coontail edges on clear lakes in 14-18′ of water. Musky: Good. Top-water action best at dusk and after dark. Pacemakers, Whopper-Ploppers, Creepers. Bucktails — burn them quick to entice some action. Perch: Good. Thunderbugs, medium leeches, 1/2 crawlers. Search out pocket in weed beds of 7-12′. Either vertical jig or use slip-floats. Walleye: Fair. This species seems hardest hit by all the change in weather. Very early or very late best. Big leeches on jigs or below floats. Of note, a beautiful 32″, 12# walleye was boated after dark by a female musky hunter using a Depth Raider. Pike: Fair-Good. Best action on bladed baits – Mepps #3, #4 and Mepps Comets, also Boonie Bait spinnerbait worked over weed tops in 7-12′. Chubs and suckers working well, just be sure to keep cool and aerated in this heat. Crappie: Fair. Best reports from anglers locating crappies in 18-20′ and SLOW dropping 2″ twister tail on tiny 1/80 oz jigs. These fish suspending off of deep coontail edges. Topwater anglers enjoying success for gills, LMB and Muskies. Walleye, SMB and crappie anglers forced to fish deeper. Storms due to heat in afternoons keeping anglers off water as much as heat. The weekend is looking better for weather.


Mik-Lurch reported good perch from Gary Light east, best around Portage. There’s some kings and steelhead in 60 feet out of Michigan City.


Few out. Lakeside reported a 36-inch muskie and a 5-pound largemouth caught over the weekend. The best 10 in the Bluegill Open on Saturday weighed 3.15 pounds. NOTE: Campground will be begin taking online reservations as of this weekend at reserveamerica.com.

For more reports, click here.


Mik-Lurch reported variable perch off New Buffalo.










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