clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Midwest Fishing Report: Rivers and lakes around Chicago fishing

Though sporadic, shoreline salmon on Lake Michigan remain the lead for this Midwest Fishing Report, but the weather change hints at crappie and muskie coming to the fore and some of the river fishing has really been picking up for walleye on the Kankakee and pike on the Des Plaines.

The word on Todd Kutchinski, of Schiller Park, and this pike is in the Des Plaines River report from Marcus Benesch.

This is the extended online version of the MFR, which appears on the Sun-Times outdoors page on Wednesdays. I think until next spring I will go back to combining the rivers and lakes sections again.

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


DERBY Henry’s Sports & Bait holds its ninth annual Salmon Classic from 6-9 p.m. Sunday at Northerly Island. Registration begins at 5:30 p.m.

CHICAGO: Mike Repa at Park Bait said said just two salmon were caught Tuesday morning at Montrose; there’s occasional coho and steelhead at Belmont. Steve Palmisano at Henry’s said spawn is taking a few kings and steelhead at Burnham. Ray Hinton reported “Lakefront Mike” Henderson even caught a nice coho from the South Side shoreline.

WAUKEGAN: Capt. Augie Ralph of the Salmon Stop reported spawn taking a few steelhead inside the south harbor. Shoreline boaters are shallow with fair success.

NORTHWEST INDIANA: Mike Starcevich at Mik-Lurch reported fresh salmon, averaging 12-14 pounds, packed at the mouth of the Ditch, loaded at the shipping channel with some at the Hole-in-the-Wall and inside Buffington. Best are chartreuse Frenzies, glow Moonshine spoons or Lucky Crafts.

SOUTHEAST WISCONSIN: Arden Katz this is peak at Milwaukee. He and friends have been averaging five fish a night, including a 27-pounder boated by Jos Gutirrez. Shore fishermen were doing well too. Rattle baits are best. At Racine, the Wisconsin DNR reported Chinook being caught off the north and south piers in the pre-dawn with glow spoons; a few browns.

SOUTHWEST MICHIGAN: Tyler Harmon messaged, `A few fish are around, and very few fish are being caught. This is the worst Salmon run I have seen in Southwest Michigan since I started fishing for them.”


More crappie fishermen are out. And with the coldest weekend since April coming, I suspect crappie fishing will be the main target on inland fishing. This is a good time to fish local ponds and lakes, the fishing is picking up and far fewer try this time of the year than in the summer.


I am starting to wonder about water levels heading into winter. Some of the rivers, especially the Iroquois and Kankakee are very low.

For a general overview of nearby river conditions, click here.

To get to more specific gauges, even on creeks, in Illinois, 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): Walleye, musky and crappies all hitting strong, with very good

hunting action; all in and amidst the lakes and the Wisconsin River in

Wisconsins Marathon and Lincoln Counties (near Mosinee and Wausau).

It’s been another great week of fishing in the central Wisconsin area. The

water temps have now cooled down to the mid 50s and the fish are becoming

more and more active.

The walleye bite in the central Wisconsin area has been fantastic and we are

catching a lot of nice fish in the 16 to 20 inch range on jigs tipped with

minnows. Most of the fish are in 10 to 14 feet of water holding tight to

bottom. Catching 50 to 100 fish a day right now is not uncommon.

The fall musky bite in the central Wisconsin is really coming into its own

right now. This past week alone we caught several nice fish in the mid to

upper 30 inch range, along with some nice 40 to 45 inters. A lot of these

fish are coming on jerk baits and crank baits along with some rubber style

baits. We are also starting to pick up a few fish on suckers, as well.

Action for crappies in the central Wisconsin area has been very good this

past week. We are catching a lot of nice slab crappies in that 10 to 13

inch range, and every one in a while a bonus 14 inter comes along. A lot of

these fish have been suspended 4 to 7 feet down over 12 to 16 feet of water.

To target these crappies we are running small jigs tipped with minnows

suspended below slip bobbers at the appropriate depth. The key to really

doing well when it comes to catching crappies like this is not to anchor

your boat. keep your trolling motor in the water or use the wind to your

advantage and drift through areas to stay on top of active fish.


Triangle staff reported white bass improving, try wind-blown shorelines with small minnows or spinners; Marie, Bluff or Petite, best. Muskie are fair, tray small suckers, jerkbaits or bucktails. Walleye are improving; crappie, fair.

For more reports, see

More Chain info at


MAZONIA/BRAIDWOOD: Final day of fishing is Tuesday; however, Monster Lake at Mazonia South remains open year round.

HEIDECKE: Final day of fishing is Tuesday.

LaSALLE: Final day of fishing is Oct. 14. In October, the lake is open Wednesday through Sunday (6 a.m. to sunset).


DELAVAN: Guide Dave Duwe emailed:

Delavan Lake – October 1 through October 8, 2012

The most important thing to realize is that the lake is very low. You need to travel out of the boat launch area with great caution. The Delavan Lake Sanitary district says the lake is 10 inches low, but it appears 2-3 ft low to me. Overall, the fishing has been on the slow side. The best action has been coming at night or first light. The water temperature has been a bit unusual. The lake would like to turnover, but it’s just not cold enough for it to turn yet.

Northern Pike action has been average in 12-15 ft of water. Slip bobbers with medium suckers have been producing most of the fish. Look for the fish associated with weed flats, such as Viewcrest and the Highland Bay. It has been rather slow, but if you give it enough time you should be able to catch a few fish.

With the water temperature cooling, the largemouth bass have been moving shallow. They are in the 12-14 ft depth range. They can be caught on a split shot rigged nightcrawler or minnow. You need to keep the boat moving to find the active fish. The best location has been by the Oriental boathouse or by Viewcrest Bay.

Bluegill fishing has been a bit slow as well. I don’t know if the fish are deeper than I’m fishing but I’ve been trying for them in 12-15 ft of water and haven’t had much success. Once the lake turns over the fish will again be very easy to pattern.

Walleye fishing has been average. They are biting on Smithwick Rattling Rogues. Chrome and Blue Cordell Spots in oz are also working well. Look for the fish by Assembly Park or on any weed points in the lake.

Good luck and I hope to see you on the water. For guide parties, please call Dave Duwe at 608-883-2050

Daily Reports

9/30/12 Lake Geneva, Sunny and 43 degrees, Winds E at 8 mph. Water temp 61 degrees. Caught 2 largemouth bass and 25 smallmouth bass. The biggest smallmouth was 20 inches. The big fish was caught on a lindy rigged yellow perch. The best location was by the Holiday Camp and we fished by the Yacht Club as well. The best depth was 22-25 ft of water.

9/29/12 Lake Geneva, sunny and 46 degrees, light winds out of the west. Water temp 62 degrees. Caught 4 largemouth bass – 2 were legal, 20 smallmouth bass – 4 were legal. Almost all of the fish were caught on lindy rigs fished with fat head minnows. We fished by the Military Academy and by Holiday Camp.

9/26/12 Delavan Lake, 45 degrees, W winds at 15 mph. Water temp 63 degrees. Caught 3 largemouth bass, 1 northern pike and 1 walleye. Fishing was very tough. The bass and walleye were caught on lindy rigged nightcrawlers. The best depth was 20 ft of water. The northern was caught on a lindy rigged sucker.

GENEVA: Duwe emailed:

Lake Geneva October 1 through October 8, 2012

Delavan Lake has been slow, but Lake Geneva has been very good for fishing. The fish are in their late summer, early fall patterns and can be easily harvested. Most of the fish I’ve been catching are in 20 ft of water yet, however there is also a good bite in 8-10 ft of water.

Largemouth bass can be caught in 10 ft of water. They are biting on split shot rigged nightcrawlers. The best location is Colemans Point or the Military Academy. Some of the fish have been very large and are loading up this fall for the winter. As the water cools, the fish will start associating with main lake points and will be in large schools. This appears to be about 2 weeks away. Currently nightcrawlers have been producing the most, but with cooler nights that will switch to extra large fat head minnows.

Smallmouth bass fishing has been excellent. They are biting in 22-25 ft of water. They are in big schools. On Sunday we caught 20 smallmouth bass in one hour. They are almost exclusively biting on extra large fat head minnows or small yellow perch caught in the lake. I’ve been fishing both minnows and perch on a lindy rig. With the depth I’m fishing, I’ve found that a oz sinker and a 2 ft leader is working the best.

Bluegills and Sun fish have been in the 10-12 ft depth range. The best location is by the Elgin Club. They can be readily caught on split shot rigged nightcrawlers. On Saturday of last week, we caught several over 9 inches. If you want to catch a bunch for a fish fry, it’s a good time to go.

Yellow Perch fishing has been good. They are in the scattered weeds in 10-12 ft of water. Look for the fish by Knollwood and Belvidere Park. The best approach has been slip bobbering with small crappie minnows. You want to place the bait about 1 ft off bottom.

Lake Trout fishing is closed and will re-open this winter.

With the thermocline dissipating the Northern Pike are again moving shallow. The best depths is 12-15 ft of water. They can be caught on slip bobbers with medium suckers or yellow perch. The best location has been by the beach in Fontana or in Williams Bay. You want to place the bait about 1 ft above the weeds.

Good luck and I hope to see you on the water. For guide parties, please call Dave Duwe at 608-883-2050


Marcus Benesch sent this:

“They’re biting on the D.P.R.” I must have heard it a hundred times in the last week. So I will echo the statement with this is the usually the best time year for quantity and quality pike on the river. Pan fish are still being had in the shallows along chunk rock. Largemouth fair in northern sections. Best pike bite seems to be coming late afternoons to evenings alongwith plenty of fish still being had in the mornings mostly on larger cranks.

I took my friend Todd Kutchinski, of Schiller Park, out for his first fishing trip ever on the Des Plaines River for a 4 hour float last weekend. After reading the reports in the sports section and hearing the buzz about the bite, Todd had to see it to believe it. After an estimated 30 inch pike ran drag out of his little spin combo for about 3 minutes he, not the fish, was instantly hooked.


EVERGREEN: Bait shop/boat rental is over for the year. Any updated fishing report from site staff will be posted here.

SNAKEDEN HOLLOW SFWA: Dozard said the final day of fishing is Oct. 14.

POWERTON LAKE: Larry Dozard of reported the final day of boat fishing is Oct. 19; last day of shore fishing is Oct. 26. Shore fishing reopens Dec. 24; boat fishing, Feb. 15. Winter hours are 8 a.m.-4 p.m.

EMIQUON: One of my regrets is that the year is getting away from me and I have not fished it once. The 2012 permits are available for fishing at Emiquon from Dickson Mounds Museum in Lewistown.

DOUBLE T SFWA: Dozard reported it is now closed to fishing.

HENNEPIN-HOPPER LAKES: They will be closed again for 2012 as work on common carp removal continues.


Sam Bennett sent this:

The smallmouth fishing hasn’t changed very much for me. A few outings, a handful of fish with a couple of nice ones. It’s consistently so-so. I’m not seeing any reports to the contrary.

Last weekend weeds had just started to let loose and were floating downriver. Mildly annoying, but I’ll be happy to see them go.

The east-northeast winds last week didn’t help the fishing. I tried to get out whenever that changed. The afternoon bite was best, fishing the shade lines when possible. We had a bug hatch last Wednesday that turned them on at dusk.

I found fish hunting at the head and tail of deeper stretches. Minnow baits and a jig + twister seem to work well. Had the best luck on a beetle spin during the hatch.

We’re all out here waiting for the fall feedbag to turn on. Hopefully it will. Been a weird year for the river.

I did see a picture of a big-bellied 24″ walleye caught last week. It’s about that time I suppose. Those in the know will be out under the cover of darkness.

Ken Gortowski posted this on Facebook over the weekend:

Hit the Fox River below my house for the last three hours of daylight. 45 fish caught, stopped counting the missed ones at 27. It got out of hand. Would have been a 100 fish day with the knowledge of setting a hook.

Mixed bag, mostly largemouth, then smallies, a couple of crappie and a bunch of annoying green sunfish. Was able to find a couple of smallies in the 16 inch range finally. Don’t fish

under a bridge that is closed to traffic due to it’s imminent collapse. Every little noise makes you jumpy. Sign says you’re not allowed to walk across the bridge. I don’t recall seeing anything that said you can’t go under it…

Walking back across the river… last of the day light to the west hanging over the river. The full moon not far above the river to the east. So I stood in the middle of the river for awhile.

It was a memorable full moon or near full moon on several nights over the weekend.

BTW, Sam Bennett has a getting started guide for the Fox posted here.


From the Wisconsin DNR fishing report:

Green Bay Fishing Report: October 1, 2012

Brown Co.

Fox River:In the Fox River, fishing pressure was low. There were a few fishermen trolling for Musky with little success. Off shore, fishermen were catching Sheesphead, Carp, and Catfish off of night crawlers.

Geano’s Beach:Very quiet and nothing to report.

Suamico:At Suamico, fishermen were looking for Musky with it being very slow. About 1/10 boaters would report catching a Musky. Shore fishermen caught some Perch and Bluegill with minnows and night crawlers.

East Shore

The overall fishing pressure was still low this past week, and water temperatures are continuing to fall. The water temperatures by Bayshore Park and Chaudoir’s Dock was around 59 degrees, while up in Sawyer Harbor and on Little Sturgeon Bay it was around 56 degrees.

Bayshore Park:At Bayshore Park, fishing was very slow. There were a few fishermen that were targeting Perch. Numbers were not very high, but they were caught in about 22-23 feet of water on night crawlers and average size was between 6-8 inches. A few Sheepshead, Gobies, Suckers, and White Perch were also caught.

Chaudoir’s Dock:Chaudoir’s Dock was very quiet. A few fishermen were looking for Perch, but nothing was caught.

Sawyer Harbor:In Sawyer Harbor, a few fishermen were looking for Perch with good numbers to report. Most of the Perch were small, but they were caught on minnows and night crawlers in about 7-12 feet of water. A few young Smallmouth Bass were also caught, but all were released.

Little Sturgeon Bay:On Little Sturgeon Bay, no fishermen came in for an interview, but more fishermen showed up to go fishing towards the end of the week.

Oconto Co.

Fishing pressure this past week was light for boaters and light to medium for shore fishermen. It was quite windy making the Bay hard to fish. Water fowl hunters made up most of the vehicles on the Bay Shore and Peshtigo River. Panfish, smallmouth, and the occasional salmon are being caught on the Oconto River around the Stiles Dam down to Susie’s Rapids. Panfish are biting on worms drifted in current seams and flies (bead head nymphs). Small Rapalas and spoons are being used to catch salmon and trout. The landing at Pensaukee is now open but is very shallow. Some perch are being caught out of Oconto Breakwater Park and Oconto Park II adjacent to weeds in about 12 feet of water, minnows and crappie rigs are working the best.

Marinette Co.

Fishing pressure this past week was light for boaters and light to medium for shore fishermen. It was quite windy making the Bay hard to fish. Water fowl hunters made up most of the vehicles on the Bay Shore and Peshtigo River. Fishermen below the Dam in Peshtigo are catching some panfish in the current seams from the Dam down stream to the Silver Train Bridge using garden tackle. Fishermen at Little River are not seeing any salmon at this time. Fishermen are catching some trout and salmon below the Hattie Street Dam using spawn sacks and casting stick baits and spoons. Boaters have been fishing evenings around the mouth of the Menominee River for walleye with many boats going out after dark, trolling with stick baits and crawler/harness.


Norm Minas set this:

the river is still below normal flow, very clear , water temps mid 60″s. algae on the bottom and floating weeds in the usual places, the further upstream you go the better it gets. With the mild weather, low, wadeable water and smallmouth and walleyes on the feed it’s a great time to be out. the fish are using a multitude of current options, some are very shallow. many of the walleyes are in the 14 to 18 inch range which happens to be the legal size slot for keeping a couple eaters. it isn’t surprising aslast year the IDNR survey showed half the walleyes collected were in that size range. there is a very hhealthy number of smallmouth in the 14 to 16 inch range, fat feisty fish.

the walleye slot is no harvest of fish under 14 inches and none between 18 and 26 inches. 3 fish may be harvested between 14 and 18 inches or two between 14 and 18 inches and one over 26 inches. the smallmouth bass slot is no harvest between 12 and 18 inches. 2 fish less than 12 inches and one over 18 inches may be harvested.

the fall colors are starting and the mosquitoes are pretty much non existent. if you come down please support the smalllocally owned bait and tackle stores.

one note of caution, multiple hunting seasons are in effect right now,it pays to do a little homework to find out what is going on where for the safety of all involved. the hunting booklets are available at the local shops or go to the IDNR website. waterfowl season starts soon, please respect the safe zones around occupied duck blinds once the season starts.

I would particularly note the reminder on the walleye slot and the caution about hunting seasons getting underway.

Ed Mullady sent this:

Fishing at this date in the Kankakee and tributaries, water is extremely low.

*Smallmouth Bass: Still picking up, especially from late afternoon into the night in both Indiana and Illinois. More reliable places have been mouths of ditches creeks in fairly shallow water next to deeper

waters *rock bottoms good, as well around bridge piers *in-water logs *drifts. Some good baits include

Mepps #2,3 *live minnows *weedless Doctor Spoons *live minnows

*WALLEYE: Some action picking up during low light hours(early am and late pm)around lower water that is near deeper water. Baits include: *Jig and Minnow *Weedless Doctor Spoons *jig and crawler*minnow shaped jointed or double jointed plugs *Jig and bucktails.

*LARGEMOUTH BASS: Some being caught in quieter shorelines, remaining weedbeds, bridge piers

on *Spinner Baits *live minnows *plastic worms*Single or Double Twister tails*top water baits.

CATFISHING: Good in both IN and IL with *4-5″minnows *catfish cheese bait*chicken liver. Try fishing

early in the day and late into the night…usually best close to bottom of river, exposed tree roots*below bridge piers *in and out of ditch and bayou mouths.

ROCK BASS, BLUEGILL, CROPPIE: Good at all good drifts, in-water logs, rocky areas. Try smaller

minnows *nightcrawlers *redworms *imitation sponge spiders *small poppers on a fly rod *small Mepps


NORTHERN PIKE: Fair to good, esp. 2,3 pm until darkness *Try shorelines of islands*underwater

roots covered with water *Quiet waters below Dams, spillways, bridge piers. Good baits include weedless Doctor Spoons *Dardevles *4-6″Minnows *larger spinners*jointed shaped artificial plugs Best to you,

Ed Mullady


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


For shoreline salmon, see top. Nobody is trying for perch.

CHICAGO: For deeper salmon and trout, Capt. Bob Poteshman of Confusion Charters reported reported trollers having variable success (1-10 fish) deep.

WAUKEGAN: Capt. Augie Ralph of the Salmon Stop said when weather allows they are setting up in 90-100 feet, then trolling to 130-140.

NORTH POINT: Poteshman reported mornings are good for trollers, afternoons depend on the day.

SNAGGING: Snagging season is open for Chinook and coho. The only open areas on the lakefront are the inner and outer harbors at Jackson Park, Lincoln Park Lagoon from the Fullerton Avenue Bridge to the southern end of the Lagoon, Winnetka power plant discharge area and Waukegan Harbor (in North Harbor basin only). No snagging is allowed at any time within 200 feet of a moored watercraft or as posted. Salmon snagging season ends Dec. 31.

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.


Fishing at Morris Wetlands is closed for the season.


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

(Head): Excellent panfish action, with good to excellent bite for walleye,

and northern, and musky good. Fall turkey hunting has been very good, with

grouse hunting decent, and migrating woodcock will start arriving in a few

weeks to join locally raised birds; all in the Eagle River, Wisconsin area.

Water temps in the Eagle River, Wisconsin area have dropped to around the

mid 50s. Best all around action coming on the Eagle River Chain of 28 lakes

(largest freshwater chain of lakes in the world).

Panfish (crappies, bluegills and perch) are providing excellent action in

the Eagle River area. Fish 15 feet of water or less along weed edges. The

perch are tight to bottom, with the crappies and gills suspending up and

down the water column. Use a chunk of crawler or a crappie minnow under a

slip bobber or jig. All day bite.

The walleye bite in the Eagle River area is good to excellent. Fish 10-25

feet of water off of break edges. Use a jig and a minnow. The walleye are

tight to bottom. All day bite.

Northern in the Eagle River area are locating in 10 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. All day bite, with good to excellent


Musky are providing good action in the Eagle River area. Fish 10 feet of

water or less in and around weeds. Use a medium size crankbait,

bucktail,jerkbait, or a 10-13 inch live sucker. Regular retrieve, and do a

“figure 8” as your lure nears the boat. All day bite, with peaks early and


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

A week of beautiful weather, though cold in the morning, kept water temps in the low to upper 50’s. A few reports of smaller lakes turning over, but for the most part, things have been very stable. A little too much sun and high pressure, but the stable weather has led to overall good fishing.

Crappies: Very Good. Lots of numbers, but, varying sizes. Loads of 7-9″ers (let ’em grow) but enough 11-14″ers to make a few meals. Minnows under slip-bobbers best. Small plastics also effective. A few slabs (12-14″ers) on small crank baits.

Musky: Very good. Despite the high pressure and sun, very nice fish of 44 to 49″ this week on suckers. Gliders, Jerks and twitch baits producing as well. Even topwater baits (a 45″er on a Top Raider on Thursday), which is not unusual before lakes turn-over.

Pike: Very good. Lots of action on jig/chub combos. Casting daredevles, #4 Mepps and shallow running cranks also good. Watch for shallow baitfish (perch) to key in on active pike.

Walleye: Good. Sunny days a little tougher on this species than others. Deep gravel humps of 22-25′ holding nice catches on redtails, suckers or black chubs on 1/8 or 1/4 oz jigs or Lindy rigs. Weedless jigs and redtails on flowages in wood of 8-12′ deep.

Perch: Good. Live bait (crawlers, minnows) in 8-14′ over short weed flats and drowned wood. Nice fish of 9-12′. Also frozen soft shells, sliced in half and put on 1/8 oz jigs or below slip floats.

Smallmouth bass: Good. Activity from late morning till late afternoon along mid-lake humps. Chubs or suckers of 4-5″ or Lindy rigs on 1/4 oz jigs best bet.

Largemouth Bass: Good. Work weeds (inside weed edges on warm days) with pre-rigged worms, wacky worms and light jigs with tubes. Big fish of 18-20″ being caught surprisingly shallow. Fish feeding on small perch.

Bluegills: Good. Best from late morning on. Warming shallows with soft bottoms and weeds in 4-6′. Waxies, worms and even small leeches producing.

With some cold morning (temps down to 24 degrees) at early mornings, but daytime highs in the 60’s keeping things leveled off.

These next two to three weeks are typically peak for musky fishing, especially on suckers. No reason to think it shouldn’t continue this fall.

BTW: Tree colors very close to peaking

Perfect time to get away for a family weekend.


See top for shoreline salmon. Mik-Lurch reported some steelhead, coho and kings in the streams, but they are very spooky. At Willow Slough, where boat fishing ends Oct. 11, “Bluegill Bill” Young caught bluegills to 11 inches, on an evening bite.


The new Root River Report is going, but it is not encouraging, as the river desperately needs rain:

The current river level is very low. The only water coming down the river is trickling over the Horlick dam. The water discharge at the dam is approximately 7 cfs (cubic feet per second). Water temperatures were measured between 54-60 degrees in the deeper pools in the middle of the day.

For up to date river conditions, check out theUSGS web site of stream flow conditions in Wisconsin.

Fishing Information

Upstream of the facility:

Horlick dam south to Lincoln park had no anglers.

Downstream of the facility:

Lincoln, Island and Washington Park had several anglers but no one had any success catching migrating chinook salmon.


Click here for info and reports.


For shoreline salmon, see top.

From the Wisconsin DNR Lake Michigan report:

Southern Lake Michigan Fishing Report: October 1, 2012

Kenosha Co.

No report.

Racine Co.

Lakefront:Shore anglers were primarily targeting Chinooks from the pier and in the harbor. Chinooks were caught off both the north and south piers in pre-dawn hours using glow spoons. A few brown trout have also been caught using spoons, and those fish have been caught during morning and evening hours. Trollers have had success with dipsey divers and flies along with trolling spoons 30-70 feet down in 50-100 feet of water. Anglers were focusing mainly on Chinooks and browns in shallower water including the river channel, but strong winds and fish being very scattered have kept their success at a minimum.

Root River:Water levels on the Root River came up a bit late last week, but have already dropped back down to very low levels. The water temperature is in the low-60s. There has been very little salmonid activity, however, a few anglers were seen fly fishing for smallmouth bass upstream of the Root River Steelhead Facility, and they were catching some small ones in the deeper holes. The 4th AnnualRoot River Steelhead Facility Open Housewill take place on Saturday, October 13 from 9AM – 3PM. At the Open House, DNR staff will provide guided tours and spawning demonstrations. Volunteers from Salmon Unlimited of Wisconsin will conduct Lake Michigan fishing seminars, kids casting, knot tying, display a trolling boat, and provide salmon cooking tips, techniques, and samples. Members of Trout Unlimited conduct fly casting and fly tying. The Kenosha Sportfishing and Conservation Club will demonstrate tying both stream and trolling flies, and other local organizations will have informative displays. Plan to stop by the Open House at the facility in Lincoln Park on October 13; it is a fun-filled, family oriented event! For more information, call 414-750-8382.

Milwaukee Co.

North Shore:Cold weather brought in by major cold fronts has moved fish into the harbor. Trollers looking for Chinooks have moved to trolling the gaps and the river channel. There were Chinooks being caught, though more fish were still out in deeper water, and some have already moved up into the rivers. Other trollers have been focusing in 50-110 feet of water. The best baits have been spoons of various colors and crank baits. Fishing on McKinley pier has resulted in a few brown trout and Chinooks being caught. The browns were taken mostly on alewives, and the Chinooks were caught on glow spoons or soft plastics fished in the pre-light hours. The shoreline along Summerfest is producing a few browns and Chinooks with most success on live bait rigs or throwing spoons, although fishing has been generally slow. There wasn’t anyone seen having successful perch fishing in the area.

South Shore:Cold weather and strong west winds have moved fish into shallower water. Trollers looking for Chinooks have moved to trolling the gaps and the river channel. There were a few Chinooks being caught though most fish were still out in deeper water. Other trollers have been focusing in 50-110 feet of water. The best baits have been spoons of various colors and crank baits. Grant Park has produced a few Chinooks caught at daybreak on spoons of various colors; also, a few trout and salmon have begun to move up into Oak Creek. Fishing off of the Oak Creek pier has resulted in Chinooks and browns being caught on spoons and crank baits with spawn sacs producing the best. There wasn’t anyone seen having successful perch fishing in the area.

Milwaukee River:Recent rains have raised the level of the river, but it’s still lower than normal with the drought over the past summer. The overall water clarity is relatively clear with temperatures around 58-60 degrees. Fishermen were seen fishing for trout or salmon all along the river, but the only Chinooks being caught were close to the North Avenue dam on crank baits and spoons.

Menomonee River:Recent rains have raised the level of the river to a more fishable level in the shallows. The overall water clarity has improved to a relatively clear state along with temperatures around 58-60 degrees. No fishermen were seen fishing for trout or salmon, though a few fish have been seen moving upriver.

Ozaukee Co.

Port Washington Ramp:Low angler activity. Anglers having successful harvest of Chinook salmon using flies. On calm days, immature Chinooks were harvested in 100-110 feet of water. Boats have also been fishing the harbor area near the power plant when the lake is rough, and they have been catching some mature Chinooks.

Port Washington Harbor/Shore:High recorded angler activity. Anglers harvesting Chinook salmon and a few coho salmon using crankbaits and spawn.

Port Washington Pier:Low recorded angler activity.

Port Washington Power Plant:High recorded angler activity. Anglers harvesting Chinook salmon using spawn.

Sauk Creek:Both water levels and flow velocity are extremely low. In some areas flow is obstructed by exposed creek bottom across the width of the creek. The small waterfall at Sauk Creek Nature Preserve bridge is almost all exposed stone with minimal water flow. Vegetation is taking advantage of the low water levels and encroaching into the areas that were once small pools of water. Average water temperature of 46 degrees.

Sheboygan Co.

Sheboygan Ramps:Low angler activity. Anglers successfully harvested Chinook salmon on variety of baits, including: spoons, j-plugs, thundersticks, rapalas and flies.

Sheboygan North Pier:Low recorded angler activity.

Sheboygan South Pier:Low angler activity. Anglers harvesting Chinook salmon and rainbow trout using spawn.

Sheboygan River:Low angler activity. Both water levels and flow velocity are low. Average water temperature of 64 degrees. Boating, canoeing and kayaking are discouraged from Esslingen Park to the Sheboygan Harbor due to the high volume of dredging and habitat restorationprojects underway to benefit anglers in coming years. Contaminated sediment is being removed and fish habitat restored to boost fish and wildlife populations and reduce contaminant levels in fish in the river so people can safely eat them. Anglers are now advised “do not eat” resident fish from the river due to high levels of environmental contaminants. Dredging is being conducted from the Sheboygan Harbor to Wildwood Island, and habitat restoration projects are being conducted at Kiwanis Park, Wildwood Park and Esslingen Park. Anglers should be aware that these projects will limit and sometimes prevent access to those areas of the river.

Pigeon River:Very low angler activity. Both water level and flow velocity are very low. Can see large parts of exposed river bottom, especially along the shoreline. Average water temperature of 52 degrees.

Weedens Creek:No recorded angler activity. Both water level and flow velocity are extremely low. Creek narrowed encroaching grass.

Edgewater Power Plant:No recorded angler activity.


For shoreline salmon, see top.


Guide Bill Stoeger said crappie are excellent upriver on a jig and plastic (chartreuse is the best); but minnows will work. But white bass disappeared downriver. The white bass and crappie are suspended downriver and tough to catch.




Water Dog Journal

Fishing Headquarters


Click here



Click here


Click here


Click here


Click here