Midwest Fishing Report: Rivers and lakes around Chicago fishing

SHARE Midwest Fishing Report: Rivers and lakes around Chicago fishing

This is that in-between period, before ice fishing starts dropping down from the north, for the Midwest Fishing Report.

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.

Normally, I post Wednesday mornings. I am getting it out early tonight as I take breaks from election coverage.

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


By far the top point of interest is crappie fishing. And I would expect that to be even more true with balmy weekend forecast. Staff at Henry’s said Tampier is one of the more consistent spots.


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 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): Very good musky and walleye bite, with the rut in full swing; all in and amidst the lakes and the Wisconsin River in Wisconsins Marathon and Lincoln Counties (near Mosinee and Wausau). Musky action in the central Wisconsin area has been very good this past week, with lots of nice fish in the upper 30 to mid 40 inch range being caught. A lot of the activity is taking place in deeper water from 8 to 14 feet associated with rocks along sharp breaking shorelines. We are running deep diving crankbaits like Bucher Depth Raiders and rubber style baits like the Buldawgs, as well as live suckers on quick set rigs. The walleye bite in the central Wisconsin are has been outstanding this past week, and we have seen some of the the best action of the year. Most of the fish are holding in 12 to 16 feet of water and can be caught on jigs tipped with fathead minnows. But if you want the larger walleyes in the system, try running larger baits like small walleye suckers or try tipping your jigs with plastics like twister tails. With all the focus being placed on musky and walleye this past week we haven’t really targeted any panfish or bass but we still seem to pick up a few crappies while targeting the walleyes as well as a few really nice smallmouth bass that attack our musky baits.


Drawdown started last week, be prepared. Arden Katz reported good white bass, including big ones, Saturday with minnows in 15-17 feet on Marie. Staff at Triangle reported walleye are good on large fatheads on slip-bobber or split-shot rigs around bridge areas; crappie are good mornings and evenings; look for bluegills shallow on sunny days; muskie are fair on suckers or small jerkbaits.

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

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


MAZONIA/BRAIDWOOD: Only Monster Lake at Mazonia South remains open year round.


Marcus Benesch sent this:

Water temperature readings of 42 degrees late last week nearPark Ridge. Flow is down tremendously and levels are back toas low as they were in driest weeks of summer. That might not be a good thing if we have a long stay of freezing temperatures this winter. I remember reading an old Des Plaines river fishing report from the 1940s onone of theIDNR orforest preserve websitesand it made referenceabouta winter fish kill. Lots of shore fishermen have been out with the fallingof the leaves and brush in thenorthern Cook countyforest preserves.Some stray large mouth still being caughtongrubsand chatter baits there.Good catches of pike still being had in the northern sections. Best baits have been big minnow cranks and large spinners for pike and everyone seems to be catching at least one.


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

POWERTON LAKE: Fishing is over until shore fishing reopens Dec. 24. Boat fishing reopens Feb. 15.

EMIQUON: One of my regrets is not having fishing it once this year. The 2012 permits are available for fishing at Emiquon from Dickson Mounds Museum in Lewistown.


Pete Lamar sent thanks for linking to Ken Gortowski each week and added that he picked up smallmouth and bonus white bass fishing discharges, though avoiding the downstream one with an algae bloom.

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


The Wisconsin DNR fishing report had this update:

Green Bay Fishing Report: November 6, 2012 Brown Co. Green Bay:A few sheep head and perch were being caught at Voyageur Park casting plastics and floating live bait. Suamico and Duck Creek fishermen are catching perch using minnows and crawlers. East Shore No report Oconto Co. Shore fishermen have been having success fishing perch from the Municipal Landing, Oconto Breakwater Park, and Oconto Park II. Early morning and late afternoon have been the most productive times to fish. Minnows and worms have been the baits of choice, fished with crappie rigs or slip bobbers. Some sorting has been required. Marinette Co. No report


At Spring Valley, Time on the Water Outdoors reported those trolling crankbaits by Hennepin or Peru are taking sauger and walleye, keepers take much sorting. White bass are spotty at best. Water is 50 and up slightly.


Water levels have filled in a bit.

Ed Mullady sent this:

Indiana is producing some *largemouth and smallmouth bass, some northern pike, especially at mouths of any creeks or ditches with good supply of water, on bigger minnows, Doctor Spoons. Walleye fair along drifts, ditch mouths, shorelines on jig and minnow *jig and nightcrawlers*spinners. Catfish good on larger minnows or catfish cheese. Be sure to check if fishing is allowed in different areas that hunting is taking place in both Indiana and Illinois. as of today the Kankakee and its tributaries are slightly deeper. Dave Zack, Momence,IL Conservancy District President, reports the area east of Momence is slightly deeper and water is extremely clear. He checked a 3 foot deep area and could see the bottom of the river very well. Dave also told me there have been some out fishing that area with fair to good catches of smallmouth and largemouth bass, rock bass and other fish. Downstream along the Iroquois River where it enters the Kankakee, near Aroma Park,IL, some walleye have been caught along with catfish and smallmouth bass. From Kankakee,IL Dam through Johnson’s Veteran Fisherman’s Park catfishing is also good, pike in certain shoreline areas, with some walleye along bridge piers rocky areas. Good area for smallmouth bass here now. Kankakee, IL State Park good on catfish(minnows, catfish cheese),smallmouth bass on spinner baits, Wtd.,Keeper Hooks and Twister tails, fly rod minnow like flies. Croppie, rock bass feeding along quieter waters. Wilmington,IL Area through Island Park good for catfish, some walleye, rock bass and smallmouth bass being caught. That’s it for now, good time for late fall fishing! Ed Mullady, Sportsman’s Letter


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


Water remains yukked up. Very few salmon and steelhead being caught around Chicago harbors; snaggers doing fair.

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.


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

(Head): Good to excellent bite for walleye, and panfish, with musky and northern good. Archery deer season picking up, diver duck migration coming on strong, grouse hunting good, and woodcock are mostly gone. All in the Eagle River, Wisconsin area. Water temps in the Eagle River area are in the low to mid 40s and steadily dropping. Walleye in the Eagle River area are in 10-30 feet of water over mud flats adjacent to break edges. Use a jig and a minnow. The walleye are tight to bottom. all day bite, with action good to excellent. Panfish (crappies, bluegills and perch) in the Eagle River area are in 10-30 feet of water off of break edges. Use a crappie minnow or a chunk or crawler under a slip bobber or small jig. Perch are tight to bottom, with crappies and gills suspending anywhere in the water column. All day bite with good to excellent action. Musky in the Eagle River area are in 10 feet of water or less in and around weeds. Use a medium sized jerkbait, glidebait, crankbait, or 12-15 inch sucker on a quick set rig. Regular, medium speed retrieve, making sure you do a figure 8 as the bait nears your boat. All day bite with short feeding windows. Good action. Northern in the Eagle River area are in 10 feet of water or less in and around weeds. Use a Husky Jerk (minnow or walleye pattern), floating Rapala, or a northern sucker under a slip bobber. All day bite. Good action. (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: Kurt Justice of Kurt’s Island Sport Shop sent this:

Waters are cooling down and so has the fishing. Not that fish aren’t being caught, but it stands to reason with colder water the fish will feed less often. Big fish are being caught. Musky: Good. Not nearly the numbers, but big fish this past week. A 46″ Tiger and a 50 true both on suckers. Most other reports on suckers in in water 15-30′ deep. Walleye: Good. Deep water. Redtails, over transition areas of 25-50′. Vertical jigging and Lindy rigging producing Nice- but slow biting- Walleyes of 20-26″ this week. Crappies: Yellow Perch: Good. Locate deep wood of 12-20′. Slip-float or vertical fish with medium fatheads to catches of crappies 11-14″ and perch of 9-12″. We had to break ice to get to open water one day. Surface temp readings of 35-41 degrees, some large lakes may have 44-45 degrees. Snow on ground this morning (11/6). Cold water means colt action- but very nice fish being caught.


The blow has the water still yukked up. There are lakers being seen on the Port of Indiana reef, but no catching with the dirty water. It is probably a couple weeks before the winter steelhead are in the creeks.


From Wisconsin DNR Report:

Root River Fishing Report for November 6, 2012 The Root River was running clear and low again with only a few fish present. Some rain will be needed to increase water levels and improve steelhead and brown fishing. For up to date river conditions, check out theUSGS web site of stream flow conditions in Wisconsin. Fishing Information Upstream of the facility: The steelhead facility processed and passed up stream 140 fish today and the next possible processing day will be Thursday November 8th. Fishing was slow as well in Racine with only an occasional brown or steelhead caught in the harbor area on spawn fished under a float.


Denny Sands at Lakeside said some crappie are still being caught with minnows down 12 feet by trees. There have been a few muskie, including a 46-incher, caught.

For more on Lakeside, fishing reports and the lake, go to shabbonalake.com.


The Wisconsin DNR Lake Michigan report had this:

Southern Lake Michigan Fishing Report: November 6, 2012 Kenosha Co. No report. Racine Co. Root River:The steelhead facility processed and passed up stream 140 fish today and the next possible processing day will be Thursday November 8th. Fishing was slow as well in Racine with only an occasional brown or steelhead caught in the harbor area on spawn fished under a float. The Root River was running clear and low again with only a few fish present. Some rain will be needed to increase water levels and improve steelhead and brown fishing. Milwaukee Co. North Shore:In Milwaukee fishing was rather slow over the weekend. Some boats were able to get out and troll the harbor were some browns were being caught on crank baits fished anywhere from 10-15 feet down. Most fish ran on the smaller side. Shore fishing was slow with only an occasional brown or steelhead being caught near the Summerfest grounds and lagoon area. The best bait was spawn fished under a float or fished off of the bottom, bright colored crank baits also took a few fish. Some stable weather and lighter winds should help improve near shore fishing. The Milwaukee River was begging to drop and get clear and only a few coho and browns have been caught on spawn near Estabrook Park and down river to North Avenue. More rain will be needed to improve river fishing. Ozaukee Co. Port Washington Harbor/Shore:Boat and pier fishing was slow due to high winds over the weekend. There was however some browns and a few steelhead taken at the power plant discharge the best presentation was using spawn sacs fished off bottom or drifted in the current. A few fish were in Sauk Creek but the water was very low and clear and fishing was slow. Sheboygan Co. Sheboygan River:The only reported activity has been on the Sheboygan River were a few browns, coho and pike have been caught on crank baits or spawn fishing the deeper downriver sections of the river early or late in the day. Very few if any boats ventured out over the weekend, some lighter winds will be needed before trollers are able to get out safely.


Tyler Harmon messaged:

Whitefish dale, not a lot nothing crazy but slowly picking up.









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