Midwest Fishing Report: Rivers and lakes around Chicago fishing

SHARE Midwest Fishing Report: Rivers and lakes around Chicago fishing

With a report for Mazonia lakes, Bill Lanham emailed, “There is a change in the air and wooly bear worms are out and about;” yes, hints and smatterings of fall fishing come and lead this Midwest Fishing Report.

Note for those who click on the Wisconsin DNR links. Their site was redone, so the links are new.

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 straycasts@sbcglobal.net.


Finally, some decent reports. CHICAGO: Mike Repa at Park Bait said at least three kings were caught at Montrose Tuesday morning and at least one at Belmont; and two on the Montrose Horseshoe on Monday. It’s glow spoons at night, the usual spoons during the day. The water cooled to 66 at Montrose. NORTHWEST INDIANA: Ed McCain at Mik-Lurch reported at least four were caught from shore at the Hole-in-the-wall on Reef Runners, Frenzies and Lucky Crafts Tuesday morning. SOUTHEAST WISCONSIN: In Racine, the Wisconsin DNR reported some kings off the south pier in the predawn on spoons; a few browns, mornings and evenings, on spoons. SOUTHWEST MICHIGAN: Tyler Harmon messaged that some salmon started to “poke around the many rivers of the area” and pier fishing is starting to produce on spoons, Oslo Spinners, crankbaits, and bobbers and bait.


More crappie fishermen are trying, catches are so-so. Otherwise it has mostly been largemouth or bluegill in the weed pockets and weed edges. 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.


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): Strong bite for musky, walleye and bluegills, with bear season going well, and deer archery hunters doing scouting in anticipation of the upcoming season; all in and amidst the lakes and the Wisconsin River in Wisconsins Marathon and Lincoln Counties (near Mosinee and Wausau). Fishing has been very good this past week in the central Wisconsin area, with a strong bite for all species. The musky bite in the central Wisconsin area is getting better and better by the day. With water temperatures dropping, the jerkbait bite has really picked up. Most of the fish are in 3 to 8 feet of water holding along weeds and wood. We are still catching most of our fish during low light periods, but a few are starting to show up during the mid-day hours. The walleyes in the central Wisconsin area have been very active early and late in the day in 3 to 5 feet of water associated with rocks and gravel bars. We have been tossing shallow running crankbaits right up into the rocks or gravel and slowly bringing them back to the boat. The fish have been so aggressive that we have even had a few blow-ups right at the boat side by following walleyes. The bluegill bite in the central Wisconsin area has been the best we’ve ever seen. We are catching a lot of nice fish in the 8 to 10 inch range with a few even over that 10 inch mark. To catch giant gills like this, we are fishing deep water wood in 8 to 12 feet of water. Most of the fish are coming on tiny jigs with a piece of crawler or worm, but for the really big gills we are using jigs tipped with small minnows or plastic tails.


Arden Katz reported a good mixed bag of white bass (8-12 feet), crappie (12-15), perch and drum on Marie on minnows; drifting if wind allowed or trolling at 1 mph. Triangle staff suggested trying Bluff, too, for white bass; catfish are excellent on crawlers or stinkbait; bluegill are good and muskie are improving on bucktails; walleye are fair, look around current areas, bridges or main lake points on crawlers or large fatheads rigged on Lindy rigs. Crappie are fair, small minnows.

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

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


MAZONIA: Bill Lanham emailed:

There is a change in the air and wooly bear worms are out and about. Water temperatures are sliding down towards the mid 70’s in the lakes at Mazonia. Now, would be a good time for those who have been away from fishing, to get back at it. Crappie are getting active and the channel catfish are giving great fun to those who are fishing them specifically and to the rest of us as we target other species. Bass are pesky.

HEIDECKE: Stephanie Jarmon emailed photos and reports of good catfish caught on Saturday.

LaSALLE: Staffing will be cobbled together so the lake is scheduled to remain open daily (6 a.m. to sunset) through September.


DELAVAN: Guide Dave Duwe emailed:

Delavan Lake 9/10/12 through 9/17/12 With the cooler weather, fishing has improved over the last week. The largemouth bass and walleyes have become more active. The fish are still relating to main lake weed points with rock. The walleye are starting to become more active. They can be caught in 18-22 ft of water. The best bait is either leeches or small chubs fished on a lindy rig. The lindy rig I use is a #2 Octopus hook with an 18 inch leader and a oz sinker. Once the water cools more, approximately another 5 degrees, I will switch over to fat head minnows for live bait and start casting crank baits again. The best location has been by Assembly Park or the old Marina half way down the lake. Bass fishing has improved. The fish are starting to scatter throughout the weedline. You want to focus on the main lake points with some rock. The best depth has been 12-15 ft of water. Look for the fish by Belvidere condos, Assembly Park or by willow point. The best approach is either split shot rigged nightcrawlers or a Texas rigged green pumpkin Senko. Another pattern that has been producing some bigger fish for me is a Thill slip bobber fishing a medium sucker. I like to position the sucker about a foot and a half above the weeds. Bluegill fishing has been good. The bluegills are in the 12-16 ft depth range. You want to fish a split shot rigged leaf worm about 6 inches off bottom. The best location has been by Assembly park or the Oriental boathouse. There are some fish suspending in 40 ft of water out in the main lake so a secondary pattern to try is using leaf worms straight beneath the boat about 10-20 ft down. Northern Pike action has been some of the best of the year. The fish are starting to become catchable again, since they’ve been gone most of the summer. They really didn’t care for the hot weather and scattered and stayed deeper than the average anglers capability. Now they are biting on medium suckers in 20-25 ft of water. Fish the sucker on lindy rigs or Thill slip bobbers. The best location has been by the Yacht Club or Assembly Park point. Good luck and I hope to see you on the water. For guide parties, please call Dave Duwe at 608-883-2050 Daily Reports 9/9/12 Delavan Lake, sunny, N winds at 15-20 mph, air temp 65, water temp 74 degrees. Caught 12 largemouth bass, 2 walleyes and 1 smallmouth bass. The strong winds made fishing tough. The fish were still positioned on main lake weed points in 15-18 ft of water. The presentation was lindy rigs and split shot rigged nightcrawlers. 9/8/12 Lake Geneva, sunny, winds N at 15 mph, air temp 65, water temp 73 degrees. Caught 5 smallmouth, all were legal, 1 largemouth bass and a bunch of rock bass and bluegills. Started off early fishing lindy rigs in 20-25 ft of water. Move shallower and caught a lot more pan fish and rock bass. The wind made fishing my normal spots difficult. Fished mostly by Ulines creek. 9/4/12 Lake Geneva, sunny, calm, 90 degrees, water temp 75 degrees. Caught 1 northern pike, one 3 1/2 lb largemouth and 23 smallmouth bass, about 8 were legal. All fish were caught on lindy rigs. The best depth was 22-25 ft of water. I was fishing near the Military Academy. The boat traffic was almost non-existent.

GENEVA: Duwe emailed:

Lake Geneva 9/10/12 through 9/17/12 School is back in session for both kids and the bass. The bass bite has improved dramatically with the cooler water temperature and the decreased fishing pressure. It’s a great time to be able to fish. Smallmouth bass fishing has been phenomenal. It’s probably the best it’s been in two years for this time of year. The fish are positioned on main lake weed points in 20-25 ft of water. They are aggressively hitting lindy rigged nightcrawlers and small perch caught in Lake Geneva. The biggest fish I caught last week was almost 21 inches. The fish are very schooled up now, so if you catch one, you’ll catch a bunch. The best locations have been by Black Point, the Military Academy or by Belvidere Park. The bluegill action has also been fantastic. The bluegills are suspended in 25-30 ft of water. The best location has been by the Yacht Club or by the Military Academy. I’ve been using a split shot rig with a of a nightcrawler right beneath the boat. Some of the bluegills have been in excess of 10 inches, with the average size being about 7 inches. Perch fishing has been good however , the size has been very small. Most of the fish I’ve been catching have an average size of 6 inches. They make nice bait but not a great fish fry. The best location has been by Knollwood or by Rainbow Point. The best presentation is a slip bobber rig with a small minnow. Work a depth of 10-12 ft of water. The perch fishing will be improving as fall wears on. Northern Pike action still remains kind of slow. The fish are still deep and still scattered. I think we will see a major improvement as the water cools and the fish move up into the weeds. Look for the fish by Fontana Beach or the North shore of the narrows. The best approach continues to be lindy rigging suckers. 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:

Slight increase in flow from the overnight rains late last week. Weed bedsare starting to take a strong hold in Lake County. Rock bass and largemouth have been fair on small cranks and grubs. Northern pike have been steadynear drop offsandcooler sections. Most pike runningaround the 20 inch mark with a few around 30 inch caught this week while fishing late afternoons/evenings.


EVERGREEN: Mike Steffa sent this note on the bait shop/boat rental:

Fall Hours starting Tuesday, September 4, 2012 Bait Shop Hours: 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. 7 Days/Week Boat Rental Hours: 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. Friday-Sunday Last Day of Operations for the year is Sunday, September 23, 2012

Any updated fishing report from site staff will be posted here.

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.

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


Sam Bennett sent this:

Flatheading is slowing down. We’re still scratching out a fish here and there, but they’re harder to come by. With salmon starting I’d expect another trip or two and then we’re done for the year. We won’t have final data for the DNR for a month or so, but anecdotally it’s been a down year. The numbers will provide some truth. We’ll share those once they’re calculated. I’ve had limited time to fish smallmouth. I got out for an hour at sunset and didn’t do well. I had a few short-strikes that came unbuttoned. I continue to fish heavily pressured areas. It seemed to me that the fish are much more tentative since my last trips, but I haven’t been out consistently enough to say for certain. In reading a few boards it sounds like folks are finding fish, but I’m not hearing reports of numbers. Everyone agrees: we need some water in the river. Also – I’ve embarked on a redesign offoxriverfishing.net- the Getting Started article isn’t back up yet, so don’t put up a link, it will error. Decided to focus on long form writing only and have now closed down the notebooks. I think it’s the right direction for the site. I’ll be putting out a call for Tales from a Shallow River next month. I’m looking for folks to meet up with and tell me a fish story. It’s hard to get folks to write a story, but easy for them to tell you one at the bar. So I’ll be transcribing, spinning and putting those out there.That collection will be published on the site over the winter, stay tuned.

Ken Gortowski sent this:

Was out at sunrise Saturday morning and initially it was encouraging. Didn’t plan on getting out at all, but the opportunity arose at the last minute. Lots of baitfish dimples on the water and the first 15-30 minutes were pretty much non stop with hits and caught fish. As I moved down stream, the signs of bait fish completely disappeared and so did the bite Went 8/10 on my caught/missed scale, so fishing was a bit tough especially after the sun hit the water. The bulk of those came in that first few minutes, only two more caught in the next two hours. Sunday morning the wife was up before sunrise to go to work, so I went fishing. It was discouraging to see no signs of bait fish at all and the fishing was what I then expected. Only stayed out for an hour and a half and went 5/8 on the fish scale. Not good at all. This bears repeating from what I sent you last week. I at least proved myself correct to me anyway: It’s always worth getting out fishing for the last 2-3 hours of the day whether it’s sunny or cloudy out. It’s worth getting out fishing at sunrise if it’s going to be an overcast day. It’s NOT worth getting out fishing at sunrise if it’s going to be a cloudless day. The bite doesn’t last long and you’re better off in bed. Talked to my neighbor, he’s been getting out the last two hours of daylight and doing well. Says he swears one smallie he landed was easily 22 inches. I have no reason to not believe him, he knows his fish. I still hold that the best time to get out is the end of day. Combine that with bait fish activity and it should be good. No fishing for me the next couple of weekends and I have no clue if I’ll have the time to go during the week. Nuts schedule. I will be manning the Heartland Outdoors Magazine booth at National Hunting and Fishing Days at Silver Springs State Park. Guys should go and hopefully they’ll stop by to chat. Grab a magazine.

BTW, click here for Sam Bennett’s “Getting Started Guide” for folks who are new to the Fox or river fishing in general.


From the Wisconsin DNR fishing report:

Green Bay Fishing Report: September 10, 2012 Brown Co. Green Bay:In the Lower bay (University Bay), fishermen were trolling for Musky with limited success. A few walleye were caught here and there using crank baits and crawler harnesses. Fox River:In the Fox River, fishermen and shore fishermen were catching Sheepshead, Carp, Catfish, and Drum. A few small White Bass were also being caught by boat and shore fishermen. Some shore fishermen were also catching Sheepshead and catfish by the discharge at Metro City Ramp using night crawlers and minnows. Geano’s Beach:At Geano’s beach, fishermen were both casting and trolling for Musky with limited success. They were using large stick baits and crank baits. Fishermen were also catching Perch and Walleye having some success with both. Night crawlers and minnows were used for Perch while using crank baits and crawler harnesses for Walleye. Suamico:At Suamico, fishermen were trolling for Musky, using crank baits and large stick baits with little success. It was slow for walleye; numbers were not very large and they were using crank baits and crawler harnesses. In the Suamico River, fishermen were catching Perch and Bluegill and some rough fish using minnows and night crawlers. East Shore Labor Day was the busiest day of the week with fishing pressure being low for the rest of the week and weekend. Rain, wind, decreasing temperatures, and rough water on the Bay have lowered the fishing pressure across all places. The water temperature in Sawyer Harbor and Little Sturgeon Bay was around 71 degrees. Bayshore Park:At Bayshore Park, it was very quiet all week. A few fishermen were looking for Walleye using night crawlers, but none were caught. Chaudoir’s Dock:At Chaudoir’s Dock, fishermen were looking for Musky and Perch. No Musky were caught and only a few Perch were caught with minnows in about 20 feet of water and were very small (all released). There were a few pleasure boaters, but it was very quiet here all week. Sawyer Harbor:In Sawyer Harbor, fishermen were looking for Smallmouth Bass, and good numbers came in this week. They were being caught on various types of bait: tubes (grey, smoke, and brown in color), night crawlers, and spinners (black) in about 12 feet of water. A few Rock bass were also caught, but mostly on night crawlers. Walleye were also being targeted, but only one was caught on a Husky Jerk (pink in color) in about 15 feet of water. It measured at about 17 1/2 inches and about 2 pounds. Little Sturgeon Bay:On Little Sturgeon Bay, there was a mixture of pleasure boaters and fishermen. Fishermen were looking for Smallmouth Bass, Perch and some were looking for Walleye. No Walleye were caught, Perch numbers were okay this week and Smallmouth Bass numbers were high this week. The Smallmouth Bass were caught on tube jigs (black), spinners, and gulp night crawlers in about 22 feet of water. Perch were being caught on night crawlers and minnows in about 15-20 feet of water. Sheepshead and Gobies are still around, with a few fishermen also catching Catfish on night crawlers. Oconto Co. Fishing pressure was light to moderate this past week with water temperatures around the 70 degree mark. Wind and rain kept many fishermen off the Bay. Fishermen are also reporting lots of floating weeds in the Bay which made trolling difficult. The panfish bite at the Stiles Dam has slowed considerably this past week with fishermen averaging about 2 fish per hour. Walleye and perch fishermen from Pensaukee to Oconto Park II report poor fishing with only a few walleye being caught in 15 to 25 feet of water using stick baits or crawler/harness. Some perch are being caught but are too small to keep. Fishermen are catching lots of gobies, drum and catfish while targeting other species. Marinette Co. Fishing pressure was light to moderate this past week with water temperatures around the 70 degree mark. Wind and rain kept many fishermen off the Bay. Fishermen are also reporting lots of floating weeds in the Bay which made trolling difficult. No interviews were obtained on the Peshtigo River this past week. A few brown trout are being caught at the Hattie street Dam using crawlers and casting spoons. Rock Bass, drum, and panfish are also being caught by the dam. Fishermen are having some success fishing walleye in the area of Green Island; reports of big fish in the 28 to 30+ inch range is being reported. Thunder sticks have been producing well being fished in 15 to 25 feet of water. There has been no sign of the salmon run as of yet.


Around Spring Valley, Time on the Water Outdoors reported white bass starting near rocks and the mouths of creeks.


Ed Mullady sent this:

*SMALLMOUTH BASS IMPROVED! Hitting in both Indiana and Illinois. INDIANA:*Baum’s Bridge Area *Point, north of English Lake *Grand Kankakee Marsh area. ILLINOIS: Momence area *Mouth of Iroquois River,near Aroma Park *Kankakee River Dam through Johnson Veteran-Fisherman Park. *Kankakee River State Park *Wilmington Dam through Island Park. Good Baits: *Crankbaits *jig, double twister tail & minnow *jointed minnow shaped lures *Mepps No. 2,3 Spinner *live minnows *crawfish, Fly fishermen catching on *poppers *streamer flies. ================================================================================= *NORTHERN PIKE IMPROVING! Any place ditch or creek enters into main river *along shorelines, especially if quiet water is next to faster moving water out a few feet *remains of weed beds. Good Baits: Mepps #5 Black Spinner *Weedless Doctor Spoons *4″-5″ minnows at different levels*minnow shaped crankbaits. =============================================================================== *CATFISH CONTINUE GOOD. Best fishing usually late afternoon into darkness and the night. Also good before sun rise up to 10 am *live minnows *catfish cheese *chicken liver *Try along shorelines, any and all areas with in the water fallen trees*exposed underwater roots *bridge piers *dam and spillway areas. =============================================================================== *WALLEYE: Slow right now. Best from late sunset through night, or hour or two before sunrise best, but some will feed at all times. Try fairly easy moving waters *in-the-water branches and trees *along water levels with slow moving water *below any dam and spillway location. Good baits include*Weedless Doctor Spoons *jig and minnow *jointed minnow shaped plugs *Streamer flies. ============================================================================== ROCK BASS: Good on crawlers, redworms, 2-3″ minnows *popping bugs on fly fishing, along with small spinners. *CROPPIE:Good on crawlers, redworms, 3″ minnows *pinkie jigs *croppie slider. *BLUEGILL: Good on redworms *small spinners *small minnows *fly rod,(same as above and plastic spiders in red, white, black). Any of rock bass, croppie, bluegill, caught around those fish holding in the water logs, branches, weed beds, rock riffles, bridge piers. ============================================================================== Even in wind blowing wrong wayfrom north, small whitecaps, colder, nasty day… River Guide Matt Mullady (815 932 6507)was out for a very short time and caught an 18 smallmouth quickly, with several other smallmouth, several rock bass and a catfish on a lure. All were returned to the river. Best time to go fishing? Whenever you can go!. Be sure when you go fishing, that public areas(like U.S, State, City, townships}allow fishing during hunting seasons. Permission must always be given by owners of private property, Ed Mullady, Sportsman’s Letter

Norm Minas sent this:

the gauge is bouncing like a yo-yo, rise with rain and then drop immediately. water temps bouncing from high 60’s to low 70’s. still lots of weed flowing below Wiley Screwdriver is fairly clear with a green tint. over the weekend the conditions and the patterns were pretty much the same as they have been for a while with the exception being a single spin has been much more productive. I was upstream in an urban area avoiding the weeds and fishing boulders out in the flow and watched an eagle fishing for a while. There were also herons working the shallows. It seemed that just about every boulder produced a fish but only if the lure made contact with the rock. Monday , it was a different story. Bars on inside bends and point bars on inflows were the only location producing. The more current coming out of the inflow the better it was. Of course, more current is still not saying much even for the permanent inflows. The only lure that produced was a crankbait worked deeper to shallower up the bar. The front edge was marginally better than the downstream edge. My usual haunts of the last few months did nothing today. Now one day does not mean that you should throw the baby out with the bath water. I may have simply been in the right place at the wrong time. It may also be the start of shorter days and cooler nights inducing some fish to change locations. Time will tell. That’s is part of the beauty of fishing, the fishes instinctual reactions are always ahead of the two legged, warm blooded primate with the large brain case.


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


For shoreline salmon, see top.

CHICAGO: Capt. Bill Kelly of Leprechaun Charter high winds and slow fishing, a few kings inside the R4 and R3. Park Bait reported a few perch on the outside of Montrose.

NORTH POINT: Capt. Bob Poteshman of Confusion Charters reported good fishing for a mixed bag (kings, lakers, coho, steelhead and a few browns) in 100-200 feet, scattered throughout the water column on both sides of the state line; spoons are working better than normal, but Dodgers and flies are working best.

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.

DALEY DERBY: In September, the species are Chinook and perch for the Richard J. Daley Memorial Sport Fishing Derby. Check fish in at Henry’s Sports & Bait. Derby runs through September with cash prizes for the heaviest three fish from selected species caught around Chicago each month.


Click here for D&S Bait.


There is access at Morris Wetlands at the mouth.


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

(Head): Good action for northern, smallmouth and panfish, with a fair to good bite for musky, walleye, and largemouth. Hunters note that the ruffed grouse, woodcock, duck. and archery bow season all open shortly in the Eagle River area. Great hunting opportunities abound. All in the Eagle River, Wisconsin area Water temps have risen back up to the mid 70s, resulting in some slowdown in fishing action in the Eagle River, Wisconsin area. Best consistent action can be had by fishing the Eagle River Chain of 28 lakes (largest freshwater chain of lakes in the world), except for smallmouth bass, where the deeper, clearer lakes in the area will produce best. The northern bite is good in the Eagle River area. Fish 10 feet of water or less in and around weeds. Use a Husky Jerk in a minnow or walleye pattern, small bucktail, spinnerbait, or a northern sucker under a slip bobber. All day bite. Smallmouth bass are locating in the clearer, deeper lakes in the Eagle River area. Fish 10-25 feet off of break edges over hardbottom (sand,gravel, and rocks). Use a jig and a minnow, plastic tube or crawfish, or a plastic worm rigged Texas style or wacky style. Good all day bite. Panfish (crappies,bluegills and perch) are providing good action in the Eagle River area. Fish 15 feet of water or less outside of weed edges. Perch are tight to bottom, with crappies and gills suspending up and down the water column. Use a crappie minnow or chunk or crawler under a jig or slip bobber. Musky action is fair to good in the Eagle River area. Fish 15 feet of water or less outside of weed edges or weed clumps. Use a regular sized bucktail, topwater or spinnerbait. Normal retrieve. Always do a figure 8 as your lure nears the boat. All day bite, with peaks early and late. Walleye in the Eagle River area are in 10-25 feet of water off of break edges, and are tight to bottom. Use a jig and a minnow. All day bite, with peaks early and late. Action is fair to good. Largemouth bass are putting on a fair to good bite in the Eagle River area Fish 10 feet of water or less, with the largemouth locating tight to structure (brush piles, weeds, lily pads, docks, and drowned wood). Early and late use a topwater like a frog or rat, and for the daytime hours try a jig and a minnow or a plastic worm rigged Texas style or wacky style. (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:

Warm days have kept the lake temps up after the cool nights, though water temps on most lakes have dipped below the 70’s with forecasted highs for Tuesday the 11th to be in the mid 80’s, don’t be surprised to see 70’s on the water (briefly). The following week should put temps where they belong. Expect the bites to be more consistent than the past week. Smallmouth Bass: Good. Lots of fish covering gravel bars and humps. Any deep, drowned wood will also hold smallies. Walleye anglers seeking eyes using leeches, crawlers and chubs are finding lots of smallies. Anglers targeting bass using drop-shots with 3″ senkos, 3″ Gulp Alive minnows, 2 1/2″ – 3″ Craw Papis scoring well. Skirted grubs (Chompers) and sculpin imitations on 3/8-1/2 oz jigs are good choice on gravel humps topping at 22-34′. Largemouth Bass: Good. Spinnerbaits (Boonies), Chatterbaits, lipless cranks and pre-rigged worms over weed flat tops. On high pressure days, plunge plastic craws, beaver baits and jig and pig combos into weeds to draw bites. Bluegills: Fair-Good. Action best away from weeds. Small tubes, crappie minnows and 1/2 crawlers on jigs best. Work 10-14′ edges. Walleyes: Fair-Good. High pressure following unstable weather slowed what had been a promising week of walleye fishing. Some strong bites on deep gravel of 20-28′ and some shallow water flowage bites all seemed to slow over weekend. Hopefully cool weather on horizon will improve action. Musky: Fair-Good. A few nice fish including a 48″ over weekend. Bucktails and rubber baits best this past week. Sucker bite slow due to warm temps. Crappie: Fair. Not a lot of reports. Should pick up as temps near mid 60’s. Perch: Fair. Few reports. Pike: Fair. Rising temps slowed bite over weekend. Live bait in deeper weeds producing best.


For shoreline salmon, see top. Ed McCain at Mik-Lurch said spinners are taking some steelhead and a king or two in Trail; some coho on spawn sacs up Trail Creek in Michigan City. On Pine and Stone lakes, there are big bluegill, redear and a few crappie deep on the bottom.


Muskie Open is Saturday. Here’s the info:

Saturday, September 15th will be the date of the Annual Shabbona Lake Muskie Open. The hours will be 6 AM – 7 PM. The winner will be determined by the longest Muskie caught on September 15th at Shabbona Lake. Lakeside Bait, Tackle & Boat Rental will have a chase boat on the water to respond to every reported Muskie Catch. Please call 815-824-2581 to report catches. Do not bring Muskie catches into Lakeside, we will come to you. Muskie Catches may be called in any time prior to 7 PM. Prizes will be for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place, $100, $50 & $25 respectfully. 2012 has been a very good year for Muskie at Shabbona Lake. With the improved spillway barrier system, many Muskie have been saved and returned to Shabbona Lake, increasing the Muskie population to the best ever. Cabela’s will be offering a $100. gift card for the longest Muskie caught on September 15th at Shabbona Lake. We will have a Walleye stocking donation jar, set up at Lakeside Bait, Tackle & Boat Rental, for the event. If you donate $5.00 or more to the Walleye Fund, and you place 1st in the Muskie event, Cabela’s will double your prize to $200 Cabela’s Gift Card. You Must Sign Up and Donate $5. Prior To Your Muskie Catch To Win $200. Lakeside is now taking reservations for Bass Boat, Pontoon, Gary Special, Motor Boat or Row Boat!!! Go tohttp://www.shabbonalake.com/online.htmlor call 815-824-2581. $5.00 off on all day boat reservation at Lakeside, if made in advance 24+ hours. The Opens are open to everyone. The Opens are meant for everyday fisherpersons who are there to enjoy and respect Shabbona Lake. Shabbona Lake, located in Southern DeKalb County, 30 miles west of Aurora, Illinois, has a fishery with State Record potential Walleye, Hybrid Crappie and Muskie. 4 State Of Illinois Record Muskie and 2 State Of Illinois Record Hybrid Crappie already adorn Shabbona’s legacy. Help us top off a great 2012 fishing season at Shabbona Lake with a new State Of Illinois Record Muskie. It would be Shabbona Lake’s 5th State Record Muskie. The last State Record was caught on April 1st, 1997, by Chris Kim, 37 pounds, 13 ounces, 49 1/8 inches, caught on a 4″ sucker minnow on a snelled #4 hook under a bobber!!!

Denny Sands sent this link for some great shots of Shabbona Lake fishing.

Click here for info and reports.


For shoreline salmon, see top.

From the Wisconsin DNR Lake Michigan report:

Southern Lake Michigan Fishing Report: September 10, 2012 Kenosha Co. No report. Racine Co. Anglers were primarily targeting Browns and Chinooks from the pier and in the harbor. The Chinooks that were caught were caught off of south pier in pre dawn hours using 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 in anywhere from 30-70 feet down in 50-100 feet of water depending on the day. Anglers were focusing mainly on Chinooks and browns in shallower water including the river channel, but strong winds have kept their success at a minimum. On the Root River, rain has raised the river level to where water is only trickling over the Horlick dam. Water temperatures were measured between 72-75 degrees in the deeper pools. No anglers were seen fishing due to the low water levels, and no salmon or trout seen migrating up stream yet. One angler was seen fishing for bluegills and smallmouth in the deeper holes upstream of the Root River Steelhead Facility. Milwaukee Co. North Shore: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 70-130 feet of water with baits about 60-100 feet below the surface. The best baits have been spoons of various colors and dipsey divers with flasher flies. Fishing on the pier has resulted in a few brown trout and Chinooks being caught. The brown trout were caught on alewives or throwing spoons or crank baits, while the few Chinooks being caught were in pre-light hours of the day with success on glow spoons and soft plastics producing the best. The shoreline along Summerfest is producing a few small browns and the occasional Chinook with most success on live bait rigs or throwing spoons. There wasn’t anyone seen having successful perch fishing in the area. South Shore:Fishing under the Hoan Bridge has produced a few brown trout reported caught on spoons and alewives on the bottom. Grant Park has reported a few brown trout being caught on spoons. Fishing off of the Oak Creek pier has resulted only in a few small browns being landed though some Chinooks have been seen chasing in lures. There wasn’t anyone seen having successful perch fishing in the area. Milwaukee River:Recent rains have raised the level of the river to fishable level. However, the overall water clarity decreased along with temperatures around 62-66 degrees. Only a few fishermen were seen fishing for trout or salmon since no fish have been seen moving up river yet. Menomonee River:Recent rains have raised the level of the river to fishable level in the shallows. However, the overall water clarity decreased along with temperatures around 62-66 degrees. No fishermen were seen fishing for trout or salmon since no fish have been seen moving up river yet. Ozaukee Co. Port Washington Ramp:Low to moderate angler activity. Anglers having successful harvest of mainly chinook salmon followed by rainbow trout and a few coho salmon. Spoons and j-plugs were the most common lures used by these anglers; flies were successful as well. Fish were most commonly harvested in 50-100 feet of water with a few fish harvested in 130 feet. Some anglers returning to the ramp reported catching their limit of salmon and trout. Port Washington Harbor/Shore:Low to moderate recorded angler activity. Anglers harvesting chinook salmon using spawn on the rocks in Rotary Park, and some are harvesting chinook salmon using spoons on the rocks and boardwalk around the harbor slips. Port Washington Pier:Low recorded angler activity. Some anglers having successful harvest of chinook salmon using silver spoons and thundersticks. Port Washington Power Plant:Moderate recorded angler activity. Anglers harvesting brown trout, rainbow trout and coho 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. Water temperature averaged 54 degrees. Sheboygan Co. Sheboygan Ramps:Low angler activity. Anglers successfully harvested mainly chinook salmon and a few rainbow trout. Spoons and j-plugs were the most popular lures used by anglers, with also having success using flies. Fish were harvested in 50-120 feet of water. Sheboygan North Pier:Low recorded angler activity. Anglers having successful harvest of chinook salmon on silver spoons. Sheboygan South Pier:Low to moderate angler activity. Anglers harvesting chinook salmon using glow watermelon spoons, K-O-wobblers and alewives. Sheboygan River:Low angler activity. Some anglers having successful harvest of chinook and coho salmon using alewives between 8th Street and the harbor. Both water levels and flow velocity are low. Water temperature averaged 62 degrees. Boating, canoeing and kayaking is discouraged from Esslingen Park to the Sheboygan Harbor due to the high volume of dredging and habitat restoration projects. Dredging is being conducted from Sheboygan Harbor to Wildwood Island, and habitat restoration projects are being conducted at Kiwanis Park, Wildwood Park and Esslingen Park. Shore anglers should be aware that these projects will limit and sometimes prevent your 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 shoreline. Water temperature averaged 60 degrees. Weedens Creek:No recorded angler activity. Both water level and flow velocity are extremely low. Creek narrowed by encroaching grass. Edgewater Power Plant:No recorded angler activity.


For shoreline salmon, see top. Tyler Harmon messaged:

Some salmon have started to poke around the many rivers of the area. Pier fishing has started to produce as well. Spoons, Oslo Spinners, crankbaits, and bobbers and bait are all taking a few fish. The action is not hot and heavy or anything, but at least some fish are starting to be caught. Have not heard of any steelhead being caught but there is always the chance you will run into one at this time of year. Inland lake action has remained good for panfish and bass.









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