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Midwest Fishing Report: Lakes around Chicago fishing

Shoreline salmon on Lake Michigan and hints of the fall feeding frenzy lead this lakes section of the Midwest Fishing Report.

I normally post the sprawling online version of the lakes section of the MFR, published in a condensed form Wednesdays on the Sun-Times outdoors page, by Wednesday morning.

I usually publish the rivers section of the MFR Tuesday evening, but just got it up this morning this week.

If you have suggestions, tweet me @BowmanOutside or email straycasts@sbcglobal.net

SHORELINE SALMON

CHICAGO: Plenty of fish around, action is only fair. Night bite is better. Montrose remains best. Other reported spots are Northerly island/Burnham, 39th and 63rd.

WAUKEGAN: Lori Ralph at the Salmon Stop reported spawn sacs and frozen roaches taking some salmon from shore.

INDIANA: Night bite is best at the Hole-in-the-Wall and outside of East Chicago Marina; fish are being seen at Hammond Marina, according to Mik-Lurch staff. Lots of kings and a few steelhead in the creeks; creek spinners, spawn sacs and skein are best.

ROOT RIVER, WISCONSIN: The Wisconsin DNR report on the Root River indicates most pressure downstream of weir, with fly fishermen doing better than those using spawn for kings; some browns, too.

SNAGGING

Snagging for salmon opened Tuesday on the Illinois lakefront. Here are the regs:

Snagging for chinook and coho salmon only is permitted from the following Lake Michigan shoreline areas from October 1 through December 31; however, no snagging is allowed at any time within 200 feet of a moored watercraft or as posted: — Lincoln Park Lagoon from the Fullerton Avenue Bridge to the southern end of the Lagoon, — Waukegan Harbor (in North Harbor basin only), — Winnetka Power Plant discharge area, — Jackson Harbor (Inner and Outer Harbors)

AREA LAKES

Crappie fishing begins to pick up, but a bit cooler water would help. The water coming in last week helped spark some feeding. Good stable weather pattern should make it a good week to spend some afternoon and evenings.

CENTRAL WISCONSIN

From Hooksetter’s Guide Service:

(Head): Musky, walleye, crappie and bass all hitting, with duck and goose hunters having a very good season; all in and amidst the lakes and the Wisconsin River in Wisconsin¹s Marathon and Lincoln Counties (near Mosinee and Wausau).

Anglers are having a good fall fishing season in the central Wisconsin area, with water temperatures in the upper 50s, and on their way down. Fishing is only going to get better.

The musky bite in the central Wisconsin area continues to improve with some big fish showing up on jerkbaits like Suicks and Reef Hawgs, as well as rubber style biats like Bulldawgs and Medusas.

Walleyes in the central Wisconsin area have been particularly active in deeper water associated with the sharp bends in the main Wisconsin River channel, and the large deep flats on main lakes. Most of the anglers are using lead head jigs tipped with minnows for action, but a few larger fish are coming on large jigs tipped with oversized plastics.

The crappie bite in the central Wisconsin area has been very good all season long and continues to stay hot with good numbers, as well as size, being caught. Most of the action is coming from mid lake structure in deep water.

Bass anglers in the central Wisconsin area continue to find a lot of big bass associated with deep rock structure by working deep diving crankbaits and jigs tipped with plastics over the rocky structure.

CHAIN O’LAKES

Arden Katz reported good white and yellow bass in 7-9 feet on Marie with crappie deeper (12-14) and some walleye shallower (6-7). He is trolling drop rigs slow (.5-.9 mph). He found good bluegill tight to shore on Catherine, fishing ice floats and ice jigs.

Check updates at http://www.foxwaterway.com/ or (847) 587-8540.

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

COOLING LAKES/STRIP PITS

MAZONIA: Fishing closed, other than Monster Lake at Mazonia South (it stays open for fishing year round) is Tuesday.

BRAIDWOOD: Fishing is closed for the season.

LaSALLE: Last day of fishing is Sunday.

HEIDECKE: Fishing is closed for the season.

GENEVA LAKE, WISCONSIN

Mark O’Neill posted the photo at the top and this about a Sunday outing:

Banner day on Lake Geneva, 39 fish in the boat; 36 SMB, 2 LMB and 1 pike. My largest, a 21.25 SMB that weighted in at 5 lbs 4 oz. Eight fish over 19 inches, just a great day! — with Dan Guy.

GREEN BAY

The Wisconsin DNR has a report, which is typically updated on Tuesdays, posted at http://dnr.wi.gov/topic/fishing/lakemichigan/OutdoorReport.html

LAKE ERIE

The Ohio DNR has general Lake Erie info and a fishing report.

LAKEFRONT

See top for shoreline salmon. Some perch reports starting out of Cal Park area. Some steelhead being caught with pieces of shrimp under a bobber on the harbor side at Waukegan.

MADISON CHAIN, WISCONSIN

Go to http://www.dsbait.com/ for information and reports from D&S Bait.

NORTHERN WISCONSIN

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

Good Morning, the Minocqua Area Fishing Report:

Surface temps have yet to drop to levels usually seen at this time of year. Most lakes are seeing temps averaging 60-62 degrees- last year at this time the average was 49-50 degrees. This week’s air temp lows of the 40s will be working against highs in the low 70s.

Pike: Good. Spinnerbaits over cabbage beds of 4-8’ producing pike of 22-30”.

Musky: Fair. Surprisingly slow for what is usually prime musky time, fish are very shallow- 4-8’. Twitch baits (Cranes, Big Game) and shallow running jerks (Suicks, Smity’s) pulling some fish from shallow weeds. Topwater (top-Raiders, Whopper Ploppers) also producing fish this week. Mostly smaller fish, top reports a 45” tiger (sucker) and 47” true musky (8” Crane).

Largemouth Bass: Good. Spinnerbaits also tagging nice bass in the 3-5# range. Double Colorado blades a plus on larger 3/8-1/2 oz lures.

Crappies: Good. Working wood in 8-14’ using medium fatheads producing nice catches of crappies 10-13+”.

Walleyes: Fair. Deep water (35-45’) depth producing walleyes of 19-23”. Chubs preferred, yet hard to find. Use suckers of 3-5” on 3/8-1/2 oz jigs or Lindy Rigs. Flowage walleye being found in 10-14’ near wood on large fatheads.

Perch: Fair-Good. Recent weather made targeting perch tough over weekend. Prior weather with less wind gave up good catches of 9-13” perch using fatheads on 1/16 ox jigs in 4-7” weeds.

Been predicting good musky fishing coming up- just hasn’t happened. Fall fishing looks to stretch out as cold weather isn’t due this week. Hot sucker bite yet to occur.

Colors on trees have not peaked as of yet. Upcoming weekend forecasted for a little rain, fairly stable temps.

Kurt Justice

Kurt’s Island Sports

715-356-4797

EAGLE RIVER: 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 Guide¹s Choice Pro Shop, Mat Hegy; and Eagle River hunting enthusiast, Dan Anderson

(Head): Walleye, northern, and panfish all putting on a good to excellent bite, with musky, smallmouth and largemouth providing good action. All types of migrating honkers moving in, with more and more deer activity — especially nocturnal. Grouse hunting will peak in the coming week or two, and local woodcocks staging for migration south. All in the Eagle River, Wisconsin area.

Water temps hovering around 60 degrees, and dropping slowly but steadily.

Walleye in the Eagle River area are putting on a good to excellent bite. Fish 10-30 feet off of break edges or adjacent mud flats. The walleye are tight to bottom. Use a 1/8th ounce jig and a fathead. All day action.

Northern are locating in and around in 10 feet of water or less, in the Eagle River area. Use a bass style spinner bait, small bucktail, Rapala Husky Jerk, or a northern sucker under a slip bobber. All day action. Bite is good to excellent.

Panfish (crappies, bluegills and perch) in the Eagle River area are locating in 15 feet of water or less outside of weed edges. Use a crappie minnow or chunk of crawler under a slip bobber or small jig. Perch are tight to bottom, with crappies and gills suspending up and down the water column (day and lake dependent). All day action. Bite is good to excellent.

Musky in the Eagle River area are in 15 feet of water or less off of weed edges or adjacent hardbottom areas. Use a bucktail, topwater, crankbait or jerkbait. All are working. Some anglers are starting to try live suckers with mixed results. Still a bit early for suckers. All day bite with peaks in the evening. Use a regular retrieve, and always do a “figure 8” as your lure nears the boat. Action is good.

Smallmouth basss in the Eagle River area are in 10-30 feet of water off of break edges in hardbottom areas. Use a plastic tube or crawfish, or a jig and a minnow. All day action. Bite is good.

Largemouth bass in the Eagle River area are in 10 feet of water or less in and around weeds. Use a plastic rigged weedless, bass style spinner bait, or a Mepps spinner. All day action. Bite is good.

NORTHWEST INDIANA

See top for shoreline salmon. Mik-Lurch reported small perch off the point of Inland in 35-40 feet and off Mount Baldy. Last day of fishing at Willow Slough is today.

SHABBONA LAKE

For information and reports from Lakeside, go to shabbonalake.com or call (815) 824-2581.

SOUTHEAST WISCONSIN

The Wisconsin DNR posts a fishing report, generally updated on Tuesday at http://dnr.wi.gov/topic/fishing/lakemichigan/OutdoorReport.html.

SOUTHWEST MICHIGAN

Tyler Harmon messaged:

First day of the cold front and no word yet if anything has changed, rivers up north are starting to see some fall/winter Steelhead moving in* signaling the end of the fall salmon season. Lake trout and Browns will be entering the rivers in short order, some lake run Browns have already begun entering the rivers. Walleye fishing should be decent once the temperature and conditions stabilize, night time being the most productive. Perch fishing on Lake Michigan will be slowing down with the cooler weather.

WISCONSIN DELLS

Check reports and info from River’s Edge.