Midwest Fishing Report: Lakes and rivers around Chicago fishing

SHARE Midwest Fishing Report: Lakes and rivers around Chicago fishing

Ice fishing is the story once again for this Midwest Fishing Report.

I will usually post the sprawling, raw-file online version of the MFR, which appears condensed on the Sun-Times outdoors page, generally by Tuesday evening. I am running behind this week because of Christmas.

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

LAKEFRONT PERCH

The hottest spot has been 87th Street. But ice is solidifying around Chicago harbors again, which opens more spots to perch fishing. NOTE: With ice reforming or solidifying, use care when releasing undersized perch back into busted holes at places like 87th or Navy Pier. It is bad form to have ice littered with tiny perch.There are reports of some big fish being mixed in with the perch, most notably the Fish of the Year, the 31.5-inch walleye caught by Bob Anderson on Monday at 87th.CHICAGO PIER PASSES:The $6 pier passes, which allow access to select piers, are in at Henry’s, 3130 S. Canal.

ICE FISHING REGS CHICAGO-AREA PUBLIC SITES

CHICAGO LAGOONS:Not allowed.COOK FPD:Ice fish at your own risk: Arrowhead, Axehead, Beck, Belleau, Big Bend, Bode South only, Bullfrog, Busse main and south (no north pool), Flatfoot, Green, Horsetail, Ida, Maple, Papoose, Powderhorn, Saganashkee, Sag Quarry east and west, Tampier, Turtlehead and Wampum.DuPAGE FPD:Ice fish at your own risk. Spring Creek Reservoir is closed to ice fishing (fluctuating levels). Late-night fishing is allowed at Deep Quarry Lake in Bartlett (fishermen must be out of preserve by 11 p.m.)KANE FPD:Ice fishing, at your own risk, at Lake Patterson, various ponds at Burnidge.LAKE FPD:Ice fishing is permitted at Banana, Independence Grove south bay and Sterling, when area is posted as safe for fishing.MAZONIA SFWA:Monster Lake is open year-round for open-water or ice fishing. Ice fishing at your own risk. Other lakes open after hunting.McHENRY COUNTY CD:Sites listed for ice fishing when appropriate: Fel-Pro RRR, the Hollows (Lake Atwood and West Lake), Lyons Prairie & Marsh, Pleasant Valley, Rush Creek pond and Stickney Run pond.SILVER SPRINGS SFWA:Ice fish at your own risk. Use east entrance.WILL FPD:No ice fishing allowed.

AREA LAKES

Cold is quickly resolidifying shorelines that gave way in the rain. Should be a good week for ice fishing.

CHAIN/FOX BACKWATERS ICE-FISHING ACCESS

T-Channel:Famous Freddie’s.Channel:Chopper’s Bar, $5 parking taken off if food ordered.Spring:Granny’s, $5 parking taken off if food ordered.Nielsen’s Channel: Hermann’sLowlife Bar & Grill, $5 parking, wax worms, food, drink.Ackerman’s Channel:Try Port O’Blarney.Marie:Sand Bar and Grille, free if patronize the place; when thicker ice comes, Barnacle Bob’s is the spot.Petite:Hideout, $5 (box up soon).Pistakee:Oak Park Lounge, $4 parking.Loon:Pay launch fee.Deep:Once ice thickens, Jack & Lydia’s Resort.

CENTRAL WISCONSIN

No report this week from Hooksetter’s Guide Service.

CHAIN O’LAKES AREA/FOX RIVER BACKWATERS

Staff at Triangle Sports & Marine reported bluegill caught in weed pockets, top spots include south side of Channel or the T-Channel; crappie being taken in back channels; walleye being caught on tip-ups on flats or current areas (use extreme caution). NOTE:Check Chain updates athttp://www.foxwaterway.com/or (847) 587-8540.

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

AREA WATER LEVELS

Go to http://water.weather.gov//ahps2/index.php?wfo=lot to check area water levels and projections. Probably a good week to do this again.

To get to more specific gauges, even on creeks, in Illinois, go to http://waterdata.usgs.gov/il/nwis/current/?type=flow

CHICAGO RIVER

No update fromJeff Nolanof Bridgeport Bass.

COOLING LAKES/STRIP PITS

MAZONIA: Fishing is closed, other than Monster Lake at Mazonia South stays open for fishing year round.BRAIDWOOD:Closed to fishing.LaSALLE:Closed to fishing. HEIDECKE:Closed to fishing.

DELAVAN/GENEVA LAKES, WISCONSIN

Brian Gatesat Lake Geneva Bait and Tackle reported conditions are tough with snow on top of slush or water, not much with ATVs or snowmobiles. On Geneva, ice fishing off the Geneva launch, open water farther out; on Delavan, bluegill and crappie on west end by the island, walleye by west end of Lake Lawn (limited parking); Como and Pell, some bass and pike on tip-ups.

Gates has shacks for rent on Delavan–(262) 245-6150.

DES PLAINES RIVER

No report this week.

DOWNSTATE NOTES

Larry Dozardoflarrysfishinghole.com sent this on Downstate closures during the fall and winter hunting seasons:

–ANDERSON LAKEis CLOSED TO BOAT FISHING for the season–BANNER MARSHIS CLOSED TO BOAT FISHING AND AS OFOCT. 31st, BANK FISHING ONLY ALLOWED AFTER 1PM butNO FISHING ALLOWED in EAST POINT ACCESS AREA , which is CLOSED TO ALL FISHING to provide a GOOSE REFUGE AREA during season tillFeb. 1st–DOUBLE T STATE FISH and WILDLIFE AREAIS CLOSED TO FISHING for the season and remains Closed tillAPRIL 1st, 2014–EMIQUON PRESERVEduringwaterfowl huntingseason fishing is allowed only between Noon and sunset.–EVERGREEN LAKE– A SOUTHERN PART OF Lake AROUND DEER ISLAND and ALL OFSIX-MILE CREEK BAY ISCLOSED TO GAS MOTORS from Oct. 15th throughJAN. 1stto allow for resting areas for migratory waterfowl. YOU ARE ALLOWED TO STILL RUN A TROLLING MOTOR IN THESE AREAS ONLY. – Also, the ENTIRE lake and park, with the exception of the campground, is CLOSED to general use Nov. 22-24 andDec. 5-8 for the Deer Management Program.–RICELAKEis CLOSED to boat fishing till end of Duck & Goose season–SNAKEDEN HOLLOWincluding McMASTER LAKE IS CLOSED TO FISHING for the Season till Feb. 1st–SPRING LAKE (South & North)IS CLOSED TO BOAT FISHING in Waterfowl Hunting Area with BANK FISHING ALLOWED ONLY AFTER 1pm–And Closed to shore fishing in hunting areas on Oct. 26th.. AREAS THAT REMAIN OPEN TO BOATS ARE NORTH OF MAPLE ISLAND with ramp at north end at the Sky Ranch Road launch and IN PIKE HOLE with carry in boats -On December 25thboat fishing and shore fishing in the waterfowl hunting area will be allowed after 1:00 p.m. through the end of Canada Goose season.–CLINTON LAKEthe easterly area of Clinton Lake between the DeWitt (CH14) and the 48 bridges is CLOSED FROM OCT. 10th throughMARCH 31stto protect fish and wildlife. It will Re-OPEN April 1st..–POWERTON LAKEIS CLOSED TO BOAT FISHING and CLOSES TO SHORE FISHING and ALL FISHINGON OCT. 26th(Last day for Shore fishing isOct. 25th) and REOPENS TO SHORE FISHING ONLYON DEC. 23rdAND NO BOAT FISHING tillFEB. 15th–SANGCHRIS LAKETHE WEST and EAST ARMS OF LAKE and Small AREA NEAR DAM Are CLOSED DURING WATERFOWL SEASONto boat traffic throughJan. 31, 2014 (during this time fishing boat traffic is permitted in the center hot arm only).And the Entire lake will be CLOSEDNov. 22-24andDec. 5-8thdue to firearm deer hunting on adjacent properties.The exception will be for hunting programs with restricted usage during this time period.For more info, contact site office at 217/498-9208 from8 a.m.-4 p.m. Mondaythrough Friday.

DuPAGE RIVER

No report this week.

FOX RIVER

SS Minnows in South Elgin–(847) 289-0135–offers the opportunities of a local bait shop.

Check Fox updates near the Stratton Dam at http://foxwaterway.com/ or (847) 587-8540. For the area above the Montgomery dam, go to http://www.dnr.illinois.gov/closures/Pages/default.aspx

To join the Fox River Angler Diary Project, go to http://data.foxriverfishing.com I think it is one of the neater projects around.

Sam Bennetthas a getting-started guide for the Fox athttp://www.foxriverfishing.com/tips/fox-river-getting-started-guide/

GREEN BAY

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

ILLINOIS RIVER

No report this week.

INDIANA STREAMS

Steelhead are in the streams, and Mik-Lurch staff report spawn sacs or b-moths on black jigs working. Salt has been fairly good.

Access points for Trail Creek can be found on the Trail Creek Access Map.

KANKAKEE RIVER

Both the Kankakee and Iroquois are fairly iced up, butNorm Minassent this:

River flow is a bit above normal , river is starting to freeze again in areas of lesser gradients. The slushy stuff to floating ice chunks are back in the water that did open up in those stretches. There are still places to fish and the access has improved with most of the snow gone from parking areas. The only trip where I caught anything so far was today{Monday}. Basically it was swimming boot tailed plastics on a jig slowly above the bottom. Multi species. pike, walleye and smallmouth at an inflow and the nearby area. Norm

LAKE ERIE

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

LAKEFRONT

See top for perch report. Capt. Augie Ralph said there is some ice fishing underway at North Point: jigging for perch and panfish and tip-ups for pike.

SNAGGING:Here are the regs, it ends Tuesday:

Snagging for chinook and coho salmon only ispermitted from the following Lake Michiganshoreline areas from October 1 throughDecember 31; however, no snagging is allowedat any time within 200 feet of a moored watercraft or as posted:— Lincoln Park Lagoon from the FullertonAvenue Bridge to the southern end of theLagoon, — Waukegan Harbor (in North Harbor basinonly), — Winnetka Power Plant discharge area,— Jackson Harbor (Inner and Outer Harbors)

MADISON CHAIN, WISCONSIN

Staff at D&S Bait said there was good panfish on upper Mud, OK panfish on Monona Bay and Waubesa; Mendota is frozen but not safe overall.

MENOMINEE RIVER, WISCONSIN

Mike Mladenikhas reports and info at hisMike Mladenik Guide Service site.

NORTHERN WISCONSIN

MINOCQUA:Kurt JusticeofKurt’s Island Sport Shop sent this:

Weather has been up and down here in the Northwoods a bit lately.High pressure and low temps (-9 to -20 degrees last night) put fish and anglers not in a good mood to bite or fish.Windows of opportunity spring up.Monday’s higher temps, lower barometer and better fishing follows. Pike:Good-Very good.Big suckers and chubs have been the choice4 on tip-ups.Anglers fishing the typical weeds of 8-12’ reported good action with nice fish.A pair of 35 silver pike (no spots) were iced yesterday.Another group caught 43 pike in 4 hours using tip-ups in a bay near incoming stream. Walleyes:Fair-Good.Some trophy fish over the weekend (which saw otherwise slow fishing) included catches of a 26, 27, 28 and 30 ½ by anglers mostly on tip-ups after dark.Action improved on Monday.Walleye suckers for the deeper fish (14-22’) as well as jigging raps in sizes #7 and #9.Anglers fishing the flowages and shallower lakes having better success on shiners and large rosies (slip-float rigs). Perch:Good-Very good.Angler plying slightly deeper waters (25-30’) catching nice perch on Swedish Pimples, Kastmasters tipped with waxies/wigglers.Up on weed bars small rosies used to tempt 9 plus perch. Crappies:Fair-Very Good.This species, as is typical, has been weather dependent.High skies and cold have brought poor catches requiring anglers to finesse with small #3 tungsten jigs tipped with tiny plastics to entice reluctant bites.On the other hand, days with warmer temps and clouds have anglers doing good on tip-downs with minnows as well as horizontal plastic jigs.Lots of good fish including a 16er this past weekend. Bluegills:Good.Better weather, better bites.Small #12 to #10 rockers tipped with single spike or plastics in 6-8’ bays.Nice catches of 7+ fish on Monday after a tough bite over the weekend. Largemouth Bass:Fair-Good.Warmer weather, better bite.Medium to large shiners best over weedy bottoms. Cold temps through Thursday look to be lifting to highs of mid 20 to low 30’s for Friday/Saturday.With new moon coming up for January 1st, combination looks good for anglers heading out to enjoy some holiday fishing. Kurt Justice Kurt’s Island Sport Shop www.kurtsislandsports.com

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

(Head): Walleye, northern and panfish all putting on a good to excellentbite in the Eagle River, Wisconsin area. The good to excellent early ice fishing continues in the Eagle River,Wisconsin. Ice is good and getting better, although caution is very muchadvised as snow cover and slush are concerns. Ice thickness varies fromaround six to 10 inches, and increasing. We are seeing some snowmobiles andATV’s out on the ice, but the safest bet right now continues to be foottravel. Indeed, give yourself a break from anything but catching fish andhaving a fun, safe time on the ice: Hire one of Eagle River’s excellent andhighly qualified licensed guides. Walleyes in the Eagle River area are off of break edges in 25 feet of wateror less. Use a medium shiner or walleye sucker under a tip up, or use ajigging spoon tipped with a fathead minnow. The walleyes are tight tobottom. All day action with peaks at sunset. The bite remains good toexcellent. Northern in the Eagle River area are in 10 feet of water or less in andaround remaining weeds. Use a medium to large shiner or northern suckerunder a tip up. All day action. The bite remains good to excellent. SomeEagle River area ice anglers are finding that fishing deeper at times willhere-and-there produce a real lunker northern, but the action will be slowerthan if you fish somewhat higher in the water column. Panfish (crappies, bluegills and perch) are on mudflats in 15 feet of water or less, in the Eagle River area. Perch are tight to bottom. Crappies and gills are suspending (day and lake dependent) up and down the water column. Use a flasher, as it’ll give you the depth that the crappies and gills are locating at, at any given time and it will save you drilling a lot of holes that won’t produce. Use a waxie, spike or crappie minnow under a small jig or slip bobber. All day action. The bite remains good to excellent.

NORTHWEST INDIANA

Staff at Mik-Lurch said ice fishing should be going at Willow Slough again by the weekend and, as noted above, steelhead are in the streams.

ROOT RIVER, WISCONSIN

The Wisconsin DNR Root River Report is again being updates weekly, generally by 4 p.m. Tuesdays.

SHABBONA LAKE

Ken “Husker” O’Malleysent this:

Hey Dale, Hit the ice on Shabbona yesterday. Ice is at 4 inches with another 1/2 inch to inch of frozen slop on top. I focused mainly on brush piles in 14 fow. I managed good numbers of crappie and bluegill with a bonus bass. All fish were caught on a tungsten jig tipped with colored spikes. It was great to be on the ice in December. I attached a few pics from yesterday. I hope the Bowman family has a Merry Christmas. Husker Outdoors Water Werks Fishing Team

I think as long as ice fishing is going the Lakeside bait shop is open Friday-Sunday, 8 a.m.-2 p.m. Restaurant is open Saturday-Sunday, 11 a.m.-4 p.m.

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.

Stream flow info is at http://waterdata.usgs.gov/wi/nwis/current?type=flow

SOUTHWEST MICHIGAN

Nothing from Tyler Harmon this week.

ST. JOSEPH RIVER, INDIANA

Click here for reports from the Indiana DNR.

WISCONSIN DELLS

Check reports and info at River’s Edge.

WOLF LAKE

Staff at Mik-Lurch reported some pike in both states, ice building.


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