Midwest Fishing Report: Rivers around Chicago fishing

SHARE Midwest Fishing Report: Rivers around Chicago fishing

A few kings are already coming into the tribs of southern Lake Michigan to highlight this rivers section of the Midwest Fishing Report; otherwise it is wading time.

I usually post the sprawling, raw-file online version of the MFR, which appears condensed on the Sun-Times outdoors page, generally by Tuesday evening or Wednesday morning.

If you have suggestions, please let me know at straycasts@sbcglobal.net or @BowmanOutside.


Go to http://water.weather.gov//ahps2/index.php?wfo=lot to check area water levels and projections.

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


No updated report this week.


Marcus Beneschsent this:

Deerfield/Wheeling – Pike extremely active during the morning and early evenings. Was able to hook up with almost twenty hammer handles on Sunday. Bucktails and thundersticks were the pikes meal of choice. Largemouth bass also biting well for the river. Bass were hanging in the weeds. Managed one 3lber, but for the most part they were all a pound or less. Crappie, rock bass, and bluegill all biting in the shallow laydowns. A weedless jig is the best way to get deep into those laydowns.

Nick Doumel of brookfieldangler.com sent this:

Happy Monday, Dale! Headed out to the southern stretches of the Des Plaines on Sunday near Joliet to continue my DPR small mouth exploration. I started fishing around 9am and was off the water by 4. When it was all said and done, 29 small mouth came to hand with most being 8″ to 10″. However, 6 of them were over 14″ and 2 of those were right at 16″. A couple of weeks ago I noted the sheer numbers of smaller ones were a great sign and I have now started connecting with some of the bigger ones. I can’t even begin to count the fish I missed. The best flies on Sunday were an olive sculpin pattern and a 3 color clouser minnow (dark blue/electric blue/white). The fish definitely wanted the flies deeper in the water column and the faster the retrieve, the better. Almost all fish came from pools directly above or below a set of rapids with only a couple coming from pools that were either next to or in the middle of a set of rapids. In a nutshell, find a rocky bottom stretch of the river, find a pool near faster water, and you will find small mouth. Happy fishing!


No report this week.


“Johnny Sunshine” Pajak sent this:

Dale, Hope this finds you & your family well. Well the dog days of summer have been heating up on the Fox River near Elgin. Fishing in the evening I picked up the fly rod last week & working the eddies right off the main channel has been producing a nice mixed bag. Not on the same day but over two trips caught plenty of smallies (Cant really brag about the size unfortunately), several channel cats & even a walleye. Plenty of action.

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 at http://www.foxriverfishing.com/tips/fox-river-getting-started-guide/


Catfish and drum.


The news is a few big kings (to 19.48 pounds) started coming into Trail last week. Staff at Mik-Lurch reported an angler caught one on a spinner at the Deep River dam.

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


River is in easy wading shape, but some areas, especially around the state park, have some algae issues. Otherwise, it is time to get out.

Norm Minas sent this:

Dale when fishing in the areas that have algae on the bottom and drifting in the water fishing higher in the water column has worked best for me. Topwaters, flukes, sluggos, cigar type worms, and swim baits have worked best. You still have to pick green off the lure eventually but going that route helps somewhat. Fishing buzzbaits at the heads and tails of riffles has been productive as have been rattlebaits in the faster, heavier flows. when fishing areas where algae isn’t as much of a problem add crankbaits and jig/plastic and jig/pig to the mix. Singlespins for reasons unknown to me have only been so/so of late. Norm

Ed Mullady of the Sportsman’s Letter sent this:

Hi Dale, The Kankakee River is low, and fishing generally has been good. Dave Zack, Momence Conservancy District, informed me parts of river near State Line(IL Side) are. closed where river usually open to river style boats. He also remarked that fishing in the area nearer to Momence where river is reachable is good on all river fish. In Indiana, fishing has been good near shoreline and where boats are okay to use at. Catfishing especially good up and down the river on *night crawlers *3-5″ minnows *cheesebaits. Bluegill good off of 10 mile road and north of English Lake. In Illinois Catfishing improving below Kankakee Dam from shore * Nick at the Trading Post next to Kankakee River State Park, reports some good smallmouth bass fishing, although some areas are tough to fish due to algae. Mike Gorman, Angelo’s Outdoor Sports, Wilmington, IL reports good catches of big catfish from the river. Smallmouth Bass also fair to good here.Rock Bass good esp. in evening. Much of the fishing is from the shore and fish are being caught in these places. Best to you Ed Mullady


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


The Wisconsin DNR Root River Report is generally updated during the prime seasons. But there is other information on the site.


A few kings are coming in.

Tyler Harmon messaged:

River fishing has slowed down for steelhead due to temperatures slightly increasing. Walleye and catfish action has picked back up though.

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