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Midwest Fishing Report: Lakes around Chicago fishing

A few more hints of big kings continue on Lake Michigan, even with the building heat, for this lakes section of the Midwest Fishing Report,, otherwise it is adjusting to the buidling heat and kids going back to school.

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

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

SHORE KINGS

It looks like a fall where shore fishermen will have a chance at 30-pound Chinook. Boaters are getting them. A client on Rainmaker IV out of Kenosha, Wisconsin on Sunday caught a 31-pound king. The Wisconsin DNR reported a few kings caught off the Racine piers. Tyler Harmon reported a few kings being caught off the northern piers of southwest Michigan. No kings from shore in Chicago, Indiana or Waukegan.

AREA LAKES

Building heat means more topwater action, though you can see how that has not changed everywhere below.

Ken “Husker” O’Malley of Water Werks Fishing Team sent this:

Bass have been very active on farm ponds out south. Water levels are really low. We need some rain! With the low water levels, long casts are necessary. Carolina rigged lizards have produced good numbers of smaller bass during the evening hours. I have been averaging 8 bass. Nothing large, but plenty of action.

Talk to you later

Husker Outdoors

Water Werks Fishing Team

CENTRAL WISCONSIN

From Hooksetter’s Guide Service:

(Head): Walleye, bass, panfish, and musky all hitting, with black bear bait stations getting pounded, as the season nears; all in and amidst the lakes and the Wisconsin River in Wisconsin¹s Marathon and Lincoln Counties (near Mosinee and Wausau).

Recent cool temperatures for August have fish prematurely moving into fall-like patterns in the central Wisconsin area. Water temperatures on the Wisconsin River in the central Wisconsin area have been running from 58 to 62 degrees F.

The walleye bite in the central Wisconsin area has been very good, with nice catches of fish caught by working deeper water along deep shelves and drop-offs in 8 to 14 feet of water. Jigs tipped with minnows and leeches were working the best.

The action for bass in the central Wisconsin area has been very good including some real hogs up to and over 20 inches. Most of our action has come from jigging plastics in submerged wood in less than 6 feet of water, and along rocky rip-rap shoreline areas.

For the most consistent action in the central Wisconsin area, anglers are seeing the panfish bite really pick up with some nice crappies and bluegills being caught. A lot of these fish were holding in 6 to 10 feet of water, but a few of the crappies were suspended over deeper water in the 14 to 18 foot range. Slip bobbers baited up with tiny minnows or a piece of crawler was the trick to taking these feisty fish.

The musky bite in the central Wisconsin area has been good during low light periods, very early and late in the day. Most of our action has been on big bladed bucktails like the Cowgirl and Sumo Sam, but a few of our fish took large jerkbaits like Suicks and Reef Hawgs.

CHAIN O’LAKES

Staff at Triangle reported that throughout the August doldrums bluegill are still the most consistent; if the rain comes look for fish moving shallower; catfish are a close second, still best on crawlers or stinkbait, shallower than normal; some very good muskie fishing (see FOTW) early and late (that may change with coming heat); crappie have been good, mornings and evening, small fatheads or Rat Finkee jigs or gold hooks; for white bass, try main lake in the evenings

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

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

COOLING LAKES/STRIP PITS

MAZONIA: Jon’s Bait in South Wilmington reported smaller bass at the Mazonia lakes and other strip pits, some on topwaters. Ponderosa has been producing some quality bluegill; still a few crappie from Mazonia North.

BRAIDWOOD: Still warm, mainly smaller catfish, according to Jon’s. Expect warmer water.

LaSALLE: Concessionaire is there. Expect warming water.

HEIDECKE: More time there later this week.

DELAVAN/GENEVA LAKE

DELAVAN: Guide Dave Duwe semt this:

Delavan Lake Fishing Report 8/19/13 through 8/26/13

Fishing on Delavan has been a bit tough lately. The boat traffic and fishing pressure both remain very high. You can still catch some large fish but the numbers have been reduced significantly.

Largemouth bass have moved from the deep weedlines into the shallows in 6-8 ft of water. A lot of fish are also being caught around the boat docks. The best docks to fish are on the north shore from the Yacht Club to Willow Point. The best approach is casting small finesse worms in green pumpkin or watermelon seed around the pier posts.

Yellow Perch fishing has been fantastic on the west end by the Viewcrest Bay. You want to anchor the boat in 20-22 ft of water. They are biting on slip bobbers with hellgrammites. Hellgrammites are outfishing any other bait about 5 to 1.

Northern pike fishing has been average. Most of the fish are coming off of white spinner baits or casting lipless crankbaits in 8-10 ft of water. The best location is by Assembly Park or just west of willow point.

Bluegills are biting in the 12-13 ft depth range. The best location is by Browns Channel or in front of Assembly Park. The bite of choice is leaf worms fished straight beneath the boat or casting into the weeds. If your casting into the weeds, the trick is to use a lighter sinker, it will help prevent you from getting snagged.

Walleye fishing is slow. We had a couple bug hatches last week, which really shut them down. Some people are catching a few on leeches, however I spent a whole morning trying to catch them and didn’t even get a bite. Once the water cools some more, fishing for walleyes should improve greatly. The best bite is typically late fall.

Good luck and I hope to see you on the water. For guide parties, please call Dave Duwe at 608-883-2050

GENEVA: Duwe sent this:

Lake Geneva Fishing report 8/19/13 through 8/26/13

Fishing on Lake Geneva remains outstanding. There are multiple species active. The number one bite on the lake is the smallmouth bass, followed by Lake Trout. There are only a few weeks of summer left so hurry and get out there before it’s too late.

Smallmouth bass are in the 18-22 ft depth range. They are biting on nightcralwers, drop shot rigged plastic worms and small suckers. Most of my fish are being caught just west of Conference Point or in Fontana. The fish are in tight schools, so if you catch a couple remain in the same area and you should be able to catch some more.

Lake Trout fishing has been very good in the main lake basin. The fish are 70-75 ft down. The fish are being caught on dodgers and flies. Nickel and blue or nickel and green spoons are the best bet. I place the lures about 25 ft behind the down rigger ball.

Bluegill and Sunfish are really schooled up in the deep water. The best location has been by Fontana Beach. The bigger fish are coming off of leaf worms fished straight beneath the boat. You will catch more sunfish than you will bluegills but a lot of the sunfish are over 10 inches.

Walleye fishing has been average. Again, the best bite is during the night from 11 p.m. to 4 a.m. Trolling crankbaits or lindy rigging leeches are producing most of the action. The best location is by Trinkes or Abbey Springs.

Northern Pike fishing continues to be slow. I caught only one last week. For as many medium suckers that I’ve had down in the right depth range that is incredibly slow. I think with the cooler than normal summer, the thermocline isn’t as pronounced and the fish aren’t schooled up the way they have been in recent years.

Good luck and I hope to see you on the water. For guide parties, please call Dave Duwe at 608-883-2050

Daily Reports

8/18/13 – Lake Geneva, sunny, 70 degrees, water temp 75 degrees, winds SW at 10 mph. Caught 6 smallmouth bass, 4 largemouth bass and a bunch of rock bass. The best depth was 15-20 ft of water. Fished by Yerkes Observatory.

8/17/13 – Delavan Lake, sunny, 70 degrees, water temp 75 degrees, winds light out of the west. Started the trip at 4 a.m. trying to get on the walleyes. Fished 5 hours without catching any. We did end up catching 4 largemouth, 2 northerns and a handful of panfish.

8/16/13 – Lake Geneva, sunny, 78 degrees, water temp 74 degrees, SW winds at 10 mph. Fished all day. Boated over 50 smallmouth bass with an occasional largemouth. The best location was in Fontana. We went through about 10 dozen nightcrawlers.

8/15/13 – Lake Geneva, sunny, 65 degrees, water temp 73 degrees, winds SW at 10 mph. Caught 15 smallmouth and 2 largemouth. The fish were really active today, the fish were caught on split shot rigged nightcrawlers in 21-23 ft of water. Most fish were caught in Fontana.

8/12/13 – p.m. Lake Geneva, sunny, 75 degrees, N winds at 10 mph. Water temp 75 degrees. Caught 10 smallmouth and 2 largemouth. The best depth was 18 ft of water. All the fish were caught on split shot rigged nightcrawlers.

8/12/13 – a.m. Delavan Lake, 72 degrees, cloudy, winds SW at 10 mph. Water temp 75 degrees. Caught 13 largemouth bass, 3 were over 5 lbs. With the cooler weather, the fish were tight to the shore in 5-6 ft of water.

8/10/13 – Lake Geneva, 80 degrees, light winds, water temp 76 degrees. Caught 18 smallmouth and 3 largemouth and a whole bunch of panfish for a whole day trip. Most of the action came on split shot rigged nightcrawlers in 24-28 ft of water. We did catch one monster 22 inch smallmouth on a lindy rigged perch near Yerkes Observatory.

DOWNSTATE NOTE

POWERTON: Lake finally reopened to fishing last week. Hours are 6 a.m.-8 p.m. daily.

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

CHICAGO: Shoreline has been slow. Capt. Bob Poteshman of Confusion Charters said there were good lakers around the R4, scattered kings and steelhead.

WAUKEGAN: Lori Ralph at the Salmon Stop said there were perch in 30-35 feet by the green can and off Great Lakes, from shore off Government Pier; boaters are taking a mixed bag of big fish in 125-150 feet.

NORTH POINT: Poteshman said there were very good lakers, kings steelhead and coho in 150-250, even to 300; some kings shallower (100-130) south toward 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:

Summer is back!!! Temps are rising and fishing action with it.

Largemouth Bass: Good. Topwater action is back! Frogs, Jitterbugs, ChugBugs best on warm evenings in shallows. In morning and midday, Wacky worming senkos, Carolina rigging 7” plastic worms/lizarrds producing nice catches to 4#s.

Musky: Good – improving. As with LMB, warming temps bringing action on topwater. Whopper Ploppers, Pacemakers making a big splash for evening anglers. Bucktails and chatterbaits as well as fast working twitchbaits also catching skies.

Walleye: Good. Best on deeper lakes. Work 20-24’ sandgrass outside weed edges with crawlers or leeches. Off shore gravel humps using slip-bobber rigs or Lindy rigs. Night action on big leeches and lighted slip-floats.

Bluegills: Good. Starting to suspend outside weed edges of 14-18’, 6-8’ down. Small leeches on 1/32 oz jigs or below slip-floats best. Tiny plastics also working to catch limits, mostly 7 ½-8” but some nice 9” fish also.

Crappies: Good. Fish tall weeds in 10-16’. Tickle weed tops with Mini-mites, Gapen Freshwater shrimp, small minnows. Lots of smaller 7-9” fish but enough 10-12”ers to keep things interesting.

Smallmouth Bass: Good. Gravel humps off shore. Not seeing numbers as usual, but with warming weather this should improve. Tubes and jigs, drop-shotting 2 ½” Gulp alive minnows, 3” Senkos or 2 ½” Yum Craws best. Search out gravel tops of 18-26’.

Northern Pike: Fair-Good. Faster moving Boonie Baits, Mepps #3, Chatterbaits picking up action as water warms.

Perch: Fair-Good. Softshell craws, ½ crawlers over sandgrass flats for fewer, but bigger perch (11’+) otherwise stick to weeds of 5-8’ with medium fatheads or leeches to sort out keepers of 8-9”.

Surface temps are back in low 70’s (72-73 degrees) and climbing. Nights are warmer, so morning bites are back. Topwater action taking off as is night fishing for walleyes. Odd summer, this is usually the time for cool downs, but we will take this.

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” Krueger of Guide¹s Choice Pro Shop, Mat Hegy; and Eagle River hunting enthusiast, Dan Anderson.

(Head): Largemouth bass and panfish providing good to excellent action, with walleye, northern and smallmouth bass good, and musky fair. All in the Eagle River, Wisconsin area.

Water temps in the Eagle River hanging in the upper 60s.

Largemouth bass in the Eagle River area are in 12 feet of water or less in and around heavy weeds or shoreline structure (downed trees, docks, and brushpiles). Use a bass style spinner bait, Bass Rat, Scum Frog or the tried-and-true Heddon Torpedo. All day action, and the bite is good to excellent.

Panfish (crappies, bluegills and perch) in the Eagle River area are locating in 12 feet of water or less in and around weeds or weed edges. Perch are tight to bottom, with the crappies and gills suspending up and down the water column (depth is day dependent, so always start at the bottom and work your way up). Use a crappie minnow or chunk of crawler on a slip bobber or small jig. All day action. Bite is good to excellent.

Walleye are locating off of break edges in 20 feet of water or less in the Eagle River area. Use a jig and a leech, half a crawler, or minnow. The walleye are tight to bottom. All day action, and the bite is good.

Northern in the Eagle River area are in 10 feet of water or less in and around weeds. Use a small bucktail, crankbait, or northern sucker under a slip bobber. All day action, and the bite is good.

Smallmouth bass in the Eagle River area are over sand and gravel hardbottom, or off of the break edges in 8 to 25 feet of water. Use a plastic tube or crawfish, or a Sinko rigged wacky. All day bite. Action is good.

Musky in the Eagle River area are in 12 feet of water or less off of weed edges, or adjacent break edges. Use a small bucktail, topwater, or crankbait. Standard retrieve, and always do a “figure 8” as the lure nears your boat. All day action, with peaks in the evening. Bite is fair.

NORTHWEST INDIANA

Staff at Mik-Lurch reported perch east of the Donut in 40 feet, some out of Michigan City and New Buffalo, Mich. Salmon/trout are in 80-120 out of Burns Ditch (Michigan waters). There’s good fishing for bluegill and redear at Willow Slough.

SHABBONA LAKE

For more 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:

A few salmon have started running in the Northern Southwest Michigan rivers. Lake Michigan has been decent for perch, pier fishing remains slow, if cool water is around a mix bag of browns, coho, kings, and steelhead have been caught from the pier. Trolling has been slow but big fish are still being caught. The other rivers in the area have some summer steelhead around, but its on a major down cycle this time of year as the first few salmon start to poke into the many other river systems of the area.

WOLF LAKE

Mik-Lurch reported some walleye, mainly on leeches. Bobby Bergren of Region Bass Buzz is doing well for largemouth from boat.