Midwest Fishing Report: Lakes around Chicago fishing

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Promising hints of big kings on southern Lake Michigan top this lakes section of the Midwest Fishing Report.

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.


CHICAGO: Spotty. INDIANA: Slow. WAUKEGAN: Lori Ralph at the Salmon Stop reported some in 40-80 near Great Lakes for boaters and a few off Government Pier for shore fishermen. MICHIGAN: Good numbers, fair size, out of most ports, messaged Tyler Harmon.


More stable patterns should be setting up, more typical summer patterns.help with fishing for the weekend.

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

Hey Dale, Fishing has been decent on area ponds despite the constantly changing weather patterns. It has been hard to pattern bass because of this. Everyday it’s a different presentation. Most productive pattern has been a watermelon senko Texas rigged. Smaller Bass are being caught on the inside weed lines. Evenings have been better. Mornings have been very slow. I attached one f the better bass a caught tonight. Talk to ya later Husker Outdoors Water Werks Fishing Team


No report this week from Hooksetter’s Guide Service:


MAZONIA: Jon’s Bait in South Wilmington reported some nice bass, some bluegills and a few redear on Ponderosa; quality crappie for a boater at North Unit.

BRAIDWOOD: Jon’s reported the lake is slowly cooling, catfish are the best bait.

LaSALLE:I need to check on the update of the concessionaire.

HEIDECKE:The launches are open and the new docks are in.


Staff at Triangle reported channel catfish (many in that 3-pound range) continue excellent, mostly on stinkbait or crawlers; walleye are very good, early and late, on large fatheads or small roaches; bluegill have been spotty, look for them schooling deeper than normal, and use small worms (wax, red, ect.); White bass are best early on small minnows fished near main lake basins, start in 8-12 feet; fair muskie on bucktails or topwaters; crappie are fair, early morning or late evening on small minnows and jigs; carp are consistent, strawberry-flavored corn or doughballs.

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

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


Arden Katzsaid best to set up in 23 feet, cast in to weeds for bluegill to 8 ¼ inches and perch (on hellgrammites, trout worms).

DELAVAN: Guide Dave Duwe semt this:

Delavan Lake Fishing Report 8/4/13 through 8/12/13 With the cooler weather the fishing has continued to be excellent and is even improving a bit. The other benefit with the cooler weather, is that the early morning pleasure boaters aren’t out in full force so the boat is not too busy. The fishing pressure remains very high though. Largemouth bass are still in their mid-summer pattern. They are in large schools associated with deep main lake points with scattered weeds. The best approach has been Black/Blue ¾ oz jigs with a black Craw Trailer or a split shot rigged nightcrawler. With the cooler water temperatures, some of the bass are moving shallow and are accessible on slip bobbered medium suckers in 12-13 ft of water. The best bobber for this kind of fishing is the Thill Big Fish bobber. The benefit is that it will lay flat and then slowly stand up as the fish strikes, which aids in detecting the initial strike. Lakeside Bait and Tackle has an ample supply. Northern Pike are being caught on the weedline in 18-21 ft of water. They can be caught on slip bobbers or on lindy rigged suckers. Both methods use medium suckers. The size of the bait continues to matter this year, the bigger bait means bigger fish. Look for them by the gray condos and by the old Boy Scout camp on the west end. Bluegill action remains exceptional. The best depth is 13-15 ft of water. I like to use a split shot with a single hook and leaf worms. Fish this rig straight lined beneath the boat for the best action. The best success I’ve had is by Assembly Park point and just west of Willow Point. Walleye fishing has been above average. The best approach has been chrome and blue jigging Rapalas or lindy rigged leeches. I’ve been working depths of 21-24 ft. This time of year, I prefer to troll but the fishing pressure makes that very difficult. The best location is adjacent to main lake points, just off the weedline. They are scattered in the main lake basin. Good luck and I hope to see you on the water. For guide parties, please call Dave Duwe at 608-883-2050

GENEVA:Arden Katz reported good bass in 25 feet on points with finesse worms on drop-shot rigs.

Duwe sent this:

Lake Geneva Fishing Report 8/4/13 through 8/12/13 Fishing remains excellent on Lake Geneva. The real cool weather of the recent weeks, has kept the morning boat traffic low, which makes fishing very enjoyable. Everything is biting very well except the Northern Pike. In recent weeks, there have been reports of musky being caught. The biggest fish I heard about was 40 inches. Most of the reports I’ve heard were about fish in the 32-34 inch range. Bluegill fishing has been excellent. The bigger fish are in the 18-22 ft depth range. My best luck has come near the Yacht Club or by the west end of Elgin Club. The best approach is straight lining a leaf worm beneath the boat and lightly trolling or drifting into the wind. Most of the bluegills I’m catching are nice eaters, over 8 inches. Smallmouth bass fishing has been fantastic. The best depth is anywhere between 21 and 33 ft of water. The bigger fish I’ve been catching have been in the deeper water. You can either catch them while drop shotting small plastic worms or on a lindy rigged nightcrawler. This time of year, the fish are really schooled up so a good Hummingbird locator is essential to find the active schools. This past week, I started to catch a few on lindy rigged yellow perch caught in the lake. This pattern should continue throughout August and into September. Largemouth bass are on the deep weedlines. The best locations remain in Trinkes, Geneva Bay or in Williams Bay. I will position the boat in 25 ft. and cast back to the weedline. The best location to catch the fish is where you can find hard bottom with the weeds. Dragging heavy football head jigs or Carolina rigging a Zoom 6 inch green pumpkin lizard are producing most fish. I have been catching an occasional largemouth, while fishing for the smallmouth and those fish have been biting on lindy rigged nightcrawlers. Lake Trout action has been seeing a lot of pressure. There have been 2-3 boats trolling the main lake basin every day. Most of the fish are coming from 75 ft down in whatever depth you are in. Purple flies fished behind a silver Dodger have been producing the most. Walleye Pike fishing has been very good at night. The best bite is from midnight to 2 a.m. on nights where there is some wind. Trolling large Rapalas has been working well. Look for them in Abbey Springs and Williams Bay. Good luck and I hope to see you on the water. For guide parties, please call Dave Duwe at 608-883-2050 Daily Reports 8/1/13 – Delavan Lake, 72 degrees, sunny, W winds at 10 mph. Water temp 76 degrees. Caught 19 largemouth and 1 smallmouth. The average size of the fish today was 17 inches, which is substantially higher than recent trips out. The bigger fish were caught on slip bobbered medium suckers in 13-15 ft of water. 7/31/13 – Lake Geneva, 65 degrees, heavy fog and mist. Light wind out of the SW. Water temp 73 degrees. Caught 15 smallmouth and 4 largemouth. 3 of the largemouth were over 16 inches and 5 of the smallies were legal. Fished by Yerkes Observatory and in Fontana. The best depth was 22 to 24 ft of water. With the crummy weather, boat traffic was light. 7/30/13 – Lake Geneva, 65 degrees, winds N at 10 mph. Water temp 73 degrees. Had a full day trip. Caught over 20 smallmouth bass with a couple in the 19 inch range. The fish are located anywhere between 21 and 33 ft of water. The biggest fish were in the deeper water. Lindy rigging nightcrawlers on 8 lb test was the best bet. 7/29/13 – Delavan Lake, 62 degrees, winds E at 10mph. Water temp 76 degrees. Caught 18 largemouth bass, 2 northern pike and a bunch of bluegills. The bigger fish today were caught on a Thill Big Fish slip bobber with medium suckers. I caught most of the fish in less than 13 ft of water.


POWERTON:Remains closed indefinitely for site work.


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


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


See top for perch.

CHICAGO: Park Bait reported decent drum at Montrose. Capt. Bob Poteshman of Confusion Charters said, “A lot of almost grand slams” of coho, kings, steelhead and lakers in 75-125 feet.

WAUKEGAN: Ralph said salmon are tough, best is to start very early, no later than 5 a.m.

NORTH POINT: Poteshman said the Wisconsin side is better, early morning is best on the hill or inside the hill for mostly kings, but steelhead, coho and lakers, too.


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


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

Seems more like the end of August than the beginning. Lake temps ranging 68-70 degrees, not much for air temps above mid 70’s this week. Perch: Good. Some very nice perch to 12 ½ on ½ crawlers, crayfish tails. Mix of weed and wood best in 3-8’. Also over sandgrass in 14-18’ on the deep clear lakes. Bluegills: Good. Gills to 9 + on crawlers and medium leeches. Pike: Good. They are liking this weather. Boonie bait spinnerbaits, chatterbaits and Rattle Traps worked over weed tops in 4-8’. Nice eaters of 22-28 with a few low 30 fish reported. Largemouth Bass: Good-Fair. Bite a little quiet. Fish very shallow in 2-6’. Leeches, crawlers, Boonie baits and Sug-gos taking fish from the shallows. Smallmouth Bass: Fair. Drop-shotting 2 ½ Craw Pappies, 3 worms and Gulp Alive Minnows over 14-20’ gravel humps best. Musky: Fair. Bucktails best bet as cool weather has shut down top-water action. Smaller rubberbaits also working. Walleye: Fair. Gravel humps of 14-22’ using full crawlers on 1/8oz jigs. Drifting deeper (25-40’) with harnesses and crawlers on big lakes scoring fish to 28. Crappie: Fair. Mostly smaller fish hovering in weed tops on small jigs/plastics or minnows. Seems like the fish need to repattern themselves. Some have moved shallower (LMB ) and others deeper (walleye) than usual for this time of year. 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): Northern and panfish providing an excellent bite, with musky, walleye, and largemouth bass good to excellent, and smallmouth bass good. All in the Eagle River, Wisconsin area. Water temps in the Eagle River area are in the mid to upper 60s. Northern in the Eagle River area are putting on an excellent bite. Fish 10 feet of water or less in and around weeds. Use a small bucktail, bass style spinner bait, or a northern sucker under a slip bobber. All day action. Panfish (crappies, bluegills and perch) in the Eagle River area are providing an excellent all day bite. Fish 10 feet of water or less in the weeds or adjacent weed edges. The perch are tight to bottom, with the crappies and gills suspending up and down the water column. Use a small jig or slip bobber with a minnow or chunk of crawler, or try a Mini Mite. All are working. Musky in the Eagle River area are in 6-15 feet of water along weed edges. Use a bucktail, topwater, or jerk bait. All day bite, with peaks around sunset. Good to excellent action. Walleye in the Eagle River area are in 18 feet of water or less, off of weed edges or adjacent break edges. Use a jig and a leech, or a jig and a crawler. The walleye are tight to bottom. All day action, with peaks in the evening. Bite is good to excellent. Largemouth bass in the Eagle River area are in 10 feet of water or less in and around shoreline structure (docks, downed trees, brush piles, heavy weeds). Use a weedless plastic, Bass Rat, Scum frog or Heddon Torpedo. All day action. Bite is good to excellent. Smallmouth bass in the Eagle River area are in 8 to 25 feet of water off of sand and gravel break edges. Use a plastic tube or crawfish, a jig and a leech, or a jig and a half of a crawler. All day action. Bite has been good.


Staff at Mik-Lurch reported Salt and Trail creeks are loaded with steelhead. Some kings have been as shallow as 55 feet out of Michigan City, but that varies and most days the bite has been much deeper. Willow Slough is improving for panfishermen.,


Denny Sandsat Lakeside said several good bass were caught on topwates in the weeds; hybrid stripers are chasing shad evenings; some crappie in brush piles and cribs; bluegill are good along weed lines and lily pads; and catfish are mediocre. Lake is holding at a prime 73 degrees.

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


The Wisconsin DNR posts a fishing report, generally updated on Tuesday, at http://dnr.wi.gov/topic/fishing/lakemichigan/OutdoorReport.html Some browns off the Kenosha piers and a few kings showed up on the Racine piers (lots of shoreline sheephead in Racine).


Tyler Harmonmessaged:

Perch fishing has definitely been good out of many ports on Lake Michigan. Salmon fish has slowed back down but still going strong up the coast. The kings they are getting down here are almost all in the 20 pound class. Steelhead action has been great on the many rivers, inline spinners such as oslos in a wide variety of colors are taking fish, as well so are small plugs, spoons and spawn. Still getting good word on panfish action on the inland lakes, crappies and gills. Bass fishing inland lakes has been kind of slow for this time in the year. Walleye and small mouth still being caught in the river.

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