Midwest Fishing Report: Lakes around Chicago fishing

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This lakes section of the Midwest Fishing Report is highlighted by the hopes of early shoreline bite for salmon on southern Lake Michigan; but it still comes in fits and starts. Weather change could bring the big push.

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. It was this morning, this morning.

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


CHICAGO: The king above was caught by Mike Markese and held by his friend Alex Pena. Mike sent this explanation, which nicely captures the excitement of the fall run:

fish was caught by me Mike Markese its being held by my buddy Alex Pena..My phone died before I could get a good pic with it… I have been out the last 3 days since and not one has been caught..I can honestly say I was very lucky we were just about to leave as I’m reeling in the last cast of night and bam it hits.. I’m 31 only been salmon fishing the last 3 seasons…But I always remember getting up for school when I was younger and my dad and his buddy’s getting home all excited with big salmon..I never understood the excitement, now I do and I can pass it on to my son…I will defintely keep you updated this season as I said I love the column and all the advice and info you pass along to us all! thanks again and as always Keep up great work for all fisherman and hunters!! FYI Caught on green glow cleo with black spots

Mike Repa at Park Bait reported several Monday night and again Tuesday morning at mouth of Montrose, best is green K.O. Wobbler. Fish are being seen at Burnham pipe.

WAUKEGAN:Weather limited recent effort.

INDIANA:Mik-Lurch reported a few at the mouth of the Ditch. David Martin Repya messaged no kings at Michigan City, waiting on cold front (like many others).

SOUTHEAST WISCONSIN:The effort is beginning at Racine and Kenosha. At Milwaukee, Arden Katz reported many big kings over the weekend, including the 27-pound fish of the week caught by Ray Rivero. Arden said key is rattling baits, especially in red.

SOUTHWEST MICHIGAN:Tyler Harmon messaged warm water around pier heads, but some salmon being caught on glow spoons, dusk and early morning at every port.


No report from Hooksetter’s Guide Service.


Greg Dicksonat Triangle reported good catfish, shallow mud flats areas, on stinkbait or crawlers; white bass are on main lake areas and on the river; for bluegill, focus on shaded areas with some crappie mixed in.

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

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


MAZONIA:  Bill “Any Luc” Lanham sent this report:

Dale, Alan Epich of Mokena joined me for an early pre Bears game fish hunt on one of Mazonia’s clear water gems. Nice bluegills, thick, deep bodied black crappies and the occasional redear can be found well off of the shoreline weed edges now. Gills and crappies are grouping along steep drops and deep flats right now. Wax moth caterpillar larva will tempt all just fine. Any

Last day of fishing at Mazonia, other than Monster Lake at Mazonia South (it stays open for fishing year round) is Oct. 8.

BRAIDWOOD:Last day of fishing is Oct. 8.

LaSALLE: Be aware the road in and parking lot is being paved. There may be days when the ramps and/or site are closed. Call (815) 795-2448 to check on opening. Last day of fishing is Oct. 13.

HEIDECKE:Last day of fishing is Oct. 8.


POWERTON:Lake is open again, 6 a.m.-8 p.m. daily.


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.


For shoreline salmon, see top. A side note on the shoreline salmon, Capt. Bob Poteshman of Confusion Charters  said boaters have been going deep, but it might be worth trying to pattern the shallow shoreline bite for the big kings coming back. Perch reports have been very spotty at best.

CHICAGO: Repa said an 8-pound pike was caught at Belmont. Poteshman reported improved fishing (lakers, some kings, coho and steelhead) around the R4 and the wreck.

WAUKEGAN: Lori Ralphat the Salmon Stop said the weather has limited effort, shore and boat until the last day. Otherwise, boats are focusing on that 120 feet range.

NORTH POINT:Poteshman said reported fish scattered outside the hill and out in 300.


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


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

Good Evening, the Minocqua Area Fishing Report form Kurt’s Island Sports: Warm weather has persisted for the second week of September. Surface temps ranging from 72-78 degrees. In some instances it has put the bite off. For some species things have picked up. Largemouth Bass: Very good. Best on spinnerbaits, shallow running cranks over 6-8’weeds. Topwater still a hot option in 2-4’ at dusk. Big fish this week including a 22 6#+ caught and released on a Boonie Bait. Pike: Good-Very good. Blade baits are the best choice. Spinnerbaits, #3, #4 Mepps and Rizzo Wizzs. Jigging chubs as well as chubs on a spinner taking nice pike 28-36. Musky: Fair-Poor. Not sure what’s going on. Recent Musky Tournament on Squirrel only produced 2 legal fish. Action slow- might be waiting for temp drop. Bluegills: Good. Another flying ant hatch (2nd in 2 weeks) has gills up high. Use small leeches 10-16 below float. Crappies: Very Good. Lots of nice fish of 10-12+ this week on 1/16 oz jigs tipped with 2twister tails or medium fathead minnows. Where wood can be found in 12-15’ start. Otherwise work outside coontail edges of 14-18’, 10-14’ down. Walleye: Fair. Some action on deep rocks (17-28’), on redtails, crawlers. Action off on weeds. A few reports of anglers doing well after dark on crankbaits from shore. Perch: Good. Relating to sandgrass on clear lakes in 15-24’ of water taking softshells and ½ crawlers. In darker water, wood in 4-8’ on crawlers. This week’s mild temps (forecast of lows in the low 60’s- high in the low 70’s) won’t drastically change things. A dip in the temp by the weekend could improve walleye and musky bite. Fishing pressure relatively light for September. Typically a great month for walleyes, pike, crappies as well as both bass species. The best is yet to come. 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, smallmouth bass, largemouth bass, and panfish all providing good action; with musky fair. Highest density of grouse drumming in the state, portends a great grouse season, which starts on September 14. All in the Eagle River, Wisconsin area. Water temps in the Eagle River area hovering in the low 70s. Walleye in the Eagle River area are in 10-25 feet of water, off of weed edges and adjacent break edges. The walleye are tight to bottom. Use a jig with a minnow, half of a crawler, or a leech. All day action, and the bite is good. Northern are in 10 feet of water or less in the Eagle River area. Fish in and around weeds. Use a small bucktail, Husky Jerk in a minnow or walleye pattern, or a northern sucker under a slip bobber. All day action. Bite is good. Smallmouth bass in the Eagle River area are locating off of break edges and over hardbottom areas in 10-25 feet of water. Use a tube jig, plastic crawfish, or a jig and a leech or minnow. All day action. Bite is good. Largemouth bass are in 10 feet of water or less in the Eagle River area. Fish in and around heavy weeds, or shoreline structure (docks, brush piles and downed strees). Use a spinner bait, crankbait or weedless plastic. All day action with peaks in the evening. Bite is good. Panfish (crappies, bluegills and perch) in the Eagle River area are in 15 feet of water or less, off of weed edges or adjacent weed beds. Perch are tight to bottom, with the crappies and gills locating up and down the water column (day and lake dependent start at the bottom and work your way up until you find the depth that the fish are locating at on a particular day or time). Use a Mini Mite, or a crappie minnow or a chunk of crawler on a small jig or under a slip bobber. All day action. Bite is good. Musky in the Eagle River area are in 10 feet of water or less off of weed edges of adjacent weed beds. Use a small bukcktail, topwater, or twitch bait. Always do a figure 8 with your lure as it nears the boat. All day action. The bite is fair.


Staff at Mik-Lurch reported some perch off the Inland Shoals, but it varies wildly day to day. Creeks are not active with low hot water. Stone and Pine have been hot for panfish.


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.


Tyler Harmonmessaged:

Warm water still surrounds the pier heads, but a few salmon are being caught of of the many ports in the area. Glow in the dark spoons are taking fish in the dusk and early morning, and crankbaits taking fish during the day for shore bound anglers. Trollers are finding fish shallow from the beach out to 60 foot of water, jplugs, spoons, and crankbaits are taking a few fish. Perch fishing has still been decent on Lake Michigan. Inland lake fishing has been good for bass and gills. Rivers are still low, and no salmon or steelhead are being caught. Smallmouth action has still been great on the river.


Sturgeon season started. More details at http://dnr.wi.gov/topic/fishing/sturgeon/sturgeoninlandfishery.html

River’s Edge reported a few small sturgeon, but the water is warm. Otherwise, the best bites are smallmouth and crappie. Check other reports and info at River’s Edge.

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