Midwest Fishing Report: Rivers around Chicago fishing

SHARE Midwest Fishing Report: Rivers around Chicago fishing

This rivers section of the Midwest Fishing Report has a bit of the fall doldrums, especially with air and water temperatures jumping around so much, but some good reports, too.

Marcus Benesch sent this photo and explanation along with his Des Plaines River report:

Adam Micalleti’s 20inch DPR Bass. Best bass I’ve seen this summer out the river, he was a little on the skinny side, but had tremendous length

And before we get to the rivers section of the MFR, I thought it worth sharing what Ken “Husker” O’Malley of Water Werks Fishing Team sent:

Hey Dale I took my thirteen year old daughter to wade one of our local creeks for some smallmouth action. Well, the overnight rains turned the creek into coco. We caught a few rock bass, but that’s it. It was good to see my daughter exploring like she used to do when she was younger. That brought back some found memories. That was great to see. Our schedules make it harder for both of us to get together. Really didn’t care about the fishing today. It was much more than that. I think she knows that as well.I attached a few pics. Check out that spider! Husker Outdoors Water Werks Fishing Team

That’s what I am talking about.

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.

The lakes section of the MFR is posted later Tuesday 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. I need to bug Jeff Nolan of Bridgeport Bass again.


Marcus Beneschsent this:

Yeah the Pike are really getting active up north, but with the late summer heat the bass and pans have really turned it up again. Caught a ton of bass and pike on Saturday on the border of Lake/Cook county while kayak fishing. Stayed in town for some fishing yesterday and caught over twenty rock bass while standing on a rock in the river. Along with that hooked into a couple dozen nice sized blue gills and various hybrid sunfish as well. A few small crappie were also mixed in. All on a small yellow hair jig. After an hour of balancing on that rock the smell of vienna beef hot dogs from Gene and Jude’s had become over powering so I called it a night and ate a few rubber dogs with my fishy fingers. Marcus Benesch River Grove, Illinois


No report this week.


Sam Bennett sent this:

Hope you’re well. If you haven’t seen it, we released the trailer for The River Rats on Friday. Figured you saw it, but if not: https://vimeo.com/73484471 That’s still a rough cut. Fishing has been tough on the Fox. I only saw a few reports of nicer fish this week and none of them were posted by yours truly. Smallmouth are not cooperating. With the fishing pressure of Labor Day weekend I didn’t even bother. Nothing has worked very well for me, but topwater at dusk has unlocked a few here and there. The morning bite hasn’t been worth getting out of bed. Waiting for the good fall bite reminds me of waiting for the spring bite. I’m actually looking forward to glove weather. (As sick as that is. I can’t believe it’s already that time of year when the flatheaders start dreaming of staging salmon, but it is. Very soon those nights of stalking river monsters will switch to chasing silver in Waukegan. There’s still a month, weather permitting, of good catfishing to be had. -SB

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/


No update this week.


Mik-Lurch staff reported just a few kings mixed in with the steelhead in the streams.

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


River is very low, very wadeable; in spots, the river almost feels lower than during the Drought of 2012.

Norm Minassent this:

The river is much closer to the historic lows than it is to normal flow. If you find decent current, depth and shade, you have a winner. current and depth will still work but paying attention to the angle of the sun and playing the shady side of cover is a good way to go. One trip is was all buzzbait in riffles, that freaking simple. Another spooks and magnum flukes in channel related areas brought some good sized fish. Another day fishing a weighted keeper hook with an erie darter along the lip where two or more current seams came together found the fish stacked, most were spitting crawdads on the way in and at release. Working a spinnerbait from sun into shade lines also got some very nice fish. Don’t die on a spot, the day the buzzbaits in riffles was on fire, if a riffle didn’t produce at least a missed swipe at the lure fairly quickly, I blew the spot and found another. If you are willing to get out and explore, you will find the right kind of conditions. Pre hydrate and stay hydrated. Norm


Jon’s Bait in South Wilmington reported a 23-pound flathead caught over the weekend near Mazonia SFWA.

There is fishing access near the mouth at Morris Wetlands. A map is at http://dnr.state.il.us/lands/landmgt/hunter_fact_sheet/R2Maps/MorrisWetlandsMap.pdf.


Mike Mladenikhas reports and info at his 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. People are trying for kings.


Tyler Harmon messaged:

Warm weather and warm water have put a hamper on any river fishing. No salmon or steelhead action to speak of. Smallmouth action has been great on the river as well as other warm water species.


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

Check other reports and info at River’s Edge.

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