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Midwest Fishing Report: Lakes around Chicago fishing

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 comes and goes with a fish here and there.

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.

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

And before we get into the lakes section of the MFR, I thought it worth sharing what Ken “Husker” O’Malley of Water Werks Fishing Team, who normally sends a report for local lakes and ponds, 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 the essence of what I like to read and hear.

SHORELINE SALMON

CHICAGO: Moon glow spoons have been the hot ticket at Montrose, according Park Bait staff. Fish are being caught at the mouth of the harbor and off the horseshoe. A 17-pounder was weighed Tuesday. Steve Palmisano at Henry’s said, “We know they are here, but we’re waiting on the heavier run. Fish are bigger this year.”

WAUKEGAN: Still only a couple from shore, according to Lori Ralph at Salmon Stop.

INDIANA: Boaters are taking some off the Hole-in-the-Wall and the Ditch, but shore fishing hasn’t started yet. Mik-Lurch staff reported just a few kings mixed with steelhead in streams.

SOUTHEAST WISCONSIN: The effort is beginning at Racine and Kenosha. At Milwaukee, Arden Katz reported lots jumping and a few caught over the weekend at night, lots marked in the wall gaps. He expects next weekend. Teddy “TaxGuy” Wozny messaged on Facebook about good success from kayaks at Milwaukee.

CENTRAL WISCONSIN

From Hooksetter’s Guide Service:

(Head): Walleye, bass, panfish and musky all hitting, and black bear season opens September 4; all in and amidst the lakes and the Wisconsin River in Wisconsin¹s Marathon and Lincoln Counties (near Mosinee and Wausau).

Even with the hot temperatures the bite has been good for most species in the central Wisconsin area. The walleye bite in the central Wisconsin are has been good with nice catches from deeper water on jigs tipped with crawlers and leeches.

The action for bass in the central Wisconsin area continues to be good with some very nice fish being caught on jig and plastics and on top water baits.

Panfish in the central Wisconsin area remain very active and continue to get better and better as the warmth continues. Most of our action has been taking place from deep water structure in 10 to 14 feet of water with some of the crappies holding over even deeper water.

The musky bite is starting to pick up in the central Wisconsin area, but most of the action remains during very low light periods with some after dark activity. Top water baits and bucktails continue to be the most consistent producers, but a few fish have been coming on jerkbaits like Sucks and Phantoms.

CHAIN O’LAKES

Greg Dickson at Triangle reported catfish (stinkbait or crawlers on shallow mud flats) and white bass (ganging over the deeper water and some main lake drops) as the best bite; bass are tight to shoreline structure; some walleye are shallow around piers, otherwise try wind-driven current areas; for muskie, look shallower even though the deeper trolling bite continues.

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 some small bass (topwaters or plastic worms) on strip pits; occasional redear and blueill on Ponderosa.

BRAIDWOOD: Still warm water.

LaSALLE: Concessionaire is there.

HEIDECKE: No report.

DELAVAN/GENEVA LAKE

DELAVAN: Guide Dave Duwe semt this:

Delavan Lake Fishing Report 9/2/13 through 9/9/13

With Labor Day in the past, the pressure on the lake is going to be reduced by about one half. The warm weather is keeping the fish in their mid summer patterns.

Largemouth bass are in small schools. They can be located by Browns Channel, just west of Willow Point and by Del Mar subdivision. You want to look for the fish in scattered weeds with a hard sand bottom. The best approach is dragging black and blue jigs or Carolina rigging green pumpkin lizards. For live bait fishermen, the best approach is a split shot rigged nightcrawler. This pattern will remain consistent as long as the water temperatures remain constant. As the water cools, the schools will dissipate allowing better action throughout the weedline.

Bluegill fishing has been overall very good in the 12-13 ft depth range. Look for the fish by Browns Channel and just west of Willow Point. They can be caught on leaf worms fished on a split shot rig or on a slip bobber rig. If you fish a location for about 15 minutes and don’t get many big ones, it’s time to move on. The fish are still in larger schools, so if you aren’t having good success, try a different location.

Walleye fishing has been mediocre. The best action has been trolling deep diving crank baits before sun up and just after dark. The best pattern is perch. Look for the fish mostly on the north shore. There are a few weed points that stick out. If you hit the weed points appropriately it’s a good bite. They are located just west of the Yacht Club and just west of Willow Point.

Northern Pike action has been slow. Most of the fish are being caught on Thill slip bobbers fished in the 12-15 ft depth range. Our cooler than normal summer, didn’t drive the fish deep and make them accessible outside the weedline. Look for the fish by Belvidere Park or by Assembly Park point.

Crappie fishing remains very consistent. The fish are suspended over the main lake basin 8-10 ft down in 30 ft of water. The best approach is casting small plastics and letting them sink 5-10 seconds and slowly reeling them back to the boat. The best location has been by Willow Point or by the orange marina on the north shore. The best colors are chartreuse and purple for the plastics on a 1/32 oz jig head.

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

Daily Reports

9/1/13 – Lake Geneva, foggy, cloudy, 80 degrees, water temp 78 degrees, light winds out of the SW. Caught 15 smallmouth and 2 largemouth. The best location was by the Yacht Club in 21-25 ft of water. The best bite was lindy rigged suckers or nightcrawlers fished on bottom.

8/31/13 – Lake Geneva, sunny, 85 degrees, water temp 77 degrees, E wind at 10 mph. Caught 10 smallmouth bass, 2 largemouth. The biggest bass was a 22 inch smallmouth. All fish were caught on nightcrawlers or small yellow perch caught in the lake. The best location was by Yerkes Observatory and the old Military Academy.

8/30/13 – Lake Geneva, cloudy, 89 degrees, water temp 76 degrees, winds SW at 15 mph. Caught 20 smallmouth, 3 largemouth and a bunch of pan fish. All fish were caught in Fontana Beach. The best depth as 21-25 ft of water. The best presentation was a lindy rigged nightcrawler fished right on bottom.

8/27/13 – Delavan Lake, sunny, 90 degrees, water temp 77 degrees, winds SW at 10 mph. Caught 20 largemouth bass and a bunch of pan fish. All fish were caught on split shot rigged nightcrawlers or a Thill slip bobber fished with a medium sucker. The fish were in tight schools in 8-10 ft of water. The best location was just west of Del Mar.

GENEVA: Duwe sent this:

Lake Geneva Fishing Report 9/2/13 through 9/9/13

Fishing remains excellent on Lake Geneva. With the passing of Labor Day, the boat traffic should be decreasing. The smallmouth bass are still schooled up very tight and are available for most anglers if they go deep enough.

Smallmouth bass remain on rocky points in 21-25 ft of water. The best location is in Fontana Beach or by the old Military Academy. I caught several fish last week in the 19-22 inch class. I’m either Lindy rigging nightcrawlers or yellow perch caught in the lake. Most of my success has come early in the morning. After 10:00 a.m. with high skies the fishing slows tremendously.

Largemouth bass dock fishing or top water action remains excellent in the early morning hours. You want to cast small jigs or chrome and blue or chrome and black chug bugs around the emergent weeds. Look for the fish by Linn Pier, Fontana Beach or by Yerkes Observatory.

Bluegills have been very good in the deep water. Look for the fish in 20-21 ft of water by Elgin Club, Fontana Beach or the Military Academy. The fish are aggressively hitting leaf worms fished on a split shot rig fished straight beneath the boat. Most of the fish are pumpkin seeds and a lot of them are in the 8-10 inch size range.

Rock bass are also in the deep water in 19-22 ft. They will hit on anything from a drop shot rig to a split shot rigged nightcrawler. The best location I have found has been by Yerkes Observatory.

Walleye fishing has been excellent at night. The best location has been in Williams Bay, Trinkes Bay or in Abbey Springs. The best approach is trolling medium diving crank baits like Rapalas or Smithwick Rogues. The best colors are chrome and blue or chrome and black.

Lake Trout fishing remains excellent. They are in the main lake basin approximately 70 ft down in 108-140 ft of water. The best time to fish for them is first light or last light. A dodger and fly combo or spoons are producing most of the action.

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

DOWNSTATE NOTE

POWERTON: Lake is open again, 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

For shoreline salmon, see top. Blow stopped what perch bite there was.

CHICAGO: Capt. Bob Poteshman of Confusion Charters good lakers and some big kings in 190 on big flashers with big Howie frog flies deep.

WAUKEGAN: Lori Ralph at the Salmon Stop said before the blow, boaters set up in 40 and caught some kings early, then went to 125 and looked for bigger kings, big coho and steelhead. It’s big tinsel flies and Dodgers.

NORTH POINT: Poteshman said before the blow, it was good on the hill and in 250-300 feet for lakers, steelhead and kings. It called it a big-boat fishery right now.

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:

After a week of some heavy rains, thunder and lightning, the Labor Day weekend turned out to be a great weather weekend. Water temps rose to 76-78 degrees on most bodies of water, rather warm for the end of August though the fish did not seem to mind.

Largemouth Bass: Very good. Loving the blades! Anglers throwing spinnerbaits and #3 and #5 Mepps catching lots of bass along shoreline or weeds. Faster moving baits seeming to get most of the daytime attention. Evenings go up top: plastic frogs, prop-baits, chug baits and buzz baits doing extremely well.

Smallmouth Bass: Good. Taking over rock humps. Jigs tipped with leeches, crawlers, creature baits as well as drop-shotting 2 ½” soft minnow imitations, small craw imitations and 3” slim worms enticing lots of action from smallies of 14-20” off 18-28’ rock/gravel tops.

Pike: Very good. Also loving the blades. Spinnerbaits and #4-#5 Mepps as well as Rizzo Whizzs picking up a lot of nice pike. Even the larger bucktails meant for muskies being harassed by pike. Weed beds in the typical 6-10’ depths best.

Musky: Good-Very good. While spotty some days, some very good fish this week including a 50 ¼’ and 50 ¾” caught from the same boat within 10 minutes this weekend. Once again bucktails have been tops, though topwater fast moving jerk baits (Smity jerks accounting for 12 fish over 2 days) and rubber baits scoring nicely.

Bluegills: Very good. Very active and nice sized gills taking small leeches, ½ crawlers and Gulp Alive maggots along deeper weeds and some suspending out 8’ down over 20’ depths.

Crappies: Good. Many found suspended out with bluegills. Minnows, Gulp alive 1” minnow and mini-mite jigs producing best.

Walleye: Fair-Good. Action has been up and down. Some of the traditional hot-spots haven’t really started yet. A move to weeds this past week produced the best catches. Pitching large fatheads, ½ crawlers and leeches along 10-12’ weed edges caught walleyes to 26”. Rock became quiet, though some action out over sandgrass did produce.

Perch: Good. Anglers targeting perch using frozen soft shells or crawlers along 12’ weed edges catching nice perch of 9-11”. Warm, calm afternoons finding perch in 5-7’.

As of this morning (9/3) night time temps falling into mid 40’s. Water temps will start to drop. Not a bad thing in the fall. As temps get back to the low 70’s and upper 60’s expect action to pick up for walleye, crappie, pike and musky.

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, and musky good. Early Canada goose season opened on September 1, lots of wild turkeys everywhere as the wild turkey hunting season opens September 14, and archery deer season begins September 14, as well. All in the Eagle River, Wisconsin area.

Water temps in the Eagle River area are in the mid 70s.

Largemouth bass in the Eagle River area are in 10 feet of water or less in and around weeds or shoreline structure (docks, downed trees and brush piles). Use a weedless plastic during the day and a topwater in the evening. All day action into the evening. Bite is good to excellent.

Panfish in the Eagle River area (crappies, bluegills and perch) are in 15 feet of water or less off of break edges or adjacent weed edges. Use a crappie minnow, chunk of crawler, or small leech under a slip bobber or on a jig. Perch are tight to bottom. Crappies and gills are suspending up and down the water column (day dependent as to which depth the fish will be at, so always start at the bottom and work your way up until you hit them). All day action. Bite is good to excellent.

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

Walleye in the Eagle River area are in 10 feet of water or less in and around weeds, OR off of break edges in 10-30 feet of water. Use a jig and a minnow, leech or half of a crawler. All day action, with peaks in the evening. Bite has been good.

Northern in the Eagle River area are in 10 feet of water or less in and around weeds. Use a bass style spinner bait, Husky Jerk (minnow or walleye pattern), or a small bucktail. All day action. Bite is good.

Smallmouth bass are over hard bottom areas (main lake humps or off of break edges) in 8-30 feet of water. Use a jig and leech, or half of a crawler, plastic tube or crawfish. All day action. Bite has been good.

NORTHWEST INDIANA

Staff at Mik-Lurch reported perch slowed with the blow. See top for kings. Willow Slough is closed to fishing for early waterfowl.

SHABBONA LAKE

Clint Sands at Lakeside said muskie are daily catches (some 40-incher), bucktails the best; stripers are busting on top; crappie and largemouth are hit and miss.

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:

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. Inland lakes are still producing panfish and Bass action. Big lake still producing some perch. Salmon trollings been the same as it has been for the past few weeks.

WISCONSIN DELLS

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.