Whoops, not sure why this did not post. Ice fishing, almost universally, is the story for this Midwest Fishing Report.
I will usually post the sprawling, raw-file online version of the MFR, which appears condensed on the Sun-Times outdoors page, generally by Tuesday evening.
If you have suggestions, tweet @BowmanOutside or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Any remaining slop should be firmed up by Wednesday, if not already.
Ken “Husker” O’Malleyof Water Werks Fishing Team sent this after the weekend:
I hit my friends farm pond out near Montgomery yesterday. Despite all the rain and warm up, ice is in good condition with a base of 6 inches. Very sloppy on top though. Bass action was very good. Tip ups were somewhat spotty, but the jig bite was very good. Jigging spoons tipped with fat heads in shallow water of 5 feet produced good numbers of bass. The bass definitely favored the profile of the fat heads over the roaches. Catching 3 and 4 pound bass on ice rods were way more fun anyways. I attached a few pics of the quality bass caught. Husker Outdoors Water Werks Fishing Team
ICE FISHING REGS CHICAGO-AREA PUBLIC SITES
CHICAGO LAGOONS: Not allowed. COOK FPD: Ice fish at your own risk: Arrowhead, Axehead, Beck, Belleau, Big Bend, Bode South only, Bullfrog, Busse main and south (no north pool), Flatfoot, Green, Horsetail, Ida, Maple, Papoose, Powderhorn, Saganashkee, Sag Quarry east and west, Tampier, Turtlehead and Wampum. DuPAGE FPD: Ice fish at your own risk. Spring Creek Reservoir is closed to ice fishing (fluctuating levels). Late-night fishing is allowed at Deep Quarry Lake in Bartlett (fishermen must be out of preserve by 11 p.m.) KANE FPD: Ice fishing, at your own risk, at Lake Patterson, various ponds at Burnidge. LAKE FPD: Ice fishing is permitted at Banana, Independence Grove south bay and Sterling, when area is posted as safe for fishing. MAZONIA SFWA: Monster Lake is open year-round for open-water or ice fishing. Ice fishing at your own risk. Other lakes open after hunting. McHENRY COUNTY CD: Sites listed for ice fishing when appropriate: Fel-Pro RRR, the Hollows (Lake Atwood and West Lake), Lyons Prairie & Marsh, Pleasant Valley, Rush Creek pond and Stickney Run pond. SILVER SPRINGS SFWA: Ice fish at your own risk. Use east entrance. WILL FPD: No ice fishing allowed.
AREA WATER LEVELS
Go to http://water.weather.gov//ahps2/index.php?wfo=lot to check area water levels and projection.
To get to more specific gauges, even on creeks, in Illinois, go to http://waterdata.usgs.gov/il/nwis/current/?type=flow
This came from Hooksetter’s Guide Service:
(Head): Great walleye, crappie and bluegill bite; in and amidst the lakes and the Wisconsin River in Wisconsin¹s Marathon and Lincoln Counties (near Mosinee and Wausau). Great walleye fishing on central Wisconsin area lakes with some big walleyes coming through the ice. Most action has been on tip-ups baited with large golden shiners but we are catching a few fish by jigging with Northland Buckshot Spoons. The crappie bite in the central Wisconsin area has been fantastic with limit catches and fish up to and over 12 inches being the norm. Most of the action has been by working water in 12 to 14 feet deep along weed edges. Northland Fireball jigs have been the best at getting our presentation to the fish. Bluegills have been cooperating very well and the bite has been very consistent on central Wisconsin area lakes. A lot of fish in the 7 !/2 inch range up to 9 inch range are being caught but we are also seeing quite a few fish pushing that 10 inch mark. Look for the larger bluegills to be in deeper water (over 10 feet deep) close to the bottom.
CHAIN O’LAKES AREA/FOX RIVER BACKWATERS
Greg Dickson at Triangle Sports & Marine said when bluegill fishing, find the weeds first, best bluegill and crappie on south end of Channel, Catherine, Petite and south end of Pistakee Bay; for white bass, try Marie or Pistakee (close to Bald Knob); for walleye, try outside edges of Pistakee Bay near deeper water (near Oak Park) and Marie. Deep Lake has bluegill, crappie and some bass are going.
NOTE:Check Chain updates at http://www.foxwaterway.com/ or (847) 587-8540.
For more reports, see http://www.foxlakefishing.com/
CHAIN/FOX BACKWATERS ICE-FISHING ACCESS
T-Channel:Famous Freddie’s. Channel: Chopper’s Bar, $5 parking taken off if food ordered. Spring: Granny’s, $5 parking taken off if food ordered. Nielsen’s Channel: Hermann’s Lowlife Bar & Grill, $5 parking, wax worms, food, drink. Ackerman’s Channel: Try Port O’Blarney. Marie: Sand Bar and Grille, free if patronize the place; with thicker ice, Barnacle Bob’s is the spot. Petite: Hideout, $5 (box up soon). Pistakee: Oak Park Lounge, $4 parking. Loon: Pay launch fee. Deep: Jack & Lydia’s Resort.
No update from Jeff Nolan of Bridgeport Bass.
COOLING LAKES/STRIP PITS
MAZONIA: Monster Lake at Mazonia South stays open for fishing year round. I will post when the other lakes at Mazonia South and Mazonia North reopen. BRAIDWOOD: Closed to fishing. LaSALLE: Closed to fishing. HEIDECKE: Closed to fishing.
DELAVAN/GENEVA LAKES, WISCONSIN
Brian Gatesat Lake Geneva Bait and Tackle said on Delavan, Lake Lawn ($5 parking) was hot over the weekend for crappie, otherwise it’s bluegill, crappie and a few pike on west end; on Geneva, the story is lake trout in front of Aurora University and a few in the Narrows; on Como, lots of bass and pike.
Gates has shacks for rent–(262) 245-6150–with four on Delavan and soon on one each on Geneva and Como.
DES PLAINES RIVER
No report this week from Marcus Benesch.
Larry Dozardof larrysfishinghole.com sent this on Downstate closures during the fall and winter hunting seasons, which I just updated:
– ANDERSON LAKE is CLOSED TO BOAT FISHING for the season– BANNER MARSH IS CLOSED TO BOAT FISHING AND AS OF OCT. 31st, BANK FISHING ONLY ALLOWED AFTER 1PM but NO FISHING ALLOWED in EAST POINT ACCESS AREA , which is CLOSED TO ALL FISHING to provide a GOOSE REFUGE AREA during season till Feb. 1st– DOUBLE T STATE FISH and WILDLIFE AREA IS CLOSED TO FISHING for the season and remains Closed till APRIL 1st, 2014– EMIQUON PRESERVE during waterfowl hunting season fishing is allowed only between Noon and sunset.– EVERGREEN LAKE – A SOUTHERN PART OF Lake AROUND DEER ISLAND and ALL OF SIX-MILE CREEK BAY IS CLOSED TO GAS MOTORS from Oct. 15th through JAN. 1st to allow for resting areas for migratory waterfowl. YOU ARE ALLOWED TO STILL RUN A TROLLING MOTOR IN THESE AREAS ONLY.– SNAKEDEN HOLLOW including McMASTER LAKE IS CLOSED TO FISHING for the Season till Feb. 1st– SPRING LAKE (South & North) IS CLOSED TO BOAT FISHING in Waterfowl Hunting Area with BANK FISHING ALLOWED ONLY AFTER 1pm– And Closed to shore fishing in hunting areas on Oct. 26th.. AREAS THAT REMAIN OPEN TO BOATS ARE NORTH OF MAPLE ISLAND with ramp at north end at the Sky Ranch Road launch and IN PIKE HOLE with carry in boats -On December 25th boat fishing and shore fishing in the waterfowl hunting area will be allowed after 1:00 p.m. through the end of Canada Goose season.– CLINTON LAKE the easterly area of Clinton Lake between the DeWitt (CH14) and the 48 bridges is CLOSED FROM OCT. 10th through MARCH 31st to protect fish and wildlife. It will Re-OPEN April 1st..– POWERTON LAKE IS CLOSED TO BOAT FISHING (reopening for boats on Feb. 15), but reopened to shore fishing.– SANGCHRIS LAKE THE WEST and EAST ARMS OF LAKE and Small AREA NEAR DAM Are CLOSED DURING WATERFOWL SEASONto boat traffic through Jan. 31, 2014 (during this time fishing boat traffic is permitted in the center hot arm only). For more info, contact site office at 217/498-9208 from 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday through Friday.
No report this week.
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/
The Wisconsin DNR has a report, which is typically updated on Tuesdays, posted at http://dnr.wi.gov/topic/fishing/lakemichigan/OutdoorReport.html
No report this week.
Staff at Mik-Lurch said steelhead are being caught on b-moths and jigs or spawn sacs, Trail, Salt and Little Cal.
Access points for Trail Creek can be found on the Trail Creek Access Map.
Both the Kankakee and Iroquois are iced and/or flooding, but I love Norm Minas, who sent this:
The good news is fishable open water. The bad news is at or near flood stage at reporting stations. Gauge showing 20,000 plus CFS but the ice can screw with that figure. I hit a couple type of spots today that produced.. I was using a hard jerk bait, twitch it down, long pauses, twitch, more long pauses. At an inflow, I got two nice smallmouth at the mud line. I got a real nice pike along the inside edge of a slack water area. At another slack area a pike grabbed the lure toward the middle of the area. It ended up absconding with the lure when it rolled in the water as I got it close.
The Ohio DNR has general Lake Erie info and a fishing report.
Arden Katz said perch remain hot at 87th, both for those busting holes from shore and those ice fishing. Steve Palmisano at Henry’s said all harbors have fishable ice and some perch; his boys even caught a brown at Belmont this week. CHICAGO PIER PASSES: The $6 pier passes, which allow access to select piers, are in at Henry’s, 3130 S. Canal. WAUKEGAN/NORTH POINT: Lori Ralph of the Salmon Stop said there were regulars ice fishing at North Point, primarily for pike and pafnish.
MADISON CHAIN, WISCONSIN
Gene Dellingerat D&S Bait said there was a decent perch bite in 45-65 feet on Mendota west of Governor’s Island and in the western basin; ice is good (but varies from 5-10 inches), quite a bit of slush. On Monona, Squaw Bay there’s a few bluegills; Mud has bluegill adn crappie; Cherokee Marsh is still going for bluegill and crappie, Waubesa is quiet as is Kegonsa.
MENOMINEE RIVER, WISCONSIN
Mike Mladenikhas reports and info at his Mike Mladenik Guide Service site.
MINOCQUA:Kurt Justice of Kurt’s Island Sport Shop sent this:
Good Morning, the Minocqua area fishing report from Kurt’s Island Sports, Finally! A break in the weather so we can get out and fish! With temps in the balmy mid 20s this weekend, anglers got back out on the ice. While not as many participants expected, those that got out were greeted with some good fishing. Perch: Good- Very Good. Best action for big perch on Flowages using large rosie reds or smaller shiners on tip-ups. Fish of 11-13 common No limits here, but quality fish on the natural lakes anglers plying the mud flats of 18-25’ are finding good perch (8-10+) using pimples and Hali jigs tipped with wigglers or red spikes. Bluegills: Good. Action best in bays with good green weeds in 8-12’. Small #12-#10 tungsten jigs tipped with mousses, spikes best. Jigs and plastics (red, purple, black) also effective. Crappies: Good-Fair. Not as many reports. A bit windy for tip-downs. Best slow dropping tungsten jigs tipped with white or silver plastics. Walleyes: Good. Bite best after dark on suckers off weed edges of 12-15’ and also on mid-lake humps of sandgrass in 18-22’ #9 gigging Raps scoring some big fish off these same humps. Fish of 26, 27, 28 ½ and 29 reported using this method since weather broke. Flowages reporting mostly smaller walleyes during the day on shiners. Pike: Good-Very Good. Not great #’s, but nice fish in the low 30 class hitting big weed points jutting out to deeper water. Largemouth Bass: Good. Got active with warm up. Most on tip-ups baited with shiners. Looks as if temps fishable till Friday- a little cool- then back by Saturday/Sunday. Ice thickness averaging only 17-18. Some slush, but almost all drivable. Most all accesses excellent. 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 and panfish all putting on a good to excellent bite in the Eagle River, Wisconsin area. Ice anglers are continuing to have good luck fishing in the Eagle River area. Ice conditions are good, with ice running from 14-18 and even more in some spots. Not a lot of slush but some. Snow cover is 6-8 inches generally on the lakes, and travel is good. Anglers are starting to use trucks more and more- – including some of our guide sources, BUT, as one guide told us: Know before you go – -in other words if you don’t know the lake you’re going out on, better get some information or help before you go out in a truck. Caution is still strongly advised. Walleye: Walleyes in the Eagle River area are in 30 feet of water or less off of break edges and adjacent weed edges. The walleyes’ are holding in the bottom foot. Use a medium shiner or walleye sucker under a tip up; or try a jigging spoon with a minnow. All day action, with peaks at around sunset. Bite is good to excellent. Northern: Northerns in the Eagle River area are in 10 feet of water orless in and around remaining weeds. Use a medium to large shiner or northern sucker under a tip up. All day action and the bite is good to excellent. Panfish: Crappies, bluegills and perch are on mud flats in 15 feet of water or less. Perch are tight to bottom, and the crappies and gills are suspending at various levels on the water column – -day and lake dependent. Use a flasher to locate the depth that the crappies and gills are at on any given day or lake. It’ll save you digging a lot of useless holes, and put you on the fish. Use a waxie, spike, wiggler or crappie minnow on a small jig or slip bobber. All day action and the bite is good to excellent.
Staff at Mik-Lurch said there’s good bluegill at Willow Slough, even up front. Theres fishable ice on just about any lake.
ROOT RIVER, WISCONSIN
The Wisconsin DNR Root River Report will come again when the season begins again.
Jim “The Crappie Professor” Kopjo sent crappie are going. With ice fishing going, Lakeside bait shop is open Monday-Thursday 8 a.m.-noon, Friday-Sunday 8 a.m. 2- p.m. Restaurant is open Saturday-Sunday, 11 a.m.-4 p.m.
For 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.
Stream flow info is at http://waterdata.usgs.gov/wi/nwis/current?type=flow
Tyler Harmon messaged:
Some Steelhead being caught in the river, water conditions on all rivers are up and clarity is cloudy. Ice conditions are still holding fairly strong but still advise the use of caution and use of a spud when moving to none walked on areas. Panfish bite has been slow, but should improve as conditions change.
ST. JOSEPH RIVER, INDIANA
Click herefor reports from the Indiana DNR.
Check reports and info at River’s Edge.