Chasing kings, summer basics: Chicago fishing, Midwest Fishing Report
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Summer patterns are becoming well established finally as approach late summer for this sprawling raw-file Midwest Fishing Report.
Tony Marzano tweeted the photo above with this:
@BowmanOutside Good morning @BowmanOutside wanted you to see this 26# king salmon my buddy Steven Yfantis cough last Sunday out of Waukegan aboard the Kristy Lynn : [Capt. Terry Nied] in 120 feet of water,five miles out from the power plant on a down rigger. we were told it was the biggest King this season out of Waukegan. i think is worthy of posting. thanks
Yeah, it is worthy of posting. Think we are getting some real kings again this year. Nied operates Kristy Lynn Charters.
MFR for Chicago fishing appears in a condensed form Wednesdays on the Sun-Times newspaper outdoors page. The sprawling raw-file report is posted here online on the Sun-Times outdoors page.
Waiting. Warm water is stacked across much of the southern basin of Lake Michigan, it could be a while before the first shore reports of kings. Tuesdday morning, the Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant tweeted about the Michigan City weather buoy:
FROGGING IN ILLINOIS
Bullfrog season in Illinois is open. Daily bag is eight. Bullfrogs may be taken by hook and line, gig, pitchfork, spear, bow and arrow, hand, or landing net.
It’s the middle of summer, fish the weed pockets or outside weed lines for bluegill or play around with bass early and late. Otherwise, it is catfishing.
Ken “Husker” O’Malley sent this:
Hey Dale,Here’s a recap of this week’s fishing:Area Lakes- Bass have been very good during early morning hours. Focus on outside weedlines using the flick shake presentation. Blue bird skies, go with darker colored senko. On overcast and cloudy days, use more natural colors.Area rivers/creeks- Smallmouth have been excellent on Midwest rigs. Flows are at normal levels and water is clear. Focus on deeper pools and current seams. Long casts are necessary with the clearer water.TTYL—Ken “Husker” O’Malley
Waterworks fishing team
AREA WATER LEVELS
Click here to find river closures listed by the Illinois DNR. 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
Braidwood is open daily. Through Sept. 10, close is 7:30 p.m.; from Sept. 11-24, close is 7 p.m.; from Sept. 25-Oct. 7, close is 6:30 p.m.
Art Frisell at Triangle Sports and Marine said water levels are good for fishing, bluegill are the top bite, best on ice jigs and waxies; catfish are also consistent; walleye are being taken on main lake points or current areas with crawlers or leeches; for white bass, drift main lake basins until suspended fish are found; pike are very good in main lake weeds; muskie are moving mornings, most often on bigger baits.
For more info and lake updates, go to Fox Waterway Agency or call (847) 587-8540.
Capt. Pat Harrison of Pat Harrison Outdoors sent this:
Chicago River and Lake Michigan Report.
Water temps in the upper seventies some wind and some rain. Water is slowly clearing up, fish are moving a bit. On the river the Crappie and gills are showing up again in wood and along piling jig twister tail and waxie on a tight line is what is working for me. Bass have been slow but can be caught on smaller crank baits, skirted jigs, wacky worm or dead stick nose hooked on barrel weight on the bottom.
We boated Bass most in the 12 to 15 in. range on the river out on the break walls and harbor mouths they were about the same size. This past weekend was my 61st Birthday so I was off and I spent some time rigging the boat I installed a Berts board with down riggers and rod holders also some rail mount rod holders for the Planner board mast and planner boards. I am learning how to use everything. I have flat lined for trout and Salmon but very little rigger fishing. I did some Walleye trolling with the last boat and plan to do that again with the New G3 it is setup with everything I need now including a full Bimini top with all the side curtains to enclose the entire boat. Fall should be a fun time. Till next week catch some fish fell free to post some picture on Pat Harrison Outdoors – Fishing Adventures on Facebook.
—www.patharrisonoutdoors.com Thanks Pat
DELAVAN/LAKE GENEVA AREA, WISCONSIN
GENEVA: Dave Duwe emailed this:
Lake Geneva Fishing Report 8/14/17 through 8/20 17
Fishing on Lake Geneva remains very consistent. Most of the action is coming in water deeper than 20 ft which is typical for the month of August.
Lake Trout fishing has been fantastic in the early morning hours. The best bite is between 5:30 and 8:30 a.m. You want to fish the main lake basin 70-80 ft down in 108 -120 ft of water. I’ve been trolling spoons at 1.2 to 1.5 mph.
Bluegill fishing has been fantastic. The bigger fish are in greater than 25 ft of water. The best location has been by Elgin Club and Gage Marine. Nightcrawler pieces or trout worms have been producing most of the action. I use my Minn-Kota trolling motor and put it on spot lock once I locate a school of fish. The fish are positioned about 6 inches to 1 foot of bottom and I fish for them vertically beneath the boat.
Smallmouth bass have been in the 23 – 25 ft depth range. The best location has been by the South Shore Club or the beach in Fontana. The best way to try for them is with lindy rigged nightcrawlers. The fish I’ve been catching have been tight to the bottom. This pattern should remain steady for the next couple of weeks.
Northern Pike fishing has been steady. I’m catching a few here and there in about 33 ft of water. I’ve been unable to find a large concentration of fish. I’ve been using lindy rigged suckers. The best location has been by the channel in Fontana, Belvidere Park and the east side of Williams Bay.
Largemouth bass fishing has been good on the weed line by Trinkes and Linn Pier. Look for them in 18-20 ft of water. Try for them using a 4 inch finesse worm fished on a drop shot in green pumpkin with red flake. The dropper length should be 15-18 inches. You can also try for them in the early morning on calm days with top water lures. Chrome/Blue or Chrome/Black Chug Bugs are good choices.
Good luck and I hope to see you on the water. For guide parties, please call Dave Duwe at 262-728-8063
DELAVAN: Dave Duwe sent this:
Delavan Lake Fishing Report 8/14/17 through 8/20/17
Even though we are having a cooler than normal August, fishing remains excellent. The fish remain in their typical summer patterns.
Bluegill fishing has greatly improved. The fish are in two locations, one by Township Park in 12 ft of water and the other on main lake points in 15-17 ft of water. The bigger fish have come out of the main lake points with more consistency. Leaf worms and wax worms are producing most of the action.
Largemouth bass fishing has been very good if you can find an active school of fish. They are positioned on the deep weedlines in 16-17 ft of water. The best way to catch them is fishing a small 4 inch plastic worm fished Wacky style on a drop shot rig. The best length for the dropper is 18 inches. A secondary approach is fishing nightcrawlers on a split shot rig. Some good locations are just west of Willow Point and west of the Yacht Club.
Crappie fishing has been good. The best approach is trolling 1/32 oz jigs with twister tails on a three way rig. The best trolling speed is about .7 mph. The best location has been by Browns Channel or by the Yacht Club. Chartreuse and Purple are good choices for bait color.
Northern Pike action has been a bit spotty. I’m catching a few fish here and there on medium suckers but I’ve been unable to get big numbers recently. I’m marking a bunch of fish in 22-25 ft of water by the gray condos but have had limited success getting them to bite.
Walleye fishing has been very slow. The fish aren’t in any particular pattern. Some days you get a few but then the very next day they won’t be there. The best depth is 20 ft. Use leeches on lindy rigs for the best opportunity.
Good luck and I hope to see you on the water. For guide parties, please call Dave Duwe at 262-728-8063
DES PLAINES RIVER
No update this week.
Just a reminder that southern Illinois in the line of totality for the solar eclipse on Monday will be filling up with people this weekend.
LAKE SHELBYVILLE: Check with Ken Wilson of Ken Wilson Guide Service. HENNEPIN-HOPPER: The lakes are open through Labor Day, Sept. 4. Fishing is closed on Mondays other than Labor Day. Click here for complete list of regs and details. EVERGREEN LAKE: Larry Dozard of larrysfishinghole.com sent this:
Evergreen Lake BAIT SHOP and BOAT RENTAL Hours: 6:00 am to 6:00 pm Daily
NOTE – During the weekdays staff is not present, please press buzzer on the front of the building
for assistance or call the Visitor Center at (309) 434-6770.
SOUTHERN ILLINOIS: Check with Jason Johns of Boneyard Fishing. POWERTON: Boat and shore fishing is open. Hours are 6 a.m.-8 p.m.
FOX RIVER: WESTERN SUBURBS
FOX RIVER: WISCONSIN
GREEN BAY/STURGEON BAY
Lance LaVine at Howie’s Tackle in Sturgeon Bay sent this:
Good morning fellas
Here is an update on the fishing in our area
Perch fishing has been going very well in our area…the better areas continue to be Little Sturgeon, Riley’s bay, the Sawyer Harbor area, the Sturgeon Bay Flats, the Sturgeon Bay ship canal along with some deep mud areas from Chaudoir’s Dock north to Henderson’s Point. So lots of options for what is turning out to be an outstanding Perch season so far. Best live bait has been fathead minnows, crawlers and leaf worms
Walleye fishing has been excellent especially from the Chaudoirs Dock area south to the lower bay of Green Bay and across the bay over on the west shore. Trolling with Flicker Shads and minnow, crawler harnesses and rip jigging with shiver minnows, Rapala jigs, ripin raps and some plastics like paddle tails and flukes. To the north, basically from Henderson’s point north all the way up to the tip of the peninsula, it’s been mainly a jig bite during the day fishing around the endless structure throughout the county. There has also been an OK night trolling bite going on. So, many options right now for the Walleyes.
Salmon fishing reports have been a bit mixed pending on which port you talk to on any given day. Out of some ports, fisherman are finding their best success out in very deep water on a mix of Kings and Rainbows, but having to do some traveling and some ports are finding some really good action in semi-normal depths, like in that 150 to 200 feet of water. One thing that everyone has in common is that there are some really big fish around. The best baits have been a mix of flashers and Howie flies and an assortment of spoons
The Pike fishing is just starting to kick in now as we are swiftly moving through August as it usually does. It’s not great, but the Pike are starting to get active. Look for steep weed edges, rock ledges and deep channels and troughs. Casting and trolling large crank baits and spoons, large plastic swim and drifting and jigging with suckers
1309 Green Bay Rd
Sturgeon Bay, WI 54235
Wisconsin DNR report is usually posted Tuesdays and includes reports from both the bay and lake sides.
Lake is open daily 6 a.m. (6:30 shore side) to sunset.
B & B Live Bait–(815) 433-0432–in Ottawa is open.
INDIANA STREAMS (LAKE MICHIGAN TRIBUTARIES)
Access points for Trail Creek can be found on the Trail Creek Access Map. Access points for Little Cal and Salt Creek, which are closer to Chicago than Trail Creek, may be found at littlecal_saltcreek_access.
Nick Carr at Kankakee River Trading Post said waders are back off again finally and smallmouth, rock bass and catfish are good; some walleye at night around the dams.
CHICAGO: Cory Gecht at Park Bait said a few drum are being caught off the Montrose horseshoe, at least one steelhead was caught at Belmont; he noted that a 7-ounce perch leads Perchapalooza. Capt. Pat Harrison of Pat Harrison Outdoors said some smallmouth are being caught around breakwalls and harbor mouths. Capt. Bob Poteshman of Confusion Charters said it’s tough, the early-morning bite for lakers is good some days, afternoons are more difficult; a few kings, steelhead and coho are in 105-200 feet.
WAUKEGAN: Lori Ralph at the Salmon Stop texted:
Not really, boats slow unless they go 200 feet deep, and some even deeper. Sounds like most of it has been out on the reefs, South Reef, Julian’s Reef, but not many reports coming in because people don’t want to spend that kind of gas money to run all the way out there. Never had much on perch from boat or Shore, right now they’re saying some rock bass a few bluegills and a few perch off the pier, but we have construction going on in the harbor next to the pier it’s making a lot of noise, they are pounding big stakes in the ground and I feel it’s scaring the fish away
Capt. Scott Wolfe of School of Fish Charters and president of Trollers Unlimited sent this report:
Hi Dale –
Borrowing from another Captain to me this weekend – you need to stop thinking about getting 20+ fish per trip and start thinking about getting a 20+ pound fish per trip. The bite slowed dramatically this week off Waukegan. The fish seemed scattered with people having a chance at them anywhere from 120 feet of water out. Catch numbers are down from past weeks but there are big fish being caught. Every trip this week had kings over 14# with 23# the biggest. Everything seems to be 60 feet and below in the water. Higher rigs, like lead cores under 6 colors and divers on a #3 setting were useless. Flasher fly combos with White 8” ProTroll flashers and Froggy, Green Dolphin and Blue Dolphin flies were best on downriggers 60 to 140 down, wire dipsey divers 160 to 225 out and 300 to 450 foot copper lines saw almost all the action this week. Jimmy Fly brand Blue Dolphin Chinook fly was the best producer on the boat. A few spoons worked too with Warrior UV Hey Babe, Irish Glow and Green Dragon Slayer patters working best.
The biggest key is that if you find a spot with some action, don’t leave it. The fish are scattered and holding in pockets. Work the pockets when you find them. Let’s all hope for some West wind to concentrate the fish in shallower water. We are still seeing nice kings staging and getting ready for the run.
NORTH POINT: Capt. Bob Poteshman of Confusion Charters said they are working for bites, lakers are the most dependable on the bottom in 150-250 feet; otherwise try for kings in 80-170, a variety of baits working, best seems to be white Howie flies; for hardcore fishermen, some steelhead and coho are being caught in 200-300.
The cooling lake south of Seneca is open daily, 6 a.m. to sunset. Also, boaters should be aware that there will be no launching if wind is 14 mph or higher.
MADISON CHAIN, WISCONSIN
Through Sept. 10, close is 7:30 p.m.; from Sept. 11-24, close is 7 p.m.; from Sept. 25-Oct. 7, close is 6:30 p.m.
Check with Jon Meder at Jon’s Bait Shop–(815) 237-2822–in South Wilmington.
MENOMINEE RIVER, WISCONSIN
Check with Mike Mladeik at Mike Mladenik Guide Service sent this:
Check the Wisconsin DNR Lake Michigan Report, which generally comes out Tuesdays for updates.
MINOCQUA: Kurt Justice of Kurt’s Island Sport Shop in Minocqua, Wis. sent this:
Cooler than forecasted mornings and more rain greeted anglers on a less than spectacular week of fishing. Lake surface temps dipped to the 69-71 degree mark. The few warm afternoons were replaced by mornings down in the upper 40’s again.
Yellow Perch: Good – Relating to weeds, mostly cabbage in 8-12’. ½ crawlers, medium fatheads and medium leeches under slip-bobbers. Nice 9-11” fish.
Largemouth Bass: Good – Working heavy weeds best. Using plastics such as Creature baits (Sweet Beavers, CHOMPERS, Skirted Grubs) to work deep in cabbage beds. Wacky worming along 8-12’ edges. Some good lipless crank action on warmer afternoons.
Bluegill: Good – Lots of suspending Gills off Coontail edges. Small leeches best, they stay on the hook so you catch multiple fish on one leech.
Northern Pike: Good – Spinner baits, Chatter baits and 4-5” Swim baits over cabbage flats in 6-10’. Shallow running Stick baits such as Rattlin Rouges also producing.
Smallmouth Bass: Good-Fair – Some very nice Smallies this past week in the 17-20” range over deep gravel/rock humps. Drop slotting 3” minnows, Wacky worms and craw imitations. Big leeches and crawlers for the live bait crowd. Check all isolated humps of hard substrate in 14-28’.
Crappie: Good-Fair – Fewer reports. Best over deep wood on Flowages using medium fatheads.
Musky: Fair – Few reports. Bucktails best choice as cooler temps have slowed top-water action
Walleye: Fair – Changing water temps and levels seem to be having negative affect on Eyes. Night anglers having best results using slip-bobbers and large leeches or Red-tailed chubs
The mid-August cool down is here. As the waters cool, watch for certain weeds to start to pull back. Crappies, Smallies and Pike should start to pick up. Keep watch for a three day span of warming weather to lift Largemouth action.
Panfish: There are still perch in the weeds and you can find some moving into the rock piles using a slip bobber tipped with minnows or tossing a 1/8th oz. jig with a small minnow seems to be doing the job. Crappies are in the deeper weeds and around structure. Slip bobber rigs with a hook and minnow or a jig and plastic should do the trick. Bluegills are up in the shallows on the warmer lakes; slip bobber rigs baited with red worms or waxies will catch these. Remember we do have panfish regulations on a few of our lakes in the area.
Bass: Largemouth can be found in the shallow weeds and around docks; and they will be caught using top water and spinnerbaits. Smallies are in and around the rocks and can be caught by using small crankbaits and jerkbaits.
Northern: These fish will be found in and around weeds, so pitching jig and minnows or small spinnerbaits and spoons will get their attention.
Walleye: We are casting 1/8th oz. jigs tipped with live bait. Depending on the depth that you are fishing is when you might need to go heavier with your jig.
Muskies: Bucktails and jerkbaits are working, along with top water. These are your go to baits for a while now.
Capt. Rich Sleziak at Slez’s Bait in Lake Station, Ind., texted:
Crappie under bridges in lake George on minnows in the evening decent latlyMix bag salmon trout action good for some in 100 to 120 ft or wAter just a little east of burns ditch spoons and spindoctors and flys fished deep have been the ticketPerch slow at best around ditch and dune state park area not many going either
Remember he is at summer hours (5 a.m.-8 p.m.) until Labor Day.
LAKER REMINDER: Indiana now has a daily bag of three lake trout on Lake Michigan, to match Michigan. Illinois’ daily bag remains at two.
ROCK RIVER, WISCONSIN
ROOT RIVER, WISCONSIN
The Wisconsin DNR Lake Michigan Report is generally posted on Tuesday and includes a Root river section. Click here for the stream flow update, which can be really important for how good the fishing is.
ST. JOSEPH, MICHIGAN
Staff at Tackle Haven in Benton Harbor said it’s “gangbusters’’ on kings, coho and steelhead in 120-150 feet; perch are very variable; river has some smallmouth, catfish and drum going, walleye are fair.
ST. JOSEPH RIVER, INDIANA
Click here for reports from the Indiana DNR.
Staff at Lakeside said muskie are being picked up on bucktails in the no-motor zone; some hybrids are moving; walleye are being caught off the handicapped pier or in the east bay; catfish are decent; some smaller crappie are being caught in the cribs.
Park is open 6 a.m.-10 p.m.
Here are the hours for Lakeside for the next few months:
Shabbona Lakeside is now OPEN for the SEASON
Lakeside will be open everyday, 7 days a week,
April 11th to September 5th 6 AM to 7 PM
September 6th to September 30th 6 AM to 6:30 PM
October 1st to October 10th 6:30 AM to 6 PM
October 11th to October 31st 7 AM to 5PM
For more information and reports from Lakeside, go to shabbonalake.com or call (815) 824-2581.
SOUTHEAST WISCONSIN LAKEFRONT
The Wisconsin DNR posts a report during open water at http://dnr.wi.gov/topic/fishing/lakemichigan/OutdoorReport.html. It is usually posted by Tuesday afternoon. Streadsm flow info is at http://waterdata.usgs.gov/wi/nwis/current?type=flow.
Rob Abouchar sent this update:
Hi DaleHope all is well and the garden is bountiful. I have had a busy Summer starting up my guide trips on the Wisconsin River in Merrill. Finally had a chance to fish alone with the dog last Friday. The Smallmouth were active on wacky rigged Senkos close to rocks, wood and shoreline cover. Still waiting on resumption of Braidwood tournaments with Anglers Choice.Tight Lines.Rob
WOLF RIVER, WISCONSIN