Chicago fishing: Settling in to summer (really, some)
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Some more usual summer patterns, at least for this version of summer, set up around Chicago fishing for this sprawling raw-file Midwest Fishing Report.
I mean the rivers are a little more normal, Bill Lanham noted the bluegill and redear are on at Mazonia and the opening photo is from Andy Mikos with a note that he sees fall signs in the spawning colors of this brown trout caught by John Sigala of Salmon Unlimited.
The MFR appears in a much condensed form Wednesdays on the Sun-Times outdoors page.
Best is on the east side of southern Lake Michigan.
SOUTHWEST MICHIGAN: Staff at Tackle Haven said best is from half a mile south to 12 miles south of St. Joseph in 25-44 feet with silver shiners or fatheads. INDIANA: Staff at Mik-Lurch said there were some good reports at the Donut outside of Portage and by the water tower off Michigan City. CHICAGO: Staff at Park Bait said early mornings are producing some perch at Montrose. arly mornings producing some at Montrose. WAUKEGAN: Lori Ralph at the Salmon Stop said a few are being caught from shore, boaters finding only a few scattered from Great Lakes and zig-zagging to 60 feet.
Staff at Henry’s Sports and Bait said catfish were stocked in the lagoons on the West and South Sides.
More true summer patterns, look toward mornings or evenings and more toward the weed lines, as Ken “Husker” O’Malley noted:
Good bass action abounds on area lakes. Stable weather has helped. Bass are very good early on top waters before the sun gets too high. Walk the dog baits best. Larger bass are close the shore under weed matts during early morning hours. Pitching plastics to open spots has produced some quality bass.
Ken “Husker” O’Malley
Waterworks fishing team
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
Hooksetter’s Guide Service sent this:
(Head): Musky, walleye, smallmouth and largemouth bass and panfish all hitting; all in and amidst the lakes and the Wisconsin River in Wisconsin’s Marathon and Lincoln Counties (near Mosinee and Wausau).
Anglers looking for smallmouth or largemouth have seen consistent action this past week. Most of the strikes have occurred by anglers casting crankbaits and top water baits in heavy current areas with rocks and timber, as well as working shoreline structure and rock humps in the main lake sections.
The musky bite has been nothing short of spectacular this past week. We have seen some very big fish being caught. Most of the action is still coming on bucktails and topwater baits during low light periods.
Walleyes have remained consistent with good catches of fish in the 16 to 20 inch range along with a few nice slot fish as well. Most of the walleyes are being caught by anglers tossing jigs tipped with crawlers or minnows to sharp break lines and some deeper stretches in the main river.
The panfish action has been very good for both crappies and bluegills. A lot of the activity is taking place in submerged wood in 6 to 10 feet of water.
CHAIN O’LAKES AREA
Staff at Triangle said that catfish are very good on Sonny’s in 5-8 feet on shallow flats; with rain, walleye are “acceptable’’ around current areas (bridges, creek mouths, etc.) on jig and minnow or leeches; the better bluegill moved to outside weed line; muskie are being raised on large spinners; crappie moved deeper but some still getting into them.
Check Chain updates at Fox Waterway Agency or by calling (847) 587-8540.
For more reports, see http://www.foxlakefishing.com/
COOLING LAKES/STRIP PITS
MAZONIA: Bill Lanham messaged this update:
I seldom let a Wednesday morning go by where I don’t purchase the newspaper from a pavement stomper under the skyway bridge on Stoney Island Avenue while headed into the rat race. I’d much rather read your printed copy held in my hands than push keys to view it. You keep me buying papers sir. Anyway, With lake water surface temperatures in the eighties, the early morning bite at Mazonia is where it’s at right now. Sizable bluegills and redears are in the weeds on main lake humps and spoil piles in mostly 12 foot of water. Tossing 1/32 ounce jigs tipped with waxworms or leeches will coax a limit and give you a sore arm in short order. Crappie are in the weeds as well, although mostly relating to the shoreline’s beds of dense coontail. Slow trolling small sized crankbaits along these weed edges will tempt out some biters for you. Always love your stuff Any
OK, I like that Stony Island story of the newspaper. And God bless those who hold the newspaper in their hands.
Lakes are open daily 6 a.m.-sunset.
LaSALLE: Of all places, the guy drawing my blood on Saturday whipped out his phone and showed a very productive day for catfish, both big channels and blues, last week. Remember the new regs that the wind must be 12 mph or less and often a late opener for boaters on the weekend (many complaints). Hours are 6 a.m. to sunset daily. There is a concessionaire with bait and food options.
HEIDECKE: Launch opens 6 a.m., shore fishing at 6:30 a.m.; close is sunset.
BRAIDWOOD: Lake is open daily 6 a.m.-sunset.
DELAVAN/LAKE GENEVA AREA, WISCONSIN
GENEVA: Dave Duwe of FishLakeGeneva.com sent this:
Lake Geneva Fishing report 7.20.15 through 7.26.15
Lake Geneva is in its mid-summer transition from a shallow water bite to a deep water bite. The thermocline has not yet formed and is still a few degrees a way for the deep water bite to be really hot.
Largemouth bass fishing has been average in the 12-15 ft depth range. Anglers are catching them either drop shotting or fishing Texas rigged plastic worms. The best location has been just east of Linn Pier or in Trinkes Bay. As the water warms a few more degrees, they will be positioning on the hard bottom with deep weeds. That is when you can Carolina rig them or drag football head jigs.
Lake Trout fishing has been very good in the main lake basin. The fish are 70-80 feet down in 108 ft of water. You want to use nickel/blue or nickel/green spoons. I prefer a 2 inch spoon. Trolling from Cedar Point to Conference Point is the best location. The best time of day to try for them is still first light or right at dusk.
Bluegill fishing is starting to move deeper. The best depth has been 15-18 ft of water. The biggest bluegills are being caught by Knollwood or Maytag Point. You want to fish a red worm or leaf worm about 1 ft off bottom. The deep water bluegill bite will also improve as the water gets warmer.
We’ve been catching a few smallmouth bass transitioning into the deep water. Most of my success has come out of 13-14 ft of water. The best location has been Knollwood, the Duck hole and by Fontana Beach. I’m still catching them on split shot rigged nightcrawlers and I’ve also had success on lindy rigged leeches. There isn’t a heavy concentration of fish as they haven’t schooled up yet. You need to keep moving to find the actively feeding fish.
Northern Pike fishing has been very slow with the lack of thermocline. The best approach has been white spinner baits around the weeds. Look for the fish in Geneva Bay and by Trinkes. The best depth has been 10-12 ft of water.
Good luck and I hope to see you on the water. For guide parties, please call Dave Duwe at 608-883-2050
DELAVAN: Dave Duwe of FishLakeGeneva.com sent this:
Delavan Lake Fishing Report 7/20/15 through 7/26/15
Fishing on Delavan continues to be very good. The only limiting factor is an excess of anglers pursuing them. With the difficult weather we’ve had, it has become clear that the days with rain & clouds have been producing the most action. The walleye fishing has been the best it’s been in over 7 years, every trip I’m catching some even though I haven’t been targeting them.
Walleye fishing has been very good off the main lake points and on the weed points in the main lake basin. The best depth is 15-18 ft of water. The best approach has been either lindy rigging nightcrawlers or lindy rigging leeches. For the best success fishing lindy rigs, I’ve found chartreuse painted hooks producing most of the action. I’ve been using a 24-36 inch leader on my lindy rigs. Look for the fish just west of Willow Point and just west of the Yacht Club point.
Largemouth bass fishing has been awesome. There are two different patterns on the lake right now. The first is the ultra shallow slop bite, and the second is the deep weed line bite. The slop bite is best by north shore drive or by the condos underneath north shore. You want to use a white or black scum frog. When I frog fish, I prefer using fire line, as it allows a more positive hook set. The best depth is 2-3 ft of water. I prefer areas that have heavy duck weed. Remember when frog fishing, you don’t want to set the hook until you can feel the fish. For the deep weed line bite look for them in and around the Yacht Club or Willow Point. They can be caught on medium suckers fished on a lindy rig or split shot rigged nightcrawlers.
The greatest concentration of bluegills has been off of Assembly Park or off the weedline west of Willow Point. They can be caught on Thill slip bobbers and leaf worms or fishing a small split shot red worm straight beneath the boat. The best depth is shallower than normal; I’ve been catching the most in 12-15 ft of water.
Northern Pike fishing has been slower than normal due to the water temperature being several degrees lower than normal. With the cooler water, the fish are not positioned as deep as normal. They are still located tight to the weed line in 15-17 ft of water. For the best success, I’ve been back trolling lindy rigs down the weedline at about 1 mph. It appears this year that the bigger suckers are producing more action.
Good luck and I hope to see you on the water. For guide parties, please call Dave Duwe at 608-883-2050
DES PLAINES RIVER
SHELBYVILLE: Check with Ken Wilson of Ken Wilson Guide Service. LAKE OF EGYPT/REND LAKE: Check with Jason Johns of Boneyard Fishing. EVERGREEN: Mike Steffa sent a note that the road is completely open now. He also sent this basic info:
Bait Shop: Monday – Thursday from 8 a.m. – 4 p.m. & Friday – Sunday from 6 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Boat Rental: Open ONLY Friday – Sunday from 6:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Expanded Hours Beginning Memorial Day Weekend!
POWERTON: Both shore and boat fishing are open. Hours are 6 a.m.-8 p.m. HENNEPIN-HOPPER: Lakes will reopen this year at an undecided date. EMIQUON: Call (309) 547-2730.
Chris Serafin posted in Illinois Kayak Anglers:
The DuPage is coming down and wadable/kayakable as long as we don’t get anymore rain.
No update this week from Lance LaVine at Howie’s Tackle in Sturgeon Bay.
The Wisconsin DNR posts a report, typically updated on Tuesdays at http://dnr.wi.gov/topic/fishing/lakemichigan/OutdoorReport.html
The flooding continues into next week at LaSalle.
Illinois Valley Outdoors is open in Spring Valley with basics, including bait, crankbaits and plastics. The phone is (815) 663-1000.
Creeks should settle down this week and better steelhead action return. Access points for Trail Creek can be found on the Trail Creek Access Map.
Norm Minas sent this:
river is dropping but still way above normal flow. the fish are sliding back toward the current seam.
spinnerbaits around cover. jig/pig around cover and on seam. rattlebaits and cranks out on the seam
LAKE KOSHKONONG, WISCONSIN
For perch see, top. CHICAGO: Staff at Park Bait reported lots of drum and good-sized ones on the Montrose horseshoe with many fishermen taking multiples on Tuesday. Capt. Bob Poteshman of Confusion Charters said lakers remain the top bite by far deeper than 100 feet; there’s a few silver fish shallower.
Andy Mikos sent this:
John Sigala from Salmon Unlimited caught this beautiful 8 lb brown in full spawning colors last Sunday on my boat. I have been fishing 45’ to 50’ of water to try and avoid the lake trout and catch more silver fish(kings, coho, stealhead and browns). I am not catching big numbers of fish but very nice ones.
WAUKEGAN: Lori Ralph at the Salmon Stop said that before dawn some fish are being caught in 70-90 feet; otherwise there are some quality fish on the reefs for those willing to make the run. NORTH POINT: Poteshman said that lakers are scattered but good out deep; occasional king (best before sun comes up), coho and steelhead on the hill from Waukegan to Racine, Wis. in 40-60 feet.
MADISON CHAIN, WISCONSIN
MENOMINEE RIVER, WISCONSIN
Check with Mike Mladenik at Mike Mladenik Guide Service.
MINOCQUA: Kurt Justice of Kurt’s Island Sport Shop sent this:
Mid summer weather has certain species setting up in typical patterns for this time of year.
Other species not so much.
Large mouth Bass: very good. Providing the best overall action for our summer visitors.
A myrid of tactics from simple wacky worming, to Carolina rigging, to crank baiting and top wet or buzz baits
And plastic frogs. If one method isn’t working, move around. While most Large mouth anglers work shoreline docks
And inside weedlines – deep edges of coontail in 14 – 17’ due holding plenty of fish.
Musky: good. The warming temps have improved musky action. Evenings best on top water baits. Fast moving buck tails
Over deep weed beds and along deep weed edges. A 48 ¾” was best of the reported muskies caught this week.
Bluegills: good. Best on less windy days. Nice gills of 7 ½ – 9” plus on small leeches, beaver tails below small slip floats around
Cabbage beds of 8 – 12’. Small beetle spins will attract attention, drawing fish in to take live bait on float rigs.
Smallmouth Bass: good. Not up to normal action for this time of year, but picking up. Drop slotting craw and pin minnow
Imitations working well over deep rocks. Early mornings cast shadow raps along shorelines for crushing smallies.
Walleyes: good. While weed bites still giving up fish to early riser anglers on crawlers and jigs, some deeper rock fish starting to show on big leeches.
On cloudy days with wind, try lipless cranks over weeds of 6-10’ adjacent to deeper water.
Crappies: good- fair. Warmer days best in deep weeds on small minnows / rigs or bleded spinner jigs such as Charlie bees.
Northern Pike: good – fair. Casting spinnerbaits over weed flats of 8-12’ BEST. Live chubs: suckers on jigs on below floats also effective.
Yellow perch: good- fair. While sandgrass flats best for quality ( 10-13”) using frozen soft shells, weeds of or 8-12” and wood cribs
Providing better action of 8-10” perch on ½ crawlers.
It’s been a some what disappointing week at times, but in some cases, changing lakes and searching different locales
From your favorite standbys has produced some nice catches.
Kurt’s Island Sport
EAGLE RIVER: This report came 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 Guide’s Choice Pro Shop, Mat Hegy; and Eagle River hunting enthusiast, Dan Anderson:
(Head): Smallmouth and largemouth bass, along with panfish putting on a good to excellent bite, with musky, walleye and northern good ; all in the Eagle River, Wisconsin area.
Water temps in the Eagle River, Wisconsin area ranging from the low to mid 70s.
SMALLMOUTH BASS: Fish hardbottom areas, off of break edges, as well as rock piles and mid lake humps in eight feet of water or deeper. Use a jig and a leech or minnow, a three to four inch plastic, or a Senko rigged wacky. All day action and the bite is good to excellent.
LARGEMOUTH BASS: Fish shoreline structure (docks, drowned trees and wood, weeds, brush piles, along with shallow cribs) in 10 feet of water or less. Use a plastic rigged weedless, bass style spinner baits, and in the evening switch to a top water. All day action, into the evening, and the bite is good to excellent.
PANFISH: Crappies, bluegills and perch are locating off of break and weed edges in 15 feet of water or less. Use a crappie minnow, waxie, or a chunk of crawler on a small jig or under a slip bobber. Perch are tight to bottom, with crappies and gills suspending up and down the water column. All day action and the bite is good to excellent.
MUSKY: Fish 15 feet of water or less off of weed and break edges. Use a small to medium sized bucktail, topwater, crankbait or jerkbait. Regular retrieve, and don’t forget to always do a “figure 8″ with your lure as it nears the boat. All day action with peaks in the evening, and the bite is good.
WALLEYE: Fish break edges and adjacent mud flats in 25 feet of water or less. The walleyes are tight to bottom. Ust a jig and a minnow, leech or half of a crawler. All day action with peaks in the evening and the bite is good.
NORTHERN: Fish 10 feet of water or less in and around weeds. Use a small bucktail, bass style spinner biat, minnow bait or a northern sucker under a slip bobber. All day action and the bite s good.
FLY FISHING: With untold numbers of rushing streams, brooks and rivers, Eagle River provides wonderful opportunities for fly anglers of every ilk. And for the adventure of a lifetime go for gamefish with a fly rod on one of the Eagle River area’s hundreds of lakes- – like in “musky” and “northern”. The Eagle River Chamber of Commerce (contact information below) can put you in touch with guides who specialize in fly fishing and those guides will provide you with one of the great memories you’ll ever have.
For perch, see top. Staff at Mik-Lurch said some steelhead are being caught off the Michigan City pier and there are good bluegill at Willow Slough and good catfish about everywhere.
ROOT RIVER, WISCONSIN
The Wisconsin DNR Root River Report is generally posted on Tuesday.
ST. JOSEPH, MICHIGAN
For perch, see top. Staff at Tackle Haven said steelhead have been slow off the piers; boaters are finding good lakers in 90-130 feet; but salmon are slow in 90-110.
ST. JOSEPH RIVER, INDIANA
Click here for reports from the Indiana DNR.
Staff at Lakeside said the coolest bite is the hybrids, which bust shads in random areas after 7 p.m.; otherwise muskie remain active around the deep trees or weed lines; crappie are good in deep trees and cribs; some walleye are being caught on leeches; largemouth are slow other than frog-type topwaters in the weeds; water warmed to 80s and there is 3-4 feet of clarity.
Lakeside is open 6:30 a.m.-6:30 p.m. For more information and reports from Lakeside, go to shabbonalake.com or call (815) 824-2581.
The Wisconsin DNR report is at http://dnr.wi.gov/topic/fishing/lakemichigan/OutdoorReport.html. They are generally posted by Tuesday afternoon. Stream flow info is at http://waterdata.usgs.gov/wi/nwis/current?type=flow.
Staff at Mik-Lurch said leeches are taking some walleye on the Indiana side.
WOLF RIVER, WISCONSIN
No update this week.