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Dare we dream of perch? Or Chinook? Chicago fishing

With more consistent west winds, perch fishing picked up some on the west side of southern Lake Michigan, that and the first shoreline reports of Chinook in Chicago headline this sprawling raw-file Midwest Fishing Report.

The MFR appears in a much condensed form Wednesdays on the Sun-Times outdoors page.

Stacey Greene at Park Bait texted this photo of perch being cleaned Tuesday at Montrose harbor.

LAKEFRONT PERCH

CHICAGO: It’s spotty, but a few more perch showed up. Stacey Greene at Park Bait said that powerliners were taking some limits. It is primarily a shiner bite. Key is, as Greene put, “If you don’t get a bite in half an hour, move to the other side.” Staff at Henry’s Sports & Bait said there’s a few perch reports at other harbors.

SOUTHWEST MICHIGAN: Staff at Tackle Haven said perch are “inconsistent” with the warm water piled up on their side.

INDIANA: Staff at Mik-Lurch said weather has limited boater access.

AREA LAKES (AND CREEKS THIS WEEK)

Bass are the top bite going.

As Ken “Husker” O’Malley seconded that when he sent this Monday evening:

Hey Dale,

Bass are up shallow during morning hours on area lakes. Some are in inches of water chasing bluegill and bait fish. Work top waters parallel to the shoreline or pitching creature baits to bass busting the surface.

As area rivers have been difficult to wade this summer, another option has been creeks for smallmouth bass. Working a craw pappi on a 1/0 keeper hook along current seams and eddys has produce good numbers. Working a small pop r in deeper pools has also produced. Definitely a nice change of pace.

TTYL

Ken “Husker” O’Malley
Huskeroutdoors
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

CENTRAL WISCONSIN

Hooksetter’s Guide Service, via Creative Brillance, sent this:

(Head): Musky and walleye action has picked up, and lots of activity around black bear baiting stations; all in and amidst the lakes and the Wisconsin River in Wisconsin’s Marathon and Lincoln Counties (near Mosinee and Wausau).

It has been a rather cool week for August but that is not a bad thing especially with bear baiting and the start of bear season right around the corner. The cooler weather has also jump started the fishing this past week and we are seeing more activity while on the water.

Fishing this past week was good for a variety of species but the two that stand out are musky and walleye. With the cooler weather this past week the water temperature dropped a good 10 degrees and it is now in the low 70’s where it was in the low 80’s last week.

Musky action picked up and we saw considerable action on bucktails, jerkbaits and top water lures. Most of the action was early and late in the day but we did have consistent action during the daytime hours when it was cloudy out.

The walleye bite was good all week long with very good action early and late in the day. The most productive method was working a jig and crawler along break lines in 8 to 12 feet of water.

We are having a lot of activity right now at our bear baiting stations and there are some pretty good sized bears coming in as well. We are regularly baiting our locations right now to establish a pattern for the bears to follow and get used to. What we want to do is get the bears accustomed to us being there at the same time every day so when we go in to hunt them they are on a set routine.

CHAIN O’LAKES AREA

Staff at Triangle said catfish on stinkbait or cut bait are the best bite; minnows or small spinners are taking white bass, best on Pistakee, Petite or Fox; a few more crappie are being caught deeper; bass and walleye are slow.

Check Chain updates at Fox Waterway Agency or by calling (847) 587-8540.

For more reports, see http://www.foxlakefishing.com/

CHICAGO RIVER

No update.

COOLING LAKES/STRIP PITS

BRAIDWOOD: Lake is open daily 6 a.m.-sunset. MAZONIA:  Lakes are open daily 6 a.m.-sunset. LaSALLE: 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.

DELAVAN/LAKE GENEVA AREA, WISCONSIN

Arden Katz reported good panfish (good, as in big, perch, rock bass, bluegill) on jig and spike in 15-17 feet on east end; while bass are best in 15-17 feet on south shore.

GENEVA: Dave Duwe of FishLakeGeneva.com sent this:

Lake Geneva Fishing report 8.24.15 through 8.31.15

Lake Geneva remains in the summer patterns, although the bite throughout the lake has been off some. There are still fish to be caught but the game fish bite has been reduced.

Largemouth bass fishing has been spotty throughout the lake. The best locations have been the weed line in Trinkes or Geneva Bay. The best concentration of larger fish has been in 16-24 ft of water on the outside of the weed edge. They can be caught dragging football head jigs or Carolina rigging green pumpkin lizards. Live bait fishermen have been catching a few in the shallow waters near the South Shore Club and Abbey Springs. In the shallow depths, the average size has been 12-14 inches.

Smallmouth bass fishing has been hit or miss. Some days I catch 10-15 fish and the next day I struggle to catch 1 or 2. The key to the smallmouth bass bite has been finding pods of bait fish in the deeper waters. I’ve been concentrating on fish that are in 21-30 ft of water. The fish are on deep under water structure. Look for the fish by Yerkes Observatory and the beach in Fontana. The best approach is lindy rigged nightcrawlers or extra large fat head minnows.

Bluegill fishing has been the best bite on the lake. The fish are in 18-20 ft of water. You want to fish leaf worms fished on a small split shot rig straight beneath the boat. The best locations have been by Elgin Club or by Gage Marina.

Rock bass fishing has been good. The bigger fish are in the schools of smallmouth in 22-28 ft of water. The best locations have been by South Shore Club or Yerkes Observatory. With the smallmouth bass bite being slow, the rock bass add a little action.

Yellow Perch are in the 10-12 ft depth range. Look for the fish by Conference Point and Cisco Beach. They are being caught on small fat head minnows fished on a slip bobber. As always on Lake Geneva, you need to catch a whole bunch to get a decent keeper bag. Look for the fish in the scattered weed beds associated with sand.

Walleye fishing has been difficult. The only consistent bite is at night. Remember you only want to fish the nights where there is some wind. A calm night won’t produce much action. Work a depth of 15-20 ft of water. Try for them using large Rapalas or crawler harnesses fished above the weeds.

Northern Pike have started to feed. They are on the thermocline in 33-35 ft of water. My best catches have been by Cedar Point and by Abbey Springs. The best approach is lindy rigged medium suckers slowly electric motor trolled.

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 8.24.15 through 8.31.15

This past week with the cooler weather, the fishing improved from the prior week. Though it was a cold front that came through, I find that any weather changes seem to improve fishing on Delavan after weeks of constant high pressure. The best bite is still the largemouth bass and bluegill.

Largemouth bass are being caught on a couple of live bait presentations as well as the shallow water slop bite. Medium suckers fished on lindy big fish sliders in 8-10 ft of water have been producing a lot of fish. My secondary approach has been the standard split shot rigged nightcrawler on the weed line in 13-15 ft of water. Look for the fish around main lake points. I like the points with pockets of sand, the best locations are by the Village Supper Club and Willow Point. The slop bite is really good by the boat launch channel and by north shore. You want to use black or white scum frogs.

Bluegill action has been very good in 12-15 ft of water. You want to use split shot rigged leaf worms just under the boat. The key to the split shot rig is using a light enough sinker to avoid hooking the weeds. The best locations have been by Assembly Park and the weed line west of Willow Point. The average size of the bluegills has been 7-8 inches.

Northern Pike fishing has been improving. I’m catching most of the fish on the outside of the weed line in 15-17 ft. Look for the fish by the Village Supper club, 3 flags and by the clock on the north shore. I’ve been using larger suckers fished on a lindy rig. I’ve been catching a few smaller fish also, when fishing for bass in 8-10 ft of water. They have been biting on the smaller suckers.

Crappie fishing has been okay. You can find fish suspended on the outside edge of the weedline 10 ft down, in 15-17 ft of water. Small plastics fished on a 1/32 oz jig have been producing most of the action. The schools haven’t been very large in size to find the active fish. The best locations have been by the Marina on the north shore or by Belvidere Park.

Walleye fishing has been spotty. I’m catching an occasional fish here and there. They don’t appear to be in any pattern. I’m thinking that they are in deeper water than I’ve been fishing suspending in the main lake basin. Friends of mine have been fishing at night but haven’t been having much success either.

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

No update this week. 

DOWNSTATE NOTES

SHELBYVILLE: Check with Ken Wilson of Ken Wilson Guide ServiceLAKE OF EGYPT/REND LAKE: Check with Jason Johns of Boneyard FishingEVERGREEN: 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!

Thank you,

Mike

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.

DuPAGE RIVER

No update this week.

FOX RIVER

Johnny “Sunshine” Pajak sent this:

I felt good enough on Friday to head over to the river for a wade. I was only able to stay out for about an hour or so before I started to get tired but was rewarded with 3 decent smallies. I was using as 1/16th oz jig with a 3″ Kalins smoke colored twister worked slowly through the deeper pools. If the rain stops here I may be able to convince my wife to let me go again tonight!

Ken Gortowski sent this:

Rare, I know.

Since everyone hates when I send you a fishing report that’s a link to a

blog post, I thought I would send you a fishing report that’s a link to

a blog post.

They can either read it, or not.

http://waterdogjournal.com/2015/08/23/i-went-fishing/

Ken G

GREEN BAY

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

ILLINOIS RIVER

Thom Matejewski at Illinois Valley Outdoors said catfish are the top bite on cut bighead or silver carp; inline spinners, Beetle Spins, bladebaits or jig and twister (white or pink) are taking white bass around current or bridge piers (below the dam is the top spot); sauger being caught on minnowbaits trolled on Lead Core in 6-12 feet. NOTE: There’s a white bass tournament Sunday. Check with Matejewski at IVO ($125 entry per two-person teams) at (815) 663-1000.

Illinois Valley Outdoors is open in Spring Valley.  The phone is (815) 663-1000.

INDIANA STREAMS

Staff at Mik-Lurch said a few steelhead are in the streams, a few are all the way to Valparaiso. Access points for Trail Creek can be found on the Trail Creek Access Map.

KANKAKEE RIVER

Norm Minas sent this:

river has been dropping and clearing. more algae buildup on the bottom.

1/2 jigs, rattlebaits, flukes and topwaters have been producing in multiple types of current conditions . multiple species days ,on the swimbaits and rattlebaits. fish using many different types of areas, just trying to fish as many as possible trying to find the one or ones that produce best at that point in time .

peace

norm

p.s. really miss the rambles with pieces .

LAKE ERIE

Prospects look good for walleye and perch this year; smallmouth fair but improving. Click here for update. The Ohio DNR has general Lake Erie info and a fishing report.

LAKE KOSHKONONG, WISCONSIN

No update.

LAKEFRONT

For perch see, top.

CHICAGO: Staff at Park Bait reported the fiirst Chinook at Montrose and a few steelhead.

Howard Bass sent this:

Hi Dale,

Good fishing this week around Belmont Harbor. Lots of big sheep head(I shake most off because it’s too hard to net them over the fence) , pike of all sizes, including a follow from a 40+(I started shaking when I saw it). Big bass-4#+ (lm and sm). A steelhead(lakeside) that I just couldn’t connect with. He chased my twister tail four casts before he took off. All fish were going on black, or black and yellow twister tails and beetle spins.

Good Perch around montrose didn’t feel like cleaning more fish(freezer is full). Sorry no photos. Too difficult to photo and release most fish in timely fashion.

Oh yea, Friday I started by going to fish the foster pier in am. Couldn’t because of dead body that was found half hour earlier… By fisherman. This happened to a friend at montrose when he was a child. He refuses to fish because of the body he and his uncle pulled up.

Happy Sunday.

Howard Bass

Capt. Bob Poteshman of Confusion Charters said the weekend was good for lakers in particular, but also some Chinook, coho and steelhead; Tuesday slower.

WAUKEGAN:  Ted Boska sent this:

Hello and good morning Dale.This year very inconsistent fishing is driving many people crazy.simply you can’t find very consistent patterns this year. You have to work hard to catch some fish.one day you locate many,next day fish is not there. For sure most consistent is 100-130′ staight from the harbor down 60-80′ ,mostly on spoons for mix bag of fish. Few kings has been caught on glowing spoons at dark from government pier,but to very cold 49 degrees water.i hope string of West wind’s this week improve fishing. TED ( DIEHARD ANGLER ) BOSKA

NORTH POINT: Poteshman said some fish are right on shore in the cold water, more are out in 200 feet; but every day is different on both sides of the state line.

MADISON CHAIN, WISCONSIN

Check reports from Gene Dellinger at D&S Bait.

No update from Scott Hill of Fishingthrills Guide Service.

MENOMINEE RIVER, WISCONSIN

Check with Mike Mladenik at Mike Mladenik Guide Service.

NORTHERN WISCONSIN

MINOCQUA: Kurt Justice of Kurt’s Island Sport Shop sent this:

Minocqua Area Fishing Report

Kurt’s Island Sport Shop 8/25/2015

Lots of wind, some rain and a cool down the past week put a kabosh on the areas fishing for most species. Surface temps of lakes dropped in to the mid-upper 60’s as daily high temps ran 10-15 degrees below our late August average. The recent weather seemed more Sept. / Oct.ish than what the calendar reads.

Musky: Good- Very good. The one real bright spot to the past week has been the Musky action. Top water lures have been hot (Tally Wacker’s, Pacemakers) this past week. Fish of mid-30 to 40 “reported by anglers willing to face the wind. Spinnerbaits have also been working, casting over weed tops along wind ward shores in water as shallow as 3-5’.

Northern Pike: Good. Like their longer cousins, pike have also been active, many being caught on lures meant for Musky. Spinner baits, # 5 Mepps and Rizzo Whiz’s, have all caught nice pike. Wind has kept most anglers from using live bait, but a few fishermen have reported success casting chubs on jigs when and where weather permits.

Largemouth Bass: Fair- Good. Tough on boat control, largemouth holding deep in weeds. Jig and plastic craw / creature baits best bet to lure fish to bite. Wacky worms and Carolina Rigs and 4” worm also working.

Smallmouth Bass: Fair. Action slow as weather has made access to off shore locations tough. Drop – shotting craw imitation baits best.

Bluegill, Crappie, Perch: Poor. Weather made for tough fishing for these panfish species. Few reports.

By weeks end, weather should become more late August like ( highs in the upper 70’s to low 80’s ), fishing pressure has been light and will remain so till Labor Day weekend. With conditions improving (less wind) fishing opportunities will improve also.

Kurt Justice
Kurt’s Island Sport Shop
http://www.kurt’sislandsports.com

EAGLE RIVER: This report came the Eagle River Chamber of Commerce, based on Creative Brilliance interviews with Eagle River guide “Muskie Matt” and legendary George Langley of Eagle Sports Center and hunting enthusiast Dan Anderson:

(Head): Musky hitting very well at night. Walleye action adequate, but improving. Northern bite is excellent, with both smallmouth and largemouth bass hitting well. Bluegill action best of the panfish, with perch hitting, and crappies striking hard around brush piles; all in the Eagle River, Wisconsin area.

Water temps in the Eagle River, Wisconsin area have dropped precipitously, and are now in the 70-75 degree range. Our Eagle River fishing guru, George Langley notes that fishing is in a “general end of summer mode, which means that the water temps go up and down, and lakes conditions are somewhat “green” with algae; but the fishing potential in the Eagle River area will start to increase from this point forward.”

MUSKY: Hitting very well at night in the Eagle River area. Fish deeper water, and weed edge fishing is recommended – -from 8-12 feet up to deep water. Daytime feeding windows are relatively short at this point. There are some very good thermoclines on the Eagle River area’s deeper lakes. Size of the baits are getting larger, with plastics and surface baits working best.

Regular retrieve, and don’t forget to always do a “figure 8″ as your lure nears the boat.

WALLEYE: Action is adequate, but has started to improve as the walleyes start moving deeper in general, and towards the holes on the Eagle River Chain of 28 lakes (largest freshwater chain of lakes in the world). The walleye are tight to bottom. Half of a crawler is working best, with leeches coming in second, and a few minnows getting hits. Check out deep mud flats during daytime hours, using a half of a crawler.

NORTHERN: Consistent, excellent bite in the Eagle River area. Very good action in the weeds. Use any flashy lure like a Mepps spinner. A larger chub under a slip bobber is also working well. First the deeper weeds first, and then move shallower.

SMALLMOUTH BASS: Fish much deeper water – up to about 21 feet on many Eagle River area lakes. Only requirement is to find hard bottom. Crayfish imitations still working very well, with plastics second.

LARGEMOUTH BASS: Use a wacky worm. Largemouth in the weeds in shallower water. Any shallower cover will produce, including weeds, piers, docks, boathouses and brushpiles.

PANFISH: Bluegills best, and are thoroughly invested in shallower weeds on all lakes. Worms and waxies working best. Perch in the same weeds as the bluegills, but locating on the deeper edges of weeds. The perch are basically acting like small walleyes. Schools of crappies are suspending in deeper water, staying near brushpile type structure in 10-15 feet of water. If you find brushpiles, you’ll “strike gold” with the crappies, and the action can be furious. For the perch and crappies use minnows, crawlers, and leeches.

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. Eagle River guide guru, and 35 year avid fly angler for musky, George Langley, tells us that it’s a memorable experience for fly anglers, but realistically you must be able to double-haul cast and attain distances of 70-90 feet on your cast.

NORTHWEST INDIANA

For perch, see top. Ed McCain at Mik-Lurch said the weather slowed effort but there had been some salmon around the wreck.

ROOT RIVER, WISCONSIN

The Wisconsin DNR Root River Report is generally posted on Tuesday.

ST. JOSEPH, MICHIGAN

For perch, see top. Capt. Eric Conder of Big Bird Charters at Tackle Haven said there was mostly lakers and steelhead in 80 feet and deeper; with the west winds blowing warm water over, the thermocline is only setting up at around 100 feet. Not much on steelhead coming into or pier action.

ST. JOSEPH RIVER, INDIANA

Click here for reports from the Indiana DNR.

SHABBONA LAKE

Clint Sands at Lakeside said it is more of a catfish and crappie bite now; hybrids and largemouth are OK, especially evenings.

Lakeside is open 6 a.m.-7 p.m. For more information and reports from Lakeside, go to shabbonalake.com or call (815) 824-2581.

SOUTHEAST WISCONSIN

The Wisconsin DNR posts a report at http://dnr.wi.gov/topic/fishing/lakemichigan/OutdoorReport.html. It is usually posted by Tuesday afternoon. Stream flow info is at http://waterdata.usgs.gov/wi/nwis/current?type=flow.

WOLF LAKE

No update.

WOLF RIVER, WISCONSIN

No update this week.