Considering we might even be talking frost later in the week, fall fishing is here, including lots of white bass reports, for this sprawling raw-file Midwest Fishing Report.
The MFR 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.
As the photo above shows, the holiday weekend was good for some.
Jordan Fitch, 9, of St. Anne learned well from Norm Minas at the Hieland Nature Preserve earlier this week. Minas, the Kankakee River rat, was at the new fishing spot from the Kankakee River Valley Forest Preserve District, and gave some helpful hints. The preserve is off the frontage south of Route 17 just east of the Kankakee River. Only bluegills may be kept.
ILLINOIS FALL TROUT
Fall trout opens Saturday in Illinois, well, other than the early fly fishing areas, which are already open.
Those 16 and older need license and trout stamp. Daily bag is five.
Nearby sites include in Cook County (Axehead, Belleau, Busse North, Green, Horsetail, Wolf); DuPage (Silver, Pickerel, Grove); Kankakee (Bird Park Quarry, Rock Creek in Kankakee River SP); Kendall (Big Lake at Silver Springs SFWA); Lake (Banana, Sand at Illinois Beach SP); McHenry (Spring Grove Hatchery Pond); Will (Lake Strini, Van Horn Woods).
Click here for the statewide release.
CHICAGO: Cory Gecht at Park Bait said some steelhead were being caught at Diversey and Montrose on Tuesday; still some coho and Chinook being caught on spoons and spawn. Steve Palmisano at Henry’s Sports and Bait texted that is more spawn and finesse presentations that spoons. WAUKEGAN: Lori Ralph at the Salmon Stop texted that spawn sacks or any kind of plug that rattles was producing, some of the kings are still silver and more browns. INDIANA: Capt. Rich Sleziak at Slez’s Bait in Lake Station texted that the there were some kings and steelhead up the upper stretches of the tributaries and creeks, best on spinners or spawn sacks. SOUTHEAST WISCONSIN: Check the Wisconsin DNR report, usually out Tuesday. SOUTHWEST MICIGAN: Staff at Tackle Haven in Benton Harbor reported not much with the weather.
Cory Gecht at Park Bait said they were “jackpoling them” at Fullerton. Steve Palmisano at Henry’s Sports and Bait texted that snaggers continued to do well at both sites in Chicago. Lori Ralph at the Salmon Stop texted that snaggers were doing well at Waukegan’s North Basin.
Here is the word on snagging legally on the Illinois lakefront from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources:
4) Snagging for chinook and coho salmon only is permitted from the following Lake Michigan shoreline areas from October 1 through December 31; however, no snagging is allowed at any time within 200 feet of a moored watercraft or as posted: A) Lincoln Park Lagoon from the Fullerton Avenue Bridge to the southern end of the Lagoon. B) Waukegan Harbor (in North Harbor basin only). C) Winnetka Power Plant discharge area. D) Jackson Harbor (Inner and Outer Harbors).
See fall trout at top. Steve Palmisano at Henry’s Sports and Bait said crappie bite is picking up at the usual spots. I would expect that to continue with the cool down.
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
Closed for the season.
CHAIN O’LAKES AREA
Arden Katz reported white and yellow bass picking, Marie is better than Bluff, work in 8-12 feet.
Staff at Triangle said suckers or bucktails working best as muskie bite builds; crappie mostly suspended in 12-16 feet; doing well for big bluegills on northern lakes; catfish remain good.
For updates, check with Fox Waterway Agency or call (847) 587-8540.
Capt. Pat Harrison (click here for his site) sent this:
Chicago River Report I was only out twice last week water temps were coming down 72 to 68 and fish are moving more’ We caught a few Bass 12” to 16” and plenty of Pan fish. I spent Thursday through Sunday at Camp Quest on Clinton Lake with the Arlington Anglers. We had a Great time caught a lot of Fish not a lot of big ones best fish in my boat was a 17” Large Mouth my Brother Bern caught. Trip is always fun I’m looking forward to the Spring trip. Have a Great week I am back on the River a few times this week and water temps are lower should be some good fishing.
DELAVAN/LAKE GENEVA AREA, WISCONSIN
DELAVAN: Dave Duwe sent this:
Delavan Lake Fishing Report 10.10.16 thru 10.17.16
The exceptionally warm fall has the fall bite delayed a bit. With the cooler water temperatures the fishing is starting to improve.
The walleyes I’ve been catching are in 20-25 ft of water. They can be caught on chrome and blue jigging Rapalas or lindy rigging extra large fat head minnows. The best location has been by the concrete point or the Yacht Club. You need to trust your fish finder to locate the schools of fish. As the water continues to cool, the fishing will continue to improve.
Crappie fishing has been excellent. The best depth is 12-15 ft of water. The crappies have been by Township Park or by Assembly Park. They are ferociously biting purple or chartreuse plastics. Most of the fish are 3-4 ft down in the water column. The key to the presentation is a slow stop and go retrieve.
As the water cools, the northern pike action is improving. The best location has been by the Yacht Club or Belvidere Park. I’ve been catching most of my fish about 1 foot off bottom and the larger suckers have been producing most of the action. Keep moving down the weedlines until you find the actively feeding fish.
Largemouth bass fishing has been productive, however, the size has been substantially smaller than recent years. The fish are in 12-15 ft of water. The best location has been by 3 flags or just west of Willow Point. Most of the success has come off of split shot rigged fat head minnows or small lindy rigged suckers.
Yellow Perch have been spotty. The best depth has been 5-6 ft of water. The best approach has been small fat head minnows fished about 1 foot above the weeds. The best location has been by Browns Channel or just west of the Yacht Club.
Good luck and I hope to see you on the water. For guide parties, call Dave Duwe at 608-883-2050
GENEVA: Dave Duwe sent this:
Lake Geneva Fishing Report 10.10.16 thru 10.17.16
Lake Geneva’s water has been cooling slower than I can remember. The water temperature is still 64-66 degrees.
The best bite has been largemouth bass. They are in the medium depth rocks with weeds in 15-18 ft of water. The best location has been by South Shore Club or by Trinkes. They can either be caught while drop shotting 4 inch finesse worms or lindy rigging nightcrawlers. As the water cools, small suckers or fat head minnows will start producing a lot more fish.
Yellow Perch action is starting to pick up as the water cools. The best location has been by Belvidere Park or by Knollwood. The best depth is 10-12 ft of water. You want to fish small fat head minnows on Thill slip bobbers 1 foot above the weeds.
Bluegill fishing has been very good in 20-24 ft of water. Look for the fish in front of Elgin Club or Gage Marine. You want to fish a small leaf worms and a split shot approximately 6 inches to 1 foot off bottom. Find the active schools with your fish finder and then concentrate your efforts in that location.
Smallmouth bass fishing has been hit or miss. The key is finding the pods of bait fish and then you’ll find the schools of smallmouth bass. They are not as concentrated as years past, but they are out there. They can be caught on 4 inch Kalin Grubs or Rapala Husky jerks.
Walleyes are being caught at night in 15-17 ft of water. The best location has been by Trinkes or off the weedline in Williams Bay. The best time to fish for them is at night when there is a slight chop on the water. You want to use very large Rapalas in chrome and blue or chrome and black. You want to make sure the bait is about 3-4 ft above the weedline.
As the water cools, the crappie action is improving. The crappies are suspended 5-8 ft down in 12-15 ft of water. The best approach has been slowly trolling smoke or chartreuse colored twister tails. There have been some 15 inch fish caught in the last few weeks. The best location is by South Shore Club or Covenant Harbor.
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
EVERGREEN: Mike Steffa sent this update on fall hours:
FALL HOURS FOR EVERGREEN LAKE BAIT SHOP & BOAT RENTAL:
BAIT SHOP: 8:00 A.M. – 4:00 P.M. DAILY
BOAT RENTAL: 8:00 A.M. – 4:00 P.M. SAT. & SUN. ONLY
Michael J. Steffa – Director
McLean County Dept. of Parks & Rec.
HENNEPIN CANAL: Thom Matejewski at Illinois Valley Outdoors in Spring Valley said crappie are good. HENNEPIN-HOPPER: Closed for season. LAKE OF EGYPT/REND: Check with Jason Johns of Boneyard Fishing. SHELBYVILLE: Check with Ken Wilson of Ken Wilson Guide Service.
Larry Dozard of larrysfishinghole.com sent this update on Downstate closures:
– RICE LAKE – will CLOSE to fishing on Oct. 15th with Last Day to Fish being Oct. 14th
and will Re-Open at end of Duck & Goose season..– BANNER MARSH – Will CLOSE TO BOAT FISHING on Oct. 12th with last day to boat fish being Oct. 11th
AND 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 – THIS LAKE IS CLOSED TO FISHING As of OCT. 1stand remains Closed till Feb. 1st– EMIQUON PRESERVE – No boating, fishing or ice skating access before 12:00 pm during waterfowl season.– EVERGREEN LAKE – the SOUTHERN PART OF LAKE, AROUND DEER ISLANDand ALL OF SIX-MILE CREEK BAY IS CLOSED TO GAS MOTORS from Oct. 15th through JAN. 1st
to allow resting areas for migratory waterfowl.YOU ARE ALLOWED TO STILL RUN A TROLLING MOTOR IN THESE AREAS ONLY.– SNAKEDEN HOLLOW & McMASTER LAKE – Will CLOSE TO FISHING for the Season on Oct. 10thwith Last Day of Fishing on Oct. 9th– SPRING LAKE (South & North) – WILL BE CLOSED TO BOAT FISHING in Waterfowl Hunting Area ON OCT. 15thwith Last Day to Boat Fish being Oct. 14th with BANK FISHING ALLOWED ONLY AFTER 1pm–
& AREAS THAT REMAIN OPEN TO BOATS ARE NORTH OF MAPLE ISLAND with ramp at north endat the Sky Ranch Road launch and IN PIKE HOLE with carry in boats –
and Shore Fishing is allowed in entire lake after 1pm in Hunting areas or at boat ramps all day.– POWERTON LAKE – LAKE WILL CLOSE TO BOAT FISHING ON OCT. 15th (Last day for Boat fishing is Oct. 14th)
and CLOSES TO SHORE FISHING and ALL FISHING ON OCT. 22nd (Last day for Shore fishing is Oct. 21st)
and REOPENS TO SHORE FISHING ONLY ON DEC. 19th AND NO BOAT FISHING till FEB. 15th– SANGCHRIS LAKE – THE WEST and EAST ARMS OF LAKEand Small AREA NEAR DAM ARE CLOSED DURING WATERFOWL SEASON to boat traffic
effective Oct. 12th (last day to boat fish will be Oct. 11th) through Jan. 31, 2016
(during this time fishing boat traffic is permitted in the center hot arm only).– PRAIRIE LAKE in Jim Edgar/ Panther Creek State F&W Area – Lake is CLOSED from Nov. 1st to Jan. 15th
to Fishing until after 12:01 PM on Wednesday & Saturday.– ANDERSON LAKE – THIS AREA Will be CLOSED TO BOAT FISHING in Main Lake
from Oct. 15th (with last day to boat fish Oct. 14th) through Dec. 20th during waterfowl season
with bank fishing Only allowed.– CLINTON LAKE – an easterly area of Clinton Lake (The Waterfowl Refuge Area) between the DeWitt Bridge East (CH14) and the Rt. 48 Bridge
will CLOSE be on October 10th and will re-open on MARCH 31st…
FOX RIVER: WESTERN SUBURBS
FOX RIVER: WISCONSIN
GREEN BAY/STURGEON BAY
Closed for the season.
Thom Matejewski at Illinois Valley Outdoors in Spring Valley said white bass are picking, though it is better numbers than size; crappie continue good around pilings and barges; sauger and walleye are fair.
Capt. Rich Sleziak at Slez’s Bait in Lake Station texted that the there were some kings and steelhead up the upper stretches of the tributaries and creeks, best on spinners or spawn sacks.
Access points for Trail Creek can be found on the Trail Creek Access Map.
Norm Minas sent this:
The river stills fluctuates as the rains come and go . The one thing that has not changed has been the effectiveness of rattlebaits . It’s to the point where I start with a rattlebait and never feel the need to change . One retrieve in particular that has really been producing is a quartercast upstream, letting it drift downstream while following it with the rod and reeling just enough to maintain contact with the lure and keeping it from snagging on the bottom . Numbers and quality smallmouth with some walleye and cats mixed in .peacenorm
See shoreline salmon/trout reports at top. NORTH POINT: Capt. Bob Poteshman of Confusion Charters said that fishing is mainly from the hill to 200 feet, mostly for lakers with some salmon.
LAKE VERMILION, MINNESOTA
No update from Jarek Wujkowski of Rodsbent Guide Service.
Final day of fishing is Oct. 15.
MADISON CHAIN, WISCONSIN
Go to Facebook for the latest updates from Gene Dellinger at D & S Bait.
Closed for the season, but Monster Lake at Mazonia South remains open year-round. Check with Jon Meder at Jon’s Bait Shop–(815) 237-2822–in South Wilmington. Open daily, 6 a.m.-sunset.
MENOMINEE RIVER, WISCONSIN
Check with Mike Mladeik at Mike Mladenik Guide Service.
Check the Wisconsin DNR Lake Michigan Report, which generally comes out Tuesdays for updates.
MINOCQUA: Kurt Justice of Kurt’s Island Sport Shop sent this:
Finally the look and feel of fall is here. Trees peaked, cold nights, temperate days. It’s musky time!
Musky: Good-Very good. Could be better if not for some high sky days. Water temps have fallen and the sucker bite is on! Surface temps for the weekend were between 55-61 degrees. That has pretty much done in the top-water action, but, amped up the meat bite. Suckers on spinner/quick set rigs (Smity’s) have been best. Action not consistent all day, probably due to weather, but, good windows of 45 minutes to 1 ½ hours with multiple fish. Guide Greg Bohn guided a client to a 52”, 40# beast this week (released).
Crappies: Good-very good. Best on flowages. Trollers finding slabs 11’ down using Flicker Shads. Traditional drifting methods also work using slip-floats and medium fatheads.
Walleyes: Fair-good. Spotty at times, high barometer days tough. Nice fish using redtails along gravel humps of 22-38’. Also on drowned wood on flowages.
Pike: Fair-Good. Best on chubs/suckers on weedless jigs in weeds. A few big pike of 32-36” caught this week.
Smallmouth Bass: Fair. Very few fish but, those reported have been big including smallies to 20+”. Drop shotting has worked best with reluctant biters taking smaller plastics and live chubs.
Perch: Fair. Some good catches around drowned wood in 15’ of water. Medium fats best. Drag bait on 1/16 to 1 18 oz. weedless Jack’s or Slo-fall jigs. Half crawlers also worth a shot. Nice perch of 9-12” being reported.
With water temps approaching 55 degrees, keep an eye out for turn-over. Nice daytime temps will keep it at bay, but, those 30 degree nights are tough.
Kurt’s Island Sport Shop
Muskie: Bigger baits such as double 9’s and 10’s spinnerbaits, crankbaits, bigger jerk baits and top water are still working. Suckers are starting to be used also.
Northern Pike: Fish the deep flats with some type of weeds (could be sand grass or coontail) to find northern pike. Use Jig and minnow combos are the bait of choice.
Walleye: Finding them on deep mud flats and still on the deep rock humps. Early and late in the day you can find fish on the tops, but they will go deeper in the mid-day. Jig and minnow combos are working well on the mud flats, while crawlers are having success on the rocks.
Bass: (Largemouth) Bass are moving out of the shallow weeds as they’re starting to die. If sihing weeds, (Smallmouth) Basic live bait rig is always a go to presentation; also plastics and crankbaits will work well.
Panfish: Bluegills are being found on the deepest weed edges where the greenest weeds are. For these fish, slip bobber rigs are the way to go baited up with a good selection of live bait such as waxies, and red worms. Plastics are working under bobbers with a twitch of the rod. Crappies are starting to suspend over some mud flats and small jigs tipped with minnows or small blade baits like cicadas will work. Perch are being caught on mud flats using small minnows.
See shoreline salmon/trout at the top.
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 shoreline salmon and trout are very slow; there are some walleye and smallmouth going in the river.
ST. JOSEPH RIVER, INDIANA
Click here for reports from the Indiana DNR.
Ken “Husker” O’Malley sent this:
Hey Dale,Despite the cold front that pushed through, Muskie were still active at Shabbona. Double 10 bucktails produced a few follows, but no hookups. Water temps are 60-61 with visibility at about foot. Water was clearer at southern end of the lake.Leaves have just started to turn. Should be prime in about week and half.Highlight of the day had to be the two eagles that did a flyby over my head. One had a fish in its talons. Very cool.
Ken “Husker” O’Malley
Waterworks fishing team
Clint Sands at Lakeside said hybrids (to 31 inches) are being caught; muskie remain active in no-motor zone; crappie and walleye are the other good bites.
Lakeside remains open daily, 7 a.m.-5 p.m. daily. The restaurant is closed for the season. For more information and reports from Lakeside, go to shabbonalake.com or call (815) 824-2581.
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.
PETENWELL DAM: Jason Fox sent this:
WOLF RIVER, WISCONSIN
FREMONT: Bill Stoeger said that white bass are spreading through river, best from Rat River down, it will keep improving with cooler water; crappie are also good, some real quality fish; a few walleye on minnows.