Finally, a shift toward more seasonal (or flat colder) weather comes for this sprawling raw-file Midwest Fishing Report.
Robert Coutinho DM’d on Twitter the photo above and this explanation:
caught this catfish on a crappie rig with minnows at Navy Pier Also 6 rock bass, 2 keeper perch and a bunch of small perch
The Midwest Fishing Report 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.
Illinois fall inland trout season opened Saturday; daily bag is five. Click here for the general statewide press release. From what I’ve heard and seen, fishermen took advantage of the nice weather and caught trout for the pan.
Here are the sites in northeast Illinois:
Cook County: Axehead, Belleau, Busse North, Green, Horsetail, Sag Quarry East, Wolf Lake; DuPage: Silver, Pickerel, Grove; Kankakee: Bird Park Quarry, Rock Creek; Kendall: Big Lake at Silver Springs SFWA; Lake: Sand at Illinois Beeach SP, Banana; McHenry: Spring Grove Hatchery Pond; Will: Lake Strini, Van Horn Woods.
Here are the key regulation reminders:
All anglers – including those using fly fishing gear who intend to release fish caught before Oct. 21 – must have a valid fishing license and an Inland Trout Stamp, unless they are under the age of 16, blind or disabled, or are an Illinois resident on leave from active duty in the Armed Forces. The daily catch limit for each angler is five trout.
Illinois fishing licenses and Inland Trout Stamps are available at DNR Direct license and permit locations, including many bait shops, sporting goods stores and other retail outlets. For a location near you, check the IDNR website at this link:
Fishing licenses and trout stamps can also be purchased by using a credit card through DNR Direct online via the IDNR website at www.dnr.illinois.gov, or by calling DNR Direct toll-free at 1-888-6PERMIT (1-888-673-7648).
Snagging season on the Illinois lakefront is open in four places. The daily bag is five total of Chinook and/or coho. Here are the details from the fishing regs booklet:
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).
I would expect crappie fishing to pick up significantly this week for the hardier souls. Otherwise, I think most effort will remain for fall inland trout.
Pete Lamar sent this note from the weekend:
As far as fishing, crappies have started making an appearance before sunset. So far, all have been small, but that will change-I hope-as we get more typical Autumn weather. It feels strange to me to fish for crappies in the Autumn while wet-wading or being concerned about staying cool as opposed to hypothermia.
I think that change is coming this week.
As to bass, Ken “Husker” O’Malley sent this:
Hey Dale,Here is a recap of the past week’s fishing.Area Lakes- bass are good miday along outside weedlines. Best bait has been a drop shot rigged finesse worm.TTYL—Ken “Husker” O’Malley
Waterworks fishing team
AREA WATER LEVELS
Once again, another week to check and know 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
Closed for the year.
Arden Katz said he was catching yellow bass on almost every cast over the weekend.
Staff at Triangle Sports and Marine said, maybe related to water flow, walley are picking up in the north river around deep holes and corner, on jigs and crawlers or minnows or Big Dude bladebaits; there’s some crappie around bridges and remaining piers; muskie fishermen going to suckers; water cools through the 50s.
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 Front Report
Well to say last week’s fishing was different would be an understatement. The weather played it’s tricks again . Water Temps are dropping we had surface temps 58 to 60 degrees. Monday’s Trip with Steve Sarley we found the water up on the sidewalks of the River Walk and flowing pretty good with a lot of wood and debris floating down river. We set the date to fish and talk fishing a few times and something came up to have to change the date so high water or not we decided to go fishing.
We setup on a spot and in the first few minutes we were catching Crappie and Gill’s which surprised me with the water clarity and flow. After fishing for awhile we changed up some baits to jig and worm and rattle baits and added some Bass to the mix. It wasn’t a banner day but in those conditions it wasn’t the SKUNK either. We had Fun talked fishing from all the years we have known each other and Enjoyed a day on the water.
Wednesdays trip was pretty much a copy cat of Monday as far as fish go. The River was back down to normal pool. We caught Pan fish and Bass on a few spots with a few Bass mixed in.
I had a trip booked for Saturday but Friday spoke to the client and asked if it were possible to re-book due to more rain I didn’t think things were going to improve and we agreed to re-book. Saturday afternoon my son Andrew called and asked if I was fishing we have been trying to get out for awhile. I said no I’m home his response was I’ll meet at the ramp so we went out for the afternoon and I realized quick that the river was going to be busy. Saturday was one of the bridge opening days for the sail boats to come in off the lake. Traffic was nuts on the water with sail boats circling in between bridges and tour boats and water taxi’s trying to pass between them with horns honking and yelling and all that fun stuff. We setup on a spot and stayed for about 4 hours smaller Crappie and Gills were out in full force about 80% of our casts were hit. We switched to casting Skirted jigs and 6” brown worms dragging bottom and caught about 15 Bass half being about 12” the rest were from 12” to 16”. Not a Bad Day at all and fun to get a little time on the water with my son.
Till next week Fish On.
DELAVAN/LAKE GENEVA AREA, WISCONSIN
DES PLAINES RIVER
POWERTON: Final boat day is Friday; final day of shore fishing is Oct. 27. EVERGREEN: Bait shop and boat rental are closed for the year. HENNEPIN-HOPPER: Closed for the season. SOUTHERN ILLINOIS: Check with Jason Johns of Boneyard Fishing. LAKE SHELBYVILLE: Check with Ken Wilson of Ken Wilson Guide Service.
Larry Dozard of larrysfishinghole.com sent this update on some closing dates Downstate:
Dale, Here are the Winter Lake Closures I have from IDNR for Central IL (& couple extra).
ANDERSON LAKE –– – THIS AREA Will CLOSE TO BOAT FISHING in Main Lake on Oct. 21st with Last Day to Fishing being Oct. 20th during waterfowl season with bank fishing Only allowed.BANNER MARSH – ** THIS AREA WILL CLOSE TO BOAT FISHING Oct. 18th (last day to boat fish will be Oct. 17th) — 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 – –CLINTON LAKE -REMEMBER an easterly area of Clinton Lake between the DeWitt (CH14) and the 48 bridges willCLOSE to protect fish and wildlife FROM OCT. 10th through – typically March 31st – but with weekend, could be March 30th, 2018..?DOUBLE T S.F.&W.A. ** THIS AREA WILL CLOSE TO FISHING Oct. 1st with LAST DAY to Fish being Sept. 30th and will remain CLOSED till Feb 1st..EVERGREEN LAKE – -Bait Shop Fall Hours: 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. 7 Days
And LAST DAY BAIT SHOP OPEN is Oct. 14th (Depending on bait supply)– Boat Rental Fall Hours: 8:00 A.M. – 4:00 P.M. SAT. & SUN. ONLY
– BOAT RENTAL will CLOSE for the season Oct. 8th
– – A SOUTHERN PART OF EVERGREEN LAKE – AROUND DEER ISLAND and 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.-HENNEPIN-HOPPER LAKES – Lakes are CLOSED for the SeasonMcMASTER LAKE at SNAKEDEN HOLLOW –* THIS AREA WILL CLOSE TO FISHING for the Season on Oct. 16th(last day to fish is Oct. 15th) till Feb. 1st —NEWTON LAKE –As written in the fishing regs booklet : ** The cold arm of Newton Lake shall be Closed daily from one-half hour before sunrise until 1:00 pm to all fishing and boat traffic except for legal waterfowl hunters during waterfowl season commencing with regular duck season through the close of the Canada goose and regular duck season.
* For here – Regular South Waterfowl Season: Nov. 23 – Jan. 31POWERTON LAKE –WINTER HOURS (Oct. 1st – April 30th): 8am – 4pm
– THIS LAKE WILL CLOSE TO BOAT FISHING ON OCT. 21th(Last day for Boat fishing will be Oct. 20th) and CLOSES TO SHORE FISHING and ALL FISHING ON OCT. 28th (Last day for Shore fishing is Oct. 27th)
and REOPENS TO SHORE FISHING ONLY ON DEC. 26th AND NO BOAT FISHING till FEB. 15th – –PRAIRIE LAKE in Jim Edgar/ Panther Creek State F&W Area – Lake access is CLOSED to Fishing from Nov. 1st – Jan. 15th until After 12:01 PM on Wednesdays and Saturdays.RICE LAKE –* THIS AREA WILL CLOSE TO FISHING on OCT. 21st with Last Day of Fishing being OCT. 20th and Will Re-Open at end of Duck & Goose Season..SPRING LAKE (South & North) –* THIS AREA WILL BE CLOSED TO BOAT FISHING in Hunting Area ON OCT. 21st with Last Day to Boat Fish being Oct. 20th –with BANK FISHING ALLOWED ONLY AFTER 1pm–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 –AND Shore Fishing is allowed in entire Lake after 1pm in Hunting areas or at boat ramps all day..SANGCHRIS LAKE –* THE WEST and EAST ARMS OF LAKE and Small AREA NEAR DAM ARE CLOSED DURING WATERFOWL SEASON to boat traffic effective Oct. 18th (last day to boat fish will be Oct. 17th) through Jan. 31, 2018 (during this time fishing boat traffic is permitted in the center hot arm only).Keep up the Good Work,Enjoy the Fall &
FOX RIVER: WESTERN SUBURBS
River is receding.
FOX RIVER: WISCONSIN
GREEN BAY/STURGEON BAY
Lance LaVine at Howie’s Tackle in Sturgeon Bay sent this update:
Here is an updated fishing report up until this point. And just FYI…I will be gone for a bit for a hunting vacation the next few weeks or so, you may have to give us a ring for an update if need be.
Perch fishing has been excellent as of late and should just continue to stay HOT as the weather cools. Best areas have been Little Sturgeon, Riley’s Bay, Sawyer Harbor, the Flats and the Sturgeon Bay ship canal. Minnows and crawler pieces have been the best baits, but soon it will be all minnows
Pike fishing has been fantastic also as of late. Pretty much all of the same areas as the Perch for obvious reasons has been good. Trolling and casting large crank baits, spoons, plastics, spinner baits and large sucker minnows all working well.
There are still some Salmon cruzing around along with a pretty decent batch of Brown Trout. Areas to try…Sturgeon Bay ship canal, the Ahnapee River, Bailey’s Harbor, Sister Bay and Egg Harbor just to name a few spots. Casting spoons, plugs and soaking spawn sacs and skein all good options there.
Walleye fishing is starting to pick up at night as it usually does this time of year. Henderson’s Point, Sherwood Point, Potowatami Park shoreline and Larson’s Reef are all good spots to try. Suspending crank baits like Husky Jerks and Rogues always a good bet
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.
Closed for the year.
River is projected to crest under flood stage Thursday at LaSalle.
Check fishing status at B & B Live Bait–(815) 433-0432–in Ottawa.
INDIANA STREAMS (LAKE MICHIGAN TRIBUTARIES)
Rains blew the creeks out.
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.
Both the Kankakee and Iroquois basins were hit with several days of significant rain. Check with Nick Carr at Kankakee River Trading Post in Altorf.
Snagging at top.
CHICAGO: Frankly, the weather has been tough and greatly limited effort. As noted by Robert Coutinho at the top, there’s a few perch at Navy Pier. Staff at Henry’s Sports and Bait said there’s a few perch and salmon around.
WAUKEGAN: Lori Ralph at the Salmon Stop texted:
A few perch still, a few kings on spoons, a few Brown’s on shrimp, and of course, snagging
Closed for the year.
MADISON CHAIN, WISCONSIN
Closed for the year, except Monster Lake remains open year-round.
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:
It’s starting to look a lot like late fall! Leaves coming down, temps dropping, water cooling.
Fishing spotty, but in some cases turn-over occurred – in other cases dumb fish wouldn’t bite!
Musky: Fair –(Good if you caught one!) – Odd bites (or NO bites) reports of Musky mauling (teething) on suckers, but not taking. Reports of follows on twitch and jointed cranks with few takers. Sucker action modest. Personally, a tough fall, most days with one or none. Nicer average, but not a lot of action.
Walleye: Poor-Great!? – Tough weekend followed by incredible Monday, too many over fish (20”+) up to 28”. Chubs, redtails especially if you can find them, in 22-28’ on 1/8 – 1/4 oz jigs or split-shot and #2 colored hooks. Watch water color and temp. 53 degrees and lower, clear, good to go.
Crappie: Fair – Deep wood with medium fatheads best.
Smallmouth Bass: Good – Deep rock humps. Drop-shotting 3” Gulp Alive Minnows or large fatheads.
Few other reports of note. Cold, wind and rain today and most of the week should keep lakes cooling. Musky anglers to keep up on the sucker use, gliders, big twitchbaits and jerkbaits. Walleye anglers – go easy on those big girls – that’s our future.
Panfish: Perch are found around the deeper weeds. Using slip bobber rigs tipped with minnows or a piece of red worm should catch you a bunch. Crappies are in the deeper weeds and around lay downs, so a slip bobber rig tipped with small minnow or plastic will work on these. Bluegills are up in the shallows, so a slip bobber rig tipped with a small piece of worm or wax worm will work on these fish.
Bass: Largemouth will be found around structures such as, laydowns and docks. Throwing spinnerbaits and plastic will work even near top water and around pads and reeds will spark action. Smallmouth are going to be in and around the rocks, so jigs tipped with live bait, plastics, and crankbaits will work here.
Northern: You will find these fish in and around the deeper weeds as the shallow weeds are starting to die. Walleye anglers will catch these while jigging. You can use smaller spinnerbaits like #3 or #4 Mepps. Safety pin style spinnerbaits are an effective choice.
Walleye: These fish will be found on the deepest weed edges and on the rock piles. Minnows are working better now and crawlers will still work until water gets colder. As the month goes on, these fish will start moving towards the deeper breaks. Early mornings and later evenings will be the best times to catch a few for a fish fry.
Muskies: Every strategy is working for these beasts, As the water temperatures start to cool off, fish will start moving to the deeper weed edges. Bucktails, rubber baits and crank-baits will all work this month.
Capt. Rich Sleziak at Slez’s Bait in Lake Station, Ind., texted:
Nothing but rain here creeks blown out rain non stop since Sunday afternoon some crappie and gills marina area old docks on Saturday and sun morning now all rain Valpo chain loom is and long gave good crappie up over weekend on minnows under a bobber
WILLOW SLOUGH: Boat fishing is closed for waterfowl seasons. 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
Fishing is going for kings with some coho and browns, too, according to the Root River Report from the Wisconsin DNR, which has started again.
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 the weather limited effort on the lake and high dirty water limited river action.
ST. JOSEPH RIVER, INDIANA
Click here for reports from the Indiana DNR.
Park is open 6 a.m.-10 p.m. through Tuesday, then goes to 8 a.m.-5 p.m. on Nov. 1. Lakeside is now open 7 a.m.-5 p.m. 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.
Check with River’s Edge.
WOLF RIVER, WISCONSIN
Guide Bill Stoeger in Fremont said white bass are best from the mouth of the river to the mouth of the Rat, he thinks the bite will hold at least for another week; there’s a few walleye upriver and that should only improve as the river continues to cool through the 50s.