The opening of fall trout season in Illinois and the impacts of wild weekend weather leads this sprawling raw-file Midwest Fishing Report; and white bass are going good on the Wolf River.
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 opens Saturday; daily bag is five. Click here for the general statewide press release.
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).
EARLY CATCH-AND-RELEASE TROUT IN ILLINOIS
The early catch-and-release trout season in Illinois is open at nine sites statewide:
Jo Daviess County: Apple River, Apple River State Park (*)
Kankakee County: Rock Creek, Kankakee River State Park (*)
Ogle County: Pine Creek, White Pines Forest State Park (*)
Adams County: Siloam Springs State Park Lake (*)
Cass County: Gridley Lake at Jim Edgar Panther Creek SFWA (*)
Hancock County: Horton Lake, Nauvoo State Park (*)
Morgan County: Morgan Lake, Nichols Park, Jacksonville (*)
Sangamon County: IDOT Lake, Springfield (*)
St. Clair County: Willow Lake, Peabody River King State Fish and Wildlife Area (*)
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).
Be sure to check regulations in areas that will open for inland trout in October. Some sites prohibit fishing those waters beforehand to protect the stocked fish. Regular trout season opens Saturday.
Ken “Husker” O’Malley sent this:
Hey Dale,Here is the recap of this week’s fishing.Area Lakes- bass have been good during evening hours on senkos Texas rigged. X-raps worked along outside weedlines have also been taking good numbers of bass.TTYL—Ken “Husker” O’Malley
Waterworks fishing team
Most rivers are in flood or coming off one. The exceptions are the Kankakee and Iroquois, which were much less impacted by the record rains in other areas.
Hey Dale,Here is the recap of this week’s fishing.Area rivers- the heavy rains received over the weekend should clear the floating moss that have plagued many of our rivers. Once levels recede, we should be in good shape for an excellent fall run.TTYL—Ken “Husker” O’Malley
Waterworks fishing team
AREA WATER LEVELS
More important than most weeks. 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.
Art Frisell at Triangle Sports and Marine said bluegill are “great’’ shallow; crappie are also good, try glow jigs at low light; white bass are fair, focus on wind-blow shorelines; muskie are good, southern lakes producing on large suckers or jerkbaits.
For more info and lake updates, go to Fox Waterway Agency or call (847) 587-8540.
Coming out a weekend flood. No update from Capt. Pat Harrison of Pat Harrison Outdoors.
DELAVAN/LAKE GENEVA AREA, WISCONSIN
DES PLAINES RIVER
Lower sections are coming off or are in flood.
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
Ken Gortowski sent this on Sunday:
Hey Dale, the Fox shot up to 8000 cfs and has already dropped down to 6670. That pretty much destroys fall wading. I’m sure the creeks are a mess.
Guys can try that whole high fast and muddy thing from shore, but it kind of ruins the whole experience of standing in the middle of the river on a perfect fall day having all the colors changing around you.
FOX RIVER: WISCONSIN
GREEN BAY/STURGEON BAY
No update from Lance LaVine at Howie’s Tackle in Sturgeon Bay.
Wisconsin DNR report is usually posted Tuesdays and includes reports from both the bay and lake sides.
Closed for the year.
River is coming off minor flood stage from Ottawa downstream through LaSalle.
Check fishing status at B & B Live Bait–(815) 433-0432–in Ottawa.
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.
Capt. Rich Sleziak at Slez’s Bait in Lake Station, Ind., texted:
Few coho and dying kings way up in upper stretches lot of rain over weekend not a lot of places to fish properly high water water going down fast now
Of local rivers, least impacted by the record rains.
Check with Nick Carr at Kankakee River Trading Post in Altorf.
Snagging at top.
CHICAGO: Waiting on perch. Tom Platt at Henry’s Sports and Bait put it best on the few salmon around when he said, “very random.” A few salmon were being caught at Burnham/McCormick Place, before the blow. Cory Gecht at Park Bait said not much after the storms; a few salmon at Belmont.
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:
Some real fall weather reached the Northwoods! Cold nights, some wind, rain, as a result – some falling water temps.
Musky: Good-Very Good – Not a great season for numbers, but some very nice fish. While suckers have accounted for the majority of fish, artificials, especially jointed cranks (48”) and 8” twitch (45”) have popped some nice fish.
Walleye: Good-Fair – One day good, next day UGGHH!! Daily changing weather seems to be changing the bite. Base of drop offs best using 1/8-3/8 oz jigs to vertically present large fatheads to medium chubs and suckers. Depths of 22-35’ best.
Smallmouth Bass: Good-Very Good – Start by working gravel bases drop-shotting 3” Gulp Alive Minnows, as well as, 4” chubs and suckers. On some wind swept shores anglers finding Smallies as shallow as 3-6’ using large Colorado Bladed spinnerbaits.
Northern Pike: Good – Some above average sized Pike on large spinnerbaits and medium sized twitchbaits meant for Musky along 8-12’ weed beds.
Crappie: Good – Showing up deep near sunken wood in 18-26’. Medium fatheads working over wood piles/roots best.
Largemouth Bass: Good-Fair – Best on subtle plastic presentations.
Yellow Perch: Fair
Water temps fell into the low 50’s on many lakes. A few reports of turn-over on lakes north of the Lakeland Area. Unfortunately, the forecast for this week calls for temps to hit upper 60’s –to low 70’s – this will put a temporary halt to the cool down,but the new moon period should help the bite.
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:
Few coho and dying kings way up in upper stretches lot of rain over weekend not a lot of places to fish properly high water water going down fast now Crappie action still steady at area lakes towards evening
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 Root River Report from the Wisconsin DNR has started again and the rain helped flow and fishing below the steelhead facility.
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 river is up and dirty, no boats out with the weather.
ST. JOSEPH RIVER, INDIANA
Click here for reports from the Indiana DNR.
Staff at Lakeside said water came up, but is dropping and clarity is fine. Still some crappie in brush piles and fish cribs, muskie active in no-motor zone.
Park is open 6 a.m.-10 p.m. Lakeside is now open 7 a.m.-5 p.m. The restaurant is open weekends.
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.
Rob Abouchar sent this:
Hi DaleThe great fishing continues in North Central Wisconsin on the Wisconsin River/Alexander Flowage in Merrill. I fished on Saturday with reggae singer songwriter Zion iahbinghi and the pike and musky were hitting chatterbaits in 3-5 feet of water near dying reeds and green eelgrass. Some of the biggest Smallmouth Bass of the season are grouping up and feeding heavily. Wacky rigged senkos fooled the bass in 1-5 feet of water. light frosts have hit the area and it is Indian Summer with fabulous foliage at it’s peak. The great action should continue as long as the stable weather holds.Tight linesRob
WOLF RIVER, WISCONSIN
Guide Bill Stoeger said there were “less and less boats, more and more fish.” He meant it. On Tuesday between 7:30-9 a.m., they filled a cooler with white bass up to 15 1/2 inches, better spots being near Poygan, Rat River, mouth of riverl, Fremont. Water is in the mid-50s, it will probably warm up a bit this week) so the good white bass bite should last another two to three weeks. There’s some walleye upriver, too; crappie are good in the brush; and good perch are being caught off mouth of Rat and Page’s Slough.