Our Pledge To You


Into the heat of Chicago fishing: Midwest Fishing Report

Post-holiday, the heat of summer fishing around Chicago begins for this sprawling raw-file Midwest Fishing Report,.

Andy Mikos had a buddy bring a co-worker fishing Sunday and she got a 23-pound brown at the R2.

The MFR 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.

FYI, I am on my way to four days of floating, fishing and camping, so MFR is out early, and slightly less sprawling than usual.


CHICAGO:  Steve Palmisano at Henry’s Sports and Bait said it is about the same with mostly smaller ones, but he heard of one of 1 1/2 pounds brought in. Stacey Greene at  Park Bait posted that action is good, but you have to work at keepers.

WAUKEGAN: Lori Ralph at the Salmon Stop said they are marking perch, but not catching.

NORTHWEST INDIANA: Capt. Rich Sleziak  at Slez’s Bait in Lake Station, Ind., texted:

Perch decent west of burns ditch outside muddline in 20 to 28ft of water and east of doughnut and around dune state park in 20 to 35ft of water the boats  that moved around and covered water had good catches


Staff at Tackle Haven in Benton Harbor said good perch catches, including some limits of quality fish were being caught in 35-40 feet off the pierheads by boat.


The glamor fish in the Kankakee River Fishing Derby (click here), which ended Sunday, was the 9-pound, 6-ounce walleye Kyle Plein of Momence brought in early in the derby.


Bullfrog season in Illinois is open. Daily bag is eight. Bullfrogs may be taken by hook and line, gig, pitchfork, spear, bow and arrow, hand, or landing net.


It’s mid-summer, it’s largemouth bass, catfish and bluegill.

Ken “Husker” O’Malley sent this:

Area lakes- largemouth are good pitching biffle bugs into weed pockets. Heavy line (minimum 30 lbs) is a must to pull bass out of the heavy weeds.


Considering the weather forecast, probably a good week to 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


Braidwood is open daily. Hours through Sunday, July 16, close is 8:30 p.m.; from July 17-Aug. 13, close is 8 p.m.; from Aug. 14-Sept. 10, close is 7:30 p.m.; from Sept. 11-24, close is 7 p.m.; from Sept. 25-Oct. 7, close is 6:30 p.m.


No update.


Staff at Triangle said bluegill are around docks or oin the weed lines; catfish are best around bends in the river; some quality bass, including a 5-pounder in tournament; big crappie are suspended by drop-offs or weed lines; walleye are best around bridges or current.

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 Report

Last week brought a mixed bag of fish with our up and down weather. Crappie and Gil’s  are against wood pilings and walls close to bottom. Found Bass against walls and pilings with a bit more current. Had a client get a Fresh Water Drum about 5 lbs. it took a jig and twister tail. Panfish came on white jig and twister tail tipped with a waxie, Bass hit wacky worm, jigs and small crank baits. The surface temps were up and down 67 degrees for the low 72 for the high storm drains were opened a few time which makes the fishing tougher. I had my Family from Mo. out July 3rd and the kids beat up the pan-fish. The River was busy with folks being off for the Holiday. Seeing more and more boat traffic this year with that comes more awareness not everyone pays attention so you have too. Have a Great Week catch some fish.

Capt. Pat


GENEVA: Arden Katz said most bass are around the inside turns of points and secondary points in 12-15 feet on drop-shot rigs; panfish remain good in 12 feet, but now they take weeding out smaller fish.

Dave Duwe emailed this:

Lake Geneva Fishing Report 7/9/17 through 7/16/17

The mid summer patterns are in full swing.  The bite on Lake Geneva has been very good.  The best bites on the lake are Lake Trout and Largemouth bass.  After the 4th of July weekend, the boat traffic has dropped off a bit.

As consistent with summer patterns on Lake Geneva, the largemouth bass have slid to the outside edge of the weed lines.  The best depth has been 16-19 ft of water.  The best location has been by Trinkes or by the South shore club.  My go-to presentation has been the drop shot rig with a 4 inch Chompers finesse worm.  The dropper on my drop shot rig is approximately 1 foot.  I prefer to keep the boat positioned in 20 ft of water and use short casts with a lot of movement on the bait.

Northern Pike fishing has been improving.  The thermocline bite has started.  Most of the pike that are being caught are in 22-25 ft of water.  The best location has been in Fontana by the boat launch channel or by the weed line at Belvidere Park.  Medium suckers fished on a split shot rig have been producing most of the success.  As the summer weather warms the water, the fish will continue to move deeper as the thermocline moves deeper.  I’ve caught fish as deep as 40 ft in years past.

Lake Trout fishing has been fantastic.  The main lake basin is where most of the fish are being caught.  The best bait has been an orange dodger with either a fly or silver spoon behind it.  The best depth has been 108-115 ft of water with the fish being located 80-95 ft down.  A good place to start has been by Cedar Point working toward Black Point or the south shore from Black Point to the Yacht Club.

Walleye fishing has been good after dark.  The best time remains midnight to about 3:00 a.m.  Trolling large Rapalas in 12-15 ft of water has been producing most of the success.  Trinkes and the flat by Abbey Springs are both good choices.

Bluegill action has moved deep.  The best depth is 16-18 ft of water.  The best location has been by Elgin Club or by Gage Marine.  You want to fish leaf worms close to the bottom underneath the boat and slowly back troll.

Good luck and I hope to see you on the water for guide parties, please call Dave Duwe at 262-728-8063

DELAVAN: Dave Duwe sent this:

Delavan Lake Fishing Report 7/9/17 through 7/16/17

The summer patterns are in full swing on Delavan lake.  Over the course of the last week, the fishing has been consistently very good.   The best bites on the lake continue to be bluegills, largemouth bass and crappies.

Largemouth bass have finally moved out of the shallow weeds and are now positioned on the deep weed lines in 15-19 ft of water.  They can be caught using 3 different methods, all showing equal success.  The first is the drop shot rig.  You want to use 4 inch green pumpkin or root beer colored finesse worms with a 1 foot dropper weight.  The second is a lindy rig with a medium sucker fished on a 1/0 hook with a 24 inch leader.  The final method is a split shot rigged nightcrawler.  The best locations have been west of Browns Channel or west of Willow Point.  The bass have been schooled up nicely so when you catch one, there are opportunities to catch more so don’t move on too quickly.

Walleye are still showing up regularly.  Most of the success is coming off of lindy rigged leeches in 17-19 ft of water.  The key to catching multiple walleyes is chartreuse painted hooks.  This seems to entice the active fish.  The best location has been west of the Yacht Club or in front of Willow Point.  The best time to catch them is low light conditions of early morning or late evening.

Bluegill fishing has been fantastic in 15-17 ft of water.  The best location has been by Del Mar or by Browns Channel.  Split shot rigged leaf worms or trout worms have been producing most of the action.  Fish the bait 1-2 feet off bottom straight beneath the boat.

Crappies have been in the mid weed line in 12-15 ft of water.  The best approach is trolling small plastics at .6 mph slowly along the weed line.  The best lure has been purple or chartreuse twister tails.  The key is to find areas that lack a lot of floating weeds to eliminate a lot of aggravation while trolling.  The best location is the west end by the old Boy Scout Camp.

Good luck and I hope to see you on the water.  For guide parties please call Dave Duwe at 262-728-8063


No update.


HENNEPIN-HOPPER: The lakes are open through Labor Day, Sept. 4. Fishing is closed on Mondays other than Labor Day. Click here for complete list of regs and details. EVERGREEN LAKE: Larry Dozard of larrysfishinghole.com sent this:

 Evergreen Lake BAIT SHOP and BOAT RENTAL Hours:  6:00 am to 6:00 pm Daily
NOTE – During the weekdays staff is not present, please press buzzer on the front of the building 
   for assistance or call the Visitor Center at (309) 434-6770.

LAKE SHELBYVILLE: Check with Ken Wilson of Ken Wilson Guide ServiceSOUTHERN ILLINOIS: Check with Jason Johns of Boneyard FishingPOWERTON: Boat and shore fishing is open. Hours are 6 a.m.-8 p.m. 


No update.


No update.


No update this week 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.


Lake is open daily 6 a.m. (6:30 shore side) to sunset.


B & B Live Bait–(815) 433-0432–in Ottawa is open.


Capt. Rich Sleziak  at Slez’s Bait in Lake Station, Ind., texted:

Steelhead in trail good shrimp crawlers and spawn saks best flies and spinners taking fish too Pier steelhead hit or miss some days decent some days dead a lot of fish are in the creek now

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.


Water levels, as of the weekend, were down enough around the area to encourage wading, such as these two among many at Rock Creek Saturday at Kankaee River State Park.
Credit: Dale Bowman

River levels, as of the weekend, were in the most wadeable condition of the year and people were getting out to do just that. The photo is from Saturday when Rock Creek in the Kankakee River State Park was packed with fishermen and fisherwomen–fly fishing to bait tishing.

Norm Minas had a good day getting out and around on tribs. He sent this from a Saturday outing:

Long ass day yesterday , passed out from exhaustion before I could post . I went back and revisited a few places on this particular creek that i had not been to for 3 years . 

I fished one stretch of a creek where the gradient is extremely low , the bottom is soft and emergent veggies all over . With the low flow on this creek the current flow was barely noticible . It looked more like a pond than a crick so that’s how i fished it .

I used a beetle spin and let it drop next to every weed clump . If it hung up , I popped it free . Most of the smallmouth bass hit it on the pop free , a couple on the drop . No real size but decent numbers .

I moved to another spot on the creek that used to be the rock bass spawning spot for a long stretch of this creek. Complete devastation by sand , could not see any evidence of rocks on the bottom . I caught nothing there on fast or slow presentations .

I moved up stream to a stretch that got straightened and looks more like a ditch . The last time I was there it was filling with sand . Well, I hope whoever made the decision to ditch it is happy , there is a beach under the skinny flow of water and not a fish to be seen . 

I am sure that ditching that stretch up stream of the former rock bass spawning area lead to that spots demise . What a waste of a resource . 

There is one spot downstream I did not get to because I needed to get home and sleep . I plan on getting to it sometime this week , hopefully the sand has not mucked it over yet .



Click here for the Ohio DNR’s annual fishing prospects. The Ohio DNR has general Lake Erie info and a fishing report.


See perch reports at top.

CHICAGO:  Andy Mikos sent this report from Sunday:

My buddy brought a coworker out with us today and we got this 23 pound brown at the R2 along with 2 other browns(8 and 9 pounds) and a bunch of coho.

Capt. Bob Poteshman of Confusion Charters said there is a nice band of coho (and a few browns and lakers) from Lake Forest to Indiana, in 40-80 feet, south of city is better than north.

WAUKEGAN: Ted Boska emailed:

Lori Ralph at the Salmon Stop texted:

Boats 40 to 60, some 70 to 120, all have been straight out of harbor. Nice coho, a few kings and some steeliez.

NORTH POINT: Poteshman said there are some giant coho, but not the numbers, a few kings, some lakers and a few steelhead inside hill to 160 feet.


The cooling lake south of Seneca is open daily, 6 a.m. to sunset. Also, boaters should be aware that there will be no launching if wind is 14 mph or higher.


Check the latest from D & S Bait on Facebook.


Check with Jon Meder at Jon’s Bait Shop–(815) 237-2822–in South Wilmington. Close is now 8:30 p.m.


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:  No update this week from Kurt Justice of Kurt’s Island Sport Shop in Minocqua, Wis.

EAGLE RIVER: No update this week from B+L, from reports from Colin Crawford of Colin Crawford Guide Service for the Eagle River Chamber of Commerce


Capt. Rich Sleziak  at Slez’s Bait in Lake Station, Ind., texted:

Salmon fishing mainly coho good in 60 to 80ft of water west out of east Chicago dodger fly and spoons

Catfish are going at Burns Ditch and many inland waters, too.

Remember he is at summer hours (5 a.m.-8 p.m.) until Labor Day.

LAKER REMINDER: Indiana now has a daily bag of three lake trout on Lake Michigan, to match Michigan. Illinois’ daily bag remains at two.


No update.


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.


Staff at Tackle Haven in Benton Harbor said salmon are good in 80-150 feet, straight out; weather limited pier action; river is giving up some walleye, smallmouth and the occasional big flathead, including a 40-pounder.


Click here for reports from the Indiana DNR.


Lake hours are 6 a.m.-10 p.m.

Here are the hours for Lakeside for the next few months:

Shabbona Lakeside is now OPEN for the SEASON

Lakeside will be open everyday, 7 days a week,

April 11th to September 5th 6 AM to 7 PM

September 6th to September 30th 6 AM to 6:30 PM

October 1st to October 10th 6:30 AM to 6 PM

October 11th to October 31st 7 AM to 5PM

For more information and reports from Lakeside, go to shabbonalake.com or call (815) 824-2581.


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.


No update.


No update.