Perch and waiting on ice: Chicago fishing, Midwest Fishing Report
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Perch coming in, big time, leads this sprawling raw-file Midwest Fishing Report.
Anthony Talarico posted some good photos on perch fishing around the Southeast Side and this:
We have been perch fishing every chance we have. Tons of dinks from shore, bigger ones from the boat. It’s time to have a fish fry!
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.
They’re here and in all kinds of places.
Staff at Henry’s Sports and Bait put it best, “Lots of perch up and down the lakefront.’’ That includes at Navy Pier (hint for Thanksgiving). Bigger ones are off bladebaits, Swedish Pimples or Kastmasters; but minnows or spikes take best numbers. Henry’s will be open 6-10 a.m. Thanksgiving, but stay open Wednesday night until 7.
Cory Gecht at Park Bait said there are a “ton’’ of small perch inside Montrose, takes sorting for keepers. Park Bait will be open Thanksgiving, beginning at 6 a.m.
Capt. Rich Sleziak at Slez’s Bait in Lake Station, Ind., texted:
Perch action slips and all the way to 95th street steady still xl fatheads best bait white or orange perch fly rigs
Maybe, here is how Kurt Justice of Kurt’s Island Sport Shop in Minocqua in northern Wisconsin put it:
Mother Nature has been toying with the ice anglers for the past two weeks. Just enough ice forms on some bays and small lakes to lure anglers out, then one day in the 40’s or strong winds blow it all out. A few areas have held enough ice for anglers to safely fish (3-4”) and the results have been good. But caution is necessary. Make sure to take safety spikes, creepers and rope if you go.
Mudpuppies, which are sometimes caught this time of the year. As Don Ayres reminded earlier this month, they are protected and they need to be released unharmed.
Still a few trying for trout, more are after crappie, a few are picking off bass.
Ken “Husker” O’Malley sent this:
Hey Dale,Here is a recap of the past week’s fishing.One word sums it up: slowArea Creeks/rivers- levels are on up and muddyArea Lakes- levels are up and stained.Up and down temps, rain, and wind has made it a very tough bite.Sunday brought sunshine and plenty of sandhills. That was the highlight of the week while doing yard work.TTYL—Ken “Husker” O’Malley
Waterworks fishing team
AREA 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.
Staff at Triangle Sports and Marine said levels are low, so be cautious when navigating; there’s some shore fishing for crappie throughout the day and walleye around the current and bridge areas. LOCK/DRAWDOWN: The Stratton Lock is closed for the season; and drawdown underway. 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 was a tough weather wise I spent time prepping for winter fishing. I am going to fish throughout the winter on the Chicago River and the Illinois River. Water temps are in the mid forties on the river. Perch are being caught you have to sort through a lot of small ones but there are 10 and 11 inch fish being caught Trout are moving pretty decent too have heard of some nice fish from shore. I am also gearing up for the show season always a Lot of Fun. Till next week have a Great Thanksgiving Enjoy the time with Family.
—www.patharrisonoutdoors.com Thanks Pat
DES PLAINES RIVER
POWERTON: Closed, shore fishing reopens Dec. 26. EVERGREEN: Bait shop and boat rental are closed for the season. 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
Pete Lamar sent this update:
Not sure when I’ll send another fishing report, but the next one will almost certainly involve one of our local warm water discharges.
Last week I took a look around some of the Fox tribs in Kane County. This was the day after a lot of rain during the night. Water levels were up but the creeks hadn’t added any color: I could see straight to the bottom everywhere. I caught a few smallmouths and even a largemouth, none of which were much bigger than the streamer I was using. The only real numbers of fish I found were in a deep hole with almost no current. Most rock bass are probably caught by perch and smallmouth fishermen and are regarded as a nuisance; I’ve never taken note of the rock bass I’ve caught. But I got one out of this pool that was almost 11 inches, which is probably the biggest I’ve ever caught. There was a wide range of sizes occupying the same water. The bad news is that I’ve been unable to locate the big smallmouths that I found in the same areas last year at this time.
Have a great Thanksgiving.
FOX RIVER: WISCONSIN
GREEN BAY/STURGEON BAY
Lance LaVine at Howie’s Tackle in Sturgeon Bay sent this:
Good morning fellas
As you know, it’s hunting season here in Wisconsin and since about 95% of Door Counties fishermen are hunters, there is not too much to report as for recent updates. But this is what has been going on and what we can expect here in the future
Perch fishing was very strong leading up to the 2017 gun/deer hunt and for the few that don’t participate in the hunt which is a very small percentage, the fishing is still very good pending on the weather. Little Sturgeon, Riley’s Bay and Sawyer Harbor are just a few of the hot spots this time of year. Fathead minnows are the best baits
Pike action is very good too this time of year. Trolling and casting large spoons and crank baits along with dragging large sucker minnows all great options. The same areas as the Perch are located is a good place to start…other options include the Henderson’s Point shoreline, Pot Park shoreline and the Sturgeon Bay ship canal
Bass are schooled up in the deeper water now and are actually biting very well especially up on the north end of the Door County peninsula including Washington Island. The best depths have been in that 20 to 40 foot range along deep drop offs and off shore structure. If you do fish that deep water just be careful with those fish so there is no harm done to them coming up from the depths. Best baits are shorty tubes, drop shotting and of course dragging medium and large sucker minnows with circle hook rigs
Walleye action has been good especially at night for both the trollers and the shore fisherman. Casting and trolling big suspending crank baits has been the ticket. Areas to try…downtown Sturgeon Bay, Pot Park shoreline, Sherwood Point, Larson’s Reef and Henderson’s point
1309 Green Bay Rd
Sturgeon Bay, WI 54235
The Wisconsin DNR report is usually posted Tuesdays and includes reports from both the bay and lake sides.
GENEVA LAKE, WISCONSIN
Closed for the year.
Illinois crested under flood stage.
Check fishing status at B & B Live Bait–(815) 433-0432–in Ottawa, where hours are now in the morning.
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:
With the rain we had some fresh steelhead will be in trail and salt creek
River is under flood stage, dirty. Check with Kankakee River Trading Post in Altorf.
Arden Katz called and said walleye are going around Bass Island for charters and from shore around Marblehead.
Perch report is at the top.
Cory Gecht at Park Bait said there are some steelhead around the North Side harbors.
SALMON SNAGGING: 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).
Closed for the year.
MADISON CHAIN, WISCONSIN
Closed for the year, except Monster Lake at Mazonia South 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 sent this:
While most outdoorsmen ( and women) focus is on deer season (pretty quiet out there), Mother Nature has been toying with the ice anglers for the past two weeks. Just enough ice forms on some bays and small lakes to lure anglers out, then one day in the 40’s or strong winds blow it all out. A few areas have held enough ice for anglers to safely fish (3-4”) and the results have been good. But caution is necessary. Make sure to take safety spikes, creepers and rope if you go.
Walleye: Very Good – Where anglers finding 3-4” of ice over 5-7’ of water good #’s of eaters (15-19”) at dusk on suckers, chubs and mud minnows.
Yellow Perch: Good-Very Good – Similar areas as Walleye, but more daytime action on Crappie minnows, medium fatheads or grubs. Nice eaters of 8-10” reported.
Norther Pike: Good-Very Good – Not as many good Pike areas safe, but where ice runs thick enough for tip-ups, Pike taking big chubs, suckers and shiners.
Musky: Fair – Season runs through November 30th, few reports, boat landings a bit icy, bring some sand and choose shallow sloping landings.
Lakes trying to freeze, but as mentioned, one warm afternoon or a day of high winds making it tough.
Our 8th Annual Ice Fishing Extravaganza – Dec 1st and 2nd, two days only! Deals on shacks, boots, gasoline augers, to name a few. Raffle prize to win a free Striker Predator Suit. Give aways with VMC jig purchase or Stormy Kromer purchase. Meet Pro-staffers from Ice Force, Eskimo, Marcum, Striker, 13 Fishing and Acme Tackle.
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., which will be open 5 a.m. to noon Thanksgiving, texted:
A few white fish started showing at Michigan city pier before that hard northwest wind dirtied the water small spawn saks and waxworms best near bottomIt’s mainly perch fishermen out tho guys can’t make it out to jig lake trout wind hasn’t stopped blowing latly if u can let em know slezs will be open 5am till noon on turkey day for the lucky people that get to go thanks dale have a good thanksgiving u and ur family
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
Reports are winding down from the Wisconsin DNR.
ST. JOSEPH, MICHIGAN
Phil Schuman at Tackle Haven in Benton Harbor said there’s some whitefish and a few steelhead off the piers; there’s some steelhead being taken in the river.
ST. JOSEPH RIVER, INDIANA
Click here for reports from the Indiana DNR.
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