Perch? Dare we dream?: Chicago fishing, Midwest Fishing Report
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Some perch are coming in at Montrose, even some keepers, making me wonder why for this sprawling raw-file Midwest Fishing Report.
Stacey Greene at Park Bait sent this photo of a catch Monday morning, with this follow-up quip:
Well the biggest was 6 ft 1 in lol Jim actually got a hook in his lipAll about 10 in or so
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.
Same old stuff with snagging, getting Kings, a few nice ones but most of them are starting to turn.
Not surprised on kings starting to turn, it is the second week already of October.
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).
EARLY CATCH-AND-RELEASE TROUT IN ILLINOIS
The early catch-and-release trout season in Illinois opened Saturday at nine sites statewide. Regular fall trout opens Oct. 21. Here are those nine early fly-fishing sites:
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 (*)
Here are the applicable regulations for those doing the early fly fishing:
Two weeks prior to the fall trout opener, the Fall Catch-and-Release Fly Fishing Season will open at nine sites (locations marked with an asterisk (*) in the list below) on Saturday, Oct. 7. Fly fishing anglers can use fly fishing gear to catch and release trout beginning Oct. 7 at those nine sites. No trout may be kept during the fly fishing period, but anglers can keep trout after the opening of the regular fall trout season beginning Oct. 21.
. . .
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 http://www.dnr.illinois.gov, or by calling DNR Direct toll-free at 1-888-6PERMIT (1-888-673-7648).
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 Oct. 21.
Conditions are changing rapidly. It’s raining, possibly significantly tonight. In some areas, that would be the first real rain in a couple months.
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
Final day of fishing is Tuesday, Oct. 17.
Arden Katz said he caught the most catfish of his life, including a 15-pound flathead, on Marie; as well as lots of crappie, yellow bass and a few white bass, rip-jigging and trolling at .5-.75 mph in 9-12 feet.
Staff at Triangle Sports and Marine said crappie are moving shallower, try Channel and Catherine are best; muskie are going on bucktails on Catherine, Channel and Marie; catfish are very good, drifting or from shore; blade baits in the river and main lakes are taking white bass.
For more info and lake updates, go to Fox Waterway Agency or call (847) 587-8540.
No update from Capt. Pat Harrison of Pat Harrison Outdoors sent this:
DELAVAN/LAKE GENEVA AREA, WISCONSIN
DES PLAINES RIVER
Marcus Benesch sent this:
Dale,Had a gathering of 15 other boats on the river for our annual PiketoberFest. A mixture of kayaks and canoes from the simple menards kayak to the fully rigged out ocean kayak. Quite a few drop outs because of forecasted storms, but we seemed to have really lucked out and had great weather up in Lake County Saturday morning.A lot of good size fall pike were caught on a mixture of presentations including rapalas, chatterbaits, and swimbaits. Right now the pike fishing is excellent and water levels are at normal low level for this time of year. Bass are really fishing well too, swim jigs really keyed in on the large mouth bass.I caught this 32″ pike on a Keitech Swimbait.Marcus BeneschGurnee, Illinois
POWERTON: Boat and shore fishing is open. Final boat day is Oct. 20; final day of shore fishing is Oct. 27. HENNEPIN-HOPPER: Closed for the season.
Larry Dozard of larrysfishinghole.com sent this update on upcoming closing dates:
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:
I’ve got a brief report, if you can use it. I finally took a look at some Fox tributaries on Sunday, to see if the rain on Saturday had improved things. Not really: water was still clear and very low. In fact, there was almost no current at all. Even after the sun had dropped behind the trees I still managed to spook a few fish: not surprising that they were able to see me approaching from far away. In hindsight, I should’ve fished the bigger water on the Fox. I practiced some Spey casting there on Friday afternoon and a friendly local told me that white bass are starting to show up below the dams. I should’ve listened to him.
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.
B & B Live Bait–(815) 433-0432–in Ottawa is open.
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:
Slowing down for kings and coho but a few still being had upper stretches of creeks
River was as low as it’s been and readers are dropping notes about some big smallmouth being caught. Not sure what impact the rain will have, good or bad, just not sure.
Check with Nick Carr at Kankakee River Trading Post in Altorf.
Snagging at top. Shoreline salmon/trout at the top.
CHICAGO: Staff at Henry’s Sports and Bait said there’s still some kings being caught on spoons around the harbors and that perch should start to go shortly around such spots at 87th, 89th and 95th. Bob France posted about catching a nice coho last night at Diversey. Cory Gecht at Park Bait said there’s been some limit catches of perch at Montrose in the mornings the last couple days; plus kings being seen inside the harbor.
WAUKEGAN: Lori Ralph at the Salmon Stop texted:
Same old stuff with snagging, getting Kings, a few nice ones but most of them are starting to turn. Last week a guy was fishing shrimp on the bottom got a nice catfish, he showed me a picture but give the fish away and could not send me the picture. Seeing some Browns on the bottom hitting spawn sacks and Frozen roach minnows, and even a few and fish, but water temperature is finally starting to cool off as it supposed to so more big fish moving in Little Fish moving out. Boat fishing with the very few boats that are in the water, have been going south to the reefs, only the report from a few charters, small boaters are sticking close to the Shoreline and finding some Browns and some of the zombie Kings
Enjoy that turn of phrase, “zombie Kings.”
Final day is Sunday, Oct. 15.
MADISON CHAIN, WISCONSIN
Oct. 17 is the final day, 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:
Lot changed in a week. Some cooler nights brought the colors out on the trees. Nearing peak, yet still some green.
Fishing wasn’t quite up to the standards of past first weeks of October. Could be the added volume of water and the warm September has lake temps a bit above average for this time of year – or it could be the moon, not sure. Whatever it is that kept the bite off this past weekend will pass, with the promise of better October fishing to come.
Walleye: Good – Bite moved a bit deeper as surface temps cooled. A stronger swing towards minnows has been noticed. Deep humps on natural lakes, deep wood on Flowages.
Largemouth Bass: Good – While overall size hasn’t been great, some nice fish in the 18-20” size range caught by anglers casting big spinner baits for Musky. Overall, drop-shotting with 3” Craws/minnow plastics and Wacky worming cabbage pockets best.
Smallmouth Bass: Good – Drop-shotting deep gravel humps of 22-38’ producing. Some Flowage fish up shallow on large chubs, spinner baits in browns, gold and orange. Some shallow big Smallies on spinner baits in shallow clear lakes, like all old spawn areas.
Musky: Good-Fair – An overall disappointing weekend (typically the best “ACTION” weekend of October). Saturday’s ultra low pressure followed by a high pressure Sunday could have had some effect. With not a lot of chasing of bucktails, twitch bait, suckers brought in the most action. Almost all reports to shop were of fish of 40-46” this past week.
Crappie: Good-Fair – Picked up during week, ended with weekend weather. Trollers on Flowages reporting some fish on small Hot N Tots, Flicker shads. On live bait, minnows along deep coontail edges, suspended 4-6’ up and around piers and piling in 12’16’.
Yellow Perch: Fair
Surface temps running 58-60 degrees as of 10/9. Could be dropping as last nights air temps in freezing range. Watch for signs of turn-over (mis-colored water, floating dead leaves/weeds) before you launch!
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:
Slowing down for kings and coho but a few still being had upper stretches of creeks Crappie and gill bite good with beemoth and jigs around marina docks and stick ups for those that are trying When guys do get out good numbers of perch in 40 to 50ft of water around bailey town down towards Michigan city a lot of small fish but a few keepers Crappie starting to get caught in the evening time into dark in valpo chain
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. It indicated mainly some kings early 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
No update from Tackle Haven in Benton Harbor.
ST. JOSEPH RIVER, INDIANA
Click here for reports from the Indiana DNR.
Staff at Lakeside said muskies continue strong in the no-motor zone; catfish are good all over on the bottom; quite a few crappie in fish cribs in north end; water was 65 Tuesday.
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.
WOLF RIVER, WISCONSIN