There are some catches of salmon on shore and near shore around southern Lake Michigan to lead this sprawling raw-file Midwest Fishing Report.
Saul Lipsistic, the mythical observer and protector of the lakefront, emailed the photo above, a classic fall scene on the lakefront, and this comment:
Favorite part is I got the cleo at the Rolling Meadows HS flea market for $1.
Chicagoland Muskie Hunters are one of the sponsors of the annual late-winter fishing flea market at Rolling Meadows High School.
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.
WAUKEGAN: Best action in Illinois. Capt. Scott Wolfe of School of Fish Charters and president of Trollers Unlimited sent this report:
Hi Dale –
Fishing after the North and Northeast blow last week was tough in general. Kings are in the harbor now. Casting has been the best presentation. One of our mates spent the weekend casting off his bass boat and landed 10 kings, all still nice and silver. The hot lure was a custom painted glow wonderbread Flicker Shad that was made for Lake Michigan Angler in Winthrop Harbor.
INDIANA STREAMS/NORTHWEST INDIANA: Capt. Rich Sleziak at Slez’s Bait in Lake Station, Ind., texted:
Salmon trout offshore and nearshore slow very few around nearshore some but really have to work hard to get a bite or twoSome coho and few kings in creeks mainly trail and salt spinners and spawn saks main baits
Staff at Tackle Haven in Benton Harbor, Mich. said there were salmon/trout almost all the way up to Johnson Road on Trail.
SOUTHEAST WISCONSIN: In Milwaukee, Arden Katz went 2-for-4 in five hours five hours inside the harbor from boat on Rat-l-traps. The Root River Report has begun again. It indicated low, clear water and no catches. Otherwise, check the Wisconsin DNR Lake Michigan Report.
SOUTHWEST MICHIGAN: Staff at Tackle Haven in Benton Harbor said before the weather, a few Chinook were caught off the piers.
FROGGING IN ILLINOIS
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.
Ken “Husker” O’Malley sent this:
Hey Dale,Here is a recap of this past week’s fishing.Area Creeks- focus below riffle areas and current seems for smallmouth. Best bait has been craw imitators.TTYL—Ken “Husker” O’Malley
Waterworks fishing team
Ken “Husker” O’Malley sent this:
Hey Dale,Here is a recap of this past week’s fishing.Area Lakes- evening hours have been best for largemouth. Cast topwater baits parrelel to outside weedlines.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
Braidwood is open daily. Through 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. Final day of fishing is Oct. 17.
Art Frisell at Triangle Sports and Marine said white bass are good, try shallower toward 8 feet; crappie are much improved, moving shallower toward evening; muskie are picking up, walleye are feeding heavily; bluegill are slow.
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 Fishing Report,
Sorry for not reporting last week time got away from me. Out a few times last week high water levels and water temps dropping. Fish are a bit sluggish just like us in the season change. We had to hunt for the fish we did catch we managed a few Bas mix of Small and Large mouth on small cranks wacky worm and worm and jig nose hooked. No rally big fish average size 13” to 16”. Not finding Crappie in the usual spots just a few stragglers here and there but soon they will be on the feed. The Gills are still playing but they come and go if you wait out a spot they will be on for about 20 minutes then gone to almost none for about 20 minutes then back again. Most are in the 6” to 8’ range the big guys are still hiding. Soon they will all be feeding with the change of temps and feeding for the winter. My bait of choice is still a 1/16 white jig with a 1 to 1 ½ White twister tail with a waxie but some clients are throwing Mimi Mites and getting fish. I am also starting to fish for Trout and Salmon these trips are for 2 anglers we have to have 2 of us in the boat one to drive and one to set and watch the rods. We went out of Racine For some Holiday fishing yesterday launched at 4 am to wind and rollers 2’ to 4’ We went 1 for 4 with a female King in about the 15# range. Till next time have an outstanding week.
—www.patharrisonoutdoors.com Thanks Capt. Pat
DELAVAN/LAKE GENEVA AREA, WISCONSIN
GENEVA: Dave Duwe sent this:
Lake Geneva Fishing Report 9/3/17 through 9/11/17
The cool August days have now turned into cool September days. Fishing on Geneva has been a bit more challenging than normal. Some days the fishing patterns are easily identified but with any weather or wind change the bite shuts down.
Largemouth bass are in substantially more shallow water than is typical for this time of year. The best depth has been 8-10 ft of water. The best locations are by Geneva Bay, South Shore Club and Colemans Point. Most of the success I’ve been having is coming off of 4 inch finesse worms made by Chompers. I’ve been drop shotting them and positioning the sinker about 18 inches below the hook. They can be caught on nightcrawlers as well but the rock bass and bluegills tend to take the bait before you hook up with the bass.
Bluegill fishing remains steady in 18-20 ft of water. The best location has been by Gage Marine, Elgin Club and Lake Geneva Yacht Club. I’ve been using a split shot hook and leaf worm combo fished about 1 foot off bottom. As the water continues to cool, the bluegills will migrate shallow.
The smallmouth bass bite has been like a mythical creature. I haven’t seen one in 3-4 trips out. I believe they are in deeper water than I’ve been fishing. I’ve been marking them in 20-25 ft of water but when I try for them with a lindy rigged nightcrawler I’ve had very limited success.
Walleye fishing has been excellent on the nights when there is some wind. Trolling large Rapalas in the 12-15 ft depth range have been working well. Abbey Springs and Maytag Point are both great locations.
With the cooling water temperatures, the rock bass are again moving into the shallow waters. They can be caught on split shot rigged nightcrawlers throughout the lake. The biggest concentration has been by South Shore Club.
Like the smallmouth bass I haven’t had much success with Northern Pike either. I’ve fished in Williams Bay and Fontana beach without success. As the water cools the thermocline will break and they will move shallow. I suspect that will happen within the next week. At that point try for them with slip bobbers and golden shiners in the shallow weed flats.
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 9/3/17 through 9/11/17
Fishing on Delavan remains decent. It’s not as good as a few weeks ago, but that’s to be expected with the cool temps and unstable weather. As the lake continues to cool, the fish will transition from summer to fall patterns.
Crappie fishing has been pretty good. The fish are in the weeds in 13-14 ft of water. The best location has been by Del Mar subdivision and by Browns Channel. Purple plastic fished on a 1/32 oz jig head have been producing all of the fish I’ve been catching. The best plastics I’ve used have been the Mini Mites.
Walleye fishing is improving by the day. As the water cools, walleye action just keeps getting better. Currently I’m catching them on lindy rigged nightcrawlers. I’ve tried jigging but without much success. The jig pattern will turn on within the next couple of weeks so keep trying. The walleye bite seems to be best the first hour of light and again at dusk. The best locations have been by Willow Point and by 3 Flags. The best depth is about 18-20 ft of water.
Largemouth bass fishing has been a bit spotty. Some days are better than others, but fish can be caught each day. The large summer numbers of fish have subsided, I’m averaging 12-15 fish each trip out. The best depth is 15-16 ft of water. I’m either drop shotting finesse worms or using nightcrawlers fished on a split shot rig. The best locations have been by the Yacht Club point and 3 Flags.
Bluegills have been very spotty. I’m getting a couple here and there but not finding the large schools of fish. The best action seems to be by Assembly Park. Work a depth of 14-17 ft of water for the most action. Try for them with leaf worms 6 inches to 1 foot off bottom. As the water stabilizes, the bite should improve.
Northern Pike fishing has been absolutely horrible. I’m catching one here and there but there hasn’t been a real pattern all summer. This has been the slowest northern bite that I’ve seen on Delavan in years. I’ve been dragging medium suckers while fishing for bass. I’m getting one fish every other trip or so.
Smallmouth are starting to show up. I’m getting them intermixed with the walleyes in 18-20 ft of water. Lindy rigged nightcrawlers are producing most of the action. 3 flags and scattered rocky points are producing most of the success.
Good luck and I hope to see you on the water. For guide parties, please call Dave Duwe at 262-728-8063
DES PLAINES RIVER
HENNEPIN-HOPPER: Closed for the season. EVERGREEN LAKE: Larry Dozard of larrysfishinghole.com sent this update post-Labor Day:
Here is latest for Evergreen:– FALL HOURS BEGAN SEPT. 5th FOR EVERGREEN LAKE BAIT SHOP & BOAT RENTAL:
Bait Shop: 8:00 A.M. – 4:00 P.M. 7 Days/Week
Boat Rental: 8:00 A.M. – 4:00 P.M. SAT. & SUN. ONLY
FOX RIVER: WESTERN SUBURBS
FOX RIVER: WISCONSIN
GREEN BAY/STURGEON BAY
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.
Final day is Oct. 10 Lake is open daily 6 a.m. (6:30 shore side) to sunset.
B & B Live Bait–(815) 433-0432–in Ottawa is open.
INDIANA STREAMS (LAKE MICHIGAN TRIBUTARIES)
See top for report. 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.
River is in very good wading shape.
Shoreline salmon at the top.
CHICAGO: Tom Platt at Henry’s said some big drum are still being caught on the outside of the harbors. Capt. Bob Poteshman of Confusion Charters said mornings are good for lakers, afternoons slower, it’s from the R4 and deeper.
WAUKEGAN: Capt. Scott Wolfe of School of Fish Charters and president of Trollers Unlimited sent this report:
Hi Dale –
Fishing after the North and Northeast blow last week was tough in general. Kings are in the harbor now. Casting has been the best presentation. One of our mates spent the weekend casting off his bass boat and landed 10 kings, all still nice and silver. The hot lure was a custom painted glow wonderbread Flicker Shad that was made for Lake Michigan Angler in Winthrop Harbor. Trollers were mainly targeting lake trout in the 130 to 170 feet. Mostly on dodger and Mo rig combos near the bottom on downriggers and magnum wire divers. If the Mo rigs are not working, mix in a few big, magnum glow spoons. If trolling that area its worthwhile to have a couple of copper lines 100 to 450 feet long with glow spoons for bonus steelhead and big coho that are beginning to stage. They will come in about 3 weeks after the kings. Our boat had a couple of coho over 10 pounds this weekend on copper lines. Other boats got a few big steelhead on coppers. We also had a couple of mature kings out there so many kings are still waiting on colder water to come in. The strong West winds are predicted for this week should finally push out the warm water and upwell cold water this week. Mid-week should be terrific for harbor kings and staging coho, 3 year old kings and trout should move in closer to shore and higher in the water column. I’m hopeful this lasts through the weekend and for the Salmon Unlimited Kid’s fishing derby this weekend.
NORTH POINT: Capt. Bob Poteshman of Confusion Charters said steelhead and coho are picking, also some lakers and kings, between the hill and deeper (200-250 feet), the fish are scattered.
Final day is Oct. 15. 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.
MADISON CHAIN, WISCONSIN
Through Sunday, 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. Oct. 17 is the final day, except Monster Lake remains open year-round.
Bill Lanham sent this update:
It’s been awhile Dale but we’re fishing.
Bluegills and crappies have been sharing like comfort zones and locations as of late. Main-lake structure, whether it be bars, humps or steep breaking shorelines that bottom out in 23 to 33 foot of water, depending on the lake, will hold pods of fish.
The bite thru August wasn’t hot in the least bit but steady enough to keep us working at it and soon we can expect a great increase in activity as the waters cool, the days ever shorten and feedbag becomes strapped and buckled to their snoots.
Good reminder to get in time for Mazonia as the fall feed bag is strapped on.
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:
See top for weekend report. 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:
Despite one nice, warm, sunny day – Labor Day Sunday, water temps starting to drop. Cooling temps a good thing as we get into fall mode.
Musky: Good – Still best on bucktails and big spinner baits. Seven inch twitch baits, small jerks and top-water still effective. Action down from last week, but still good reports. Fairly shallow, 8-12’ depths best for action. 18-26’ sandgrass for larger fish.
Largemouth Bass: Good – Cooler mornings slowing down bite. Wacky worming and Texas rigging worms; creature baits best. Mid-afternoon showing some life on stick baits (Husky Jerks, X-Raps) and spinner baits.
Bluegill: Good – When weather permitted, good catches of Gills on leafworms, Mini-Mite tipped w/ waxies. Still suspending. Use a 1/16 oz jig tipped with a 2” twister tail to draw schools to your boat, then bait up and game on!
Northern Pike: Good – Chubs and suckers accounted for most reports. Anglers casting Storm Wild Eye, live panfish replicas scoring also
Crappie: Good-Fair – Best over drowned wood in 14-18’. Some anglers finding suspended fish along coontail edges 10-14’ down in 14-18’ water. Night bite around docks picking up using lighted bobbers and small fatheads.
Yellow Perch: Good-Fair – Some impressive catches of 10-12” perch on Flowages using ½ crawlers in weeds.
Smallmouth Bass: Good-Fair – Hot bite on gravel humps slowed for those drop-shotting.
Walleye: Good-Fair – At a time action should be heating up. Reports earlier in week better. Deep wood using fatheads, small chubs. On deeper lakes, mud flats of 19-28’ on brighter days. Jigging Rapalas also effective along with Lindy rigs and minnows.
Changing weather, some rain and lightening didn’t help weekend. Surface temps running 62-66 degrees as of Monday, 9/4.
September will bring a few changes to the Northwoods. Water sports enthusiasts will start to lessen in number, the water temperatures will start to drop and turnover in the lakes usually will get started. With days getting shorter and water temperatures dropping, shallow weeds will start dying, moving fish into deeper areas to follow the oxygen that is left in the water. As this turnover starts, it will reoxygenate water levels from top to bottom as the thermocline will disappear.
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:
Some coho and few kings in creeks mainly trail and salt spinners and spawn saks main baitsCrappie bite decent at lake George in Hobart around the bridgesAwesome weekend tons of people out
WILLOW SLOUGH NOTE: J.C. Murphey Lake is closed through Sept. 24. 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. 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 weather limited boaters getting out. Before the blow, perch were being caught in 45 feet. A few Chinook off the piers, before the blow.
ST. JOSEPH RIVER, INDIANA
Click here for reports from the Indiana DNR.
Clint Sands at Lakeside said muskie remain good; there’s good numbers of crappie but keepers take sorting; topwaters are still taking largemouth; walleye and hybrid stripers are average; water cools through the 70s.
Park is open 6 a.m.-10 p.m. Lakeside is open 6 a.m.-6:30 p.m. The restaurant is open weekends.
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,
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.
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.
WISCONSIN RIVER (MERRILL)
Rob Abouchar sent this:
Hi DaleFished last weekend in Merrill on the Wisconsin River. Smallmouth bass were still excellent on plastic craws and wacky rigged Senkos. Pike were getting more active. Even caught a rare largemouth for that area. I think during the torrential flloods in spring many fish went through the dam. The water temps were down to 69 degrees. I have received my Non-Resident fishing Guide Lisence for the State of Wisconsin.Tight linesRob
WOLF RIVER, WISCONSIN