Fall changes, at least ones scheduled on the calendar–fly fishing for fall trout in Illinois, snagging season on the Lake Michigan lakefront–come this week for fishing around Chicago for the sprawling raw-file Midwest Fishing Report.
The MFR appears in a much condensed form Wednesdays on the Sun-Times outdoors page.
Photo is obviously a winter shot of Brian Clerkin fly fishing the Apple River, one of the nine spots in Illinois opening to catch-and-release fly fishing on Saturday. I thought I had some good shots of it in summer, but I can’t find them because I forget what I slugged the photos.
FLY FISHING FOR FALL TROUT
Catch-and-release fly fishing-only for fall trout opens Saturday at nine Illinois sites: Apple River, Apple River Canyon SP; Rock Creek, Kankakee River SP; Pine Creek, White Pines Forest SP; Siloam Springs State Park Lake; Gridley Lake at Jim Edgar Panther Creek SFWA; Horton Lake, Nauvoo State Park; Morgan Lake, Nichols Park, Jacksonville; IDOT Lake, Springfield; Willow Lake, Peabody River King SFWA
Snagging for Chinook and coho opens Thursday, only at Lincoln Park lagoon south of Fullerton, Waukegan Harbor north basin, Winnetka Power Plant discharge, and Jackson Park inner and outer harbors.
Spotty at best, all around southern Lake Michigan. CHICAGO: Steve Palmisano at Henry’s Sports & Bait said there were potty reports up and down the lakefront; crankbaits work days and glow spoons at night. Staff at Park Bait said it was better on the lakeside at Montrose. SOUTHWEST MICHIGAN: Staff at Tackle Haven said a few are being caught off the pierheads; cooler weather may help. INDIANA: Staff at Mik-Lurch said some are being caught at the Hole-in-the-Wall, behind East Chicago Marina and Hammond Marina.
WISCONSIN STURGEON NOTE
Hook-and-line sturgeon runs ends Sept. 30 on select rivers in Wisconsin. Click here for info and some on the changes. WISCONSIN DELLS: Staff at River’s Edge Resort said there were no legals tagged as of Tuesday.
Steve Palmisano at Henry’s Sports & Bait said the fall crappie bite is building, best is Saganashkee Slough, but better reports at Maple and Lemont quarries, too.
AREA WATER LEVELS
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
Hooksetter’s Guide Service, via Creative Brilliance, sent this:
(Head): Musky, walleyes, bass and crappies all hitting, with hunting season in full swing; all in and amidst the lakes and the Wisconsin River in Wisconsin’s Marathon and Lincoln Counties (near Mosinee and Wausau).
This past week has been very good in the central Wisconsin area for fishing and hunting. The musky bite has been very good with some real giants being caught, Including a 50 ½ incher boated by one of our clients (released of course!). We also had an excellent week catching lots of walleyes, bass, and crappies. Most fish have been holding in deeper water along sharp break lines in and around submerged structure.
Hunters have been having a successful season so far with some nice deer and bears already being taken. The 2015 duck season is open, but the warm weather may slow things down a bit..
CHAIN O’LAKES AREA
Art Frisell at Triangle said walleye are good with the increased current, one key is using heavier weights on Lindy rigs; continue to improve and should keep doing so with cooler water and weather; bluegill remain active around shoreline areas; crappie have been fair, that should improve.
Check Chain updates at Fox Waterway Agency or by calling (847) 587-8540.
For more reports, see http://www.foxlakefishing.com/
COOLING LAKES/STRIP PITS
HEIDECKE: Final day of fishing is Oct. 6. Launch opens 6 a.m., shore fishing at 6:30 a.m.; close is sunset. BRAIDWOOD: Final day of fishing is Oct. 13. Still quality bluegill and numbers of catfish are being caught. Lake is open daily 6 a.m.-sunset. MAZONIA: Final day of fishing is Oct. 13. The exception is Monster Lake at Mazonia South, which is open year-round. Lakes are open daily 6 a.m.-sunset. LaSALLE: Final day of fishing is Oct. 15. Hours are 6 a.m. to sunset daily. There is a concessionaire with bait and food options.
DELAVAN/LAKE GENEVA AREA, WISCONSIN
GENEVA: Arden Katz said that bluegill and rock bass are good in 15-18 feet; big perch have slowed.
Mark O’Neill of Structure-Fishing.com sent this:
Well the fishing season is definitely starting to wind down, but that also means one thing on Lake Geneva, boat traffic has died down and we are now in prime time. Was out on Sunday doing some new software update testing and also had a good day fishing. Found active SMB and all good size ones that looked like they were in feeding mode. Hoping for a great Fall based on the amount of fish I am seeing on my sonar screen, for more details of the day, go to: http://www.structure-fishing.com/Lake_Geneva_Fishing_.html
More to come……
Dave Duwe of FishLakeGeneva.com sent this:
Lake Geneva Fishing Report 9/27/15 through 10/4/15
Lake Geneva has been mediocre lately. One day they are biting and the next the large and smallmouth bass seem to have disappeared. We’ve settled into a stable weather pattern with warmer than average temps and it seems to be making fishing just a bit more difficult. The best action on the lake has been smallmouth bass when you can find them.
Smallmouth bass are concentrating on deep water structure on the hard sand or rock bottoms. The best depth has been 22-25 ft of water. Look for the fish by South Shore Club, Coleman’s Point and by Yerkes Observatory. Most of the success is coming from either drop shotting four inch finesse worms or lindy rigging nightcrawlers. As the water cools, the smallmouth bass will be following the pods of mirror shiners throughout the water column. With cooler weather, the fishing will start to turn on.
Bluegill fishing has been very good in the 22-25 ft depth range. The fish are by Elgin club or by Gage Marina. They can be caught on giant red worms or nightcrawlers fished on the split shot rig. A lot of the fish that I’ve been catching in the past week have been in excess of 9 inches.
Crappie fishing has been starting to improve. The best location has been by South Shore Club in 14-16 ft of water. The fish are being caught on small smoke colored plastics or chartreuse plastics. You want to fish the small plastics on a 1/32 oz jig head, either slowly trolled or by drift fishing.
Largemouth bass fishing has been good in Trinkes Bay or in Geneva Bay. The fish are being caught on Texas rigged plastic worms in black or green pumpkin colors. Try fishing the scattered weeds in 12-16 ft of water. While fishing smallmouth bass, I’m catching an occasional largemouth in 22-24 ft of water. They are being caught in the deep on lindy rigged nightcrawlers. The size of the deep water fish has been relatively small.
The big rock bass have started to bite in 22-24 ft of water. They are associating with deep water structure just like the smallmouth bass. They can be either caught on extra large fat head minnows or nightcrawlers. The fish are very tight to the bottom. They can be fished straight beneath the boat or lindy rigged. If you are going to use lindy rigs, the preferred leader length in 24 inches.
Good luck and I hope to see you on the water. For guide parties, please call Dave Duwe at 608-883-2050
DELAVAN: Dave Duwe of FishLakeGeneva.com sent this:
Delavan Lake Fishing Report 9/27/15 through 10/4/15
Fishing on Delavan Lake has been overall very spotty. The best bite on the lake has been bluegills or northern pike. If you happen to run into a concentration of largemouth or smallmouth bass you can catch quite a few but if you find the school consider yourself lucky.
The largemouth bass have been in and around the piers on the north shore or on the weed flats in 12-14 ft of water. One day I will catch them on medium suckers, the next day they will bite on nightcrawlers. The water temperature is such that if it cools a few more degrees, it will turn into a minnow bite. The best location I’ve found is the buoy line at Viewcrest or by 3 flags. I’ve been fishing a lot of my summer spots with limited success. If you aren’t getting bit, you need to move often.
Bluegill action has been very good in the 10-12 ft depth range. Look for the fish by Township Park or by Willow Point. The fish are being caught on split shot rigged giant reds or an ice jig tipped with a wax worm. Like the largemouth bass, if you aren’t finding them, move around because there are active fish to be caught.
Walleye fishing is still slow. I’ve started to pick up a couple here and there but there isn’t a pattern discernible. The fish I caught last week were in 10-12 ft of water on the weedline. Fall is typically the best bite for Walleyes so hold on for the cooler temps and the best fishing is yet to come.
Crappie fishing has started to improve in the weedlines in 12-16 ft of water. They can be caught on Thill slip bobbers fished with small fat head minnows or small purple or chartreuse plastics fished on a 1/32 oz jig head. Look for the fish by the Delavan Lake marina or by the concrete point.
The larger northern pike are being caught in the weedline in 15-17 ft of water. I’ve been trolling extra large suckers from the Yacht Club down to Willow Point on the north shore. There isn’t a huge number of fish being caught but the fish I have been catching are over 32 inches.
Good luck and I hope to see you on the water. For guide parties, please call Dave Duwe at 608-883-2050
DES PLAINES RIVER
EMIQUON: As of Thursday, because of Gov. Bruce Rauner’s shutdown, fishing and boating permits will be done at the launch. Call (309) 547-2730. HENNEPIN-HOPPER: Closed for the season. Will reopen to fishing in 2016 with a much expanded format. SHELBYVILLE: Check with Ken Wilson of Ken Wilson Guide Service. SOUTHERN ILLINOIS: Check with Jason Johns of Boneyard Fishing EVERGREEN: I need to check the post-Labor Day bait shop and boat rental times.
Larry Dozard of larrysfishinghole.com sent this update on some closures Downstate:
POWERTON LAKE –WINTER HOURS (Oct. 1st – April 30th): 8am – 4pm
– THIS LAKE WILL CLOSE TO BOAT FISHING ON OCT. 17th (Last day for Boat fishing will be Oct. 16th) and CLOSES TO SHORE FISHING and ALL FISHING ON OCT. 24th (Last day for Shore fishing is Oct. 23rd) and REOPENS TO SHORE FISHING ONLY ON DEC. 21st AND NO BOAT FISHING till FEB. 15th – –
McMASTER LAKE at SNAKEDEN HOLLOW –* THIS AREA WILL CLOSE TO FISHING for the Season on Oct. 12th (last day to fish is Oct. 11th) till Feb. 1st–
SPRING LAKE (South & North) –* THIS AREA WILL BE CLOSED TO BOAT FISHING in Hunting Area ON OCT. 17th with Last Day to Boat Fish being Oct. 16th – 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 –
SANGCHRIS LAKE –* THE WEST and EAST ARMS OF LAKE and Small AREA NEAR DAM ARE CLOSED DURING WATERFOWL SEASON to boat traffic effective Oct. 14th (last day to boat fish will be Oct. 13th) through Jan. 31, 2016 (during this time fishing boat traffic is permitted in the center hot arm only).
Use what ever you wish and
I have not heard from couple others but will let you know when I do..
Enjoy the Fall &
No update this week from Lance LaVine at Howie’s Tackle in Sturgeon Bay.
The Wisconsin DNR posts a report, typically updated on Tuesdays at http://dnr.wi.gov/topic/fishing/lakemichigan/OutdoorReport.html
Illinois Valley Outdoors is open in Spring Valley. The phone is (815) 663-1000.
Access points for Trail Creek can be found on the Trail Creek Access Map.
Norm Minas sent this:
cooler nights, shorter days, water temps in 60′s, leaves changing or falling, so far no frost . shot guns and camo in the woods, folks building duck blinds, it’s coming .
river is dropping, still more than twice normal flow, stain to the water, algae still on bottom and flowing in water column, waterwillows still green, occasional leave in the water. lots of animal and bird activity .
lately the fishing patterns have been real simple, rattlebaits on current seams is the most consistent for smallmouth. rattlebaits at front and back of riffles next best, rattlebaits on slower flows on flats off channels and seams. fishing in low light with jointed minnow baits and swimbaits on flats off channels for walleye .
the walleye thing is not complicated, fan cast an area, move and fan cast , move and fan cast. all I am looking for is active walleye and covering a lot of water efficiently as possible to find them .
for the smallmouth on the seams it’s about 50/50 casting up or downstream. for the upstream side of riffles letting the rattlebait swing across works best. on the downstream side quarter and straight across casts work best . on the slower flows, fan cast .
not exactly rocket science but it’s been effective
LAKE KOSHKONONG, WISCONSIN
For shoreline salmon, see top. Northeast blow will likely stop boat fishing. Capt. Bob Poteshman of Confusion Charters said he expects what has been a good laker bite off Chicago to continue once the weather finally settles down.
WAUKEGAN: Ted Boska sent this on Monday, before the blow started on Tuesday:
Hello and good morning Dale.Middle of last week finally kings shows on the hill.Many stroll silvery for September standard. Many spawning fish are inside the farbor.Few has been caught from government pier at the dark.only lakes are on both reefs. For mix beg good over 250-300 when weather allows. I think string of North east wind’s and gusty wind’s makes this week fishing almost impossible. Thanks Ted (diehard angler ) BOSKA
MADISON CHAIN, WISCONSIN
Check reports from Gene Dellinger at D&S Bait.
No update from Scott Hill of Fishingthrills Guide Service.
MENOMINEE RIVER, WISCONSIN
Check with Mike Mladenik at Mike Mladenik Guide Service.
MINOCQUA: Kurt Justice of Kurt’s Island Sport Shop called with this report.
Another week of great fishing started to slow down by Friday/Saturday thanks to the same cloudless days, but, by Sunday (9/27) things started to pick back up and by the afternoon, good reports came back in by musky and walleye anglers.
Musky: Good-Very Good. Action that slowed by Fri/Sat picked back up as reports from anglers scoring fish on bucktails (Mogambo’s), big spinnerbaits and top water as well as the start of some sucker activity. Number 8 double bladed bucktails also produced well for anglers working weed tops on Sunday. Water temps once again have peaked at 67/68 degrees, but, will surely drop as the long range forecast shows highs of 57-62 degrees over the next ten days. When surface temps dip below 65 the sucker bite will pick up, steadily getting better as the temps drop. A 51” musky reported during lunar eclipse Sunday night (released).
Pike: Good-Very Good. Action improved even over the past week. While lots of smaller fish have been active, some very nice pike for the Northwoods (up to 34”) have been caught and released. Spinnerbaits, swimbaits and Mepps and Blue Fox Spinners are all producing. Live chubs and suckers of 4-6” on jigs or under floats are always a good choice.
Walleye: Good-Very Good. Bite has been off during high pressure days, but, nice catches otherwise once clouds and some wind come into the picture. It is a deep bite on natural lakes (between 22-38’). The larger the lake the deeper the better. Large black tail chubs, red tail chubs or suckers have been working best. Lindy rigging and vertical jigging Swedish Pimples and Jigging Rapalas also producing. Small lakes and flowages seeing better action shallower on wind swept shores of 2-6’, or out along flats adjacent to river channels of 8-14’.
Largemouth Bass: Good-Very Good. Lots of action by bass taking place by anglers targeting other species on live bait. Jigging chubs or large fatheads in weeds for pike or walleye have been producing LMB. Casting spinnerbaits and swimbaits meant for Pike also working.
Smallmouth Bass: Good-Very Good. Big smallies looking to fill up are striking 4-6” chubs and suckers meant for pike. Swim baits, lipless cranks and #11 Scatter Raps worked along weed edges and drowned wood. On deep, natural lakes, drop-shot minnow imitation baits as well as creature baits fished on football jigs in 18-34’ on top of gravel humps.
Crappie: Good. Deep coontail edges on medium to larger lakes, as well as after dark with lighted slip bobbers by piers and pilings. On lakes with less depth target standing weeds using small jig/blade combos to locate loose schools, then follow up with slip-bobbers and minnows. Flowage action picking up around drowned wood using medium fatheads or ½ crawlers.
Kurt’s Island Sport Shop
EAGLE RIVER: This report came the Eagle River Chamber of Commerce, based on Creative Brilliance interviews with Eagle River guide “Muskie Matt” and legendary George Langley of Eagle Sports Center and hunting enthusiast Dan Anderson:
(Head): Walleye and smallmouth bass providing good to very good action, with musky, northern, largemouth bass, and panfish good; all in the Eagle River, Wisconsin area.
Water temps in the Eagle River, Wisconsin area are in the mid 60s.
WALLEYE: Jig and a minnow or crawler working best. Fish either deep weed edges in 10-14 feet of water, or flats with sand grass on them in 20-23 feet of water. Walleye are tight to bottom. Fishing the deeper water provides an all day bite, with the weed edge bite favoring early morning, evening or cloudy days. Action is good to very good.
SMALLMOUTH BASS: Fish hardbottom areas – rocks and rock humps – – in 10-15 feet of water. Jig and a minnow working best. All day bite, with good to very good action.
MUSKY: Throwing bucktails is working best right now – as a size reference use either a 500 or 700 series Buchertail (5 to 7 inches). Fish any weed edge in 8-14 feet of water. Regular retrieve. Make sure you do a “figure 8″ on all casts as your lure nears the boat- – a lot of boatside strikes going on. All day “feeding windows” which are day and lake dependent. The bite is good.
NORTHERN: Use a small inline spinner or a #4 Mepps. Fish any weed edge in 5-12 feet of water. The northern are all over and when they hit, the bite is aggressive. All day bite. The action is good.
LARGEMOUTH BASS: The largemouth’s are still in the heavy, shallow weeds — 3-8 feet of water. Fish around docks and other structure, like drowned wood, or heavy brush piles, as well. Use a spinner bait or various plastics – – like worms or lizards. They’re all working. All day action. The bite is good.
PANFISH: Crappies are suspending over main lake basins in 8-20 feet of water. Use a slip bobber with a crappie minnow on a plain hook. Good action. Bluegills are still in the shallow weeds – -4-8 feet of water. Use a slip bobber with a red worm or waxie. The bite is steady. Perch are off of deep weed edges or over rocks in 10-14 feet of water. The perch are tight to bottom. Minnows are working best. Good action.
FLY FISHING: With untold numbers of rushing streams, brooks and rivers, Eagle River provides wonderful opportunities for fly anglers of every ilk. And for the adventure of a lifetime go for gamefish with a fly rod on one of the Eagle River area’s hundreds of lakes. Eagle River guide guru, and 35 year avid fly angler for musky, George Langley, tells us that it’s a memorable experience for fly anglers, but realistically you must be able to double-haul cast and attain distances of 70-90 feet on your cast.
See shoreline salmon at top.
ROOT RIVER, WISCONSIN
The Wisconsin DNR Root River Report is generally posted on Tuesday.
ST. JOSEPH, MICHIGAN
For shoreline salmon, see top. Staff at Tackle Haven said best for perch is south of the Cook power plant in 20-30 feet, other perch fishing around St. Joseph in 30-35 feet; fishing is decent for lakers, coho and smaller kings in 100-180 feet; it is slow at Berrien Springs;
ST. JOSEPH RIVER, INDIANA
Click here for reports from the Indiana DNR.
Clint Sands at Lakeside said muskie remain active, there are also a few walleye being caught mornings and evenings on the rock piles.
Lakeside is open 6 a.m.-6:30 p.m. For more information and reports from Lakeside, go to shabbonalake.com or call (815) 824-2581.
The Wisconsin DNR posts a report at http://dnr.wi.gov/topic/fishing/lakemichigan/OutdoorReport.html. It is usually posted by Tuesday afternoon. Stream flow info is at http://waterdata.usgs.gov/wi/nwis/current?type=flow.
WOLF RIVER, WISCONSIN