Summer patterns, waiting on shoreline kings: Chicago fishing, MFR

Summer patterns are here and hope builds for a good fall run of shoreline kings for this sprawling raw-file Midwest Fishing Report.

J.P. Roe got his 15-year-old son Jack Roe out for the first time on Lake Michigan and as the photo above shows, he enjoyed a good day. Roe said they were out Sunday on the King Seeker out of East Chicago.

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.


Waiting. Warm water is stacked across virtually the whole southern basin of Lake Michigan, it could be a while before the first shore reports of kings.


CHICAGO: Slow, a few small ones mornings at Montrose.  WAUKEGAN: Lori Ralph at the Salmon Stop texted, “Some guys are getting into a few perch, nothing crazy in numbers or sizes.”


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 the middle of summer, fish the weed pockets or outside weed lines for bluegill or play around with bass early and late. Otherwise, it is catfishing.

Ken “Husker” O’Malley sent this:

Here is a recap of the past week’s fishing.
Area Lakes- bass have been very good on clearer lakes during morning hours. Focus on outside and inside weedlines using a flick shake presentation. Best color has been the BPS Houdini and 2 foot flouro leader ties to fireline crystal.
Area rivers/creeks- smallmouth have been picking up now that feeder creeks have cleared up. The Midwest rig has been the best presentation with a 3/16 oz weight.
Ken “Husker” O’Malley
Husker Outdoors
Waterworks fishing team


Click here to find river closures listed by the Illinois DNR. Go to to check area water levels and projection. To get to more specific gauges, even on creeks, in Illinois, go to


Braidwood is open daily. Hours through 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.


After weeks of being closed to boating because of historic flooding, all zones of the Chain completely reopened Monday and the fishing has been good, even very good. Staff at Triangle Sports and Marine said white bass are going on main lake; bass are being caught on weed lines, especially on the northern lakes; bluegill are good; and catfish are being caught.

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 and Lake Front fishing Report.

Fishing is off a bit with the up and down weather for sure. Out a couple times last week caught fish but worked for what we got. The river is somewhat churned up so fish are a bit more scattered. Spots that normally produce numbers are giving up one or two. Rattle baits and spinner baits are helping to add movement and sound. A couple decent smallies came on C.S. Lures Spinner Baits along the inside of the break walls off Navy Pier.

 Pan fish have slowed up a bit too they are hugging the bottom in most of my spots for me the best bait is still a White jig and twister tail tipped with a wax worm. Fished slow and ticking bottom is what works for me. In the process of mounting the Berts board with riggers and rod holders to start to play with the Trout and salmon to add to what we can chase on a trip.

Surface temps last week ranged from 74.8 to 70.2 water stained and winds changing all factors in the game but it’s all fun.

Have a great week catch some fish.


GENEVA: Dave Duwe emailed this:

Lake Geneva Fishing Report 8/6/17 through 8/13/17

Fishing on Lake Geneva remains very consistent.  Even with the cold front that came through this past week, the fishing was only minimally affected.  The summer patterns are in full swing.    The biggest fish are deep, greater than 20 ft. for most species.

I’ve been catching some very nice largemouth bass in 21-22 ft of water by Stone Manor and Linn Pier.  The bigger fish are coming off a drop shot rig in green pumpkin or root beer with red flake color.  The dropper length I prefer is 1 foot beneath the hook.

Bluegill fishing has been fantastic by Elgin Club and by Gage Marine.  Like the largemouth bass, the best depth is 21-22 ft of water.  They can be readily seen on your Humminbird graph.  The best approach is a simple split shot rig fished straight beneath the boat with a tight line.  Use trout worms or leaf worms for the best action.

Lake Trout fishing remains a hot bite on the lake.  The fish are in the main lake basin between Conference Point, Cedar Point and Black Point.  I like to fish a circle around these points.  The early morning hours seem to produce the most fish.  The fish are located 69-70 ft down in 108-110 ft of water.    Silver spoons fished behind a small dodger have been working as has the dodger and fly combination that you would use on Lake Michigan.

Smallmouth bass fishing continues to be challenging.  The best action has been by the Yacht Club or by Elgin Club.  The fish have been very spread out and hard to pattern which is typical for this time of year.  They are busy chasing the pods of bait fish so you need to find those first.  Try for them using a small grub or white hair jig. The depth I’ve been finding them is about 15 ft down in 25 ft of water.

Walleye fishing remains excellent at night.  Large Rapalas trolled 170 ft back from the planer boards has been producing good action.  The best location has been in Trinkes Bay or by Abbey Springs.

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

DELAVAN: Arden Katz said there are good bluegill with some crappie in 17-18 feet on the weed line, hellgrammites are the best bait.

Dave Duwe sent this before the update above:

Delavan Lake Fishing Report 8/7/17 through 8/13/17

This past week we had some very warm weather early and ended with the most severe cold front we’ve had all year.  Even with the 30 degree swing the fishing remained fairly consistent.

Bluegills have again started to bite just off the weed line in 15-18 ft of water.  The best location has been by Assembly Park or by Browns Channel.  Split shot rigged leaf worms fished directly underneath the boat have been producing most of the fish.

Walleye fishing remains spotty.  I’m catching a couple here and there but there isn’t a real discernible pattern.  Leeches fished on a split shot or lindy rig have been producing most of the action.  The best depth has been off the weed lines in 22-24 ft of water.  I’ve been catching most of my fish near Assembly Park or just west of Willow Point.

Northern Pike action has remained pretty good.  The fish remain in 17-21 ft of water.  Most of the best action is on the west end by the old Boy Scout Camp.  Lindy rigged suckers fished about 1 foot off bottom or suckers fished on a slip bobber have been working well.

Largemouth bass fishing has remained steady.  The best fishing has been in 15-17 ft of water.  You want to look for sand pockets in the weed lines for the best success.  This time of year the bass school up so if you catch one you are likely to catch a couple more so don’t move on too soon.  Drop shot rigging 4 inch plastic worms or nightcrawlers have been producing the best action.  Look for the fish near 3 flags or Del Mar subdivision.

Crappies have been suspending in the main lake basin.  They are chasing insects and other prey on the surface.  They are easy to locate on calm days as they breach the surface.  Cast a small 1/32 oz jig with plastic twister tail into that area.  The best location has been the marina or by the Village Supper Club.

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


Jason Norris of sent this report with the photo at the top:

After the record floods a couple of weeks ago, I was afraid one of my favorite fisheries, the Des Plaines River, would be in jeopardy. Well, 3 trips out in the north suburbs the past few days, despite the water still a bit high and stained, produced some of my best northern pike. In 3 outings this week i’ve landed 15 pike and 2 bass. There were a mix of small pike and also some of my very best northern pike from that river including a fat 33.5″ bruiser. Buzzbaits, spinnerbaits and crankbaits did the job.


LAKE SHELBYVILLE:  Check with Ken Wilson of Ken Wilson Guide ServiceHENNEPIN-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 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.

SOUTHERN ILLINOIS: Check with Jason Johns of Boneyard FishingPOWERTON: Boat and shore fishing is open. Hours are 6 a.m.-8 p.m. 


Water is receding. The no-boating restriction has been lifted. I fished the Fox Monday in St. Charles with Adam Carlson and Marty Jandura. Levels were slightly above normal summer pool, but very wadeable. Carlson waded across the river. We caught small smallmouth on spinners.

Steve Palmisano at Henry’s Sports and Bait said there have been good catfish reports from McHenry on down.

Pete Lamar sent this on fishing a trib:


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:

Good batch of skamina steelhead in trail creek spinners spawn and shrimp best baits

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 have been variable, as Norm Minas notes below, but near wadeable levels in places.

Norm Minas sent this:

I managed to slide in two trips to the river , one while it was dropping , the other while it was rising . Actually, that’s pretty much been the story for this year , up-down-up-down with more of the up. 

While it was dropping , I started with a rattlebait over cobblestone flats . I got enough smallmouth that I never saw fit to change as the action was kinda steady . Nothing big size wise, mostly 12 to 16 inchers. 

While it was rising , I started with a square bill crank on the current seam , only got three there but all between 17 and 19 inches . I moved in by the outside edge of the waterwillow beds with a singlespin . It seemed like every time it came by a point or cut in the weeds it got blasted. Mostly 14 to 16 inch smallmouth. 

I tried with the spinnerbait and a chatterbait in the water willow beds themself but never got bit. 

Throughly enjoyed both trips , just what I needed .




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


CHICAGO: Steve Palmisano at Henry’s Sports and Bait  said it is mainly drum and spotty smallmouth from shore. Stacey Greene at Park Bait reported a few small perch and rock bass at Montrose, with some drum when wings are right. Capt. Bob Poteshman of Confusion Charters said there are a few nice kings around, but it is mainly lakers by The Wreck and some steelhead out to 200 feet.

WAUKEGAN: Lori Ralph at the Salmon Stop texted:

No reports of any Kings [from] shore, have had a few reports of some steelhead on the bottom fishing a piece of shrimp. Some guys are getting into a few perch, nothing crazy in numbers or sizes and they’re also getting into nice rock bass. It has been Fathead minnows and shrimp off the government Pier. Boat fishing very tough the nicer fish are in 250 to 275 feet of water south of Waukegan. Occasionally early early in the morning guys will fish the green can buoy for salmon and trout and catch a few

Capt. Scott Wolfe of School of Fish Charters sent this report:

In Waukegan deep water fishing continued to be really great this week. Both quality and quantity have been good with limit or near limit catches. Mixed bags of coho, kings and steelhead mostly, with a few lakers. This past week our boat had multiple coho over 10# with 13 the biggest. Multiple steelhead over 10# with a 16# beauty the biggest. Lakers and kings in the teens too. The fish are scattered in water deeper than 220.  Saturday our best depth was in the 280s and 290’s. Most fish are 40 to 110 feet down. Finding exactly what they want to eat has been a challenge because it seems to change daily. Most fish came on dodger and flashers with Jimmy Flies and Becky flies in Little Boy Blue and Green Krinkle patterns. Warrior glow and Moonshine spoons have been good at times. Direction of the troll was the most important factor. The offshore currents were strong and changing constantly. Adjusting the direction of your troll could trigger hits.  If trollers are not getting hits but marking bait and fish they should try different directions before giving up on an area.

As always, please let me know if you need anything. Have a great week. Out boat is down with a mechanical issue, but will be fixed by Tuesday evening. We will be out Wed through Sunday

Scott Wolfe
School Of Fish Charters

NORTH POINT:  Capt. Bob Poteshman of Confusion Charters said there are a few nice 4-year-old kings mornings scattered in 90-200 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.


John Pavlik sent this report from the weekend:

Hello Dale, went to Monster lake at mazonia this morning 7-11am   3 of us in an aluminum boat w 25 hp & trolling motor. Between us caught 3 walleye (all around 12 inches) 4 bass ( one 11 inch others smaller) one crappie( 6-7 inches)   Using 1/16 jig n twister, sometimes tipped w crawler   Wondering size limit  on walleye   Sounds like they started stocking them a couple years ago.

Thanks John Pavlik  tinley park

Statewide regs apply on walleye at Mazonia.

Check with Jon Meder at Jon’s Bait Shop–(815) 237-2822–in South Wilmington. Lakes now close at 8 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:  Kurt Justice of Kurt’s Island Sport Shop in Minocqua, Wis. sent this:

So much for our “hot” summer weather.  With night temps dropping to low 50’s to even upper 40’s, and day time highs in the mid 70’s, water temps dropped, and along with it some of our “hot” fishing.

Bluegill:  Good-Very Good – Nice catches with some nice Gills of 9-10” included.  Tiny tube jigs, small hair jigs and Mini Mite jigs tipped with waxies, as well as small leeches, fished along Coontail edges of 14-18’.  Gills suspending in top half of edges.

Crappie:  Good – Tall narrow leaf cabbage patches holding Crappies, as well as pilings and boat houses near deep water.  Deep, drowned wood on Flowages in 14-18’ producing big slabs to 14” on medium Fatheads and the shiners found in mixed bait.

Largemouth Bass:  Good– Top-water action surprisingly good despite cooler temps.  Prop baits such as Torpedos and small Whopper Ploppers.  Creeper baits also producing.  Afternoons for chatter baits and spinner baits.  Texas rigging creature baits and Wacky worming a given.

Northern Pike:  Good – While spinner baits such as Boonies and chatter baits always good, top Pike of week came on a Johnson Silver Minnow.  Four inch swim baits also productive.

Smallmouth Bass:  Fair – Just as action heating up, this species took a dive.  Some decent action on tubes along deep Coontail edges and over sandgrass flats.

Yellow Perch:  Fair – Shallow bite died off by weeks end.  Still, some nice 9-10” fish using ½ crawlers on outside cabbage beds of 9-12’.

Musky:  Fair – Bucktails best choice right now.  Fluted blades that will raise bait over weeds.  Big spinner baits also good.

Walleye:  Fair – A few bright spots when weather worked in our favor.  Jig and crawler/leeches best.  Some success on minnows as waters cool.

Looks to be a week of stable weather.  Nights in mid 50’s, days mid to upper 70’s.  Hopefully, this will bring about some sustained patterns.

Kurt Justice

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EAGLE RIVER: B+L, from reports from Colin Crawford of Colin Crawford Guide Service for the Eagle River Chamber of Commerce, sent this:

Fishing Report
Panfish: There are still perch in the weeds and you can find some moving into the rock piles using a slip bobber tipped with minnows or tossing a 1/8th oz. jig with a small minnow seems to be doing the job.
Crappies are in the deeper weeds and around structure. Slip bobber rigs with a hook and minnow or a jig and plastic should do the trick.
Bluegills are up in the shallows on the warmer lakes; slip bobber rigs baited with red worms or waxies will catch these. Remember we do have panfish regulations on a few of our lakes in the area.
Bass: Largemouth can be found in the shallow weeds and around docks; and they will be caught using top water and spinnerbaits. Smallies are in and around the rocks and can be caught by using small crankbaits and jerkbaits.
Northern: These fish will be found in and around weeds, so pitching jig and minnows or small spinnerbaits and spoons will get their attention.
Walleye: We are casting 1/8th oz. jigs tipped with live bait. Depending on the depth that you are fishing is when you might need to go heavier with your jig.
Muskies: Bucktails and jerkbaits are working, along with top water. These are your go to baits for a while now.


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

Salmon trout in 110 to 130 50ft to bottom spindoctors flys and spoons best meat rigs ok also Straight out of ditch and west towards Michigan city for trolling Steelhead decent in trail  shrimp and spawn saks best crawlers after it rains Catfish on cut skipjack and sonnys stinkbait at river walk at portage lakefront

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 and trout are being caught in 200 feet; pier and river is slow.


Click here for reports from the Indiana DNR.


Clint Sands at Lakeside said walleye, mostly 16-24 inches (but a 27 1/2-incher was caught Monday) are excellent on crawlers or leeches in 10 feet on weed edges; topwaters are taking some bass; catfish are decent; some smaller crappie are being caught; muskie slowed.

Park is open 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 or call (815) 824-2581.


The Wisconsin DNR posts a report during open water at It is usually posted by Tuesday afternoon. Streadsm flow info is at


No update.


No update.