Midwest Fishing Report: Lakes around Chicago fishingContinue reading.
Midwest Fishing Report: Lakes around Chicago fishing
Things stabilize slowly after the impact of the record and near-record cold over the weekend and more normal summer fishing returns for this lakes section of the Midwest Fishing Report.
I normally post the sprawling online version of MFR, published in a condensed form Wednesdays on the Sun-Times outdoors page, by Wednesday morning.
If you have suggestions, let me know at email@example.com or @BowmanOutside.
SOUTHERN LAKE MICHIGAN PERCH
Perch fishing reopens Thursday for all on the Illinois waters. Reports are spotty off Chicago. In Waukegan, Lori Ralph at the Salmon Stop reported kids catching some off the end of Government Pier and from boat off Great Lakes shallow. Mike Starcevich at Mik-Lurch reported Cal Park is still suffering the impact of the blow last week. However, some are being caught near Mount Baldy and the Black Ditch in Indiana. Wisconsin DNR reported local anglers at Kenosha reported one of the best recent years for perch.
The cold snap changed everything, but a more stable pattern should help with fishing for the weekend.
Ken “Husker” O’Malley of Water Werks Fishing Team had some interesting observations:
I can’t believe I’m talking about major post cold frontal conditions in July, but here we are. I’ve been getting great numbers the last few days on lakes out south. A finesse presentation using a 4 1/2 inch senko on a 2/0 octopus hook wacky rigged ahas been the ticket. Bass having been running small, but its good action considering the conditions. I still can’t believe I had to wear a sweatshirt the other night. I thought I was up north for a moment. Lol.
Talk to you later
Water Werks Fishing Team
(Head): With cooler water temps, all species hitting: Musky, walleye, smallmouth bass, crappies and bluegills; all in and amidst the lakes and the Wisconsin River in Wisconsin¹s Marathon and Lincoln Counties (near Mosinee and Wausau).
The action for all species in the central Wisconsin area is very good. With the cooler temperatures that we have been having, the water temps have gone down about 10 degrees and the fish have been very active.
Musky action in the central Wisconsin area has been good and with the cooler water temps we have started targeting them again. Top water baits followed by large spinner baits have been working the best for us, but we have also had action by running large bucktails and twitch baits over thick weedy areas.
The walleye bite in the central Wisconsin area is very good with nice catches of fish this past week. Most of the action has come by working 1/8th ounce jigs in 10 to 14 feet of water along the main Wisconsin River channel, but a few anglers are picking up some nice fish by long-line trolling crankbaits in 6 to 12 feet of water.
If it’s action you’re looking for in the central Wisconsin area, smallmouth bass have been on fire with fish up to and over 20 inches long. We are targeting the smallies in shallow rocky sections of the Wisconsin River and along rip-rap sections on the main lakes. For baits, we are running crawfish style crankbaits and jigs tipped with tubes and plastics like beaver tails and imitation crawfish.
We have had great catches of crappies and bluegills in the central Wisconsin area by working deeper structure in both the Wisconsin River and the main lakes in the central Wisconsin area. Small 1/16th ounce jigs tipped with a chunk of crawler or a small minnow are doing the trick as are minnows suspended below slip bobbers at various depths, for the crappies.
COOLING LAKES/STRIP PITS
MAZONIA: Jon’s Bait in South Wilmington reported some surprisingly good crappie at South Unit, a few redear and nice bluegill. As weather stabilizes, topwater bite should pick up for bass. Mik-Lurch reported that “Bluegill Bill” continues to live up to his name at an undisclosed lake. This might be the pick for the weekend.
LaSALLE: Issues are holding up the start of the concessionaire.
HEIDECKE: The launches are open and the new docks are in.
Staff at Triangle reported bluegill rebounding after cold front; catfish were best before the cold front on stinkbait; walleye are fair; some white bass are going on places like Marie. Loon has been the crappie spot on crappie rigs.
Check Chain updates at http://www.foxwaterway.com/ or (847) 587-8540.
For more reports, see http://www.foxlakefishing.com/
DELAVAN: Guide Dave Duwe semt this:
Delavan Lake 7/29/13 through 8/5/13
Fishing remains excellent on Delavan Lake. The day after the initial cold front, the fish were inactive for only one day, but the numbers are increasing again. The one good thing about the cooler weather is that the suckers live longer!
Northern Pike fishing has been a bit slow. The fish seem to be very particular about the size of the sucker they are biting on. It seems that they want the bigger suckers, about 9 inches. Look for the fish in 22-25 ft of water off the weedline. The fish I’ve been catching have been on the deep end of that range. My favorite spot last week was by the gray condos or by the Marina on the north shore.
Largemouth bass still remain in their summer schools. Look for the fish off of main lake points or in areas of hard sand bottom with scattered weeds. One thing that has started to happen is that they are actively feeding on small suckers fished beneath a slip bobber in 8-9 ft of water. When you find an area of active fish, the sucker will hit the water and the bobber will go under almost immediately.
Bluegill fishing remain excellent. Once you get on a school of larger fish, it takes very little time to catch as many as you want to clean. I constantly am amazed with all of the pressure that the bluegills get and yet the quality of the fish is still strong. Most of the fish I’ve been keeping for clients are in excess of 8 inches. The best approach has been leaf worms fished on a small hook without any kind of bobber. Most of the success is coming off of Assembly Park or the west end by the island.
In the last week, I have caught only a few smallmouth bass. I think the fish are scattered in the open water away from the structure. I haven’t been looking for them exclusively.
The jumbo perch are starting to show themselves. The best depth for them is the 7-9 ft range. I’ve caught quite a few by the Yacht Club and by the outlet by Lake Lawn Lodge. Either use hellgrammites or small nightcrawlers for the best bite. You want to use slip bobbers, with the bait positioned about one foot off the weeds.
Good luck and I hope to see you on the water. For guide parties, please call Dave Duwe at 608-883-2050
GENEVA: Arden Katz reported good smallmouth (and rock bass) in 25 feet at night with finesse worms on drop-shot rigs.
Duwe sent this:
Lake Geneva 7/29/13 through 8/5/13
Overall fishing remains above average, even considering the incredible fall weather we had this past weekend in July! The only fish not biting well, is the northern pike, everything else is quite active.
Northern pike has been spotty. There are a few fish being caught in the shallower water, 22-23 ft. Most of the success is coming on lindy rigged suckers. Look for the fish in Fontana by the beach or over by Abbey Springs. The fish should improve once the weather warms up again. The fish are normally quite a bit deeper on the thermocline this time of year.
Smallmouth bass, unlike the northern pike, are in their mid summer pattern. The best success has been coming in deeper than 20 ft of water. Look for the areas with hard bottom and scattered weeds. Most of the success I’ve been having has come while drop shotting small Yum Houdini worms or lindy rigging leeches and nightcrawlers. The best location has been by the Military Academy or by Fontana Beach. The bass are in small schools, so once you find one, you should have more to follow.
The big bluegills have moved into the deeper water. They are in the 18-20 ft depth range. Look for the fish by Elgin Club or by Abbey Springs. With my Hummingbird depth finder they are easy to see and are located about 1 ft off bottom. The best bait is small leaf worms fished straight beneath the boat.
Largemouth bass have also moved deep. They are in the 20-25 ft depth range. I’ve been catching most of mine while Carolina rigging Zoom lizards in green pumpkin or lindy rigging nightcrawlers. The best location this time of year is either in Williams Bay or by Trinkes. Other locations around the lake have been okay but it’s hit or miss.
Good luck and I hope to see you on the water. For guide parties, please call Dave Duwe at 608-883-2050
7/29/13 – Delavan Lake, 62 degrees, winds E at 10mph. Water temp 76 degrees. Caught 18 largemouth bass, 2 northern pike and a bunch of bluegills. The bigger fish today were caught on a Thill Big Fish slip bobber with medium suckers. I caught most of the fish in less than 13 ft of water.
7/28/13 – Lake Geneva, 60 degrees, N winds at 15 mph. Water temp 74 degrees. Caught 9 smallmouth bass, 4 were legal, and 3 largemouth bass, the largest was over 6 lbs. Fished in 21-25 ft depth range. With the strong north winds, we fished on the north shore and by Gage Marine. The best approach was lindy rigging nightcrawlers.
7/27/13 – Delavan lake, 60 degrees and sunny, light winds out of the SW. Water temp 76 degrees. Had a bluegill trip and we kept 40 fish and had them cleaned by 10 a.m. The bigger fish were in exactly 16 ft of water. The best presentation was straight lining beneath the boat with leaf worms.
7/26/13 – Lake Geneva, 60 degrees and cloudy, light winds out of the SW. Water temp 74 degrees. Caught 21 smallmouth bass, only 3 were legal and a bunch of good bluegills. We worked by the old Military Academy. The best depth was 21-22 ft of water. Leeches and nightcrawlers produced most of the action.
7/25/13 – Delavan Lake, 75 degrees and cloudy, SW winds at 10 mph. Water temp 80 degrees. Caught 15 largemouth and 2 walleyes. The fish were caught on leeches and split shot rigged nightcrawlers. We were working a depth of 18-20 ft of water.7/22/13 – Delavan Lake, 86 degrees and sunny, SW winds at 10 mph. Water temp 82 degrees. Caught 30 largemouth bass and 50 bluegills. The bass were all schooled up in a small area, most of the success came on split shot rigged nightcrawlers. We also caught a few northern pike.
SHELBYVILLE: Guide Ken Wilson of Lithia Guide Service reported good crappie spider rigging down 12-15 feet in 45; good catfish in the spillway.
REND: Crappie and catfish remain very good.
POWERTON: Remains closed indefinitely for site work.
The Wisconsin DNR has a report, which is typically updated on Tuesdays, posted at http://dnr.wi.gov/topic/fishing/lakemichigan/OutdoorReport.html
The Ohio DNR has general Lake Erie info and a fishing report.
See top for perch. As to salmon and trout, Chicago to across the Wisconsin line, Capt. Bob Poteshman of Confusion Charters said one key is trolling hotter at 2.4 to 2.6.
CHICAGO: Mike Repa at Park Bait said good drum are being caught at Montrose. Poteshman reported there’s a mixed bag (steelhead, lakers, coho and kings) in 100-150.
WAUKEGAN: For Capt. Augie Ralph, key is going early, setting up 60-70, going out to 120-130 for a mixed bag of kings, lakers, steelhead and few coho.
NORTH POINT: Big kings have arrived on the hill. Bob McKay has the harbor abuzz Tuesday morning with the 29-pound king he brought in. Poteshman reported best has been on the Wisconsin side for the big kings.
MADISON CHAIN, WISCONSIN
Go to http://www.dsbait.com/ for information and reports from D&S Bait.
MINOCQUA: Kurt Justice of Kurt’s Island Sport Shop sent this:
Late October in July! This cold (and I DO mean cold with windchill) while not fun to fish in, didn’t actually shut all fishing down. It threw us some surprises, but fish were caught. Water temps have dropped sharply, some lakes that were in the upper 70’s are now in the mid to upper 60’s.
Largemouth Bass: Good-Very good. Top water action is out due to cold. Work in the heavy weeds using creature baits, worms on jigs or Texas rigged. Live bait (crawlers, leeches) will work bass out.
Walleye: Good. Surprisingly hitting shallow running crankbaits on weed flats of 5-8’ towards dusk. Work deep breaks of 14-22’ using crawlers during daylight hours on 1/8 – ¼ oz jigs on Lindy rigging – bites are there, but very light.
Pike: Good. Spinnerbaits, Rattle Traps over weeds of 5-10’. Slow work chubs on 1/16oz Slo-poke jigs on a light wire leader.
Musky: good. Slow down the retrieve using Medussas, Alien Eels.
Panfish: Fair-Good. Weather has made all panfish tougher to fish for. Prior to cold, crappies taking minnows along weed tops of 10-12’. Wind and cold shutting bite down. Have to fish in the weeds to score any panfish.
Smallmouth Bass: Poor-Fair. Bite shut down on rock and gravel bars. Finding some fish up in weeds taking slow moving plastic craws.
As week progresses, temps should improve some. The worst is behind us, but with end of July water temps in the 60’s, we will have to see how this October blast in the summer affects us into August.
Kurt’s Island Sport Shop
EAGLE RIVER: Report for the Eagle River Chamber of Commerce based on Creative Brilliance interviews with Eagle River guides “Muskie Matt” of Wild Eagle Lodge, “Ranger Rick” Krueger of Guide¹s Choice Pro Shop, Mat Hegy; and Eagle River hunting enthusiast, Dan Anderson.
(Head): Walleye, northern, smallmouth bass and panfish all putting on a good to excellent bite, with musky and largemouth bass providing good action. Time to start planning your fall hunting trip to Eagle River. All in the Eagle River, Wisconsin area.
Water temps in the Eagle River, Wisconsin area are in the low to mid 70s.
Walleye in the Eagle River area are in 15 feet of water or less, in the weeds or off the adjacent break edges. The walleye are tight to bottom. Use a minnow under a slip bobber when fishing the weeds. When fishing the adjacent break edges, use a 1/16th to 1/8th ounce jig tipped with a leech or a chunk of crawler. All day bite, with peaks in the evening. Action is good to excellent.
Northern in the Eagle River area are in 10 feet of water or less in and around weeds. Use a small bucktail, bass style spinner bite or a northern sucker under a slip bobber. All day action, and the bite is good to excellent.
Smallmouth bass in the Eagle River area are off of break edges over hard bottom (rock/sand/gravel) locations in 6 to 30 feet of water. Use a 3 or 4 inch tube, or a jig and a leech. All day bite. Action is good to excellent.
Panfish (crappies, bluegills and perch) are in 12 feet of water or less right in the weeds or off of weed edges. Perch are tight to bottom, with crappies and gills suspending up and down the water column. Use a minnow, chunk of crawler on a jig or under a slip bobber, or a Mini Mite or Frizzee jig. Bite is good to excellent. All day action.
Musky in the Eagle River area are in 12 feet of water or less off of weed edges or over adjacent hard bottom areas. Use a bucktail, topwater or crankbait. All day bite with peaks in the evening. Don’t forget to always do a “figure 8″ with your bait as it nears the boat. Lots of muskies hit at that time. Action is good.
The largemouth bass in the Eagle River area are in the weeds or locating near shoreline structure, like docks, fallen trees or brush piles in 10 feet of water or less. Use a plastic worm rigged weedless, Bass Rat, Scum Frog, or the still excellent – - tried-and-true, Heddon Torpedo. Action is good, with an all day bite, and peaks in the evening.
For perch, see top.
Clint Sands at Lakeside reported top bites are walleye, bass (topwater) and catfish (evenings on the weed lines), and a few muskie in recent days.
For more information and reports from Lakeside, go to shabbonalake.com or call (815) 824-2581.
The Wisconsin DNR posts a fishing report, generally updated on Tuesday, at http://dnr.wi.gov/topic/fishing/lakemichigan/OutdoorReport.html Of note last week were some catches of browns off the Kenosha piers. And kings were spotted jumping from shore at Kenosha and Racine.
Tyler Harmon messaged:
A good Steelhead bite going on at many piers, depending on the weather boats are catching steelhead along with some mixed fish up close. Trolling out deep has still been good for Kings and Coho. Should be some steelhead in the rivers with the temperature drop.