Midwest Fishing Report: Lakes around Chicago fishing (Chain tweak)Continue reading.
Midwest Fishing Report: Lakes around Chicago fishing
Today, finally, it seems right to begin splitting the lakes and rivers into two Midwest Fishing Reports; a sure sign of spring.
Capt. Bob Poteshman of Confusion Charters sent this of a typical outing this spring in northwest Indiana.
This is the extended online version of the lakes report of the MFR, which appears on the Sun-Times outdoors page on Wednesdays.
Normally, I post Wednesday mornings.
If you have suggestions, post in the comments section or let me know at email@example.com.
Spring trout opened Saturday with some very nice catches, such as the Fish of the Week. Even with all the catches over the weekend, I still think some should be around for this weekend.
Daily bag of five, those 16 and older need a fishing license and inland trout stamp. Area lakes include Axehead, Belleau, Sag Quarry East (Cook County; Silver, Pickerel, Grove (DuPage); Gebhard Woods State Park Pond (Grundy); Bird Park Quarry, Rock Creek at Kankakee River SP (Kankakee); Big Lake at Silver Springs SP (Kendall); Banana, Sand, (Lake); Lake Atwood, Hollows Conservation Area, Piscasaw Creek (McHenry); Lake Milliken at Des Plaines Conservation Area (Will).
Click here for the IDNR release for the state.
The old tradition on the Chicago lakefront of smelt netting continues through April. Just hear of a few being netted. The usual Chicago Park District regulations apply, such as nets may go in at 7 p.m.; netters must be out of parks by 1 a.m.
The big thing was spring trout opening Saturday at some local lakes. See above. Otherwise, I am seeing lots of largemouth being posted on Facebook and Henry’s Sports and Bait reported crappie picking up around the area.
BIG GREEN LAKE, WISCONSIN
For guide Mike Norton’s report, go to www.nortonsfishingandhuntingadventures.com, then click on fishing, then lake report.
From licensed guide and trapper Phil Schweik and guide Glenn Moberg of Hooksetters Guide Service:
(Head): Lots of crappies and bluegills hitting on the ice, with most walleye
anglers now searching out open water, and wild turkey hunters expecting a
very good season; all in and amidst the lakes and the Wisconsin River in
Wisconsins Marathon and Lincoln Counties (near Mosinee and Wausau).
Editor’s Note: The walleye and northern season REMAIN OPEN on many of the
waters of the central Wisconsin area. Check with the DNR about the
particular water you want to fish before going out to make sure that water
is open for walleye and northern.
Plenty of ice still hanging on in the central Wisconsin area for ice anglers
as we move into April, and the start of the open water walleye season on the
Wisconsin River system.
Central Wisconsin ice anglers are still catching lots of nice bluegills and
crappies from area lakes and backwater areas off the Wisconsin River. Most
of the fish both crappies and gills – -are in 6 to 10 feet of water. We
are running tiny ice jigs tipped with waxies or spikes along with plastics
in purple and red. The key to consistency right now is to have a flasher
unit locate them as the fish are sporadically suspended throughout the water
Most walleye anglers in the central Wisconsin area are now searching out
open water for their quarry, and as the season progresses the bite is only
going to get a lot better. Right now water temps are in the mid 30 degree
range, but a couple of warm days along with some rain, and the water temps
will jump right up and we will be into full swing walleye spawn. For now
target water depths of 8 to 14 feet for action. Afternoon periods have been
better as the water has had time to warm up throughout the day. Jigs tipped
with fathead minnows have been working best.
For you central Wisconsin area turkey hunters, this season looks like it
could turn out to be one of the best on record. Even with the heavy snow
falls we received and with winter hanging on for what seems like forever,
the numbers of remaining birds is staggering. Do your scouting and look for
feeding grounds to be the number one location for targeting birds early in
the morning, and try targeting known roosting areas in the evening as the
birds head to rest.
OK, I find hunting reports interesting for notes on weather and such as much as anything.
CHAIN O’LAKES AREA
Open water is here. Staff at Triangle Sports and Marine reported crappie are in the channels and channel mouths; walleye are moving shallow on Fox and Pistakee; white bass have been good on Marie; pike are spawning (practice catch and release); carp catches are good; bluegill are fair as are muskie.
For more reports, see http://www.foxlakefishing.com/
More Chain info at www.foxwaterway.state.il.us.
COOLING LAKES/STRIP PITS
LaSALLE: The lake is open daily, 6 a.m. to sunset. Concessionaire will not be in by this weekend, let’s hope by next week.
BRAIDWOOD/MAZONIA: Hours are 6 a.m.-sunset daily. Mazonia lakes, like most lakes, remain on the cold side. REMINDER: Anchoring outside the restricted area on the north end of Braidwood, then casting in is illegal.
HEIDECKE: Boaters be warned the temporary launch is very shallow and gets icy very easily. Lake needs to warm to really turn on. Lake is open daily until sunset. Launch opens at 6 a.m.; bank angling, 6:30 a.m.
DELAVAN/LAKE GENEVA AREA, WISCONSIN
Brian Gates at Geneva Lake Bait and Tackle said ice is gone from Delavan (piers are in); Geneva started opening seriously on Tuesday.
POWERTON LAKE: Because of our winter weather, the closure to all fishing will be extended. The reopening date is now Friday, May 3. If they get the levee work done sooner, that could be moved up.
EVERGREEN: The 2013 passes are available. Any updated fishing report from site staff will be posted here.
Another sign of spring, Mike Steffa sent this:
Bait Shop & Boat Rental Opening For The Season at Evergreen Lake/COMLARA Park.
The Evergreen Lake/COMLARA Park Bait Shop & Boat Rental will be opening for the Season onSaturday, April 6, 2013.
Bait Shop Hourswill be: Monday – Friday: 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Saturday & Sunday: 6:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Boat Rental Hourswill be: Friday – Sunday: 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Closed: Monday – Thursday
Expanded hours for both beginning the end of April.
GREEN BAY, WISCONSIN
The Wisconsin DNR report had this report:
Green Bay Fishing Report: April 8, 2013
West Shore:Along the Lower West Shore of the Bay the ice is still not open, but more snow is melting on top of the ice. The Lower West Shore of the Bay had no fishing activity this week.
Fox River:Overall, temperatures are slowing starting to climb increasing fishing pressure along the Fox River dramatically. It was very windy throughout the week slowing fish numbers down. The Fox River was very busy this week with both boat and shore fishermen. Fishermen were targeting Walleye, but the numbers of them were low. The main baits used were jigs and minnows, various colors of rapalas, crank baits (chartreuse and green), and other various plastics (purple). Other species caught were Whitefish, the numbers were low and all were released. The water temperature was around 38 to 41 degrees.
Creel routes were not run on the East Side of the Bay this week due to the large amount of ice cover. Open water creel will resume tentatively the week of April 15.
With the slightly warmer weather fishing pressure is starting to increase. Water temperatures however are still hanging in the mid 30′s. Most of the fishing pressure has been observed in the Stiles Dam area or at the Oconto Breakwater. Walleye, trout, and pike are the species being targeted. Success rates are still very low as are the water levels in the rivers. The Oconto River is open to the mouth with fishermen casting Cleo’s and stick baits for walleye and trout. A few fishermen are walking out on the ice north of the causeway to fish for pike with tip ups.
With the slightly warmer weather fishing pressure is starting to increase. Water temperatures however are still hanging in the mid 30′s. The boat landing at the Municipal Garage in Peshtigo is open and being used by fishermen targeting walleye. Catch rates at this time remain low, but expect things to start heating up this coming week. Fishermen at the Peshtigo Harbor are targeting walleye, trout, and pike, with little success. Menominee River anglers are catching a few walleye, trout, and whitefish around the Hattie Street Dam. The boat launch at Stephenson Island and Boom Landing are open and boaters are reporting that fishing is slow but a few whitefish and walleye are being caught jigging with crawlers on the down river side of Boom Island.
LAKE ERIE: PORT CLINTON
For Ohio DNR report go to wildohio.com and or call (888) HOOKFISH.
CHICAGO: Park Bait reopened. Hours are 6 a.m.-8 p.m. Very few boating reports so far. Henry’s reported coho and browns doing better on South Side; powerliners (large fatheads better than crawlers) are doing better than casters.
WAUKEGAN: Weather has really limited things. Lori Ralph at Salmon Stop reported shore fishermen taking some coho, browns and an occasional pike.
CHICAGO PIER PASSES: Good time to remember the $6 pier passes for Chicago harbors, except 31st, are available at Henry’s Sports & Bait.
CHICAGO FISHERMAN’S PARKING: The fisherman’s parking pass–$10 for two months and available at Henry’s Sports & Bait–is needed to park south of the main building at Northerly Island. . . . That’s the same pass good for the small fishermen’s lots at Burnham and DuSable harbors.
MADISON CHAIN, WISCONSIN
Safe ice is disappearing and open-water fishing is beginning. Click here for any updates from D&S Bait.
MINOCQUA: Kurt Justice of Kurt’s Island Sport Shop sent this:
Ice travel conditions improved after Monday’s rain. Truck and ATV travel are good. Ice is still thick (27-31″). The rain removed a lot of snow and slush, though knee high rubber boots (as well as cleats) are still a good idea for walking on ice.
Crappie: Good. Action improved with new weather (clouds, etc.). Nice catches of slabs (13-14″) in bays with green weeds in 7-10′ of water. Tip-downs with rosies/small crappie minnows scoring big, especially during late afternoons. Use plastic and Chena during the day to coax fish out of the weed bases. Glow, white, chartreuse, and yellow on #8 rockers.
Perch: Good. Wigglers are the top bait. Stick to mud flats using Hali jigs, Swedish Pimples to kick up mud in 14-22′. Nice perch in 9-11″ range also taking minnows on tip-downs in some areas.
Bluegills: Good. Small tungsten jigs (3mm) and tiny plastic (black, red, purple) or single spike in 5-8′ weeds. On cloudy days check just under the ice for high rising gills.
Lots of ice with little melt in the forecast. Fishing improving, not much pressure.
Kurt’s Island Sport Shop
EAGLE RIVER: On Sunday, Creative Brilliance sent this update for the Chamber of Commerce:
(Head): In the Eagle River, Wisconsin area, good all day action for
crappies, bluegills and perch; and wild turkey numbers have increased
Ice conditions in the Eagle River area good, with depths ranging from 20-26
inches (lake dependent). Travel has improved slightly, but it’s still tough
getting around – -especially in untraveled areas. The slush is starting to
dry out, but the ice is still covered by 6-8 inches of snow. Our sources
tell us that unless there is a dramatic change in the weather, you’ll be
able to ice fish the Eagle River area for two – -maybe three weeks. We’ll
keep you posted. Remember that at this time of year, however good the ice
“looks,” it can be deceiving. There are plenty of thin spots, cracks, and
erosion, that remain unseen. Best suggestion remains the same: Hire one of
Eagle River’s excellent guides, who will put you on fish in complete safety.
Crappies, bluegills and perch are biting in two locations. First- – fish 10
feet of water or less in and around weeds. Second – -Fish 12-35 feet of
water over mudflats. The perch are tight to bottom, with the crappies and
gills suspending up and down the water column. Right now the crappies and
gills are hovering about “half way down,” but to insure locating the fish,
use electronics and be prepared to move. Depth and area changes daily
even a number times every day. The crappies and gills are very slowly
inching up towards the surface as spring comes on stronger. The sun aerates
the water by melting the ice, and the water is warmer. Use a spike,
wiggler, waxies or crappies minnow under a slip bobber, small jig, or hooked
up to a tip-down.
There is still a lot of snow on the ground in the Eagle River area, and with
the first turkey hunting period starting on April 10, turkey hunters should
plan accordingly. Some things to consider when hunting gobblers in the
* The birds will be easier to see than at other times, so keep your eyes
open for concentrations of turkeys.
* The snow will also make YOU easier to spot. Make sure your camo matches
the surroundings. The normal forest green patterns will stand out from the
white background. Make sure your blind looks natural and utilizes cover
from the immediate area. Remember that turkeys have superb eyesight.
* Many of the back roads you are accustomed to using may be impassable
because of the snow. Depending on the progress of the snowmelt in the next
week, you may even need snowshoes to get around in the woods.
* The cold will make the birds less active than later in the season. On
cold nights (below freezing) the birds tend to roost in heavier cover, which
provides more warmth.
* Use a diaphragm call instead of a box call if there is a lot of moisture
in the air. The box call won’t always work if it is wet.
* Windy conditions will make calling more difficult. If you hear a bird on
a windy day, it is probably nearby since distant birds will be out of
Turkey numbers have increased significantly in the Eagle River area in the
past few years. Even with snow still on the ground, your chance of bagging
a gobbler are good.
(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 Guide’s Choice Pro Shop, and Mat Hegy).
Contact info for Eagle River:
* Eagle River Chamber of Commerce; 800-359-6315; 715-479-6400; e-mail:
firstname.lastname@example.org; web: www.eagleriver.org
* “Muskie Matt”, 715-891-5980; e-mail: email@example.com
* Mat Hegy, 715-571-7544, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
* Guide’s Choice Pro Shop, guide/owner “Ranger Rick” Krueger 715-477-2248
* George Langley, Eagle River Fishing Guides Association, 715-479-8804.
Capt. Bob Poteshman of Confusion Charters, who has two boats in East Chicago Marina, said it was been a fair spring; he has focused on the Hole-in-the-Wall, East Chicago, Gary Light, and Buffington. He thinks the best is yet to come. He used Dodgers and flies, but he said others are doing well with crankbaits. Mike Starcevich at Mik-Lurch reported at shore fishermen are catching browns on a jig and squid, spawn and Little Cleos. Perch are in 42 feet, but weather has limited windows to chase them. Willow Slough is fire for panfish, as are Pine and Stone in LaPorte. Monster crappie (to 16 inches) are being caught at Webster, better known for its muskie.
Lakeside will open 8 a.m.-5 p.m. for spring and summer.
Check updates at shabbonalake.com.
SOUTHEAST WISCONSIN LAKEFRONT
Here is the Lake Michigan Fishing Report:
Southern Lake Michigan Fishing Report: April 8, 2013
Ramp:A few boaters ventured out from the boat ramps on Sunday. Most of the boaters worked the harbor area and the piers. A few boaters landed brown trout and steelhead using wax worms and crank baits. Anglers fishing at Southport Marina report catching a few brown trout while others are waiting for the perch season to begin.
Shoreline:The Kenosha Harbor near the Pike Creek mouth continues to produce steelhead and a few brown trout. Anglers using wax worms, spawn sacks, and jigs tipped with white plastic twister tails reported success. Anglers casting crank baits landed a few brown trout while fishing the rocky shore around the 50th street bridge.
Pike River:Fishing pressure on the Pike River picked up a bit on Friday as the water level and flow rate continued to drop. Anglers drifting spawn sacks and fly fishing with egg patterns were kept busy landing suckers. One fly fisherman landed a few steelhead while casting green sucker spawn and egg sucking leeches. The water temperature was 44F on Sunday with the river bottom visible at 18-24″.
Lakefront:The ice has finally disappeared from Reefpoint Marina. Boat anglers were casting crank baits and spoons while trolling around the docks on Sunday. Good catches of brown trout were reported by anglers bottom fishing the marina with spawn sacks. Fishing success has been hit or miss on the lakefront due to shifting winds and large variations in temperature. A few anglers were seen on North Pier with no reports of fish taken. Surface temperature on the lake was 39F on Friday.
Root River:At the Horlick Dam, anglers casting flies and spawn sacks reported good catches of steelhead earlier in the week. Large numbers of suckers filled the river by the dam on Saturday morning, providing anglers with nonstop action. Anglers at Quarry and Lincoln Park hooked into suckers as well with reports of a few northern pike taken. Anglers at Island Park and Washington Park landed several steelhead using spawn sacks and wax worms. The steelhead averaged from 3 to 7 pounds. Adding two or three wax worms to a jig head or a plain hook while fishing under a slip bobber worked well on Saturday. The flow rate and water level has steadily dropped during the past week with the river temperature at 41-42F on Saturday. Fish were processed at the Root River Steelhead Facility on Monday, April 8. A total of 75 steelhead have been passed upriver so far this spring, and our next processing day is scheduled for Monday, April 15.
North Shore:Strong winds have made trolling and jigging in the harbor difficult. McKinley boat ramp is completely free of ice. Boats were reporting a few brown trout being caught trolling the gaps and the harbor with spoons when the winds die off, but the success rate has decreased in recent days. Jigging for browns has been very slow. Summerfest was reporting a few browns caught being by using live bait such as medium golden shiners under a float. The best shore fishing occurs during light winds, otherwise fishing can be slow. Only a few small perch were caught in the area.
South Shore:Trollers did report a few brown trout in the gaps either trolling spoons or jigging when the winds were light. A few fishermen under the Hoan Bridge were fishing for browns, but only a few fish were reported caught on live bait. There were no people fishing for perch in the area. There were some people fishing for rainbows at Oak Creek, but fishing was slow with an only a fish seen in the creek. The Oak Creek power plant has been slow with very few anglers fishing the pier and no reports of fish being caught.
Milwaukee River:The river is running at moderate to high levels with low water clarity due to the recent snow melt. The water temperature was approximately 38-40 degrees. Fly fishermen below the North Avenue dam were reporting some number of steelhead being caught on spawn sacs. However, upstream of the dam did not produce many fish.
Menomonee River:The river is running around normal with fairly clear water. The water temperature was approximately 38-41 degrees in the shallows. A few fishermen were catching a few brown trout over at MMSD; however anglers targeting perch were reporting minimal catches. Fly fishermen were seen in greater numbers at Miller Park with only a few rainbows being caught. The deeper pools seemed to be producing better then the shallower water.
Port Washington Ramp:Saturday’s high winds made fishing the north break wall nearly impossible, and very few boats were venturing out of the harbor.
Port Washington Shore and Power Plant:Fishing in the Port Washington area was somewhat poor this weekend. However, anglers were able to find a few rainbows and brown trout near the utility discharge.
Sauk Creek:In the past week water levels have dropped in Sauk Creek and the water clarity has increased. Water temperatures have now risen to 42 degrees as of Saturday.
Sheboygan Shoreline:The Sheboygan Piers have had a fair amount of angling pressure the past few days; however, there have been very few fish being caught. Most successful fishermen are fishing earlier in the morning and are casting spoons or spawn.
Sheboygan River:Anglers targeting steelhead on the Sheboygan River have not had much luck. The occasional steelhead or northern pike was caught near the Kohler Dam. Water temperature at the Kohler Dam was around 38 degrees.
Pigeon River:Water temperatures on the Pigeon have risen to around 38 degrees. Anglers targeting steelhead have been doing poorly as of late. Some suckers have begun to run up the Pigeon, and fishermen have been getting a few fish off of LS and as far up as the County Y bridge.
Weedens Creek:Fishermen have also been seen near Weedens Creek but haven’t been overly successful. The water temperature in Weedens Creek was around 38 degrees.
SOUTHWEST WISCONSIN LAKEFRONT
Tyler Harmon messaged:
Panfish bite has been good on the inland lakes.
Forgot to add, that fishing is still good on Lake Michigan.
Crappie slowed, but some walleye are coming shallow and some bass are being taken.
CHICAGO AREA CHAT/REPORTS
Water Dog Journal
CHICAGO AREA INFO
MICHIGAN DNR REPORT
WISCONSIN DNR REPORT
IOWA DNR REPORT
INDIANA DNR REPORT