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Midwest Fishing Report 9-10-08

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This is the third posting of an extended online Midwest Fishing Report, which appears in the Sun-Times on Wednesdays. Sorry about the lateness, I've been tied up on a story the past couple days. Normally, I will try to have the MFR posted about midnight on Tuesday.

If you have suggestions, post in the comments section or let me know at


The salmon in Lake Michigan are starting to come in.

Mikey B & Mike with kings g-pier 9-9-08 001

As two Mikes show in this photo sent by the Salmon Stop (as you might guess) in Waukegan, where the salmon were coming in good Tuesday. Just like they are in Chicago and other places around southern Lake Michigan.

More of BEST BET and the rest of the report follows.

Let's start north and work around on the shoreline salmon.

KENOSHA, WIS.: The rain last week brought some into the Pike, including one 21-pounder upstream, according to Harborside. By Tuesday, the Pike was trickling again. With the next rain, the rush will come again.

WAUKEGAN: Lori Ralph at the Salmon Stop sent this Tuesday morning:

``Hello everybody, greetings from The Salmon Stop, Inc!! Here is a picture of Mikey B and his friend Mike with three kings they caught off the government pier this morning between 6 and 9 am. The guys we're casting spoons and throwing rattle traps. Bloody nose has been a great spoon color, along with glo in the dark spoons, alond with the rattle traps, darn near any color!! Mikey B also told me he saw many other guys catching fish this morning, hopefully I'll have more pics to send!!''

CHICAGO: Carl Vizzone said at least four had been taken Tuesday morning at Belmont and between 15 and 20 Monday night. Mike Repa at Park Bait said good salmon are being taken at the mouth of Montrose, the horseshoe and Belmont. Glow in the dark spoons have been best, but Repa said, ``Just throw anything.'' Repa said a couple of the salmon were real big ones. Steve Palmisano at Henry's said the salmon are just starting, but Montrose and Burnham have been best, but 63rd and DuSable will be good soon enough.

NORTHWEST INDIANA: Ed McCain of Mik-Lurch said even with 4-footers rolling Tuesday morning, salmon were being caught at Amoco from shore with Little Cleos.

ST. JOSEPH, MICH.: BJ Sports reported a few kings off the piers, but best is up the St. Joe for kings and skamania at the Berrien Springs dam with spawn, Rapalas and spoons.

CHICAGO SALMON DERBY: The fifth annual Mayor Daley's Salmon Classic is at Northerly Island on Sunday. There's lots of free parking and prizes. Registration begins at 5 p.m., fishing is 6-9 p.m. If you have questions, call Henry's at (312) 225-8538 or go to ``It looks like excellent timing,'' Palmisano said. ``Hopefully, it will be with a big bang.''


Primary source: Guide Mike Norton.

Go to, then click on fishing, then lake report.


Primary sources: Triangle Sports & Marine or Capt. Darrell Baker

Good: Baker texted me on Sunday, hoping I could get out to give an idea how good fishing is.

Otherwise, Triangle Triangle reports bluegill are No. 1, both on the Chain and lakes like Loon. Walleye are on the fall upswing, look for big fish to be taken until turnover; Marie or Petite are the best lakes. White bass are good on wind-blown shorelines on the main lakes. Crappie are fair, look for fish moving deeper (12 feet or so), small jigs and minnows on slip-bobber rigs. Muskie are starting to move, cooler water has triggered more of a day-long bite.

More Chain info at



Several readers have noted good action for largemouth of about a foot or so on the north end. That sounds like a good sign of the stocking program. Again, forecast of several cloudy/rainy days could make the Mazonia lakes a good pick. Last day of fishing is Oct. 14.


Last day of fishing is Oct. 15.


Fishing ends Oct. 7. Had several people ask about fishing here, haven't heard much.


Primary source: Guide Dave Duwe

Good: Duwe sent this:

``Delavan Lake 9/7/08 through 9/14/08
Well Labor Day weekend has come and gone. The pleasure boaters have been drastically reduced but there are still a lot of fishing boats. That's not a big surprise since Delavan is a great lake in the fall!
Northern Pike can either be caught trolling crank baits in the weeds or by fishing suckers just off the weed line. I've been using large bass crank baits such as the Fat Free Shad or the Wally Diver in the fire tiger pattern. I use 12 lb. Test so my lure can reach optimum depth. The best depth I've been fishing is 20-25 ft of water. My larger fish have come suspended 5-6 ft off bottom. The best location has been by the Village Supper Club or by Browns Channel.
Walleye fishing still remains on the slow side. I have been catching one here or there, but the pattern is still hard to determine. The water is too warm for the walleyes to be in their typical fall pattern. Hopefully if we get some cool weather soon the fish will turn on. The fish I've been catching have all been on nightcrawlers fished on a split shot right on the weed line.
Largemouth bass remains the best bite on the lake. They can either be caught around the boat docks or off the main lake weed points. Senkos or nightcrawlers have been producing all of my fish. You can catch an occasional bass on the northern suckers as well. The best location has been by Willow Point and by the Village Supper Club.
I am still catching some nice bluegills in the 18-20 ft range. I'm catching a lot in the 9-10 inch range. Small red worms or nightcrawler pieces are producing most of the action. I've been straight lining right beneath my anchored boat. The best location has been by the gray condos, Yacht Club point or in front of the launch by Lake Lawn Lodge.''



Army Corps reports ramps are cleaned and open.Lake remains some 5 feet above normal pool, lake is relatively clear and in the 80s. Crappie are mostly small. For more, call (217) 774-2020.


The latest fishing report is posted here. Boat rental are open weekends only now. Both close for the season on Sept. 21.


Primary sources: Kolar Bait and wading guide Ken Gortowski

Decent: Gortowski sent this (read to the end i would suggest).

``Didn't have time to get out this past weekend and with the water up, I probably wouldn't have bothered if I did have the time.

The river was coming down pretty quick, but todays rain is pushing it back up. I don't think it will take long to come back down, but not sure it will be normal for the coming weekend. Long term shows a pretty crappy weekend coming up. Was going to try for goose, now I don't know.

The few that seemed to have got out were catching a few smallies anyway the usual high water techniques.

On Saturday, the water had barely started coming down from it's high point, saw 2 guys sitting in their lawn chairs, fishing, from on top of the coffer dam in Yorkville.

It just doesn't get any dumber than that.

Where's Darwin when you need him.''


Primary source: Duwe

Improving: Duwe sent this: ``Lake Geneva 9/7/08 through 9/14/08
Some of the best fishing of the year

is fast approaching. Now that the Labor Day holiday has come and gone, the boat traffic is getting lighter by the minute and the best fishing is yet to come.
Perch fishing has been the most consistent bite. The perch are on hard sand bottoms with scattered weeds in 10-12 ft of water. The best bait is either small fat head minnows or nightcrawler pieces. I prefer using slip bobbers with a small hook. The best location has been by Rainbow Point and Belvidere Park. Some of the perch are in excess of 11 inches. This bite should continue as the water cools. I prefer anchoring just so the slip bobber can be positioned better.
Smallmouth bass have finally gone to the deep weed points and are again moving shallow. With the cooling water, by the end of September, they will again be in the 10-12 ft depth range. Right now, on the deep weed points, I'm finding them between 21 and 25 ft of water. I'm either drop shotting small plastic worms or using small yellow perch fished on a lindy rig.
Northern Pike fishing remains okay. The best depth has been 35-40 ft of water, lindy rigged suckers produces most of the fish. The best location has been by Fontana Beach or in the Narrows.
Walleye are still being caught at night. The best depth is 12-15 ft. Use large crank baits just above the weed line. The fish are suspended 6-7 ft down. The best location is by Abbey Springs or by Fontana Beach.
Bluegills are still being caught in the 12-18 ft depth range. They can be readily caught by drifting nightcrawlers on a split shot rig. The best location is by the Military Academy or by the Elgin Club.''


Primary source: Guide Buster Culjan or Cajun's Bait

Decent: Culjan said catfish have been good on Sonny's or shrimp with the spike in flow. There's some white bass near the dam on bladebaits, others are being taken up and down the river on crawlers, too. River is near normal. Waders continue to do well for smallmouth and catfish in the Vermilion.


Primary sources: Ed Mullady, ``Catfish'' Dave Bradigan

Good: River added some color with 3 inches of rain the day after Bradigan sent a note suggesting catfish would be a lot of less skittish with more water with more color. Ask and thou shalt receive.

Mullady sent this:

``The Kankakee has a little more water in it right now.
In Indiana, many are fishing the Point,north of English Lake for pike on *large minnows *catfish on *minnows *cheesebaits*crawlers.
Horseshoe Bend giving up bluegill, croppie.
In Illinois: Smallmouth Bass good throughout river on *minnows *Mepps Spinners #2,3 *Streamer flies *Chug Bugs. Rock Bass good at in-water logs, drifts, rocky bars.
Catfishing good, esp. in shallow waters in evening on *minnows *crawfish *helgramites.''


Primary source: Harborside Bait & Tackle and Capt. Bob Poteshman

Waiting: For shoreline salmon, see above. Harborside also noted that browns were stacked in the harbor during the rain day last week. Since browns have been sporadic.


Primary source: Rickard's and Ohio DNR

For Ohio DNR report go to and or call (888) HOOKFISH.


Starting: For shoreline salmon, see above.


Primary sources: Henry's Sports, Bait & Marine, Park Bait, Capt. Bill Kelly and Capt. Bob Poteshman

Kelly said some kings are being taken at the R4 in 80-110 and east of Burnham in 70-110 on Dodgers and flies. No shoreline perch. Mik-Lurch reported some perch at the red buoy outside the Cal wall.


Primary source: Poteshman

Poteshman said the early and late bite on the hill has been OK, otherwise it is go deep as 15-300 feet for a mixed bag of trout and salmon. ``The farther you go the better it gets,'' he said. ``That could change in heartbeat but that is how it is now. The spawners are hard to find now. We are not working the harbors yet, we are working out deeper. I think going deep is the plan, until things start straightening out.'' He had second hand reports of lakers on the reefs. He also added a key pice of advice: ``Go slow (2.0-2.1 knots0 for lakers, speed up (2.5-2.8) for salmon and steelhead.''


Primary source: D&S Bait at

Primary source: Guide Mike Mladenik

Improving: Mladenik sent this:

``This past week was the first time that I noticed big smallmouth starting to bunch up. Catch one and more are soon to follow. Plastics and crankbaits are catching the most fish. On Saturday morning we caught 2-19.5" and 2-19 inch fish in the same spot.

The best is yet to come!!!!!!!!!!''


Primary sources: Eagle River Sports, Pastika's and Minocqua guide Kurt Justice

Improved: Fall weather brings fall fishing patterns. Here's Justice's report:

``Action hasnt been hot all day long. But a good fall bite is developing. All species are responding well. Some slow times during high skies. But a full day on the water bringing nice catches.

Largemouth Bass--Very good. This species seems to be everywhere. Best in and along weed beds of 8-12'. 1/8oz jig with 4 inch worms best search technique. Senko worms fished wacky style and sweet beaver baits punched into pockets also effective. Good spinnerbait bite on warmer afternoons.

Walleye--Good. Style dependent on lake type. Fish outside weed edges with leech on crawlers along 12-16' edges on most lakes. Some lakes with classic gravel humps producing best on 1/8-1/4 oz jig tipped with large fatheads or 1/2 crawler. Redtails on Flowages.

Perch--Good. Wtch locator for stacks of fish outside 12-16' coontail edges. Look like walleyes. Verticle jig or slip-floats medium leeches or fatheads. Nice eaters of 8-10" on Minocqua Chain.

Crappies--Good. Relating to sparse weeds. Feeding on schools of bait fish up high in the water. Shake 1/32oz jig tipped with small minnows. Minocqua, Kawaga top lakes.

Musky--Good. Fish relating to weeds feeding on panfish. Twitch baits (Cranes, Big Game) #7 fluted bucktails best. Fish working edges. Expect strikes at weed breaks.

Samllmouth Bass--Good. Bigger fish on deeper humps. As deep as 40'. These fish feeding heavily on sculpins. Football jig with chomper spider grubs. Heavy tube jigs and drop shotting with 4" worms. 2 1/2- 3"power minnows.

Bluegill--Good. Deep water though. Search for schools of suspended fish along coontail edges. Nice fish of 7-9 plus taking 1/2 crawlers or medium leeches.

Northern Pike--Good. Not the numbers of years past but some nice fish of 26-30". This week. Jig and chub has accounted for most of the pkie. But #4 Mepps, spinnerbaits also productive.

Cold nights (38 this am) are dropping temps on lakes. After a high of 91 degrees tuesday. Surface temps hit 73 degrees. Now running 65-66 degrees on average. Good fall weather and the fish responding well.


Primary sources: Mik-Lurch Tackle Outlet, Capt. Chuck Weis and Capt. Ralph Steiger

Decent/waiting: See shoreline salmon above. Mik-Lurch there's some kings and coho moving into the creeks after the rain. Some perch at the red buoy outside the Cal wall. Capt. Mike Orr caught 10 2- and 3-year-old kings in 100 feet on Monday. McCain reported boaters casting had taken at least seven at the Hole in the Wall earlier this week. Moonshine Happy Meal or Dreamweaver spoons have been best. Willow Slough is steady for largemouth and bluegill.


Primary sources: BJ Sports and Michigan DNR

Variable: For shoreline salmon, see above. BJ Sports said the river remains low, so boaters should continue to use caution.


Primary sources: Lakeside and guide Jay Angel

Changing: Angel said water cooled to 70 degrees, crappie are in the deep trees. Vary depths to find fish. Some crappie moved shallower to the campground cribs. For more reports, click here.


Primary source: River's Edge

Decent: Botch at River's Edge had an interesting thought that the good fishing for largemouth bass might be related to the water leaving Lake Delton. Otherwise, he said fishing is good for smallmouth and improving for walleye.

Sturgeon season opened Saturday and runs only through Sept. 30. Remember, the minimum length upped to 60 inches. So far sturgeon have been slow with mainly small ones.






MICHIGAN DNR REPORT,1607,7-153-10364-34956--,00.html






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This page contains a single entry by Dale Bowman published on September 10, 2008 9:58 AM.

Fish of the Week 9-10-08: How big a smallmouth was the previous entry in this blog.

Wild Thursday special: Woolly worms is the next entry in this blog.

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