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Another big lakefront walleye tops Midwest Fishing Report 10-1-08

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This is the extended online Midwest Fishing Report, which appears in the Sun-Times on Wednesdays. Normally, I will try to have the MFR posted by Wednesday morning.

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


It's fall, the big story remains lakefront salmon.

Well, slight adjustment, the big story is yet another big walleye, at least the third in the last year, caught by a salmon fisherman Monday.


Here's the story from John Lazarich, who took the photo:

``Dale, this 5.8lb walleye was caught 9-29-08 in DuSable around 8:30 p.m. Glen Rolseth was throwing a frenzy in pursuit of a King Salmon when he hooked up this beauty. I thought you might be interested if there are walleye being caught around the lake front. My name is John Lazarich, I was also fishing for salmon and always have my camera with me and I was able to get some photos of this healthy fish.''

Complete fishing report is below.


Snagging season for coho and chinook opens on Lake Michigan in Illinois today, Oct. 1. The only legal areas are Waukegan's north harbor basin, Winnetka power plant discharge area, Lincoln Park lagoon from Fullerton bridge south and Jackson Park's inner and outer harbors. No snagging is permitted within 200 feet of a moored boat or where otherwise posted.


Primary sources: Kolar Bait and Henry's Sports, Bait & Marine

TROUT NOTE: Fall trout opens Oct. 18 statewide. In Cook, Axehead, Belleau and Horsetail will be stocked. In DuPage, Silver, Deep Quarry and Grove will be stocked. The three DuPage lakes will be closed to all fishing from today until trout opens.


For an overview of nearby river conditions, go to this NWS site.


Primary source: Guide Mike Norton.

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


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

Triangle said walleye remain the best bet, look in current areas, such as bottlenecks of the bridges, and use large fatheads or crawlers. White bass remain good on Petite, Marie, Bluff and Pistakee on small spinners, work wind-blown shorelines. For largemouth, focus on shorelines with spinner baits or jigs. Muskie are consistent on bucktails, glidebaits or jerkbaits around main lake points; others being taken near current areas. Crappie are good, moving into channel areas, try small jigs tipped with small fatheads or spikes. Bluegill (some good ones) remain good around weed areas in 6-9 feet on small ice jigs tipped with waxies or spikes. Catfish are fair, focus on crawlers.

More Chain info at



Closing time is 6:30 p.m. until the last day of fishing on Oct. 14. Monster Lake in the south unit remains open for fishing year-round. Braidwood reopens March 1.


Last day of fishing is Oct. 15. In October, the lake is open to fishing Wednesday through Sunday only. On Friday, friend and fisherman Jeff ``Woody'' Roberts reported very warm water, even into the upper 80s at the launch, and fair fishing.


Fishing ends Oct. 7.


Primary source: Guide Dave Duwe

From Duwe:

``We had a week of warm, consistent weather that produced some great fishing opportunities. The upcoming week is forecasted to be much cooler so that may change some of the methods but I would suspect that the fishing will remain good overall.
Northern Pike fishing was really good all week, except for Sunday when the cold front moved in. They have again been off the weedline in 20-25 ft of water. I've found that the larger the sucker the better. I've been lindy rigging 8 inch suckers. The best location is by the gray condos or by Willow Point. 30% of the fish have been legal. Once the weather stabilizes, the pike will bite up to turnover and then go on a feeding frenzy until ice up. Turnover is approximately 3 weeks away depending on the weather.
The walleye have been sporadic. The most success has come while trolling deep diving crankbaits in 22-25 ft of water or by lindy rigging nightcrawlers on the weedline. The best colors for the crankbaits are fire tiger or pearl. I've been catching about one out of five fish that are legal. The best location has been by the Village point and the Oriental boat house.
Bluegills are in the 12-15 ft depth range. They are not as easy to catch as they were in the past few weeks. However, with a little perseverance a limit is possible. The best bait is leaf worms straight lined beneath the boat or on slip bobbers. Good success is coming from the Browns Channel area or west of Willow Point on the flat.
Largemouth bass that I'm fishing for are coming off the deep weedline. I'm moving around a lot. There is no rhyme or reason as to their location. I just move down the weedline fishing nightcrawlers on a split shot rig. The best location seems to be from the Village Point down to the Oriental boat house. Once the water cools to about 60 degrees, I will switch from nightcrawlers to fathead minnows.''



For more, call (217) 774-2020.


The latest fishing report is posted here. Boat rental is open weekends only now. Bowfishing is closed today, Oct. 1, through Jan. 18.


Boat fishing ends Oct. 17; bank fishing on Oct. 24. Bank fishing reopens on Dec. 24, the day after central zone waterfowl closes.


Primary sources: Kolar Bait and wading guide Ken Gortowski

From Gortowski:

``Reliable sources were catching numbers the same way I was a couple of weeks ago. Smallies schooled up on edges of slack water behind obstructions.

The river came up a bit and is right now at 1430 cfs. Should be pretty much normal by the weekend. It's minnow time, so for now minnow plastic look alikes. Come November, use the real thing.

Expecting to get out Saturday morning. Haven't fished the Batavia/Les Arends area in quite some time. Or maybe Indian Trail Road. Both good hot spots this time of year. Don't mind if you print that. Nobody will go.

Maybe a creek with a fly rod and just have a blast catching all the little fish that seem to hang out there this time of year.''


Primary source: Duwe

From Duwe:

``Fishing has been outstanding. Due to good fishing the fishing pressure at the boat ramps has been pretty excessive for this time of year. The past few weekends there were some small bass tournaments and it was hard to get a parking space at the Williams Bay launch.
The yellow perch are everywhere in 12-16 ft of water. You need to sort through a lot of the small ones to catch quality fish, however you can use the small ones as bait for the bass. The best presentation is a leaf worms or a small piece of nightcrawler. I've been straight lining with a single hook and a split shot beneath the boat for the maximum success. You could try slip bobbering with small minnows, that may actually produce some bigger fish.
Smallmouth bass fishing has been great. It's probably a month later than normal but the bass are finally schooled up on the deep weed points in 25-35 ft of water. This is my favorite time to fish for both size and numbers. I've been averaging at least 3 fish over 18 inches every trip out. I have been lindy rigging small yellow perch or lindy rigging nightcrawlers. I use a 1/8 oz walking sinker and a 24 inch leader. Good locations are by Knollwood and by the Military Academy.
Northern Pike are off the thermocline and again cruising the shallow weedlines. The best location is by Linn Pier or by Trinkes Bay. Most of the success is coming off of large white spinner baits or by trolling crankbaits like the Bandit Shallow Walleye. Fire tiger has been producing most of the success.
Rock bass and bluegills are again in the 12-14 ft depth range. They can be caught on nightcrawlers fished on a split shot rig. Some of the best success has been by the Military Academy and by Knollwood. Some of the sunfish I caught last week were in excess of 10 inches.
Lake Trout are still biting however the season closes 9/30/08. Again the main lake basin at first light is the best. The Fish are suspended 60 ft down in 100 ft of water. Blue/Green or Blue/nickel spoons are the best bait choices.
There are some walleyes being caught at night trolling large crankbaits. Most of the success is coming off of large Rapalas or deep diving Walleye Bandits. Chrome/Blue or Chrome/black are the best choices. Try for the fish in Williams Bay or Trinkes Bay.''


Primary source: Guide Buster Culjan or Cajun's Bait

The river fell below flood stage at LaSalle on Monday. The Spring Valley launch is open. Launch should be open at Starved Rock by Friday (no docks). River is cleaning up and fishing should be going good by the weekend, Cajun's said.


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

River is clearing and receding nicely.

From Mullady:

``Things on the Kankakee are improving!
In Indiana, croppie and bluegill are being caught around mouths of ditches and brushpiles in main river on *small Beetle Spin *rubber spiders *minnows*redworms. Largemouth Bass on *imitation frogs *plastic worms *Chug Bug in both IN and IL.
Illinois:*Smallmouth Bass good around *Momence Island Park*.Ryans Pier, Aroma Park through River Road Park *Kankakee River State Park on *sluggos *Crankbaits *minnows*crawfish.. Catfish good throughout river on *cheesebait *minnows*chicken liver.
Wilmington Area good for *smallmouth bass *rock bass*catfish.''


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

If rains come, it should really kick in the fishing, even so, Harborside reports decent action. Fishermen are keeping the mouth of the Pike open and catching salmon. in the harbor, browns, rainbows, kings and coho are being taken. The presentations are spawn, spoons (florescent and gold has been hot), crankbaits (ThunderSticks, glow jointed Rebels) and Oslo spinners.


Primary source: Rickard's and Ohio DNR

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



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

Tuesday morning was very good for shore fishermen taking salmon at Belmont, Montrose was spottier. That's the way it's been, variable. Spotty small perch in the harbors. Kelly reported trollers taking a mixed bag in 80-115 feet east of the wreck and the same depth near the R4.


Primary source: Salmon Stop

Kelly said Julian's reef has been hot for rainbows and lakers on silver Dodgers with green crinkle or white Howie flies. Salmon Stop reported decent salmon action with glow spoons, scrimp or spawn off the piers; trout are just beginning to show. Trollers are taking some fall kings shallow, otherwise it is a deep bite. Some perch (take sorting) in 40-60 feet from Great Lakes to Lake Forest.


Primary source: D&S Bait at

D&S Bait said good bluegill remain good suspended on Waubesa, some muskie on Monona.


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

From Justice:

``Fall patterns stalled a bit, good fishing, but will be better with drop in water temps this coming week.

Musky: Good, improving. This bite hasn't seen it's peak yet. Surface lures on overcast days up in 4-8' of water (till turnover). Twitch baits, bucktails, gliders also working over weed beds. Sucker bite picking back up after slow mid-week. The best sucker bite yet to come.

Crappies: Good. Strong year classes seem to be making for very good action on Little Arb, Minocqua, Willow Flowage. Medium fatheads, 2" twister tails. Be selective, release fish under 10" so we'll have fish over 10" next year. Night bite good off docks.

Pike: Good. Nice pike to mid 30" range. Try 6-7" twitch baits, #12 or #14 Husky Jerks, Pike chubs or suckers, #4-#5 Mepps. Many of the best pike caught by musky anglers.

Walleye: Fair-good. Depending on day. Fish move onto weed edges, top of rock piles on cloudy days, out to mud flats during high skies. Redtailed chubs best bait for nicer fish. 18-27" depths, deeper with sun.

Smallmouth: Good. A hot bite developing along fairly shallow weeds. Anglers jigging/rigging medium sucker minnows reporting fast action. Work deep weed edges of 14-17" with chubs if shallow weeds not working.

Largemouth: Good. Few anglers pursuing bass. Active fish chasing spinnerbaits, #3 Mepps, Chatterbaits. Fast bite will slow after turnover, but fish will still take plastics well then.

Perch: Fair. A few scattered reports from Flowages, Minocqua Chain. Medium fatheads best.

Bluegills: Few reports.

With highs in mid to high 50's mid-week, watch for lake temps that have been averaging 61-63 degrees to drop into the mid 50's -- turnover time. Be prepared to trailer to stay on good water. Next 2-3 weeks best for musky action, get your quick set rigs ready.''


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

Weis reported drifting with minnows is taking some perch on the shoals and the East Chicago bay. Mik-Lurch reported decent but variable catches of kings on Frenzies or glow Krocs at the Hole in the Wall and Amoco. With cooler water, walleye bite should pick up at Wolf Lake.


Primary sources: BJ Sports and Michigan DNR

BJ Sports reported some kings and coho with a few steelhead at Berrien Springs and a few kings and coho off the piers. The river is near normal. There were some perch off the piers.


Primary sources: Lakeside and guide Jay Angel

Lakeside said some nice muskie caught and released on Tuesday. Still some big catfish. Perch were good bite over hte weekend, focus on weed lines on the east or southwest bays.

For more reports, click here.


Primary source: Guide Bill Stoeger

Stoeger said crappie are starting in the river around brush and there's been some decent white bass action around the Rat and near Poygan.






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






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Was it released?

Trying to find out

Glad to see the stockings are finally paying off


Goby Reduction Patrol


Kept, according to John.

As much as I would prefer the fish was released, I can't fault a fisherman for keeping what is in essence a fish of a lifetime, a Chicago lakefront walleye.

We need to work for the day when a lakefront walleye is as common as the fish of the day.

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This page contains a single entry by Dale Bowman published on October 1, 2008 5:54 AM.

Fish of the Week 10-01-08 was the previous entry in this blog.

Second post-season stray cast 10-1-08 (Brother bucks) is the next entry in this blog.

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