Fall trout starts Saturday. And it looks like perch are arriving in Indiana. And big lake trout are being caught on the reefs out of Waukegan.
Here's one of the biggest, a 24.5-pounder caught by Bostonian Derrick Higgins. Here's the story from Greg Urasky:
``Here is a picture of Derrick Higgins catch from lake michigan on Sunday 10/12 . Derrick from boston, mass caught this 24 1/2 lb. lake trout onboard Craig Marfia's "FISHERMAN" charters out of Waukegan harbor. Derrick was in town for a National Van Lines sales conference and stated he has never caught a good fish before , well lake michigan certainly changed that in a hurry.''
This is the extended online Midwest Fishing Report, which appears in the Sun-Times on Wednesdays. I try to have it posted by Wednesday morning.
If you have suggestions, post in the comments section or let me know at email@example.com.
ILLINOIS FALL TROUT
Fall trout opens Saturday Oct. 18 statewide. The daily bag is five. Those 16 and older need an inland trout stamp.
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. All other lakes stocked with trout are closed to trout fishing until the opener.
The complete listing for state stockings is at the bottom.
Primary sources: Kolar Bait and Henry's Sports, Bait & Marine
The big emphasis this weekend will be the trout opener (above), but otherwise crappie are doing well too. Mik-Lurch reports one of the better spots has been Monee Reservoir.
For an overview of nearby river conditions, go to this NWS site.
BIG GREEN LAKE, WISCONSIN
Primary source: Guide Mike Norton.
Go to www.biggreenlakefishing.com, then click on fishing, then lake report.
CHAIN O'LAKES AREA
Primary sources: Triangle Sports & Marine or Capt. Darrell Baker
I plan to be out tomorrow, barring thunderstorms and will have more.
Otherwise, Triangle said walleye are good on jigs and minnows around current areas. Crappie and white bass are good on minnows in 12-15 feet on Marie, Bluff and Pistakee. Bluegill are good on the south end of Pistakee. Muskie should improve with cooler weather. Crawlers are still taking catfish.
More Chain info at www.foxwaterway.state.il.us.
COOLING LAKES/STRIP PITS
Closed, except for Monster Lake in the south unit remains open for fishing year-round.
Last day of fishing is today, Oct. 15.
DELAVAN LAKE, WISCONSIN
Primary source: Guide Dave Duwe
``Fishing remains extremely tough on Delavan Lake. Instead of making a long drive to Delavan Lake I suggest trying Lake Geneva until Delavan completes its turnover.
The only consistent bite has been the bluegills. They are in deep water in 22-28 ft of water. They are off the weedline and the best presentation is anchoring and straight lining beneath the boat with ice jigs and leaf worms or wax worms. Look for the fish in front of Lake Lawn Lodge or in front of the gray condos.
The bass fishing is very spotty. I'm catching one here and there but not with great success. The fish I have caught have been on the weedline in about 15-18 ft of water. The best presentation has been nightcrawlers or fishing crankbaits along the weedline. Nothing has really been that effective due to the lake turning over. Most of my success is coming in the first couple hours of daylight.
Northern Pike fishing has been almost non-existent. I've dragged suckers around for about 8 hours with only 2 fish. The only fish I have been catching are on small fat head minnows fished on the weedline. These fish are in the 22-24 inch range. The best location has been west of the Village Supper Club or over by the island.
Walleyes have also been very spotty. I've been catching a couple every trip out with some legals being caught. The best approach has been nightcrawlers fished on a lindy rig in 20-28 ft of water. Some success has also been coming while jigging Rapalas straight beneath the boat. Chrome and Black or Chrome and Blue have been the best colors.''
For more, call (217) 774-2020.
Guide Jay Angel sent this:
``Last weekend I was on Evergreen Lake near Bloomington Illinois. This lake is famous for its crappie fishing. The best crappie fishing was found over the structure that was just offshore. Crappies were found in 6 - 18 feet of water and running between 6 and 11 inches long. Minnows and slip bobbers accounted for a majority of the catches.''
The latest fishing report from the site is posted here.
Boat fishing ends Friday, Oct. 17; bank fishing on Oct. 24. Bank fishing reopens on Dec. 24, the day after central zone waterfowl closes.
FOX RIVER: WESTERN SUBURBS
Primary sources: Kolar Bait and wading guide Ken Gortowski
``Reports on the sites were that people were having a tough time finding fish everywhere they went.
I was able to get out for a couple of hours on Sunday morning as the sun came up. Tough start, wandered to better looking water and caught around 15 to 20 smallies (lost count) and missed catching another 15 to 20 in about an hour. Really have to look for those current breaks. With water temperatures coming down, seems like they like to be right on the edges. But what do I know. The river is stuck between 1500 and 1700 cfs, which is a little high. I think they're lowering the chain, otherwise there's no reason for that. We'll see what the rain brings, but I don't see it getting lower in the next few days.''
GENEVA LAKE, WISCONSIN
Primary source: Duwe
``Fishing remains relatively good. This past week we had up and down temperatures and by the weekend it was 80 degrees. The fish remained in the deep water and ready to catch.
Smallmouth bass are in the deep hard bottom weed points in 20-25 ft of water. They are being caught by drop shotting 4 inch finesse worms or lindy rigging nightcrawlers. The best location is by Fontana Beach or by Linn Pier. Some of my bigger fish are still coming off of lindy rigged 3-5 inch yellow perch. Just for a refresher, I use a ¾ oz Lindy sinker, a #1 hook and a Abu Garcia 6500 with bait clicker. I straight line the perch beneath the boat.
Northern Pike are being caught trolling along the 12-15 ft weed line breaks. Some of the good locations are by Trinkes or in Williams Bay. Some of the best lures are large Rapalas or the deep diving Walleye Bandits. Chrome and Blue or Fire Tiger are producing most of the action.
Perch fishing remains awesome. The best depth is 8-10 ft. Look for the fish by Knollwood or by Belvidere Park. Most of the success is coming off of small fat head minnows or pieces of nightcrawlers. To get a good limit of fish you will need to sort a lot of fish.
Rock Bass and Bluegills have been very steady in the 12 ft range. They are biting on leaf worms fished with a single hook split shot or a slip bobber. The best location is Geneva Bay or by the Geneva Inn.
Lake Trout, as of September 30th, is closed until this winter.
ILLINOIS RIVER: STARVED ROCK AREA
Primary source: Guide Buster Culjan or Cajun's Bait
Cajun's reported the river is in good shape with white bass being taken around bridge piers and the drops by gravel bars. Sauger are being taken downstream by Hennepin and upstream at Ottawa. There's crappie around the I-39 piers and up the Vermilion.
Primary sources: Ed Mullady, ``Catfish'' Dave Bradigan
River is in wonderful fall fishing conditions.
``Croppie, bluegill good in Point Area, in Indiana esp. in ditches on *minnows *spinners*worms. Some walleye in quieter waters near bridges on *nightcrawlers *minnows.
Smallmouth Bass continue good in Illinois on *minnows *spinners *jigs near in water rocks, logs and creek mouths! Catfish good also on *chicken liver *crawfish *minnows.
Rock bass good throughout river on *minnows*crawlers *spinners *popping bugs *rubber spiders.''
Primary source: Harborside Bait & Tackle and Capt. Bob Poteshman
Harborside reported browns in the harbor on tube jigs with a few kings and steelhead in the Pike on spoons.
LAKE ERIE: PORT CLINTON
Primary source: Rickard's and Ohio DNR
For Ohio DNR report go to wildohio.com and or call (888) HOOKFISH.
Snagging for coho and chinook is permitted only at 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: Henry's Sports, Bait & Marine, Park Bait, Capt. Bill Kelly and Capt. Bob Poteshman
Salmon are jumping, but action is spotty. Park Bait reported 10 coho at Belmont on Monday, three kings on the horseshoe and two at Montrose harbor. Kelly reported fair action 60 degrees out of Diversey in 150 feet for 3-year-old kings; but the R4 is slow.
Primary source: Salmon Stop
Lakers and kings are going on the reefs. Kelly said Julian's continues to produce lakers. See Higgins's 24.5-pound laker at the top. Capt. Eddie Landmichl and Bruce Zolna caught kings and a big laker on South Reef Sunday.
Primary sources: Eagle River Sports, Pastika's and Minocqua guide Kurt Justice
``A shot of summer over the weekend slowed the overall bite a little, but good fishing was the rule.
Musky: Very good. Action good throughout the day till Friday/Saturday when mornings hot till about 10:30am. Twitch baits (Cranes) tops- gliders, jerks also working even fish on a bucktail, but it seems start/stop movement best. Suckers also hot on certain days, better when cooling temps come back. Lots of fish this week including a 47" Tiger from Lake Minocqua.
Smallmouth: Very good. Action best on minnows (suckers, chubs). Drift Lindy rigs over rock humps of 15-25'. Lake Tom, Katherine good choices. Nice fish to 18" reported.
Pike: Very good. Great action on 6-7" twitch baits (crane 206, 207). Nice eaters of 23-26" plus better fish (released) of 28-33" this week. Work weed tops of 6-12'.
Walleye: Fair to Improving. Go deep on lakes that offer good gravel/mud transitions of 20-40'. Large redtails, suckers on Lindy syle rigs. Lakes with less than 25' of water--hit the weeds with medium redtails on 1/16 oz weedless jigs.
Largemouth: Good. Fish tucked into weeds. Jig and pig, jig and worm combos pulling fish out of heavy cover of 6-14'. Try twitching x-raps/husky jerks on warmer days over weed tops.
Perch: Good. Nice eaters of 9-11" in weed flats (prefer cabbage) of 6-9'. Use 1/16oz jig on slip-float to work medium fatheads. Expect a few bonus walleyes in the mix.
Crappies: Fair-Good. Drowned wood, deep water cribs key to locating crappies. Verticle jig over cribs or slip-bobber. Good night action off piers near deep water.
Bluegills: Few reports.
Water temps hanging at low 50 degree mark. Most lakes have turned over. Colors peaking. Acorn crop heavy. Should continue to be a great week of Musky/Walleye as water temps stay in 50 degree range.''
Primary sources: Mik-Lurch Tackle Outlet, Capt. Chuck Weis and Capt. Ralph Steiger
Most interesting was Weis starting to find perch on Sunday, then taking limits on shoals off Inland on Monday. The question is what Tuesday's blow will do to the bite.
``I can't find pockets, they are spread out. It looks like fish are in the area. The fish came up cold, which is good. Pockets of bait started showing up Sunday and Monday. No big fish, biggest was probably 12 1/2. Last school was 10-11 inches, first schools 9-10. Mixed bag, some males and females.
``I covered a ton of water [over the weekend]. Drifting is the only way I could get them. Fatheads or baby raoches, it didn't matter with orange flies and later in day red hooks.''
Mik-Lurch said salmon are slowing, night bite is slightly better. There's plenty of kings, coho and steelhead in the creeks taking spinners or spawn.
Ed McCain at Mik-Lurch thought the lakers over Port of Indiana reef are probably two to three weeks away.
Boat fishing is closed at Willow Slough.
Primary source: Harborside Bait & Tackle and Wisconsin DNR
Staff at the weir said they expect to have the weir functioning by today, even with the low water levels. They need fish to collect eggs. There's plenty of fish in the river.
ST. JOSEPH AREA, MICHIGAN
Primary sources: BJ Sports and Michigan DNR
BJ Sports said the St. Joe, which is near normal, is holding good kings and some steelhead. Some kings are already up into Indiana. There's coho being caught in the Paw Paw.
Primary sources: Lakeside and guide Jay Angel
``Water temps are in the low 60's.
Crappie fishing is fair to good. Crappies are being caught over the fish cribs. Search the cribs that surround each of the land piers. The secret to success this time of the year is to use a lively minnow. You will have to continually change your minnow because they don't last for very long.
Perch are still being caught along the deeper weedlines. Use minnows near the bottom for best results.
Recently 102 muskies were rescued from the creek that drains out of Shabbona Lake. This means that some dedicated muskie hunters went down into the creek and removed muskies with large nets and then placed them back into the lake that they had escaped from. This means that there should be some fantastic muskie fishing in Shabbona this fall.''
For more reports, click here.
WOLF RIVER, WISCONSIN:
Primary source: Guide Bill Stoeger
Crappie are going with limit catches in old wood near deep water, the advice Stoeger gave and proved correct on Friday on an outing with myself and Zolna.
White bass are good too. On Monday, Stoeger said walleye started to be taken near Partridge Lake.
This is an exciting time to fish the Wolf
CHICAGO AREA CHAT/REPORTS
CHICAGO AREA INFO
MICHIGAN DNR REPORT
WISCONSIN DNR REPORT
IOWA DNR REPORT
INDIANA DNR REPORT
For Immediate Release October 2, 2008 Illinois Fall Trout Season Begins October 18 IDNR to stock trout at 37 locations SPRINGFIELD, IL - The 2008 Illinois fall trout fishing season opens on Saturday, Oct. 18 at 37 ponds and lakes throughout the state, Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) Acting Director Sam Flood announced today. "Our catchable trout program is a popular activity and the fall is a great time of year to go fishing in Illinois," Flood said. "Whether you are an experienced angler or you're just interested in getting the kids out of the house to have some fun, we encourage you to go fishing." More than 70,000 trout are stocked by the IDNR at the locations listed below just prior to the opening of the fall trout season. Anglers are reminded that no trout may be taken from any of the stocked sites from Oct. 1 until the fall trout season opens on Oct. 18 at 5 a.m. To take trout legally beginning Oct. 18, anglers must have a fishing license and an inland trout stamp, unless they are under the age of 16, blind or disabled, or are an Illinois resident on leave from active duty in the Armed Forces. The daily catch limit for each angler is five trout. Anglers are reminded to check the opening time of their favorite trout fishing location if they plan to go fishing on opening day. While regulations allow trout season to open at 5 a.m. on Oct. 18, not all locations will be open that early. For more information on fall trout season and other Illinois fishing opportunities, contact the IDNR Division of Fisheries at 217/782-6424, or check the web site at www.ifishillinois.org. Illinois fishing licenses and inland trout stamps are available at DNR Direct license and permit locations, including many bait shops, sporting goods stores and other retail outlets. Fishing licenses and trout stamps can also be purchased by using a credit card at DNR Direct online via the IDNR website here or by calling DNR Direct toll-free at 1-888-6PERMIT (1-888-673-7648). A new location being stocked with fall trout is Derby Lake located at the World Shooting and Recreational Complex near Sparta in Randolph County. For more information about site regulations, anglers should contact individual sites that will be stocked with catchable-size trout.
The 37 locations are:
Adams County: Siloam Springs State Park, 217/894-6205
Bond County: Greenville Old City Lake (Patriot's Park Lake), 618/664-2330
Bureau County: Hennepin Canal Parkway State Park, 815/454-2328
Christian County: Manners Park Pond in Taylorville, 217/824-3110
Coles County: Campus Pond at Eastern Illinois University, 217/345-2420
Cook County: Axehead Lake - Cook County Forest Preserve District, 847/294-4134
Cook County: Belleau Lake - Cook County Forest Preserve District, 847/294-4134
Crawford County: Crawford County Conservation Area Pond, 618/563-4405
Douglas County: Villa Grove West Lake, 217/443-0529
Jefferson County: Mount Vernon Game Farm Pond, 618/547-3610
Johnson County: Ferne Clyffe State Park, 618/995-2411
Kankakee County: Bird Park Quarry in Kankakee, 815/939-1311
Kendall County: Big Lake at Silver Springs State Park, 630/553-6297
Lake County: Banana Lake - Lake County Forest Preserve, 815/675-2319
Lake County: Sand Lake at Illinois Beach State Park, 847/662-4828
Macon County: Rock Springs Pond - Macon County Conservation District, 217/423-7708
Macoupin County: Beaver Dam Lake, 217/854-8020
Madison County: Highland Old City Lake, 618/651-1386
Marion County: Boston Pond at Stephen A. Forbes Park, 618/547-3381
Massac County: Fairgrounds Pond at Fort Massac State Park in Metropolis, 618/524-4712
McDonough County: Argyle Lake at Argyle Lake State Park, 309/776-3422
Randolph County: Randolph County State Fish and Wildlife Area Lake, 618/826-2706
Randolph County: Derby Lake at the World Shooting and Recreational Complex in Sparta, 618/295-2700
Rock Island County: Prospect Park Pond in Moline, 815/454-2759
St. Clair County: Frank Holten State Park Lake, 618/874-7920
St. Clair County: Jones Park Lake in East St. Louis, 618/847-7920
St. Clair County: Willow Lake at Peabody River King State Fish & Wildlife Area, 618/785-2555
Saline County: Jones Lake Trout Pond at Saline County State Fish & Wildlife Area, 618/276-4405
Sangamon County: IDOT Lake in Springfield, 309/543-3316
Sangamon County: Washington Park Pond in Springfield, 309/543-3316
Shelby County: Forest Park Lagoon in Shelbyville, 217/345-2420
Tazewell County: Mineral Springs Park Lagoon in Pekin, 309/968-7568
Vermilion County: Clear Lake at Kickapoo State Park, 217/442-4915
Wabash County: Beall Woods Lake at Beall Woods State Park, 618/298-2442
Warren County: Citizen's Lake in Monmouth, 309/344-2617
Wayne County: Sam Dale Trout Pond at Sam Dale Lake Conservation Area, 618/835-2292
Whiteside County: Coleta Trout Pond just west of Coleta, 815/454-2759