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Midwest Fishing Report: Chicago perch leads

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Chicago lakefront perch again lead the Midwest Fishing Report.

This is the extended online version of the MFR, which appears in the Sun-Times on Wednesdays. Normally, I post the online MFR by Wednesday morning.

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

To lakefront perch.


Weather is the limiting factor, otherwise, perch are here.

CHICAGO: Mike Repa at Park Bait said limits are coming on minnows and soft shells (best) at Montrose south rocks and horseshoe. Steve Palmisano at Henry's agreed that crawfish are working ``a bit better.'' He said Cal Park and Jackson Park are improving. He also said fishermen should remember the perch will continue to bite even through our recent string of stormy weather. A good illustration of that was Tom Harris' Fish of the Week. Mik-Lurch reported good catches in the weed beds at Burnham on certain days. ``Jumbo Jimmy'' Baczek continues to lead the privately-funded Richard J. Daley Memorial Fishing Tournament for June with a 1 pound, 9 1/4-ounce perch caught around Burnham.

Palmisano also had a good reminder, considering the lateness of the perch arrival, ``Don't forget, these fish will bite in July. Get those kids out for their 10-fish limit.'' Those 15 and younger may fish for perch during the July closure on Lake Michigan and may catch a daily bag of 10.

PERCH DERBY: Palmisano said conditions look perfect for the fifth annual Northerly Island Perch Derby on Saturday. It's free with medals and prizes. Fishing is 5-9 a.m., registration begins at 4:30 a.m. Call (312) 225-8538 or go to Henry's will open at 4 a.m. for those seeking bait.

WAUKEGAN: Weather has limited boating effort.

INDIANA STATELINE: Mik-Lurch reported an improving bite in the weed beds of Cal Park with some (quality but no numbers) up the river. The weed beds inside Hammond Marina have been best, another good spot is the gap at Cal Park. ``I think it will go [graphically wild] by the weekend,'' Mike Starcevich said.


Bluegill are bedding on many waters, otherwise, the top bite is largemouth on topwaters, especially frogs, early and late.


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

Individual river reports are below.


For guide Mike Norton's report, go to, then click on fishing, then lake report.


Bullfrog season runs through Aug. 31. Here's the details from the IDNR regs:

A sport fishing license is required to take bullfrogs. Bullfrogs may be taken by hand, pole and line fishing methods, pitchfork, landing net, bow and arrow or bow and arrow device, spear or gig. Firearms, air guns, gas guns or commercial fishing devices such as dip nets, hoop nets, traps or seines are not allowed in the taking of bullfrogs. Bullfrogs may be taken from June 15 to August 31 (both days inclusive). The daily limit is 8 bullfrogs with 16 bullfrogs being the possession limit.


Triangle reports bluegill are the top bite shallow. Walleye remain good around bridge or other current areas with leeches or crawlers. Muskie are fair in 8-12 feet. Catfish are fair on stinkbait or crawlers; Grass, Petite and Marie are best. White bass are fair.

For more reports, see

More Chain info at

McHENRY LOCK: Because of funding issues, the IDNR will have the Stratton lock closed on Mondays and Tuesdays (with the exception of holidays). Hours of operation on Wednesdays and Sundays will be from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. The lock will be open from 10 a.m. to midnight on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. Holiday hours will be from 10 a.m. to midnight.


LaSALLE: Pete Riedesel reported a tough bite but some quality.

BRAIDWOOD/MAZONIA: Staff reported 85 degrees north at Braidwood, 92 south and low 70s at Mazonia. Close time is 8:30 p.m. Mazonia lakes would still rank high on my list of go-tos for this week and weekend.

HEIDECKE: Bill Anderson sent this:

The water temp was up to 74 in spots assuming the gauge was correct. Water
lever was still high. I fished with Jim Lukancic from his boat today and we
caught a mixed bag of Crappie, White Bass, Stripers, and Walleye. No monster
fish this trip but it was an awesome day to be out there. We found a snake
you wouldn't want to mess with and it wasn't one of the many Northern Water
Snakes that are plentiful around the lake. Looking at the triangular shape
of the head I'd guess it was poisonous but I'm no expert.


Also would put Heidecke high on my go-to list for this week and weekend.


DELAVAN: Geneva Lake Bait & Tackle reported bluegill were shallow last week, but the bite got tougher for good ones. Trout worms and hellgrammites are making the difference for those catching big ones (to 9 inches); and there's some big largemouth on crawlers and accidental catches by walleye fishermen. Big suckers are taking some legal pike in 10-25 feet.

GENEVA: Largemouth and smallmouth are on fire; best on crawlers or leeches and a split shot or sight fishing for schools on surface, then casting a Pop-R (presentation may vary by the day). Rock bass are all over and there's lots of smaller perch.


From Andrew Ragas, Counselor of the Fish Parliament

Fishing on the DesPlaines River for Pike and even Walleyes has been good in the recent week. Pike up to 32-inches (skinny, but long) have been reported throughout the system, especially in the southwest suburbs, and a few Walleyes up to 25-inches have been seen as well.

Best bets for Pike are throwing crankbaits and minnowbaits in areas with hard bottom near current and also in the wood. Spinners and blades also working equally well from mid-river and shoreline areas with weeds. Some anglers also drifting minnows under float are seeing action from smaller fish. Creek mouths are worthy of a try too.

I've been reading about some recent issues on some area websites regarding the quality of care and handling these fish are receiving, especially when catch and release is trying to be done. If you like to catch these impressive fishes from our backyard, and want to avoid the criticisms and negative feedback from some harsh individuals who allegedly see these fish as being manhandled, consider investing in a set of jaw spreaders, hook-cutters, long needle-nose pliers, and even a set of handling gloves. Give it a try as these tools will minimize any damages being done during the hook removal and release process.

Nothing much about Walleyes and Sauger other than some have been present along with the Pike - hitting minnowbaits. With the water temperatures encroaching to 70-degrees, it's about time to start night-fishing.

Other species are also making a few waves on the river as well. Longnose Gar. They put up a hell of a fight and are being seen along with the Pike near the southern sections of the river closer to the tri-river area. Anglers such as good pal, Dan Sims, are reporting that these strong fighters, underrated predators, and impressive fish, some seen up to 40-inches and larger, have been hitting crankbaits, spinnerbaits, and if you want to get creative; nylon rope lures. Want to try something new, this may be your chance.

At the moment, water levels are at a good flow rate for wading but if more rain comes through at some point within the weekend, consider fishing the traditional high-water areas you are accustomed to - a strong possibility.

As for the creeks and smaller tributaries, few too little reports have been coming in.

If this rain doesn't effect the river much during the upcoming days, it will be the better option rather than the smaller water.


SPRING: Frog lures are producing some bass, according to Riedesel.

EMIQUON: Emiquon Preserve near Lewistown is open to fishing. Interested parties may request a permit and list of rules between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. at the Dickson Mounds Museum in Lewistown. There is no fee. No gas powered motors are permitted, and bank fishing is not allowed. For more, call (309) 547-2730.

SHELBYVILLE: For more, call (217) 774-2020.

EVERGREEN: Saugeye are the top bite. The fishing report is posted here.

HENNEPIN-HOPPER: Site is open to public fishing on Fridays and Saturdays.

POWERTON: Summer hours are 6 a.m.-8p.m.


Catfishing time is here. Otherwise fast high water pushed Ken Gortowski to the edge, well, more like up a creek: ``short outline kind of report.
The dark and gloomy one in my head might have to wait.

[For his report, go to]''

Check latest on conditions at Fox Waterway Agency


Catfishing time is the prime target. Sauger tournament reports from Bob Kidd indicate decent catches of smaller sauger and walleye:

Saturday 6/13/09
The Illinois Walleye Trail held its 4th tournament of the 2009 season on Saturday June 13, 2009 in Spring Valley Illinois. The father and son team of Tom Giachetto Sr. and Tom Giachetto Jr. from Ladd Illinois won with a 6 fish limit scaling 10.65 pounds. They not only won the $1300.00 tournament money but also Compliments of Lund Boats Grassroots Program and the Lund Owners Contingency Program the team received the Lund Owners $500.00 Loyalty Prize. They were the highest placing Lund Boat owner in the money.

Placing second from Joliet was another father son team of Steve Skupien and Brian Skupien with 10.14 pounds earning $750.00. Third place honors went to Max Actis and Mike Stuckert from Spring Valley with 9.14 pounds and $500.00. Big fish honors went to the team of Billy Walsh and Mike Shew from Ottawa with a 2.98 Sauger worth $170.00. Compliments of EZEE Steps the $100.00 Loyalty check went to Steve Sandor and Adam Sandor as the first boat with a set of EZEE steps out of the money. Hennepin Marine Loyalty certificate for $100.00 went to Cliff and Leslie Banks Spring Valley as the first Lund Boat out of the money. Complete results can be found at or The Illinois Walleye Trail is a recognized circuit for the Cabela's National Championship and the Anglers in Motion circuit. We would like to recognize all of our fine sponsors for another very successful year, Hennepin Marine, Lund Boats, Mercury Marine, and EZEE Steps. Our 2010 schedule will begin in October 2009 stay tuned to the web site for schedule.

Sunday 6/14/09
On Sunday June 14, 2009 the Illinois Walleye Trail held the its State Championship in Spring Valley Illinois. The father and son team from Ottawa Steve Sandor and Adam Sandor captured first place with a 6 fish limit weighing 10.31 pounds earning them $1,350.00. Compliments of Ezee Steps they also won a new set of Ezee steps for the boat. Placing second was Dave Kleszyk and Kevin Cartenson from Wisconsin with a limit of fish scaling 9.74 pounds for $850.00 and also big fish honors with a 2.47 for an additional $200.00. Placing third was Bob Jones and Scott Anzulas with a limit scaling 8.00 for $500.00. Bob and Scott being the first Lund Boat owner in the standing also received from Lund Boats Grassroots Program and the Lund Owners Contingency Program the team received the Lund Owners $500.00 Loyalty Prize. They were the highest placing Lund Boat owner in the money. Compliments of Hennepin Marine Max Actis and Mike Stuckert received the 100.00 gift certificate as the first Lund Out of the money Loyality bonus. Complete results can be found at or The Illinois Walleye Trail is a recognized circuit for the Cabelas National Championship and the Anglers in Motion circuit. We would like to recognize all of our fine sponsors for another very successful year, Hennepin Marine, Lund Boats, Mercury Marine, and EZEE Steps. Our 2010 schedule will begin in October 2009 stay tuned to the web site for schedule.


Again catfishing leads the way.

Norm Minas sent this:

Smallies on waterwillow, catfish still going strong.
Bill Buchhaas sent this:
Last Wed 's rain down near Manteno did nothing for the 3K river.... VERY high , muddy with floating debris...Will take a while til it comes back down to manageable level... Rock Creek also a raging stream......
Ed Mullady reported this:
INDIANA:: At the Point, north of English Lake, Greenwood Bait reports god catches of bigger bluegill, croppie, catfish, walleye and even good sized sunfish are being caught!

Black Oak Bayou, LaSalle F&W Area good for bigger bluegill and fair for largemouth bas.

ILLINOIS: Mike Lee, Frank's Bait, Momence, reports catfishing very good on Bloodbait,
crawlers. Kankakee River Trading Post, State Park, tells about good catfish on *shrimp *minnows *crawlers, Rock bass good on *minnows,* small leeches .Smallmouth Bass good on Spinner Baits, minnows.
Dana at Angelo's in Wilmington, IL reported some really big catfish hitting. in this part of the Kankakee River. Smallmouth Bass, rock bass good!


Check the latest at Harborside.


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


For perch, see top.

CHICAGO: Capt. Bill Kelly reported slim pickin's in all the hot spots and zones, though a few more lakers out deep.

WAUKEGAN: Salmon Stop reported spotty salmon out of Great Lakes and out from the power plant.

RICHARD J. DALEY MEMORIAL FISHING TOURNAMENT: In June, the privately-funded derby blows open with carp, catfish, coho, chinook and steelhead eligible. Fish may be weighed at Henry's, Park Bait or Vet's.


The $10 parking passes for the small fishermen's lots at Burnham and DuSable harbors are available at Henry's.


For D&S Bait, go to


Guide Kurt Justice of Island Sports sent this:

Finally a little nice weather, maybe too nice, but we will take it. With the sun out and wind down, surface temps creeping up with many lakes having reading of 60-63 degrees, lets hope it will keep rising a bit more.

Largemouth Bass: Good. Action a bit slower with recent high pressure, but plastics prevailing for tighter lipped fish. Yum dingers and Senkos producing, some LMB bedding taking tubes, chompers. A little bit of evening surface action. Nice fish of 16-19" reported.

Bluegills: Good. Mornings slow, but afternoons picking up. Fish thunderbugs, small leeches below small floats. Popper bite waiting till water warms, but a few bug hatches helping spur on surface bite.

Smallmouth Bass: Good. Tube jigs, Gulp Alive leeches scoring well. One angler reported 20 SMB one evening all on surface lures (Chug Bugs, ect.). Big leeches also taking nice bass to 20" along rocky points. X-Raps also effective.

Perch: Fair. Water needs to warm. Use thunder bugs on #6 light wire hook in 6-8' weeds. Medium fats and medium leeches also catching eaters of 7-9".

Pike: Good to Fair. Started out hot at beginning of week, but door slammed shut when high pressure moved in.

Musky: Fair. Best on twitch baits towards evening. As water warms watch for action to pick up.

Crappie: Fair. A few nice fish to 13", but bite inconsistent.

Walleye: Poor-Fair. A few anglers scoring deep (24-40') for big fish (to 28") on crawlers. Trollers on flowages only other decent report.

Beautiful weather, but action overall down. Warming temps will get things started as minnows, insects and young of year move into shallows followed by predator fish. Only fishing that may not peak could be walleye, waiting for mayfly hatch to come. Last years hatch was late, not until early July, hope this years is not so late.


For perch, see top. Mik-Lurch reported decent coho 2 1/2 miles northeast of the Gong, best on meat rigs; with a few kings showing up. Bluegill are variable at Willow Slough, key is crickets.

Indiana steelheader Lee Sczepanski sent this:

But the summer run Steelies has started and there were tons of fish off the pier in Michigan City Saturday it slowed down since but the water is 59 degrees and on the charter I work on (pair-a-dice charters) fishing has been great all spring but the $ is tight so not many people have been booking trips. Smallies have been awesome too (god bless them gobies) Have a great day


OREGON: Jan Prose at TJ's Bait/Tackle & Canoe Rental sent this:

The river is at a decent level now. Most catfish being caught on dip bait, night crawlers and shrimp. Some crappie and stripped bass on a jig and minnow. They are picking up a few flat head here and there. A 30 pound and a few 15 pounders caught on suckers and goldfish.


BJ Sports reported a few perch north of the piers in 60 feet and a few skamania in 30-50 feet. Catfish, walleye and smallmouth are good in the river. Bluegills are bedding on local lakes.


Guide Jay Angel sent this:

I am sure by now you have heard that the there have been some huge walleyes caught at Shabbona Lake last weekend.

There was an 8 pounder and a couple of 4's. they were caught in the deep trees using slip bobbers and leeches.

Hearing this I had to do some investigating to see if it was true. It was true. I went out to my favorite walleye spot in the trees and caught a nice 16 incher on my first cast. We didn't catch any big ones, only 16 - 18 inchers, but the walleyes are beginning to move.

I would describe walleye fishing as fair but improving.

Crappie fishing is also fair. Last weekends cold fronts really slowed fishing. Crappies were still on the deeper cribs and brush piles, but they moved down the water column to suspend just off the bottom.

Bass fishing was slow with a few being picked up along the weedlines and in the slop.

EVENT: Saturday is the bass open (heaviest single legal bass). Go to or call (815) 824-2581

For more reports, click here.


There's good catches of keeper walleye, Mik-Lurch reported. Remember to keep stuffing the donation jars for the walleye stockings.



Fishing Headquarters



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 June 17, 2009 10:15 AM.

Illinois blind draws: Details was the previous entry in this blog.

Chicago perch: A ray of hope is the next entry in this blog.

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