As might be expected in late June, lakefront perch headlines the Midwest Fishing Report. And so does the start of the venerable Kankakee River Fishing Derby.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
We begin with lakefront perch.
CHICAGO: Both boaters and shore fishermen report good action. Montrose has been best. Park Bait reported fish all over on the outside of Montrose, perch were taking both soft shells and minnows. Diversey, Belmont, Northerly Island, 39th, Casino Pier and 95th have action, too. It seems they still haven't poured into the harbors with authority yet. Capt. Bob Poteshman of Confusion Charters reported good catches by boaters off Navy Pier on Monday. For one effective technique, click here to read how ``Jumbo Jimmy'' Baczek does it.
WAUKEGAN: Salmon Stop reported some perch showed up off the piers on Friday, being caught mainly on minnows. Boat fishing has been spotty, they need to come shallower and search more.
INDIANA STATELINE: Several readers reported good action in Cal Park. Mik-Lurch described it as ``perch exploded at the Cal Park weed beds.'' Spinners and soft shells are taking the biggest ones. Slip bobbers and minnows will also take fish. Both shore and boat fishermen are taking limits at Pastrick.
SEASON: In Illinois, the season is closed in July for those 16 and older. Those 15 and younger have a reduced daily bag of 10. By all means this looks like a year to embrace July for taking the kids perch fishing.
KANKAKEE RIVER VALLEY DERBY
The 26th annual Kankakee River Fishing Derby is Friday through July 5. River should be in good shape for it. Go to kankakeefishingderby.com for all the information.
We are finally in summer. And this can be an exciting time to fish local retention and farm ponds. It's topwaters, especially frogs and rats early and late in the vegetation, or plastic worms, Senkos, etc. on weed lines otherwise for bass. Bluegill are seeking cover around the weed lines or drowned wood.
For an overview of nearby river conditions, go to this NWS site. I've included individual river reports, but many of the northern tier ones are restricted by high water. The Kankakee is the exception, and wadeable in some areas.
BIG GREEN LAKE, WISCONSIN
For guide Mike Norton's report, go to
www.nortonsfishingandhuntingadventures.com, 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.
CHAIN O'LAKES AREA
The Chain and upper river are at no-wake, the lower river is closed to boating. I will post changes when announced or check at the Fox Waterway Agency
Otherwise, bluegill are good shallow, reported Triangle. Catfish are good on crawlers. Walleye are excellent around bridge areas, leeches or crawlers are best. Muskie are excellent on topwaters or jerkbaits.
For more reports, see http://www.foxlakefishing.com/
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.
COOLING LAKES/STRIP PITS
LaSALLE: Pete Riedesel reported the beginnings of a fish kill Tuesday morning. No more details yet. A photo and note is posted here.
BRAIDWOOD/MAZONIA: Braidwood is very hot, even into the 90s on the north end. Mazonia lakes have reached the 80s. Staff reported no signs of a fish kill on Tuesday.
HEIDECKE: Action has been spotty.
DELAVAN LAKE, WISCONSIN
Arden Katz reported good crappie on 1/16th-ounce jigs with white twistertails in 10-11 feet. Key is using your Polaroid sunglasses to look down to find the cabbage, then working across the top. He also had good pike while crappie fishing. Bass are decent around docks.
DES PLAINES RIVER
From Andrew Ragas, Counselor of the Fish Parliament www.fishing-headquarters.com:
Fishing was good at the river before the weekend storms came. Northern Pike and 20-inch Walleyes were hitting jerkbaits from deeper areas with current, and even Catfish too.
Now with the high water levels and a flow rate of 3900 over 580 in the western suburbs, you might want to stay completely away from the river.
For the creeks, same situation. Let's wait a week, hope for no rain, and maybe we might be able to start working the shoreline areas again.
Unless you are good at finding fish in flooded backyards or forest preserves, this week is a washout.
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: If there is an updated fishing report, it is posted here.
HENNEPIN-HOPPER: Site is open to public fishing on Fridays and Saturdays.
POWERTON: Summer hours are 6 a.m.-8p.m.
FOX RIVER: WESTERN SUBURBS
River is closed to boating from the Montgomery dam to the McHenry dam. I will post any updates or check the latest at Fox Waterway Agency.
Creeks are the way to go, and they are already clear in most areas.
ILLINOIS RIVER: STARVED ROCK AREA
River is expected to crest near flood stage this morning at LaSalle, then begin receding. Better options would be Morris or Ottawa areas.
River is wadeable in spots. I did the Aroma Park area on Sunday.
Ed Mullady sent this:
River is looking better!
In Indiana, Ken Bissachi, LaSalle F&W Area Mgr. reports chunky bluegill in any bayou that has opening to river. Catfish good at the Point and in the Yellow River(tributary to Kankakee River).
In Illinois * Momence,* Aroma Park areas good for catfish, fair for smallmouth bass.
In Kankakee River State Park, Smallmouth Bass good near Nature Island,*Shoreline near Timothy Island.*Catfish, Rock Bass good throughout.
Wilmington, IL Catfish good *Some Stripers and smallmouth bass.
Looks like summer is definitely here!
Check the latest at Harborside.
Closed to boating in Winnebago County by high water. I will post updates.
LAKE ERIE: PORT CLINTON
For Ohio DNR report go to wildohio.com and or call (888) HOOKFISH.
For perch, see top.
CHICAGO: Rock bass are the top bite going, especially at Northerly Island. You pretty much are guaranteed catching a rock bass there, if taking kids fishing. Capt. Bill Kelly reported spotty action coho and kings in 40-60 feet east of Diversey, and some kings and lakers in 120-140 feet. Poteshman said lakers were can't miss east of Montrose and Diversey in 100-120 feet.
RICHARD J. DALEY MEMORIAL FISHING TOURNAMENT: In June, it blows open with perch, carp, catfish, coho, chinook and steelhead eligible. Fish may be weighed at Henry's, Park Bait or Vet's.
CHICAGO'S FISHERMAN'S PARKING
The $10 parking passes for the small fishermen's lots at Burnham and DuSable harbors are available at Henry's.
WAUKEGAN: Salmon fishing has been spotty.
NORTH POINT: Poteshman reported decent action in 70-130 feet, best early mornings; there's still a mixed bag out in 200-300 feet.
MADISON LAKES, WISCONSIN
For D&S Bait, go to dsbait.com
MENOMINEE RIVER, WISCONSIN/MICHIGAN
For reports by guide Mike Mladenik go to BigSmallmouthBass.com
Guide Kurt Justice of Island Sports sent this:
After a long, cold spring we've jumped right into mid summer lake temps that averaged 55-57 degrees just two weeks ago are now averaging 73-76 degrees and climbing.
After a tough stretch of high temps and high pressure, fishing picking up now.
Largemouth Bass: Very good. Some bedding still taking place, but it seems fish ranging from shallows to outside weed lines. Live bait anglers jigging XL leeches doing well. All plastic approaches scoring well as are spinnerbaits and lipless cranks. Excellent top water bite last two hours before dusk, use jitterbugs, hula poppers.
Bluegills: Very good. Gills bedding. Fly rod anglers using poppers or dry flys, this is your time! Small leeches, thunderbugs, pieces of worm 2 feet below small floats.
Smallmouth Bass: Good. Late smallies finishing up with beds, fish migrating to outside weedlines, mid range rock bars. Tube jigs, chomper skirted grubs on 1/16-1/8oz heads. XL leeches on 1/16 oz jigs as well as mud minnows working well.
Musky: Good Heat turning fish on. Fish chasing bucktails, fast moving plastics, twitch baits. Open water anglers scoring on big plastics such as Medusas, Bulldawgs. Top water action hot!
Pike: Good. Big chubs, suckers on floats. Boonie bait spinnerbaits, #4-#5 Mepps Aglia and Comets and chatter baits. Early through mid morning best.
Yellow perch: Good. Fish congregating in weeds taking medium fatheads, thunderbugs. Try jigging 2" yellow twistertails to locate fish then anchor up and fish.
Crappies: Fair-improving. Big mayfly hatches should be coming any time. When they occur on your lake, move to another lake. Once over, bite will get better. Leeches best bait by far. Night bite on lighted slip-bobbers along weed edges, mid lake humps best.
For perch, see top. Mik-Lurch reported salmon moved to 65 feet, best on Dodgers and flies. Michigan City has steelhead starting, but the rivers and streams are high and dirty. Willow Slough has some big redears and good bluegill.
Closed to boating in Lee, Ogle and Whiteside counties. There's also a fish-eating advisory in the Dixon area because of a fish kill of undetermined origins. I will post updates.
From the IDNR on the fish advisory:
Rock River Fish Kill
Public advised not to eat fish until cause determined
SPRINGFIELD -The Illinois Department of Natural Resources is advising the public of a fish kill on the Rock River between Grand Detour, north of Dixon in Ogle County, and the lower dam in Sterling in Whiteside County. The cause of the fish kill is not known at this time. The public is advised not to eat fish from this section of the river until the cause of the fish kill is determined.
ST. JOSEPH AREA, MICHIGAN
BJ Sports reported steelhead and perch off piers and shallow before the storms. Perch continue good north of piers in 20-50 feet. River has some walleye and smallmouth.
Lakeside reported bass are optimum now on frogs and plastics in the lily pads and on the weed lines. A 3.75-pound largemouth won Saturday's bass open. Good catfish were reported over the weekend, along with a 40-inch muskie.
3.75 pound bass won the weekend bass open. Lots of small walleye being caught, mostly on leeches.
For more reports, click here.
CHICAGO AREA CHAT/REPORTS
CHICAGO AREA INFO
MICHIGAN DNR REPORT
WISCONSIN DNR REPORT
IOWA DNR REPORT
INDIANA DNR REPORT