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Midwest Fishing Report: Summer, finally?

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Dare we finally dream that it will actually be a summery holiday weekend. Signs and forecasts point that direction. That possibility and lakefront perch info headline 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

We begin with lakefront perch.


ILLINOIS SEASONS: During July, perch fishing on the Illinois waters of Lake Michigan is closed for those 16 and older. However, it is open for those 15 and younger with a daily bag of 10.

RECIPROCAL WATERS: During the July closure of perch fishing in Illinois, those with legal Indiana fishing licenses (resident and non-resident) fish the reciprocal waters of Lake Michigan for perch.

CHICAGO: Park Bait reported perch came in good inside Montrose Harbor by Tuesday. Otherwise, most of the outside of harbors have perch. Capt. Bob Poteshman of Confusion Charters reported fair perch in the weed beds off Navy Pier on Tuesday in the wind.

WAUKEGAN: Salmon Stop reported good perch off the piers, primarily by the rock wall on government pier. Boaters are finding some in 20 feet, others in 90 feet.

INDIANA STATELINE: Capt. Ralph Steiger reported Cal Park remains very good, best is spinners and soft shells.


Considering the forecast, bluegill should be seeking shelter around the weeds and laydowns, so focus there with small floats, small hooks or jigs and light line over the holiday. it should be the typical summer patterns for bass, top waters early and late, otherwise Senkos or plastic worms around weeds.


For an overview of nearby river conditions, go to this NWS site. Conditions may be the most stable of the year. Individual 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.


All boating restrictions have been or will be lifted, except for the temporary no-wake in the designated area during the fireworks Saturday night.

Triangle reports bluegill are the top bite, fish piers and laydowns. Walleye are excellent around bridges or other current areas; leeches are No. 1 with crawlers next. Catfish are also good throughout. White bass are decent down 10 feet in 20 feet on spinners or small minnows. Quality muskie being taken. Bass are taking topwaters. Crappie are fair toward evening around laydowns.

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.

For more reports, see


HEIDECKE: Guide Mike Lynch sent an interesting note:

With the warm weather last week it really help the trolling bite and some very nice walleye and muskie were caught. with this warm front moving in over the weekend the fishing should be excellent on both sides. Don't be afraid to fish very fast most of the fish during the warm weather last week were taken trolling well over 3mph

LaSALLE: It is coming off a fish kill last week of mainly shad, but the front cool area cooled from a high of 97 last week to 86 by Monday, according to Ed Hansen at the hatchery.

BRAIDWOOD/MAZONIA: With a few days of lower light, Mazonia lakes should be a good choice.


GENEVA: Geneva Lake Bait & Tackle said largemouth are good in 4-7 feet, some deeper; smallmouth are scattered (some on surface); rock bass are excellent.

DELAVAN: Bluegill are good shallow, bass are decent in 10-14 and lots of pike are in 12-16.


Bill Anderson of Catch Photo Release Fishing sent this dog's life report and it is worth a read at


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: Staff report saugeye, even some limits, are the best bites. The latest fishing report is posted here.

HENNEPIN-HOPPER: Site is open to public fishing on Fridays and Saturdays. Guide Jay Angel sent this:

The dog days of summer are here. What that means is that the good fishing at the Hopper has just begun.

Bass fishing is fair to good with fish being caught on spinnerbaits, soft plastics and jig and pigs in the trees and the canals.

Pike fishing is fair with fish being caught in the trees using large bucktail style spinners. Public days are Friday and Saturday.

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


Boating restrictions were lifted earlier this week, and the river is receding. Enough that Ken Gortowski thought wading may be a possibility by the holiday weekend. Otherwise, catfish are the king now.

Creeks have been the primary focus for those chasing smallmouth during the high water, according to another faithful reader and Gortowski. Gortowski has a couple creek reports posted at and


``Bait Shop Bob'' Hennig at Riverview Marine in Spring Valley reported all ramps and launches are open for the holiday and the river is receding and cleaning. Catfish are the top bite on cut shad or herring.


How good is catfishing? Three catfish heavier than 12 pounds top the Kankakee River Fishing Derby, which runs through Sunday. Go to

Ed Mullady sent this with a focus on catfish:

Kankakee River producing many catfish with nightcrawlers seeming to be the No. 1 catfishbait in both Indiana and Illinois. *minnows *cheesebaits also good. Nick at Kankakee River Trading :Post, State Park, weighed in 40 catfish that ranged from 6 to 10 lbs. in size.....nice rock bass also caught throughout the Kankakee on *small spinners*redworms*streamer flies. Smallmouth Bass hitting good, especially early morning.

River is in good shape for wading as ``Catfish Dave'' Bradigan noted:

Finally was able to go out and do some wading for cats below momence. All the rain had made for a very high and dangerous river these past few weeks. That being said the river is up but is receding. A very relaxing time wading in ninety degree heat. Anyway saturday between 7:30 am and 12:00 pm we caught nine fish. Three were pushing six pounds plus and the others were all around four pounds. A quality fish to say the least. stopped in at Mikes (Franks bait shop) & after he finally realized how to use his digital camera he snapped a few pictures. Welcome to modern times, Polaroid film is no longer being produced. I should be out on the river this Thursday after work. As the river recedes the cat fishing will only get better.


Check the latest at Harborside.


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


For perch, see top.

CHICAGO: Rock bass are the top shoreline bite, especially at Montrose and Northerly Island. For holiday picnickers, this would be a good option. And just about anything will catch them.

Capt. Bill Kelly reported the good bite over the weekend was for 6- to 10-pound coho at R4, ``the old-fashioned way,'' with three downriggers and two Dipsys with O Dodgers and big flies and doing tight circles around the R4. Also some kings and coho 75 degrees out of Diversey and Montrose in 50-70 feet and outstanding lakers in 90-115, and a mixed bag east of Burnham in 60-115

RICHARD J. DALEY MEMORIAL FISHING TOURNAMENT: In July, eligible species are carp, catfish, coho, chinook and steelhead. 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 Stop reported a few browns off the piers and boaters hunting for salmon and trout, 90-130 feet seemed best

NORTH POINT: Poteshman reported best bet is decent coho on the hill (some little coho baits are working too); other fish are out deep.


D&S Bait said bluegill are excellent on Waubesa and Monona, the drifting bite is beginning as they move off the weed lines; some perch on the Monona weed lines. Muskies are fair on Monona and Waubesa. Largemouth and smallmouth have been good.

For D&S Bait, go to


Guide Kurt Justice of Island Sports sent this:

Mother Nature is going crazy. We saw air temps hit 95 degrees last week and water temps crest 80 degrees. In three days air temps are in the 50's and surface temps have dropped 10-12 degrees. The forecast for Monday-Wed is cool and cloudy, fortunately things will be warming up by the weekend, we hope.

Pike: Good. After heat wave subsided, pike invigorated and chasing spinnerbaits, Mepps Aglias in 5-8' weeds. Jig and chubs also working but casting artificials best.

Largemouth Bass: Good to Fair. The drop in temperature has slowed the bite down. Best bets are to fish weed pockets with jig and pig, wooly Bugs, stick worms (Senkos, Dingers). Leeches on weedless jigs will also work. The hot surface bite of last week has shut down for now, that and spinnerbaits will pick back up with warmer temps.

Bluegills: Good. Cold hurt the hot bite. Put away poppers until the warmth comes back. Stick to worms, leeches, thunderbugs in calm bays.

Smallmouth Bass: Fair to good. Finished bedding during hot spell. Heading for drowned wood, nearby deeper water to recover. Slow fish with tubes, senkos.

Perch: Fair to Good. Action during heat slowed with cool. Medium leeches, thunderbugs in 6-10' weeds. Some nice catches reported last week, quiet now but will pick up as temps return.

Walleyes: Fair. Catches spotty. Best action on overcast days using leeches on jigs. Casting #7 shad raps over weeds in 7-9' of water effective on flowages. Some mayfly hatches have occurred, but unfortunately not any major ones have been reported here.

It almost got unbearably hot last week (mid 90's) and now highs of mid to high 50's throwing a wrench into the summer fishing patterns. Temps in the 70's for weekend will help, but it sill be a slower pick-up to the bite.


For perch, see top. Steiger reported salmon and trout are best in 55-80 feet. Walleye are improving on Wolf Lake on leeches.


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

The fish kill was 12 miles south of here (Grand Detour) and on south from there. Tragic loss for that area of the river. Mostly catfish and flathead being caught of late. A few walleye and small mouth too. River has come down substantially, but it's still pretty muddy, and clearing out by the shore line.

NOTE: For latest official word on the massive downstream fish kill, click here.


BJ Sports expects the weather will turn on skamania by the holiday. Otherwise, perch were caught off the piers on Saturday before the weather; boaters are doing best north.


Catfishing is underway. Angel reported crappie moved to deep water, try the trees off the handicap pier or three cribs north of the old road bed. Bass moved into deeper weed beds, try frogs or Senkos.

The muskie rescue in the creek below the dam was rescheduled for 5 p.m. Thursday. For more information, check click here.


River's Edge reported normal river conditions for the holiday. Smallmouth are the top bite; white bass are spotty.



Fishing Headquarters



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






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Dale The "BIG BOARD" on the Kankakee fishing site is the same list of people as last year. For some reason they dont up date it during the derby. Maybe someone "with Pull"can give them a call and find out if the need help upgrading each day? Or what's the reason for them not showing this? Ed

As far as i have seen, they are updating. It just tends to be the same people who top the big board each year.

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This page contains a single entry by Dale Bowman published on July 1, 2009 6:14 AM.

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