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Midwest Fishing Report: Question of summer '09

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Steve Palmisano posed an interesting question Tuesday: ``Have we ever seen a year where we catch perch and salmon at the same time?'' From the Chicago shoreline?

That question headlines the Midwest Fishing Report.

Just when I thought shoreline perch fishing was done, like I did on Monday, boom, a cold front whips through and more cold water piles up on shore. And with it more good shoreline catches of perch Monday night and Tuesday.

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.


CHICAGO: Shoreline perch have been variable by the day--Monday was dead, then Tuesday good--but the bite for boaters in the weed beds off Navy Pier and Olive Park has been very steady and very incredible both for numbers and size of the perch caught. Put it this way, the elusive Carl Vizzone, even IM'ed me Tuesday evening, about the number of jumbo perch he and Basa Marine's Larry Conn caught off Olive Park. The bite is turning more toward minnows, though Mik-Lurch reported spinners and soft shells continue to be best in the weed beds off Navy Pier and in Cal Park.

WAUKEGAN: Salmon Stop reported perch on government pier or south rocks, pier and bite both vary day to day. ``There's no way of knowing until you get down there,'' Lori Ralph said. Boaters are taking some perch in 20-40 feet south of the harbor.


As Nicole Lalka's FOTW shows, big bass continue to be the story with multiple reports of good ones caught in the last week. The rain should only help spike fishing all-around for all species. I know it opened up our town pond tremendously, and I would like to get the kids out for a bit of bluegilling here before school starts next week.


For an overview of nearby river conditions, go to this NWS site. Might be a good idea to keep an eye here if we get the forecast for big storms, but otherwise the rains have been a good thing for river fishing, and we include individual reports.


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 reported bluegill are the top bite on small worms fished around piers, laydowns and under trees; best is Spring Lake area. Catfish are excellent (expect 3- to 5-pound fish) on stinkbait or crawlers; Grass is best. Walleye are best on leeches or crawlers on Lindy rigs around bridge areas. Crappie are best in 8-12 feet early morning or late evening. Muskie remain good on big bucktails or jerkbaits, or topwaters. For white bass, try Marie in 8-12 feet early and late.

For more reports, see

More Chain info at


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: Jim Hartley reported a few good blues.

BRAIDWOOD/MAZONIA: Close time goes to 7:30 p.m. on Sunday. Otherwise, Braidwood is hot water, 90 on the north end, 99 on the south, but cooling some.

HEIDECKE: Fishing is fair according to the concessionaire, some catfish caught and spotty hybrids


DELAVAN: Guide Dave Duwe sent this:

Delavan Lake 8/17/09 through 8/24/09
Fishing remains excellent on Delavan Lake. With the end of the season coming quickly for the weekenders, the lake has been exceptionally busy with pleasure boat traffic. If you can tolerate the bumpy ride, you'll find great success.
Largemouth bass are schooled on the weedlines in 14-16 ft of water. They are being caught either drop shotting 4 inch worms or jigging pigs or my clients favorite, live nightcrawlers. The key to my success is to keep the boat moving until you find an active school of fish. Some days main lake points seem to be the best, but other days its better by the scattered weeds. Look for the fish by the island, west of Willow Point and near the Yacht club.
Bluegills have been very aggressive. I've been catching them in 14 ft of water or in 25 ft of water. It takes a little sorting to catch some big bluegills but they are there. It seems that the lake has a lot more small to medium bluegills than the past few years. The method I use is a single hook with a split shot fished beneath the boat. The best location has been by Assembly Park, Township Park or down by Browns Channel.
Walleyes have been available. Last week, I probably caught 3-4 legal fish. The biggest was 22 inches. The bigger fish that I've been catching have been on medium suckers fished on my northern poles. The bigger ones have been found in about 24 ft of water west of the Yacht club or Assembly Park have been great choices. For crankbait fishermen, the walleyes can also be caught on 300 series Bandits or Wally Divers.
Northern Pike have been biting on and off, depending on the sun and water temperature. Some days its been no problem to catch as many northerns as you have suckers, while other days its been a struggle to catch one or two. The one consistent thing has been the water depth. They've been in 20-24 ft of water. I've been using medium suckers instead of large suckers allows you to catch other game fish like walleyes and bass. The best location has been by Belvidere Park and Browns Channel.
Good luck and I hope to see you on the water. For guide parties, please call Dave Duwe at 608-883-2050

GENEVA: Arden Katz reported decent action on nice largemouth, smallmouth and pike while fishing overnight with drop-shots with 4-inch natural-colored worms. Oh, and lots of rock bass.

Duwe sent this:

Lake Geneva 8/17/09 through 8/24/09
Fishing on Lake Geneva continues to be a bit slow. This has been the strangest year that I can recall in all the years I've been fishing Geneva. It's been odd, some of the exclusive Lake Geneva guides have been coming to Delavan Lake to get some consistent fish for their clients. I honestly don't blame them.
Largemouth bass have been caught in the 14-16 ft depth range. The best location has been by Elgin Club and in Geneva Bay. Drop shot fishermen have been having the most success. They've been using 4 inch finesse worms or black and white Sassy Shads. Most of the time in late August, the majority of the fish are in 20-25 ft of water. It's bizarre to have them so shallow this year.
Northern Pike remain scattered throughout the lake. With the weak thermocline, the fish have not schooled up at all. A good day will yield 2-3 fish. The best location has been by Fontana Beach or the north shore by the narrows. Work a depth of 30-35 ft.
Smallmouth bass have been scattered as well. The best location has been by Fontana Beach or by Maytag Point. They have been caught using nightcrawlers on a Lindy rig or using small suckers. The best depth has been 16-18 ft of water.
Bluegills are in the medium depth range of 16-18 ft. The best location remains by Elgin Club or in Geneva Bay when you can locate some weeds. Leaf worms fished on a plain hook straight beneath the boat have been the best presentation.
Walleye continue to bite at night. The best location for me has been running the south shore from Abbey Springs to the Military Academy. I like fishing in 15 ft of water and running my crankbaits down about 8 ft. I'm catching the suspended fish that are feeding at night. I use deep diving Walleye Bandits or Wally Divers. Chrome/Black or Chrome/Blue are always a good bet.


EMIQUON: The numbers of bass being reported by Pete Riedesel continue to astound me.

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: Site staff report basically the same:

Crappie are still doing ok on minnows and tube jigs in deeper water around brush. Saugeye reports have been slow, most fish have been caught either early in the mornings or in the evenings. Catfish have also been good in recent weeks, with most being caught on livers.

If there is an updated fishing report, it will be posted here.

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

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


The rains should help flow and maybe kick up fishing. Otherwise, catfishing continues to be the best bite.

Ken Gortowski sent this:

Fishing on the Fox has continued to suck big time. Was out on Thursday 8/13 and I think I'm the only one fishing the river that can catch a fish stick actually shaped somewhat like a fish. If anyone is out there catching anything, they aren't reporting it. I wound up catching one smallmouth. I know the recent rains are messing with water levels. Hopefully that will equate into a better smallie bite soon.

And he later made this eclectic account:


``Bait Shop'' Bob Hennig at Riverview Marine reported good catfish in holes or snags on cut bait or herring. White bass are decent on the edge of channels, trolling is producing some sauger on flats next to channels.


I got in some playing on Sunday and the river was as low as I have seen it in quite a while. The rains should help.

Ed Mullady sent this:

Action in Indiana part of the Kankakee good at the Point, near English Lake. Penny Boisvert at Greenwood Bait reported weighing in a 24 lb. Flathead Catfish that was 3' 4" long caught on a catalpa worm by Adam Howard, North Judson, Indiana. It was caught from Bogus Ditch(Bogus Ditch flows into the Kleinert Arm Ditch that flows into the Kankakee near the Point).. Smallmouth bass good on crawlers in this area. 2 to 4 lb. catfish being caught in Yellow River. Pike fair from Hanna Ditch. NOTE: 10 MILE ROAD may be closed for construction.
Croppie, catfish fair to good in LaSalle F&W Area. Ken Bisacchi, Site Manager, informed us that Black Oak Bayou will be closed from Sept. 1 thru Sept. 20 while the early waterfowl season will be taking place.

In Illinois, Mike Lee, Frank's Bait, Momence, IL, reported that he weighed in a 4 lb. 1 oz. smallmouth bass caught from the Momence area by Dave Rohder, of Momence.

Kankakee River State Park: Catfish and smallmouth bass good.

Wilmington Area through DesPlaines F&W Area - Good on smallmouth bass, rock bass, some walleye and good catfishing.


Check the latest at Harborside.

Otherwise, the Wisconsin DNR posted this report:

Racine Co.
Shore fishing off the piers in Racine has been good, with chinooks and steelhead hitting glow-in-the-dark spoons. Shore anglers have also been catching browns in the harbor and in the lower stretches of the Root River. Trollers out of Racine have been finding coho, rainbows, and chinooks in as shallow as 20 to 30 feet of water either right off the harbor or north near Wind Point. Glow-in-the-dark spoons and J-plugs have been producing.

Kenosha Co.
In Kenosha brown trout fishing in the harbor has been hit-or-miss. On good days, shore anglers have taken fair numbers of browns on spawn sacs or white tube jigs. Shore anglers at the mouth of the Pike River have been catching a mix of chinooks, browns, and rainbows in the early morning hours and at night. Glow spoons have produced the best. Kenosha trollers have been catching chinooks, browns, and rainbows in around 30 feet of water off the mouth of the Pike River.


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


For perch, see top. And in both Chicago and Waukegan, there's been a smattering of shoreline salmon and steelhead reports.

CHICAGO: The best news and sign of the times may be a smattering of reports of shoreline kings and steelhead, primarily at DuSable and Montrose. Otherwise, there's plenty of rock bass in the harbors; and a lot of big smallmouth are being spotted in the harbors with the cold water, according to Henry's . Capt. Bill Kelly reported fair fishing northeast of the crib in 100-145 feet for lakers, a few kings and an occasional rainbow; some jacks in 45-75, a lot of lakers with a smattering of other fish north and south of the R4; and Gumby's Reef is turning off for a mixed bag.

RICHARD J. DALEY MEMORIAL FISHING TOURNAMENT: In August, the privately funded derby is open for carp, catfish, panfish, coho, chinook. 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.

WAUKEGAN: Salmon Stop reported another good sign of the times, a few salmon and trout from shore. For boaters, the salmon bite is very early or late in 40-60 feet.


For D&S Bait, go to


Guide Kurt Justice of Island Sports sent this:

Following a nice warm up with a few days of high pressure (that didn't help), most lakes now having surface temps reading low 70's. Fishing picked back up and should continue to improve with more seasonable weather.

Smallmouth Bass: Good. Fish finding ways back to normal haunts for this time of year (deep sandgrass, rock bars). Big leeches, crawlers on 1/8 oz jigs, Chomper skirted grubs, tubes finding fish. Nice fish to 20+" this week.

Musky: Good. With exception of 3 days last week, fish active. Bucktails best, but some good surface action also available toward dusk. Fish to 48 1/2" this past week, with largest fish coming from deep water (later on Boonie Bait).

Pike: Good. Good action on Boonie Baits over weed tops in 6-10'. Chatterbaits, silver minnows tipped with pork strip also hot.

Largemouth Bass: Good. Surface action good. Fish chasing spinnerbaits with gusto. Faster action lures best.

Walleye: Fair/Good (for mid August). Crawlers, big leeches along outside weed edges best. Sandgrass flats on calmer days. Check out shallower weeds of 8-10' on windy afternoons. Some good night action on lighted slip-bobbers and large leeches. Also anglers casting lipless cranks (Rattlin-Raps, Rattle Traps) after dark scoring nice fish of 17-23" on Minocqua Chain.

Bluegills: Good. Small leeches, Berkley power grubs suspended along deep weed edges good. A few anglers along lily pad edges catching nice gills on poppers in late afternoon.

Perch: Good. Medium leeches, 1/2 crawlers in 6-10' weeds. Small schools of 10-12 fish moving through to provide action. Try casting small beetle spins, Mr. Twisters to locate schools.

Crappie: Fair. Some anglers finding deep fish along 18' coontail edges. Deeper cribs, pilings holding fish, cast small sliders around drowned structure.

The warmer temps have helped fish become more active and more active for longer. We can only hope this system will hold a while but things usually start cooling now, not heat up.


Capt. Ralph Steiger reported good salmon continuing in 70-100 feet, meat rigs best. I need to get on him, apparently a client of his caught one of the biggest salmon of recent years.

Mik-Lurch reported still good perch in the Cal Park weed beds on soft shells and spinners. Another good perch spot is at Burns Ditch one mile east of the donut in 19-20 feet.


BJ Sports reported some skamania coming from creek mouths, but the run slowed. Kings were about half a mile off the piers, but rains may bring them in shortly with the river coming up a bit.


Guide Jay Angel sent this:

Bass: a few bass are being caught but fishing is slow. Some bass are caught at dusk and at dawn on the dam face using soft plastics. Some other bass are being caught along the deeper weedlines, rockpiles or deep trees using soft plastics.

Crappies: Crappies are being caught in the deep trees and over the rock piles. This fishing could best be described as hit or miss. The crappies that are being caught are between 6 - 8 inches long with a few 9's thrown in.

Bluegills: Bluegills have invaded the deeper flats in great numbers. There have been some bull gills caught recently.

Walleyes: Walleye fishing is fair, but you have to sort through lots of small ones to find a decent sized one. Walleyes are being caught using leeches on the deeper flats and over the deeper rock piles. Dawn and dusk are the best times.

For more reports, click here.


Mik-Lurch reported those fishing jumbo leeches at night are taking some decent walleye by the tollway on the Indiana side.



Fishing Headquarters



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






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1 Comment

Wow, the fishing report has really been upgraded. Links, info, and more. I'm really impressed and pleased.

Dennis R.

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This page contains a single entry by Dale Bowman published on August 19, 2009 7:02 AM.

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