The beginning of the shoreline run of kings in southern Lake Michigan leads this week's Midwest Fishing Report.
And we mean around southern Lake Michigan. This king, posted on the BJ Sports web site report, was caught by a young man below the Berrien Springs dam on Michigan's St. Joseph River on Sunday.
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 email@example.com.
Kings have been coming ashore sporadically around southern Lake Michigan. It's still sporadic, but the run is starting.
ST. JOSEPH, MICH.: BJ Sports reported some kings to Berrien Springs already, including the 20-pounder pictured above. ``All that rain and cool nights brought them in,'' said BJ Sports owner John Speckine said.
NORTHWEST INDIANA: More anticipation than catching so far. Fisheries biologist Janel Palla expects some of the biggest kings in recent years because of the number of alewives and the reduction of stocking in 2006. ``We are waiting to see what they are like when they come back to the streams,'' she said. ``They were big already in May.''
CHICAGO: Park Bait and Henry's reported occasional kings for the past week or so, including a pair of 17-pounders weighed in at Henry's by Anthony Johnson, who caught them off the Montrose horseshoe Saturday morning.
RACINE/KENOSHA, WIS.: Harborside reported good clean kings at the mouth of the Pike and in front, especially at dusk and early morning, on glow lures and spawn. In Racine, there's some up the Root already.
For an overview of nearby river conditions, go to this NWS site.
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 Monday. 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
Triangle reported bluegill and white bass are the top bites. For bluegill, fish around laydowns or piers with small worms; good pumpkinseed being taken on Loon. White bass and crappie are in 8-12 feet, try wind-blown shorelines first, then main lake basins. Catfish are good on crawlers, leeches or roaches throughout the Chain. Walleye are being caught regularly with the recent rains; as leeches become smaller try crawlers or large fatheads around bridge areas and main lake basin. Muskie (40-inch class being caught) are good morning and evening shallow, deeper during the day.
More Chain info at www.foxwaterway.state.il.us.
For more reports, see http://www.foxlakefishing.com/
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.
COOLING LAKES/STRIP PITS
LaSALLE: Blues remain the top bite.
HEIDECKE: Last day of fishing is Oct. 6.
DELAVAN/GENEVA LAKES AREA, WISCONSIN
DELAVAN: Guide Dave Duwe sent this:
Delavan Lake 8/24/09 through 8/31/09
The fishing remains consistent on Delavan Lake. We've had some real cold fronts come through but it really hasn't slowed the bite down that much. I wonder if summer will return?
Largemouth bass has been steady. The fish have moved from the points where they were schooled up and are once again scattered throughout the weed lines. The key is to keep the boat moving and find the active fish. The best presentation has been black and blue jig and pig or a nightcrawler fished on a split shot rig. You can find the fish in 16-18 ft of water by Assembly Park and by Browns channel.
Walleye fishing has been decent. I'm catching a lot of fish on medium suckers. I think this year with the cooler water, the minnow bite might be starting real soon. The walleyes I'm catching are in 20 ft of water near the Yacht club or Willow Point. My biggest fish last week was 22 inches.
Bluegills remain in 14-22 ft of water. The bigger bluegills seem to be in the over 20 ft depth range. The orange Delavan Lake Marina or Willow Point have both been producing most of the action. Fish with leaf worms or nightcrawler pieces for the most success.
Northern Pike action has been a little spotty with the cooler water. I've been catching a few every trip, they are more sporadic to catch when they are not off the deep weedline. The fish I've been catching have been in 18-20 ft of water. The Village Supper Club or the Gray condos are good bets.
Perch have been starting to show up in pretty good numbers in the 12-14 ft depth range. Some of them have been in excess of 11 inches. They are being caught on slip bobber rigs tipped with hellgrammites. The best location has been over by the outlet or by the old boy scout camp.
Good luck and I hope to see you on the water. For guide parties, please call Dave Duwe at 608-883-2050
GENEVA: Duwe sent this:
Lake Geneva 8/24/09 through 8/31/09
Lake Geneva remains a very slow bite. The good news is that it is becoming fishable. That means that I would be willing to take people out there again. You can make a pretty decent trip if you know where to look.
Smallmouth bass are in two depth ranges. The fish I've been catching have been in 14-16 ft of water. My friends are catching them in 26-28 ft of water. When I tried the deeper water, all I caught on the nightcrawlers were northern pike. The best location has been by Knollwood or by the Military Academy. Most of my success is coming on nightcrawlers or drop shotting small 4 inch finesse worms. I expect the deeper bite to continue to get stronger in the coming days and weeks.
Largemouth bass have been spotty. The best action has been on top water fished in the early morning hours. Chug Bugs or Pop-R's are producing most of the action. The occasional bass can be caught while Carolina rigging lizards or nightcrawlers in the 12-14 ft depth range. Look for the fish by Colemans Point or in Trinkes Bay.
Walleye are still biting at night, however I did hear of a daytime bite that has been occurring in the last few days. The fish are in 26-28 ft of water and are being caught on Lindy rigged leeches. The key is deep water humps near the narrows. Some of the walleyes caught last week, were over 25 inches.
Bluegills have been biting really well, however the size has been a real factor this season. The last few years, it was nothing to catch 8 or 9 inch fish in deep water, this year it's been a real chore to get the size. I've been catching 5-6 inch fish easily but they are too small to keep. Most of the fish are being caught on nightcrawlers drifted in 16-18 ft of water.
Northern Pike fishing remains very inconsistent. The best depth has been 29 ft of water. The fish have been few and far between though. You could back troll for over an hour and only end up with 1 bite. The only pike I caught last week was on a nightcrawler.
EMIQUON: There's a rare chance to bank fish Emiquon Preserve near Lewistown from 8 a.m.-noon Saturday during the Thompson Lake Festival. If you have the chance, I would highly recommend taking in the festival at one of the neatest projects in Illinois.
Otherwise, to fish Emiquon 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: The fishing report is posted here.
HENNEPIN-HOPPER: Site is open to public fishing on Fridays and Saturdays.
FOX RIVER: WESTERN SUBURBS
As of Wednesday morning, the river is very wadeable and catfish remains the top bite. Ken Gortowski sent this on smallmouth:
Fished Saturday evening at Saw wee kee on the Fox. 4 others fishing the area, so fished around and behind them. Still caught 4 and quit counting how many I missed.
Sunday morning on Somanauk and Little Rock Creeks. 9 smallies, 1 white bass and a bunch of missed ones. Like usual, didn't get to land the big fish of the day. But looked to be almost 18 inches. Not bad for a creek.
Big difference between the two though they aren't far apart. Somanauk was stained and warm, which produced more fish. Little Rock was crystal clear and cold. Noticed this last year too. Meant to go find the sources of all this cold water. Fish in that creek were only in water 3 feet deep or more and in the shade.
ILLINOIS RIVER: STARVED ROCK AREA
River is down and in good shape. Catfishing remains the top bite. ``Bait Shop Bob'' Hennig at Riverview Marine said it took 36 pounds (five catfish) to win a tournament on Sunday. Otherwise, white bass are being caught in or on the edge of channels, along rip-rap or at creek mouths. As the water cooled, sauger improved on the flats. The surprise bite has been crappie around pilings and grain elevators.
River remains low (as of Wednesday morning) and very wadeable with catfishing the top bite. Ed Mullady sent this:
River still low and clear.
Smallmouth Bass good in Momence Area *Kankakee Dam through Sawmill Creek *Kankakee River State Park * Wilmington Island Park through DesPlaines Area on *minnows *crankbaits *Mepps #2 or #3 Spinners *. Top water baits work well in low light hours.
In Indiana, Point, north of English Lake best. Catfish in creeks, ditches on *crawlers *minnows *catfish cheese.
Might want to mention that in the Kankakee FWA , Indiana,10-mile road is closed for structure repair. Also in Indiana at LaSalle FWA Area, Black Oak Bayou will be closed from Sept. 1 thru Sept.20 while early waterfowl season will be taking place.
It is a good idea for fishermen to call ahead to these various fish & wildlife areas, Parks, that they want to fish at to be sure fishing is available.
For shoreline kings, see above. Otherwise, Harborside reported the occasional rainbow mixed in with the kings.
The Wisconsin DNR report for Lake Michigan had this on Tuesday;
Shore anglers fishing off the Racine piers and in the harbor have been catching chinooks and browns on silver spoons. Trollers out of Racine have been finding good numbers of chinooks in front of the harbor, as well as chinooks, rainbows, and browns east of the reef marker in 50 to 60 feet of water. Glow-in-the-dark or green spoons and pearl J-plugs have been producing.
In Kenosha anglers in Southport Marina are still finding a few perch, and live bait fished slowly on the bottom has produced the best. Shore anglers in the Kenosha harbor have been taking brown trout on silver spoons or white tube jigs, and chinooks have been taken near the mouth of the Pike River and in upstream locations. Kenosha trollers have been catching chinooks near the mouth of the Pike and in 30 to 50 feet of water north towards Racine.
LAKE ERIE: PORT CLINTON
For Ohio DNR report go to wildohio.com and or call (888) HOOKFISH.
For shoreline kings, see top.
CHICAGO: Perch have been tough since the blow, though Park Bait reported a few caught Tuesday. Along with the shoreline kings, there's been some browns and steelhead at Montrose. It seems early, but the Field Museum's Phil Willink reported some steelhead at Burnham last week. Capt. Bill Kelly reported a tough bite overall, though some fish east of the wreck in 120, a few at Gumby's Reef, around the T marker and in 70-90 east of the R4.
RICHARD J. DALEY MEMORIAL FISHING TOURNAMENT: In September, carp and chinook take the stage. 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 some perch on soft shells and a variety minnows from government pier and south rocks. A few steelhead and browns also being taken with the kings. Boaters are taking perch in 20-40 feet; for salmon in 50-80, straight out and south.
NORTH POINT: Capt. Bob Poteshman of Confusion Charters reported a fair bite early on the hill in 60-80 feet, for mainly 3-year-olds. There's another bite for coho, lakers, steelhead and smaller kings out to 200 feet. Leadcore and glow spoons have been important.
MADISON LAKES, WISCONSIN
For D&S Bait, go to dsbait.com
Guide Kurt Justice of Island Sports said the up and down weather has cooled the surfaces of some lakes down into the upper 60s. But overall, fishing has been good. Muskie are good, especially on surface baits early morning, or with bucktails; some muskies up to 53 inches have been boated and several in the high 40s. Pike have been very active on spinner baits. Largemouth are good on a plastic bite (Senkos or Yumdingers), some coming on surface action. Smallmouth are decent for those throwing rattle baits over sandgrass flats, or using Chompers on a football jig. Anybody throwing leeches is doing well for bass and walleye. Leeches or crawlers are taking good walleye around sandgrass flats in 12-14 feet away from tall weeds; there's a good night bites after sunny days. Bluegill are very good in 14-18 feet on leeches or crawlers, it's sort of the forgotten bite. Perch are scattered, there's few crappie reports.
For shoreline kings, see top. Mik-Lurch said perch slowed, but boaters taking salmon in 70-90. A few smaller walleye on Wolf. Trail Creek has some steelhead in it.
OREGON: Jan Prose at TJ's Bait/Tackle & Canoe Rental sent this:
A little better weekend this week. Catfish were biting on night crawlers, and several nice flatheads were caught. Andy Kandefer from Chicago came in with a 34 and 10 1/2 pounder caught near Oregon on live bait, and a couple of guys fishing Grand Detour had a stringer of large catfish and 2 -30 pound flatheads. Water temps still mid to high 70 degree range, and river is steady summer level.
ST. JOSEPH AREA, MICHIGAN
For shoreline kings, see top. BJ Sports reported some reports of perch south around New Buffalo and Bridgman in 10-15 feet.
Guide Jay Angel sent this:
It is panfish time.
Big bluegills have invaded the rockpiles on the roadbed. Look for gills suspending over the rockpiles that are in 8 - 16 feet of water. Use mini mites tipped with wax worms. Bluegills are ranging in size from 4 - 8 inches long.
Crappies are in the deeper water. But you will still find them suspending over the fish cribs. Crappies are also being caught in the deep trees and over the deeper brush piles.
Use minnows on aberdeen hooks for best results. Sometimes you need to go down and target the water near the bottom to find the fish this time of the year.
For more reports, click here.
Mik-Lurch reported mainly small walleye being taken; otherwise, it is the usual summertime bass and bluegill.
CHICAGO AREA CHAT/REPORTS
CHICAGO AREA INFO
MICHIGAN DNR REPORT
WISCONSIN DNR REPORT
IOWA DNR REPORT
INDIANA DNR REPORT