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Midwest Fishing Report: Kings and more

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More than kings highlight the Midwest Fishing Report.


Bob Petitte sent this:

I caught this salmon at the mouth of montrose harbor sun. morning at 11:00 am on a little cleo.
We fished Burnham harbor earlier for perch with no luck, we then tried to get to dusable and monroe which was impossible because of the triathlon, we ended up at montrose after a half hour ride up LSD. This picture was taken outside of henry`s
they weighed it at 10 lbs. 15 oz. and 32 inches , at that time I was in the lead for the 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

All things considered, we will open again with shoreline kings.


It's still spotty, but there's been some nice catches of kings on shore in southern Lake Michigan.

SOUTHEAST WISCONSIN: The best bite seems to be at Kenosha, especially in front of the Pike. Harborside reported the night bite is already going too. Racine has been OK, too.

WAUKEGAN: The Salmon Stop reported some off the piers, mainly on lures.

CHICAGO: Park Bait reported even with the dirtied water kings were being taken at Montrose (the steadiest spot) and Belmont on Monday.Henry's reported a smattering at Burnham, 39th and 63rd.

NORTHWEST INDIANA: Mik-Lurch reported more salmon being seen. A few being taken already at East Chicago Marina, which should mean some are going or will be at the Hole in the Wall. Some moved into Salt with a few being caught.

SOUTHWEST MICHIGAN: In the St. Joseph, BJ Sports reports ``highly sporadic'' king action off the piers, in the river and up to the Berrien Springs dam.


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


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


Triangle reports the best bite is white bass. Fish wind-blown shorelines with small minnows, spikes or Mepps spinners. Walleye are excellent with the current being strong, try bridge areas or main lake points with leeches or crawlers. Bluegill are also good, fish laydowns and gravel shore lines. Crappie improved, start in 8 feet with small minnows or spikes. Muskie are good on big jerkbaits or bucktails, Channel and Catherine best.

For more reports, see

More Chain info is 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: Water temp at launch Monday was 83. There's been fair fishing, blues are the main focus.

BRAIDWOOD/MAZONIA: Last day of fishing is Oct. 13. But remember that Monster at Mazonia South remains open year round.

HEIDECKE: Last day of fishing is Oct. 6.


DELAVAN: Guide Dave Duwe sent this:

Delavan Lake 8/30/09 through 9/6/09
This past week was met with more unseasonably cold temps plus 2-3 days of solid rain. The good news is that it didn't hinder the bite. The only fish that didn't bite well were the bluegills.
Largemouth bass remain schooled up. They have moved off the points and are associating more on the regular weedlines. Certain spots I fished this week had 10-15 bass in small 20 yard sections. They can be caught either on a nightcrawler fished on a split shot rig or drop shotting 4 inch worms, green pumpkin is the best color. The best depth is 15-16 ft of water. Look for the fish just west of Willow point or by the Yacht Club. With the cooler weather, they are starting to aggressively take medium suckers fished on a lindy rig straight below the boat.
Northern Pike have been above average. The average size of the fish I caught last week were a bit small with the largest being about 32 inches. I caught several fish that barely hit 20 inches. Work a depth of 18-24 ft right along the weedline. The best location is by the Village Supper club or by Browns Channel. If this weather continues to be cool, the pike will slide shallower in the coming weeks.
Bluegills have been a bit slow. An average day on the water for me is about 15-20 fish. Last week, the numbers were closer to 30-40 day averages. The best bait remains leaf worms fished straight beneath an anchored boat. Look for the fish by Assembly Park or by the island on the west end.
Walleye action remains above average. The bigger fish are showing up with more frequency. The biggest I caught last week was 22 inches. The walleyes like the largemouth bass have been starting to hit on suckers more often than they were earlier in the summer. This would be a good time of year to troll them with deep diving crankbaits. The best location has been by the Oriental boat house or by 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: Duwe sent this:
Lake Geneva 8/31/09 through 9/7/09
With the cold weather and the excessive amount of rain, Lake Geneva fished like it was already past Labor Day. There was very little boat traffic on the lake. The fish are starting to cooperate a little better due to the cool water, they are starting to show up in shallower water than normal.
Largemouth bass can be found in the 10-12 ft depth range. Early morning with calm waters try surface lures like the Pop-r or Chug Bugs. As the morning progresses, switch your approach to Senkos fished either Wacky rigged or Texas rigged. The best location has been in Trinkes Bay or in Geneva Bay. It's really strange this year that there are hardly any weeds in the shallow waters.
Smallmouth bass are in a depth range of 14-26 ft depending on the locations on the lake. The fish seem deeper in the Fontana area and shallower by Elgin Club. They can be readily taken by fishing nightcrawlers on a split shot rig or lindy rigged. With cooler than average water temperatures, minnows can also be very effective. I haven't seen the big schools that are typical for this time of year, so you need to keep moving to find that active fish.
Some nice bluegills are being taken in 16-18 ft of water. The best locations are Fontana Beach or in Geneva Bay. The best approach is fishing nightcrawlers on a split shot rig. With the scattered weeds it makes more sense to drift fish than to stay anchored. A couple of my friends last week were catching 10-11 inch fish.
Northern Pike fishing has been terrible. I truly think that the cancer has reduced the northern population in Geneva tremendously. It had been no big deal to catch 10-20 fish in a trip, now it is a struggle to boat 1-2. The best depth seems to be 30 ft of water. Try for them by the Military Academy or by Black Point.
Yellow Perch are almost everywhere on the lake. The best depth is 10 ft of water. The hardest part with perch fishing is sorting through the sheer numbers to catch keepers. The best location has been by Knollwood. Fish can be caught on nightcrawlers or small fat head minnows fished with a slip bobber and a small ice jig.


From Andrew Ragas, Counsellor of the Fish Parliament

We are now approaching closer to that fall fishing season in which catches will be both bigger and better!

However, only time will tell.

With last week's rainfall, the fishing has been spotty on the DPR and its creeks for many species, but conditions are slowly improving.

First up are Northern Pike:

Most anglers have been fishing from shore with very few wading the river due to currents and lingering turbidity. Not many big fish caught during the last week, but some average fish from 20 to 28 inches are being reported by Matt Coppolino, who fishes in the western suburbs. Some prime areas for high water fishing have been the Lake and Cook co. forest preserves (Just find access, walk the shores, and have fun covering some water). Log jams, especially, have been the best areas to target at this time. Most fish are responding well to white or fluorescent spinnerbaits with big blades, rattlebaits ripped through the current, and the usual float and roach/minnow drift through current or eddies. The eyesight of Pike does not cater well to the dark water of the river, especially a higher muddy one, therefore throwing something at them with vibration and larger profile will work best at this time.

Largemouth Bass have been active as well and most fish are being found in the backwater areas, weed beds near shore, and slackwater pools away from the current. Fish up to 17" are being reported with the best lure choices being spinnerbaits, chatterbaits, buzzbaits, topwaters, and jig & plastics.

Few Rough Fish reports or happenings, ZERO Walleye or Sauger encounters, and there is nothing else to mention in the way of successful fishing.

Water temperatures are in the low 70-degree range with water levels flowing at a cubic rate of 550-600, with the normal being about 350 for this time of year (in Riverside). For the next few days I would stick to shore, but if desperate and have knowledge of the river, some success can, and will be had by wading at this time.


EMIQUON: The bass bite just keeps going.

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.

REND: On Tuesday with guide Todd Gessner, we had decent crappie fishing around cribs. The surprise is the lake is up several feet and already cooled to 74. Catfish are excellent.

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

EVERGREEN: The fishing report is posted here. Here is Tuesday's:

Most of the fishing has slowed down a bit in recent weeks. Some Crappie are still being taken in deeper water around brush. Most are still hitting minnows and tube jigs. A few reports of Saugeye being taken in the last week. Many of the reports have been fish that are in the 12-14" range. Most of them are being caught on jigs tipped with nightcrawlers. Bluegill fishing has been good. Look for them a little out from the shore around weed lines and around rip rap. Bass reports in the last week have been few and far between, with most being small. Catfishing reports have slowed down in the last weeks with a few being caught here and there, mostly still being caught on livers or crawlers. A recent bowfishing report didn't turn up many fish being taken by bow, but many Muskie were seen on the outing. Many of the Musky spotted were in the back of coves, and along the big flats. One of the toothy critters along the flats was said to be over 46" easily. Many follows have been reported in the last few weeks by anglers trying there hand at landing one.
Good Luck, Brad

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

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


Rains brought the water levels up and focused fishing on the shoreline areas. Here's the word from Ken Gortowski:

Not many words, but a good outing.

More words, crappier fishing outing, but good for me.


River is dropping and clearing, it should be in decent shape for the holiday weekend. ``Bait Shop Bob'' Hennig at Riverview reported white bass are doing best at creek mouths, off rocks and sand bars. Catfish are decent on cut bait in deeper holes and some sauger are being taken trolling. Weather stopped the crappie bite, but a stable pattern could reestablish it.


Ed Mullady sent this:

In Indiana, the Point is good for bluegill on jumbo redworms in river. Catfish good in the 2 to 4 lb. size on *cheesebaits*minnows*crawlers*crawfish. Smallmouth Bass good.
In Illinois, smallmouth bass good east of Momence, Kankakee River state Park smallmouth bass good at Chris and Monica Island on *minnows *crawfish *crankbaits* Mepps Spinners*Jig & Twisters.

REMINDER: Check on public sites in Indiana for closures during waterfowl seasons.

NOTE: The 2009 Power Boat Nationals are on the Kankakee River in Kankakee Saturday through Monday


For kings, see top. Otherwise, inside the harbor is loaded with good browns, being caught on both lures and bait. Check the latest at Harborside.

From the Wisconsin DNR Lake Michigan update on Tuesday:

Kenosha Co.
In Kenosha shore fishing in the harbor for browns has been hit-or-miss. When the browns are biting, spawn sacs and white tube jigs have been taking the most fish. Chinooks have been taken near the mouth of the Pike River and in upstream locations. Kenosha trollers have also been catching chinooks in shallow water near the mouth of the Pike.
Racine Co.
Shore fishing off the Racine piers has been relatively slow, but in the harbor browns have been hitting silver spoons fished high in the water column. Trollers out of Racine have been finding chinooks in front of the harbor, as well as chinooks, rainbows, and browns east of the reef marker in 60 to 80 feet of water. Glow-in-the-dark or green spoons and pearl J-plugs have been producing.
Milwaukee Co.
In Milwaukee McKinley pier and the shoreline behind the Summerfest grounds have produced some chinooks and browns, and most fish have been taken on spoons. Shore anglers in South Shore Park have been catching decent numbers of perch on minnows and crab tails. Trollers out of Milwaukee have been catching chinooks, coho, rainbows, and browns 20 to 40 feet down in 40 to 70 feet of water; and browns have also been taken by boaters in the harbor and around the gaps.


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


For shoreline kings, see top.

CHICAGO: It's more than kings coming in. Petitte's coho showed. Perch are slow at best. Henry's reported a few steelhead at the pipe by Burnham too. Capt. Bill Kelly reported fair action when weather allowed, best was off Lake Forest/Highland Park in 60-70 feet for kings and rainbows. Otherwise, there's small jacks by the T marker and out to 70 feet, a mixed bag at the wreck, and some lakers in 120 east of the wreck. The R4 is been good for kings and some rainbows, and a quarter mile east in 60-70 feet. On Tuesday, Capt. Bob Poteshman of Confusion Charters reported decent king action at the wreck.

FISHERMAN'S PARKING PASSES: Henry's has the fisherman's parking passes for the small lots at DuSable and Burnham in Chicago.

WAUKEGAN/NORTH POINT: Beside the kings, the Salmon Stop reported some browns and rainbows off the piers too. Poteshman reported kings early on the hill, then it's going deeper. Some days, there's good steelhead around.


For D&S Bait, go to


Guide Kurt Justice of Island Sports sent this:

Cool to downright cold nights and mild afternoons following a couple days of wind and rain have pushed lake surface temps down quite a bit. Most lakes seeing temps of 62-64 degrees. The cold snap should start an early fall feeding binge...we're still waiting.

Musky: Good. Try inside weed lines in water as shallow as 3-4'. Top water lures very effective (Tally wackers, Pacemakers). Large fluted bucktails as well as smaller 6-7" twitch baits. Nighttime stick to big blade bucktails and surface (creepers, Hawg wobblers).

Smallmouth bass: Good. Big leeches, night crawlers over 14-20' sandgrass flats for bait fishermen. Artificial casters finding fish over same flats hitting Rattling Raps, Shad Raps, browns and reds best colors.

Largemouth Bass: Good. With muskies in tight (inside weeds), LMB positioned deep edges taking wacky style worms and Beaver baits during bright light. Moving on spinnerbaits, cranks and still some good top water towards dusk.

Pike: Good. Best has been working large weed flats fans casting boonie Baits over weed tops. Watch for pockets in weeds.

Bluegill: Good. Cold slowed bite from previous week. Gills still deep. Medium leech, 1/2 crawler on 1/16 oz jig. Suspend tiny jig below slip-float, use 2 3/0 split shots to get bait down quickly in 15-20'.

Walleye: Fair. Leeches tops on small to mid sized lakes. Fish 14' weed lines. On deeper bodies crawlers on 1/4 oz jigs in 35-40' best bet night bite on leeches under lighted slip-floats best.

Perch: Fair. Cold slowed this bite also. Fish 1/2 crawlers, medium leech, medium fatheads in weed pockets of 6-9'.

Crappies: Fair. Evening bite occurring over weed flats. Small minnows under floats, casting 1-2" twisters (white, yellow) over weeds also connecting.

High skies, cold nights continue through week. Front coming in for weekend should make for warmer morning temps as well as spur some better morning action.


For shoreline kings, see top. Mik-Lurch reported largemouth remain good on most lakes. There's decent walleye on Wolf Lake by the high tension wires and by the rocks at Calumet Ave. There's still a decent effort and bite for bluegill at Willow Slough.


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

River went up a couple of feet last week with the rain, but is going back down. A few white bass.
Catfish are biting on shrimp, dip bait and worms. Several flatheads in the 30 pound range were taken on suckers.


For shoreline kings, see top. BJ Sports also reported some steelhead at the creek mouths.


Lakeside reported surface temperatures dropped to 60s by Tuesday and fall patterns starting with some crappie moving toward the cribs. Muskie are active, at least two caught Tuesday morning. Catfish are steady. For holiday fishing, focus on bluegills in weed pockets or on weed edges. Bass are slow, and deep.

For more reports, click here.


River is normal for those heading north. River's Edge reported the best bites are smallmouth and white bass, though walleye are improving with the cooling nights. STURGEON: Season opens Saturday. A tag is required, minimum is 60 inches.



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 September 2, 2009 10:16 AM.

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