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Fall patterning: Midwest Fishing Report

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The Illinois River was in a giving mood for sauger over the weekend. That, lakefront salmon snagging and crappie on Wisconsin's Wolf River headline the Midwest Fishing Report. We apologize for the lateness.


These are the top finishers in the illinois Fall Walleye Classic, according to Bob Kidd, with (left to right) Barry O'Flynn & Frank Zator, Chris Stutz & Hector Ontwerdes, Steve Sandor & Adam Sandor, and (front row) Big Fish winners Scott Anzulas and Robert Jones

Here's Kidd's full report:

With the cool weather last week the Illinois River surface Temp dropped 10 degrees. That never stopped the Saugers from a hot bite. Team's came in with comments that they must have caught 50/75 fish today. Just about anything seemed to work with jig/minnow, crank baits on lead, three ways with live bait, and handlining. The only problem was finding the right 6 to bring to the scales. Frank Zator and Barry O'Flynn handlining up stream from Henry found 6 fish limit weighing 12.94 pounds, most of the fish came from 9-11 feet of water. This earned them $1,450.00 and a invitation to the Cabela's National Championship in 2011. Placing second was Chris Stutz and Hector Ontwerdes with a 6 fish limit scaling 12.41 worth $1,025.00. Placing third was the father son team of Steve and Adam Sandor weighing 11.75 pounds worth $650.00. Big fish honors went to Robert Jones and Scott Anzulas with a 3.66 Sauger worth $260.00.

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 salmon snagging, the other hot item.


Henry's reported the best snagging has been at Jackson Park, while Park Bait noted an oddity with snaggers taking nearly 6-1 coho to kings. The Salmon Stop reported good numbers being taken at Waukegan.

Snagging for chinook and coho salmon is open at these select areas on the lakefront: inner and outer harbors at Jackson Park, Lincoln Park Lagoon from the Fullerton Avenue Bridge to the southern end of the Lagoon, Winnetka power plant discharge area and Waukegan Harbor (in North Harbor basin only). No snagging is allowed at any time within 200 feet of a moored watercraft or as posted. Salmon snagging season ends Dec. 31.


DuPAGE NOTE: All fishing at Silver, Deep Quarry and Grove lakes is closed until trout season opens Oct. 17.


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.


Arden Katz reported good crappie, white bass and yellow bass in 11-15 feet, drifting with minnows on double hook rigs on the northern lakes.

Triangle reported water is cooling and clearing with rain, so walleye fishing is improving, either off points or around current (river or bridges). Largemouth remain shallow; muskie are starting off weed edges. Crappie are moving in. White bass are best in the current.

For more reports, see

More Chain info at


LaSALLE: Final day of fishing is Oct. 15. In October, lake is open Wednesday through Sunday. Mike Lynch sent this report:

Fishing on lasalle has been decent the past couple weeks. The smallmouth have been the most active on the past two trips with good numbers of 14-17inch fish. The cats were going good 2 weeks ago but this past Sunday were very slow. Water temps ranged from low 60s-mid 80s. Trolling & Casting white cranks has been the best presentation.

BRAIDWOOD/MAZONIA: Final day of fishing is Oct. 13. Monster Lake at Mazonia South remains open year round.

HEIDECKE: Closed for the season.


DELAVAN: Guide Dave Duwe sent this:

10/5/09 through 10/12/09
The good news is that the fish are still biting pretty decent on Delavan Lake. The bad news is that the weather is making it tough to get out on the water. We've had some pretty aggressive winds and several days with rain. Apparently summer ended and fall arrived.
The most consistent bite on the lake right now is the largemouth bass. They can be caught in 12-16 ft of water off the weedlines. The best bait continues to be lindy rigged nightcrawlers. There aren't as many schools of fish as there normally are, but when you find one, you can usually boat several fish and the size of them has been pretty decent.
Smallmouth bass are also biting okay. Most of my fish are biting on split shot rigged nightcrawlers or very light lindy rigs. The average size of the fish is only about 12 inches. This is a very good prospect for future years to come. The best location has been Belvidere Park or by the Yacht Club.
Walleye have been biting on either trolled crankbaits or lindy rigged fat head minnows. For the crankbaits, I use 300 series Walleye Bandits or Wally Divers, the colors of choice are fire tiger and pearl. The fish are located around the Yacht Club or the island. The fish are located in 15-20 ft of water just outside the weedline.
Northern Pike are being caught in two locations. One is the 10-12 ft deep weed flats and the other is on the weedline in 15-20 ft. Look for the fish by the island or by Assembly Park. The deep water fish are being caught on lindy rigged suckers. The shallow, 10-12 ft, fish are being caught on jerk baits or spinner baits. The best color is white and the best pattern is fire tiger.
Bluegills are being caught in the 12-14 ft range. They are being caught by Assembly park or west of the Yacht Club. They are being caught on panfish cobras by Bait Rigs. The other presentation is slip bobbers fished with leaf worms. You need to move around, since the fish aren't as schooled up as they were in previous weeks.
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 10/5/2009 through 10/12/2009
It's beginning to sound like a broken record, but fishing still isn't very good on Lake Geneva. The best bite is the perch. The smallmouth and largemouth bass are scattered between 12 and 20 ft of water. They just won't school up the way they should be, however if you find some you will catch a decent number of them.
Yellow Perch are very plentiful. They can be caught in 10-12 ft of water. The best location is by Rainbow Point, Belvidere Park and Knollwood. You would have to do some sorting, however a good limit is accessible. They can be caught on leaf worms and small fat head minnows. The best approach is slip bobbers fished with panfish cobras from Bait Rigs.
Largemouth bass are in two patterns. They can be caught in the 10-12 ft range or on the deep breaks in 20-25 ft of water. The shallower fish are being caught on Texas rigged green pumpkin worms or 4 inch ring worms. The weight is determined by the amount of wind. I seldom go over a ¼ oz weight. The deeper fish are being caught drop shotting 4 inch shads or finesse worms. The best location has been by Trinkes or the Military Academy.
Walleye have been sporadically biting at night. The best depth is 20-25 ft of water. You want to fish outside the weedline by Trinkes or Geneva Bay. The best approach is long stick baits, such as the deep diving Walleye Bandit or the Wally Diver. Perch or Fire Tiger are the best colors.
Smallmouth bass are being caught in the 12-14 ft range. They are aggressively hitting nightcrawlers or football head jigs dragged on the bottom. On the football head jigs, the best color is rootbeer on a ¼ oz jig head. The smaller jig head will prevent a lot of the weeds from snagging your bait. Look for the fish by the Military Academy or Elgin Club.
Rock Bass are available in the 12-14 ft range. The location hasn't been as important as the depth. Most of the fish have been coming by Fontana Beach or by Rainbow Point. The best presentation is a split shot rigged nightcrawler.


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: Here's Tuesday's staff report:

Fishing is still good on Evergreen. Crappie like always are on the small side with plenty of sorting being done to get the keepers. Saugeye in the past few weeks have been doing real well. Most are being caught off of points on the lake and at the pumping station. A 7 oz. 8 1/4" Bluegill was caught from the pumping station on Monday on a minnow. Bass reports from last weekend were fair. Numbers were being caught, but most fish were small. Bass fisherman are still reporting Muskie hitting well. So if you want to catch Muskie try Bass fishing. A recent nite electro shocking survey conducted by the IDNR showed hope for the future of Bass and Saugeye on Evergreen Lake. For the 2009 survey we had 356 Bass per hour, the next highest catch rate was in 1998 with 126.5 Bass per hour! The majority of the fish surveyed were under 10 inches and represented two very large year classes. Much of the credit for the high numbers in 2009 can be attributed to the aquatic vegetation project being conducted in the past few years. Thanks to all involved.
Good Luck, Brad

Any updates are posted here.

HENNEPIN-HOPPER: Site is closed for the year.

POWERTON: Final day for boat fishing is Oct. 23. Final day for shore fishing is Oct. 30.


Ken Gortowski sent this:

Forgetting when I got out. Last week near Oswego/Orchard Road picked up 6 smallies and missed a few.
Saturday crap plant fishing picked up 7 smallies and lost a few heavy fish. Picked up a bonus pike about 24 inches. These used to be all over the Montgomery stretch till the locals fished them out a couple or more decades ago. Guys used to come into my shop in Montgomery with old pictures of a half dozen or more 3 foot and longer pike on stringers.

Others in this stretch doing pretty good too. Too many posts to just send. You ought to just link to the Fox forum if you want.

NOTE: The Elgin Association of Firefighters Local 439 and the Friends of the Fox River will hold a cleanup at Festival Park in Elgin from 9 a.m.-noon Saturday.


Guide ``Buster'' Culjan said the river is clean, good shape and 62 degrees. Sauger are decent from Spring Valley down, jigging or pulling, as was Kidd showed at the top. White bass are improving up and down the river, jig and minnow or blade baits. Culjan said crappie are starting too. Vermilion is very low, walk or wade it.


Ed Mullady sent this: Fishing overall is good.

In Indiana, at the Point, north of English Lake...smallmouth bass good on *minnows*spinners*imitation frogs. Catfish good on *crawlers*minnows*cheesebait..
LaSalle F&W Area is closed to fishing beginning Sat.,Oct.10 and will be closed through hunting season until after Jan. 17, 2010.
In Illinois: Smallmouth Bass good in Momence. Mike Lee at Frank's Bait Momence reported that Dave Bales, Momence, IL caught a 6 1/2 lb. walleye....
Smallmouth Bass good at Kankakee River State Park. on top water baits, *jig & twister tails *imitation crawfish.. *Walleye improving . Nick at the Trading Post reports a 17 lb. catfish was caught in the State Park area.
Wilmington fishing improving on smallmouth bass, catfish and walleye.


With recent rains and more forecast, this should be the week at the Pike in Kenosha and the Root in Racine.

The Wisconsin DNR is doing a good job of updating Root River information at Here's info from Monday:

Root River Fishing Report for October 5, 2009
Water and flow conditions
Water levels have finally come up and a healthy influx of fish quickly followed. The river is now full of fish, steelhead and coho are in along with the first full chinook "run".
For up to date river conditions, check out the USGS web site of stream flow conditions [exit DNR] in Wisconsin. Just click on the river that you want to see.
Fishing Report
While there are good numbers throughout the river, because the weir dam is blocking most fish from passing, the best places for sheer numbers of fish remain below the weir in Lincoln, Island and Washington parks. Small flies have been most effective, with black being the overall best color. Whooley buggers and egg sucking leeches have been producing best, but as always, yarn (egg imitators) will get bit as well.
Above the weir, in Colonial and Quarry parks, the fish have been scattered and difficult to locate. But up at Horlick dam its a different story. The few fish making it over the weir dam have been b-lining it to the dam, where there are great concentrations of chinook as well as a few steelhead and coho...even a brown was caught there Saturday. Flies drifted in the faster currents and eddies have been getting bit often. On another note, size of fish is up significantly from previous years with a large percentage of fish over the 20lb. mark. I have already weighed several over 24# (all males).

Check the latest at Harborside for Kenosha.


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


CHICAGO: There's some salmon around the lakefront, Park Bait said Belmont is best and nights have been better at Montrose. Park Bait also reported a few perch Monday off the west jetty at Montrose. Ed Bohn reported outstanding smallmouth around the stateline area in the rocks on spinner baits.

WAUKEGAN: Both bait or spoons are taking a mixed bag off Government and Johnson piers, according to the Salmon Stop. Shrimp under a float have produced some steelhead. South Rocks remain closed.

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.


For D&S Bait, go to


Guide Kurt Justice of Island Sports sent this:

Fall has come quickly. Water temps that were running around 68* fell to an average of 55-56* on most lakes. These lakes will most likely see turnover very soon.

Musky: Fair to Good. Action picked up. It's definitely sucker time with such cool temps. While bucktails still working (46" Tiger on Friday), best options are twitch baits, jerks, gliders and suckers on quick sets. Weeds still key.

Crappie: Fair to Good. Work outside weed lines of 10-16' with medium fatheads as crappies stacking up along deep edges.

Perch: Fair to Good. Surprisingly shallow. Fish sparse weeds on sand flats of 6-10'. Fatheads on 1/16 oz jigs or below floats.

Pike: Fair to Good. 6" Twitch baits, #5 Mepps over weed flats.

Largemouth: Fair to Good. fish holding along deep weeds. Slow fish plastics such as chompers, wooly bugs.

Smallmouth: Fair to Good. Fish deep off shore humps. Drop shot 3" plastics. Football jigs tipped with skirted grubs.

Walleye: Fair. Haven't seen a good set up yet, but fish moved out of shallows seeking deeper, less turbulent (temp changing) water. Start vertical jigging minnows, dragging Lindy rigs and chubs.

Bluegill: No reports

With such a sharp drop in water temps, thing a bit "tumultuous". Rough weather kept anglers off water. Forecast for this week has highs only in low 50's, watch for temps to slowly continue to drop. Watch for turn-over (cloudy water, lots of debris) and be prepared to move to other lakes. Some curly leaf cabbage beds showing signs of dying off.


Mik-Lurch reported salmon have come on shore with a vengeance around the harbors and discharges of Hammond, East Chicago and Amoco. The creeks are loaded with fish, all the way up to Route 30 already. There's some perch in 32 feet off inland, but most are focusing on salmon. Bohn reported some outstanding smallmouth action around the stateline area in the rocks on spinner baits.


BJ Sports reported fish are porpoising everywhere in the St. Joe, but catching is fair. The good fishing is on rivers farther north--Ludington to Baldwin.


Lakeside reported some good bluegill over the weekend, but weather slowed effort. Water cooled into the 50s.

For more reports, click here.


Guide Bill Stoeger said, ``Crappie are committing suicide. Plastics are outfishing minnows. There's a few more white bass from the Rat to the mouth, and a few walleye showing up too. ``The cool water (down to 50) is really helping,'' he said.



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 October 7, 2009 1:54 PM.

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