The big story for the Midwest Fishing Report is the opening of fall trout season in Illinois on Saturday. But there's also the fall white bass run going on the Illinois River (and sauger) and hot crappie bite on the Wolf River.
That's guide Jay Angel (see below for his report) with a nice Illinois River sauger on 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
ILLINOIS FALL TROUT
Fall trout season opens Saturday. Stocked area lakes include Axehead, Belleau and Horsetail (Cook County), Silver, Deep Quarry and Grove (DuPage); Bird Park Quarry (Kankakee); Big lake at Silver Springs SP (Kendall); and Sand Lake at Illinois Beach SP and Banana (Lake). Anglers must have a fishing license and an inland trout stamp, unless they are under the age of 16, blind or disabled, or are an Illinois resident on leave from active duty in the Armed Forces. The daily bag is five.
NOTE: Blue Island Fishing Derby is being revived and there will be trout fishing from noon-7 p.m. Saturday at the Memorial Park Pool. Go to blueislandparks.org or call (708) 385-3304.
The official word from the IDNR below does not list the three DuPage lakes or Horsetail in Cook, but they are stocked for fall trout.
Fall Trout Fishing Season Begins in Illinois on Oct. 17
Trout to be stocked at 37 locations throughout state
SPRINGFIELD, IL -The 2009 Illinois fall trout fishing season opens on Saturday, Oct. 17 at 37 ponds and lakes throughout the state, Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) Director Marc Miller announced today.
"Our catchable trout program is very popular and the fall season opener is always a big day for Illinois anglers," Miller said. "Trout fishing is also a fun activity for children and taking the kids fishing is a great way for families to spend time together."
More than 70,000 trout are stocked by IDNR at the locations listed below just prior to the opening of the fall trout season. Anglers are reminded that no trout may be taken from any of the stocked sites from Oct. 1 until the fall trout season opens on Oct. 17 at 5 a.m.
To take trout legally beginning Oct. 17, anglers must have a fishing license and an inland trout stamp, unless they are under the age of 16, blind or disabled, or are an Illinois resident on leave from active duty in the Armed Forces. The daily catch limit for each angler is five trout.
Anglers are reminded to check the opening time of their favorite trout fishing location if they plan to go fishing on opening day. While regulations allow trout season to open at 5 a.m. on Oct. 17, not all locations are open that early.
For more information on fall trout season and other Illinois fishing opportunities, check the web site at www.ifishillinois.org.
Illinois fishing licenses and inland trout stamps are available at DNR Direct license and permit locations, including many bait shops, sporting goods stores and other retail outlets. Fishing licenses and trout stamps can also be purchased by using a credit card through DNR Direct online via the IDNR web site at http://dnr.state.il.us or by calling DNR Direct toll-free at 1-888-6PERMIT (1-888-673-7648).
For more information about site regulations, anglers should contact individual sites that will be stocked with catchable-size trout. The 37 locations are:
Adams County: Siloam Springs State Park, 217/894-6205
Bond County: Greenville Old City Lake (Patriot's Park Lake), 618/664-2330
Bureau County: Hennepin Canal Parkway State Park, 815/454-2328
Christian County: Manners Park Pond in Taylorville, 217/824-3110
Coles County: Campus Pond at Eastern Illinois University, 217/345-2420
Cook County: Axehead Lake - Cook County Forest Preserve District, 847/294-4134
Cook County: Belleau Lake - Cook County Forest Preserve District, 847/294-4134
Crawford County: Crawford County Conservation Area Pond, 618/563-4405
Douglas County: Villa Grove West Lake, 217/443-0529
Jefferson County: Mount Vernon Game Farm Pond, 618/547-3610
Johnson County: Ferne Clyffe State Park, 618/995-2411
Kankakee County: Bird Park Quarry in Kankakee, 815/939-1311
Kendall County: Big Lake at Silver Springs State Park, 630/553-6297
Lake County: Banana Lake - Lake County Forest Preserve, 815/675-2319
Lake County: Sand Lake at Illinois Beach State Park, 847/662-4828
Macon County: Rock Springs Pond - Macon County Conservation District, 217/423-7708
Macoupin County: Beaver Dam Lake, 217/854-8020
Madison County: Highland Old City Lake, 618/651-1386
Marion County: Boston Pond at Stephen A. Forbes Park, 618/547-3381
Massac County: Fairgrounds Pond at Fort Massac State Park in Metropolis, 618/524-4712
McDonough County: Argyle Lake at Argyle Lake State Park, 309/776-3422
Randolph County: Randolph County State Fish and Wildlife Area Lake, 618/826-2706
Randolph County: Derby Lake at Sparta World Shooting and Recreational Complex, 618/295-2700
Rock Island County: Prospect Park Pond in Moline, 815/454-2759
St. Clair County: Frank Holten State Park Lake, 618/874-7920
St. Clair County: Jones Park Lake in East St. Louis, 618/847-7920
St. Clair County: Willow Lake at Peabody River King State Fish and Wildlife Area, 618/785-2555
Saline County: Jones Lake Trout Pond at Saline County State Fish and Wildlife Area, 618/276-4405
Sangamon County: IDOT Lake in Springfield, 309/543-3316
Sangamon County: Washington Park Pond in Springfield, 309/543-3316
Shelby County: Forest Park Lagoon in Shelbyville, 217/345-2420
Tazewell County: Mineral Springs Park Lagoon in Pekin, 309/968-7568
Vermilion County: Clear Lake at Kickapoo State Park, 217/442-4915
Wabash County: Beall Woods Lake at Beall Woods State Park, 618/298-2442
Warren County: Citizen's Lake in Monmouth, 309/344-2617
Wayne County: Sam Dale Trout Pond at Sam Dale Lake Conservation Area, 618/835-2292
Whiteside County: Coleta Trout Pond just west of Coleta, 815/454-2759
Action has been good at both Waukegan and in Chicago. I have not heard about Winnetka. The Johnny James, he of the FOTW this, snagged a couple 20-pluses at Jackson Park.
Snagging for chinook and coho salmon is open at 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.
The big story is the opening of trout season above.
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.
CHAIN O'LAKES AREA
Arden Katz reported bluegills are shallow on Channel and Catherine, but you have to move around. He uses a 1/64th-ounce jig with a Nail Tail in weed pockets. He is finding scattered white bass on Marie deep (19-22 feet). Triangle reports crappie are improving, and walleye remain good with the water flow. Effort for muskies is increasing rapidly. There's some white bass in the river, and bass are moving deeper.
For more reports, see http://www.foxlakefishing.com/
More Chain info at www.foxwaterway.state.il.us.
COOLING LAKES/STRIP PITS
LaSALLE: Final day of fishing is Thursday. BRAIDWOOD/MAZONIA: Fishing is closed, except on Monster Lake at Mazonia South, which remains open year round. HEIDECKE: Fishing is closed.
DELAVAN LAKE AREA, WISCONSIN
Guide Dave Duwe said bluegill are deep (35-40 feet; bass are taking crawlers on the weed lines in 15 feet, crappie are starting to show over the weeds in 10-12 and pike are either on the weed lines or out in 35-40 (bigger ones deeper).
DES PLAINES RIVER
From Andrew Ragas, Counsellor of the Fish Parliament www.fishing-headquarters.com:
Everything is finally coming alive - yet slowing down and dying off for the year. . . . If that makes sense in any way.
Both the DesPlaines River and its creeks are producing for multiple species.
First, the DesPlaines has come alive with the cooler weather which in turn has dropped water temperatures in the 50 to 55 degree range. The recent highlights focus on the Walleyes and Sauger which have finally begun their fall move.
I've been out on some recent nighttime wades, for three nights in a row, with friend, Tim Bixter, and besides catching a handful of 18 to 19-inch Walleyes in darkness, here is what we've found:
Both fish are relating to deeper hard-bottomed pools with current - along with dams where suitable habitat is present (deeper water, current runs, hard bottom). Walleye are averaging 15 to 20 inches, along with Sauger in the same size category. Most of our action is presently taking place during the late afternoon and evening/nighttime hours with the headlamps. Jig and plastics (grubs/ shads/ swimbaits) are catching mostly numbers while minnowbaits are doing much better with fish of some size. If you find and then catch them, expect to lose some as well because they are not hitting very hard at the moment.
As for Pike and Largemouth Bass, both species are offering anglers good action. Pike up to 30-inches are being caught from deeper pools with wood, backwater areas, and backwaters. A six-pounder was caught in the west suburbs last week. Live bait such as creek chubs, suckers, and shiners on jigs or under floats are working best. However, do not neglect jerkbaits, larger sized bucktails, and swimbaits as they will all produce until first ice. Largemouth Bass are also being found in the same places as Pike on the same offerings. Most fish averaging 12 to 16 inches. Crappies too - look for the wood and remaining vegetation in the backwaters, and slackwater areas.
On the creeks (Salt Creek notably), the fishing is almost just as good, but it won't last for as long like the river will, into late November. Like the river, water temperatures are in the 50-55 degree range, and a lot of fun action-size fish are being found. Pike from 20-25 inches, Largemouth Bass in the 10 to 14 inch range, and some Walleyes in the 15 to 20 inch range. Matching the hatch with minnow imitators (crankbaits, plastics, jerkbaits) have gotten the best response. Afternoons and evenings have proven to be the best times, including overcast days, but since it's fall, anytime you can go fishing for a period of time can be a really good time!
From now, and with this relatively consistent weather, good river flows, and steady water temperatures, the fishing will keep getting better for all species - and hopefully the bigger ones will begin showing themselves soon.
NOTE: The Hofmann Dam River Rats are doing their annual Des Plaines River cleanup from 9 a.m.-noon Saturday. Meet in the forest preserve area north of Barrypoint Road in Lyons.
EVERGREEN: The bait shop closes Friday. Angel reported water in the upper 50s with decent crappie (takes sorting for keepers) around deeper structure, he had good action over the weekend in 23 feet by the rustic campground. The staff fishing report is posted here.
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.
HENNEPIN-HOPPER: Closed for the season. The decision on the carp issue should be made Thursday.
POWERTON: Final day for boat fishing is Oct. 23. Final day for shore fishing is Oct. 30. Shore fishing reopens Dec. 28.
FOX RIVER: WESTERN SUBURBS
Ken Gortowski sent this:
Got out Sunday to Saw Wee Kee Park. Water was crystal clear, unusual so early. Water had to be in the mid to low 50's.
Fish were sitting in typical fall spots. Off on the side out of the current. I mean, would you sit out in a cold wind?
Or they sit in the lift in front of the next set of riffles. Of course, Cantsetahook was fishing that day and he missed some nice heavy fish, a good half dozen.
Did manage 5 smallies, a foul hooked quillback and a good sized carp that was feeding on the surface and I was able to get a jig and twister right in his mouth. The fight alone on that one more than made up for the severe case of shrinkage that occurred from not layering up enough to be standing waist deep in cold water for over 2 hours.
The metabolism of the fish has not slowed down yet. So when you can get them to hit, they're hitting hard and running like freight trains.
With the clear water, I think for catching numbers, large or extra large fatheads are in order.
You need to register to sign in for his extended report at http://www.wadauwant.com/wd_journal/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=492, but it is worth it if only for the photo of the ``fish.''
ILLINOIS RIVER: STARVED ROCK AREA
Angel sent this late Tuesday:
Water temperatures were in the low '50's.
On a tip from Jim Lukancic that the saugers were biting by the mouth of Lake Senachwine I hooked up the boat and went out. We caught fish from the very first pass to the very last. I didn't count the dinks, but we caught a 19.5, a 17, four 16's and a couple of 14's.
All saugers were caught jigging with a minnow in 10 - 16 feet of water in the mouth of Senachwine.
White bass up to 1.5 pounds were also caught jigging the same way.
The Illinois River is on fire right now!
Cajun's reported good action on sauger, white bass and crappie. Water cooled to mid-50s. All normal fall spots are producing for white bass and sauger, both are around that 12-13 feet. Crappie are around snags or bridge piers. There's a few catfish are being caught.
Ed Mullady sent this:
River is at a low, clear level as of right now.
In Indiana, at the Point, north of English Lake, smallmouth bass reported good on *minnows *jig and twister tails *#2 or #3 Spinners *imitation frogs. Catfish fair on *crawlers *minnows.
Grand Kankakee Marsh Area: *good sized bluegill in ditches *Largemouth Bass good.
Rt. 55 area good on walleye on *minnows *jig & twister tails. Pike fair on big minnows.
Remember, MANY of these areas are now restricted partially or entirely at various times due to hunting taking place. Call ahead to be sure which parts that fishing is available.
In Illinois: Smallmouth Bass up to 3 lbs. on *jointed plugs *jig and minnow*crankbaits around Momence area. Rock bass good on *minnows*crawlers. Walleye improving on minnows *jig and crawler.
Nick at Kankakee River Trading Post reports catches of 18" to 20" walleye at Kankakee State Park. Smallmouth Bass also good on fly rods using *streamers *nymphs *poppers.
Wilmington, IL Island Park area good for smallmouth bass on *spinners *jigs & twisters*minnows.
Catfish still good throughout river on *worms*minnows *cheese baits.
Root River Report is at dnr.wi.gov/fish/lakemich/rootriverreport.htm.
Check the latest at Harborside.
ROOT RIVER NOTE: The Wisconsin DNR holds its first public open house to showcase the Root River Steelhead Facility in Racine, Wis. from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday.
LAKE ERIE: PORT CLINTON
For Ohio DNR report go to wildohio.com and or call (888) HOOKFISH.
For salmon snagging, see above.
CHICAGO: Park Bait reported spotty kings and a few steelhead from shore at Montrose and Belmont. There's been decent catches at Casino Pier too, as the FOTW showed.
WAUKEGAN: Salmon Stop reported a few steelhead from spawn sacs under floats down a few feet off the government, and even a few perch off government pier last week. Trollers should try by shore, otherwise out in 90-120 feet.
NORTH POINT: Capt. Bob Poteshman of Confusion Charters said lake trout are biting on the South Reef when weather allows with fish up in the 15-pound range, best on chrome Dodgers and little green and white Howie flies. Some lakers are suspended, too. There's some salmon on the hill, the first hour or so of the morning, and an occasional brown inside. There's a mix of kings and lakers deeper (150-250).
RICHARD J. DALEY MEMORIAL FISHING TOURNAMENT: The 47 winners should have received notification of the awards ceremony and will be feted at Henry's on Saturday.
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.
MADISON LAKES, WISCONSIN
For D&S Bait, go to dsbait.com
Guide Kurt Justice of Island Sports sent this:
It's more like November than mid-October. Saturday saw ice building on the rod guides until 2pm, then starting up again around 4. Below freezing temps and 20 mph winds cooling water quickly.
Musky: Goo-Very Good. Bites vary and it's still musky fishing, but it's been active. Suckers on quick set rigs are tops. Work weeds of 4-12'. Twitch baits (Crane, Big Game, Grandmas), Gliders (Hellhounds, Mantas, Smuttly Dogs) and Jerks (Smity's, Suicks) have been scoring also. Lots of nice fish from low to upper 40's. Take plenty of suckers, be prepared for multiple fish days.
Northern: Good. Like musky, they like this weather. Big chubs, suckers, 6-7" twitch baits, small gliders over weeds. Fish to 36" this week.
Crappie: Good. Fish dropping off to secondary breaks in 14-20'. Actively taking fat heads. Fish holding 4-6' off bottom.
Walleye: Fair to good. Moved out to deep haunts. Work deep rocks, gravel humps. On lakes less than 25', check green weeds. Redtailed chubs best.
Water temps are below 50 on all but the largest lakes. Fast drop has mad some fish hard to locate (perch, bass) but has turned others on (musky, pike)
Mik-Lurch reported a fresh run of smaller silver kings to the shipping canal for boaters. Shore fishermen are doing best at Amoco, decent at Pastrick and fair at Hammond. The hunt is beginning for perch out of East Chicago and Mike Starcevich said, ``I predict lakers starting by the weekend on the reef outside the Port.'' Rains slowed creek action, but they should be holding more fish.
NOTE: Willow Slough is closed to boat fishing because of waterfowl hunting. Limited shore fishing continues.
OREGON: Jan Prose at TJ's Bait/Tackle & Canoe Rental sent this:
This cold weather has brought on some good fishing. Several nice walleyes have been caught, at the dam and in the deeper holes. Shore line fishing as well as from a boat.
Reports: 37", 13 pound Musky, 8+pound Walleye was largest, but several in the nice keeper size 17-20".
3" twister tail, minnow and 1/8 oz jig head is working well.
reports of small mouth activity too.
Nice to know we still have some fish in this river!
ST. JOSEPH AREA, MICHIGAN
BJ Sports reported some decent salmon at the Berrien Springs on Saturday; steelhead should improve quickly. The Galien River had decent action on chartreuse Arctic spinners, or Oslo spinners, upstream from Red Arrow Highway.
For more reports, click here.
WOLF RIVER, WISCONSIN:
Two faithful readers--Bruce Zolna and Dennis Marcinek--called or e-mailed that crappie action was ``kamikaze'' and ``suicidal,'' respectively, over the weekend with limits in a matter of hours.
Mik-Lurch reported decent crappie in the channel, and some walleye. Remember, waterfowl hunting begins Saturday on the Illinois side.
CHICAGO AREA CHAT/REPORTS
CHICAGO AREA INFO
MICHIGAN DNR REPORT
WISCONSIN DNR REPORT
IOWA DNR REPORT
INDIANA DNR REPORT