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Midwest Fishing Report: Lake Michigan salmon & trout

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Salmon and trout have been good in the Illinois waters of Lake Michigan and highlight this Midwest Fishing Report.

walleyewisconsi2010 august 008rs

We start a central Wisconsin report today from Phil Schweik of Hooksetters Guide Service. He sent the photo above from a catch earlier this month.

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


For the best of Chicago fishing, Park Bait reported continued action at Montrose, but it takes sorting, and better keepers at Northerly Island. Through Monday, Mik-Lurch reported a decent bite (takes sorting for keepers) for boaters off Navy Pier. Then on Tuesday, boaters had a tough time, so the boat bite may be described as variable. Henry's reported 31st, 39th and 63rd picked up a bit over the last few days. In Waukegan, Salmon Stop reported good perch off the piers with boaters working in 30-45 feet from Waukegan to Great Lakes. Mik-Lurch reported perch from shore and boat at Hammond Marina on Monday. BJ Sports reported boaters taking perch in 30 feet south of the pier at St. Joseph, Mich.


Bullfrog season in Illinois runs through Aug. 31. A sport fishing license is required. 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. Daily bag is eight.


Continued good bluegill and bass action, and apparently some good catfish too, as the FOTW shows.


For an overview of nearby river conditions, click here.


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


Phil Schweik of Hooksetters Guide Service:

Fishing is heating up in Central Wisconsin. The musky bite is great with action on top water baits and bucktails. I would recommend targeting shallow wood and weeds early and late in the day for best action. Don't be surprised if you hook into a nice pike this was as well as there are plenty of these fresh water alligators in the area.

Walleyes have been providing some excellent catches for our anglers with some nice fish in the mid to upper twenty inch range being taken. Jigs tipped with crawlers slowly worked or drifted along contour breaks in 12 to 14 feet of water has been the most effective methods this past week. Some anglers are also running spinner harnesses with bright beads and blades as attractors.

Crappies and gills are definitely worth going after as we are seeing a great year class of both species. Slip bobbering with crawlers on jigs and or minnows will catch these aggressive fish all day long. Target deeper water in the 14 to 18 foot depths for the crappies and for the gills look for them to be a lot shallower and work the wood.

Bass have been very aggressive with nice catches being taken by working shallow wood with plastics and spinner baits. Action has been very consistent early and late in the day.

Bear activity has really picked up with baits regularly being hit on a daily basis. Now is the time to start picking up the baiting and to start re-baiting on a more regular basis. With season only a month away you really want to start getting them coming in more steadily.

By the way here is another update of a nice musky by one of my clients.

Jackie Pfaff with a nice 44 inch musky from the Wisconsin River that she caught on Saturday July 31st on a Northland Bucktail at 2:30 in the afternoon. She caught 2 muskies with me on Saturday and we lost 4 more.


Arden Katz reported good white bass in the holes up the river. Triangle Sports seconded good white bass, and suggested wind-blown shorelines in 8-12 feet. Triangle reported muskie are excellent. Catfish are good, crawlers are No. 1 bait, shallow throughout. Bluegill are decent, nice ones but lower numbers; fish shallow. Walleye are fair, around current areas and play the wind.

For more reports, see

More Chain info at


BRAIDWOOD/MAZONIA: On Sunday, closing goes to 7:30 p.m. Site staff report boaters taking good catfish on Braidwood. Both reactors are down after an incident earlier in the week, so adjust for lack of current, etc.

LaSALLE: A minor fish kill hit gizzard shad last week.


DELAVAN: Guide Dave Duwe sent this:

Delavan Lake 8/15/10 through 8/22/10
Fishing remains great. The boat traffic is still pretty extreme. If you want to park in the gravel lot at the launch, you will need to get there by 5:00 a.m. This is consistent even on week days.
Bluegills are in the 18-24 ft depth range. They can be caught on leaf worms or red worms. The best location has been by Willow Point or by 3 flags. Most of the fish are in the 7-8 inch range. I've been fishing straight beneath the boat.
Crappie fishing has also been very good. The fish are in 10-12 ft of water. The fish are being caught on either Thill slip bobber rigs fished one ft above the weeds or casting small plastics. For the plastics chartreuse or purple are the best options. The best location has been by the Yacht Club or by Willow Point. Some of the crappies have been in excess of 12 inches.
Walleye fishing has been slow. The dog days of summer have hit these fish. The fish that are being caught are being caught on medium diving crank baits in 15-20 ft of water. The best location has been by the concrete point or by Willow Point. Some action is also available while lindy rigging or slip bobbering large leeches in 18-24 ft range in the same locations.
Largemouth bass can either be caught in the slop or on the deep weedlines. The deep weedline bite doesn't have the schooled up fish as good as in the past few weeks. You need to move around to find the aggressive fish. The best location has been by Willow Point or by the Yacht Club.
Northern Pike fishing has been up and down. The fish haven't been aggressively biting due to the numerous small bluegills on the weed line. Most of the fish are being caught on slip bobber rigged medium suckers. The best location has either been by Willow Point or by Belvidere Park. I've been using a large Thill slip bobber and a rather small sucker. Either I'm catching a largemouth bass or I'm catching a pike. The same presentation works for both.
Good Luck and I hope to see you on the water. For guide parties, please call Dave Duwe at 608-883-2050

Daily Reports
8/15/10 - Delavan Lake - sunny, 75 degrees, water temp 80 degrees. NW winds at 5 mph. Caught 100+ bluegills, kept about 50. The bluegills were in 21 ft of water. The best approach was straight lining beneath the boat.
8/14/10 - Delavan Lake - 85 degrees, water temp 81 degrees. SW winds at 5 mph. Caught 6 largemouth, 3 northerns and about 40 bluegills. The fish were in 20-21 ft of water. They bit on leaf worms or nightcrawlers fished on a split shot rig. The northern pike came on medium suckers fished on a lindy rig. The fish were positioned 1 ft off bottom.
8/11/10 - Delavan Lake - 90 degrees and humid, water temp 81 degrees. SW winds at 5 mph. Caught 3 northern pike, 13 bass - 3 were legal, and 50 bluegill. Most of the fish were caught on the deep weedline in 20-21 ft of water. The pike and 2 of the bass were caught on medium suckers.
8/10/10 - Delavan Lake - 89 degrees and humid, water temp 81 degrees. SW winds at 5 mph. Caught 14 bass -3 were legal and 1 walleye. The bass were caught on nightcrawlers or slip bobber rigged suckers in 15-16 ft of

GENEVA: Duwe sent this:
Lake Geneva 8/15/10 through 8/22/10
Fishing has been relatively slow on Lake Geneva. Most of the action is coming out of deep water (20-30 ft). Don't be afraid if you go out a little deeper, you will catch fish.
Northern Pike fishing has been hit or miss. Most of the fish are coming out of 30-35 ft of water. One day you will catch a bunch and the next day very few are found. The best location has been by Fontana Beach or the north side of the narrows. The best bait is medium suckers fished on a lindy rig 1 ft off bottom. The best leader length is approximately 24 inches.
Largemouth bass are positioned on the hard bottom. They can be found in the 24-28 ft depth range. You need to position yourself off of lake points. Good locations are by Conference Point or by the 700 club. Most of the fish are in the 13-20 inch range. Carolina rigging Zoom lizard has been producing most of the action.
Bluegills have been relatively active in the 18-20 ft depth range. Look for the fish by Elgin Club or by Linn Pier. Fish straight beneath the boat with a split shot rigged leaf worm for the best chance of success.
Walleyes continue to be good at night as long as there is wind. The best approach is trolling medium diving crank baits 12-14 ft down in 16-18 ft of water. The fish are being caught by Trinkes or in Williams Bay. Troll large Rapalas or Walleye bandits in chrome/blue or chrome/black.
Perch fishing has been all right in the 10-12 ft depth range. Look for the fish in 8-10 ft of water. You need to sort through a long of fish before you find the keeper. Try for them by Knollwood or Rainbow point.
Lake Trout fishing has been good about ½ hour before sun up or ½ hour before sundown. The fish are being caught on nickel/blue or nickel/green spoons. The best depth is 75 ft down in the main lake basin.
Good luck and I hope to see you on the water. For guide parties, please call Dave Duwe at 608-883-2050


From Andrew Ragas, Counsellor of the Fish Parliament

Warm water temperatures have led to less anglers fishing, but don't
let that discourage you.

As it has been for much of this summer, the reports are few and far
between from everyone.

River is running at a normal flow 3.4 on gauge, and safe for wading,
while the creeks still have some high water for some reason. Water
clarity remains dark and stained throughout as surface temperatures
are still pushing at 80-degrees. If night fishing, this could be a
good thing.

Right now, the fishing is poor for most species. For the best chance
at catching fish, go during the low-light hours whether it be morning
or night. Northern Pike and Channel Catfish from deep water with wood
and current are good bets, while Largemouth Bass from the backwaters
and deep weedbeds are another viable option.

Although small in size (go figure), Pike are responding to bright
colors: topwaters, spinnerbaits, buzzbaits, shallow crankbaits. Same
applies for Bass as well.

The fishing isn't all that great right now and the fall season
couldn't come any sooner. Besides that, the only noteworthy thing to
provide is the possible removal of the Hofmann Dam in Riverside.

As anglers, are we for, or against this proposed plan?


SHELBYVILLE: Guide Ken Wilson--(217) 454-2672--out of Lithia Marina reported white bass are good trolling with crankbaits; crappie are decent the same way. Catfish continue decent most days on the north end.

For info from the Corps, call (217) 774-2020.

EVERGREEN: Site staff had this report:

Crappie, bluegill, and catfish are doing the best on Evergreen this week. Crappie are being caught mostly on minnows with some being caught on tube jigs. Most are being caught in 10-20 ft. of water mostly suspended midway. Bluegill are hitting wax worms and crawler bits along weedlines. Several nice sized catfish have been caught in the last week mostly late evenings and into the night on livers and stink baits. Bass have been hit and miss on the lake with most of them being caught early mornings or late evenings. Saugeye reports have been slim, with mostly smaller fish being caught.

Any updated fishing report will be 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.


From Frank Macikas:

Just when I thought I would finally be able to fish the mighty Dupage again Friday's storm doubled the flow and raised the level a good 18". It has since started dropped like a rock and if it keeps up this pace should be back to normal flow by Wednesday or Thursday; just in time for me to leave for Phoenix for the weekend on Thursday. I will not be out on the river this weekend since I will not be back until Monday night but will try to get some feedback and a report from a friend who should be doing a float trip this weekend if the weather holds for once.


Ken Gortowski sent this:

The oppressive heat and humidity has pretty much kept me from doing anything. When you sweat profusely sitting still, why make matters worse by getting up and moving around. My lack of interest in fishing in this weather also coincided with higher water on the Fox River. Higher than I felt like dealing with. Even the creeks were uncooperative.

That all changed over this past weekend only I didn't have time to take advantage of the situation. This cooler weather looks like it will last a long time and the river should be capable of being waded with no issues by the time this is being read. As long as the sporadic rains called for remain sporadic somewhere else.

On a Sunday venture with my youngest we of course had to go check out the creeks. In a normal year the creeks are low by now which can make them difficult to fish. Right now they are perfect. Clear, not low, just beautiful to look at. With a slow start at work with the days ending mid afternoon, I may have to take advantage of this opportunity. Some pictures at sunset through the lush green of the woods, the serenade of cicadas with the fading sun, the music of water over rock and a couple of layers of Deep Woods Off to ward off the mini vampires. Life truly is good.

Here's the link and a quick lesson in reading the USGS Real Time Water Gage on the Fox River in Montgomery for those that are dying to go wading this week.

Scroll down to the bottom graph that says Discharge, Cubic Feet per Second. Directly under that you'll see Most Recent Instantaneous Value. If the number is 1,000 cfs or less, you can pretty much wade all over the river. Of course where water is focused through a chute, you can get knocked on your butt even at lower levels. Numbers higher than that and you can still wade in quite a few places, but now you have to watch the current flows. In Montgomery there is a stretch where I can wade across the river confidently when the river is flowing at 1,500 cfs. If the river comes up to 1,700 cfs I won't even attempt it, the push of the river through one 20 foot wide stretch always picks my feet up off the bottom of the river. Not a pleasant feeling.

The next 8 weeks have always been the best fishing of the year according to my 14 years of Fox River fishing records. The air temperatures are starting to cooperate and let's hope the rain gods are done being ticked off and give us a break so we can enjoy the time in the water rather than standing on the shores.

This weeks Fox River section of choice, if the water gets to 1,200 cfs or lower, is the stretch in Batavia starting behind Funway and going for as far as you feel like walking down stream. Take your time, no spot is too small to toss a lure into. Bring your camera.


Thom Matejewski at Time on the Water Outdoors reported river conditions are very good, near normal. He said trolling flats is producing sauger (good numbers, takes sorting), catfish are very good on cut bait, white bass are spotty and spinner baits are taking bass on rip-rap and log jams.


River is in good shape, even heading toward the shallow side as this from Ed Mullady indicates:

River is going lower with sandbars near state line in Illinois making
boat fishing as not easy to do. Otherwise, bass fishing continues good there.
River Guide Matt Mullady took his sons Mickey and Zach fishing Monday and they caught(and released)17 smallmouth bass.
Smallmouth also good in Indiana around Rt. 55 to Momence, IL *Kankakee River State Park *Wilmington Island Park through Des Plaines Area.
Pike good in Indiana around the "Point" near English Lake....smaller ones are taking nightcrawlers! Try minnows on any size, as well as #5 Mepps spinner *Weedless Dr. Spoons.
Many are wading the river now...use safety measures when doing so!


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


For perch, see top.

CHICAGO: Close to the time for shoreline salmon to begin in earnest. Capt. Bill Kelly reported good fishing in 90-100 feet, east of Wilson crib, for a mixed bag of big fish, but mostly rainbows. There's mixed smaller kings, some coho and lots of rainbows in 50-60 feet from the Carter Harrison to Evanston. The R4 has lakers and a mix of coho, kings and rainbows. Capt. Bob Poteshman of Confusion Charters reported phenomenal fishing in 40-70 feet around the T marker for steelhead, kings, coho and browns.

WAUKEGAN: Salmon Stop reported some steelhead and browns off the piers too. Boaters working 70-125 feet for salmon and trout.

NORTH POINT: Poteshman reported ``a ton of fish,'' (rainbows, coho and lakers) in 200-300 feet. ``I don't remember steelhead fishing this good,'' he said. Small spoons are best tip.

RICHARD J. DALEY MEMORIAL FISHING TOURNAMENT: Fish may be weighed at Henry's, Park Bait or Vet's. In August, the species are carp, catfish, panfish, steelhead and chinook.

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:

The heat of the past week pushed the best fishing to either side of the day. Early am or late pm bites could be very good, but windows for action small.

Largemouth Bass: Good-Very Good. With exception of mid-day, LMB has remained very good. Top water has been exceptionally strong with Hula Poppers, Jitterbugs and Plastic Frogs very effective towards dusk. Morning and day light pitch worms wacky style, Boonie Baits early and late over 6-8' weed flats also catching nice bass to 5#'s.

Smallmouth Bass: Good-Very Good. This species loves the heat. Set up on deep rock humps and along deep coontail edges. 1/4 oz tubes, Chomper skirted grubs and drop shotting 3-4" minnows best. Early am work inside weededges for cruising fish. Very nice Fish (including Fish to 5#'s) with lots of action from 14-16".

Bluegills: Good-Very Good. Heat has pushed deep water gills out, lots of nice fish (7-1/2 to 9") on larger clear lakes taking 1/2 crawlers on 1/16 oz jigs or below slip floats. Fish suspended 1/2 way down along 12-20' coontail, milfoil edges.

Musky: Good. Stick to evening. Fish surface lures over weed flats of 4-8'. Mid-day fish deep, working cisco schools over deep thermoclines. Bulldawgs, Medussas, Triple D's in blue, silver, white.

Yellow Perch: Good. Work weed flats with 1/2 crawler, medium leech. Look for pockets in weeds of 6-10' "dip" baits into weed pockets or fish below floats.

Crappie: Fair-Good. Not good during heat of day, but mid morning and early evening crappies feeding over weed tops. Use small twisters, tubes and minnows.

Northern Pike: Fair. Heat has pushed the better fish out of shallows leaving only little "pickles" behind for better fish, drift suckers, chubs along weed breaks down 12-16'.

Walleye: Fair. Nice catches at dusk after dark on isolated humps sporting sandgrass. Jig full crawler on XL leeches. After dark slip bobber big leeches or whole crawlers below lighted slip-floats. Nice fish of 18-24" average.

Heat ended yesterday (8/15). Water temps will drop. Had surface temps of 80degrees on Fence/83 on Big Crawling Stone Thursday. Other reports from smaller lakes had temps as high as 87 degrees!!

Leeches very hard to come by, very limited supply.. Pick them up where you can, fish still love em.

Patterns will be changing this week, we will need a day or two to figure out new patterns.

EAGLE RIVER: Creative Brilliance sent this report for the Chamber of Commerce:

Very good northern, and bluegill action, with a good walleye,
smallmouth, largemouth and perch bite; and musky inconsistent, with crappie
scattered in the Eagle River, Wisconsin area.

(Lead): Water temps have dropped a bit, but still hovering in the mid 70s
in the Eagle River, Wisconsin area.

Northern are hitting very well in the Eagle River area. Fish 3-15 feet of
water in and around the weeds. Anything "flashy" will work, along with a
big chub on a jig. Don't forget the bigger northerns will be deeper, but
the action will be slower.

Bluegills are providing very good action in the Eagle River area. Fish 3-5
feet of water in and around weeds. Use a worm under a slip bobber, or try a
real small jig tipped with any type of small trout fly. If you want bigger
gills (and they are "there"), go a little deeper. The action will be less,
but you'll get bigger fish.

There's a good walleye bite going on in the Eagle River area. Fish
low-light hours or a cloudy day for the best action. The walleye are now
moving onto the rocks, BUT, there still are weed related walleyes hitting,
as well. For the rock walleyes, fish 12-15 feet, and for the weed fish, fish
6-8 feet. Most of the action is on a jig and a crawler, although there are
some hits on minnows.

Smallmouth are providing some good action off the breaks on the rocks in
8-15 feet of water in the Eagle River area. The smallies are really
foraging for crayfish, so use any type of plastic or crankbait which
imitates a crayfish. Live bait action is being provided on crawlers and
leeches. In the evening, there's a bite on "quieter" topwaters like a Zara
Spook or Heddon Torpedo.

Largemouth in the Eagle River area are hitting in really thick weeds in
shallow water. Fish 3-6 feet of water even LESS at times, and for sure
fish structure (docks, drowned wood, stumps or brush piles), as the
largemouth are relating to structure big-time. Use a plastic during the
day, like a Senko fished real slow on a Texas Rig without any weight. Other
plastics run this way will work as well, as well as a spinnerbait. In the
evening try a topwater like a frog or rat. The action is good, but you'll
be working a tad harder for strong hits, as the water cools.

Perch are hanging with the "weed" walleyes in the Eagle River area. Fish
6-8 feet of water, where the perch will be near the bottom. Use a crawler
or a smaller minnow. Good action.

Musky action in the Eagle River area is inconsistent. The musky are mostly
in the weeds, with a few suspending over deeper water. For the weed musky,
fish weed edges in 4-12 feet of water, or in the weeds in 2-5 feet of water.
For the suspending musky, fish about 10 feet down over deeper water. Use a
bucktail, spinnerbait or jerkbait. Best colors are orange/black,
chartreuse, white and yellow. Evening bite is best. You'll work for hits,
but if you're patient there is action. They're just not "jumping in the

Crappies in the Eagle River area are scattered throughout the weeds.
They're biting on minnows under a slip bobber. Fish 3-8 feet of water. The
action is just fair.

(Report for the Eagle River Chamber of Commerce based on Creative Brilliance
interviews with Eagle River guides "Muskie Matt" of Wild Eagle Lodge,
"Ranger Rick" Krueger of Guide's Choice Pro Shop, and Mat Hegy).
Contact info for Eagle River:
* Eagle River Chamber of Commerce; 800-359-6315; 715-479-6400; e-mail:; web:
* "Muskie Matt", 715-891-5980; e-mail:
* Mat Hegy, 715-571-7544, e-mail:
* Guide's Choice Pro Shop, guide/owner "Ranger Rick" Krueger 715-477-2248
* George Langley, Eagle River Fishing Guides Association, 715-479-8804.


BJ Sports reported most salmon effort is in 60 feet. River is good for mainly catfish and smallmouth with a few walleye.


Guide Jay Angel sent this:

Water clarity is good and surface water temperatures are in the mid 80's.

Bluegill fishing remains excellent. Look for them over the rockpiles, over the brushpiles and along the deeper weedlines. About every 5th bluegill is 8 - 9 inches long, but the other ones are small. Use waxworms on small hooks for best results.

Crappie fishing is fair with fish being caught over the deeper brushpiles. Use minnows for best results. Most crappies have been small, but some 9 - 11 inchers are still showing up.

Walleye fishing has been spotty. Most of the walleye fishing takes place in the evening. Use leeches over the rockpiles or deep flats for best results.

For more reports, click here.


From the Wisconsin DNR Lake Michigan Report:

Southern Lake Michigan Fishing Report: August 16, 2010
Kenosha Co.

In Kenosha trollers have been catching some chinooks nearshore in 25 feet of water, and others have been hitting further out, around 150 feet of water. J-plugs, spoons, and some flies have all taken fish, and silvers and greens have been the most productive colors. Shore fishing in Kenosha has started to pick up, with browns and occasional rainbows hitting white tube jigs and spoons near the Holiday Inn. The best bite has been in the evenings and into the night. Perch anglers have been catching a few off the rocks by the south pier as well as in Southport Marina. Both minnows and crab tails have been producing. Kenosha boaters looking for perch have been catching a few at the bubbler and off the 75th Street jetties.
Racine Co.
In Racine some chinooks have been taken by trollers in 20 to 60 feet down in 120 to 160 feet of water. Rainbows and chinooks have also been biting in 220 to 260 feet of water. Shore fishing in Racine has been generally slow, but a few perch have been caught in the basin near the boat launch. Effort from the piers has been very low.
Milwaukee Co.
In Milwaukee trollers have been catching mostly chinooks, along with a few lake trout and rainbows. Fish have been caught in 60 to 110 feet of water, and flies and J-plugs have taken the majority of fish. Shore fishing effort in Milwaukee remains low, and few fish have been reported. Perch fishing off the boils and the Oak Creek power plant has been slow, but boats working the South Shore breakwall have found some perch in the weeds along the rocks.



Fishing Headquarters



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






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1 Comment

Michigan always seems to be good fishing. I usually make a few trips a year to go salmon fishing with my buddy. Its unreal, the fishery is one of the best i've ever seen.

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This page contains a single entry by Dale Bowman published on August 18, 2010 7:21 AM.

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