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Midwest Fishing Report: Wading in Chicago fishing

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Wading leads this Midwest Fishing Report.


Finally, we have good wading conditions all around Chicago fishing. That's guide Bob Santangelo of Kankakee River Valley Guide Service, who said nights tend to be his best time for big fish. But that's not a bad one in the day.

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


This is the best stretch for wading or floating in 2010 around Chicago fishing. And just in time for the fall bite.

DuPAGE: Frank Macikas reported floating grass a bit of a problem, but also said, `` With no rain in the forecast it should keep getting better and better and its really about time! Looking forward to finally having some actual river reports!''

FOX: Ken Gortowski simply said, ``The switch was flipped.'' He and others reported explosive fishing after Friday's brief rains, both for catfish and smallmouth. Gortowski said the next two weeks should be the best of the year.

KANKAKEE: Jeff Humenik texted photos and reports of numbers of and big smallmouth (to 5 pounds). Mosquitoes limited night fishing for Santangelo, so he is hoping the cooler weather allows him to start nights again when the biggest fish are caught. ``Catfish Dave'' Bradigan reported good catfish (numbers and fish to 5 pounds) for waders around Momence.


Bullfrog season in Illinois ends Tuesday, yet another summer gone without my getting in some frogging. 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.


Henry's reported better bite again evenings and mornings on forest preserve lakes for bass and bluegill. It has been a good summer for largemouth in particular, maybe related to the hot, wet summer, I don't know. But I do know more people have sent photos and stories of good bass fishing on local ponds and lakes than any summer in years.


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:

Musky action has been very good on topwater baits and bucktails in green and orange. The best depths for action have been in 3 to 5 feet of water targeting wood and weeds. An occasional northern pike can be taken this way as well.

Walleye anglers are finding fish holding tight to submerged wood structure in 12 to 16 feet of water. Jigs tipped with crawlers or minnows and worked around this structure will catch a lot of walleyes along with a good variety of other fish as they all seem to like reside around the structure.

The panfish bite has been very good with lots of slab crappies being caught by guys running Mini Mite jigs in pink/yellow or pink/white suspended under slip bobbers in 14 to 18 feet of water. For best action look for schools of fish with your sonar and then set up by "spider rigging" your poles and drift quietly through the school.

Anglers are finding good numbers of smallmouth bass in shallow water 2 to 4 feet deep. To target these shallow water bronzebacks try soft plastic crayfish rigged on 1/4 ounce jigs on the bottom or 4 inch Chug Bugs on the surface. Work the baits slowly across the bottom or the surface to tantalize the bass into striking.


Triangle Sports reported walleye good if you find current, say north on the river or around Route 12 bridge; white bass are also good around same areas. Nice catfish on Marie by the sand bar drop; panfish are shallow on weeds or docks. Water is cooling, could signal the fall bite soon.

For more reports, see

More Chain info at


Jeff Nolan of Bridgeport Bass sent this:

Chicago river fishing report; south branch, bass hitting red and white spinners blue gill hitting mr twisters North pier; bass have been very slow North branch; gators hitting scum frogs (use steel leader!)

Very funny.


LaSALLE: Time on the Water Outdoors reported some big blues drifting with cut bait over the deeper holes.

BRAIDWOOD/MAZONIA: Close time is 7:30 p.m.


DELAVAN: Guide Dave Duwe sent this:

Delavan Lake 8/22/10 through 8/29/10
Fishing remains exceptional. The only situation has been the boat traffic. Almost every day of the week there are between 100 and 200 boats out on the water. If you don't mind the traffic, there are many places to fish.
Bluegill fishing remains very good. Most of the bigger fish are between 21 and 25 ft of water. They can be caught on Thill slip bobbers with a small ice jig, such as the Genz worm or the Fat boy, fished 6 inches to 1 ft off bottom. Or they can be caught straight lining beneath the boat while back trolling with your electric trolling motor. The best location has been by Assembly Park or over by 3 flags. If you don't find big fish, you need to move. They are still schooling up in order of size. I've been using either red worms or wax worms with success on both.
Largemouth bass are still schooled up in their typical summer pattern. You need to find weeds with rock. If you do so, you will be catching at least 2 or 3 off of the spot. On several spots I've caught up to 15 fish. I've noticed in the last few weeks, the time of day has been critical. They don't seem to want to bite real early in the a.m., but will turn on by 6:30 or 7:00 a.m. So if you find a prime location, wait them out. Try them with a 1/8 oz lindy rig on a 24 inch leader and a #6 hook, or fish a split shot rig with a #3 split shot and a #6 hook. I will keep the boat in 25-30 ft of water and cast into the weeds in 16-18 ft of water.
Northern Pike has been one of the slowest bites on the lake. I still believe that with all the pan fish on the weedline, the fish have way too much to eat. Most of the success has come off of a Thill Mille Lacs slip bobber fished in 15 ft of water. I've been tipping the slip bobber rig with a 4-5 inch sucker. I've tried deeper water, however the bass and northern pike that I've been catching are right in the weeds. The best location has been Willow Point or the west end of the island.
Walleye fishing has been slow, however there are still fish being caught. The numbers are between 4 and 6 in a 4 hour trip if you target them. The fish are in 20-22 ft of water. Look for the fish off the weedline. The best approach has been lindy rigging leeches or using jigging Rapalas in chrome and blue color. The best location has been by Willow Point or by the Yacht Club.
Good luck and I hope to see you on the water. For guide parties, please call Dave Duwe at 608-883-2050

Daily Reports
8/22/10 - Delavan Lake - sunny and foggy, 80 degrees, winds N at 10 mph. Water temp 79 degrees. Caught 80 bluegills, kept 40 of them. They were in 20-21 ft of water. The fish were caught straight lining beneath the boat while using the trolling motor. The best location was by Willow Point. The fish were positioned 6 inches to 1 ft off bottom.
8/20/10 - Delavan Lake - sunny, 85 degrees, winds were out of the SW at 10 mph. Water temp 79 degrees. Caught 13 largemouth - 4 were legal and about 30 bluegill. I had two bites of northern pike on the suckers, but we were unable to land either of them. The best location was by Del Mar and by Willow Point.
8/17/10 - Delavan Lake - cloudy, 70 degrees, winds were light, water temp 77 degrees. Caught 21 largemouth - 3 were legal, 4 northern pike and 15 bluegill. Most of the fish were caught on nightcrawlers. The 4 pike and about 4 of the largemouth were caught on slip bobbered suckers in about 15 ft of water. The best location was by the Yacht

GENEVA: Duwe sent this:

Lake Geneva 8/22/10 through 8/29/10
Fishing has been relatively slow. There have been a few pike and largemouth bass being caught. The boat traffic for fishermen has been relatively light since most of the traffic appears to be over on Delavan. This makes for some pleasant fishing on Geneva.
Northern Pike fishing has been rather spotty. One day you can catch them pretty good and the next day it's a challenge. The best location has been by Fontana beach or the weedline east of Abbey Springs. The best approach has been lindy rigging medium suckers in 32-35 ft of water. Good electronics are essential in finding the active fish that are just off bottom.
Smallmouth bass have been slowly moving out. They are still positioning on the outside edges of the bait fish. This time of year, I key on the deep rock in 22-25 ft of water. The best location has been by the Military Academy or off of black point. The best approach is lindy rigging nightcrawlers or yellow perch caught in Lake Geneva. You want to use a 24 inch leader, I use a #1 hook for the perch or a #6 bait holder for the nightcrawlers.
Bluegill fishing has been above average. They are in 18-24 ft of water. Look for the fish on the west side of Williams bay or by Elgin Club. The best approach is anchoring and fishing straight beneath the boat. I will use a single #12 Kahle hook and a #3 split shot tipped with a red worm.
Lake Trout fishing has been good in the main lake basin. Try fishing in the early morning hours, preferably about 5:30 until 7:00 a.m. This is the time of day when the fish are suspended off the bottom making them easier to catch. I will use chrome/blue or chrome/green spoons. Using your fish locator you can determine the depth where the fish are. Typically, I run my poles at 65, 75 and 85 ft down in 108 ft of water.
Largemouth bass are in the deep weeds in 20-30 ft of water. The key is finding weeds that have rock intermixed. The best location has been by the 700 Club or the weedline at Trinkes. The best approach is either Carolina rigging a green pumpkin lizard or dragging All Terrain jigs with a grub trailer. The key to largemouth bass fishing on Geneva is the deeper the better.


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: Lake is near normal level, and in mid-80s. Guide Ken Wilson--(217) 454-2672--out of Lithia Marina reported white bass remain good on crankbaits, there's a few crappie deep on jigs and a few catfish drifting on north end. There is not much flow at all in the river below the dam.

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

EVERGREEN: Site staff reported:

Reports have been good for fishing the past week. Some Crappie are starting to be caught in the shallows, with most still being caught in deeper waters 10-15 ft. on minnows. A few smaller Saugeye reported from over the weekend in the 10-15" range caught on crawlers off of points. Catfish have been hitting on crawlers, livers, and stink baits. Bluegill have been doing well on small pieces of crawlers and wax worms along deep weed lines. Bass action has started to pick up a bit on crankbaits, spinners, and plastic worms

Any updated fishing report will be posted here.


Here's more of an extended report from Frank Macikas:

Flow and current are a little higher than normal but not bad at all. Clarity is four feet or better. I wasnt able to fish very long but I was able to pick up 2 small smallmouth and a small largemouth on a watermelon chigger craw and another small smallie on a watermelon hellgrammite but nothing of any size. The grass is pretty thick and there was a lot floating downstream so casting upstream was the only way to avoid a jig full of grass. With no rain in the forecast it should keep getting better and better and its really about time! Looking forward to finally having some actual river reports!


River is in good shape. Catfish remain the top bite, lots of sauger (take sorting) on crankbaits and some white bass starting around rip-rap, reported Time on the Water Outdoors.


Ed Mullady sent this:


POINT, North of English Lake: Catfish Very Good on Minnows*Worms*Cheesebait
Smaller Pike being caught on worms *Try Minnows *Doctor Spoons for bigger size.
Smallmouth and Largemouth Bass fair on plugs spinners*minnows.

KANKAKEE STATE FISH & WILDLIFE AREA: 10 MILE ROAD AREA for largemouth bass on* Spinners *Crankbaits*plastic worms. NOTE: Rt.8 is shut down for
Bridge replacement! Folks can still fish, but it is tough to get on 10-mile road and in ditch along the highway.*******.

LA SALLE F&W AREA: Croppie good along shorelines, in water branches on *redworms * minnows *Beetle Spins(small size) *Pinkie Jigs. TRY for pike at bayou mouths * quieter shorelines *near boat launch. Good baits include: *large minnows *Weedless Doctor Spoons *Red/White Dardevles.


MOMENCE AREA: DAVE ZACK, Momence Conservancy District, reports fair to good catches of both smallmouth and largemouth bass from State Line to Momence. Try especially around Lake Alexander RV Camp *Glorydale * 4th Ave. Boat Launch. PIKE at mouths of ditches, bayous should be good here on big spinners * spoons *minnows.
CATFISH good on *Minnows *Crawfish *Nightcrawlers *Cheesebaits.

KANKAKEE AREA: Try for smallmouth bass along shores at River Road Park and Cobb Park. Good baits: Mr.Twister Wtd., Keeper Hook & Twister tails *jig and minnow *imitation crawfish. *#2, #3 Spinners *Jointed plugs. Catfish good on *cheese baits *chicken liver *hamburger *catalpa worms.

KANKAKEE RIVER STATE PARK: Smallmouth Bass good at Altorf area *Rex and Carly Islands *Mickey Island on *Wtd. Keeper Hook & Twister tails *live minnows *imitation hellgrammites. Catfish good throughout on baits above. Fish weedbeds with redworms, minnows, spinners for croppie and rock bass.

WILMINGTON DAM & DES PLAINES AREA: Smallmouth Bass good on *minnow shaped plugs *spinners *fly rod nymphs, streamers, poppers *imitation hellgrammites. Walleye fair on *jig and minnow *yellow bucktail and jig *jointed plugs!
You can buy the latest, larger Sportsman's Letter at bait shops, sport stores that are Kankakee River oriented! To subscribe, mail check or money order for $6.50 for next 4 issues to: Sportsman's Letter, 726 S. Elm, Kankakee, IL 60901. Each issue covers much river information.

``Catfish Dave'' Bradigan sent this:

Dale the catfish bit is still good. I went out Saturday morning for three hours 9-12 and caught 4 ,three were five pounders and one was a solid three pounds. Long drifts, but when the hook was set they exploded on top of the water. As one canoe was floating by he was giving me some crap about my cub hat and that I would not catch any fish. He spoke too soon because I set the hook and that cat did some tail walking for the canonist. He apologized. River is clearing and dropping.

Ah, one of the great joys of life, catching a good fish in front of others.


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


CHICAGO: Might be the week for salmon on shore. Click here for a story on one the earliest reports of a shoreline salmon. Some of the best fishing in the area is for boaters from the Wilson crib to the R4 for a good mixed bag, both Capt. Bill Kelly of Leprechaun Fishing Charters and Capt. Bob Poteshman of Confusion Charters said. Both reported a number of grand slams (all five salmon and trout). Perch slowed, even for boaters.

WAUKEGAN: Salmon Stop reported deeper is better (100-150 feet) in front of Great lakes on spoons on Leadcore; boaters are finding some perch in 30-50; shore fishermen taking a few perch off Government pier, a few trout and salmon off the piers.

NORTH POINT: Poteshman reported an outstanding bite from 150-300, especially for steelhead. There's some kings scattered from the shore to the hill.

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 fisherman's lots at Burnham and DuSable harbors are available at Henry's.


For D&S Bait, go to


MINOCQUA: Guide Kurt Justice of Island Sports sent this:

Six inches of rain hit the Lakeland area filling most of the lakes and flowages to full and beyond (some lakes like Katherine, Big Muskellunge, Clear will need more). The rising water levels affected the bites on the Flowages and some of the lakes. Once things level off the start of the early fall bites should begin. Water temps dropped and a lot early last week (low 80's to high 60's) but are now rising in to the low to mid 70's. Lakes with traditional algae blooms are seeing lots of greening, while suddenly higher water levels are leaving and but more "water" to fish over weed tops.

Smallmouth Bass: Good. Deep water fish less affected than shallow (LMB). Humps and breaks of 18-34'. Drop shotting 2 1/2" Gulp Minnows, 3" Senkos to well as 1/2 Crawlers on frozen soft shells on 1/8 oz jigs. Smallies at these depths seem to be feeding heavily on small bait fish so small tubes, jigs should work as well.

Largemouth Bass: Good. Slowed from previous week due to cooler weather and rain. Surface bite backed off, but plunking plastic working. Also casting 3" Twister Tails on 1/6-1/8 jig heads also affective.

Yellow Perch: Good. 1/2 Crawlers, Medium Fats in 8-12' weeds. Soft shell Crayfish (frozen) over 14-22' sandgrass also working.

Musky: Good. Not great action but fish in mid 30 to 40 " range working weed beds. Bucktails best, Jointed Smity Cranks and Surface Lures towards weeks end.

Bluegill: Fair-Good. Slowed with cool weather early in week. Picking up with warmth.

Northern Pike: Good to Far. This species actually reached better to cool off. Boonie Bait Spinnerbaits, Johnson Silver Minnows, Daredevils over weed flats.

Crappie: Fair. Return of consistent weather will bring these fish back to 8-12' weeds.

Walleye: Fair. Best on deep lakes. Shallow lakes and flowages were affected by rain.

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

Very good smallmouth bite, with good action for musky, walleye,
northern, largemouth and panfish in the Eagle River, Wisconsin area; and
there were 1078 entrants in Eagle River's 25th Annual National Championship
Musky Tournament, held August 20-22, 2010 (major results posted below).

(Lead): Water temps are in the low 70s in the Eagle River, Wisconsin area.

Smallmouth bass action is very good to excellent in the Eagle River area.
Fish 8-20 feet of water on break edges over hardbottom. Use a 3 inch plastic
tube, jig and a leech or a sinner bait.

Musky in the Eagle River area are locating in 15 feet of water or less in
the weeds or just off the weed edges. Bucktails, crankbaits and topwaters
are all working.

Walleye are on outside weed edges and rocky points in the Eagle River area.
Fish 10-15 feet, using a jig and a minnow or a jig and a leech.

Northern are in 15 feet of water or less in and around weeds, in the Eagle
River area. Use a bass style spinner bait, Husky Jerk, or a medium northern
sucker under a slip bobber.

Largemouth bass are in heavy weeds in 10 feet of water or less in the Eagle
River area. The largemouth are relating to structure such as docks, downed
trees, brush piles, and stumps. Use a jig and a pig (jig tipped with a hunk
of pork rind), a topwater or spinnerbait.

Crappies, bluegills and perch are in the same general location in the Eagle
River area. Fish outside weed edges in 10-15 feet of water. The crappies
and gills will be suspending up and down the water column, and the perch
will be close to the bottom. Use a crappie minnow, waxie, or chunk or
crawler under a slip bobber.

Here are the major results of the Musky Clubs Alliance of Wisconsin, 25th
Annual National Championship Musky Open, held in Eagle River, Wisconsin
August 20-22, 2010:

There were 1078 entrants, representing 15 states. 145 muskies were caught
and released.

Winner was Mike Burggink of Tomahawk, Wisconsin with a catch of three muskies totaling 127.5 inches.

The largest fish caught in the tournament was 50.25 inches by Ron Naples of Manhattan, Illinois.

(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.


Mik-Lurch reported some steelhead in front of Burns Ditch, creeks slow, perch slowed and a few walleye trolling crawler harnesses from the island to the Skyway on Wolf Lake.


BJ Sports reported steelhead started (nice, pink brightly lined fish) Tuesday on the St. Joseph piers. The river gave up multiple flatheads heavier than 30 pounds in recent days.


On Saturday, the best catfish stringer was 24.75 pounds (six fish), biggest going 9.1, in Lakeside's catfish open; best on stinkbait or chicken liver. Water cooled into mid-70s. Crappie moved back into the cribs; bluegill remain on outside weeds and bass are in lily pads and weeds.

For more reports, click here.


From the Wisconsin DNR Lake Michigan Report:

Southern Lake Michigan Fishing Report: August 23, 2010
Kenosha Co.

In Kenosha trollers have been catching some chinooks in 50 to 70 feet of water, and rainbows have been hitting out in 250 to 270 feet of water. Various colored spoons fished 50 feet down have been effective for the steelhead, and J-plugs and spoons have both taken chinooks. Shore anglers in Kenosha continue to catch browns in the harbor on white tube jigs, and the best bite has been in the evenings and into the night. Kenosha boaters looking for perch have been catching a few at the bubbler, off the 75th Street jetties, as well as off the breakwall, but anglers have had to work hard to find the fish.
Racine Co.
Fishing effort in Racine has been low, but those out fishing have had some decent success. Trollers continue to catch rainbows in 220 to 260 feet of water, and closer to shore chinooks in the 12 pound range have been hitting out past the reef. Early mornings have been best, and J-plugs and spoons have both produced fish. Shore anglers in Racine have been catching a few chinooks off the south pier, near the mouth of the river. Castmasters and crank baits have taken fish.
Milwaukee Co.
In Milwaukee trollers have been catching a few chinooks and lake trout, but fishing has been generally slow. Fish have been caught in 60 to 90 feet of water, and glow spoons 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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This page contains a single entry by Dale Bowman published on August 25, 2010 4:55 AM.

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