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Midwest Fishing Report: Lakes and shorelines

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Shoreline events and the shoreline fishing for salmon and trout lead this Midwest Fishing Report.


This is one of my favorite photos from Chicago fishing: Bob Mlinarcik casting in one of Henry's early Fall Salmon Classic's at Northerly Island.

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. As of today, I split the rivers near to Chicago into a separate post.

If you have suggestions, post in the comments section or let me know at

We lead with Salmon Unlimited's kids shore fishing derby and this year's Salmon Classic.


Salmon Unlimited holds its second shore fishing derby for kids at Waukegan Harbor from 7 a.m.-noon Saturday. There are two divisions: 13 and younger, 14-18
Admission is free. There's hot dogs, chips and drinks for participants. Click here for info.


Henry's holds its seventh salmon classic at Northerly Island from 6-9 Sunday night. Registration begins at 5:30 p.m. Registration and parking are free. For info, call (312) 225-8538 or click here.


Action has varied, though rains could dramatically help in the rivers. KENOSHA/RACINE, WIS.: Arden Katz reported good kings (very silver, suggesting more should be coming) from midnight to 4 a.m. at Kenosha. He found rattle baits retrieved slowly best. At Racine, the Wisconsin DNR reported chinooks, coho, and rainbows improved in Reefpoint Marina and in the small boat basin near the boat launch. WAUKEGAN: Salmon Stop reported both kings and steelhead on spoons, or spawn and crawlers, off south rocks and government pier. CHICAGO: Park Bait reported a few kings with lures at Montrose, Belmont and Diversey, with a few trout being caught inside the harbors with small fatheads or spawn. Henry's also reported some kings at Burnham, 39th and Casino pier; they also reported spawn starting to take some trout as well. NORTHWEST INDIANA: Mik-Lurch said the creeks are loaded with kings, steelhead and coho. There's spotty action at Burns Ditch, Amoco and Hole-in-the-Wall. ST. JOSEPH, MICH.: BJ Sports reported good fish in the St. Joe, but warm water has made a tough bite. Cool down by rain should spike action.


Fall trout season opens Oct. 16. Stocked lakes near Chicago 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.


Not sure how much the warm-up and rains will change things, but Henry's said some of fall crappie fishing was starting at places like Saganashkee Slough. Things are changing.


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


From reports by Phil Schweik of Hooksetters Guide Service:

(Head): Very good musky, walleye, smallmouth, and crappie bite with fair
bluegill action in and amidst the lakes and the Wisconsin River of
Wisconsin's Marathon and Lincoln Counties (near Mosinee and Wausau).

(Lead): Water temps in the central Wisconsin area around 60 degrees. As the
water temps drop, the fishing is getting "hotter."

Plenty of really wonderful fishing action in the central Wisconsin area,
right across the board.

Musky are hitting strong as they stage near their winter locations. They're
just about anywhere and everywhere in the central Wisconsin area just off
their winter locations. Fish 6-10 feet of water in/near/around weeds and
wood. 12-13 inch suckers are working real well, along with jerk baits.

Walleye in the central Wisconsin are biting consistently. Fish the wood in
4-6 feet of water, and use a jig and a fathead minnow.

Smallmouth bass can be had in the central Wisconsin area by fishing heavy
wood or rocky shorelines in 2-5 feet of water. Use a tube jig.

Some real good perch fishing going on in the central Wisconsin--area. Fish 8
feet of water in the weeds, where there is a sunken island. Use a jig and a
minnow. Some nice jumbos are being caught.

Crappies are still growing crazy in the central Wisconsin area. Fish heavy
wood in 6 feet of water, and use a jig and a minnow. Furious action, with
limits taken quickly, and lots of catch-and-release afterwards.

Bluegills are putting on just a fair bite in the central Wisconsin area.
Fish downed trees in 4-5 feet of water, and use a small jig tipped with a
small. minnow or chunk of crawler.


Triangle Sports reported Triangle reported muskie improved, Channel and Catherine best. Walleye are good on crawlers or large fatheads, try bridge areas or work main lake points into main lake flats. White bass are good, try wind-blown shorelines, especially on Petite, Bluff and Marie. Bluegill are migrating shallow. For crappie, try channel mouths toward evening.

Mike Okoniewski, one-time Diversey Harbor captain, reported outstanding white bass on Marie, especially some bigger ones over the weekend leading to a good fish fry.

For more reports, see

More Chain info at


BRAIDWOOD/MAZONIA: Lakes close Oct. 12, except Monster Lake remains open year-round for fishing. As of Sunday, closing will be 6:30 p.m. Most effort is being concentrated on the Mazonia lakes.

HEIDECKE: Final day of fishing is Oct. 5. It's spotty now for a mixed bag.


DELAVAN: Guide Dave Duwe sent this:

Delavan Lake 9/19/10 through 9/26/10
Fall patterns are getting started. The past week the weather has been a bit of a yo-yo making fishing tougher than it has in the past. There are still fish to be caught, however, the numbers are down significantly from past weeks.
Largemouth bass have moved shallower. They are in 8-10 ft of water. Look for the fish by Browns Channel or the west end by the island. Most of the success has come on drop shotting nightcrawlers or 4 inch plastic worms. Green pumpkin is the best color for the plastic worms. With the cooler weather, the fish will move even shallower in the next couple weeks and don't forget to fish the boat docks and the last remaining green weeds in the lake.
Walleye fishing has been average. A few fish are being caught on the weedline with scattered weeds and hard bottom. Look for the fish by the Yacht Club or by Willow Point. The fish that are being caught during the day are being caught on nightcrawlers fished on a lindy rig. The best depth is 15-18 ft of water. Some fish are being caught at night. The best bait is Rapala Husky jerks or small medium diving crankbaits. Chrome/blue or Chrome/black are the best colors.
Northern Pike fishing has started to pick up over the last few weeks. The cooler water has made them more active. The best approach is lindy rigging suckers or casting white spinner baits. Work the fish right on the weedline in 15-16 ft of water. Look for the fish by the Belvidere Park or by Del Mar.
Bluegill fishing has slowed tremendously. The fish have become scattered. Most of the success is coming in the 8-10 ft range right in the weeds. Small ice jigs tipped with a wax worm is the best approach. Look for the fish by the Village Supper Club or by Assembly Park. In fall, bluegills will suspend in deep water over the main lake basin. They are starting to do this by the Village Supper Club. As the water cools, more fish will go deep.
Yellow Perch have been biting very well. The best depth is 12-15 ft. There is a very good class of small fish this year, so you will need to sort to catch some keepers. Look for the fish by Lake Lawn or over by the old Boy Scout Camp.
Good luck and I hope to see you on the water. For guide parties, please call Dave Duwe at 608-883-2050
Daily Report
9/18/10 - Delavan Lake - cloudy and rainy, 65 degrees, water temp 66 degrees, N wind at 15 mph. Fished for approximately 1 hour before the rains came and blew us off the lake. Caught 1 northern, 1 legal bass and 4 small bass also caught a handful of perch. Fished in the shallows in 5 ft of water. The best rig was a split shot rigged nightcrawler.
9/15/10 - Lake Geneva - sunny, 70 degrees, water temp 69 degrees, SW winds at 15 mph. Caught rock bass and perch in 13-18 ft of water. We were trying for deep water smallmouth but didn't have much success. Fished by the Military Academy, the Yacht Club and by Black Point.

GENEVA: Duwe sent this:

Lake Geneva 9/19/10 through 9/26/10
Fishing on Geneva remains a bit tough. The water temperature has now cooled to 69 degrees on the surface. Usually this is prime time to catch smallmouth on the rock points however, they haven't arrived there just yet.
The big rock bass remain in 18-20 ft of water. They can be caught by lindy rigging nightcrawlers or small fat head minnows. Look for the fish by Elgin Club or by the Military Academy. It isn't very hard to catch a bunch of fish so it's still a great time to get your kids out one last time before it gets too cold.
Smallmouth bass have been slow. I have tried drop shotting them with 4 inch worms in 20-25 ft of water and fished for them in 5-6 ft of water by shallow rock without success. I think the weather needs to stabilize before the fish will become active.
A few largemouth bass are being caught in the shallow weeds in 8-10 ft of water. They are being caught on chrome/blue husky jerks or small rattle traps. The best location is in Geneva Bay or by the Geneva Inn.
Northern Pike fishing is in the transition period. They are coming off the deep thermocline bite and beginning to move shallow. This is the time of year you can catch them on slip bobbers on the weed flats, such as Fontana Beach or Williams Bay. The fish are usually in 12-15 ft of water. You want to anchor your boat and cast bobbers in all directions. This bite can be very good all the way until ice up. You don't want to be too aggressive in moving, you need to wait the fish out.
Walleyes are biting at night in the 12-15 ft depth range. You want to troll medium diving stick baits. Look for the fish by Trinkes or in Geneva Bay. Like the pike, these fish will remain active until ice up.
Yellow Perch are biting in the 8-10 ft depth range. Look for the fish by Colemans Point or Rainbow Point. The best approach is slip bobbering small leaf worms or small fat head minnows. I position the bait about 1 ft off bottom. The best approach here is anchoring to keep the boat in the right water depth.
Good luck and I hope to see you on the water. For guide parties, please call Dave Duwe at 608-883-2050


SHELBYVILLE: Guide Ken Wilson--(217) 454-2672--out of Lithia Marina reported white bass remain very good (catches to 150) on two-jig rigs or spinners, and crappie improving.

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

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.

EVERGREEN: Any updated fishing report will be posted here.

POWERTON: The lake will be closed through today for levee maintenance and repairs. It will reopen at 6 a.m. Thursday.


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


CHICAGO: Capt. Bill Kelly of Leprechaun Charters reported spotty small kings in 40-120 feet; some lakers tight to the bottom from the R4 east and north of the R4.

WAUKEGAN: Salmon Stop reported boaters finding spotty salmon/trout in 60-80 before the weather.

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

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.


D&S Bait reported a few bluegills, suspended or on weed lines, on Monona; some muskies evenings. Some perch and bluegill on weed lines of Kegonsa.

For D&S Bait, go to


EAGLE RIVER: George Langley or staff at Eagle Sports Center reported,

HAYWARD: Al Rosenquist at Pastika's said,

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

(Head): Good bite for smallmouth, northern and panfish, with hit-and-miss
action for musky and walleye in the Eagle River, Wisconsin area.

(Lead): Water temps declining in the Eagle River, Wisconsin area, with
average temps in the low 60s.

Anglers fishing in Eagle River are getting fish, but they're working for
what they're catching.

Smallmouth bass and walleye in Eagle River are in the same general areas.
Fish rocks and break edges in 15-30 feet of water. Use a jig and a fathead
for the walleyes, and for the smallies use a crawfish pattern plastic or a
jig and a fathead. Action for the smallies is good, and hit-and-miss for
the walleye (some anglers doing well, others not getting much when it comes
to the walleyes).

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

Panfish are doing nicely in the Eagle River area, with perch in 10-30 feet
of water near the bottom. Fish mud bottom areas, using a jig tipped with a
chunk of crawler or a small fathead. Lots of sorting, but you'll get plenty
for the frying pan. Crappies and bluegills are hanging together, in two
places. Fish shallow weeds in 10 feet of water or less, or deep water humps
in 15-30 feet of water. Both are suspending up and down the water column.
Use a crappie minnow, chunk or crawler under a slip bobber, or a small
plastic on a jig.

Musky in the Eagle River area are holding in 6 feet of water or less in and
around weeds and just off of weed edges. Muskies have also been seen in
thick weed areas of 3 feet to vertical drop offs of 30 feet. Use a smaller
bucktail, crankbait, and topwater. And yes, live suckers, 12-14 inches are
getting their share of hits, too. Musky hunters are definitely catching
fish, but it can be hit-and-miss. Patience and moving around are the
secrets to success for musky right now.

(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.

MINOCQUA: Guide Kurt Justice of Island Sports sent this:

Lots of changing, but overall cool weather has lake surface temps still falling. Most lakes at 60 degrees or below with the coolest lakes I've found at 55 degrees.
Musky: Good. Cooling temps appeal to this fish. Still time to throw bucktails, topwater. Fast, erratic moving twitch baits and suckers. Wind has helped anglers drifting suckers with blades. Still, most action shallow along weeds beds.
Walleye: Fair-Good. Fish very scattered. Finding fish in as little as 6' to as deep as 35' on same lakes on same days. Be prepared to move. Redtails for weed fish, large fats and crawlers for deep.
Smallmouth Bass: Fair-Good. Big fish up shallow in wood of 6-10'. Nice 18-20+ inchers. Some taking chubs meant for walleyes, others being targeted by anglers taking creature baits.
Largemouth Bass: Fair-Good. Depending on weather. High skies either under boat houses and piers (very good with such high water) or along deep breaks of 18-25'. Tubes, wacky worms up shallow, Carolina rigging worms and spider grubs.
Pike: Fair-Good. Large live bait over weed beds, big bladed spinnerbaits, spoons.
Panfish: Fair. Not a lot of attention due to wind. Flowages giving up best catches working slip-floats in weed pockets using fatheads, 1/2 crawlers and leeches.
With big rain being forecasted for Thursday, weekend looks good. Musky/walleye fishing should only get better over next 4 weeks. Nice walleyes to 27" from 35' with good eaters to 20" coming from both shallow and deep.


For shoreline salmon/trout, see top. Mik-Lurch reported boaters taking some at Burns Ditch, Hole-in-the-Wall, a few at Buffington and in the shipping canal. Smallmouth are good on the lakefront.


Lakeside reported few fishing, but lots of variety on species (crappie in the cribs, most able to catch bluegill and perch). Weeds are half gone, water is mid-60s. A 42-inch muskie was caught in the open Saturday. For more reports, click here.


From the Wisconsin DNR Lake Michigan Report:

Southern Lake Michigan Fishing Report: September 20, 2010
Kenosha Co.

Shore anglers in Kenosha continue to catch occasional chinooks and browns in the harbor near the Best Western, and fresh skein and white tube jigs have been producing. There have been a few chinooks taken on spoons near the mouth of the Pike River as well, but there has been minimal chinook movement upstream.
Racine Co.
Racine trollers have had some success working the area in front of the harbor. Mature chinooks have been hitting white J-plugs, but fish have been spooky. Racine shore fishing has picked up, with some chinooks, coho, and rainbows taken in Reefpoint Marina and in the small boat basin near the boat launch. Spawn fished near the bottom has been productive, as have small blue & silver or orange spoons. This weekend on the Root River, despite relatively low water, trout and salmon anglers produced some fair catches. Although fishing was a little slow at times, there were some nice chinook salmon landed as well as a couple brown trout and one recorded coho salmon. Angler pressure was most concentrated around Lincoln Park with a few anglers scattered downstream around Island Park and near N. Memorial bridge. Most harvested chinooks weighed between 9-15 pounds, brown trout averaged 6-7 pounds, and the coho weighed in at 3.75 pounds. Many successful anglers were either fly fishing with red or orange flies or casting small bucktail spinners.
Milwaukee Co.
In Milwaukee fishing has been relatively slow for boaters, with a few browns taken in and around the harbor. Shore fishing in Milwaukee has also been slow, although effort has been relatively low. Fishing on the Milwaukee and Menomonee Rivers remains slow, but anglers fishing Oak Creek have taken several chinooks below the dam and a few near the mouth in Grant Park.


River's Edge reported smallmouth, crappie and bluegill are decent, walleye improving. The first legal sturgeon was caught this week (see FOTW) and registered at River's Edge. Hook and line sturgeon season runs through Sept. 30. Minimum is 60 inches. A tag is required. Click here for more.


Mik-Lurch reported decent bass, good crappie in the corn channel (Indiana) and walleye slowed.



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 22, 2010 6:58 AM.

Midwest Fishing Report: Chicago fishing, rivers was the previous entry in this blog.

Chicago fishing: The walleye catcher is the next entry in this blog.

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