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Midwest Fishing Report: Fall patterns

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This is the Midwest Fishing Report, a fairly typical one for fall coming down in early October.


Well, the extended online version of the MFR, which appears in the Sun-Times outdoors page 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


There is now a $10 charge to park in the lot most often used by fishermen at Belmont Harbor in Chicago. Click here for details on the letter-writing campaign in one of the hottest issues in Chicago fishing.


Mac's reported good action at Jackson Park, as did the Salmon Stop at Waukegan. Snagging for chinook and coho salmon is open at these select areas: 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. Final day is Dec. 31.


Fall trout season opens Oct. 16. Stocked area lakes include Axehead, Belleau and Horsetail (Cook County), Silver, Pickerel 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.


For an overview of nearby river conditions, click here.


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


Creative Brillance compiled this report based on interviews with licensed guide and trapper Phil Schweik and guide Glenn Moberg, both of Hooksetters Fishing & Hunting Guide Service, Mosinee. Wisconsin:

(Head): Musky and walleyes hitting, with nice bucks, does and yearlings being seen as the archery deer season opens, in and amidst the lakes and the Wisconsin River of Wisconsin's Marathon and Lincoln Counties (near Mosinee and Wausau).

(Lead): Water levels are starting to subside in the central Wisconsin area,
but that doesn't mean racing out to your favorite hotspot. With the recent
high water, a lot has changed on the Wisconsin River and its backwaters. A
lot of structure has moved both in and out of areas making for what could be
dangerous travel conditions until you re-learn the river system. Best
suggestion: Hire one of the areas knowledgeable guides, who will put you on
fish, in safety.

Fishing has been picking up in the central Wisconsin area, and a lot of nice
walleyes are being caught. Work current breaks in 6 to 12 feet of water
with 1/8 and 1Ž4 ounce jigs tipped with fathead minnows or small suckers. The
musky hunters have been out and the bite has been good on suckers below slip
bobbers and large jerkbaits like Suicks and Bobbies. A few anglers throwing
Bulldawgs and Monster Tubes are catching some fish as well. Look again for
current breaks, and the backwater areas to be holding most of the fish right
now, as they are struggling to get out of the heavier, cooler current.

The 2010 archery deer season has begun in the central Wisconsin area, and
hunters have taken to the woods. Reports coming in are that some nice
bucks, along with good numbers of does and yearlings are being seen. For
successful hunts target field edges early and late in the day and work oak
ridges all day long, as we are having a bumper crop of acorns this year.

This time of the year, I couldn't resist leaving the deer report in.


Arden Katz reported bluegill are excellent shallow on Catherine and Channel with spikes and Mini-Mites under small floats. Triangle Sports reported crappie improving toward evening as they move into channel mouths. Walleye are good; look for schooling fish off main lake points and moving up at night. Muskie are OK, bite improves daily. Look for white bass on wind-blown shorelines on Bluff and Petite.

For more reports, see

More Chain info at


Jeff Nolan of Bridgeport Bass sent this:

Chicago river report; water level and temps up and down by 2 ft, temps 64 too 76 degrees. Slow early in week till Sunday and Monday night big bass and big blue gill slamming rapala's rattlin tin man on bubbly creak mouth just before dusk, great numbers, only a few keepers.......... going back out tonight (Tuesday) will shoot you back late about 10pm just wanted to get this in before we go out . Also Larry says he saw the south branch gator again across from boat ramp??????? I asked the club to look out by the power plant because of the warmer water there it does not make sense the water at boat ramp is about 66 at plant 77... go figure.

Nolan sent another note that he did well for bass and big bluegill on the South Branch on Beetle spins and rattle Raps Tuesday night.


LaSALLE: Last day of fishing is Oct. 15. During October, it is closed Mondays and Tuesdays. BRAIDWOOD/MAZONIA: Last day of fishing is Tuesday. Monster Lake at Mazonia South remains open for fishing year-round. HEIDECKE: Closed to fishing.


DELAVAN: Guide Dave Duwe sent this:

Delavan Lake 10/3/10 through 10/10/10
It has been a typical fall so far. Cool nights and strong winds during the day. It's making it difficult to get out on the water. There is still some good fishing to be had so don't give up yet.
Walleyes are starting to show up on the weedlines in 16-18 ft of water. There is also a secondary bite in 28-30 ft of water. The weedline fish can be caught while casting crank baits. The best color is either a perch pattern or pearl. Look for the fish by the main lake points, such as, Willow Point, the Yacht Club and the Village Supper Club. The best action has been in low light conditions. For the deep water fish, I've been using Lindy rigs with medium fat heads and nightcrawlers. The fish are outside the weedline on the mud bottom.
Northern Pike have moved into the shallows. They are in 8-10 ft of water. The best success has come off of white spinner baits. I have also been catching some on medium suckers fished on a Thill slip float. Look for the fish by Assembly Park or the west end weed flats.
Perch have been biting in 10-12 ft of water. They are being caught on nightcrawlers pieces or small fat head minnows. The best location is by the old Boy Scout Camp or by the outlet. There is quite a few smaller fish, so you will need to do some sorting.
Largemouth bass have moved shallow. The typical fall pattern has been happening. You don't need to leave the bank to catch the fish. They are in 4-5 ft of water. You want to find pockets in the thick weeds. Green pumpkin Senkos or black/blue All Terrain jigs have been producing most of my fish.
Good luck and I hope to see you on the water. For guide parties, call Dave Duwe at 608-883-2050
Daily Reports
10/3/10 - Delavan Lake - sunny, 50 degrees, water temp 61 degrees, N winds at 10-15 mph. Caught 3 walleyes, 1 legal, and 4 northerns and 4 largemouth bass -1 was legal. The walleyes were caught while casting crankbaits along the weedline. The pike were caught on medium suckers and the bass were caught on split shot rigged nightcrawlers in 4-5 ft of water on the north shore.

GENEVA: Duwe sent this:

Lake Geneva 10/3/10 through 10/10/10
As has been the case most of the year, fishing remains tough on Lake Geneva but with some perseverance, you should be able to catch some fish.
Yellow Perch is the best bite on the lake, they can be caught in 10-12 ft of water. They are being caught on nightcrawler pieces or small fat head minnows. The best approach has been fishing them on Thill slip bobbers and a single hook. Look for the fish by Rainbow Point or drifting from Chapin Rd to Knollwood.
Walleyes are being caught at night while trolling crank baits on the weed flats. The best location has been by Abbey Springs or in Trinkes. Troll the crankbaits half way down in 14-16 ft. of water. Trolling crankbaits has a secondary benefit in that the potential exists to catch the occasional northern pike as well.
Rock bass fishing has been good. The fish are in 10-12 ft of water. Like the perch, they can be caught on nightcrawler pieces or small fat head minnows. The best approach is a split shot rig which is a round split shot and single hook. The best location has been by the old Military Academy.
Northern Pike have moved into the shallow bays. The best location is in Fontana or Williams Bay. They can be caught on Thill slip bobbers fished with golden shiners in 12-14 ft of water. The basic approach is anchoring and waiting for them to move in.
Largemouth bass fishing has been spotty. The fish that are being caught are in 14-16 ft of water. Most of the success is coming off of root beer colored swim jigs with a plastic trailer. Look for the fish by Linn Pier or the Geneva Inn. With the cooling water, they will move even shallower in the next few weeks.
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

Depending on where and when you fish, the fishing has been great.
Water temperatures are still hanging in the 60 to 65 degree range,
flows are at 225/450, water levels are low, and clarity is decent.

Northern Pike and Bass are still the fish to catch, while nothing much
else is being pursued by at the moment. Pike up to 30" and Bass up to
18" are being caught from a multitude of areas.

Small boat anglers and waders are reporting good fishing in the north
suburbs. Pike in the 15 to 25 inch range are extremely active with 20
fish days being possible. Spinnerbaits and buzzbaits in
chartreuse/white/gold/yellow colors are still working the best as are
in-line spinners with #3, #4, and #5 blades. In addition, jerkbaits in
bright colors are also scoring a few. Unless water temperatures drop
below 45 degrees, live bait should not be needed at this time. In
addition, fish are also being caught in the west and southwest
suburbs. Concentrate all your efforts around log-jams, shoreline
slackwater pools, eddies, and deeper pools with a mixture of rock,
wood, and weeds. Few fish also coming from the channels as well.

Largemouth and Smallmouth Bass are both relating together in the same
areas: Log jams, rock piles, channel edges, and weedlines.
Spinnerbaits with plastic grub trailers and crankbaits are catching
the most fish. Matching the hatch with shad colored lures is the way
to go right now. Fish are running chunky and feeding heavily.

Few Walleye and Sauger reports. Neither are active just yet, but night
fishing the deeper hard-bottomed pools with current can be worthwhile.
Things should get better in the coming few weeks.

Creeks are running low and almost dry. Some rain would be welcomed at
places like the Salt Creek and Hickory Creek. Other than a few Pike
and small Largemouth on Salt Creek, there's nothing much else to take
note of.


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

EVERGREEN: Site staff posted this report:

Evergreen Lake Fishing Report - October 5, 2010
Water Conditions

Level - 4' Below Capacity
Temps: Upper 60's
Clarity: 1-3'

Crappies are the ticket right now. They are biting very well. Tube jig plain or tipped with a minnow is the best bet right now. Fish are mostly in the 10-12' range during the day and moving shallow in the evenings. Almost everything else is pretty slow right now. We have had a few reports by muskie fishermen of some follows and hook-ups mostly on bucktails or large spinnerbaits

Any updated fishing report will be posted here.

POWERTON: Last day of boat fishing is Oct. 22. Last day of bank fishing is Oct. 29.


From Frank Macikas:

The only chance I had to get out in the last week was today. I hit a stretch at the beginning of the main branch and waded about a mile long stretch. Conditions were good; water was clear and the lowest I have seen it all year. The grass is finally subsided but now the river bed is covered in algae. Fish were very aggressive seem to be relating to fast water with drifting wacky rigged stickworms working best.


Ken Gortowski sent this:

But, I do know that this is the longest stretch of normal water levels that I've seen in almost 4 years.
With the temps in the 70's this week, mid afternoon through sunset would be a good time to go.
Of course I only have a window of opportunity on Wednesday sunrise. Make do with what is presented to you I always say.
Buckets of large to extra large fatheads would be a wise choice for some. Small octopus hook, small split shot 12 to 18 inches above the hook, slack water areas next to faster water. Has worked in the past this time of year. Don't forget, with octopus hooks you don't set the hook, but sweep with a steady motion. Not too fast, not too slow. Usually hooks them somewhere in the mouth.

Speaking of this time of year, here's something from six years ago that proves my point. This link is open to anyone that visits my site so feel free to use it. Or copy and paste the whole thing if you like.

I don't have the time to write anything new, so may as well recycle the past. Things never really change anyway.


River is low, but in good shape. Thom Matejewski at Time on the Water Outdoors reported crappie are decent, try around pilings; sauger are better toward Henry trolling crankbaits or on live bait on three-ways; white bass are good shallow along rip-rap and creek mouths.


River is very low, perfect for wading, use some care if paddling in some of the more popular stretches between Momence and Kankakee.

Ed Mullady sent this:

*Our good reporter, Dave Zack, Momence Conservancy District reports good bass fishing east of Momence!
*Also on the Kankakee River...Catfish are hitting good, on minnows, crawfish, cheesebaits throughout!......
Pike catching up! Some walleye being taken!... . . .
INDIANA: Joe and Penny Boisvert, Greenwood Bait Shop, off Toto Rd, near English Lake report: Catfish good throughout the area at The Point, Horseshoe Bend and nearby areas. Good numbers of bluegill, croppie and some bullheads!
RT. 55 AREA at Shelby and Thayer offers some good fishing. There is a boat launch and some shoreline fishing here. Be careful not to go into Park or Fish & Wildlife Areas that are often closed during hunting seasons(Check with area offices for details).
AROMA PARK AREA is good for fishing. Check out the shorelines in the parks here. Good from Ryan's Pier and on down around River Road Park. River extremely low....if boating or boat fishing, be very cautious until you get the deeper locations or you could have problems. Good catfishing, some walleye, northern pike to be had. You may run into feeding smallmouth and largemouth bass.
KANKAKEE LOCATION FROM DAM ON DOWN: Fishing good from shorelines, wading(but be careful to watch out for some deeper holes.
KANKAKEE RIVER STATE PARK: Catfishing very good...minnows, cheesebaits, crawfish. Quite a few are now being caught on artificial baits at this time of year! Smallmouth Bass continues very good. Try a few of your favorite top waters, Mr. Twister Wtd., Keeper Hook and Twister tail, live or artificial crawfish,
Jointed lures, and Mepps Spinners. Fly fishermen taking nice ones on a variety of nymphs, poppers, small streamers. Check at Park Hdqtrs as to places reserved for hunting now, and obey any regulations.
WILMINGTON TO ILLINOIS RIVER: Smallmouth Bass feeding good...walleye fair to good. Rock Bass and croppie also active! Pinkie jigs* rubber spiders* live minnows, worms good. Small crankbaits, spinners


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


CHICAGO: Park Bait reported action slowed dramatically Tuesday with stained water. The $10 parking charge at Belmont has greatly reduced the fishermen. Capt. Bob Poteshman of Confusion Charters reported some lakers at the R4. WAUKEGAN: Small boaters are hugging the shoreline for kings and browns; bigger boats are working 100-150, straight out and south, for steelhead, kings and few browns. Poteshman said the South Reef is holding lakers. NORTH POINT: Poteshman reported good kings in 230 and deeper.

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


From Kurt Justice at Island Sportshop in Minocqua:

We are deep in the heart of sucker time for all you Musky Anglers! Most lakes are recording surface temps of 55 degrees as low as 51 degrees thanks to night time temps in the high 20's.

With the focus on Musky and Walleye at this time of year there have been few reports of other species being sought after. High winds Saturday made it extra tough to fish, contributing to the lack of other reports.

Musky: Very Good - Excellent. Lots of multi fish days being reported. Bulk of activity on suckers rigged on Smitty Quick set rigs (they accounted for three tigers in my boat on Friday). Crane baits also hot from here through Eagle River area. Most action from fish holding outside of weed beds in 6-12'. Bladed quick sets help on windy days. Glide baits such as Smitty Jerks, Smuttly Dogs, Warlocks and Mantas also effective. Numbers plus nice fish 48" true Musky 47 1/2 Tiger.

Walleye: Good - Very Good. Deep fish best. Work sand/gravel humps on cloudy days. Fish 1/8oz-1/4oz jigs or lindy rigs with large fatheads or small suckers. On bright flat days work base of same humps to 38' using 1/4oz jig with large fat or 1/2 night crawler. Evening, Walleyes are moving up along 12-16' edges. Lighted slipfloats with 1/2 crawler or large fat.

Northern Pike: Good. Best on spinnerbaits (Boonie), twitch baits (x-raps, 6" cranes) over standing weed flats. Chubs and suckers in 5-7' range under floats also working. Best depths 6-12'.

Large Mouth Bass: Fair - Good. Some bass hitting spinnerbaits meant for pike.

Small Mouth Bass: Fair. Lindy rig large fats, small suckers over sand flats of 18-28'. Also target deep rock piles.

Wild minnows (redtailed chubs, black chubs, and wild suckers) hard (impossible) to get due to high water. If you can find some grab em. Otherwise make due with Pond Suckers, Walleye suckers and fat heads.

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

(Head): Northern and panfish providing a good bite, with sporadic action for
musky and walleye in the Eagle River, Wisconsin area.

(Lead): Water temps continue to slowly drop and are in the mid to low 50s in
the Eagle River area.

Musky are locating in and just outside weed areas, as well as sharp drop off
break edges in 6-15 feet of water in the Eagle River area. Use suckers in
the 12-13 inch range, with glide baits, jerk baits and swim baits such as
Suicks, Mantas and Curly Sue's providing action, as well. The musky bite
has been sporadic, with intense feeding periods, followed by periods of
tough fishing. Actually a typical pattern in the fall.

Walleye are in 10-25 feet of water on break edges adjacent to mud flats in
the Eagle River area. Use a jig and a fathead minnow.

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

Crappies and bluegills are on humps in 15-25 feet of water in the Eagle
River area. They are suspending up and down the water column. Use a
crappie minnow under a slip bobber, or a small plastic on a jig. Good

Perch are tight to the bottom in 8-25 feet of water in the Eagle River area.
Use a crappie minnow under a slip bobber, a waxie or a chunk or crawler.
Good action.

(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 salmon at the Hole-in-the-Wall, but the main action is up the creeks for kings, steelhead and coho (pink spinners or salmon eggs).


From the Wisconsin DNR's Root River Report:

Root River Fishing Report for October 4, 2010
Water and flow conditions

Cooler weather accompanied with some rain brought up a good push from the Racine harbor. Although water is still low in areas, deeper holes were productive for many fly fishermen. Water Temperatures downstream from the weir held around 59 degrees Fahrenheit. Water clarity along with water flow were fair allowing for some nice catches of Chinook salmon along with a couple of brown trout harvested.
For up to date river conditions, check out the USGS web site of streams [click here] in Wisconsin. Just

Fishing Report
At Lincoln Park, downstream from the weir fishing pressure was very high all weekend. Most anglers were fly fishing producing a good mix of male and female Chinook salmon. Most Chinooks harvested weighed between 9-13 pounds with a few larger ones averaging around 17 pounds. Successful catches were spread out through the day with no real pattern.
 At Island Park fishing was fair with a couple anglers doing very well and landing between 2-4 nice sized Chinook salmon. Anglers were concentrating near the two forks of the Root River along with the eastern side of the park. There are a few deeper holes where the Chinook salmon have been congregating. Downstream from Island Park along Horlick drive was very productive for a group of fly fishermen Saturday producing some large Chinook salmon averaging 14-17 pounds. Fly-fishermen reported a preference of small solid colored flies of red, white, and black.
 At Washington Park, fishing around the Cable bridge and along the large southern bend was steady all weekend. On Sunday a group of anglers were able to catch their limit of Chinook salmon as well as a couple nice brown trout. A few large Chinook salmon weighted in at 15 pounds and a nice spawning female brown trout weighing in at 7.5 pounds.
 Upstream from the weir has seen little fishing pressure this weekend with only a few anglers concentrating at the Horlick dam. Successful catches have been limited as water depth near the dam is still low.


Lakeside reported a few big catfish, one of 16.45 pounds and 31.5 inches, another of 14.5 pounds, on Friday using shrimp as bait. There's scattered nice catches of crappie around the cribs. Walleye are slow, bass are chasing shad. Denny Sands said the surprising thing is the number of hybrids being caught this year. He suggested for them going to the east bay and watching and listening for them busting the surface. That intrigues. I think I have caught about every other species at Shabbona, but never a hybrid.

For more reports, click here.


Click here for BJ Sports.


Mik-Lurch reported some nice crappie coming from the now family-friendly corn channel on the Indiana side.



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 5, 2010 8:42 PM.

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