Weather--it's been historically freaky April--impacts even the lakes and areas section of the Midwest Fishing Report this week, enough that I am very grateful for the cooling lakes this time of year.
This is the extended online version of the MFR, which appears on the Sun-Times outdoors page on Wednesdays. Well, it is the lakes and areas section.
If you have suggestions, post in the comments section or let me know at email@example.com.
There are a bunch of note items to lead.
The best note is this one. The port authority said launch should reopen this morning, with all eight lanes open for the first time in a decade. Daily launch fee remains $20; seasonal pass, $200. That should be about in time for the good perch to kick in off Waukegan. That has to start soon.
Stratton Lock and Dam resumes full-time operation--8 a.m.-midnight--on Sunday and continues through Sept. 30. For the last couple years, it had operated under reduced days. Good to see it back.
As of Tuesday, the Fox is no-wake from Stratton Dam to Algonquin dam. If significant rains come, check the Fox Waterway Agency to see if any additional restrictions come.
RICHARD J. DALEY SPORTFISHING DERBY
Opens Sunday and runs through Sept. 30. In May, the species are coho and perch. Register fish at Henry's Sports & Bait, Park Bait or Vet's Bait. Go to henryssports.com or call (312) 225-8538.
Season ends Saturday.
The longest running salmon tournament on the Great Lakes, the 37th annual Hoosier Coho Club Classic, is this weekend out of Michigan City, Ind. Go to hoosiercohoclub.org.
BIG GREEN LAKE, WISCONSIN
For guide Mike Norton's report, go to www.nortonsfishingandhuntingadventures.com, then click on fishing, then lake report.
From licensed guide and trapper Phil Schweik and guide Glenn Moberg of Hooksetters Guide Service:
(Lead): "Cast and Blast!" Great walleye fishing and excellent wild turkey
hunting in the central Wisconsin area.
The walleye bit in the central Wisconsin area is excellent, with limits of
great eating sized fish in the 15 to 20 inches range being caught on every
trip. Along with the numbers of fish that are being caught, there are a
good amount of slot sized walleyes as well. Slot sized walleyes are those
that are between 20 and 28 inches, and must be released. Most of the fish
are coming on the new Vegas jigs by Northland, tipped with minnows that have
been worked in 4 to 8 feet of water. Anglers are also see some very nice
crappies and an occasional musky during their outings in the central
Turkey season in the central Wisconsin area is well under way and hunters
have already taken some very nice birds. Most of the turkeys are still
bunched up in large flocks but are now starting to split up, and will be
more receptive to calling techniques. The most important thing to remember
when calling turkeys is to not over call. That is the quickest way to
discourage any tom.
Love those turkey notes in fishing reports.
CHAIN O'LAKES AREA
Arden Katz reported bluegills (crappie mixed in) moving into the back channels with the high water. Water cooled to upper 40s. He said, ``If temperature pops five degrees, I think the bluegill will really pop.'' With fast, high water, jigging by bridges is producing walleye.
For more reports, see http://www.foxlakefishing.com/
More Chain info at www.foxwaterway.state.il.us.
COOLING LAKES/STRIP PITS
Winds and weather limited efforts, but otherwise, the cooling lakes are the spot to bee. boating efforts.
LaSALLE: Lake is open daily. As the IHSA tournament showed, bass fishing remains very good. Hybrids are decent.
HEIDECKE: Water needs to warm for best action, but it is starting. As the FOTW showed, hybrids, both from shore around the bridge and center dike and from boat, are decent. Walleye are variable. Mik-Lurch reported best is a jig and minnow or try floating jigheads with leeches or crawlers.
BRAIDWOOD/MAZONIA: I had the best day of family fishing ever Sunday with dozens of small catfish and bluegill on the hot side in a couple hours. Bigger catfish and bass are fair. Cold water has few trying at Mazonia lakes.
DELAVAN/GENEVA LAKES AREA, WISCONSIN
Brian Gates at Geneva Lake Bait & Tackle reported a dynamite Sunday for panfish on Delavan on the west end or in the harbors; decent bluegill on Pleasant; and scattered bigger perch in 3-5 feet on Geneva in Williams Bay and north shore of ``The Narrows.''
SHELBYVILLE: Lake should crest near summer pool. Ken Wilson of Lithia Guide Service reported good crappie in 6-10 feet, staging to move into the coves. Bass are on secondary points. There's male sauger and walleye below the spillway, especially at ``Happy Hour'' just before dark.
EVERGREEN: From site operations super Brad Wood:
Evergreen Lake Fishing Report - April 26, 2011
Water Clarity: Murky
Water Level: High and Flowing
Water Temps: Low 60's
Fishing has been hit or miss depending on the days weather. In the last week most crappie have been caught from boats in anywhere from 15' to 25' of water. The cool rainy weather has pushed the fish from their pre-spawn transition areas back to the deeper water. I have only heard of a few people who have found them in the shallows in the Northern end of the lake. If you are fishing from the shore you will still need to get your line out to the deeper waters for success. The Saugeye still are fair at the pump house with several keepers being reported. Bass fishing remains about the same as last week, with most fish being caught in deeper water off of points and submerged trees. The Muskie bite has been ok with most reports coming from either bass fishermen throwing spinners or crappie fishermen getting bites on minnows.
Good Luck, Brad
Any updated fishing report will be posted here.
REND: Flood conditions need to stabilize, but catfish continue to be very good.
LAKE OF EGYPT: Guide Jason Johns of Todd Gessner Outdoors reported bass continue good here.
EMIQUON: Emiquon Preserve near Lewistown is open to fishing. Interested parties may request a permit (remember you need the new one for 2011) 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.
LAKE ERIE: PORT CLINTON
For Ohio DNR report go to wildohio.com and or call (888) HOOKFISH.
CHICAGO: Park Bait reported some coho and a few browns at the outside of Montrose. Smallmouth should be going, but very few so far.
WAUKEGAN: Salmon Stop reported shore fishermen taking browns on the bottom and coho near the surface on slip-bobbers on frozen shad or shiners, or spawn. Few boat reports are in 15-30 feet in the power plant on tinsel flies and Dodgers.
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.
Weekend to call first, but ice should be gone.
MINOCQUA: Guide Kurt Justice of Island Sports sent this:
As of today's report (4/26, 7 am), Minocqua Lake is approximately 15% ice free, but the ice is dark and thin and should be gone by Wednesday (4/28). Many smaller lakes are very near or at ice free.
Very little fishing taking place. some yellow perch close to shore, below dams.
When boaters can get out, they are taking perch in 48 feet north of Gary Light, Mik-Lurch reported. Coho have scattered, but more chinook are mixing in from Michigan City to the shipping channel. For kings, meat rigs, Magnum spoons, and J-plugs are working; the new deep-diving Rattlin' ThinFin, a new bait by Storm, is the hot item.
The hot bite has been muskies, as indicated by the IHSA sectional last week. My friend Pete Riedesel of Fishing Friend Guide Service--( 815) 433-6109--had his son out briefly Sunday afternoon and boated several.
Lakeside reported even some being caught from shore on small bucktails. Bass are hitting best on minnows. Water clarity is about a foot. Crappie have not moved up yet. Water is 50 degrees.
Guide Jay Angel (firstname.lastname@example.org) sent this:
Water temperatures are hovering around 50 degrees and despite intense rains, water clarity is greater than a foot.
Several bass have been caught each day that anglers have been able to get out.
With temperatures rising into the 60's for the last several days, and some warm rain, water temperatures should be rising quickly and the crappies should be moving into the shallows any time now.
For more reports as the lake changes into spring, click here.
Mik-Lurch reported walleye are spawning. On the Indiana, side, drift with leeches or crawlers on the upward side of the drops between the island and toll road.
CHICAGO AREA CHAT/REPORTS
CHICAGO AREA INFO
MICHIGAN DNR REPORT
WISCONSIN DNR REPORT
IOWA DNR REPORT
INDIANA DNR REPORT