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Midwest Fishing Report: Lakes/areas

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The Wisconsin inland opener and big Waukegan perch lead this Midwest Fishing Report.


That's Steve Sarley and Capt. Bob Jenkins from a perch outing yesterday out of Waukegan. They had to work it, but the perch they boated were jumbo. Sarley's best went 1.95 pounds and 15.5 inches.

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


Saturday is the latest possible opener, also competing with Mother's Day. Seepage lakes remain low in northern areas, otherwise levels are OK. DELAVAN/GENEVA: Brian Gates at Geneva Lake Bait & Tackle would focus on crappie with minnows or small spinners on Delavan, and figure on catching bass and pike as a byproduct for the opener; bass should be shallower. On Geneva, he would try for largemouth around the Abbey Harbor, then look around for crappie. EAGLE RIVER: Eagle River Sports thought smaller, warmer lakes, the walleye will be wrapping up while on bigger lakes they will be pre- to mid-spawn. Crappie should be good. MADISON: D&S Bait reported some walleye will likely still be spawning for the opener. Best bite has been catfish on the north end of Mendota and Cherokee Marsh. MINOCQUA: Guide Kurt Justice thought walleye will be done spawning on small to medium lakes, at the tail end on larger lakes and spawning on lakes like Trout and Fence. He expects a minnow bite with a night bite on stickbaits for males cruising shorelines. He expects crappie to be good. He said some wild bait, such as red-tailed chubs and dace, may be hard to find.


The Fox remains no-wake from Stratton Dam to Algonquin dam. From Stratton to the Wisconsin line is open again as usual. Check the Fox Waterway Agency for any changes.


Henry's reported crappie picking up at Monee Reservoir and Saganashkee Slough. Jason Norris of reported bass better, especially on Beck. Mike Jarvis, a junior on Taft's bass team, e-mailed, ``The bass are really biting now. This weekend coming up should be one of the best all year.''


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


From licensed guide and trapper Phil Schweik and guide Glenn Moberg of Hooksetters Guide Service:

(Lead): Fish are migrating to their various spawning and post spawn haunts in the central Wisconsin area.

Walleyes in the central Wisconsin area are now post spawn and have begun their traditional migration to their summer haunts. The next few weeks will have anglers targeting large areas looking for scattered fish that have begun to move out of their spawning areas and are now on the move to more desirable locations for the remainder of the year. Lots of fish are locating in 8 to 12 feet of water along outside river bends with fish being caught on 1/8 and 1Ž4 ounce jigs tipped with minnows.

Crappies and white bass in the central Wisconsin area are preparing to make their annual migration towards the shallow spawning grounds in backwater areas. Most of these fish are in 6 to 8 feet of water and being taken on 1/16 and 1/8 ounce jigs tipped with tube style tails or small minnows.

Wild turkey hunting in the central Wisconsin area has become a lot easier with the toms now responding to various calling techniques. Early on, calling turkeys was a little tough as the toms were not being very responsive due to the late spring. Now that things have turned around hunters are seeing a lot of activity taking place, using the different calling techniques. Slate calls are working well as are box calls, but the mouth calls have really come into their own. With an unlimited variety of mouth calls on the market, a hunter can duplicate just about any sound heard in the woods to bring a turkey in. Just remember that too much calling will turn a turkey away much faster than it will bring it in.


Focus on walleye around current areas and bridges with the high water. Similarly, Arden Katz said bluegills are everywhere in the channels and crappie are moving in. Crappie still have eggs in them, bluegill have no eggs yet.

For more reports, see

More Chain info at


LaSALLE: Lake is open daily. When wind and weather allow, probably still the best bass spot in northeast Illinois.

HEIDECKE: Peak is probably a week away. Good fishermen are taking quality walleye and some decent hybrids.

BRAIDWOOD/MAZONIA: Catfish action remains unbelievable. For bigger fish, Henry's said to go to cut bait or roaches. Bluegill are strong, too.


For far southern Illinois, I would call and check first.

SHELBYVILLE: Crest is expected about 8 feet above summer pool. Launches are OK. Ken Wilson of Lithia Guide Service said the male crappie are up in the willow bushes in the spawning coves taking a minnow a foot under a cork in 3 feet; females are close to pulling up. There's been some walleye and sauger below the spillway.

EVERGREEN: From site operations super Brad Wood:

Evergreen Lake Fishing Report - May 3, 2011
Water Conditions
Water Clarity: 6"-18"
Water Level: Flowing
Water Temps: Low 60's

Fishing has been good in the last week on Evergreen. In the last several days I have heard of several people catching there limits on Crappie in short outings. Minnows have been the best bet, but throwing tube jigs will also help your chances of catching your limit. The Crappie are starting to transition up into the shallows, as of yesterday. With a few days of 70 degree weather it won't be long before they will be up in the shallows being caught consistently. Crappies aren't the only thing starting to turn on. Several keeper sized Saugeye have been caught in the evenings, and into the night. With most of them hitting the shallows as darkness approaches. Bass are still being caught in deeper water, but I'm sure they will be up into the shallows soon as well.
Good Luck, Brad

Any updated fishing report will be posted 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.


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


CHICAGO: Capt. Bill Kelly reported coho with a few kings and steelhead by Chicago Light; mostly on small Dodger and flies; some coho at the crib line by the Wilson crib. There's spotty big browns, as the FOTW showed, and some coho around Chicago harbors. Smallmouth are picking up slowly, but it is two weeks behind last spring.

WAUKEGAN: There's scattered jumbo perch in 40-60 feet, but it takes hunting. Capt. Bob Poteshman of Confusion Charters reported fair salmon/trout action in 60-150 feet.

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.

RICHARD J. DALEY SPORTFISHING DERBY: 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 or call (312) 225-8538.


Mik-Lurch reported perch in 48-51 feet north of Gary Light, however, some of school has moved shallower off of Lake Street. Poteshman said outside of the ``The Gong'' is loaded with lakers and some coho. Mik-Lurch said Magnum Hey Baby spoons have been good. Cedar Lake is producing nice crappie. Willow Slough warmed enough for a few bass to be nearing beds; panfish are hitting.


Muskie continue to be very active. Lakeside reported crappie improving, should be pulling up by the weekend.

For more reports as the lake changes into spring, click here.


Mik-Lurch reported bass hitting on the warmer shallower Illinois side, some walleye being taken on the Indiana side by those drifting from the island to the toll-road.



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 May 4, 2011 8:38 AM.

Midwest Fishing Report: Rivers section was the previous entry in this blog.

WWW Chicago outdoors: Toward the light is the next entry in this blog.

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