Chicago Sun-Times
Stray Casts will intelligently report and observe, hopefully with a touch of wit, on daily occurrences, reports and releases related to Chicago-area outdoors from bucks to bass to birds to bugs

Midwest Fishing Report: Areas/lakes section

| No Comments | No TrackBacks

Perch starting to come in on the Chicago lakefront, coho at North Point and free fishing days lead this lakes/areas section of the Midwest Fishing Report.

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. The rivers section was posted earlier.

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

Let's lead with a reminder.


Illinois's free fishing days are Friday through Monday. Michigan's free fishing weekend is Saturday and Sunday.


When weather has allowed, it has been a good year for coho, beginning in Indiana in March. The top bite has moved north. Out of North Point, Capt. Bob Poteshman of Confusion Charters said, ``It is as good as it can be.'' The coho bite has been ``ridiculous,'' he said. A few kings and steelhead are mixed in. ``Every day, it changes,'' he said. ``There are the lot of pockets of them from the hill to 250 feet. Work until you find a pod of them.'' The hot area is several miles on either side of the Illinois/Wisconsin line. ``For me, it is 100 percent Dodger and flies,'' he said. ``I am sure spoons would work. On the downriggers, I am putting the bigger stuff for bigger coho and kings.'' Thursday's weather change could alter the fishing once again.


Catfish were stocked in Chicago's West Side lagoons. Bedding bluegill and largemouth remain the top bites on local ponds and lakes. The surprise is a continued crappie bite at places like Papoose, Saganashkee and Busse, according to Henry's.


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:

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

The musky bite in the central Wisconsin area has been very good, and some
boats are catching and releasing multiple fish up to 45 inches, with the
heaviest one going 25 pounds. Most of the action is on smaller bucktails
like Ducktails and 700 series Buchertails, along with a few on 6 inch
crankbaits like Jakes and Depth Raiders in firetiger and sucker patterns.
Work shallow bays in less than 5 feet of water on lakes and current breaks
on the Wisconsin River. In addition to the great musky fishing, anglers who
are "hunting" muskies are also picking up a few really big northerns, with
several of them in the 30 inch range, and the largest going almost 40

The walleye bite continues to be very consistent in the central Wisconsin
area, with limits of 15-20 inch fish being caught on outings. Most of the
action has been coming from working jigs tipped with minnows along shoreline
breaks in 6 to 10 feet of water. Early and late in the day have proven to
be the best on lakes, but mid-day action has been has been pretty good on
the Wisconsin River itself.

Smallmouth bass in the central Wisconsin area have been going strong with
some dandy bronze backs being caught by working shoreline wood with a jig
and a pig style lures and small crayfish imitation crankbaits worked in and
around structure.

The crappie action in the central Wisconsin area have spawned and are moving
back into their summer feeding grounds. Work deep water, up to 20 feet
deep, with slip bobbers tipped with minnows set at various depths. Once you
have the depths set, rig up with small hooks and jigs and tip them with
minnows or plastics. Game on!

Bluegills in the central Wisconsin area have begun to move up into shallow
water and if anyone wants to get a kid into fishing, now is the time to do
so. You can literally catch hundreds of these feisty scrappers on a daily
basis. Look for the very back end of shallow bays and any associated wood or
weeds, to hold fish. Then all you need is a hook, a bobber, and can of
worms. Set the bobber about a foot up from the hook baited with a worm and
toss it in. The bluegills will aggressively race each other to get to the
bait first.


Triangle reported excellent bluegill shallow. Walleye (to 27-inches on Monday) are good on leeches or large fatheads around bridge pilings or main lake points. A 37-inch flathead caught in the past week. Catfish are around the spawn, try stinkbait, crawlers or large roaches. Muskie are fair, try large jerkbaits or bucktails, or troll bucktails. Crappie are fair, better toward evening or early morning. White bass are picking up in 8-12 feet.

For more reports, see

More Chain info at


BRAIDWOOD/MAZONIA: Close is 8:30 p.m.

HEIDECKE: As the Fish of the Week showed, there's some nice hybrid striped bass being caught. There's walleye, too, but they take sorting.


DELAVAN: From guide Dave Duwe:

Delavan Lake 6/5/11 through 6/12/11
With the warmer weather, fishing has been improving. The best bite right now is either Crappies or bluegills as both are preparing to spawn and/or finish spawning.
Crappies have pulled away from the bank and can be caught in 12-14 ft of water. The best baits are mini mites or cubby jigs. The best color is white or purple. With the slime in the water it's been kind of hard to fish around it. The best location is by Browns Channel or by Willow Point.
Bluegills are in the shallows in 3-4 ft of water. It appears as though they are in the process of spawning. The bluegills are throughout the shallows however to find the larger fish you need to keep moving. The best spots are with large sand areas. My best success was by the Oriental boat house and by Lake Lawn Lodge. The best bait is round hellgrammites if you can find them. I've been using leaf worms fished underneath a bobber.
Northern Pike have slid outside the weed flats and are starting to position on the deep weedline. The pike I've caught this week were in 15-17 ft of water. I was using Lindy rigged suckers. The best location was by Browns Channel or by the point near Assembly Park.
Largemouth bass are cruising the shallows in 3-4 ft of water. With the rising water temperature, it's been kind of hard to fish around the slimy green weeds but if you can make long casts you can catch fish. The best bait is green pumpkin or root beer red flaked Senkos. Look for the fish on the west end and by the golf course.
Walleye fishing has been slow. The best action has been coming at night. Look for the fish in 12-15 ft of water right at the weed line. Either casting or trolling shallow diving crankbaits have been producing most of the fish. Perch pattern has been a good bet.
Good luck and I hope to see you on the water. For guide parties, please call Dave Duwe at 608-883-2050
Daily Reports
6/5/11 - Delavan Lake, 80 degrees, winds were calm. Water temp 61 degrees. Caught 2 largemouth bass, 20 bluegills and 21 crappies. Took my son and brother in law on a pan fish trip. Had a lot of success in the 12-15 ft weedline. The bluegills were caught in 3-4 ft of water on small leaf worms.
6/4/11 - Lake Koshkonong, 85 degrees, E wind at 5 mph. Water temp 59 degrees. Caught 8 legal walleyes, 8 jumbo perch and a bunch of white bass. Trolled #5 Shad Raps in 5-6 ft of water. Fished near Charlies Bluff.
6/3/11 - Lake Geneva, 75 degrees, SW winds at 15 mph. Water temp 58 degrees. Caught 9 largemouth bass and one smallmouth bass and about 40 rock bass. Most of the fish were caught on nightcrawlers. The best depth was 10-12 ft of water. Spent most of the time fishing the west end of the lake near Fontana.
6/1/11 - Lake Geneva, 70 degrees, SW winds at 15 mph. Water temp 54 degrees. Caught 10 largemouth bass - 3 were legal, along with several perch, rock bass and bluegills. The fish were caught in 8-10 ft of water on fat head minnows and nightcrawlers. The best location was in Fontana.
5/30/11 - Delavan Lake, 85 degrees, sunny, W winds at 10 mph, water temp 59 degrees. Caught 1 Northern and 8 largemouth bass. Fishing was very slow. There was a tremendous amount of boat traffic out on the water and that made fishing very tough.

GENEVA: From Duwe;

Lake Geneva 6/5/11 through 6/12/11
The warmer weather is starting to warm up the lake, however overall fishing is still a bit slow because of the cooler spring. The best bite on the lake is largemouth bass in the shallows or the rock bass. The rock bass appear to be everywhere.
Rock bass are concentrated on the shallow flats in 10-12 ft of water. They can be caught on fat head minnows or on nightcrawlers. Last week it was almost every cast that produced a fish at a certain spot near Fontana. The basic rig is a split shot and a single hook. This time of year, the fish are pretty much everywhere in the shallows. The key to catching them is making sure you have enough bait.
Smallmouth bass are starting to bed. They are located in 10-12 ft of water. They can be caught on hair jigs or on nightcrawlers. The best location is by Elgin Club or by Coleman's Point. With this warmer weather they should become more active.
Bluegills are in 3-4 ft of water. I've been catching them around boat docks. Good locations have been by Williams Bay Municipal Piers and by Gage Marine. They are biting on leaf worms fished on bobbers.
Largemouth bass have been becoming more active every day as the temps improve. The best location has been by the beach in Lake Geneva or by the Geneva Inn. They can either be caught on Chompers fished on a football head jig or nightcrawlers fished on a split shot rig. With the warmer weather, we should have a good couple of weeks of good fishing while the fish are shallow.
Perch are schooled up in the shallows. They are in 8-10 ft of water. The best approach is slip bobbers with small fat head minnows. Look for the fish by Belvidere Park and by Knollwood. The biggest problem is catching the bigger fish. You will likely catch 2 or 3 small fish before you hook any keepers.
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 of Lithia Guide Service reported excellent white bass on main lake flats or points trolling with small crankbaits, some walleye, too. Walleye are being taken below the dam evenings. Smallmouth have picked up again in the Kaskaskia downstream of the dam.

EMIQUON: The best spot for largemouth in Illinois. 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.

EVERGREEN: Site staff sent this report.

Evergreen Lake Fishing Report - June 6, 2011
Water Conditions
Water Clarity: 6"-5'
Water Level: Flowing at Spillway
Water Temps: Low to Mid 70's

Fishing continues to be good on Evergreen. Crappie are still being caught in 10-15 ft. of water around structure. Saugeye continue to be found off of points near deep water and around stumps on flats. Twister tails with a night crawler or trolling with crank baits working well. Bass have continued to be found near weeds and off of points. Top water baits and crank baits have been producing nicely. Channel Cats have started to bite on crawlers, livers, shrimp, and cut bait. Bluegill continue to be caught with wax worms and small crawler pieces near weeds.
Good Luck, Brad

Any updated fishing report will be posted here.


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


CHICAGO: Perch are starting, but it varies. It's primarily a minnow bite, but soft shells are working too. Montrose, Northerly Island, Belmont and Diversey have all produced in the past few days. Capt. Bob Poteshman of Confusion Charters said his one boat found 21 scattered in the weed beds off Navy Pier Tuesday morning. Smallmouth are shallow, but very tough to catch. Capt. Bill Kelly of Leprechaun Charters reported good lakers in 85-115 feet on smoke Dodger and green crinkle flies; some coho on the surface; 10-colored lead with the Blue Sparkle spoon is working, too. There's a mixed bag southeast of the R4 in 70-100. Poteshman reported nice coho in 30-40 feet by the Carter Harrison Tuesday.

WAUKEGAN: Salmon Stop reported scattered coho and steelhead in 75 feet, spotty perch in 45 feet, a few browns off Johnson pier.


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. Species for June are carp, catfish, perch, coho and chinook. Register fish at Henry's Sports & Bait, Park Bait or Vet's Bait. Go to or call (312) 225-8538.


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

(Head): Musky remain slow, with walleye and perch fair to good, and a good
bite for northerns, smallmouth bass and crappies in the Eagle River,
Wisconsin area.

Water temps in the Eagle River area running from the upper 50s to low 60s
(lake dependent), with the Eagle River Chain of 28 lakes (largest freshwater
chain of lakes in the world), in the lower 60s.

Musky remain slow in the Eagle River area. Use a small bait with a standard
retrieve. Good choices include a #4 Mepps, or #5 Mepps Aglia. Fish 5 feet
of water or less, in new weeds, or over muddy bottoms. All date bite, with
some follows and hits.

Walleye in the Eagle River area are in 8 feet of water or less in and around
new weeds. Use a 1/16 ounce jig and a fathead minnow. Best jig colors are
orange and chartreuse. All day bite, with peaks in the evening. Action has
been fair to good.

Perch in the Eagle River area are in the same location as the walleyes, but
are real scattered. Fish tight to bottom, using a crappie minnow under a
slip bobber or fathead on a 1/16 ounce jig. Action is fair.

Northern are providing good action in the Eagle River area. Fish 10 feet of
water or less in and around new growth weeds or dead weeds. Use a Husky
Jerk, small Mepps or a northern sucker under a slip bobber. All day bite.

Smallmouth bass (all catch-and-release) in the Eagle River area are putting
on a good bite. Fish shallow, sand bottoms in 8 feet of water or less. Use
a #3 Mepps, or a jig and a tube.

Crappies in the Eagle River area are in 6 feet of water or less suspending
in and around weeds. Use a crappie minnow under a slip bobber, or a 1/16
ounce jig tipped with a crappie minnow. Good action. Bluegills are being
sporadically caught when going for the crappies.

(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:

We had lots of hot and unstable weather at the beginning of this week. While not always making it easy, it has raised water temps up on the small to mid-sized lakes. While crappie anglers were sad to hear about the lack of spawning, now it is bluegill time and in most cases it is just getting good.

Bluegills: Very good. Starting to bed on most lakes (though a few smaller lakes are already seeing Pumpkinseeds spawn so those lakes are done for gills). Poppers over bedding fish. Thunderbugs, small leeches, worms, waxies and Gulp Alive fish fry and maggots. Look to partially firm sandy bottom shallows. Be kind, take a few, leave the rest.

Smallmouth Bass: Very good. Starting to show up on mid to large lakes. If water in high 50's, fish first break from shallows with 3-4" tubes. Crayfish typed crankbaits dig into bottoms to stir up interest. Also, anglers working Flukes, wacky worms and top water chub baits reporting good success.

Pike: Very good. Action may slow if water temps continue to climb. So far, fish very active on Boonie Bait (spinnerbaits), #3 Mepps, Chatterbaits. Actively jigging a 4-5" chub also very productive in 6-10' weeds. Use a light, tieable wire to protect from bite offs.

Musky: Good. Action picking up. Bucktails in the smaller sizes (Rizzo Whiz, #500 Bucher tail, #5 Mepps) as usual for this time of year. Twitch baits in 6 and 7" sizes (Cranes, Grandmas) and surprisingly gliders. A young local angler has caught his fish musky a 41" then a 44" the next day, both on gliders.

Largemouth Bass: Good. Most reports from anglers using plastics in shallows. Four inch worms, 3" craws and 3" tubes have been hot. Nice bass in the 15-19" range with several 20"+ fish. Signs of staging, some bedding. Still catch and release season. Recent heat has brought on top water action. Jitterbugs, Hula Poppers, Plastic Frogs/mice all scoring.

Walleye: Fair-Good. With patches of weeds greening up, pitch redtails, big leeches, crawlers at these patches in 6-10' of water. Early am, cloudy days best. Large deep lakes fish evenings on gravel humps in 18-26' with large redtails.

Perch: Fair-Good. Roaming between weed plots. Mini-mites, small tubes, minnows. Fan cast 1/32 oz jig with 2" twister tail to locate, then cover area with minnows/medium leeches below floats. Hot weather has improved action.

Crappies: Fair. All chances of spawning are gone. Look to deeper drowned wood to find recovering fish. Minnows below slip-floats best. These fish don't seem to be chasing much yet. Don't be surprised to find the females full of (old) spawn.

While it takes the larger lakes longer to warm up (high 50's, low 60's) the small to mid sized lakes have temps in the low to mid 70's. A cool down by weeks end may change things, but gills and bass that have committed to the spawn will stay put.

Water levels are good on most lakes (Flowages are very high). Once storms stop, stable weather should help set up patterns.

Andrew Ragas, Counsellor of the Fish Parliament sent this:

Northern Wisconsin (Minocqua)

Fished the weekend for bass. Water temperatures were found ranging
anywhere from 61 to 66 degrees.

Largemouth and smallmouth bass are now spawning on larger lakes 800
acres+ while smaller lakes have already concluded. Fishing is poor on
lakes where spawn is taking place, but where completed a great
post-spawn bite is occurring. Feeding windows are long, with most fish
located in the 5 to 10ft zones.

Musky activity slow with few fish around (unfavorable weather
conditions), and shallows were loading up with nesting bluegills and
some crappies.

Will be fishing the entire week of June 12-19 for bass and muskies.


Mik-Lurch reported variable smallmouth, but near shore. Steelhead are being caught off Michigan City on shrimp or crawlers under a bobber; a few perch off pierheads. There's some steelhead on the mud line at the mouth of Burns Ditch. There is a trolling bite northeast of The Gong in 60-70 feet on meat rigs on bigger kings or coho. Willow Slough has panfish going.


Lakeside reported more muskie (topwater in the deep trees) and walleye (on leeches along the road bed) reports the past week. I would think the weed line bite for largemouth should go, too. NOTE: The rescue on Indian Creek turned up 61 muskies on Saturday. And three hybrid striped bass (to 23 inches) were also returned to Shabbona Lake, according to Duane Landmeier, president of Quad County Hawg Hunters chapter of Muskies, Inc.

For more reports, click here.


As of this morning there was no new Wisconsin DNR report.


Mik-Lurch reported a better evening bite for walleye on the Indiana side on small Rapalas or slip-bobbers and leeches. I would think bluegill would be the other top bite in both states.



Fishing Headquarters



MICHIGAN DNR REPORT,1607,7-153-10364-34956--,00.html






No TrackBacks

TrackBack URL:

Leave a comment

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Dale Bowman published on June 8, 2011 8:57 AM.

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

WWW Chicago outdoors: Paddling, naked riding, perching is the next entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.