It's been quite the spring for trying to pull together fishing reports with all the weather changes, but here goes the Midwest Fishing Report for this week.
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 email@example.com.
Let's lead with the Shabbona Bass Open on Saturday.
SHABBONA BASS OPEN
Shabbona Lakeside's Bass Open is 6 a.m.-7 p.m. Saturday. Cabela's is offering $100 for the heaviest bass caught. Lakeside will award an additional $100 for a record largemouth (currently 7.85 pounds). Go to shabbonalake.com or call (815) 824-2581.
Largemouth and bedding bluegill and largemouth remain the top bites, and primary focus, on local ponds and lakes. But there was the 52-inch grass carp caught by Leonid Bilyk from Humboldt Park lagoon and weighed at Henry's at 64.15 pounds.
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:
(Head): Very good musky, walleye, smallmouth and panfish bite, all in and amidst the lakes and the Wisconsin River of Wisconsin's Marathon and Lincoln Counties (near Mosinee and Wausau).
Water temperatures have warmed considerably in the central Wisconsin area, with both gamefish and panfish action strong, and predictable.
Musky action in the central Wisconsin area has been very good with several nice fish coming on bucktails and twitch baits. Work 3 to 5 feet of water with weeds and wood to find active fish. Early morning and late evening hours have been the best, but some mid day action is occurring on overcast days.
Anglers in the central Wisconsin area limiting out regularly on walleyes. Most of the fish have been holding in 8 to 14 feet of water along rocky shorelines and areas with access to deeper water. With the temperatures rising, the walleyes have been moving up onto shallow shoreline structure from deeper water haunts at low light periods, and as the sun moves higher into the sky the walleyes have been shifting back to the deep water. Jigs tipped with minnows have been working very well during the daylight hours, but shad Raps and Rapalas in orange and firetiger have been doing the best under low light periods.
Bass activity in the central Wisconsin are has been pretty consistent, with shallow rocky rip rap shorelines and submerged wood having been the best producer. Small spinner baits and Rattle Traps have been catching the most fish, but when working tight cover, nothing beats a jig and a pig combo.
Crappies in the central Wisconsin area have moved off their shallow spawning areas and are now roaming about in open water flats in 12 to 16 feet of water, even deeper in some instances. Slip bobbers rigged at various depths and set spider style thusly called "spider rigging' around your boat will pick up suspended crappies, as they move through the area. Small jigs like Cubby Mini Mites or tiny Northland jigs tipped with minnows will work wonders on catching these slabs all day long. If you aren't catching fish in an area, don't wait for them to move in. Keep mobile and you will find active fish.
Bluegills in the central Wisconsin area have moved into their shallow spawning grounds and ca be easily taken on a small hook baited with a worm. Just set the hook baited with a worm or a piece of crawler about one foot below a bobber and toss it up near shoreline structure. Look for wood, brush piles and weeds in one to three feet of water, as these are panfish magnets at this time of year.
CHAIN O'LAKES AREA
Don Letrich reported nice largemouth on Senkos or crawlers; channel catfish on Mepps, a couple muskie follows (and watched another boat with a 42-incher) on Channel. Triangle reported good bluegill, look for them on the beds; try Loon as well as the Chain. Try Ants or poppers as an alternative to live bait. Pike are good. Bass are good, either shallow or on the weed lines. Walleye are excellent, the current keeps a good bite going around bridges or in the river; use Lindy rigs or slip-bobber rigs rigged with leeches or crawlers. Muskie are best on Pistakee or Fox. Catfish (4-9 pounds) are good, try Sonny's. For white bass, try in 8-12 feet; Petite and Bluff, best.
For more reports, see http://www.foxlakefishing.com/
More Chain info at www.foxwaterway.state.il.us.
COOLING LAKES/STRIP PITS
BRAIDWOOD/MAZONIA: Mazonia is on fire for bluegill, according to dedicated customers at Mik-Lurch. But beware of industrial strength mosquitoes. Thought I was going warn about ticks, didn't you? I think a visit may be in my future. Close is 8:30 p.m.
HEIDECKE: Mik-Lurch reported a nice mix on Sunday: catfish, crappie around the island (red and white tube jigs), muskies in the north pool (No. 7 Rapalas), smallmouth, hybrids and small walleye. Water is dirty, only 72 degrees. So Ed McCain at Mik-Lurch suggested trolling with No. 5 Rapalas or bright orange crawler harnesses.
DELAVAN/GENEVA LAKES AREA, WISCONSIN
DELAVAN: From guide Dave Duwe:
Delavan Lake 6/12/11 through 6/19/11
This past week, we had August weather with 90 degree temps and high winds followed rapidly with October weather low 60's and cold water. The good news is that it didn't hurt fishing much.
The largemouth bass are finishing spawning and are still cruising the shallows. In the next week or so, they will be moving to the deep weedline. As of 6/12/11 the fish are in 4-5 ft of water. They can be caught on green pumpkin or watermelon Senkos. The best location is by the golf course or by Viewcrest bay.
The bluegills are in medium depth weeds in the 10-12 ft range. They can be caught slip bobbering leaf worms or by using wax worms on an ice fishing jig. The best location I've found was by the Marina or over by Del Mar. You want to position the bait 1 ft off the weeds. I never anchor, I slowly move around with the electric trolling motor to find the active fish. Some of the bluegills last week were over 10 inches long.
Crappie fishing has been fantastic. They are mixed in with the bluegills in 10-12 ft of water. The way to catch them is a 1-2 punch. The first method is small plastics fished on a 1/32 oz jig. The best color is purple or chartreuse. The second method is slip bobber rigging small fat head minnows 2-3 ft above the weeds. The best location has been by Willow Point or by Browns Channel.
Northern Pike fishing has started to improve. They are moving out of the shallows and are positioning on the deep weedlines. The best success is coming in 18-20 ft of water. I've been Lindy rigging them with medium suckers bought at Lakeside bait and tackle right across from the boat launch. The best location has been from the Marina to Willow Point.
Walleye are still not biting very well. The fish that are being caught are in the shallow weeds mixed in with the crappies. With this warmer weather this bite should improve greatly. Don't be afraid to use leeches on small weed jigs fished in 15-16 ft of water.
Good luck and I hope to see you on the water. For guide parties, please call Dave Duwe at 608-883-2050
6/12/11 - Lake Geneva, sunny, light winds out of the East, 65 degrees, water temp 63 degrees. Caught 7 smallmouth bass, 5 were legal, and a bunch of rock bass, bluegills and perch. The best bait was a white hair jig in 12-13 ft of water. There are still some bass spawning however, a lot of the fish were actively feeding up so they were getting the hair jig about 2 ft off bottom. The nightcrawlers caught all of the rock bass.
6/11/11 - Delavan Lake, sunny, N winds at 10 mph. 50 degrees, water temp 68 degrees. Caught a mix of bluegills and crappies in 10-12 ft of water. The bluegills were caught slip bobbering Thill slip bobbers and the crappies were caught on purple plastics. The best location was by Del Mar and by the Marina.
6/08/11- Delavan Lake, cloudy, W winds at 15-20 mph. 70 degrees, water temp 71 degrees. Caught 1 northern Pike and 20-30 crappies. Had a hard time Lindy rigging the suckers due to the heavy winds. Fished them in 18-20 ft of water. The crappies were right on the weedline in 10-12 ft of water. Purple plastics produced most of the fish.
6/7/11 - Delavan Lake, p.m., sunny SW winds at 15-20 mph. 95 degrees, water temp 71 degrees. Caught 13 largemouth bass, lost about 6 others. I had a hard time hooking the fish. We were fishing post spawn fish by Lake Lawn Lodge and in Viewcrest Bay. The best depth was 3-4 ft of water. Best bait was Texas rigged Senko's
6/7/11 - Lake Geneva, a.m., sunny SW winds at 10-15 mph. 90 degrees, water temp 63 degrees. Today was a continuation of yesterdays rock bass harvest. No one can say I don't do my share to remove Rock Bass from Lake Geneva! In two days, I cleaned about 80 fish.
6/6/11 - Lake Geneva, p.m., sunny, SW winds at 15-20 mph. 90 degrees, water temp 63 degrees. Caught 2 smallmouth bass and about 75 rock bass. This trip was to put meat in my customers freezer. Most of the fish were caught in Belvidere Park in 8-10 ft of water. The best bait was split shot rigged nightcrawlers.
6/6/11 - Lake Geneva, a.m., sunny, light winds out of the east at 5 mph. 70 degrees, water temp 61 degrees. Caught 1 legal largemouth, 3 smallmouth bass and a load of rock bass. The best depth was 10-12 ft of water. Fished by Colemans point and Belvidere Park. The best bait was a white hair jig or the Klozar minnow fished on a fly rod.
GENEVA: From Duwe;
Lake Geneva 6/12/11 through 6/19/11
With a few days of warmer weather last week, fishing has improved greatly. Even though a cold front came through mid week, it didn't affect the fishing much.
Smallmouth bass are in spawning and are post spawn. The fish can be located in the 10-12 ft spawning flats. Look for them by the Military Academy and Knollwood. For the spawning fish, they can be caught on white tubes or black and blue jigs. For the post spawn fish, I've been using small silver hair jigs. Swim them 2 ft above bottom. Last week I had several over 19 inches.
Largemouth bass are in the shallows. They are in 5-6 ft of water in and around the piers. The best location is in Geneva Bay from pier 5 through pier 20. They can be caught on green pumpkin Senkos or split shot rigging green pumpkin lizards. For live bait fishermen, the best action is on the split shot rigged nightcrawler.
Rock bass can be caught everywhere between 5 and 12 ft of water. They are being caught on split shot rigged nightcrawlers or small silver hair jigs. This is a good time of year to take a kid fishing. The action is almost non-stop. Most guide trips, I will use 8-10 dozen nightcrawlers. I found the most fish down by Belvidere Park in Fontana.
Bluegill fishing has been kind of slow. I've been sporadically fishing them in the 10-12 ft depth range. I think the majority of the fish are in shallower than I'm fishing. Good action can be found in and around the piers in 5-6 ft of water. Fish them with a slip bobber and a leaf worm.
Perch are in 10 ft of water. They are location is some of their standard areas such as Rainbow Point and Belvidere Park. They can be caught on small fat head minnows fished on a slip bobber. It remains a constant battle to catch the bigger fish. You will need to do a lot of sorting.
Northern Pike are still in the weed flats. They can be caught slip bobber fishing with golden shiners or by casting a white ½ oz spinner bait. Look for the fish in Williams Bay and by the Beach in Fontana. As a rule, the thermocline bite will start right around July 4th, depending on the water temperature.
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 trollers taking good walleye. Crappie have moved out on the main lake to chase shad. As to white bass, Wilson said, ``You can catch all the white bass you want.'' Largemouth are good on main lake points. Smallmouth are ``on fire'' in the Kaskaskia River.
EMIQUON: The best spot for largemouth in Illinois. If it wasn't for the state high school bass fishing this weekend, I think I would have been heading here. 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: Any updated fishing report will be posted here.
LAKE ERIE: PORT CLINTON
For Ohio DNR report go to wildohio.com and or call (888) HOOKFISH.
Waiting on the true run of perch to shore. And waiting.
CHICAGO: Park Bait reported a few perch scattered on minnows or Paddle Bugs at Montrose; also at Belmont and Diversey. A couple steelhead have been caught at Montrose and Belmont. Capt. Bill Kelly of Leprechaun Charters reported said lakers are good in 90-110 east of Diversey, good coho mixed with kings in 50-80 feet in front of all harbors north to the R4, on bigger Dodgers and bigger flies. Full moon is today, smallmouth should be going in the harbors, but it's been spotty and small ones.
WAUKEGAN: Salmon Stop reported good coho in 105-150 feet straight out on spring colors of flies and Dodgers. Not much on perch or from shore.
NORTH POINT: Capt. Bob Poteshman of Confusion Charters said coho fishing is ``just bananas, it just doesn't stop'' in 120-220 straight out and to the state line. There's a few kings, lakers and steelhead mixed in.
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. There's been some nice perch Register fish at Henry's Sports & Bait, Park Bait or Vet's Bait. Go to henryssports.com or call (312) 225-8538.
EAGLE RIVER: Creative Brilliance sent this report for the Chamber of Commerce:
(Head): Musky action slow, with walleye, northern, and crappies putting on
a good bite, and perch fair, in the Eagle River, Wisconsin area.
Water temps in the Eagle River area are now in the low 70s.
Musky action in the Eagle River area is slow. Anglers are seeing good
numbers of fish, but they are mostly follows, with a hard bite
here-and-there. Fish 7 feet of water or less, near weeds or around
structure, like docks. Use a small Mepps, glide bait or twitch bait. A
slow to medium retrieve is best.
The walleye bite in the Eagle River area has improved, and the walleye
action is good. Fish 10 feet of water or less in and around new weed
growth. Use a 1/16th ounce jig and a fathead. Late afternoon, dusk and into
the evening hours are providing the best action, although anglers are
getting walleye throughout the day.
Northern action in the Eagle River area remains good to very good. Fish 8
feet of water or less in and around weeds. Use a small Mepps, Husky Jerk or
a northern sucker under a slip bobber.
Crappies are putting on a good bite in the Eagle River area. Fish 10 feet
of water or less in and around weeds. Use a crappie minnow under a slip
bobber, or a 1/16th to 1/32nd ounce jig, tipped with a crappie minnow. The
crappie are suspending, but they're generally staying with a couple of feet
of the bottom, because the weeds aren't very tall.
Perch in the Eagle River area are hanging with the walleyes, but are tight
to bottom. Use a crappie minnow under a slip bobber or a chunk of crawler
under a slip bobber. The perch action is fair, and not as good as the
(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:
firstname.lastname@example.org; web: www.eagleriver.org
* "Muskie Matt", 715-891-5980; e-mail: email@example.com
* Mat Hegy, 715-571-7544, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
* Guide's Choice Pro Shop, guide/owner "Ranger Rick" Krueger 715-477-2248
* George Langley, Eagle River Fishing Guides Association, 715-479-8804.
Didn't get a report from MINOCQUA: guide Kurt Justice of Island Sports this week. Should resume next week.
Streams open Thursday. Mik-Lurch reported some steelhead at the mouth of Burns Ditch and a few off Michigan City piers. Smallmouth are variable, Lake Michigan is cold at 53 degrees. Full moon is today, smallmouth should be better. Sonny's is taking big catfish at Amoco discharge.
Muddied waters slowed things, but Lakeside reported a few muskies in the no-motor zone, a few largemouth on the road bed; a few crappie. Bass Open is Saturday (see top).
For more reports, click here.
From the Wisconsin DNR report:
Southern Lake Michigan Fishing Report: June 13, 2011
Fishing remains good for trollers off Kenosha, with the best activity focused in 110 to 160 feet of water, although some anglers are also reporting decent numbers of fish around 60 feet. Coho are still the main target with flasher and fly combinations providing the best success. Some Chinooks and lake trout are also being harvested on spoons and J-plugs fished 60 to 90 feet down. A few steelhead were taken near the surface in water over 200 feet deep. Water temperatures remain cold with surface readings below 50 degrees in almost all depths. Shore and pier activity in Kenosha has been slow overall, with a few brown trout and coho taken on the south pier on alewives fished on the bottom.
Coho still comprise the majority of the catch out of Racine, with the majority of the effort focused on the morning bite. Some anglers are still having success in 70 to 90 feet of water, while others are reporting their best success in 110 to 140 feet of water. Water temperatures remain quite cold for this time of year and may be one of the reasons that fish can be found in such a variety of water depths. Dodgers in red, orange or white with combinations of blue or green flies have been productive for coho. Some Chinooks and lake trout have been taken on spoons and J-plugs in the deeper depths in the very early morning hours. Shore activity in Racine has been slow, with an occasional trout or salmon reportedly caught off of north and south piers on alewives. Renovation has started on the south pier and is expected to last 2 to 3 months. The area from the Fisherman's access near the cleaning station east to the newer flat section is now closed.
In Milwaukee trollers continue to catch good numbers of coho. Flashers coupled with peanut flies in purple or green have taken fish in and around 60 to 80 feet of water. When the winds are consistently out of the west, Milwaukee shore anglers have been able to catch some salmon off McKinley pier as well. Blue & silver or green & silver spoons have produced, along with alewives fished off the bottom. Shore anglers have also been catching occasional brown trout behind the Summerfest grounds.
CHICAGO AREA CHAT/REPORTS
CHICAGO AREA INFO
MICHIGAN DNR REPORT
WISCONSIN DNR REPORT
IOWA DNR REPORT
INDIANA DNR REPORT