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Midwest Fishing Report: Lakes/areas section

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Perch starting on the Chicago lakefront and summer patterns setting up, just a bit late, headline this 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

I am going to lead with a couple best bets around Chicago fishing, perch and coho.


Finally, the perch run appears to be underway for real. Park Bait said shore fishermen are doing best on the south side of Montrose. Henry's said Northerly Island is other top spot. Other good reports by the Shedd. Henry's said bigger ones are coming at Belmont. It's a mix of perch flies, spinners, minnows or soft shells. On Tuesday, Capt. Bob Poteshman of Confusion Charters reported good perch for boaters around the wall and the weed beds east of Navy Pier.


The seventh annual Henry's Perch Derby is 6-10 a.m. Saturday at Northerly Island. Registration begins at 5:30 a.m. Go to or call (312) 225-8538.


Coho (some steelhead and kings mixed in) have been outstanding off Chicago. Capt. Bill Kelly of Leprechaun Charters reported good coho at the O Marker (near Carter Harrison) in 50 feet, good coho in 50 feet southwest of the R4 and a good mixed bag at the car ferry in 70 to three miles north in 80. Poteshman reported the good band of coho in 40-60 from straight off downtown Chicago to Wilmette; he is using ``100-percent Dodgers and flies.'' Faithful reader Peter Babich e-mailed a typical catch--27 coho, a small laker and a small king--in 45-60 feet on Capt. Jaime Kost's Kingfisherman earlier this week out of Diversey.


Lots of reports of topwaters taking bass early and late on retention ponds. Catfish are the other top bite. Some bluegill are pulling off beds, others are still up.


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): Great walleye bite, with very good musky, bass, crappie and bluegill
action, all in and amidst the lakes and the Wisconsin River of Wisconsin's
Marathon and Lincoln Counties (near Mosinee and Wausau).

In the central Wisconsin area anglers are catching lots of legal sized
walleyes in the 15 to 20 inch range. And it is not a misprint or bravado to
say anglers are catching up to and over 100 walleyes per outing. Most of
the fish have been holding in 10 to 16 feet of water along rocky shorelines
and drop-offs with some nice fish being taken off of mid lake humps. Jigs
tipped with minnows or crawlers have been working very well most of the day,
but during low light periods running Rapalas and Shad Raps have been very
successful, especially for larger fish.

The musky bite in the central Wisconsin area has been very good, especially
for large fish. The best bait has been the jerk bait, particularly the
Suick. Consistent action has also been provided on top water baits, gliders,
rubber baits and bucktails. Orange or yellow have been accounting for a lot
of action and for many nice fish up to and over 40 inches. The key to
triggering the strikes is to keep the bait moving constantly, with quick
sharp pulls and don't forget to figure 8 at the end of your retrieve, as
almost 40% of the musky strikes are at boat side.

Bass activity has been very good in the central Wisconsin area, particularly
on top water baits. Shallow rocky shorelines and areas with downed or
submerged wood have been the most productive areas, especially very late in
the day and right at dark. Another consistent producer have been Rattle
Traps under very low light conditions.

Crappies in the central Wisconsin area have been pretty consistent with a
lot of them now roaming the large main lake basins in 14 to 20 feet of
water. Spider rigging with small jigs tipped with minnows or plastics is a
great way to find fish and locate these schools. Once you locate a school
of crappies, mark the area on your GPS and then circle back and forth
through the same GPS locations to keep working the school until they move
off. Sometimes you will find that moving in one direction will out-produce
another, so pay particular attention to which direction you are traveling
when you hit your fish.

Bluegills are now spawning in the central Wisconsin area and can be found in
shallow water. Look for wood and weeds in less than 3 feet of water as
these areas warm faster and are bluegill magnets at this time of the year. A
small hook baited with a worm and set about a foot below a bobber will take
these feisty panfish all day long


Triangle reported bluegill still up, but some coming off the beds; Loon and Deep are also good options. If rain comes, current flow should spike walleye around bridges and current areas. Bass are in post-spawn, try dock fishing; frog fishing is improving. Catfish are good, mainly on dipbaits. For white bass, work the bottlenecks on the river.

For more reports, see

More Chain info at


BRAIDWOOD/MAZONIA: On cloudier days, there's a good variety, especially bass and catfish, being caught. I was Sunday afternoon and it was a scuffle, but a blast all the same. Close is 8:30 p.m.

HEIDECKE: There's been variable reports of multiple species.


DELAVAN: Arden Katz reported outstanding crappie in 10-12 feet on small twistertails; good big bass on soft plastics. guide Dave Duwe sent this:

Delavan Lake 6/19/11 through 6/26/11
With the warm stable weather, Delavan lake has been the busiest I've seen it in the last few years. Overall the fishing has been very good. The walleye fishing has finally started to turn on.
Walleyes can be caught at low light conditions on crankbaits or lindy rigging nightcrawlers. The best location has been off the weedline in 14-16 ft of water. Look for the fish by the Oriental boat house, Browns Channel and down by the island. The best time to fish for them is early a.m. before 7 a.m. or right at dusk. The crankbaits I've been using are medium diving Bandits or Lindy Shadling. The perch pattern seems to be the most productive.
Crappies have finished spawning and have started their yearly migration to deep waters. They are now not schooled up. Most of the success has been sporadic. Some can be caught on the weedlines in 12-14 ft of water. Look for the fish by Browns Channel or by Willow Point. This time of year, with the warmer temperatures, I exclusively use plastics in purple or pink.
Largemouth bass have finished spawning. They are progressing out to the deep weedline. I've caught fish from 6 ft. to 18 ft of water. The best locations are by the Yacht Club and by the Oriental boat house. The best presentation is drop shotting finesse worms in green pumpkin or drop shotting nightcrawlers. As the water warms almost all of the largemouth bass will be on the weedline, I would expect that they will all be deep by the 4th of July.
Bluegill fishing has been great. There are two patterns. Some are still spawning in the shallows in less than 4 ft of water and savvy anglers are also catching them in over 16 ft of open water. The bigger fish seem to be coming from the deeper water. The best presentation is a split shot rigged leaf worm or a hellgrammite. The best locations have been by Willow Point and by Browns Channel.
Northern Pike have returned to the weedline. They can be readily caught on lindy rigged suckers or suspended on a Thill slip bobber. The best locations have been west of the Yacht club or by the Village supper club. With the warming water, you have to remember bait maintenance is crucial. You want your suckers to be cool and aerated but not so cool that the shock of the lake water kills them. Make sure you temper the bait water with lake water.
Good luck and I hope to see you on the water. For guide parties, please call Dave Duwe at 608-883-2050

GENEVA: From Duwe;

Lake Geneva 6/19/11 through 6/26/11
The stable weather continues and fishing has been very good during the past week. This has been the most rock bass I have seen in the past 19 years of guiding. They are almost everywhere. If people would fish Lake Geneva, we could reduce world hunger!
The rock bass can be caught on white and pink hair jigs or on split shot rigged nightcrawlers. The biggest concentration is in 8-10 ft of water. I have however caught them as deep as 16 ft. Some of the larger ones are way over 1 lb. The best location was by Belvidere Park or by Linn Pier.
Largemouth bass are in the shallows out to about 12 ft of water. The best location is by Trinkes. I have been catching most of my fish either drop shotting either small green pumpkin finesse worms or a split shot rigged nightcrawler. Some other good action has come by Coleman's Point. The bass I have been catching appear to be post spawn, a lot of flat bellies.
Bluegills and Pumpkin Seeds are in the 6-8 ft depth range. The best location has been by Trinkes or in Geneva Bay. Most of the fish are coming on a split shot rigged nightcrawler or leaf worm. The best spots have a lot fewer rock bass because there are more weeds. On Saturday, I caught several Pumpkin Seeds over 9 inches.
Smallmouth bass are almost done spawning. The last remaining few are spawning in deep water over 14 ft. When the boat traffic has been the worst, the smallmouth bass have been pulling out and going deeper into 17-22 ft of water. They can be caught on small finesse worms or drop shotting nightcrawlers. We have probably one more week of good smallmouth bass fishing before they vanish into the deep for the summer.
Northern Pike fishing has been slow. Most of the action has been with bass fisherman casting white spinner baits or Smithwick Rattling Rogues in the weed flats in 8-10 ft of water. The best locations have been by Williams Bay or by Fontana Beach. With the warming water the Pike will pull out of the shallows and position on the deep weedlines. Fishing Pike will improve then.
Perch have been sporadic in the 8-10 ft depth range. The best location has been by Rainbow Point or by the Military Academy. Most of the fish are still being caught on split shot rigged nightcrawlers or large leaf worms.
Happy Fathers Day! Good luck and I hope to see you on the water. For guide parties, please call Dave Duwe at 608-883-2050
Daily Reports
6/19/11 - Lake Geneva, partly cloudy, 78 degrees. Water temp 65 degrees. Happy Fathers Day! We will be fishing for smallmouth bass in 10-14 ft of water and as many fish as we can catch. I'm taking a friend and two small children. The rock bass should be biting well and will keep the younger folks interested.
6/18/11 - Lake Geneva, sunny, 80 degrees, E winds at 10 mph. Water temp 64 degrees. Caught 5 largemouth, the biggest was 4 lbs. and one smallmouth, 22 inches. Lost 5 other fish. We had a terrible time keeping the fish on the hook. The best depth was 10-14 ft of water. The best location was west of Linn Pier. The biggest smallie came off of Conference Point.
6/13/11 - Lake Geneva, sunny, 72 degrees, NE winds at 12 mph. Water temp 62 degrees. Caught 2 smallmouth bass, both were legal and we lost the third. Caught 1 largemouth, 3.6 lbs and loads of rock bass. Fished by Belvidere Park and by Black Point with Black Point being the better choice. The best depth was 12-13 ft of water.


SHELBYVILLE: Guide Ken Wilson of Lithia Guide Service reported trolling is producing walleye and white bass; best white bass are busting shad on the north end. Lots of largemouth on main lake points. Trolling is producing crappie in open water. Water is in upper 70s; lake is up 8 feet.

CARLYLE:There's a very strong sauger bite going, both on the lake and in the river below. Otherwise, catfish are good.

EMIQUON: The best spot for largemouth in Illinois. Need to sneak down there. 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: Time on the Water outdoors reported good crappie on slip bobbers and minnows down 10-18 in 30.

Site staff sent this report:

Evergreen Lake Fishing Report - June 20, 2011
Water Condition
Water Clarity: 6"-5'
Water Level: Flowing at Spillway
Water Temps: Mid 70's

Fishing has remained good on Evergreen. Crappie are still being caught in deeper water with minnows and jigs. The Saugeye continue to bite crank baits and on jigs with crawlers and minnows. Bass have been doing well near weed beds and off of points on top water baits. Catfish have been hitting well on crawlers, livers, shrimp, leeches, and cut baits. Bluegill also have continued to bite on wax worms and crawlers near weeds.
Good Luck, Brad

Any updated fishing report will be posted here.


From the Wisconsin DNR fishing report:

Green Bay Fishing Report: June 20, 2011
Brown Co.
Fox River:
Anglers have been finding numbers of large catfish fishing from the shore. Most have been using cut bait or worms. Also a few anglers have been targeting smallmouth bass with good success. Drum and carp are being caught as well but most are being caught incidentally. Lower Bay: Walleye have been hitting well from Geanos Beach in the west to Volks Reef in the east. Trolling has been the most successful approach. Also a few anglers have been jigging gulp or live bait on reef tops with some success.
East Shore
Sturgeon Bay:
Anglers have been catching some perch in Sawyer Harbor over the last few days, however most have been small in size. Also bass fishing has been good when the weather allows anglers to get out and fish. Best action has been in the shallows in and around the ship channel. A few walleye are being caught as well, generally by anglers trolling the channel at night. Little Sturgeon Bay: Bass fishing has been good with anglers targeting shallow rocky shorelines. Anglers have been using a variety of baits from soft plastic jigs to live leeches. Also anglers fishing for perch have been finding good numbers of keeper perch in the weed beds. Best bait has been a small minnow on a bottom rig. Chaudoir's Dock: Perch have been very spotty the last week with some good catches one day and nothing the next. Most anglers have been targeting 20-30 feet of water using minnows or worms for bait. Bottom rigs have been the typical fish producer, but slip bobbers with a jig and minnow have been working well also. Walleye fishing has started to pick up with some good catches of walleye being reported. Most fishermen have been trolling harnesses and producing fish. Most of the walleye, however, have been smaller in size with most being under 15inches. Bayshore Park: Walleye fishing has been constant the last week with harnesses working the best. Most anglers have been trolling in 10-20 feet of water. Purple was the hot color last week for some anglers. Some anglers were also reporting success using wally divers and shad raps. Perch fishing has been slow with some fish being caught in 20-25 feet of water. For perch, the best weather conditions have been sunny, warm days.


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


CHICAGO: See top.

WAUKEGAN: Salmon Stop reported boaters doing a bit better for perch on crab meat or large fathead, from 30 to 80 feet. Some perch off the end of government pier; a few shoreline coho. Boaters are working 80-120 for bigger coho and kings.

NORTH POINT: Capt. Bob Poteshman of Confusion Charters reported good coho in 80-140 feet straight out on Dodgers and flies.

CHICAGO NOTE: The fisherman's parking pass--$10 for two months and available at Henry's Sports & Bait--is needed to park south of the main building at Northerly Island.

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, and now the south side at Northerly Island.

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 and carp registered this month. 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 bite improving, with good action for walleye, and northern,
and crappies, bluegills and perch fair to good in the Eagle River,
Wisconsin area.

Water temps in the Eagle River area range from the mid 60s to the upper 60s.

The musky bite is improving in the Eagle River area. There are now more
bites than follows, and while the muskies are not "jumping in the boat,"
musky hunters are catching fish. Fish 7 feet of water or less around new
weed growth. Use a 6 inch jig, bucktail or glide bait.

Walleye in the Eagle River area are in 8 feet of water or less, in and
around weeds. Use a 1/16th ounce jig and a fathead minnow. There's a good
bite all day, with peaks near dusk into the evening hours.

Northern are in 8 feet of water or less in and around weeds, in the Eagle
River area. Use a husky jerk, bass style spinner bait, or a small Mepps.
Good all day action.

Crappies, bluegills and perch are hanging out in the same location as the
walleyes and northern in the Eagle River area - - 8 feet of water or less
in and around weeds. Crappies and gills are suspending in the weeds, within
a couple of feet of the bottom. The perch are tight to the bottom. For the
crappies, use a crappie minnow under a slip bobber. For the gills and perch
try a crawler or real small minnow under a slip bobber. Action for all the
panfish ranges from fair to good, depending on the day.

(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:

The water is a little cooler than usual for mid June. Most lakes in the 64-66 degree range. Continued NE winds try to confound anglers, but, actually the fishing has been good.

Musky: Very good. Besides the 53 1/2" reported last week, a 48 1/2" was also caught and released. Good numbers of fish, many in the low to mid 40" range. Bucktail action good, but, surprisingly lots of wood action. Cranes, Smity Gliders and Jerks (smaller models) and Topwater baits getting the better part of the action. Fish holding fairly shallow, target isolated weed beds in 6-10'.

Largemouth Bass: Very good. Some bedding going on. Lots of action pitching plastic craws around docks, pilings. Four inch worms working around weeds in 4-8' of water. Topwater producing despite cool temps. Jitterbugs, Hula Poppers, Chug Bugs.

Northern Pike: Very good. Spinnerbaits doing extremely well. Work over weeds in 6-10'. Spoons also catching good #s. Lots of low 20" fish but fish of 30-34" released this week. If action slows, switch to jig and chub.

Walleye: Good. Cool temps, overcast helping walleye anglers finding fish in 6-10' weeds. Good numbers of eaters plus larger fish - 26" released on jib/chub, 27 1/4" released on Boonie Bait. No strong preference between redtails, crawlers or leeches. Fish slow.

Smallmouth Bass: Fair-Good. Action improving as fish showing back up since spawn. Three inch tubes, craws, size 8 slash baits (Xraps) producing. Bait anglers catching fish on big leeches/crawlers.

Bluegills: Good. Spawning on larger lakes, finished on smaller. Thunderbugs, small leeches, Gulp Alive leeches, crickets. Poppers on calm evenings.

Perch: Good. Minnows, leeches, 1/2 crawlers on jigs. Fish weeds, wood in 6-8'.

Crappies: Fair-Good. All right, after 2 weeks of saying crappies missed their spawn, I actually found a small group on beds - one pair even in the act! Large lake - not my fault they are mixed up. LOL. Jigs and small minnows best.

Andrew Ragas, Counsellor of the Fish Parliament sent this:

Northern Wisconsin (Minocqua)
Fished all of last week for trophy bass and action muskies. Water
temperatures found ranging anywhere from 65 to 68 degrees.

Largemouth and smallmouth bass have concluded their spawn. Largemouths
beginning to use deeper weedlines, drop-offs, and boat docks while
smallmouths are now transitioning off to deeper rocks and wood, and
mid-lake areas. Expect to find both fish feeding shallow during early
mornings and again in evenings. Smallmouths up to 20 inches and 5 lbs.
were caught. A tremendous crankbait bite is now starting.

Best baits:: (Largemouth) - 5 inch stick baits, crankbaits,
spinnerbaits, swimjigs, jig and craws. (Smallmouth) - spinnerbaits, 4
inch tubes, crankbaits, jerkbaits and Rapala X-Raps, 4 inch jig and
grubs, jigworms.

Muskie fishing very good and action hot during early mornings and
again in evenings, and especially in lowlight conditions and before
incoming fronts. Fish up to 40" were caught along with several swings
and misses from some in the mid to upper 40 inch range throughout
Vilas and Oneida counties (Bigger fish lost on gliders). Best action
taking place in clean deeper weeds (cabbage beds) and along the edges
of mid-lake sand and rock bars. Fish transitioning off into main lake
areas and feeding heavily on schools of panfish and baitfish. Topwater
bite tremendous around shallow cover early mornings and calm evenings.
Good action taking place along deeper weedlines and around mid-lake
bars and drop-offs with gliders. Darker water lakes and river systems
containing best action and numbers.

Best Baits:: Topraiders, Rumblers, Musky Buster Stompers, Softail
Phantoms and Slammers, Mepps Marabous, Cowgirls and Showgirls, 6 inch
Jakes and Grandmas.


Mik-Lurch reported good steelhead in Trail, all the way to Johnson Road. Boaters are taking a few steelhead outside of Portage on red ThinFins and J-13s. A 10-2 walleye was caught this week on the corn channel on the Indiana side at Wolf Lake.


Lakeside had an outstanding bass open on Saturday with a 5-pounder topping the results. There was also a good striper and muskie reports.

For more reports, click here.


From the Wisconsin DNR report:

Southern Lake Michigan Fishing Report: June 20, 2011
Kenosha Co.

Good coho action continues off Kenosha with low to moderate fishing pressure. Most anglers are targeting just coho trying to take advantage of the good numbers of fish in the area, but some rainbows, chinooks and lake trout are also being harvested. The most popular rig continues to be orange or red flashers coupled with flies in blues, greens and reds. Spoons have taken the majority of lakers and kings. Late in the week anglers reported the best success could be found just outside the "Hill", however there were reported catches anywhere from 60 to 180 feet of water. Perch anglers on the Kenosha shore and piers have had very poor success since the opener. A few boat anglers have been getting their limit of 5 fish just off of the rock breakwall east of the north pier, with plastics and minnows being the best baits. No success has been reported on the piers for trout and salmon. Near shore temps are 57 to 58 degrees. The fish cleaning station at Kenosha remains closed for repairs.
Racine Co.
Coho action remains very good off of Racine, but fish locations are changing daily. Best success late this week was reported in 60 to 90 feet of water from the surface to 30 feet down. Red, orange and white dodgers with flies in the blues and greens have been popular baits of choice. A few lake trout have also been harvested on spoons and reportedly are suspended with the coho. Some nice chinooks in the 15 to 18 lb range are also being seen. Anglers are reporting marking large amounts of bait fish, and surface water temps have warmed up to the mid 50s. Racine pier and shore fishing success has been very low, with generally light effort observed. Very few perch have been caught by either shore or boat anglers since the opening on the 16th. Nearshore temperatures are running 57 to 58 degrees.
Milwaukee Co.
The fishing off Milwaukee has been pretty good for boat anglers. Coho are still active, but they are beginning to scatter and have been caught as far out as 180 feet of water. Flasher and fly combinations continue to produce good numbers of coho. A few Chinooks are also showing up in the creel but with no frequency or pattern. South shore ramp had had some perch action on the rocks or the center break wall north of the landing, and minnows have been the best perch bait. The shore anglers should start having success for perch if the water warms. At times a few coho have been taken off McKinley pier, but fishing has been generally slow.



Fishing Headquarters



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






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Northerly Island rocked on Tuesday July 12, 2011 Perch were hitting during the evening from 4pm to 6 pm extremely well on crank baits. All 4 fisherman there, were catching nice size perch from .50 to 1.18 lb on Shad raps, Flicker Shads, Rapala's etc..

I haven't seen this size perch in about 10 years.. Very Rare! I've noticed that when it's sunny no wind and calm waters Perch seem to hit those spots good.. I also noticed bigger ones are deeper off the sound end walkways! Whether and winds have a lot to do with your results. So pick a nice sunny, calm and non windy day! PS. Perch is catch and release since they are spawning! Please respect the laws!

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This page contains a single entry by Dale Bowman published on June 22, 2011 5:59 AM.

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