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Midwest Fishing Report: Areas/lakes

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There are reports of fall kings starting on the shorelines around southern Lake Michigan, and that's as good as anything to highlight in this areas/lakes 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.

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


Largemouth bass are the bite, by far, across the area. Weather is certainly helping for those families who want to get out for some casts before school starts again.


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): Walleye, musky catfish, bass, and crappies providing good action,
with bear hunters gearing up as the bear season nears, in and amidst the
lakes and the Wisconsin River of Wisconsin's Marathon and Lincoln Counties
(near Mosinee and Wausau).

With all the recent rain in the central Wisconsin are, fishing the Wisconsin
River has become almost "obsolete" right now. This means anglers are
spending a lot of time on the main lake areas and well away from the heavy
flows in the Wisconsin River system.

The walleyes in the central Wisconsin area have been holding in anywhere
from 6 to 14 feet
tight to the bottom. Jigs tipped with minnows or crawlers, or long line
trolling crank baits have been working.

Crappies have been moving around quite a bit in the central Wisconsin area,
and with water temperatures dropping, they have moved out of their summer
pattern and are now moving towards their fall locations. Look for schools of
crappies to be holding in the deeper pools within 4 feet of the bottom.
Jigs tipped with minnows worked slowly along the bottom and kept slightly
suspended is the most consistent and successful approach for taking these
roaming crappies.

The musky bite in the central Wisconsin area has turned up a notch, and a
few big fish are being caught. Big bladed bucktails and large, bright jerk
baits have account for fish, when worked very slowly in slow current areas.
With all the high and very dirty water, larger, brighter baits have been the
ticket to catching muskies.

Catfish in the central Wisconsin area have been hitting well. With the
recent high water, the cats have actually stepped it up a notch, and by
setting up above a deeper pool in the main Wisconsin River channel, anglers
have an opportunity at catching some great fish. Once your boat is set,
long line three way rigs baited up with a small sucker or gob of crawlers,
and toss it right into the deepest part of the pool. Anchor your rod down,
or put it in a rod holder to make sure that when the cat strikes you won't
lose your rod. The strikes are unbelievable and the battle will definitely
be one you won't forget.

Bass action has been pretty good in the backwater areas of lakes in the
central Wisconsin area, with jig and pig combos being the most consistent
producers. Shoreline wood in 1 to 4 feet of water has been holding fish, as
well as rocky areas in less than 6 feet of water. Some nice fish were also
taken by casting shallow Shad Raps and small Rapalas in these areas.

The upcoming bear season in the central Wisconsin area is less than a month
away, and hunters (must have a tag) planning on going after these bruins
have been diligently baiting their stations for quite some time now. With
the season getting close, now is the time to start visiting your bait
station a little more frequently, to get the bears on a more regular
pattern. The key now is to start putting out LESS bait, which will force the
bears to visit your location more often, and with a little luck, give you a
better opportunity when the season starts.


Salmon Stop reported ``a bonanza of catfish'' on jumbo crawlers and Sonny's. Triangle seconded catfish as good, best on Grass, Nippersink and Fox; good white bass around Mineola on small jigs and spikes or minnows; bluegill around shade trees or boat lifts for bluegill. Bass are tough, frog fishing is best.

For more reports, see

More Chain info at


BRAIDWOOD/MAZONIA: Ed McCain at Mik-Lurch reported good bluegill on Mazonia lakes, try Gulp Alive maggots on jigs around 14 feet. Close goes to 7:30 p.m. on Saturday. It's 92 on the north end of Braidwood.

LaSALLE:Through Sept. 30, the lake is open Wednesday through Sunday. With cooler temperatures, more anglers are getting out. On Sunday, there was yet another morning where staff failed to get the gates unlocked for hours.


DELAVAN: Arden Katz reported outstanding bluegills in 15 to 18 feet around the weed beds on trout worms or hellgrammites. Bass are tougher, but good quality on drop-shot rigs on the deep edges. guide Dave Duwe sent this:

Delavan Lake Fishing Report 8/15/11 through 8/21/11
Where did the heat and humidity go? It was here earlier this week and then all of the sudden it disappeared. It sure made fishing comfortable, although even a bit cool early in the a.m. The weather change didn't hurt the fishing much so there is still ample opportunity to get out on the water.
Largemouth bass remain on the deep weedline in 15-18 ft of water. The best presentation is either swimming black and blue All Terrain Jigs or split shot rigging nightcrawlers. The fish are still very schooled up, so if you catch one, there are likely a few more so fish the spot out before moving. The best location has been west of Willow Point or by the Oriental boat house. One thing I noticed this week is that there are quite a few smaller fish showing up on the deep rock where normally only the big boys hang out.
Bluegills have slowed slightly which is good if you are fishing largemouth bass. I've reduced the nightcrawler usage from 12 dozen down to 8 dozen per trip. The best success has been in 12-13 ft of water. Straight lining small leaf worms beneath the boat has been producing most of the action. If you want to get creative a Chartreuse Genz bug is also a good bet. Look for the fish by Assembly Park or in front of Township beach.
Northern pike action has remained a bit slow. There either in 10-12 ft of water or really deep +25 ft. I have been mostly bass fishing so haven't been concentrating on the Northern pike too much. Most of the action is coming in the deep water on large suckers fished on a lindy rig. The fish have been located just west of the Yacht Club or just west of Willow Point. A good trip this time of year is 4-5 fish. If you want good pike action, Geneva is a better bet.
Walleye pike fishing for me has been pretty much non-existent. It's basically just the time of year and where I've been fishing. The best approach is trolling deep diving crank baits along the weedline in the pre-dawn hours. The best depth is 22 ft. You want to troll your crank baits about 2 ft above the weed edge. Look for the fish by Del Mar or by the concrete point.
Good luck and I hope to see you on the water. For guide parties, please call Dave Duwe at 608-883-2050

Daily Report
8/14/11 - Delavan Lake, cloudy, 70 degrees, water temp 76 degrees, winds N at 15 mph. Caught 14 largemouth and 1 northern pike. The bass were caught on nightcrawlers fished on a split shot rig. The pike was caught on a Thill big fish slip bobber and a medium sucker in about 13 ft of water.
8/13/11 - Delavan Lake, sunny, 75 degrees, water temp 76 degrees. Winds N at 5 mph. Caught 14 largemouth bass and 1 northern pike. The bite was really good early but by 9:00 a.m. the bite slowed. All the bass were caught on nightcrawlers fished on a split shot rig. The best location was near scattered weeds.
8/12/11 - Lake Geneva, sunny, 78 degrees, water temp 80 degrees. Caught 20 northern pike. The fish were caught lindy rigging medium suckers in 35-40 ft of water. The best location was Fontana Beach. You have to rely on your fish locator and when you see fish, that's where to fish.
8/8/11 - Delavan lake, again rain! 80 degrees, water temp 82 degrees. Caught 10 largemouth bass and a bunch of bluegills. The fish were on the weedlines in 15-18 ft of water. The bigger fish came in the shallower water. Look for the fish in scattered weeds with a hard rock bottom.
8/7/11 - Delavan Lake, rain and thunderstorms, 84 degrees, water temp 82 degrees. Caught 14 largemouth bass, 1 northern pike and a bunch of bluegills. The largemouth bass were caught on nightcrawlers fished on a split shot rig on rocks with scattered weeds. The best depth was 12-15 ft of water. The pike was caught on a medium sucker fished in 18 ft of water.

GENEVA: From Duwe:

Lake Geneva Fishing Report 8/15/11 through 8/21/11
First the good news, the heat and humidity have vanished, comfortable weather is here. Now the bad news, it's the middle of August, the weather is telling us that fall is on its way, back to school and the end of summer are fast approaching. Hurry, get your rod and reel out before it's too late!
Northern Pike action has been the best that it has been in the past 5 years. The fish are between 33 and 40 ft of water. They are aggressively eating medium suckers fished on a lindy rig. Look for the fish by Fontana or on the north shore of the narrows. Another good hidden gem is drifting Maytag point back towards the city of Lake Geneva. For people who haven't fished northern pike on the thermocline before, as a rule the bite is very subtle. A lot of times it will only feel like extra weight on your line and due to the fact that there are no weeds at the depth you are fishing, that extra weight is indeed a fish. The biggest key to fishing the thermocline is keeping constant bottom contact. Your line should be vertical from bottom to the surface. By doing this, you'll be able to detect the subtle bite.
Rock bass remain in the 12-15 ft range. They are ravenous and will attack a split shot rigged nightcrawler. The best locations have been by the Military Academy or by Belvidere Park. Rock bass to most people are an aggravation, but to people just wanting to catch fish, they can be a ton of fun, especially when you are regularly landing 1 to 1 ½ lb. fish.
Walleye fishing remains consistent if the wind blows. You need to troll at night. The best location has been by Abbey Springs or by Trinkes. The best lure has been the deep diving Walleye bandit. Work a depth of 12-15 ft of water.
Largemouth bass have pushed out of the shallows and remain on the deep weedline. By far the best spot on the lake is Trinkes Bay from the golf course towards Big Foot Beach. Most of the success is coming while dragging football head jigs or Carolina rigging Zoom lizards. Green pumpkin or watermelon seed are the only two colors I use. The secondary spots I would try would be all main lake points such as, Black Point, Rainbow Point and Conference Point.
Bluegills have moved deep. They are in 16-18 ft of water. The best location has been by Elgin Club or off the weed edge in Williams Bay. The best approach is straight lining leaf worms about 1 ft off bottom. You need to have calm winds for this to be effective.
Good luck and I hope to see you on the water. For guide parties, please call Dave Duwe at 608-883-2050


REND LAKE:Jason Johns of Todd Gessner Outdoors reported catfish are good drift fishing on main lake flats, especially with Hoss's Hawg Bait; crappie slowed a bit, work main lake flats and foundations in 5-10 on minnows or jigs (silver). Bass are fair, try shallow in the bushes with soft plastics or spinner baits.

SHELBYVILLE: Guide Ken Wilson of Lithia Guide Service reported good crappie on minnows in 10-12 feet on main lake laydowns or brush piles. Drift fishing is producing good catfish in creeks. White bass slowed.

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.

EVERGREEN: Any updated fishing report will be posted here.

LAKE OF EGYPT: Johns said bass are biting on shaky heads, or work crankbaits on points or work topwaters for schooled bass days.


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


Sunday's big blow altered conditions greatly, perch in particular are tough.

CHICAGO:: Park Bait reported some good rock bass at Montrose. Before the blow, Capt. Bill Kelly of Leprechaun Charters reported great fishing east of the Wilson, the Car Ferry and the R4 in 60-110 on big Dodgers and flies and spoons down 45 to the bottom. Capt. Bob Poteshman of Confusion Charters reported lakers, steelhead and some kings in 115-120 feet off Evanston; some lakers at the R4.

WAUKEGAN: Talmadge Hargraves III at the Salmon Stop reported boaters taking kings and steelhead deeper in 120. A report of a few kings off the end of government pier in the middle of the night.

NORTH POINT: Poteshman reported bite shifted out to 160-250 since the blow for kings, coho, steelhead and lakers, mainly on Leadcores from 150 feet and down. There's some big kings very early on the hill.

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 and now the south side at Northerly Island are available at Henry's.

RICHARD J. DALEY SPORTFISHING DERBY: Runs through Sept. 30. Add perch to the species for August. The other species are carp, catfish, panfish, steelhead and chinook. A king big enough for Fish of the Week leads the chinook side. Register fish at Henry's Sports & Bait, Park Bait or Vet's Bait. Go to or call (312) 225-8538.


Mik-Lurch reported this is the hot spot for kings from shore.


Click here for info on D&S Bait.


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

(Head): Excellent northern bite, with musky, walleye, bass and panfish all
providing good action in the Eagle River, Wisconsin area.

Water temps now in the low 70s, and fishing action has improved in the Eagle
River area. Most every species is in shallow water on the Eagle River Chain
of 28 Lakes.

Musky in the Eagle River area are in 7 feet of water or less in and around
weeds. Use a small bucktail, topwater or spinner bait, and make sure your
lure s is always running just over the top of the weeds. Use a medium speed
retrieve, and don't forget to do a "figure 8" at the end of every retrieve.
All day bite, with peaks in the early morning and late in the day towards
evening. Good action.

Northern are providing an excellent bite in the Eagle River area. Fish 4-7
feet of water in and around weeds. Use a small Mepps or a bass style
spinner bait. All day bite.

Walleye are hitting well in the Eagle River area. Fish 4-5 feet of water in
and around weeds. Use a 1/16 ounce jig and a fathead minnow. All day bite.
Good action.

Both largemouth and smallmouth bass on the Eagle River Chain of Lakes are
putting on a good bite. Most anglers fishing the Eagle River Chain of Lakes
are getting bass incidentally to fishing for walleye. Fish the weeds in 5-7
feet of water, using a jig and a minnow. Smallies on the deeper, clearer
lakes in the Eagle River area are locating off of deeper break edges, over
hardbottom (10-17 feet of water). Use a jig and a minnow or a jig and a 3
inch tube. Good action.

Crappies, bluegills and perch in the Eagle River area are bunched together
in the weeds in 5-7 feet of water. The crappies and gills will be
suspending in the weeds, and the perch will be tight to the bottom. Use a
small crappie minnow or a crawler under a slip bobber. Good action.

(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:

An ever so slight cool down this past week seems to have slowed the fishing down a bit. On some lakes the shallows seem devoid of panfish. Monday night (8/15) stayed warm and fishing improved. While a few species (walleye, crappies, pike) seemed harder to find, bass (both Largemouth and Smallmouth) and musky seemed to stay good.

Smallmouth Bass: Good to very good. Work deep sandgrass flats or gravel humps. Most action in 20-30' depths. Drop-shotting plastic craws (Yum, Craw Pappis), worms (Chompers, 4" Drop shot worms) and minnows (Berkely Power minnows). Jig and creature, tubes and live leeches also effective. Area guide Paul Habram lead clients to 22" and 23" Smallmouth this week.

Largemouth Bass: Good to very good. Deeper weeds and edges. Tubes, wacky worms, creature baits. Find Largemouth Bass cruising shallows at early am, switch to deep weeds by mid morning, then go top-water frogs on these warming nights.

Musky: Good. Best towards evening on top-water. Tail baits (Tally Wackers, Pacemakers, Whopper Ploppers) during last hour of light through the dark. Work shallow flats in 6-10'

Bluegills: Good. Mornings have been slow, but will pick up with warmer nights. Small leeches, beavertails and tiny jigs work deep weeds, wood for larger fish.

Perch: Good. Live bait (leeches, minnows, 1/2 crawlers) in 6-12' weed pockets.

Pike: Fair. Slowed action with high pressure and cool mornings. Should pick up with warm up. Use chubs or suckers for inactive fish.

Crappies: Poor. Few reports.

Walleye: Poor. Though a few large walleyes have been caught this past week (25-27"), most by anglers targeting smallmouth on deep rocks with big leeches.

The lack of panfish in the shallows so early in August seems odd. Surface temps dropped to average of 69-71 degrees but have now risen to seventy two degree average. Best bite is during evening.


Winds are limited effort on Lake Michigan until yesterday.

Lake Michigan fisheries biologist Brian Breidert reported:

Good news, steelhead have moved into Trail creek and some have begun moving into the St. Joe. All of this really began on 8/11 and 8/12. Creeks are a little high right now and muddy but will be clearing throughout the week. No major rain predicted until the weekend. Harbor temperature is 71 and the creek is running around the middle 60's. Also a few browns in Trail.

The big lake is still pretty stirred up but some fish have been taken out in 80 foot of water. Mixed catches of all trout and salmon species.

Mik-Lurch reported best perch action is east toward Black Ditch.


Lakeside reported a 45-inch muskie caught Tuesday; some good crappie (around fish cribs in 10-12 feet) and bass on topwaters. A few good walleye caught. NOTE: Catfish Open is Saturday. Heaviest stringer of six is tops in this family event. Go to or call (815) 824-2581.

For reports, click here.


From the Wisconsin DNR report:

Southern Lake Michigan Fishing Report: August 15, 2011
Kenosha Co.
In Kenosha fish have moved further offshore since the weekend winds. Trollers have recently had success catching Chinooks and a few rainbows and coho in 90 to 140 feet of water. Perch fishing has slowed in Kenosha for both boats and shore anglers. A few brown trout have been caught in the harbor, but those have been few and far between.
Racine Co.
In Racine since the lake has settled down, trollers have been catching Chinooks along with a few rainbows and coho. Most fish have been found in 80 to 140 feet of water, and flashers and flies as well as spoons have produced. Green glow-in-the-dark, purple, and blue spoons have produced, as well as blue and green flies. Perch fishing has dwindled in Racine, and shore fishing for trout and salmon remains slow as well.
Milwaukee Co.
The fishing off Milwaukee has changed over the past several days. Trollers had been catching decent numbers of Chinooks and rainbows and a few coho and lake trout in 60 to 90 feet of water, but the weekend wind has made fish more difficult to target. Shore fishing remains slow around most of the Milwaukee area, and perch fishing has tapered off for both shore anglers and boaters.
Ozaukee Co.
Port Washington Ramps: Strong winds and high waves have kept many trollers off the lake, but those who have ventured out have had some success fishing 80 to 200 feet of water. Fish are scattered and have been difficult to target. Spoons in either green or purple have produced fair numbers of Chinooks. Port Washington Harbor/Shore: Some rainbow trout have been reported caught by anglers using minnows off the bottom near the power plant, but success has been hit-or-miss. A few yellow perch have also been taken on minnows. The water temperature was 70F. Port Washington Pier: Off the pier the lake water has become very muddy, and the temperature is 64 degrees. Some perch have been taken off the pier, but fishing has been spotty.
Sheboygan Co.
Watch out for the orange flags and buoys that mark commercial fishing trap nets set in Lake Michigan. Steer clear and give these markers a wide berth to avoid getting tangled and capsizing. Learn where the nets are set on our Trap Net page.
Sheboygan Ramps: Fishing pressure has gone from high to low due to rough boating conditions. The catch rate has also slowed down after the recent storm. Trollers have been scattered out on the lake anywhere from 60 ft to 250 ft trying to locate fish. Spoons have been the best lure, and the best colors have been purple or red. Chinook salmon have dominated the catch, followed by rainbows and a few lake trout. Sheboygan Piers/Shore: Fishing pressure has been light, and the catch rate has remained poor for trout, salmon and yellow perch. The water temperature was around 66F, and the nearshore water has become very muddy.


Tyler Harmon Facebooked, I caught a northern yesterday, still good bass action on inland lakes. I fished the river hard yesterday and came up empty beside the one pike. There are alot of Summer steelhead moving and a very limited amount of Kings. My advice would be head to the Mishawaka dam as these fish are not holding up, they are on the move.



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 August 17, 2011 6:09 AM.

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