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Midwest Fishing Report: Lakes/areas

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Perch slowed for this areas/lakes section of the Midwest Fishing Report, but at least the weather moderated.

I am not sure what the moderating weather will do either way for fishing, except maybe encouraging more families to get out before school starts all too soon.

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, early and late. But more will be out trying for anything with this more reasonable weather.


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): Walleyes going strong, great panfish action, catfish and musky
hitting hard at night, and both bear and some trophy deer (14 pointer)
coming in to bait stations and food plots in and amidst the lakes and the
Wisconsin River of Wisconsin's Marathon and Lincoln Counties (near Mosinee
and Wausau).

Fishing for all species in the central Wisconsin area has been very good to
excellent. Walleyes are strong, the panfish bite is unbelievable, and the
muskies have shown a good evening bite during the last couple of hours of
daylight. The but the real fun has begun with night time catfish angling.

With the warm temperatures that we're seeing almost every day, a person
really doesn't want to spend a lot of time outside during the mid-day heat.
One way to overcome this and still enjoy fishing is to get out after dark
and target catfish. These hard striking night time feeders will bite all
night long, and will give any angler a fight they will not soon forget.
Simply locate the deeper pools (12 to 20 feet deep) in the main Wisconsin
River system, and anchor your boat on the top side. Set out two to three
rods baited with a gob of crawlers or chicken livers. Toss the baits right
out into the deepest part of the hole and let them settle to the bottom.
Secure the rods in a rod holder and get ready for some heart pounding

The musky bite has been basically an evening bite in the central Wisconsin
area. We have been avoiding targeting these larger fish during the mid-day
hours because of the stress it can cause them from fighting in extreme
temperatures. The evening bite has been basically top water baits of weed
beds and large bucktails run right under the surface in 6 to 8 feet of
water. Angler are also picking up some real nice northerns while target the

The walleyes in the central Wisconsin area have been running a bit deeper
than usual, but with water temps in the 80s no one is surprised. Run deep
diving crankbaits over mid-lake basins and open mud flats in 8 to 12 feet of
water. There has been also good success on Firetiger Rapalas and crawler
harnesses run tight to the bottom.

Panfish in the central Wisconsin area have been very consistent, and for
anglers looking at going out and just catching a pile of fish, this has been
one of the best years for doing just that. Target shallow weeds for
consistent action with a worm suspended below a bobber. For larger panfish
take the bobber off and work the outside weed edges and let the bait slowly
sink to the bottom in 6 to 8 feet of water. The larger gills and perch will
be holding slightly deeper and off the main weed edge and will attack this
type of presentation as it falls.

Crappies in the central Wisconsin area have been very active and can be
found by slowly working deeper shorelines in 12 to 16 feet of water. Target
them by drift fishing or slow motor trolling small crankbaits or jigs tipped
with plastics, or in some instances live minnows. Run your baits at
different depths to take advantage of suspending fish.

Bear baiting in recent days has been very interesting in the central
Wisconsin area. Not only are bear hunters seeing quite a few bears in their
bait stations, a few surprises have come along as well. Porcupines, small
bucks and raccoons have all been visiting bait stations. The heat has
really brought out the animals to feed. A note to remember: When baiting
for bears in Wisconsin your bait must be totally concealed in a hold or
under a stump and away from any line of sight from above when you leave, to
keep non-target animals out of the bait.

Last, but not least, deer food plots have been seeing quite a bit of
activity. Deer are as sick and tired of the bugs in the woods as we all
are, and the deer are spending a lot of time out in the open, feeding on the
crops that hunters have planted. Some of the bucks are the largest that
have been seen in years. On one plot alone, hunters have seen over 9
different bucks, with one of them a huge 14 pointer.

Get your hunting gear in shape - -bear and deer seasons in the central
Wisconsin area are not far away and this year, it looks like opportunities
for trophies and great numbers is almost a "gimme."

Bear baiting and deer plots, truly living large.


Bluegill are good around gravel shorelines, laydowns or piers. Triangle suggested, with the current flow, walleye should be good on fatheads on Lindy rigs or slip-bobber rigs around main lake points, bridge pilings or the river. Look for white bass to be schooling around the current areas also. Catfish (up to 10 pounds) are good, primarily on stinkbait or crawlers, Marie or Petite are best.

For more reports, see

More Chain info at


BRAIDWOOD/MAZONIA:Close is 8 p.m. Few have been out, I would expect more with cooler weather.

LaSALLE:Through Sept. 30, the lake is open Wednesday through Sunday.


DELAVAN: guide Dave Duwe sent this:

Delavan Lake 8/8/11 through 8/15/11
The fishing remains constant on Delavan Lake. The largemouth and northern have both slowed down a little, but the bite is still better than most other bodies of water. Boat traffic continues to be intense in the afternoons so the mornings are much easier to fish.
The largemouth bass are still located on the weedlines in 12-15 ft of water. A split shot rigged nightcrawler is still the best choice. The fish aren't schooled up quite as tight as they were last week but there are still plenty of active fish, you just may need to look for them a bit. Another good presentation is deep diving crank baits in a crappie or perch pattern. Due to the fact that they aren't schooled up as well, I put my trolling motor on high and move down the weedline to find the active fish. Most locations have one or two fish. The spots I've been fishing don't have the 10-15 fish as they did before. The best locations are near the Oriental boat house, Del mar and Willow Point.
The northern pike have slowed quite a bit as well. You can still catch one or two each trip out but the big numbers aren't so easy to come by. With the warm water, it's very hard to keep the medium suckers alive. Try bringing a bag of ice, because fishing the suckers in 20 ft of water can give them a severe shock and cause them to die. I fish the suckers on a lindy rig. The best depth remains 18-22 ft of water. The average size is about 25 inches.
Bluegills are biting very well right now. They are also located on the weedline. Look for the fish in 12-15 ft of water. The best approach is to use leaf worms on a split shot fished straight lined right beneath the boat. The bite can be fast and furious so be prepared to clean a lot of fish if that's what you're going for.
Walleye fishing is almost non-existent right now. The only action is coming at night. Most success is coming while lindy rigging jumbo leeches in 16 ft of water. Due to the fact that I've been guiding every day, I haven't really been able to get out at night. The early morning hours have been producing some walleyes using deep diving crank baits in 22-24 ft of water. I prefer Bandit lures in the pearl color.
Crappie fishing has been very slow. They are very sporadic and the schools are not well defined. The crappies I've been catching are suspended in 20 ft of water. The best location has been by Belvidere Park. Purple and chartreuse plastics have been catching most of the fish. Try the plastics on a 1/32 oz jig.
Good luck and I hope to see you on the water. For guide parties, please call Dave Duwe at 608-883-2050
Daily Reports
8/6/11 - Delavan Lake, sunny, 84 degrees, winds calm. Water temp 81 degrees. Caught 7 largemouth bass - 3 were legal, and many bluegills. Fished many locations as fishing was a bit slow, we had to move to find active largemouth. The fish were located in 12-15 ft of water. the best approach was split shot rigged nightcrawlers. Bluegills were readily available in 12-14 ft fishing leaf worms on a split shot straight beneath the boat.
8/5/11 - Delavan Lake, sunny, 86 degrees, light winds at 5 mph. Water temp 82 degrees. Caught 6 largemouth bass and many many bluegills. The fish were very sporadic today. The best depth was 18 ft of water. The fish were located by Del Mar and by the concrete point.
8/4/11 - Delavan Lake, sunny, 87 degrees, SE winds at 10 mph. Water temp 82 degrees. Caught 10 largemouth bass and 30 bluegills. The bluegills are right on the weedline in 15-18 ft of water. The best location is west of the Oriental boat house. The best approach is straight lining leaf worms beneath the boat.
8/3/11 - Delavan Lake, sunny, 85 degrees, winds N at 5 mph. Water temp 81 degrees. Caught 12 largemouth bass, 2 northern pike, 1 bull head and many bluegills. Fished by Del Mar and the Oriental boat house in 15 ft of water with a split shot rigged nightcrawler.
8/2/11 - Delavan Lake, 90 degrees and humid. Rain and thunderstorms, SW winds at 15 mph. Water temp 82 degrees. In 3 hours of fishing we caught 14 largemouth - 6 were legal. The bass were caught on split shot rigged nightcrawlers. The best depth was 15 ft of water.
8/1/11 - Delavan Lake, sunny, 88 degrees, SW winds at 10 mph. Water temp 82 degrees. Caught 14 largemouth bass - 5 were legal, 1 northern pike - 30 inches, and 35 bluegills. Northern pike was caught on a medium sucker fished on a lindy rig. The bass were caught on split shot rigged nightcrawlers.
7/31/11 - Delavan Lake, sunny, 98 degrees, SW winds at 10 mph. Water temp 82 degrees. Caught 2 northern pike and 4 largemouth bass and 30 bluegills. Fished the afternoon. Fishing was very slow due to boat traffic. The fish were caught on split shot rigged nightcrawlers. The best location was by the Oriental boat house.

GENEVA: From Duwe:

Lake Geneva 8/8/11 through 8/15/11
Lake Geneva fishing continues to be okay. The pleasure boat traffic on the lake is pretty high so it's in your best interest to fish early mornings or late afternoons into the evening. As always, there are walleye opportunities if you prefer to fish late at night.
The northern pike are on the thermocline in 35-40 ft of water. The best locations are in the narrows and Fontana. The best approach is a medium sucker fished on a lindy rig. You need to trust your fish locators. I will not fish for pike if I don't mark them on the screen. Most of the schools have quite a few fish so they can be seen pretty well on the fish locator. Remember, the bite is very subtle, it will feel like heavy weight or a slight tap. The key once you feel the weight is to give them some line before setting the hook.
Rock bass continue to be almost everywhere on the lake. Nightcrawler pieces fished on a split shot rig are still out producing all other methods. Due to the warm water temperature, the rock bass are starting to get soft. The key is to put them directly on ice. The fish are in 12-14 ft of water. The best location is by Maytag Point or by Linn Pier.
Walleye action has been above average at night. The key to catching them is a slight wind. With no wind there aren't any fish. Try lindy rigging jumbo leeches in 16 ft of water. I would work Williams Bay and the Fontana Beach area. For people who want to troll, that can also produce some fish. Troll medium diving crank baits in 12-15 ft of water. The best location is by Trinkes or by Abbey Springs.
Largemouth bass have moved deep with the warm water temperatures. The best location has been by Trinkes and Lake Geneva Country Club. Most success has been dragging green pumpkin football head jigs in 18-20 ft of water. The key to the presentation is finding pockets in the weeds with rock or sand bottom. It's very easy to tell with the heavy jig where the hard bottom is. The football head jig dragging along bottom imitates the multitude of crayfish in the lake.
Bluegill fishing has been good. The bigger fish have moved out of the shallows and are in 18-20 ft of water. The best success has been by Elgin Club or in Williams Bay. The best approach is anchoring the boat and straight lining leaf worms about 6 inches off bottom. If you aren't getting bites within the first couple of minutes of fishing, you need to readjust and find the active fish.
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 good crappie on minnows or jigs from 2 to 13 feet; those drift fishing with garlic-flavored shrimp or cut shad are catching catfish; bass are deep on rocks with jigs or crankbaits or shallow on plastics or spinner baits.

SHELBYVILLE: Guide Ken Wilson of Lithia Guide Service said crappie are biting on minnows in 10-12 feet on brush piles on main lake ledges; white bass are good early (before 7 a.m.) on topwaters and drift fishing is producing catfish in creek arms.

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 reported crappie suspended over the top of brush piles; bass remain a good night bite.


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


CHICAGO:: Perch slowed. Park Bait reported smaller ones at Montrose, lots of carp around and some sheephead inside the harbor. Capt. Bob Poteshman of Confusion Charters reported slow perch Tuesday for boaters off Navy Pier. Capt. Bill Kelly of Leprechaun Charters reported great fishing in 60-90 feet from the Car Ferry to the R4, down 35-60, on Dodgers and flies or spoons for kings with a mix of rainbows, coho and lakers. Poteshman reported good kings, steelhead, coho and lakers in 80-100 feet, straight east of the city. Capt. Gregg Pavalon of Kingfisher reported good kings and coho in 60-80 feet northeast of the Wilson crib late last week.

WAUKEGAN: Talmadge Hargraves III at the Salmon Stop reported some perch from shore, better by the yacht club; boaters are in 30 feet by the stacks near North Chicago; look for bait fish. He said there's been a few steelhead from shore early with spoons. Boaters are in 80-100 straight out and south, down 65, with spoons like Chicken Wing, Easter Egg glow or Happy Meal; green/blue flies and Dodgers also working.

NORTH POINT: Poteshman said best action is on the Wisconsin side for kings, coho and some large steelhead, one of the better years for steelhead.

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. Add perch to the species for August. The other species are carp, catfish, panfish, steelhead and chinook. Register fish at Henry's Sports & Bait, Park Bait or Vet's Bait. Go to or call (312) 225-8538.


Click here for info on D&S Bait.


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

(Head): Very good action for northern, with a good bite for walleye, and
panfish; musky and smallmouth bass fair, in the Eagle River, Wisconsin area.

Water temps remain in the mid 70s in the Eagle River, Wisconsin area.

Northern are putting on a very aggressive bite in the Eagle River area.
Very good action. Fish 10 feet of water or less in and around weeds. Use a
small Mepps or a bass style spinner bait. All day bite.

Walleye action has picked up in the Eagle River area. Fish 2-4 feet of water
in and around weeds. Use a 1/16 ounce jig and a fathead. All day bite,
with peaks in the early morning and late afternoon into evening. Good

Crappies, bluegills and perch are still hanging together in the Eagle River
area. Fish 10 feet of water or less, with the panfish holding in and around
weeds. Crappies and gills are suspending in the weeds, with perch holding
tight to bottom. Use a small minnow on a jig, or a chunk of crawler or a
small minnow under a slip bobber. Good, pretty-much-equal action for all
the panfish. You'll do some sorting, but a great time for kids, new
anglers, and seniors to get in on some great fun.

The musky bite in the Eagle River area remains fair. Anglers are getting
hits and taking fish, but they're working for every one of them. Fish 10
feet of water or less in and around weeds. Use a small sized bucktail or
topwater, with a medium retrieve. Make sure you "figure 8" on every cast,
as many of the musky will follow the lure right to the boat. All day bite,
with peaks in the early morning and around sunset.

Smallmouth bass in the Eagle River area providing some fair action on
clearer and deeper lakes. Fish 15-25 feet of water on break edges over hard
bottom. Use a jig and a fathead minnow.

(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:

Mid summer patterns have pretty well locked in. Cooler nights may start a bit of a change in patterns in a week or two, but, for now, some stability in the fishing.

Largemouth Bass: Very good. Dominating the catches on area lakes. Top water anglers tearing up the shallows with plastic frogs, buzz baits and Jitterbugs. Anglers using plastic craws, creatures and worms plying weed pockets and edges finding success throughout the day.

Bluegills: Very good. Deeper weed edges holding suspending gills. Count down small jigs tipped with leeches, pieces of crawlers. Evenings good surface action with poppers.

Smallmouth Bass: Very good. Any type of crawfish patterned crank, plastic craws, frozen soft shells scoring over isolated gravel humps and on the tips of rock bars. Crawl a plastic creature on a football jig to catch nice smallies to 20" this week.

Musky: Good. Topwater action at dusk. Whopper Ploppers, Pacemakers -- noisy baits. During light, fish big bladed bucktails or burn smaller french bladed bucktails over deep weed tops.

Pike: Good. Best on large weed flats. Work spinnerbaits (Boonie Baits) or lipless cranks (Rattle Traps, Rattlin Raps) over weed tops. Good catches, releasing fish over 30".

Perch: Fair-Good. Anglers targeting perch finding action in 4-8' weed pockets. Small float to suspend medium leech 8" off bottom. Not great numbers but good eaters.

Walleye: Fair. Best at dusk, after dark. Big leeches, crawlers on jigs over sandgrass in 18-28' of water. Lighted slip-floats with Jumbo leeches after dark. Big eyes to 28" this week.

Crappie: Fair. Work suspended fish 14-18' down along 20-28' breaks. 1/32 oz and smaller jigs to drift small plastics -- tight line to watch for subtle hits.

Water temps drop at night, rise during the day. Most average 74 degrees. Full moon period this week.


Winds are limiting effort. Mik-Lurch reported some steelhead in front of Michigan City, decent fishing for salmon on the Michigan line out of East Chicago.


For reports, click here.


From the Wisconsin DNR report:

Southern Lake Michigan Fishing Report: August 8, 2011
Kenosha Co.
In Kenosha trollers have been catching decent numbers of Chinooks, coho, and rainbows on spoons and flies. Most fish have been taken around 50 to 80 feet of water. Perch fishing on the south pier in Kenosha has picked up, and boaters have also been catching some perch off the rocks. Live bait and artificial lures have both taken perch.
Racine Co.
In Racine Chinook fishing has improved considerably. Trollers have been catching good numbers of Chinooks along with a few rainbows and coho. Most fish have been 30 to 50 feet down in 50 to 80 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. Boat anglers looking for perch have had success off the rocks near Meyers Park, and shore anglers have been catching some keeper perch fishing plastics off the floating docks just west of the south pier.
Milwaukee Co.
The fishing off Milwaukee has improved over the past several days. Trollers have been catching decent numbers of Chinooks and rainbows and a few coho and lake trout in 60 to 90 feet of water. The Chinooks have been about 30 feet down, while the rainbows and coho have been closer to the surface. Green has been a productive color in both spoons and flies. Shore fishing remains slow around most of the Milwaukee area.
Ozaukee Co.
Port Washington Ramps: Fishing has picked up for trollers in Port Washington, with a mixed bag of rainbows, chinooks, lake trout, and coho being taken. Most have had success in 70 to 100 feet of water or out deep in 200 to 300 feet, and fish are being caught in the top 40 feet of water. The most productive lures have been flashers and flies or glow spoons, and the best colors have been green, orange, or blue. Port Washington Harbor/Shore: Fishing pressure in the Port harbor has been light, and remains slow overall. Port Washington Pier: Fishing has been slow on the pier, and the water temperature is 66 degrees.
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: Sheboygan trollers have been catching good numbers of fish in 80 to 125 feet of water or in 200 to 300 feet of water. Flasher/fly combinations or glow spoons have been the most productive lures, and a combination of green, blue or orange have been the best colors. Most fish have been caught within the top 40 feet of water, and the main catch has been mostly rainbow trout with some lake trout, chinook, and coho also being caught. Sheboygan Piers/Shore: Shore fishing in Sheboygan remains slow. A few anglers have been fishing the piers for trout and salmon with little success. Nearshore water is around 68 degrees. Yellow perch fishing in Sheboygan has been hit-or-miss.


Tyler Harmon Facebooked, ``No we had a lake flip Thursday-Sat. That's over though waters warm again. Caught a few bass on topwaters on an inland lake last night. Other then that just waiting for the river to cool down. It was 78-81 degrees last time I went. Catfish and sheephead being caught.''



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 10, 2011 7:29 AM.

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

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