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Midwest Fishing Report: Lakes/areas

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A hot bite on perch in southern Lake Michigan leads the lakes/areas section of the Midwest Fishing Report.


Even I was getting them at dawn on Monday.

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


I think Steve Palmisano at Henry's Sports & Bait said it best, ``There has been a lot of happy people coming in.'' Happiness is in on the lakefront. Perch are in for shore fishermen and boaters alike. Let's hope the wind shift overnight doesn't change it. As good as they were in, I have some hope. CHICAGO: Dawn has been best, both Monday and Tuesday, from shore. Arden Katz caught them on every cast Tuesday at Montrose with Mini-Mites with spikes; but those with soft shells did better for jumbos. For shore fishermen, Montrose is tops for numbers, but Henry's reported better size from Navy Pier south. Boaters did well at Burnham Monday. On Tuesday, Capt. Bob Poteshman of Confusion Charters reported outstanding perch on fatheads in the weed beds off Navy Pier. Click here for my column on fishing the opener at 39th with Ray Hinton. NORTH SUBURBS: Salmon Stop reported boaters doing well in the weed bed near the green can in 30 feet outside Waukegan, and off Tower Road; fair action from shore off Government Pier. INDIANA: Mik-Lurch reported water cooled to 71 degrees in Cal Harbor and turned on bigger ones; otherwise Burns Ditch remains hot spot.


Largemouth bass are the bite, by far, early and late.


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): Strong bite for walleyes and crappies, with some real big northerns
being caught, and very good action for musky, bluegills and bass; as bear
baiters seeing very nice bears despite the heat, coming in to their bait
stations, in and amidst the lakes and the Wisconsin River of Wisconsin's
Marathon and Lincoln Counties (near Mosinee and Wausau).

Action in the central Wisconsin area for both walleyes and crappies has been
fantastic. Both species are holding tight to submerged wood and timer in 6
to 10 feet of water or more. Downed timber and trees that are sunk on the
bottom of the Wisconsin River, or stumps in the main lake basins have become
a main attraction for both species. Use a simple jig and a minnow for both
species. "Wood working" as it's called has been a great way to beat the dog
days of summer, and has proven to be very successful.

Some super sized northerns (35 to 40 inches +) are being caught in the
central Wisconsin area, while musky fishing. Use a top water like the
Bucher Top Raider, large bucktails and oversized crankbaits. These fresh
water alligators are very common in central Wisconsin lakes and for anglers
specifically wanting to target them, they can be caught with a variety of
methods. The most common lures for success are Dare Devils, spinner baits
and medium sized crankbaits worked around any type of weeds, shallow or

Musky action in the central Wisconsin area has been really good, with a few
nice fish being taken on the new Suck Weagles, along with quite a few nice
fish on big bladed bucktails like the Sumo Sam by Super Slayer tackle.
Work the deep weed edges in 6 to 10 feet of water, early and late in the
day. If you can find any wood (stumps, downed trees, or submerged
structure) in the weeds, you will have the "sweet spot" that all musky
hunters seek.

The action for bull bluegills in the central Wisconsin are has been very
good. The key to targeting the bigger gills is to go deep. Anyone can
catch a mess of 5 to 7 inch gills in the shallow weeds, but for consistent
action on those 8 to 10 inch monsters, target water depths of at least 8
feet of more. A small 1/16th ounce jig in orange, tipped with half a
crawler will tempt most any gill in deep water. Don't be surprised if you
pick up a straggler walleye or two, either while looking for those big
gills, as the walleyes will relate to the same type of water and depth at
this time of year.

Bass in the central Wisconsin area have been very action, with quite a few
of them being caught by pitching jig and pig (a jig tipped with a hunk of
pork rind), or spinner baits, along the shoreline wood. Slowly and
methodically work them in and around the structure to tempt a strike. Again
"wood working" has been the ticket for targeting both largemouth and
smallmouth bass.

Bear baiters in the central Wisconsin area have been seeing some really nice
bears, despite the heat. Bears are usually less active when things heat up,
but this year is very different. We have been seeing quite a bit of
additional night time action along with some very reliable visits to bait
stations, early and late in the day. With the season coming along in about a
month, baiters should start thinking about becoming more consistent with the
time and locations of their bait stations. Al, if you are on private
property, stand location and placement should be considered, and in some
instances stands placed to avoid future contamination of the area.

That last graph of advice for bear hunters makes my day every time.


Salmon Stop reported good catfish on Sonny's or jumbo worms. Triangle reported bluegill are good, look shallow around shade. Walleye are good, especially with current from rains. White bass are good on Marie; try 8 feet or less. Muskie are fair, morning and evening, with topwaters. Crappie are fair evenings.

For more reports, see

More Chain info at



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


DELAVAN: guide Dave Duwe sent this:

Delavan Lake 8/1/11 through 8/7/11
Fishing on the lake remains outstanding. Delavan Lake is still the "go to" lake in SE Wisconsin. Largemouth bass, Northern Pike and bluegills are the main catch for everyone this time of year.
Bluegill fishing has been outstanding on the deep weedlines in 18-20 ft of water. You can fish them on a Thill slip bobber with leaf worms 1 ft off bottom or straight lining split shot rigged red worms. The best location has been by Assembly park or by Willow Point. It is hard to find a spot that the bluegills aren't biting at the present time. If you want to have a fish fry, Delavan Lake is the place to be.
Northern Pike fishing has been off a little bit. You can still catch 5 or 6 if you are serious about it, however they aren't as schooled up as they were in the past couple of weeks. I still bring suckers each trip out just for the chance of catching a few. Most of the action has been in 20-25 ft of water. I've been lindy rigging medium suckers on a 24 inch leader. Look for the fish by Belvidere Park or by Browns Channel.
Walleye Pike have slowed down a bit. In the early morning hours, you can catch them lindy rigging or trolling deep diving crank baits along the weedline. The best location has been by Browns Channel or by Assembly Point. The best colored crank baits or any lure in a crappie pattern.
Largemouth bass has been great on the deep weed and rock points. The fish are really schooled up right now. The best approach is drop shot rigging 4 inch green pumpkin finesse worms or nightcrawlers. Look for the fish by the island and west of Willow Point (where John Gillespie was fishing last week). This time of year there is a secondary pattern, the slop bite. If you cast a Spro frog on the vegetation you will catch as many bass as you care to catch. The fish are by the Boat Launch channel or by the outlet. The preferred color for the frogs is black or white.
Perch have been consistent by the Township park. You want to anchor the boat in 12-15 ft of water in front of the beach area. The best approach has been using Thill slip bobbers with a hellgrammite 6 inches off bottom. The fish have been very spooky, so you may need to move around a bit to 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

GENEVA: From Duwe:

Lake Geneva 8/1/11 through 8/7/11
We are in the midst of summer time fun. Everyone has been vacationing the last few weeks and fishing has been very good. The best action has come on off hours in the early morning or late afternoon.
Northern Pike fishing has been good on the thermocline. Most of the fish are coming from 30-45 ft of water right now. I did catch a few fish shallower than that this week, but the fish were smaller about 22 inches average. You want to fish a ¾ oz lindy walking sinker with a 2 ft leader and a medium sucker. The best spots are by Cedar Point or in Williams Bay by the boat launch.
Largemouth bass have been biting throughout the water column. The best action has come from 18-20 ft of water. Certain days that can be substantially shallower so you need to move around to see where the active fish are. The early morning and late afternoon the top water bite has been very aggressive. Choose a bait in chrome/blue or chrome/black. I prefer the Chug Bug and I retrieve the lure in the walk the dog pattern. Look for the fish in Williams Bay or by pier 666. For the deeper fish, I've been Carolina rigging 6 inch lizards or dragging All Terrain football head jigs. The best location is by the golf course or by Covenant harbor.
Bluegill fishing has been excellent in 12 ft of water. The fish have been concentrated by Knollwood or by Linn Pier. The best approach has been a split shot rig with a small leaf worm and vertically fishing from an un-anchored boat when the winds are light. This time of year, the biggest bluegills are in the deeper water. Make sure you start in about 12 ft and work out deeper. I've caught 10 inch bluegills as deep as 22 ft of water.
Lake Trout fishing has slowed. There are a few people fishing them, but the avid Lake Geneva lake trout fishermen have moved on to something else. There are a few fish being caught in the main lake basin on nickel/blue or nickel/green spoons.
Walleye fishing has been average if the winds blow. If there isn't any wind, I won't launch the boat for walleyes. This time of year the floating weeds and inactivity of the fish become a hardship. You want to lindy rig nightcrawlers or leeches in 20 ft of water. As a rule, I won't start fishing walleyes until at least 10 pm. Some of the best bites have been by Trinkes or Fontana Beach.
Good luck and I hope to see you on the water. For guide parties, please call Dave Duwe at 608-883-2050
Daily Reports
7/30/11 - Lake Geneva, sunny, 85 degrees, winds were calm. Water temp 79 degrees. Caught 9 northern pike and lost 4 others. Fishing the thermocline was kind of slow today. We lindy rigged medium suckers in 25-45 ft of water. The best location was by Cedar Point where we caught 4 of our fish. The fish were not very aggressive. It felt like just a bit of additional weight on the line.
7/27/11 - Delavan lake, rainy, thunderstorms, 70 degrees. Winds SE at 15 mph. Water temp 79 degrees. Caught 18 largemouth. We were chased off the lake twice due to storms, but the fish were aggressive while we were there. We caught all 18 fish off of one school. The best location was west of the Yacht Club in 18 ft of water.
7/26/11 - Delavan Lake, sunny, 90 degrees, SE winds at 15 mph. Water temp 82 degrees. Caught 6 northern pike and 15 largemouth. When you found the schools of largemouth it was non-stop action. The best depth was 16 ft of water. Fished a split shot rigged nightcrawler.
7/25/11 - Delavan Lake, sunny, 85 degrees, winds light, water temp 82 degrees. Caught 6 northern pike, 4 largemouth bass and 50 bluegills. Today fishing was a bit tougher, there were way too many bluegills on the weedline to catch many bass. We had a lot of fun reeling in that many fish in 4 hours.
7/24/11 - Delavan Lake, sunny, 85 degrees, winds light out of the SE at 10 mph. Water temp 82 degrees. Caught 15 largemouth, 6 northern pike- the biggest was 30 inches, and a boat load of bluegills. Today the fish were very schooled up. Look for the fish on weed points with hard rock bottom, we only moved the boat twice today. The best bait was a nightcrawler on a split shot rig.


REND LAKE:Jason Johns of Todd Gessner Outdoors reported good catfish (minnows or drift fishing with cut shad or shrimp sprayed with garlic) and crappie (limits).

SHELBYVILLE: Guide Ken Wilson of Lithia Guide Service said white bass (mornings and evenings or trolling) continue good as well as crappie (10-12 feet in moth of timbered coves), but walleye slowed with water near 90 degrees.

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: Site boss Mike Steffa sent this report:

Evergreen Lake Fishing Report - August 1, 2011
Level: 2" below normal pool
Clarity: 1 to 4'
Temperatures: Mid to Upper 80's
I know we are sounding like a broken record, but the fishing report is, and has been, the same for the last 3-4 weeks. Crappie are still rated good with limits still being caught in 15-20' on minnows. Some are being caught early mornings and late evenings closer to shoreline. Saugeye are still rated slow. Some small ones being reported on jig and crawler combo. Bass are rated as good. A lot of numbers, but mostly smaller ones being caught on topwater baits as well as rubber worms around cover. Catfish are rated as good with good numbers and decent sizes being caught on stink baits and chicken livers. Boat Rental, Beach and White Pines Cove are doing the best. The bluegills are rated as fair to good with a lot of small fish, but no big sizes, being caught. Redworms and waxies doing best around shoreline early in the mornings or later in the evenings. Too hot to fish for muskies. Good Fishin', Mike

Any updated fishing report will be posted here.

LAKE OF EGYPT:Johns reported dark Senkos or plastic worms are good for bass after dark.


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


For perch see top.

CHICAGO:: Capt. Bill Kelly of Leprechaun Charters reported good kings, rainbows and coho in 50-80 feet from the Wilson crib to Evanston and at the R4 to 4 miles south; Dodgers and flies are most consistent, but spoons work. Capt. Bob Poteshman of Confusion Charters reported good, but variable, salmon around T Marker to the R4.

WAUKEGAN: Salmon Stop reported salmon in 65-110, down 30, on spoons or Dodgers and flies.

NORTH POINT: Poteshman reported good summer fishing for big steelhead, big coho and some kings on the hill from Waukegan to Racine. He is primarily using 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. I forgot to check what the August species are. Register fish at Henry's Sports & Bait, Park Bait or Vet's Bait. Go to or call (312) 225-8538.


D&S Bait reported some perch on weed lines and smallmouth are active on weed lines on Mendota; bluegill are in 12-18 feet on Monona (they are good, but not the typical deeper late summer bite yet); a few walleye in 15-18 on the rocks on Waubesa and some smaller bluegills.


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

(Head): Good action for walleye, northern, largemouth bass and panfish, with
musky fair, in the Eagle River, Wisconsin area.

Water temps are in the mid to upper 70s in the Eagle River, Wisconsin area.

The walleye bite has improved in the Eagle River area. Fish 10 feet of water
or less outside weed edges, early and late in the day. In mid day,
especially when it's sunny, fish right in the weeds. Use a 1/16 jig with a
minnow, leech or half of a crawler. Good action.

Northern are hitting well in the Eagle River area. Fish 10 feet of water or
less in and around weeds. Use a small Mepps, or a bass style spinner bait.
All day bite, and for maximum success, move around quickly and cover as much
water as you can. The northerns are moving fast chasing forage through
large areas.

Largemouth bass are providing good action in the Eagle River area. Fish 7
feet of water or less in heavy weeds, often related to some type of
structure (docks, downed trees, stumps and brush). Use a top water like a
Scum Frog or Bass Rap; a Texas Rig with a plastic worm; or a jumbo leech
under a slip bobber.

Panfish in the Eagle River area generally lumped together, holding in weeds
in 10 feet of water or less. Crappies and bluegills will be suspending,
with perch holding tight to bottom. Use a crappie minnow or chunk of
crawler under a jig or a slip bobber. Good action.

Musky action remains fair in the Eagle River area. The water may be a tad
too warm for a real continuous aggressive bite. Musky hunters are still
getting good follows and strikes, but they are working for them. Fish 12
feet of water or less in and around weeds and weed edges. Small to medium
sized bucktails and topwaters are working best. Use a medium retrieve, and
always do a "figure 8" as your lure approaches the boat, as anglers are
seeing increasing follows as that part of the retrieve happens. Fishing
early and late in the day produces the best opportunities.

(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:

Night time temps in the 60's have helped cool lakes down a bit, though heat continues to build during the day. Summer patterns continue to hold, with day to day conditions (wind, clouds, rain) providing spikes or drops in the action.

Largemouth Bass: Very good to excellent. This species is doing exceptionally well. With growing populations even in non-traditional LMB locals, lots of techniques are producing. Fishing plastic worms wacky style continues to be a favorite for both LMB and anglers alike. Flukes and tubes are also producing. Topwater frog/mice plastics and old time favorites Jitterbugs, Hula Poppers as well as Buzz Baits are favored by evening anglers. Where? Deep weed edges, shallow weed flats, docks, boathouses, lily pads. They just seem to be lurking all over. Obviously on some lakes some areas are better than others, but they are dominating the action right now.

Bluegills: Very good. Look to deeper weed edges for bigger gills. Worms, thunderbugs very effective, but leeches stay on the hook better. Popper action at dusk for fly rodders. Check out any weed flat, cast small beetle spins or Charlie Brewer sliders to draw gills to your boat.

Smallmouth Bass: Very good. Two 21"ers this week. Crayfish imitators are HOT! The new Standing Yabbies as well as Yum Pappi Craws have produced big. Deep gravel/rock humps, deep weed edges. Early am cast #8 X-raps shallow as smallies chase minnows, craws 2-4' depths.

Musky: Good. Boat traffic hard on daytime action. Go early or late. Large fluted blade bucktails, spinnerbaits and topwater best toward dusk.

Pike: Good. Blades best (chatterbaits, Mepps, spinnerbaits) over 6-10' weed flats. Bigger pike early in am then move to deep weedlines, use large suckers/chubs on jigs or floats.

Walleye: Fair-Good. Nights best with lighted slip-floats and BIG leeches. Daytime pick your battles. Wind and clouds help. Leeches and crawlers on 1/16oz jigs in 10-14' weed edges.

Perch: Good. Shallow weeds of 5-8'. Crayfish (frozen), medium leeches best under slip-float, 1/2 crawler on small jigs.

Crappie: Fair. Starting to set up well on weed flats at weed bases on some coontail edges in 20'. Two inch twister tails or small minnows.


Indiana's Lake Michigan fisheries biologist Brian Breidert reported nice catches of kings with some steelhead, coho and lakers mixed in out of East Chicago. Mik-Lurch reported best are meat rigs or green and blue spoons for salmon; any orange spoon for steelhead. Steelhead are found in 45 feet from Chicago to Michigan City.


Heat slowed effort. But Lakeside reported the top three bites are trolling for muskie along the weed lines, bass going on topwaters in the weeds in the evenings. and crappie in the fish cribs.

For more reports, click here.


From the Wisconsin DNR report:

Southern Lake Michigan Fishing Report: August 1, 2011
Kenosha Co.
In Kenosha trollers have been catching coho, rainbows, and Chinooks on spoons and J-plugs. Most fish have been taken around 80 to 100 feet of water. Perch fishing on the south pier in Kenosha has picked up, and boaters have also been catching perch off the rocks. Live bait and artificial lures have both taken perch.
Racine Co.
In Racine trollers have been catching a mixed bag of Chinooks, coho, rainbows, and lake trout. Flashers and flies as well as magnum spoons have produced when fished 40 to 80 feet down in 80 to 140 feet of water. Perch fishing has been decent in Racine. Boat anglers 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 remains relatively slow since the coho fishing tapered off. Some Chinooks have been found around 90 to 120 feet of water, but trollers have had to search for them. Green and pearl or blue and pearl flies have taken the most fish. Shore fishing has been slow around most of the Milwaukee area, but shore anglers fishing inside the basin at Bender Park have had some success fishing for perch recently. Early mornings and late evenings have been fairly consistent, and most perch have been taken on shrimp or small shiners fished under a slip bobber.
Ozaukee Co.
In Port Washington trollers have been working in 250 to 300 feet or more. Most fish have been caught on flashers and flies or spoons, and the best colors have been green, white, or orange. On the pier in Port, shore anglers have been fishing mostly for perch using plastics or minnows, and success has varied day to day. Shore fishing in the harbor has been slow, although a few small brown trout have been taken by the power plant discharge.
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.
In Sheboygan trollers have had the most success fishing in over 300 feet of water. Chinooks, rainbows, and coho have all be found out deep, and some of the Chinooks taken over the weekend were over 24 pounds. Fishing on the piers in Sheboygan has been slow. Both perch anglers and trout and salmon anglers have had little success.


Tyler Harmon Facebooked, `` I've been doing well on inland lakes for bass, crappie, gils. Just waiting to get the first taste of fall kings.''


Mik-Lurch reported walleye picking up again on the Indiana side.



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 3, 2011 6:57 AM.

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

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