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Midwest Fishing Report: Lakes/areas

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It is the end of the summer and the great wait is on for the salmon to start to come to shore along southern Lake Michigan in 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.

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


Largemouth bass remain the top, especially early and late with the weather lately.


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): Bluegills on fire, with muskies, walleyes, crappies and bass showing
up well, and bear season only a few weeks away, in and amidst the lakes and
the Wisconsin River of Wisconsin's Marathon and Lincoln Counties (near
Mosinee and Wausau).

With a recent cool down in the central Wisconsin area the fish are starting
to migrate into their fall locations and patterns. Muskies are being taken
on larger crankbaits and jerkbaits, while working deeper structure, along
with finding some suspended fish in main lake basins. Most of the activity
is taking place early and late in the day, but some mid-day activity has
occurred on overcast days.

Walleyes in the central Wisconsin area are holding in 12 to 16 feet of
water, and can be taken with a jig and minnow combination. Greens and
oranges are the best colors to run and by using your locator to find
submerged structure you will increase your odds at finding the fish.

Crappies have been decent in the central Wisconsin area and are now moving
into their fall locations. Suspended fish are more common and can be caught
by slipping with the current or slow trolling main lake basins. Run several
lines baited with jigs and a variety of trailers set at various depths to
find the schools of crappies. Once you locate the schools get ready for
some fast action.

Bluegills are on fire in the central Wisconsin area, and anglers are
limiting out on them at will. Most of the fish are in 4 to 8 feet of water
holding on the deeper side of the weeds. Small jigs tipped with a worm or a
piece of crawler worked along the weed edges will take these feisty
scrappers all day long.

Bass in the central Wisconsin area have been showing up a lot more and some
real hawgs, as well. Jig and pig combinations in blue and crawdad colors
have been the best bet when worked in and around submerged wood.

With bear season in the central Wisconsin area only a few weeks away, it is
important to start getting your baiting on a more regular rotation. Start
switching up your baits to make them more appealing, and try to get to them
at least every other day, if not every day, now until the opener.


Salmon Stop reported catfish continuing to do well around the Route 12 bridge. Triangle reported good white bass, mostly on rock shorelines, look for surfacing whites on Channel and Catherine; fish minnows or small spikes. Catfish remain good, crawlers are best. Walleye are slow, try Lindy rigs or bottom-bouncers with a leech or crawler. Muskies have been active; work 5-7 feet on inner edges of weeds. Largemouth are under matted weeds, piers or overhangs; use frogs or Senkos. For bluegill, downsize and start in shallow weed areas.

For more reports, see

More Chain info at


BRAIDWOOD/MAZONIA: Close is 7:30 p.m.

LaSALLE:Through Sept. 30, the lake is open Wednesday through Sunday. Continue to hear multiple good reports of blues.


DELAVAN: guide Dave Duwe sent this:

Delavan Lake Fishing Report 8/22/11 through 8/28/11
Delavan Lake still remains outstanding. I think the word is out, any day of the week, there are at least 100-150 boats launching to go fishing. This makes finding good spots a bit difficult. The highlight for this week is that the Northern pike have started to bite again. The downside is that the bluegills have become harder to catch.
Bluegill fishing has been average. There are a lot of bluegills available however the sizes have been much smaller than recent weeks. There are two patterns now on the lake. One is the weedline pattern, where the bluegills are in 12-15 ft of water. The can be caught on leaf worms or small red worms. The best approach has been a Lindy Genz bug with a split shot 18 inches above the hook. The second approach is a typical fall pattern for Delavan, where the bluegills pull off the weedline and start to suspend in the main lake basin. They can be found in 37 ft of water about 10 ft off bottom. Look for the fish by Willow Point or by the Village Supper Club. For the deep water bluegills a Hali jig tipped with a small red worm has been producing most of the action.
Northern pike fishing has improved. The best pike fishing is in 23-28 ft of water. Look for the fish by the Village Supper club or the west shore by the old Boy Scout camp. The best approach remains lindy rigging medium suckers. Make sure you have at least 18 inch to 2 ft of 20 lb test leader.
Walleye pike fishing has been non-existent during the day time. Most of the success has been coming at night between 10 pm and dawn. Some good catches of 18 fish have been reported. The best approach is trolling medium diving crank baits or fishing jumbo leeches on a lindy rig. The most action has come by Browns Channel or by the Yacht Club point.
Perch are starting to show up on the weed line. Within the next few years, this will become an outstanding fishery. I've been catching between 10 and 20 fish per trip, however the average size is about 5 inches. In the next couple of years, these fish should have some decent size to them. The best approach is fishing small yellow or purple plastics on a 1/32 oz Arkie jig.
Largemouth bass can be caught on two different methods. The first is fishing the docks with black/blue All Terrain jigs or a split shot rigged nightcrawler. The best piers to fish are on the north shore. These piers are associated with deeper water. The second approach is the deep weedline. The fish can be caught while drop shotting 3 inch Yum Houdini worms or a split shot rigged nightcrawler. With the cooler water temperatures, the bass are starting to un-school so it becomes a seek and find proposition.
Good luck and I hope to see you on the water. For guide parties, please call Dave Duwe at 608-883-2050.

Daily Reports
8/21/11 Delavan lake, sunny, 70 degrees, winds NE at 5 mph. Water temp 76 degrees. Today's adventure was a pan fish trip for crappies and bluegills. We ended up keeping about 12 crappies and through about 5 back. We were fishing purple and motor oil plastics. As with recent trips, we had trouble finding decent bluegills. We caught a bunch in 14 ft of water on leaf worms, however we were unable to keep many of them. The best location was by Browns Channel and Willow Point.
8/20/11 Delavan Lake, 70 degrees, E winds at 5 mph. Water temp 76 degrees. Caught 24 largemouth bass - 3 were legal. The best approach was a split shot rigged nightcrawler. The cool part about the trip was that all 24 fish were caught in 2 hours before a thunderstorm chased us off the lake. Fished west of Del Mar in 15 ft of water.
8/19/11 - Delavan lake, 75 degrees, winds SW at 5 mph. Water temp 77 degrees. Fished 2 hours to show some guys around the lake. We found a lot of bluegills, however the average size was very small. In 2 hours we caught 7 or 8 keepers but boated about 40. The highest concentration was in the 12 ft depth range.
8/18/11 - Delavan Lake, sunny, 79 degrees, light winds out of the west. Water temp 77 degrees. Caught 13 largemouth bass - 4 were legal. The best presentation was split shot rigging nightcrawlers in 10-15 ft of water. Fished by Del Mar and by 3 flags.
8/17/11 - Delavan Lake, sunny, 75 degrees, SW wind 12-15 mph. Water temp 73 degrees. Caught 15 Largemouth bass and 6 bluegills. Fished for a couple of hours with a friend and our kids. The fish were on the weedline in 10-15 ft of water. The best location was west of Del Mar and by 3 flags.

GENEVA: From Duwe:

Lake Geneva Fishing Report 8/22/11 through 8/28/11
With summer winding down and the pleasure boat traffic decreasing. Now is becoming a great time to again fish Lake Geneva. With the cooler water temperatures, fishing is starting to improve greatly.
Smallmouth bass can be caught in 20-25 ft of water off the weed line on main lake points. Look for the fish off of Black Point and Conference Point and by the old Military Academy. The fish can be caught on lindy rigged nightcrawlers or small yellow perch that are caught in the lake. As a rule, this time of year, if you find one you may have found 20. Good electronics will aid in finding the schools of deep smallmouth.
Northern Pike are still on the thermocline. The best depth is 30-35 ft. Look for the fish by Maytag Point or by the north shore near the narrows. The best approach is lindy rigging suckers. I use a ¾ oz walking sinker, a 2 ft leader with 17 lb test and a 1/0 hook.
Largemouth bass remain on the deep weedline in 17-25 ft of water. The best approach is Carolina rigging 6 inch lizards on a 2 ft leader. By far the best spot to fish is the Trinke weed line. You want to key on the deep weeds that are associated with rock or sand bottom. With a sensitive pole, you will be able to feel the bottom.
Walleye fishing remains constant at night. Trolling crawler harnesses or lindy rigging jumbo leeches have been producing most of the success. The best location has been by Abbey Springs or Trinke Bay. With fewer boats out on the lake, this bite will be getting better as fall and fall turnover approaches.
Bluegill fishing remains excellent in 18-20 ft of water. Look for the fish by Elgin Club or off the weedline in Williams Bay. The best approach is drifting with a slight wind which enables you to keep your line vertical with the bottom. You want your hook and line to be about 1 ft off bottom.
Good luck and I hope to see you on the water. For guide parties, please call Dave Duwe at 608-883-2050


SHELBYVILLE: Guide Ken Wilson of Lithia Guide Service reported good crappie on main lake laydowns or brush tops from in 5 feet early out to 12 later. Catfish are good drift fishing in creek areas. Largemouth are good on main lake points. White bass slowed. Lake is slightly above normal pool.

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 staff sent this:

Evergreen Lake Fishing Report
August 22, 2011

Water Conditions
Water Clarity: 1-5'
Water Level: 18" Below Normal Pool
Water Temps: Low 80's

Fishing remains good on Evergreen this week. Crappie are being caught in 10-20 ft. of water around structure. Minnows are working the best with some biting on light colored jigs worked slowly along the bottom. Saugeye bite has been slow with some smaller ones being caught off of steep drop offs and from the pump house. Bass have been caught in deeper water off of points and along drop offs. Catfish continue to bite well on shrimp, livers, crawlers, and stink baits. Bluegills have been showing up along weed lines and wood structure in mornings and evenings.

Bradley R. Wood

Any updated fishing report will be posted here.


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


Perch, other than some small ones, remain tough for shore fishermen and boaters alike. The best news has been the first report of a shoreline king in Chicago and a smattering in Waukegan.

CHICAGO:: Mik-Lurch reported a king from shore at 39th on Monday. Not sure if that is a fluke or a sign of what could come with a few days of southwest winds. strong>Capt. Bill Kelly of Leprechaun Charters reported fishing slowed in the normal hot spots with lakers in 115 feet north of the Wilson crib with a few kings and rainbows mixed in. Capt. Bob Poteshman of Confusion Charters reported decent kings and lakers in 115-130. Capt. Ralph Steiger reported solid king action in 90-130 feet off downtown earlier this week.

WAUKEGAN: Talmadge Hargraves III at the Salmon Stop reported 100-200 feet northeast toward the state line or Wisconsin is best for boats; Blue Hawaii is the hot spoon. A few salmon showing on shore in the dark (well before the sun or after sunset).

NORTH POINT: Poteshman reported good kings with some coho, steelhead and lakers mixed in in 180-250. Poteshman is adding a large multi-person boat, Massive Confusion, for the rest of the season.

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. The species for August are perch, 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): Good action for musky, walleye, northern, bass and panfish in the
Eagle River, Wisconsin area.

With water temps in the high 60s to low 70s, fishing in the Eagle River area
continues to improve very nicely, on the Eagle River Chain of 28 lakes
(largest freshwater chain of lakes in the world). Most all species, except
smallmouth bass are locating in shallow(er) green weeds.

Musky are hitting well in the Eagle River area. Fish 8 feet of water or less
in and around weeds, and use a small to medium size spinnerbait, bucktail,
topwater or crankbait. Your lure should be patterned to run just above the
top of the weeds. Use a "figure 8" on all of your casts, as the muskies will
often follow lures to the boat. All day bite, with peaks in early morning
and late in the day.

Walleye in the Eagle River area are locating in 5 feet of water or less in
and around weeds. Use a 1/16 ounce jig and a fathead minnow. Good action,
and an all day bite, with peaks in early morning and late in the day.

Northern are putting on a good bite in the Eagle River area. Fish 10 feet
of water or less in and around weeds. Use a smaller bucktail, a #4 Mepps or
a bass style spinner bait.

Largemouth bass in the Eagle River area are providing good action. Fish 5
feet of water or less in and around heavy green weeds. Use a spinner bait,
or a topwater like a frog or rat. The largemouth are not as prone at this
time to locate around structure as they have previously. Fishing heavy
green weeds in the key right now.

Smallmouth bass are providing good action on the deeper, clearer lakes in
the Eagle River area. Fish 15-25 feet of water off of break edges, over
hardbottom areas. Use a jig and a minnow.

Panfish (crappies, bluegills and perch) are locating together in 6 feet of
water or less in and around green weeds. Use a crappie minnow or a chunk of
crawler under a slip bobber. Good action. The crappies and gills will be
hovering in the weeds, and the perch will be tight to bottom.

(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 Kurt's Island Sport Shop sent this:

Nice, even cool down to end summer. Water temps dropping ever so slowly. Surface temps averaging 69-71 degrees in a.m. Weeds showing signs of dying back. Look for green weeds or deeper edges.

Largemouth Bass: Very good. Anglers using plastics such as Wooly Bullies, Wooly Bugs and Senkos scoring along deep weed edges. Buzz baits, Torpedos and frogs still good towards evening in shallows. Mid day anglers having success casting Mepps spinners and pre-rigged worms over weed tops.

Smallmouth Bass: Good. Dispersing from some favorite humps at times. Still best drop-shotting 3-4" worms, Craw-Papis and large leeches. Cast lipless cranks over 12-16' sandgrass flats, countdown to proper depth then work back.

Bluegill: Good. Best fish suspended out from weed edges in 14-24'. Use small slip-floats to suspend small leeches. Nice "eaters" of 7 1/2" to 8 1/2".

Musky: Good. Evenings best on topwater (Whopper Plopper, Pacemakers) and high riding fast retrieve bucktails. Nice fish reported this week to 49".

Perch: Fair-Good. Best during warmer afternoons. Minnows, 1/2 crawlers cast 1/16 oz jig with 2" twisters.

Walleye: Fair. Best bites after dark on lighted slips with leeches. During cloudy/windy days, fish windward weed edges/rock humps.

Crappies: Fair. Best after dark on lighted slip-floats and minnows. Look for deep fish during day at base of deep weedlines/breaks.

Pike: Fair. Some nice pike to 30", but action noticeably slower with some weeds dying back. Use live bait to entice reluctant hits (chubs or suckers).

Nothing extreme this week. Walleyes should start moving out to off-shore gravel humps soon. Bites still good on crawlers and leeches - but take a few minnows along just in case.

Andrew Ragas, Counsellor of the Fish Parliament, sent this:

Minocqua, WI report

Fished 8/10 thru 8/21 on several lakes and rivers throughout Vilas,
Oneida, Iron, and Price counties. Fishing for most species slow thanks
to incoming fronts, bright sunshine, and inconsistent weather.

Smallmouth bass holding in deeper water, 15 to 30 feet on most lakes
along drop-offs and off-shore sandbars, gravel, and rock humps. On
darker water reservoirs fish are in the shallows using weed edges and
fallen wood. Tube jigs, football heads with plastics, jigworms, and
carolina rigged plastics catching numbers of action sized fish. Bigger
fish scarce, but fish to 20" actively chasing musky sized baits while
musky fishing.

Largemouth Bass are being found in slop areas, thick weedbeds, and in
shade around boat houses, docks, and slips. Weightless stickbaits,
swimjigs with grub trailers, jig and craw combos, and weighted
creature baits are all catching fish. Topwaters faring best during
warm evenings. Chatterbaits rigged with big plastics and spinnerbaits
best after dark.

Musky fishing good but gets better with more casting and longer hours.
Biggest fish of the week a 42" from a dark water river system, but
follows from bigger fish had elsewhere. Mid to late afternoons and
into the evening hours are faring the best. All fish caught last week
were in the shallows. Due to high skies and numerous weather fronts
throughout the week covering water and downsizing to smaller profiled
bucktails, glidebaits, crankbaits, and topwaters is key. Best and most
consistent fishing taking place on dark water lakes and rivers. Fish
shallow cover.


Mik-Lurch reported some active steelhead in the creeks--Trail, Salt and Little Cal--on spinners and spawn. A few perch out of Michigan City, Ind.


Lakeside reported muskies of 44, 46 and 48 inches caught and released last week. At the catfish open on Saturday, 22 pounds (six fish) won. Bass are decent on topwaters.

For reports, click here.


From the Wisconsin DNR report:

Southern Lake Michigan Fishing Report: August 22, 2011
Kenosha Co.
In Kenosha trollers have had success catching Chinooks and a few rainbows and coho in 90 to 140 feet of water. Both flashers and flies as well as spoons have taken fish. 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 decent numbers of mature Chinook salmon have been caught by trollers working in 80 to 150 feet of water. Green or white flashers coupled with blue flies have been productive, as well as spoons in blue or cracked ice. A few rainbows and lake trout have been in the same areas as the Chinooks, and some coho and rainbows have also been taken in 220 to 300 feet of water. Perch fishing has dwindled in Racine, and shore fishing for trout and salmon remains slow as well.
Milwaukee Co.
Trollers fishing off Milwaukee have been catching a mix of Chinooks and some rainbows along with a few coho and lake trout in 120 to 160 feet of water. Spoons and flashers and flies have both taken fish. 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: Most trollers have been concentrating in 70 to 200 feet of water, but depths of 350 to 400 feet have been the most productive. The best lures have been flashers and flies or magnum glow spoons, and the best colors have been purple, green, or pink. The main catch has been Chinooks, lake trout, and rainbows. Port Washington Harbor/Shore: Fishing near the power plant in Port Washington has been slow, and the water temperature in the harbor is about 70 degrees. Port Washington Pier: Water off the pier has been around 64 degrees. Trout and salmon anglers have been casting spoons with very little success.
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: Most trollers have been fishing in depths of 120 to 180 feet with limited success. Spoons fished in the top 70 feet of water have been the most productive, but there has been no consistent color pattern. The majority of fish taken have been Chinooks, with some lake trout, rainbows, and cohos also being caught. Sheboygan Piers/Shore: Nearshore water has cooled off to around 62 degrees. Most anglers have been casting spoons with little success. Yellow perch fishing has also been slow, with minimal effort for perch.


Tyler Harmon Facebooked, still no new salmon running the river yet, bass fishing still good on inland lakes. thats about it.



Fishing Headquarters



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






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1 Comment

Regarding Central Wisc. reports, the Mosinee Flowage of the Wisc. River has been drawn down for dam repairs. According to Lake Link report, it's "drawn down to nothing". If you planned on going out don't bother.

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This page contains a single entry by Dale Bowman published on August 24, 2011 11:42 AM.

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