River fishing may be the most promising in the area for the holiday weekend, with that to the rivers section of the Midwest Fishing Report.
I forgot Wolf River and added it for those heading north for the holiday weekend.
This is the extended online version of the MFR, which appears on the Sun-Times outdoors page on Wednesdays.
Well, this is the rivers section for rivers around Chicago fishing. The lakes and areas MFR will follow shortly.
Normally, I post the online MFR, both the rivers and lakes/areas sections, by Wednesday morning.
I will probably separate out the rivers section like this until some time this fall.
If you have suggestions, post in the comments section or let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For an overview of nearby river conditions, click here.
Jeff Nolan of Bridgeport Bass sent this:
Chicago river fishing report; south branch fall pattern starting nice largemouth bass hitting drop shot shakey heat worms and crank baits at dusk. Ogden slip Crappie, jumbo perch, big large and small mouth bass hitting deep diving cranks trolled slow, all the rock bass you want to catch under L.S.D. from sidewalk (drop shot) 1 salmon on deep crank trolled very big ! 20 min fight and show for tourists. Lots of jumps ...... Note: this was not a week for a one trick pony the pattern changed every hour. One must change their rig as soon as it does not work.
DES PLAINES RIVER
Andrew Ragas, Counsellor of the Fish Parliament www.fishing-headquarters.com, sent this:
River is in GREAT shape with gauge at 3.2, and the fish are taking a
liking to it. Water clarity is surprisingly clear for late summer, and
water temperatures are holding steady in the 78 to 82 degree range.
Best action is coming in from northern pike with fish up to 34" being
reported throughout portions of Lake County and northern Cook. Most
catches occurring in late mornings and resuming again during evenings.
Anglers have been focusing on mid-river pools with current, weedbeds,
log-jams, and bridge areas near the main river channels that offer
depth and cooler water temperatures. Top producers are "sexy red",
orange, and chartreuse Sims Spinners (#5 single and double bladed
versions), as well as white/chartreuse spinnerbaits, 4 inch jerkbaits,
and even topwaters.
As the fall months are fast approaching, some of the best pike fishing
of the year is about to begin. It has been rumored that several nice
fish have been kept in recent weeks from non-conservative anglers. As
big fish have a higher propensity of being caught more than ever
before, it is important to take care and release these heavily feeding
larger fish to keep their numbers in the river system healthy and
well. They are the successful spawners in early spring, and most
importantly they are the females which are not as abundant as the
typical 20 to 25 inch fish throughout the system. Just keep this
information in mind as you embark on your local big fish hunt this fall.
Besides pike, channel catfish and carp have been very active with the
receding water levels. Cats are being accidentally caught by bass
anglers fishing with crankbaits and spinnerbaits from main-river areas.
Lastly, both largemouth & smallmouth bass fishing spotty, with few
catches here and there around mid-river current, shoreline eddies,
rock shorelines and hard bottomed pools, and log jams. Spinnerbaits,
crankbaits, topwaters, Sims Spinners, jig & craws.
No walleyes or sauger to report. They likely won't be starting their
run again until end of September.
Few people bothering with the creeks. Nothing worth mentioning to report.
FOX RIVER: WESTERN SUBURBS
River wanderer/ponderer and now ChicagoNow blogger Ken Gortowski sent this:
Before I dive into the fishing report, September 1st is pretty much the beginning of hunting season. Lots of squirrels around, of course they'll disappear as soon as you walk into the woods with a gun. Lots of black walnuts and acorns falling out of the trees and the squirrels are loving it.
A fair amount of doves have been pecking at the gravel on dirt roads and along shoulders of the side roads around me. Quite a few hanging out on the wires.
Lots of geese on the river, but they seem to know where the blinds are. They go where the blinds aren't. Kind of funny when you think about it. Those resident geese aren't so stupid after all.
I'll definitely be heading over to Silver Springs for squirrel. May go waste a few hours in a couple of blinds on the Fox looking for geese. May as well bring my fishing pole along to give me something else to do when things are slow.
Okay, fine, on with the fishing.
For the past couple of weeks me and an angler from Windycityfishing.com, he goes by the name of HnG on that site, have been combing a 3 mile stretch of the Fox River. I had 2 outings where I caught and missed over 50 fish each time. HnG has been reporting similar results. A stretch in Batavia gave me another potential 50 fish day.
In the past week I've gone out to 3 other sections of the river. I wanted to see if the same thing was happening all up and down the river. I guess I did okay, caught and missed 10 fish on one outing, 15 on another and 16 on still another, but nothing like what was being had in that 3 mile stretch.
When you look at them, there is no discernible difference in the make up of the river. They all have very similar cover and structure. The minnows have been all over the shore in all of the sections fished. Not sure why that one stretch seems to concentrate the most fish.
The water levels as of Monday are slightly below normal. Hasn't done that in well over a month. A little bit of rain is called for the next couple of days and that could be a good thing. I've noticed the smallies have liked the rise and fall of the river that the rains have been bringing.
Lots of good weather coming up, hopefully I'll find a few more hot stretches of river.
Thom Matejewski at Time on the Water Outdoors reported sauger improved shallow on crankbaits or jigs, Hennepin to high piles, the power plant and Clark Island; a few bigger white bass starting around bridge pilings or creek mouths; some nice crappie around barge pilings and smallmouth good along riprap.
Mik-Lurch reported steelhead far upstream on Trail and Salt.
Again, take your pick for the holiday weekend: catfish or smallmouth, smallmouth seem the better of the two. Barring major rains Friday night and Saturday, the river will be low, even headed toward very low for the weekend.
Norm Minas sent this:
flow is 1120 cfs a bit under normal flow rate. water temps mid 70's. still a bit of stain to water and pieces of leaves still flowing. beautiful day to be outside, great day to be wading.
I started by fishing a weighted keeper hook/power pulse worm along a seam that was in the shade. I picked up 5 bass on the smaller side, 12-13 inchers on the jig. After covering the seam, I started fishing below riffles with the same rig and picked up a few more bass that were widely scattered. I decided that the bass were going to be any where they wanted to be with the low flow and lower water temps so a change of tactics was called for. I switched to a Bandit 200 crankbait and never felt the need to fish anything else. The bass were in 6 inches of water, they were in 3 to 4 feet of water, in slack water, in fast water and everywhere in between. No great concentrations, just a fish here, a fish there. One thing of note, the average size of the fish went up when I switched to the crankbait. no monsters but a bunch of solid 15 to 16 inch fish.. 21 bass for the day, which is a good day on the river anymore.
That is a good day, and too long since I had one like it.
Ed Mullady reported this:
In Indiana, good bluegill, catfish, northern pike on worms, minnows.
Illinois: Momence area: Smallmouth, Largemouth Bass on *minnows *plastic worms
*jointed plugs *#3 Mepps Spinners
Kankakee River State Park: Smallmouth bass good on *minnows*spinners*minnow
Wilmington: Catfish good on *minnows *cheesebaits*chicken liver. Bass good in
DesPlaines Area, and Wilmington Island Park: *minnows *mepps #3 spinners*jointed
``Catfish'' Dave Bradigan sent this:
DALE WENT TO THE RIVER ON THE 27TH 8:00 AM TILL 12:00. RIVER IS DROPPING FAST AND CLEARING. I CAUGHT ONE SIX PUNDER AND KITTY KAT SCOT CAUGHT TWO THREE POUNDERS AND ONE TEN POUND CARP (GERMAN). ANYWAY LOOK FOR DEEPER WATER AND YOU CAN STILL CATCH A FEW OR MORE.
Morris Wetlands is open for fishing that stretch of the Mazon. Hours are 6 a.m. to sunset.
ST. JOSEPH RIVER, MICH.
Tyler Harmon Facebooked:
A few kings, very scattered. No ones catching any, but i've watched a few in the fish ladder cam.
River's Edge reported walleye are an evening bit and smallmouth are decent, size fair. Work on the dam has reduced water levels. NOTE: Hook and line season for sturgeon opens Saturday.
WOLF RIVER, WIS.: FREMONT
Guide Bill Stoeger reported a few walleye along the rocks and some good white bass mornings around Partridge; some crappies and bluegills for those willing to look around the edge of the deep water on the trees.
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