The opening of fall trout season in Illinois on Saturday leads this Midwest Fishing Report.
This is the extended online version of the MFR, which appears on the Sun-Times outdoors page on Wednesdays.
If you have suggestions, post in the comments section or let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Fall trout season opens Saturday in Illinois. Statewide the opening time may be 5 a.m., but some sites, like the Cook County ones, open at sunrise. Open lakes in the nine-county area include: Axehead, Belleau, Horsetail (Cook County); Pickerel, Grove, Silver (DuPage); Bird Park Quarry (Kankakee); Big Lake at Silver Springs SFWA (Kendall); and Sand lake at Illinois Beach SP and Banana (Lake). As usual, those 16 and older need a fishing license and inland trout stamp. The daily bag is five.
Here is the official release from the state (note, not all stocked sites are listed on the IDNR release:
Illinois Fall Trout Fishing Season Begins on Oct. 15
Trout Being Stocked at 37 Locations
SPRINGFIELD, ILL. -The 2011 Illinois fall trout fishing season opens on Saturday, Oct. 15 at 37 ponds and lakes throughout the state, Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) Director Marc Miller announced today.
"Fishing is a great family activity and the fall trout season is a great opportunity to take the kids fishing," Miller said. "Fall is a great time to spend time outdoors, and we want to encourage youth, families and experienced anglers to participate in the fall catchable trout season."
More than 70,000 trout are stocked by IDNR at the locations listed below just prior to the opening of the fall trout season. Anglers are reminded that no trout may be taken from any of the stocked sites from Oct. 1 until the fall trout season opens on Oct. 15 at 5 a.m.
To take trout legally beginning Oct. 15, anglers must have a fishing license and an inland trout stamp, unless they are under the age of 16, blind or disabled, or are an Illinois resident on leave from active duty in the Armed Forces. The daily catch limit for each angler is five trout.
Anglers are reminded to check the opening time of their favorite trout fishing location if they plan to go fishing on opening day. While regulations allow trout season to open at 5 a.m. on Oct. 15, not all locations are open that early.
For more information on fall trout season and other Illinois fishing opportunities, check the web site at www.ifishillinois.org.
Illinois fishing licenses and inland trout stamps are available at DNR Direct license and permit locations, including many bait shops, sporting goods stores and other retail outlets. Fishing licenses and trout stamps can also be purchased by using a credit card through DNR Direct online via the IDNR website at www.dnr.illinois.gov or by calling DNR Direct toll-free at 1-888-6PERMIT (1-888-673-7648).
Anglers in northwest Illinois are advised that the catchable trout program operated previously at the Coleta Trout Ponds has been relocated due to significant weed problems and public safety concerns due to infrastructure problems at the Coleta ponds. Thanks to the cooperation of the Coloma Township Park District in Rock Falls, trout fishing conducted previously at the Coleta ponds has been moved to Centennial Park Lake in Rock Falls.
For more information about all site regulations, anglers should contact individual sites that will be stocked with catchable-size trout. The 37 locations are:
Adams County: Siloam Springs State Park, 217/894-6205
Bond County: Greenville Old City Lake (Patriot's Park Lake), 618/664-2330
Bureau County: Hennepin Canal Parkway State Park, 815/454-2328
Christian County: Manners Park Pond in Taylorville, 217/824-3110
Coles County: Campus Pond at Eastern Illinois University, 217/345-2420
Cook County: Axehead Lake - Cook County Forest Preserve District, 847/294-4134
Cook County: Belleau Lake - Cook County Forest Preserve District, 847/294-4134
Crawford County: Crawford County Conservation Area Pond, 618/563-4405
Douglas County: Villa Grove West Lake, 217/345-2420
Jefferson County: Mount Vernon Game Farm Pond, 618/547-3610
Johnson County: Ferne Clyffe State Park, 618/995-2411
Kankakee County: Bird Park Quarry in Kankakee, 815/939-1311
Kendall County: Big Lake at Silver Springs State Fish and Wildlife Area, 630/553-6297
Lake County: Banana Lake - Lake County Forest Preserve, 815/675-2319
Lake County: Sand Lake at Illinois Beach State Park North Unit, 847/662-4828
Macon County: Rock Springs Pond - Macon County Conservation District, 217/423-7708
Macoupin County: Beaver Dam Lake at Beaver Dam State Park, 217/854-8020
Madison County: Highland Old City Lake, 618/651-1386
Marion County: Boston Pond at Stephen A. Forbes State Recreation Area, 618/547-3381
Massac County: Fairgrounds Pond at Fort Massac State Park in Metropolis, 618/524-4712
McDonough County: Argyle Lake at Argyle Lake State Park, 309/776-3422
Randolph County: Randolph County State Fish and Wildlife Area Lake, 618/826-2706
Randolph County: Derby Lake at World Shooting and Recreational Complex in Sparta, 618/295-2700
Rock Island County: Prospect Park Pond in Moline, 815/454-2759
St. Clair County: Frank Holten State Recreation Area Lake, 618/874-7920
St. Clair County: Jones Park Lake in East St. Louis, 618/847-7920
St. Clair County: Willow Lake at Peabody River King State Fish and Wildlife Area, 618/785-2555
Saline County: Jones Lake Trout Pond at Saline County State Fish and Wildlife Area, 618/276-4405
Sangamon County: IDOT Lake in Springfield, 309/543-3316
Sangamon County: Washington Park Pond in Springfield, 309/543-3316
Shelby County: Forest Park Lagoon in Shelbyville, 217/345-2420
Tazewell County: Mineral Springs Park Lagoon in Pekin, 309/968-7568
Vermilion County: Clear Lake at Kickapoo State Recreation Area, 217/442-4915
Wabash County: Beall Woods Lake at Beall Woods State Park, 618/298-2442
Warren County: Citizen's Lake in Monmouth, 309/344-2617
Wayne County: Sam Dale Trout Pond at Sam Dale Lake State Fish and Wildlife Area, 618/835-2292
Whiteside County: Centennial Park Lake in Rock Falls, Coloma Park District, 815/625-0272 (New Location for Fall 2011)
Most attention will be focused on trout, but the suggests that crappie fishing should begin to come into more prominence by the weekend.
For an overview of nearby river conditions, click here.
BIG GREEN LAKE, WISCONSIN
For guide Mike Norton's report, go to www.nortonsfishingandhuntingadventures.com, then click on fishing, then lake report.
From licensed guide and trapper Phil Schweik and guide Glenn Moberg of Hooksetters Guide Service:
(Head): Very good musky, walleye and crappie action, with a good smallmouth
bass bite. Deer bow hunters reporting a lot of activity; all in and amidst
the lakes and the Wisconsin River of Wisconsin's Marathon and Lincoln
Counties (near Mosinee and Wausau).
Outstanding musky action in the central Wisconsin area. A lot of nice fish
are being caught on jerkbaits and crankbaits, along with a few nice fish on
live suckers. The best activity has been later in the day when the water
temperatures have warmed up and the fish have moved up to shallower water.
Work rocky shorelines associated with deep water access, as well as weed
edges in 6 to 10 feet of water. Musky hunters are also picking up a few
nice northerns while targeting the muskies in these areas, so don't be
surprised if one of these fresh water alligators strikes your offering while
With the warmer water temperatures recently, the walleyes in the central
Wisconsin area have scattered in the main lake and Wisconsin River systems
and are holding in several different areas. Most of the fish have been
found in 12 to 16 feet of water on the deeper bends in the Wisconsin river,
but a few nice fish in the backwater areas are holding in submerged wood.
For the best action, jigs tipped with minnows have been working, but a few
of the nicer fish have come on jigs tipped with ring worms in blue and
The crappie bite in the central Wisconsin area has been very good, but
unlike previous years when the crappies have been holding tight to structure
at this time of the year, the crappies have with the warmer temperatures
been suspending over deep water. Most of the crappies are suspending in 15
to 18 feet of water. Jigs tipped with minnows worked near the bottom have
been producing the best catches early in the day, but as the day progresses
the water temperatures warm up and the fish will move higher in the water
For all of your bass anglers, now is a good time to target smallies in the
central Wisconsin area. Any rocky shoreline or rock hump in the main lake
basins will be a magnet for fall smallies, especially late into the
afternoon. As the water temps rise the bass will instinctively move up on
rocky areas to absorb the warmth and to feed on unsuspecting forage. For
the best action, try running jigs tipped with plastics or crayfish style
Bow deer hunters in the central Wisconsin area are reporting a lot of
activity in the first weeks of the season. Most of the activity has
been taking place early and late in the day near known feeding and bedding
areas. Hunters looking to take advantage of the early season should set
their stands in transition areas like funnels or neck down areas between
these known feeding and bedding areas. Another great location to set up at
this time of the year is along a creek bottom. With the warm temperatures
that we've been having the deer will be looking for a nearby water supply as
a source of hydration, and any crossing will become a magnet to deer looking
for a quick drink, or an easy access point to cross a waterway.
CHAIN O'LAKES AREA
Arden Katz reported outstanding white bass on wind-blown points or shorelines in 5-6 feet on the northern lakes; some walleye mixed in. He said, ``Without wind, forget about it.'' He had good bluegill on Channel and Catherine under docks without weeds. Triangle seconded white bass and walleye as top bites, anywhere there is current. Muskie are shallow feeding. Catfish are good; Talmadge Hargraves III at the Salmon Stop reported Route 12 bridge is best.
For more reports, see http://www.foxlakefishing.com/
More Chain info at www.foxwaterway.state.il.us.
Jeff Nolan of Bridgeport Bass is back. If I get a report later, I will add it.
COOLING LAKES/STRIP PITS
BRAIDWOOD/MAZONIA: Only Monster Lake at Mazonia South remains open year round.
HEIDECKE:Closed for the season.
LaSALLE:Lake is open Wednesday through Sunday only now. October hours are reduced to 6 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Lake closes at 12:30 p.m. on Saturday.
DES PLAINES RIVER
Dan Sims of Sims Spinners sent this:
All around fishing has been a little on the slow side. Few fish here and there. Bass, both Largemouth and Smallmouth are on tops of the list of species being caught right now. Pike are being caught, but not in the numbers they should be this time of year. Lasts weeks Indian Summer slowed the feed bag down a tad bit I would say.
Co Owner of Sims-Spinners "Dave Mannion" has been out almost everyday after work with decent numbers of fish being caught. Inline Spinners and Crankbaits have yielded the best numbers of fish. 4-6 fish days were common place this past week. Bass up to 17? and Pike going just under 30? being taken in slack water areas. White and Red Spinners were the go to colors.
With rain in the forecast both Wednesday and Thursday, fish should be on the move good by Friday. Water temps were 61.8 degrees Sunday "10/09/2011".
A fellow Des Plaines River fishermen "TheWoz" recently had a very successful outing for Gar this past Sunday while fishing just below the Brandon Road Lock and Dam in Joliet, IL.. . .
Lastly, Rumor has it... Some Walleye and Sauger have been caught in the lower stretches of the river. After this cold rain and cooler air temps move in, casting for Walleyes should be on top of your bucket list!
Remember, ALWAYS keep an eye on your local USGS Streamflow Table before leaving on your next outing. River levels are one of the biggest factors in "catching fish" and not just fishing.
Andrew Ragas, Counsellor of the Fish Parliament www.fishing-headquarters.com, sent this:
Water levels are low and clear (USGS 3.10 in Riverside) with
temperatures in the mid to upper 60's. River is in excellent shape for
wading and shore fishing and now is a great time to enjoy fall.
Last week's warm weather did nothing but slow down the fishing and
fall feeding migrations for most fish species.
For northern pike, anglers are concentrating on areas with deeper
weeds, deep rocks in mid-river, log jams, and deeper pools. Most fish
are smaller 15-25 inches with most catches taking place in Lake County
and portions of the southwest suburbs and down into Will co.
Spinnerbaits (white/gold, black/orange, chartreuse), Sims Spinners
(white/brass and orange) are yielding best results as are minnowbaits
and 4 to 6 inch jerkbaits. Best fishing taking place in afternoons and
Largemouth bass fishing is slightly better with most fish relating to
weedlines, channel edges, log jams, downed wood, and slackwater pools.
Fish are transitioning off and the next cold spell will trigger their
fall movements. Crankbaits and spinnerbaits are faring the best with
most catches ranging from 12-17 inches. Few smallmouth bass as well
with most fish being found in Will County - deeper current and hard
rock bottom areas, wood also.
Longnose gar are putting on a big feed down south in the Brandon Lock
& Dam area. Fish up to 40" are active and hitting spinnerbaits, inline
spinners, and surface lures meant for bass.
According to Matt Coppolino, walleye and sauger were beginning to get
active before the warm weather resumed and anglers were catching a few
after dark from deeper hard bottom current after dark. However,
catches have been few and far between in the last week and things
likely won't improve again until temperatures begin falling again.
DELAVAN/GENEVA LAKES, WISCONSIN
DELAVAN: Guide Dave Duwe sent this:
Delavan Lake 10/10/11 through 10/17/11
Fishing has been very tough over the last week or so. The water is really dirty and I think the warm weather has confused the fish and they aren't sure whether they should be in their fall or summer patterns. The best bite on the lake remains the walleye. They can be caught off the weedlines.
Walleye pike can be caught trolling deep diving crank baits or jigging in 35 ft of water. You want to be just outside the main lake points when trolling. I troll between 16 and 22 ft of water. The early morning hours are the best. You want a fire tiger or pearl colored crank bait which resembles the crappie. Look for the fish by Browns Channel or by the island. You want to get to the lake about an hour before sunrise.
Northern pike have been spotty. The pike I've caught were in 10-12 ft of water on the weedline. They can be caught on medium suckers fished on a slip bobber. The best location has been by the Oriental boathouse or by the Yacht Club. I haven't been fishing suckers on lindy rigs so that might be a possibility. Keep the boat on the outside of the weed edge in 17 ft of water and back troll into the wind.
Bluegills remain suspended in the main lake basin. They are 20 ft down in 35 to 40 ft of water. A good fish locator is essential to find the active fish. The best presentation is an ice jig or a single hook with a heavy split shot. You want to fish straight lined right beneath the boat. Look for the fish by the Village or off of Willow Point.
Perch are being caught in 12-15 ft of water. The best bait is large leaf worms or small fat head minnows. Look for the fish by the outlet channel or down by the old Boy Scout camp. Fish the worms on a slip bobber rig for the best success.
Largemouth bass are in 4-5 ft of water around the boat docks. I've been concentrating on south shore piers. They can be caught on Senkos or All Terrain Stiks. Green pumpkin or watermelon seed are the best colors.
Good luck and I hope to see you on the water. For guide parties, please call Dave Duwe at 608-883-2050
10/9/11 Delavan Lake, sunny, 75 degrees, light winds out of the SE. Water temp 62 degrees. Caught 1 smallmouth, 3 largemouth - one legal, and a few bluegills. There was excessive boat traffic today. The Bears play Monday p.m. and the Packers play Sunday p.m. Couldn't really figure a pattern. The fish we caught were all on nightcrawlers. We did have a few bites on medium suckers however, we couldn't hook up.
10/6/11 Delavan lake, p.m., 80 degrees, SE wind at 10 mph. Water temp 64 degrees. Caught 4 smallmouth bass, 1 northern, 9 largemouth, 2 were legal. The smallmouth and largemouth bass were caught on nightcrawlers. The northern were caught on suckers fished beneath a slip bobber in 7-8 ft of water. The best location was down by the island in 10 ft of water.
GENEVA: Duwe sent this:
Lake Geneva 10/10/11 through 10/17/11
You will never find a warmer October than we have this year. The fish are in a bit of a funk due to the extended heat wave we are having. The lake temperatures have actually been increasing over the past week.
Rock bass can be readily caught in the 12-15 ft depth range. They are being caught on split shot rigged nightcrawlers or fat head minnows. The best location has been by the Military Academy or by Knollwood.
Smallmouth bass are starting to show up on the main lake points. They can be caught by dragging jigs or Carolina rigging Zoom lizards. The best spots have been Conference Point or by Black Point. The jigs I prefer are All Terrain football jigs in the ½ oz green pumpkin. This pattern will be effective for the next few weeks.
Northern Pike action has been improving in the weed flats. Look for the fish in Williams Bay or Fontana. As always, the best approach is slip bobber rigging large golden shiners about 1 ft above the weeds. The only way to fish them is to keep the boat anchored. You want to key on the weed points on the flat.
Perch fishing has been fantastic. The fish are in 12 ft of water. To catch the bigger fish, you need to use bigger minnows. You want to slip bobber rig about 1-2 ft off bottom. The best locations have been by Rainbow point or by Knollwood.
Good luck and I hope to see you on the water. For guide parties, please call Dave Duwe at 608-883-2050
EVERGREEN: Any updated fishing report will be posted here.
EMIQUON: Next week, I will get the fishing regs for during waterfowl hunting posted. 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.
FOX RIVER: WESTERN SUBURBS
River wanderer/ponderer and now ChicagoNow blogger Ken Gortowski sent this, well it is more of a ramble than a fishing report, but it sums up a lot on a broader level:
Christmas is coming, the geese are getting fat and every day I drive back roads in the western Fox Valley to get to the main road. Every day more corn and soy bean fields are cut and more and bigger flocks of geese are seen cupping the wind over the cut fields, coming in for a landing...
Wait, this is supposed to be about fishing the Fox River isn't it.
The past week I had the opportunity to be out fishing on Saturday for about five hours and Sunday I gave myself a good six hours. Saturday I gave up after two hours and Sunday I gave up after one. I got bored.
That happens now and then. Fish were being caught, for those 3 hours of fishing I landed 7 smallies and missed another 11, but the numbers were way down compared to what I was getting before the rain we had a week or so ago.
There were even a couple of bigger fish in the mix, the largest topping out at around 17 inches. When it comes to smallie fishing, I don't get any more excited about catching a big fish than I do from catching feisty dinks. I land an 18 inch, nice fish. I land a 6 inch that took me all over the river trying to get away, nice fish and I tend to hold onto and admire them longer wondering, what the heck got into you?
Years ago this time of year I used to wander up to the Milwaukee River to fish for salmon and steelhead. Fighting a 3 foot fish in a river that looks like, but is much smaller than the Fox might get me to mutter, now that was a nice fish. I might mutter that once I regained the feeling in my right arm.
But to drool and shake over an 18 inch smallie? I don't think so.
I must be jaded.
Which is part of the reason why I cut my trips short both those days. I wanted numbers. I had a pretty good idea where to go to attempt to catch a few bigger fish and that was the problem. It would be an attempt. Not worth the effort required.
Besides, it was beautiful out both those days. I found myself dawdling down paths and railroad tracks, wandering aimlessly off into the woods. Taking a bunch of lame pictures of the fall colors. They're up on my blog of anyone would care to go look.
I decided to not bother carrying all the fishing crap around and just go for walks. Except for Sunday. A walk was done, but then it seemed like a pretty good idea to just take a nap.
Time on the Water Outdoors reported fair sauger, trolling or pulling; by Senachwine has been best. White bass are spotty, best has been sand points downriver. If we get the cooler weather and especially if we get a cool rain, fishing could dramatically improve.
Mik-Lurch reported the creeks, loaded with kings with a few steelhead and coho mixed in. Ed McCain said they are particularly ``stacked like cordwood'' in Deep River.
Ed Mullady reported:
Kankakee River Report:
Indiana: Bluegill good Rt. 41 thru 55 *Point area north of English Lake. *redworms *small spinners *fly rod: rubber spiders. Catfish good on *stinkbait *minnows
Illinois: Mike Lee, Frank's Bait, Momence, reports that area smallmouth bass good:catfish good on *catfish bait *minnows *plastic grubs with cheesebait *
*Kankakee River State Park: Smallmouth Bass good along shorelines, islands on *minnows *#3 spinners * twister tails
*Wilmington Dam to DesPlaines Area: Walleye fair to good on *jig and minnow *Crankbaits
*jointed plugs. Smallmouth Bass, Rock bass good.
LAKE ERIE: PORT CLINTON
For Ohio DNR report go to wildohio.com and or call (888) HOOKFISH.
CHICAGO: Henry's reported salmon still good in the harbors, mostly on spoons and crankbaits, but spawn is taking more fish.
WAUKEGAN: Talmadge Hargraves III at Salmon Stop reported spoons and spawn sacs taking more trout in the harbor.
SALMON SNAGGING: Henry's said Jackson Park has been the best, while the Salmon Stop said it's been good at Waukegan. Snagging for chinook and coho opens on the Illinois lakefront at four locations only: Lincoln Park Lagoon south of Fullerton Avenue, Waukegan Harbor (North Harbor Basin only); Winnetka Power Plant discharge area and Jackson Park Harbor (inner and outer harbors). No snagging is allowed at any time within 200 feet of a moored watercraft or as posted.
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.
MADISON LAKES, WISCONSIN
Click here for D&S Bait.
EAGLE RIVER: Creative Brilliance sent this report for the Chamber of Commerce:
(Head): Walleye, northern and crappies hitting very well, with musky putting
on a good bite in the Eagle River, Wisconsin.
Water temps hovering in the lower to mid 50s in the Eagle River, Wisconsin
Fishing action has picked up very nicely in the Eagle River area, with
anglers reporting good to very good all around action.
Walleyes in the Eagle River area have started moving out of the weeds into
deeper water . First, still try weed areas in 7 feet of water or less. You
will find some fish there. Then fish off the weed edges, over hard bottom
areas, in 12 feet of water and deeper; and use a jig and a minnow. Very
good action, and yes- -the best bite right now is mid day! The walleye are
tight to the bottom. Guides are reporting that North Twin has turned on
nicely as far as the walleye bite is concerned.
Northern are hitting hard everywhere in the Eagle River area. Fish 7 feet
of water or less in and around weeds. The northerns are biting on most
anything, ranging from a jig and a minnow to a musky bait. Anglers are
reporting nice catches of northern in the 32-35 inch range, with a few going
near 40. All day bite.
Crappies are putting on a very good bite in the Eagle River area, with some
nice slabs being caught. Fish 20-22 feet over hard bottom. The crappies
will be suspending 3 to 5 feet off the bottom, and at times higher up on the
water column. Start fishing near the bottom and work your way up,
remembering that crappies only bite up, never down. Use a jig and a minnow.
And like the walleyes, mid day right now is providing the best bite.
The musky bite in the Eagle River is good. Fish 6-7 feet deep or so off
weed edges. Use a jerkbait or a Mepps Musky Killer (#5 is a good size).
Some anglers are starting to get a few fish on suckers (12-14 inches), and
guides tell us that that action with suckers will improve as the water temps
drop. Anglers should know that the suckers are expensive this year, with
prices running from about $7 for the smaller ones to $8 for the larger ones.
Don't forget to do a "figure 8" when your retrieve is near the boat, as
musky are following lures to the boat. Peak action is later afternoon into
(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:
email@example.com; web: www.eagleriver.org
* "Muskie Matt", 715-891-5980; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
* Mat Hegy, 715-571-7544, e-mail: email@example.com
* 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:
Yellow Perch: Good-very Good. Surprisingly anglers working weeds and woods from 6-10 feet catching nice perch of 9-11 inches with a few jumbo perch of 12+ inches.
Walleyes: Good- Very Good. Flowage catches dropping off, but lakes picking up. Deep humps key, drifting Lindy Rigs or Ventricle Jigging big Fats, Chubs or Suckers.
Northern Pike: Good-Very Good. Action probably the best of the year. Mostly live bait, but spinners, spinnerbaits and twitch baits picking up nice pike up to 35 inches this week.
Bluegills: Good. Responding well to the warm up. Worms, 1/2 crawlers and even small minnows scoring big gills- 10 1/2 inch was the largest this week.
Largemouth Bass: Good. Wacky worms in the 6-12 foot weeds are deadly right now. Also 1/8 oz. jigs with 4 inch worms swam along the weed edges- in pockets are very effective.
Smallmouth Bass: Good. Anglers targeting "eyes" at the top of gravel humps and along rock/gravel fingers. Finding nice smallies (1 1/2-3lbs.) Taking 4-5 inch suckers and chubs in 18-28 feet of water.
Fall like weather is expected this week, drops in temp should increase the sucker bite for musky and keep the crappie and walleye bite good. Although the bite for bluegill and largemouth bass will probably slow. Musky suckers and chubs (redtails and blacktails) in short supply, call around for these baits as things may not get much better this fall.
Mik-Lurch reported boaters catching many kings in Buffington, also at Hole in the Wall and the Shipping Channel; key is fishing 4-8 a.m. Some from shore at Hammond and East Chicago marinas. First perch reports (mostly smaller) by the Hole in the Wall and along the Inland wall; farther east, Black Ditch has perch in 42 feet. Boat fishing is closed at Willow Slough.
SAINT JOSEPH RIVER &AREA (MICHIGAN & INDIANA)
Tyler Harmon messaged:
Seeing a few fall/winter steelhead showing up. Warm weathers going to slow things down. Next cold front and rain should bring good numbers of fresh steelhead around. Possible rain Thursday and Friday, and cooler temperatures forecasted for next week. Kings are starting to spawn, so prime time is over for them. Still some good coho action. Inland lakes have been good with this warm weather, bass and gills are on the feed.
Click here for an updated St. Joe report in Indiana. It usually comes later in the week.
For reports, click here.
Southern Lake Michigan Fishing Report: October 10, 2011
Shore fishing in Kenosha has been generally slow, but occasional Chinooks and browns have been taken in the harbor and off the south pier. Most fish were caught on fresh skein. Flows on the Pike River are low, and although Chinooks can be seen in the river near the mouth, fishing remains slow.
Trolling near the harbor mouth in Racine has slowed, but when trollers have been able to get offshore, fishing has been good in 150 to 200 feet of water. Spoons and flashers and flies have taken coho and immature Chinooks, and blues, greens, and whites continue to produce. Shore anglers have been able to catch a few Chinooks on fresh skein, and the area inside the harbor near the Root River has had the most action. Water levels on the Root are very low, but Chinooks, coho, and a few brown trout have been caught. Most fish have been taken downstream of the Root River Steelhead Facility, and spawn sacs and flies have both produced. The first fish processing day at the Root River Steelhead Facility was Saturday, October 8. DNR crews passed upstream a total of 266 Chinooks, 8 coho, and 16 brown trout. Fish will be processed again on Thursday, October 13.
In Milwaukee, the majority of fishing pressure remains in the rivers, however, shore anglers in the harbor have taken some Chinooks near McKinley Marina and the Milwaukee Yacht Club. Fresh skein has taken the most fish in that area. Water levels continue to drop on all Milwaukee area tributaries. In the Milwaukee River, most anglers have been concentrating in Kletzsch Park, but success there has been minimal. In Oak Creek fishing remains slow.
Port Washington Ramps: Fishing pressure has been moderate, and trollers have had very good success fishing in 100-220 feet of water. Flasher/fly combos have been the most productive lure, with pretty much any color combo producing fish. Most fish have been taken off the downriggers down to about 35 feet of water. Kings have been the main catch with a few lakers and cohos also being taken. Port Washington Harbor/Shore: Fishing pressure has been very high, but the catch rate has slowed down a bit. Spawn has remained the most productive bait followed by crankbaits. Most anglers have been catching mainly kings, with cohos and rainbows also being caught. The clear water temperature has been around 58F-60F. Port Washington Pier: Fishing pressure has been light, and fishing remains slow. Most anglers have been casting spoons with limited success. The clear water has been around 66 degrees F. No fish were reported caught. Port Washington Power Plant: Pressure has been high, but fishing has slowed somewhat. Spawn and crankbaits remain productive. Most anglers have been catching mainly kings, with cohos and rainbows also being caught. Sauk Creek: The water level has dropped drastically, and the flow has diminished. Fish are now up the creek but are stuck in some of the deeper pools, and anglers are having moderated success catching the fish. The water temperature was around 62F. Flies and spawn have been the most productive lures, and kings, cohos and some rainbows have been reported caught.
Sheboygan Ramps: Fishing pressure has been light, and trollers have had good success targeting fish in 120 to 200 feet of water. Fishermen have had the most success trolling with spoons or flasher fly combos coming off the down riggers, and a mix bag of Kings, rainbows, and lakers have been reported. Sheboygan Piers/Shore: Fishing pressure has been light, and catches have been hit or miss. Most anglers have been casting spoons with little success, but occasional coho have been taken. The water temperature was around 64 degrees F. Sheboygan River: Fishing pressure has been high, and anglers have had moderate success catching fish. Fish can be found in the deeper pools but are very spread out. Flies and spawn have been the most productive lures. The water flow has dropped drastically, and the water level has decreased about a foot. The water is clear, and temperatures have been around 64 degrees F. Pigeon River: The water temperature was at 62F, and the water is very clear. No fishing pressure has been recorded due to low water.
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