Crappie fishing and the start to lakers on southern Lake Michigan lead 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 email@example.com.
There's a couple good seminars at Mik-Lurch Fishing Tackle Outlet--(219) 989-0575--in Hammond, Ind. Saturday afternoon. At 1 p.m., Glen Gajewski and Mark Radvonausky talk about fishing the Indiana streams for salmon and trout. They will include access points. At 3 p.m., Ed McCain and Mike Starcevich talk about deep-water perch on southern Lake Michigan and give way points.
It's crappie time. FPD of Will County reported good crappie caught early before the sun clears the trees at Monee Reservoir. Henry's said other improving spots included Saganashkee Slough, Busse, Tampier and Fermi Labs.
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): Big walleyes, big muskies and big bucks - -right now; all in and
amidst the lakes and the Wisconsin River of Wisconsin's Marathon and Lincoln
Counties (near Mosinee and Wausau).
Wow this past week has been explosive for big fish and big game in the
central Wisconsin area. The musky and walleye bite has gone into overload
with not only numbers of fish but some real giants as well. In addition to
the great fishing that we are encountering the deer have started to go into
rut and the big bucks are becoming less nocturnal and daytime sightings and
opportunities are happening.
Walleyes have moved into the deeper pools in the main river channel of the
Wisconsin River along with some of the deeper areas of Lake Dubay and Lake
Wausau. They can be caught by vertical jigging 1/8th and 1/4 ounce jigs
tipped with minnows or plastics very slowly right on the bottom in 12 to 16
feet of water. During our trips this past week we have caught over 15 slot
sized walleyes along with 3 over the slot reaching that magical 30 inch
Muskies are now on the prowl in the central Wisconsin area, and catching
them is as easy as it is going to get. In the past four days we have put 14
muskies in the boat (all released!). Large crankbaits, jerkbaits and rubber
baits are the way to go along with suckers in the 10 to 16 inch range. Work
your artificial baits near deep water break lines and areas on the river
with less current like inside river bends and deep sloping breaks on the
channel edges. Suckers should primarily be set 3 to 6 feet down and run
anywhere from 20 to 40 feet behind the boat. like Run one of your sucker
rigs with a slip bobber and then free line the other sucker rig without a
bobber and let it go where ever it wants.
The crappie bite has been pretty good in the central Wisconsin area but most
of the crappies that we are seeing are incidental to walleye fishing. We are
finding the crappies holding in the deeper water associated with the
walleyes. The key to getting the bigger crappies is to run some slip
bobbers and set them 7 to 10 feet down over 12 to 16 feet of water. The
larger crappies will hold higher in the water column above the bottom
feeding fish as opposed to the smaller crappies which will mix right in on
the bottom with the walleyes.
Archery deer hunters in the central Wisconsin area are starting to see the
bucks rutting activity pick up. Scrapes are becoming more abundant and rubs
on trees are visible when walking in the woods or along a field edge. These
are the signs that a good hunter should start taking note of and looking at
for places to set up stand locations for the next two to three weeks as the
rut progresses into full blown rutting activity. These areas will become
frequented more and more in the next couple of weeks by not only bucks but
does as the breeding season comes to a peak. Just remember to check wind
direction when choosing a stand location as the bucks wary nose is still his
number one defense against predators like us.
CHAIN O'LAKES AREA
Triangle reported good crappie on Petite, Marie and Bluff. Bluegill are still shallow along shoreline areas. Muskie are fair on small jerkbaits or small suckers.
For more reports, see http://www.foxlakefishing.com/
More Chain info at www.foxwaterway.state.il.us.
Jeff Nolan of Bridgeport Bass sent this:
Chicago river fishing report ; A roller-coaster of a week one day great numbers next zip South branch (best bet) big large mouth stacking up in slip near lumber street with some catfish hitting drop shots you can leave the crank baits at home . Wolf point ; large mouth hitting jigs down low at 17ft .Ogden slip ; a few very good days with smallies of decent size
COOLING LAKES/STRIP PITS
BRAIDWOOD/MAZONIA: Only Monster Lake at Mazonia South remains open year round. HEIDECKE:Closed for the season. LaSALLE:Closed for the season.
DES PLAINES RIVER
Dan Sims of Sims Spinners sent this:
Des Plaines River Report:
Pike are relating to lay downs near deeper water
areas. Find wood, and you will find fish.
Anything bright in color will work. Fire tiger, red,
orange and yellow. Husky jerks, rattle traps and spinner
baits have all caught fish past few days.
Bass are tight to shore. Same technique as
above. Larger fish seem to be on the move.
USGS has the river flowing at just under 300cfps in
Riverside. Wading anglers can walk almost anywhere on
the river in these conditions.
Andrew Ragas, Counsellor of the Fish Parliament www.fishing-headquarters.com, sent this:
Conditions haven't changed much at all since last week. Some rainfall
would be nice in order to trigger the fall feed and to get fish moving
once again. But we need a little rain, not a lot. Otherwise, it will
flood and the river and its tributaries will become miserably
Since Dan Sims knows what's going on with northern pike and bass, I
will say that I agree with him and there isn't much input needed from
me in that department. My report from last week remains about the same
with very little change.
At the moment, water levels are moderately low (3.20 gauge), and
clarity is pretty good at around two feet. Right now I've been fishing
exclusively for walleye and sauger during the afternoon and nighttime
hours and the fishing has not been all that great for them. A few fish
are around, but most are smaller in the 14 to 18 inch bracket, and
it's been inconsistent. Things can instantly change with some
drastically colder weather, or some rainfall to bring water levels up
a bit and to activate fish.
Despite the river not producing much, I've had better success locating
walleyes at the tributaries (Salt Creek). In the last week I've pulled
out a few nice ones with fat bellies in the range of 18 to 22 inches.
Jigs with big 4 and 5 inch plastics are taking fish during the daytime
while minnowbaits are catching them during the lowlight and nighttime
hours. In order to locate fish, places to look for are deeper holes
and hard bottom with current (must be 4ft deep or greater), large
pools just downstream of riffle runs, deep rocks with current, and
dams. There are plenty of these types of areas from Busse Lake all the
way downstream to the river mouth. . . . . And these fish are present
throughout the entire system.
Surprisingly, a few largemouth bass and pike up to 28" may be caught
as bonuses while casting for walleyes during the nighttime.
EMIQUON:With the central zone waterfowl hunting open, fishing on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays is afternoons only. 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 Ken Gortowski sent this:
I was able to get out Friday to a creek and, like an idiot, for some reason I tortured myself in the wind and the rain on Sunday.
Best bet at this point is to just put up the links to the blog posts I made for each. I hadn't planned on putting down so many words, but they got in there anyway. Not the best, but it's something.
Here's the link to Friday's creek outing.
And the link to Sunday's outing. I had to be nuts going out in that crap.
Hopefully, next weekend, hunting at Marseilles. Not sure how much more fishing I'll be doing. Depends on the weather. I know for sure no more outings on days like Sunday.
ILLINOIS RIVER: STARVED ROCK AREA
Time on the Water reported sauger/walleye doing well, best by Lake Senachwine area (sauger haven't went to the wintering holes yet); jigging has been best, but pulling three-ways is also working. White bass and crappie are fair.
Stained water has slowed the salmon and trout. Mik-Lurch staff reported Trail will clear the fastest and is probably the best bet for the weekend.
Norm Minas sent this:
actually caught more walleye than bass recently. water temps under 50 degrees monday, water level still higher than normal. all the walleye action has been on a rattlebait, mostly at the back end of eddies, worked just above the bottom.
Fished with Dan Sims on Monday, fishing was extremely slow. We didn't get a handle on what they wanted until afternoon. You needed to cast a jerkbait upstream , jerk it down and let it drift. The take was real light, all you saw was the line move a little, floating weeds hit harder than the fish.
Ed Mullady reported:
Indiana fishing on the Kankakee continues good throughout most areas not closed during
hunting seasons. Smallmouth and Largemouth Bass good on *minnows *plastic worms *Mepps
Spinners*streamer flies. Catfish, northern pike continue good. Walleye improving.
In Illinois, Smallmouth Bass, walleye, good east of Momence, per Dave Zack, Momence.
Kankakee, IL Dam through Sawmill Creek good for smallmouth, bass, catfish. Try along islands in Kankakee River State Park Rock bass also hitting in river at creek mouths.
Wilmington area from Island Park downstream for walleye(jig and minnow, crankbaits good)and smallmouth bass on *minnows *minnow shaped lures *#2,#3 Mepps Spinners good.
LAKE ERIE: PORT CLINTON
For Ohio DNR report go to wildohio.com and or call (888) HOOKFISH.
CHICAGO: Henry's reported some trout being caught in the harbors on spawn sacs under a float. WAUKEGAN: Salmon Stop reported those bait fishing (frozen shiner or shad) are picking up a few browns.
SALMON SNAGGING: Salmon Stop reported very good snagging at Waukegan, as Henry's did at the two Chicago locations. Snagging for chinook and coho is open 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 FISHERMAN'S PARKING: 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. . . . That's the same pass good for the small fishermen's lots at Burnham and DuSable harbors.
MADISON LAKES, WISCONSIN
Click here for D&S Bait.
EAGLE RIVER: Creative Brilliance sent this report for the Chamber of Commerce:
(Head): Good action for walleye, northern and panfish, with musky fair, in
the Eagle River , Wisconsin area.
Water temperatures in the Eagle River area dropping through the mid 40s.
Walleye in the Eagle River area are putting on a good all day bite. Fish
10-25 feet of water off of break edges. The walleyes are locating about a
foot or so off the bottom. Use a jig and a fathead minnow.
Northern are hitting all day in the Eagle River area. Fish 15 feet of water
or less in and around weeds. Use a Husky Jerk (minnow or walleye pattern),
small Mepps or a northern sucker under a slip bobber. Good action.
Panfish (crappies, bluegill and perch) in the Eagle River area are all
locating in 10-25 feet of water outside weed or break edges. The perch will
be tight to bottom, with the crappies and bluegills suspending up and down
the water column. Start fishing for the crappies and gills about a foot or
two off the bottom and work your way up. Use a crappie minnow under a slip
bobber, or a chunk of crawler under a slip bobber- - especially for the
bluegills who are gobbling up crawlers right now. Good all day action.
Musky action in the Eagle River area is fair. Anglers are definitely getting
fish, but there are plenty of just sightings, follows and light hits. Fish
15 feet of water off of weed and break edges. Use a medium size jerkbait,
glidebait or crankbait, and a moderate retrieve. You can also use a 12-16
inch sucker hooked up to a quick set rig ? remembering that suckers are
quite expensive this season. The action is pretty much all day, with
varying small feeding windows. No real specific time for these windows, as
they change almost daily. Don't forget to always use a "figure 8" as your
lure nears the boat.
(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:
firstname.lastname@example.org; web: www.eagleriver.org
* "Muskie Matt", 715-891-5980; e-mail: email@example.com
* Mat Hegy, 715-571-7544, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
* 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:
Water temps continue to cool slowly. Angler pressure has dropped.
Musky: Very Good-Good. Action has slowed from the hot bite of the previous week. Not as many fish, but bigger and better. A 49 inch and a 50 inch this week, both on suckers, tops the most recent reports. Almost all reports coming in on suckers. Not as hard to get as last week with fewer anglers fishing. Key depths seem to be between 17-25 feet. Hard bottom areas out producing weed edges. Work drowned deep woods, cribs or rocks.
Walleye: Good-fair. Slower action as water continues to cool. With chubs hard to get, some anglers resorting to suckers and even mud minnows in the 3-4 1/2 inch range. Lindy rigging 22-35 feet hard bottom flats on the larger lakes producing nice fish to 26 inches. Jigs with large fatheads on small weed lakes also helping anglers score some eaters.
Most lakes averaging about 44-45 degrees, larger-warmer, smaller-cooler. Don't be afraid to search out some open spaces, especially for musky. Bring tall boots as most piers are out. Despite few reports of follows or "action" days-musky are biting well on live bait. Put some time in.
On Monday, an angler went 4-for-8 on lakers at the reef outside the Port of Indiana. Water is slowly clearing, that should help. Mik-Lurch reported Ghost Dodgers with an all-glow Spin-N-Glo are good. There's been some perch at the Hole-in-the-Wall, a few browns there, too. Some perch have been marked in Cal Harbor. We'll see, that perch bite should go soon.
ROOT RIVER, WISCONSIN
The Wisconsin DNR's Root River Report was not updated yet. Worth checking, especially if rain comes tonight and improves the flow.
SAINT JOSEPH RIVER AREA, MICHIGAN & INDIANA
Tyler Harmon messaged that steelhead are in the usual places in Michigan.
Click here for an updated St. Joe report in Indiana. It's more steelhead now, and it has slowed some from last month.
For reports, click here.
Southern Lake Michigan Fishing Report: October 31, 2011
Shore fishing in Kenosha has been generally slow, but occasional coho and browns have been taken in the harbor and off the south pier. Most fish were caught on spawn. Flows on the Pike River are low, and fishing remains slow.
In Racine, water levels on the Root River remain low. Numbers of brown trout in the river have started to increase in downstream areas, while the Chinooks are starting to taper off. Decent numbers of coho have been caught, with most taken on flies. The majority of fishing pressure has been in Lincoln Park, but a few anglers have also been successful near the Horlick dam. Fish were processed at the Root River Steelhead Facility on Monday, October 31. So far this season DNR crews passed upstream 1,673 Chinooks, 662 coho, 25 brown trout, and 1 rainbow trout. A total of 427 coho have been spawned. Fish will be processed again on Thursday, November 3 and Monday, November 7.
In Milwaukee, shore anglers continue to catch salmon on spawn in the slip near the Milwaukee Yacht Club, and brown trout have now been reported near the McKinley launch. Water levels are low on all Milwaukee area tributaries. In the Milwaukee River, fly anglers have been catching decent numbers of salmon in Kletzsch Park and in the vicinity of Capitol Drive. Egg sucking leeches have produced. Good numbers of fish can still be found in the Menomonee River near Miller Park. In Oak Creek some mature salmon are present in the deeper holes below the dam. Trollers working near the harbor have been catching mature Chinooks on J-plugs. When trollers can get offshore from Milwaukee, immature Chinooks, coho, and rainbows have been taken on flashers and flies fished about 20 to 40 feet down in 120 to 160 feet of water.
Port Washington Harbor/Shore: Fishing pressure has been light, and success has slowed a bit. Spawn remains the most productive bait. Most anglers have been catching Chinooks and some whitefish. The water temperature near the power plant has been around 48F. Port Washington Pier: Sauk Creek: The water level remains low. Fish are still in the creek, and fishing pressure has been light. The water temperature was around 44F. Flies and spawn have been the most productive lures, and Chinooks and coho have been reported caught.
Sheboygan Ramps: The lake has been too rough for boaters to get offshore. Sheboygan Piers/Shore: A few brown trout have been reported caught off the lake side of the piers, and some chinooks have been caught on spawn near the Deland boat launch. Sheboygan River: The water level remains low, and fishing pressure has been generally light. Most anglers have had moderate success with spoons and flies for trout and salmon. Chinooks, coho, brown trout, and rainbow trout have been reported.
Click here for River's Edge.
CHICAGO AREA CHAT/REPORTS
CHICAGO AREA INFO
MICHIGAN DNR REPORT
WISCONSIN DNR REPORT
IOWA DNR REPORT
INDIANA DNR REPORT