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Midwest Fishing Report: Lakes and rivers of Chicago fishing

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As long as we continue in this combination of heat and low water, I am going to combine the rivers and lakes sections into one 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


Conditions are extreme enough on the area rivers, especially some of the shallower sections of the Fox, that it is probably best to stop fishing until conditions, especially water levels and temperatures, moderate some. Unless of course you are fishing for food, then just remember to load up on ice.


I know people tend to laugh at the hyperventilating that goes on about the weather, but in recent years with the advent of air-conditioning in vehicles, homes and work places, extreme heat is something most of us are not prepared for.

So pretty simply, here a few reminders that apply not only for fishing, but doing about anything outside.

Pre-hydrate and continue to hydrate during fishing. Veteran Kankakee River fisherman/explorer Norm Minas added, ``Try dipping your hat and bandana in the river and lay the bandana on the back of your neck. . . . Another thing to try is submerging your arms past the wrists for a while, it also seems to help. Don't try to be the macho guy either, take some breaks in the shade or in the air-conditioned car if it's close. Once the heat starts getting to you, you start making questionable decisions. Even in the lower flow, mistakes can be fatal.''

I especially would note that part about not trying to be a macho guy in this weather.


ILLINOIS: Remember, in the Illinois waters of Lake Michigan, those 15 and younger may catch 10 perch daily during the hated July closure for those 16 and older. Action for kids around Chicago harbors have been variable; the Salmon Stop reported some good catches by kids at Waukegan.

INDIANA: Mik-Lurch reported some perch being caught in Cal Harbor on Tuesday. It's been hit and miss outside the Port of Indiana.


As nominations for Fish of the Week show, largemouth are the top bite right now. I have had some very nice offerings for largemouth. It's typical summer patterns, early and late on topwaters, worms or Senkos on weed lines other times; and bluegills in weed pockets or outside weed lines. And find shade, for yourself, and the fish.


For a general overview of nearby river conditions, click here.

To get to more specific gauges, even on creeks, in Illinois, click here.


For guide Mike Norton's report, go to, then click on fishing, then lake report.


Jeff Nolan of Bridgeport Bass sent this:

Chicago river fishing report ; Fished all day Sunday Main stem temp 82 very nice big bass hitting jigs crawled slow on bottom at chump tower  discharge 1 nice 16 inch bass at Ogden slip on drop shot . South branch;temp 91 a few big gills and little action otherwise .Note; lots of dead birds scattered in water?


From licensed guide and trapper Phil Schweik and guide Glenn Moberg of Hooksetters Guide Service:

(Head): Fantastic smallmouth bass bite, strong walleye bite, with very good
action for crappie, bluegill and musky, and bear baiting stations doing
well; all in and amidst the lakes and the Wisconsin River in Wisconsin¹s
Marathon and Lincoln Counties (near Mosinee and Wausau).

The smallmouth bass fishing in the central Wisconsin area has been
fantastic.  We are doing very well on smalls running small crankbaits and/or
jigs tipped with tube tails in orange or yellow.  We are concentrating our
efforts on shallow wood and rocks in 3 to 5 feet of water associated with
any current.

The strong walleye bite continues in the central Wisconsin area, even as the
weather heats up.  We have been doing very well on walleyes in 6 to 10 feet
of water working jigs tipped with crawlers and leeches along outside weed
lines and channel edges.

The crappie action in the central Wisconsin area has been very good and nice
catches of slab crappies are happening regularly.  We are suspending jigs
tipped with small minnows or plastics about 4 to 7 feet down and slowly
drifting over 12 to 16 feet of water.

The bluegill bite has been very good in the central Wisconsin area, with a
good number of fish starting to show up in their summer holding areas.  Most
of these bull gills can be taken on a small jig tipped with a piece of
crawler that has been dropped into submerged wood in 4 to 8 feet of water.

The bear baiting stations in the central Wisconsin area are doing well, and
we are seeing a number of different bears now hitting our locations on any
given day.  A lot of the activity is still during low light conditions, and
at night, but not to worry as, as the season progresses these bruins will
start to get the itch to put on the feedbag and start to consume more during
daylight hours.


Staff at Triangle reported good bluegill shallow, especially in shaded areas. Catfish are excellent, some big fish to 20 pounds being caught, on stinkbait or crawlers. Leeches are thee No. 1 bait on slip-bobber rigs or Lindy-rigs; Marie is best. Crappie are picking up in channel mouths toward evening, try Bluff, Spring or Marie. White bass are decent.

For more reports, see

More Chain info at


I would suggest other options both for yourself and the fish in these extremely hot water times.


Marcus Benesch sent this:

Water temps are above normal and levels still remain a bit low because of the lack of rain. With the lack of water and current,  the river has been taking on pond like conditions by producing large amounts of floating algae.  Most northern stretches the river is completely covered in a type of pond like floating green algae.  So far it doesn't seem to have any effect on fishing.  Pan fish are still producing a large numbers under bridges and pooled up areas. Pike have still been biting even with the high temps,  however for me, targeting the larger fish has been put on hold because of the stress most are under with the recent conditions.  I did fish during the short rain storms we had and it seemed to cool the river and the bite a little till later in the evening after the rains had passed.  River levels have been low,  but water is still navigable in Cook County.

There are some nuggets in there for fishing an urban river in extreme conditions.


DELAVAN: Guide Dave Duwe sent this:

Delavan Lake 7/16/12 through 7/23/12
The dry weather continues and the good fishing continues as well. Most of the fish are in their late summer pattern. The fish are a bit deeper than most people are fishing. Most of the fish are in 15-20 ft of water. The boat traffic has been crazy, you want to get to the launch before 6 a.m. and off by 11 a.m. The lake is as busy as it has ever been.
Largemouth bass are schooling on deep water points. The best depth is 15-20 ft of water. They can be caught on a split shot rigged nightcrawlers or a swimming All Terrain jig. The best color has been black and blue with a black trailer. Look for the fish west of Willow Point or by Browns Channel. All Terrain jigs can be purchased at Lakeside Bait and Tackle across the street from the boat launch. As a guide I've noticed that people are fishing fast, if you catch one you have the possibility of catching 10 since they are schooled up. Slow down a bit because the fish will bite on concurrent casts.
Northern pike action has been relatively slow. You can catch some while trolling the weedline in 18-20 ft of water. The action isn't as good as years past, but if you put the time in you will catch them. The best location has been by Belvidere Park or west of the Yacht Club. I've been lindy rigging medium suckers in 18-20 ft of water.
Bluegill fishing has been slow. The fish have been in 15-20 ft of water. I have been catching a few however the bite has been reduced a bit. Most of the fish are being caught on split shot rigged leaf worms or hellgrammites. Look for the fish by Browns Channel or by the Yacht Club.
Walleye fishing has been above average for this time of year. Most of the fish are being caught trolling. You want to fish a crankbait in 15-20 ft of water right off the weedline. I've been using Bandit 300 series or deep diving Fat free shad bombers. The deal has been first light or a night for the most action.
Perch fishing has been good by the Township park or by the outlet by Assembly park. The depth has been 9-10 ft of water for the best success. You want to fish hellgrammites underneath a slip bobber.
Good luck and I hope to see you on the water. For guide parties, please call Dave Duwe at 608-883-2050
Daily Reports
7/15/12 - Lake Geneva, sunny, 85 degrees, SW winds at 10 mph.  Water temp 79 degrees.  Caught 1 largemouth, 1 smallmouth and a bunch of rock bass and bluegills.  This trip was to get someone acclimated to fishing for the first time.  We caught between 50 and 75 fish total.  The main lake points produced the most fish.
7/14/12 - Lake Geneva, sunny, SW winds at 10 mph, air temp 80 degrees, water temp 78 degrees.  Caught 6 largemouth, 4 were legal, 4 smallmouth, 2 were legal and a bunch of panfish.  Fished the main lake points with a split shot rigged nightcrawler.  The boat traffic was chaotic and the fish seemed to stop biting around 10 a.m.
7/13/12 - Lake Geneva, sunny, SW wind at 5 mph, 75 degrees, water temp 78 degrees.  Caught 1 lake trout, 9 largemouth, and 3 smallmouth.  Fished the early a.m. for lake trout and once the sun came up, fished for bass on the main lake points.  Most of the success came out of 12 ft of water.  A nightcrawler on a split shot produced the most fish.
7/11/12 - Lake Geneva, no wind, sunny, 60 degrees, Water temp 79 degrees.  Fished for Lake Trout, caught 2 approximately 20 and 24 inches.  Fished 85 ft down in 112 ft of water.  Nickel/chrome spoons caught all the fish.  Fished in front of Conference Point and Cedar Point.

GENEVA: Duwe sent this:

Lake Geneva 7/16/12 through 7/23/12
Lake Geneva fishing has been great even considering the hot weather. Both smallmouth and largemouth can be readily caught in relatively shallow water. Lake Trout fishing has been phenomenal. You want to fish first light or in dusk conditions.
Lake Trout fishing has been great in the main lake basin in 106-112 ft of water. The fish are being caught 85-90 feet down. The key is getting your spoons free of weeds and trolling between 1.8 and 2.0 mph. I've been catching most of the fish on nickel/blue spoons.
Due to the time of year, the largemouth bass are schooled up on main lake points. Look for the fish on Black Point, Conference Point and Colemans Point. The fish are in 12-15 ft of water, they are very active. You can either Carolina rig or fish a split shot rigged nightcrawler. People that are Carolina rigging should use a 24 inch leader and Zoom lizard in green pumpkin. For those fishing with nightcrawlers, use a split shot rig and a 20 inch leader.
Perch fishing has been very good. The problem is that you need to sort through a lot of small ones to catch a good limit. The best locations have been Rainbow Point and Belvidere Park. The best presentation has been a split shot rigged leaf worm or small fat head minnow. Most of the fish are 4-6 inches but if you are patient you will get your limit of 10-12 inch fish.
Smallmouth bass are starting to move deep. They can be caught on either a split shot rigged nightcrawler or Carolina rigging a green pumpkin Lizard. The best location has been by Elgin Club or Black Point. You want to keep your leader length at about 20 inches for the best success. In the next couple of weeks, the fish will be moving into 25-28 ft of water. At that point, you want to lindy rig a nightcrawlers or yellow perch caught from the lake.
Northern Pike have been positioned on the thermocline. They are located in about 30 ft of water. You can catch them lindy rigging suckers or chubs about 6 inches off bottom. The fish have been most aggressive in Fontana or on the north shore of the narrows.
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 from site staff will be posted here.

POWERTON: Summer hours--6 a.m.-8 p.m.--are underway.

EMIQUON: The 2012 permits are available for fishing at Emiquon from Dickson Mounds Museum in Lewistown.

HENNEPIN-HOPPER LAKES: They will be closed again for 2012 as work on common carp removal continues.


From the Wisconsin DNR report on Monday:

Green Bay Fishing Report: July 16, 2012
Brown Co.
Fox River: In the River, boat fishermen were reporting carp, sheepshead, catfish, and drum with some occasional smallmouth bass up by the dam casting crank baits. Shore fishermen are also catching rough fish by the drainage pipe using the same baits with some live bait (night crawlers).
Suamico/Geano's Beach: Suamico fishermen are catching walleye, although it is still a little on the slow side, but a few are catching their limits. They were using mainly crawler harnesses (chartreuse and gold in color) for bait while trolling. Geano's Beach has been doing well for walleye this week; most fishermen have been reporting using crawler harnesses (gold and chartreuse in color) in about 15 to 20 feet of water while trolling. Some are getting their limits, and even some fishermen that are going out of Suamico have gone up by Geano's Beach for walleye. Some perch showed up as well, but the numbers are still very low.
East Shore
The warm weather this week has increased water temperatures at Bayshore Park to around 80 degrees by the weekend, and the water temperature up in Sawyer Harbor and Little Sturgeon Bay is about the same in the high 70s. Fishing pressure varied throughout the week; it was somewhat slow during the week and picked up on the weekend. Perch fishing had its up and downs during the week, but walleye seem to be holding steady from last week.
Bayshore Park: At Bayshore Park, fishermen were looking for perch and walleye. Perch numbers were low this week; fishermen were using night crawlers in about 23 feet of water. For walleye, numbers were steady this week, and fishermen were using crank baits, night crawlers, and crawler harnesses (chartreuse and gold in color) for bait in about 20 feet of water. Walleye ranged in sizes from 15 inches to 26 inches, with most fishermen reporting catching them by Vincent Point. Sheepshead, catfish, gobies, carp, white bass, and white perch are making appearances.
Chaudoir's Dock: At Chaudoir's Dock, fishermen were targeting perch and walleye. Perch numbers were high at the beginning of the week with some fishermen getting their limits. They were using night crawlers and minnows for bait, and they were caught in about 23 feet of water. A few walleye came in using crank baits, and they were caught in about 20-30 feet of water. The walleye ranged from about 19 inches to 26 inches. Sheepshead, catfish, and gobies are still around with sheepshead being very high in numbers.
Sawyer Harbor: In Sawyer Harbor, fishermen were targeting mostly smallmouth bass and perch, with a few fishermen looking for walleye. Perch numbers were low, with fishermen using night crawlers for bait. Boat fishermen caught rock bass while targeting smallmouth bass. Bass numbers were okay for the week; fishermen were using leeches and spinners (green) for bait and caught them in about 12-18 feet of water. Fishermen are still catching good numbers of sheepshead and gobies.
Little Sturgeon Bay: On Little Sturgeon Bay, fishermen were targeting smallmouth bass and perch. There were a few fishermen looking for walleye, musky, and pike, but none were caught. A few perch were caught using night crawlers and minnows for bait in about 20 feet of water. Leeches were used for smallmouth bass, with the average size bass being about 19 inches. Sheepshead and gobies are still very numerous.
Oconto Co.
Very hot weather this past week saw an influx of pleasure boaters and rafters as well as fishermen. Water temperatures on the Bay are in the high 70's to low 80's. Panfish and bass topped the list again this week at the Stiles Dam and the upper reaches of the Oconto River. Slip bobbers and dead drifting live bait is producing some nice catches of fish. Walleye fishermen on the Bay from Pensaukee Landing to Oconto Park II are again reporting limits of nice fish in the 17 to 21 inch range. Crawler/harness fished in the 15 to 25 foot range are working well. The perch bite on the Bay remains slow with fish being caught in 8 to 15 feet of water; jig and minnow or crappie rigs are being employed.
Marinette Co.
Very hot weather this past week saw an influx of pleasure boaters and rafters as well as fishermen. Water temperatures on the Bay are in the high 70's to low 80's. Boaters on the lower Peshtigo River have been catching a mixed bag of bass, pike, drum and rock bass, drifting the river with jigs tipped with crawlers. Menominee shore fishermen are catching drum, bass, and a few walleye in and around the Hattie Street Dam down to Stephenson Island. Jigs and leeches drifted in the current seams has worked well. Trolling the river during periods of low light are producing some bigger walleye below the Turn Basin. The trout and salmon bite remains strong with fishermen reporting fish in 100 feet of water 80 feet down. The Trout Bar and Green Island have been hot this past week with dark colors (black, purple, and green) working best.


If keeping fish for food, go for it. If catching and releasing, I would highly suggest following the recommendation of streams biologist Bob Rung and waiting until we get some water into the Fox or water temperatures moderate.

Might be a good time to click here for Sam Bennett's ``Getting Started Guide'' for folks who are new to the Fox or river fishing in general.


There are some steelhead in the streams, but oxygen levels are low and water hot. If a shot of rain comes, could be a run.


River is becoming very low. I had a brief outing Friday and picked up a couple river runner smallmouth in extremely low water at the end of riffles on topwaters.

Norm Minas sent this:

The river was was low as I've ever seen it the other day. It was flowing 4 CFS more than the record low for that day which was set back in the 30"s. Shoot my dad was a kid back when that was set.
 Water temps remain in the upper 80's. Some rain brought the flow rate up one day, promptly dropped the next. Any point in mentioning the weather conditions ?
 Catfishing is still prolly your best bet, however you prefer. Personally, I'd drift cut bait under a float with a circle hook. Leeches, crawlers, burger. liver what ever you like. Dip baits always good this time of year if propping up a pole, sitting in the shade and sipping some iced tea is more your style.
 One day I got a couple on rattlebaits, few more on singlespins and most of the smallmouth on a 1/0 weighted keeper/plastic. Another day, crankbaits is all they would take. Another day 18 bass on topwaters, a few bass and walleye on jigs. Yet another day, it was flukes. The one thing in common was fishing faster water like riffles and neckdowns, channel areas, deeper flats and plaing the shade as much as possible. Some of the weedbeds are still producing, other ones that were producing either don't have enough current or depth to suit the fish as they aren't there. 
 Last weekend saw some dead suckers, a walleye or two and a smallmouth. I haven't seen any dead fish the last few trips though.
 I have the entire last week of July off if you want to get out and celebrate your 55th birthday. We could call it the double nickle, down and dirty, bearded an sweaty tour. Bring your own stick to beat the beautiful women off with.

Ed Mullady sent this:

Like so many areas, Kankakee River(and tributaries)is very low on water!
   However, this is a good time to check out what at some time of normal water levels we will be fishing at.
    Smallmouth Bass fishing continues from fair to good. Try in both IN and IL portions along deeper cut shorelines *in the water branch or tree that is down in the water *mouths of ditches(if any water moving)
*Bridge piers. Best for most fishermen is from late afternoon through sunset and darkness. Good baits include *live minnows *Mr. Twister Wtd Keepr Hook & Double Twister tails *weedless Doctor Spoons
*Mepps #2 or #3 gold blade spinners.  Fly rod fishermen will find success on *minnow shaped flies *frog popping bugs.
     Pike continue feeding..often  short distance  from shore, esp. in late afternoon as they begin swimming along for their meal.  Good any time around in-water logs *brush piles *weed beds  Good bait *4" to 6"minnows *Weedless Doctor Spoons *Mepps #5 Spinners *minnow shaped jointed plugs.
      Walleye fair. Best at low light hours on *jig and minnow*jig and crawler in fairly shallow water near deeper water. Good on *jig and minnow *jig and crawler *jointed minnow shaped plugs *weedless Dr. Spoons.
      Catfish continue good with most action from late afternoon through the night. Good on *live minnows *night crawlers *catfish cheese *chicken liver *raw hamburger.
        Rock Bass, Croppie, Bluegill, good esp late afternoon through the night.

     With the  Kankakee River at low fishing level, many fine fish keep feeding along
the river and its tributaries. Many have their best game fish catches as these fish often feed in the more shallow areas, often Close to deeper waters. Good time to
use a canoe or kayak to get in and out of shallow areas.
                                                                Ed Mullady, Editor, Sportsman's Letter


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 and coho in 75-120 feet, down down 60 to the bottom, on spoons and big flies; also some good kings, coho and steelhead straight east of the R4 and two miles south in 70-120 on regular or magnum spoons or big Dodgers and flies. good coho with kings mixed in in 60-90 east of Chicago harbors; early bite is important. Bite is switching from Dodgers and flies to include spoons. He said Leadcore is starting to work with spoons.

WAUKEGAN: Lori Ralph at the Salmon Stop reported ``fabulous'' fishing for big kings and steelhead mornings in 90-140 feet. Capt. Augie Ralph has been fishing down 75-80, a little north of the harbor, best with white plastic Dodger and white or aqua flies or green Dodger and aqua or green fly. Some are running Leadcore with spoons.

NORTH POINT: Capt. Bob Poteshman of Confusion Charters reported big kings mornings right on the hill, then out past 200 feet later in the day. He has been doing best on Dodgers and Howie flies; spoons are so-so. He said speed is critical, once you find a bite, stick with that speed.

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.

DALEY DERBY: In July, the species are carp, catfish, perch (15 and younger, coho, Chinook and steelhead for the Richard J. Daley Memorial Sport Fishing Derby are perch, coho and Chinook Check fish in at Henry's Sports & Bait. Derby runs through September with cash prizes for the heaviest three fish from selected species caught around Chicago each month.


There is access at Morris Wetlands at the mouth.


Click here for D&S Bait.


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

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

Water temps in the Eagle River, Wisconsin area are hovering in the upper
70s.  The Eagle River Chain of 28 lakes (largest freshwater chain of lakes
in the world) remains the best choice for consistent action, but for
smallmouth bass, anglers should certainly try some of the Eagle River area's
larger, clearer lakes.  While anglers are getting fish throughout the day,
action peaks around sunrise and sunset for all species -- except for
panfish, where the bite is good to excellent throughout the day.

Walleye have moved deeper in the Eagle River area.  Fish 10-25 feet of water
off of break edges or in main lake basins adjacent to break edges.  The
walleyes will be tight to bottom.  Use a jig and a fathead minnow.  Good to
excellent action, with peaks at sunrise and sunset.

Northern in the Eagle River area are in 10 feet of water or less in and
around weeds.  Use a Mepps #4 or #5, bass style spinner bait, Rapalas or a
Husky Jerk in a minnow or walleye pattern. Good to excellent bite, with
peaks early and late in the day.  Remember the larger northerns will usually
be deeper, albeit the action will be slower.

Panfish (crappies, bluegills and perch) are putting on a very good to
excellent all day bite in the Eagle River area.  Fish 15 feet of water or
less, with the perch tight to bottom, and the crappies and gills suspending
up and down the water column.  Panfish will either be found in and around
weeds or over hardbottom areas without any weeds (it's day dependent, and
anglers should test both areas to see where the panfish are locating on that
particular day).  Use a small crappie minnow or a chunk of crawler under a
slip bobber or small jig.

Largemouth bass in the Eagle River area are locating along shoreline
structure in shallower water.  Fish heavy weeds, downed wood, brush piles,
docks, and lily pads.  Use a top running frog or rat, spinner bait, or a
Texas Rig with a plastic worm.  Action is fair to good, with peaks early and
late in the day.

Smallmouth bass in the Eagle River area are in 10-25 feet of water off of
break edges over hardbottom (sand, gravel, or rocks).  Use a jig and a
leech, a 3 inch plastic tube, or a 3 inch plastic crawfish.  Action is fair
to good, with peaks early and late in the day.

Action for musky in the Eagle River area is fair.  Fish 10 feet of water or
less in or near weeds.  Use a small to medium bait- - bucktails, topwaters,
or a Bulldawg.  Do a regular retrieve, and don't forget to do a "figure 8"
at all times, when your lure nears the boat. The muskies will bite
throughout the day, but best action is near sunrise or sunset.

(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: Kurt Justice of Kurt's Island Sport Shop sent this:

Heat has worked it's way back into our summer. Water temps are high for up here, the best fishing times are very early and after dark.

Largemouth Bass: Excellent. Bass owning the shallow weeds during the morning. Pre-rigged plastic worms, X-raps good. Mid morning through early evening work outer weed edges with plastic craws, creatures or worms. Drop-shotting craw pappis and 2 1/2-3" Gulp minnows, leeches. Towards dusk, head to the slop with plastic frogs, mice and buzz baits. Lots of smaller 13-15" fish, but 18-20+ also being caught.

Musky: Very good. But....action best during last hour of light through early morning. Burning bucktails has been extremely effective. With a high gear-ratio reel, work bucktails as fast as you can and hold on for jarring hits. Be careful! Boat and release fish quickly. Don't fish during peak water temps as this can kill fish.

Bluegills: Very good. Cast small 1/32 oz Beetle Spins, Charlie Bees to pull schools in towards your boat then fish with leeches, worms, small plastic jigs. Hot action, sort for size.

Smallmouth Bass: Very good. Relating to deep coontail edges, rock/gravel bars. Wacky worming Senkos, Yum Dingers along weed edges. Also drop-shotting Craw-Pappis, Gulp minnows/leeches. Over gravel/rock drop-shotting working well along with football jigs and creature baits. Lots of nice 18-20+ fish from rocks. Weeds holding numbers.

Perch: Good. Sandgrass flats of 18-25' split-shot rig a soft shell crayfish (frozen), or slip-bobber medium leeches. 1/2 crawler on 1/16oz jig in 8-12' weeds also effective.

Pike: Fair. Heat seems to have slowed this species, but they gotta eat. Chubs and suckers under a float best - but keep an eye on your bait, it won't live long on the hook in this heat. Wild bait (chubs) are hard to get this summer, suckers are typically pond raise and in slightly better supply.

Walleye: Fair. Best at dusk or very early in am (3am-6am). Big leeches, crawlers on jigs or under lighted slip-floats. Off shore humps producing best. Larger fish on humps topping out at 26-40'.

Crappies: Fair. Deep curly leaf cabbage tops in 8-12'. Tiny hair or plastic jigs twitched at weed tops. Deep wood requires slightly heavier jigs (1/16oz) or slip-floats and minnows.

With water temps running 80 degrees (large bodies such as Tomahawk, Fence, Big Crawling Stone) up to as high as 87 degrees (smaller darker lakes), this puts a stress on fish as the hot water holds less oxygen and the fish - with increased metabolism due to warmer water/body temps need more. Be careful with fish, release quickly or best to fish during cooler times of day.


For perch, see top. Mik-Lurch reported good salmon on UV spoons, regular spoons or UV meat rigs in 80-120 feet. Wolf Lake has good bass, a few walleye early and late. Lake George, like many other lakes, has good catfish.


Lakeside reported crappie are the most consistent on deep trees and deep brush with minnows, bass on topwaters evenings and decent bluegill--it took 3.35 pounds (10 fish) to win Saturday's Bluegill Open.

Click here for info and reports.


From the Wisconsin DNR Lake Michigan Report on Monday:

Southern Lake Michigan Fishing Report: July 16, 2012
Kenosha Co.
No report.
Racine Co.
Strong northeast winds have brought in warmer water causing the fish to move to much deeper water then in recent weeks. Anglers were primarily targeting browns from the pier and in the harbor though virtually no fish were reported being caught. Trollers have had success with dipsey divers and flies along with trolling spoons in anywhere from 60-100 feet down in 105-175 feet of water depending on the day. Anglers were focusing mainly on Chinooks though the fish have seemed to be more spread out in recent days. A few rainbows were picked up as well. Perch fishing is extremely slow from shore with the best rigs being minnows under a slip bobber. Those jigging for perch down at the rock wall by Meyers ramp have had only a slight amount of success with minnows under slip bobbers and throwing small crank baits although after an hour and a half after sunrise fishing slows to near nothing.
Milwaukee Co.
North Shore: Strong northeast winds over the weekend have pushed most anglers in to deeper water. Trolling for Chinooks along with a few lake trout and rainbows has been successful once fish are found. Most trollers have been focusing in 105-175 feet of water with baits about 60-100 feet below the surface. The best baits have been spoons of various colors and dipsey divers with flasher flies. Flasher flies of white blue and watermelon have produced the best. Fishing on the pier has slowed down dramatically with water temperatures that have risen almost 15 degrees since the previous week causing only a very few browns being caught on alewifes. The shoreline along Summerfest is producing a few browns with the most successful presentations focusing on minnows with a few additional fish being caught on spoons. Perch fishing has been slow off of McKinley pier; the few perch that were caught were on minnows and small jigs off the rocks.
South Shore: With strong northeast winds over the past week fish have been pushed out into deeper water then recently. Trollers have been catching Chinooks along with rainbow and lake trout. Spoons in a variety of colors were landing Chinooks. Trollers were anywhere from 105-175 feet of water with baits set about 60-100 feet below the surface. Anglers fishing under the Hoan Bridge have reported a few brown trout caught on spoons and alewives on the bottom. Perch fishing at the boils and off of Oak Creek has yielded only a few fish. Perch fishing off of the south shore pier has yielded only a few perch at dawn on minnows.
Ozaukee Co.
Port Washington Ramps: Low to moderate recorded angler activity. Anglers harvesting Chinooks, coho, lake trout, and rainbow trout, but the overall catch has been low. Fish are scattered, and some trollers have been in as close as 45 feet of water while others have ventured out to 400 feet of water.
Port Washington Harbor/Shore: Low recorded angler activity.
Port Washington Pier: Low recorded angler activity.
Sheboygan Co.
Sheboygan Ramps: Moderate recorded angler activity. Anglers harvesting a mixed bag, but overall numbers are low. Chinook and coho salmon have been found out to 200 feet of water, and rainbows, lake trout, and brown trout have been caught in shallower depths. Flies, spoons, and J-plugs have all taken fish.
Sheboygan Piers/Shore: Low recorded angler activity on both piers, and fishing has been slow.
Amsterdam Rd. Ramp: Low recorded angler activity.


Tyler Harmon messaged,

Big lake temps are 76-79 degrees, large rivers are even hotter 80-82. No steelhead around. Inland lake fishing remains consistent even in this heat.



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This page contains a single entry by Dale Bowman published on July 18, 2012 6:21 AM.

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