Chicago Sun-Times
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Midwest Fishing Report: Lakes and rivers around Chicago fishing

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On one hand, hints come and go to our north of first ice, while on the other, the forecast looks like 10 days of fairly stable weather and gives hope for some late perch fishing on southern Lake Michigan for this Midwest Fishing Report.


Don't get too excited, it will be awhile before we see people drilling holes in the ice around here.

This is the extended online version of the MFR, which appears on the Sun-Times outdoors page on Wednesdays. I think until next spring I will go back to combining the rivers and lakes sections again.

Normally, I post Wednesday mornings.

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


Last week muskie fishermen busted ice to get out in northern Wisconsin, but ice fishermen should hold on. Asked if he thought there might be ice fishing by the weekend, ``Ranger Rick'' Krueger at Guides Choice Fishing Pro Shop in Eagle River, Wis., emailed, ``Not really, I'm still guiding muskies thru Friday. Open water.'' At Kurt's Island Sport Shop in Minocqua, Wis., Karen Palmquist said, ``Not unless they are wearing a rubber suit.'' There's a slight chance in protected smaller coves and bays by the weekend; but doubtful.


The main interest is on crappie fishing.


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.


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

(Head): Very good musky and walleye bite, with the rut going strong; all in
and amidst the lakes and the Wisconsin River in Wisconsin¹s Marathon and
Lincoln Counties (near Mosinee and Wausau).

Fishing for walleyes and muskies has been very good this past week.

Walleyes in the central Wisconsin area have been very active in 10 to 14
feet of water.  Most of the action is coming on lead-head jigs in 1/8th and
1/4 ounce tipped with fathead minnows.  For the best action slowly drag or
slightly hop your jigs right on the bottom as you drift through these deeper

Even though the water temps have dropped into the mid 30s the musky action
in the central Wisconsin area has been very consistent.  Most of our action
is now coming on live suckers set up on quick set rigs.  When we utilize
quick set rigs we usually run them suspended below a slip-bobber run
anywhere from 4 to 8 feet down.  We may also run one line with a quick set
rig to free flow with no bobber at all.  This one is set out 40 to 50 feet
behind the boat and the sucker is free to go wherever it wants.  More times
than not this is the one that gets hit.  In addition to the live suckers we
are still catching a few nice fish on Suicks and Bulldawgs worked very
slowly, keeping close contact with the bottom.


Drawdown is underway, so be prepared. Arden Katz reported best for him was bluegills very shallow on the north end of Channel. Staff at Triangle suggested trying first ice spots for crappie; in pockets in the weeds and around piers in deeper channels. Muskie are active. For walleye, try around bridges and moving water.

For more reports, see

More Chain info at


MAZONIA/BRAIDWOOD: Only Monster Lake at Mazonia South remains open year round.


EVERGREEN: Bait shop/boat rental is over for the year. Any updated fishing report from site staff will be posted here.

POWERTON LAKE: Fishing is over until shore fishing reopens Dec. 24. Boat fishing reopens Feb. 15.


Sam Bennett has a getting started guide for the Fox posted here.


Click here to check for an updated Wisconsin DNR Lake Michigan Fishing Report.


Heard from Norm Minas again. He is out and about and said there's some smallmouth and so-so walleye. Expect his reports to start again soon.

Ed Mullady sent this:

Fishing Report as of Nov. 12:
     INDIANA: Fishing fair to good along mouths of all available ditch mouths *bayous mouths *in water drifts *fallen logs *bridge piers*below dams and rocky areas.
     ILLINOIS: Fishing fair to good  as above
     Baits in both Indiana and Illinois include:
walleye fair on*jig and crawlers *Dr. Spoons. *jointed minnow shaped plugs*jig and live minnows.
      Largemouth Bass in quieter waters on *spinner baits *live minnows*plastic worms.
      Smallmouth Bass on *live minnows *#2, #3 Mepps Spinners *streamer flies.
      Northern Pike on *4 to 6" minnows *jointed minnow shaped plugs *Weedless Doctor Spoons *Spinners.
      Catfish being caught on *4-6" minnows *catfish cheese *crawlers..
       Some good areas in Illinois for above fish include:
       State Line to Momence. Dave Zack, President of the Momence Kankakee River Conservancy District, reported only a few out fishing, but catching *walleye*smallmouth and largemouth bass*croppie. some bluegill being reported.
        *Mouth of Iroquois River in Aroma Park,IL through Cobb Park*Kankakee Dam through Johnson's
Veterans Fisherman's Park *Kankakee River State Park *Wilmington Dam through Wilmington Island Park.
          ANOTHER NOTE: Rock Bass are continuing to hit along quieter water areas on *jig and crawlers
*2-3"minnows*small spinners *rubber imitation spiders.
                                                             Best to you....
                                                              Ed Mullady


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


Some panfish are starting to be caught from the North Side harbors; no perch reports. Capt. Bob Poteshman of Confusion Charters, who will charter until Dec. 3, reported the Waukegan and Julian reefs are loaded with big spawning lakers tight to the bottom; he is also catching coho with a few steelhead and kings mixed in in 220-280 feet east of Waukegan and North Point.

SNAGGING: Snagging season is open for Chinook and coho. The only open areas on the lakefront are the inner and outer harbors at Jackson Park, Lincoln Park Lagoon from the Fullerton Avenue Bridge to the southern end of the Lagoon, Winnetka power plant discharge area and Waukegan Harbor (in North Harbor basin only). No snagging is allowed at any time within 200 feet of a moored watercraft or as posted. Salmon snagging season ends Dec. 31.

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.


Click here for D&S Bait.


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

(Head): Good action for musky, walleye, northern and panfish. Whitetail rut
at its peak, with decent numbers of diver ducks around. Grouse are still in
their autumn haunts. All in the Eagle River, Wisconsin area.

Water temps in the Eagle River, Wisconsin area are in the low 30s.

Musky in the Eagle River area are locating outside weed edges and break
edges in 20 feet of water or less.  Use a regular sized bait/lure with a
slow presentation, and don't forget to do a "figure 8" as your bait nears
the boat.  Best success coming on jerkbaits, glidebaits, crankbaits, and
12-16 inch suckers.  Good action. All day bite.

Walleye in the Eagle River area are in 10-30 feet of water off of break
edges or adjacent mud flats.  The walleye are tight to bottom.  Use a jig
and a minnow.  All day bite, with peaks in the evening.  Good action.

Northern in the Eagle River area are in 15 feet of water or less in and
around weeds.  Use a Husky Jerk in a minnow or walleye pattern, small
crankbait, or a northern sucker under a slip bobber.  Good action. All day

Panfish (crappies, bluegills and perch) are in 10-30 feet of water off of
break edges or adjacent mudflats.  The panfish are possibly holding near
structure like cribs or brush piles.  Use a chunk or crawler or a crappie
minnow on a jig or under a slip bobber.  Perch are tight to bottom, with the
crappies and gills suspending anywhere in the water column.  Good action.
All day bite.

(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:

High winds and rain kept anglers off the lakes Saturday afternoon and Sunday.  While air temps rose to highs in the upper 60's Saturday, Sundays drop through Monday has air temps in low 20's. Lake temps rose through the week.  Any ice melted.  Winds on Sunday and Monday are keeping any ice from reforming.  High through the end of the week looks to be 30 degrees, could see ice reform if wind lays down.
Musky:  Fair.  Action picked up a bit with rising temps, but few anglers by Sunday to keep reports coming in.  Suckers on quick-set rigs with blades on windy days.  Go without a blade on calm days. Casting rubber baits (Medussas, Curly Sues), gliders (Smity, Mantas) and jerks (Suicks, Bobbies) on slow retrieves.  Keep eye on electronics for skies in deep holes relating to schools of walleye.
Walleye:  Fair.  Mostly due to few reports from high winds.   Target deep pockets/transition zones.  Keep an eye out for shallow weed fish on smaller lakes.
No other fish reports due to lack of participation.
Most lake temps running 36-43 degrees.
Hunting note:  Rut going well for deer hunters willing to brave the elements.  Gun season should catch the tail end of the rut.


Mik-Lurch reported some perch reports from the Hole-in-the-Wall; weather forecast looks stable, so there might be a boat fishery in the next week or so. A few lakers are being caught on the Port of Indiana reef. Some winter-run steelhead are showing up in the streams.


Click here to check if there is an updated Root River Fishing Report from the Wisconsin DNR.


Lakeside is closed for the season. It will reopen mid-December, when there is ice fishing.

For more on Lakeside, fishing reports and the lake, go to


Click here to see if there is an updated Wisconsin DNR Lake Michigan report



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About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Dale Bowman published on November 14, 2012 5:34 AM.

Illinois Hunting: Bowhunting update, rut was the previous entry in this blog.

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