This is officially the in-between period, though ice fishing is beginning in northern Wisconsin, for the Midwest Fishing Report.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
SOUTHERN LAKE MICHIGAN PERCH
CHICAGO SHORE: It still takes sorting for keepers, but perch are being caught at Montrose, Belmont, Diversey, Navy Pier, Burnham and even 31st Street. Henry's reported better sized perch are coming from inside Montrose.
INDIANA: Mik-Lurch reported some good perch from shore at the Hole-in-the-Wall, while boaters continue to take good ones at Portage.
ICE FISHING IN NORTHERN WISCONSIN?
It's slowly building and this time it looks to be the real start to ice fishing.
MINOCQUA: Kurt Justice of Kurt's Island Sport Shop sent this:
It is coming on, but ever so slowly. Lakes are gradually building ice, not as fast as we would like, but building nonetheless.
The threat of snow didn't amount to enough to hurt the ice we had, unfortunately the promise of single digit cold temperatures didn't arrive either.
On average, most lakes have approximately 2 inches. Several smaller lakes and those with protected bays have 3-4 inches. The flowages: Willow, Rainbow and Turtle Flambeau, with their low water levels have 3+ inches. Regardless of where you fish, use caution. Check ice with a spud bar. Fish with a friend (preferably lighter than you) and if he's your brother-in-law have him go out first (mother-in-law? Even better).
Seriously, use caution. Fishing has been good overall with one young lady icing a 29 inch walleye over the weekend. Lots of Northern Pike action with fish to 26 inches reported and some good shallow water bluegills.
Some other lakes (areas) with fishable ice. Carrol, Madeleine, Big Arb (South end) Sweeny, Minocqua (Stacks Bay), Katherine (West Bay).
Be Careful and Check ice conditions at your favorite bait shop before heading out.
Kurt's Island Sports
EAGLE RIVER: On Sunday, Creative Brilliance sent this update for the Chamber of Commerce:
(Head): (Head): Lakes are in the process of freezing over, but the ice is not safe at this time. Soon though! We will keep you posted on ice conditions and when it's safe to come up and enjoy the legendary early-ice, ice fishing in Eagle River, Wisconsin area.
(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.
It's crappie time, actually, it is more waiting on ice time than anything. And that wait looks to be a long one locally..
For a general overview of nearby river conditions, click here.
To get to more specific gauges, even on creeks, in Illinois, click here.
BIG GREEN LAKE, WISCONSIN
For guide Mike Norton's report, go to www.nortonsfishingandhuntingadventures.com, then click on fishing, then lake report.
CHAIN O'LAKES AREA/UPPER FOX RIVER
Water is low, so use extreme caution when launching. Staff at Triangle reported walleye being caught on the break lines with Lindy or slip-bobber rigs; bluegill are shallower during the day; for crappie, try long casts with slip-bobbers off the long piers; muskie are fair on suckers in deeper (25 feet) water.
For more reports, see http://www.foxlakefishing.com/
More Chain info at www.foxwaterway.state.il.us.
COOLING LAKES/STRIP PITS
MAZONIA/BRAIDWOOD: Only Monster Lake at Mazonia South remains open year round.
DELAVAN/GENEVA LAKES, WISCONSIN
Brian Gates at Geneva Lake Bait and Tackle reported walleye are being taken on Delavan after dark on X-Raps and Rattling Rogues. On Geneva, there's bluegill being caught off the remaining piers at Fontana.
POWERTON LAKE: Shore fishing reopens Dec. 24. Boat fishing reopens Feb. 15.
EVERGREEN: Bait shop/boat rental is over for the year. Any updated fishing report from site staff will be posted here.
Sam Bennett has a getting started guide for the Fox posted here.
GREEN BAY, WISCONSIN
Click here to check for an updated Wisconsin DNR Lake Michigan Fishing Report.
Haven't heard much. Need rain to kick in the flow and bring in the winter-run steelhead. That rain could come this weekend.
SPRING VALLEY: River is low. Time on the Water Outdoors reported sauger and walleye moving upstream, more Hennepin to Spring Valley; pulling is better than jigging. There's some crappie around the pilings.
Norm Minas sent this update late Tuesday:
flow has leveled out, while it's higher than is was a short time ago, it's still below normal flow. water temp around 40, visibility down a little with some stain, picked a stretch without a lot of algae issues. I decided to forgo smallmouth for walleye, at least that would be plan A. I put on the vest with the walleye gear but had the over the shoulder bag with the bass gear in the car. This was one of those times where plan A actually had a chance and succeeded at least as far as catching walleyes was concerned. I have had no success lately for walleyes with anything other than a rattlebait so it had to happen, no takers at all. I switched to one of my all time favorites the size 9 rapala tail dancer and that got the results I was looking for, a nice bunch of good sized walleyes. I switched to minnow baits to see if they would work. The suspending rogue and the husky jerk got ignored bt a strike king kvd whatever they named it got some fish. Sorry can't remember the name only been using it a couple weeks and only decided to try it because i heard the vibration/wobble package was different than the other two mentioned.
Basically, it was moving frequently and covering the flats with fan casts. No real concentration of fish, one here, two there deal.
LAKE ERIE: PORT CLINTON
For Ohio DNR report go to wildohio.com and or call (888) HOOKFISH.
For perch see top. Henry's reported a few steelhead and browns at 31st;.
CHICAGO PIER PASSES: The $6 pier passes for Chicago harbors, except 31st, are available at Henry's. And Burnham will be available after Bears season.
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.
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.
MADISON CHAIN, WISCONSIN
Click here for D&S Bait. Ice fishing is not anywhere near.
For perch, see top. For streams, see Indiana streams. Mik-Lurch said some browns are starting to be caught around the warm-water discharges and white tube jigs or spin-n-glows continue to take lakers on the reef.
ROOT RIVER, WISCONSIN
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 when there is ice fishing.
For more on Lakeside, fishing reports and the lake, go to shabbonalake.com.
SOUTHEAST WISCONSIN LAKEFRONT
Click here for the Lake Michigan Fishing Report from the Wisconsin DNR.
SOUTHWEST WISCONSIN LAKEFRONT
Tyler Harmon messaged:
walleye and steelhead are being caught on the river. Still catching whitefish and a few steelhead off the piers
CHICAGO AREA CHAT/REPORTS
Water Dog Journal
CHICAGO AREA INFO
MICHIGAN DNR REPORT
WISCONSIN DNR REPORT
IOWA DNR REPORT
INDIANA DNR REPORT