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Midwest Fishing Report: Lakes around Chicago fishing

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Perch in Indiana, walleye transitioning on Lake Erie. the late ice-out in northern Wisconsin and the Daley Derby lead this lakes section of the Midwest Fishing Report.

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This is the extended online version of the lakes report of the MFR, which appears on the Sun-Times outdoors page on Wednesdays.

Normally, I post Wednesday mornings,

If you have suggestions, post in the comments section or let me know at straycasts@sbcglobal.net.

WISCONSIN OPENER

Wisconsin DNR on the opener:

The 2013 hook-and-line game fish season opens May 4 on inland waters for walleye, sauger, and northern pike statewide.

The largemouth and smallmouth bass southern zone opens May 4, while the northern bass zone opens for catch and release only from May 4 through June 14, with the harvest season opening June 15. Statewide, the harvest seasons for bass have a minimum length limit of 14 inches with a daily bag limit of five fish in total.
Musky season opens May 4 in the southern zone and May 25 in the northern zone. The northern zone is the area north of highways 77, 64 and 29, with Highway 10 as the dividing line.

Regulations haven't changed from last year.


In northern areas, the ice situation is going to be very variable, may even change on some lakes over the weekend.

DELAVAN: Arden Katz reported outstanding panfish in the channels, which are in the 50s good bit warmer than the main lake; bass are in the channels and should be for opener. Guide Dave Duwe's first complete report of the year is below.

EAGLE RIVER: ``Ranger Rick'' Krueger of Guide's Choice Pro Shop said the ice on Catfish Lake was turning black Tuesday morning and the river is open in town. ``The Chain is going to be very close, unless we get extreme cold Thursday or Friday,'' he said. Clear deep lakes will still have ice. Second latest he remembers ice going out in 33 years.

GENEVA: Duwe expects cold water for opener. Duwe's first complete report is below.

MADISON LAKES: Gene Dellinger of D&S Bait said water temperatures are behind usual. He expects good night walleye shallow; Waubesa (Babcock Park, railroad trestle), Mendota (off Governor's Island, University shoreline, front of Tenney Park). Catfish should be good on the north end Mendota, crappie in the inlets.

MINOCQUA: Kurt Justice of Kurt's Island Sport Shop sent this on Monday:

I wish we had some good news for the opener, but, we don't!
 
Despite a third day of 60+ weather, we aren't loosing ice fast enough to insure open water come May 4th.  On one measurement from Friday evening, April 26 until early Sunday morning April 28, we had lost only 1" of ice.  A measurement of 24" of ice as of today (4/29) on Lake Minocqua means we have a ways to go.  A loop from Minocqua through Boulder junction, to Land O'Lakes, Conover and Star Lake on 4/25 saw measurements of 23-28".  I have received a few reports of up to 30".  Shorelines have started to recede, especially on North and East shorelines.  Most boat landing are shot - unless on the south ends of lakes.  Access around edges of boat landings  via foot, ATV and snowmobile are usable - once away from shore ice.
 
As of this report (4/29), my own personal opinion is we won't have enough open water to fish by boat.  They Highway O bridge above the Rainbow Flowage below the Lake of the Falls Dam ABOVE the Turtle Flambeau Flowage (which still had 27" as of Sunday), the Manitowish River by Murray's Landing and possibly down in Tomahawk where reports are the Channel of Mohawskin is open, but Nokomis still has a lot of ice on it.
 
Kurt Justice
Kurt's Island Sport Shop
www.kurtsislandsports.com


DALEY DERBY

The Daley Derby opens today, and a beautiful day to do it.

Here are the details:

RICHARD J. DALEY MEMORIAL SPORT FISHING DERBY
Rules and Regulations
Tournament Time Period: May 1 - September 30, 2012

Please read these Official Tournament Rules and Regulations carefully.

The Richard J. Daley Memorial Sport Fishing Derby is a fishing contest in which winners are determined by the weight and length of specific species of fish submitted by the contestants.

The Tournament is open to all ages. There are no fees to the public, although participants 16 years and older must have a valid Illinois Department of Natural Resources Fishing Licenses, purchased prior to the submission of a fish to the contest.

Eligible Fish Entries: Fish caught in the Chicago River, the Chicago Park District Lagoons and along the Lake Michigan shoreline and harbors within the city limits of Chicago are eligible to be entered in the contest. Contestants may fish from shore or watercraft. Fish caught from Charter Boats or personal boats on Lake Michigan must be caught from boats that leave from and return to a City of Chicago boat launch or harbor on the day the fish was caught. Fish must be fresh - they cannot have been frozen. The judgment of whether or not a fish has been frozen and is thus in-eligible for entry in the Tournament remains at the discretion of the weigh-in station. The Richard J. Daley Memorial Sport Fishing Derby reserves the right to retain any and all submitted fish. Contestants registering perch the month of July must be under the age of 16. An ID will be required.

Seven species of fish are eligible to be entered into the contest: Coho salmon, Chinook salmon, Steelhead, Perch, Carp, Catfish and Panfish (defined as Bluegill, Rock bass and Crappie). Largemouth and Smallmouth bass, Northern Pike and Gobies are not eligible.

Prizes: There are First, Second and Third place prizes for each of the seven categories of fish. First, second and third place are determined by the weight of the fish in pounds and ounces. In the event of a tie in weight, the longest fish as measured in inches to 1/8 of an inch, will be declared the winner. In the event of a tie in length, the winner will be chosen by drawing from the names of the entrants of the fish. The name drawn will win the place for which the fish qualifies: the other name(s) will go to the next place down, bumping the winner of that place to the next place down the list. (Example: If two Perch are the same weight and length, and both would qualify for First Place, a drawing would determine which fish is first. The other fish would automatically occupy second place. The Perch originally sitting at second would be bumped to third place fish and the third place fish would drop out of contention).

First place pays $100, Second place pays $75, and Third place pays $50 for each period. An angler can win 1 cash prize only during entire contest. Contest postings are updated each day and available for public viewing a Henry=s Sports & Bait Shop, 3130 S. Canal St., Chicago, Illinois. For more Tournament information call Henry=s Sports & Bait (312) 225-8538 or email baitdealer@sbcglobal.net. Prize money will be awarded in the form of checks at the R. J. Daley Memorial Sport Fishing Derby Awards Ceremony, Saturday, October 27, 2012 at Henry=s Sports & Bait at 11:00a.m. All cash prizes not picked up that day will be mailed to the winners within 5 days of October 27.

Registration Location: Henry=s Sports & Bait, 3130 S. Canal St., (312)225-8538, Park Bait Company, 600 W. Montrose Ave., (773) 271-2830.
The five prize periods are: May 1 - May 30, June 1 - 30, July 1 - 31,
Aug 1 - 31, and September 1 - 30, 2012

Eligible Fish Monthly


MAY: PERCH,COHO & CHINOOK

JUNE: CARP, CATFISH, PERCH, COHO, CHINOOK & STEELHEAD

JULY: CARP, CATFISH, COHO, CHINOOK, STEELHEAD & PERCH (under 16 yrs of age)

AUGUST: CARP, CATFISH, PANFISH, STEELHEAD, PERCH & CHINOOK

SEPTEMBER: CARP & CHINOOK


AREA LAKES

More good largemouth reports keep coming from sub-division and retention ponds and forest preserve lakes. Otherwise, crappie are the main bite. But I would expect this to generally be the best bluegill bite of the year so far.

BIG GREEN LAKE, WISCONSIN

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

CENTRAL WISCONSIN

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

(Head): Strong bite for open water walleye and crappies on the Wisconsin
River, with wild turkey hunters having a banner season with lots of big toms
being taken; all in and amidst the lakes and the Wisconsin River in
Wisconsin¹s Marathon and Lincoln Counties (near Mosinee and Wausau).

There's a great walleye bite going on in the central Wisconsin area on the
Wisconsin River right now.  Lots of nice eating sized fish being caught and
a very nice slot fish (20 to 28 inches) as well.  Most of the action has
been coming on lead head jigs tipped with fathead minnows working the deeper
pools in the River, but lately with the higher faster water a lot of the
fish have slid up to shallower water and are staged in shoreline eddies and
along river seams and current breaks.

Crappies in the central Wisconsin area have also been very active and we
have been catching a lot of them this past week.  Most of the fish have come
while walleye fishing, but instead of being on the bottom like the walleyes,
they are suspended about 5 to 7 feet down over the deeper water. They have
been picking up our jig and minnow combinations midrange while they are
sinking to the bottom.  So set out a few slip bobbers run at the proper
depths and you'll do very well just targeting them.


CHAIN O'LAKES AREA

Boating remains closed from the Montgomery dam to the Wisconsin line. Check for farther updates at the Fox Waterway Agency.

For more reports, see http://www.foxlakefishing.com/

More Chain info at www.foxwaterway.state.il.us.

COOLING LAKES/STRIP PITS

LaSALLE: Weather has the concessionaire on hold. The lake is open daily, 6 a.m. to sunset.

BRAIDWOOD/MAZONIA: Hours are 6 a.m. to sunset. . Braidwood is holding around 70 on the hot side, not much cooler on the cold. Bass are fair to decent as Friday's high school sectional showed, primarily on crankbaits, even some ChatterBaits. Catfish, mainly fiddlers, remain good. Fishermen are pouring into the Mazonia lakes, this will probably be the busiest weekend of the year. REMINDER: Anchoring outside the restricted area on the north end of Braidwood, then casting in is illegal.

HEIDECKE: Water is finally warming, might be a time to try shore fishing this weekend or next week. Rains helped make the temporary launch more useable. Lake is open daily until sunset. Launch opens at 6 a.m.; bank angling, 6:30 a.m.

DELAVAN'GENEVA LAKES, WISCONSIN

DELAVAN: Guide Dave Duwe sent this:

Delavan Lake 4/29/13 through 5/6/13

The cooler than average temperatures this April have kept the water temperatures lower
than normal. Overall panfishing has been pretty good and a nice run of warm sunny days will
help to improve the fishing. Opening Day for game fish is this coming Saturday.

Bluegill action seems to be the most consistent bite. The fish I've been catching have
been in 3-4 ft of water. Look for the fish by the outlet dam and by the channels. Ice jigs tipped
with wax worms seem to be producing most of the action. One location that hasn't been very
good this year has been the boat launch channel. The water has been consistently dirty most of
the year.

Crappie fishing has been just average. You can catch some in Highlands Bay or
Viewcrest Bay. With the water being so clear, they've been kind of spooky especially with the
boat traffic. The most consistent tactic is fishing a small black or purple plastic beneath a slip
bobber. I've been fishing 6-8 ft of water. The fish are slightly down about 2-3 ft. I like to make
sure to use the smallest bobber possible.

Good luck and I hope to see you on the water. For guide parties, please call Dave Duwe
at 608-883-2050


GENEVA: Duwe sent this:

Lake Geneva 4/29/13 through 5/6/13

The water temperature remains cold. The cool nights have made fishing tough this year. The
best bite on the lake remains yellow perch as they continue to be in the shallow waters. Remember that
Opening Day is the first Saturday in May.

Perch fishing has been good in 3-4 ft of water. The best location has been by Fontana Beach,
Rainbow Point or by Knollwood. You want to look for the hard sand bottom with scattered weeds. The
best presentation is Thill slip bobbers fished with a fat head minnow. As a rule, the bigger the minnow,
the bigger the fish. Move around if you aren't finding success because the fish have been very
aggressive if they are there.

Bluegill fishing has been very good in Trinkes or around the piers in Geneva Bay. The fish are in
3-4 ft of water. They are biting on wax worms or garden worms fished on an ice jig. Fish the bluegills 1-
2 ft down beneath your bobber. You need to keep moving to find the bigger fish. They are really
schooled up right now and if you find a couple of bigger fish you should find more big fish.

Lake Trout fishing has been very good off the beach in Fontana or off Black Point. The best
presentation has been shiners fished beneath a slip bobber or casting small crankbaits. You want to
mimic the bait fish in the lake for the best success.

Good luck and I hope to see you on the water. For guide parties, please call Dave Duwe at 608-
883-2050


DOWNSTATE NOTES

LAKE SHELBYVILLE: Check with Ken Wilson--(217) 454-2672--of Lithia Guide Service, but I think the IGRC United Methodist Men's Crappie Tournament is on for Saturday, 7 a.m.-2 p.m,, out of the 9th Street boat launch. Sign-up there. Entry is $50.

POWERTON LAKE: Reopening is postponed indefinitely because the record flooding delayed the work on the levee trees.

EVERGREEN: The 2013 passes are available. Any updated fishing report from site staff will be posted here.

Another sign of spring, Mike Steffa sent this:

Bait Shop & Boat Rental Opening For The Season at Evergreen Lake/COMLARA Park.
The Evergreen Lake/COMLARA Park Bait Shop & Boat Rental will be opening for the Season on Saturday, April 6, 2013.
 
Bait Shop Hours will be: Monday - Friday: 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Saturday & Sunday: 6:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
 
Boat Rental Hours will be: Friday - Sunday: 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Closed: Monday - Thursday
 
Expanded hours for both beginning the end of April.


GREEN BAY, WISCONSIN

The Wisconsin DNR report had this:

Green Bay Fishing Report: April 29, 2013
Brown Co.
West Shore: Temperature increases over this past week also increased fishing pressure from last week. The ice is gone on the bay; boat ramps are in at the Suamico Landing and at the Green Bay Metro Launch.
Fox River: On the Fox River, fishing pressure was busy over the weekend. Boat and shore fishermen were targeting Walleye using crank baits, Rapalas (blue, orange, perch), minnows, and artificial baits. Shore fishermen reported that fishing had been slow, while those anglers who had a boat reported better success. Fishermen were targeting 7-25 feet of water and reported that in addition to catching walleye, some whitefish, white bass, and cat fish were caught (all were released). The water temperature was 45 degrees.
Geano's Beach: The ice at Geano's Beach launch is gone.
Suamico: Over the week the boat ramps were put in at the Suamico River, which has encouraged fisherman to venture out this past weekend. Walleye were the targeted species. Fishermen trolled 15-20 feet of water with a variety of crank baits but reported no luck as of yet. The water temperature on the Bay was 44 degrees and it was 49 degrees at the mouth of the Suamico River.
East Shore
During the past week, open water has returned to most of the Bay of Green Bay. Boats have been launching off of Bayshore County Park (Brown County) and Chaudoirs, Wavepoint, and Potawatomi State Park (Door County) in the past week. Both Chaudoirs and Wavepoint have not yet put docks in so anglers have to be creative to get into their boats.
Most anglers fishing from boats have been targeting walleyes, while the remainder of fisherman have been targeting northern pike or brown trout. Very little success has been seen; most fish that have been caught are walleyes in the mid-20 inch range.
Suckers continue to run in good numbers at Red River Park. Anglers can fill up a 5-gallon bucket in very little time. Some suckers still remain in Sugar Creek, but anglers need to find deeper pockets and work a little to get a decent catch.
Oconto Co.
Spring-like weather this past week brought fishermen out in droves searching for pike, walleye, and trout. Water temperatures are in the mid to upper range of the 40s; ice on the Bay of Green Bay has moved out, and the docks at the boat launches have been put in place. Fishing pressure has been extremely high with the walleye spawn reaching its peak. Stiles Dam on the Oconto River received the most fishing pressure with many fishermen catching their one walleye in less than an hour. About half the female walleye caught were spawned out. Catch rates have slowed this weekend with the appearance of suckers in significant numbers. Some walleye are being caught at Oconto Breakwater Park using Rapala's and other stick baits. Pike and trout catches have been low. A few boaters out of Oconto Park II report catching a few walleye in 4 to 10 feet of water trolling stick baits.
Marinette Co.
Spring-like weather this past week brought fishermen out in droves searching for pike, walleye, and trout. Water temperatures are in the mid to upper range of the 40s; ice on the Bay of Green Bay has moved out, and the docks at the boat launches have been put in place. Fishing pressure has been extremely high with the walleye spawn reaching its peak. Catch rates of walleye at the Dam in Peshtigo have slowed some as the number of suckers in the river has increased. Fishermen in boats plying their trade at the Peshtigo River mouth have been doing well using jigs tipped with minnows. Shore fishermen at the Peshtigo Harbor have been catching walleye casting stick baits, zip lures. and jigs and twister tails. Pike fishermen on the lower Peshtigo are reporting little success casting spoons and fishing with dead smelt or large shiners. Trout fishermen out of Little River are reporting some browns being caught trolling large stick baits in 4 to 10 feet of water. The landing at Little River is extremely shallow so only small boats are being launched and fishermen in waders are walking their boats to deeper waters. Fishing pressure on the Menominee River was high this past week especially during the evening hours. The hot spots for walleye have been the Fishermen's walkway at Hattie Street, down river to Stephenson Island. Stick baits, zip lures and jigs and twister tails are being used. Boaters on the Menominee River have been concentrated above the Highway 41 bridge, the Turn Basin, and the mouth of the Menominee River. Vertical jigging with live bait and Gulp Alive has been working well, fishing with stick baits in the shallows is also working. As with the Oconto and the Peshtigo Rivers the appearance of suckers in good numbers are starting to appear.


LAKE ERIE: PORT CLINTON

Rickards reported walleye are transitioning from jig bite to worms and harnesses. Better spots have been shallow out of Port Clinton, trollers west of Green and Rattlesnake heading toward Niagara (suspended in 30) and north of North Bass.

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

LAKEFRONT

CHICAGO: Henry's reported some browns and coho from shore is at 63rd. Capt. Bob Poteshman of Confusion Charters said lakers are good in 30-50 feet; browns and decent coho are off Chicago Light. He called it the best bite on southern Lake Michigan. Park Bait is open. Hours are 6 a.m.-8 p.m.

WAUKEGAN: Lori Ralph at the Salmon Stop reported some browns off south rocks on roaches, crawlers or spawn sacs; a few coho. Poteshman reported boaters taking some browns off Waukegan and off Lake Forest in 15-30, but it is hit and miss.

NORTH POINT: Poteshman said bait showed up, he expects coho to arrive by the weekend.

CHICAGO PIER PASSES: Good time to remember the $6 pier passes for Chicago harbors, except 31st, are available at Henry's Sports & Bait.

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 CHAIN, WISCONSIN

Click here for any updates from D&S Bait. I put Dellinger's ideas on the opener at the top.

NORTHERN WISCONSIN?

I put opening day prospects at the top.

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

This crazy April just won't quit!  Following low temps in the single digits Saturday (4/20), overnight temps into Monday morning were a full 30 degrees warmer.  An afternoon of driving and drilling the lakes of this area (LDF, Minocqua, St. Germain) found that truck travel is done.  It's not the ice thickness that is the problem, but the access.  The little warmth we have had at times combined with the rain run off has made nearly every landing I visited too brittle for trucks.  Many would be fine for ATV (though two landings I broke through on foot).
Things in the Lakeland area are slushy on top (though reports from Lake Gogebic in the U.P. have very good travel).  Measured ice ranges from 23-26".  A lack of anglers during the week due to bad weather limited reports, but Saturday and Sunday anglers did get out.
Crappies:  Good.  Not the reports you would expect from this late on the ice.  Anglers willing to walk out on some of the lesser known crappie lakes catching nice slabs to 14". Tip-downs a favorite, tipped with regular crappie minnows or rosie reds.  For those not wanting to haul as much equipment, just dipping Little Cecils, Rembrandts, smaller Russian Spoons tipped with waxies, Chena or white plastics doing very well in 7-10' weeds.   At times, crappies just under the ice.  On windy days, a 4-5mm tungsten jig is needed to keep bait in water.  Tip with a Wedgee plastic in white or glow.  Orange has been hot at times.
Perch:  Good.  Getting to them is half the battle.  Nice perch of 9-11" out over mud flats taking wigglers on pimples or crappie minnows on tip-downs.
Bluegills:  Good.  Hot action at dawn, then again at dusk.  Smaller tungsten jigs tipped with spikes, waxies or plastics in red, purple or black.  Northland's Impulse plastic shaped like small insects have been hot!  Typically mixed in same areas crappies are found.  Some very nice catches of 7-8" fish with a few anglers reporting 9-10"ers from some of the lakes less traveled.
While a forecast for rain Monday afternoon may eat down the slush, scattered rain/snow reports will probably keep conditions status quo through Thursday.  Forecast for temps in the 50's and 60's starting Friday (4/26) will make conditions for the opener a day by day call.  For now, keep your tip-ups handy. 
 
Kurt Justice
Kurt's Island Sport Shop


EAGLE RIVER: On Sunday, Creative Brilliance sent this update for the Chamber of Commerce:

(Head): Ice still on the lakes and guides still ice fishing, with continued
good all day bite for panfish, and rising temps changing wild turkey
hunters' methods.  All in the Eagle River, Wisconsin area.

In the Eagle River, Wisconsin area there's ice still on the lakes- - with
some erosion, strong currents, along with thinning and cracking
here-and-there.  Ice thickness is beginning to wane, but not that much at
this moment.  That can change immediately if the warming temperatures
continue.  Right now, our guide sources tell us that they're still going out
on the ice and getting fish; and they expect that maybe some of the lakes in
the area may be open  - -or at least somewhat navigable - -for opening day
of the fishing season which is next Saturday - -may 4.  For sure, unless
there's a true heat wave in the next few days, lakes in the Eagle River area
will probably have at least some ice cover at the opener. No one really
knows what Mother Nature has in store for us.  All our sources suggest
STRONG caution if you do try to get out to ice fish right now.  We urge you
to hire one of Eagle River's knowledgeable and excellent.  They know where
the fish area and which areas are safe to go out on and which are not.  Even
if an area may look safe, often it is not.

Crappies, bluegills and perch still hitting in the Eagle River on the ice.
Fish 10 feet of water or less in and around newest possible green weed
growth, or over main lake mudflats in 12-30 feet of water.  The perch are
tight to bottom, with the crappies and gills suspending up and down the
water column.  Use electronics as the crappies and gills are very mobile and
change depths continuously.  A good place to start is about half way down
and work your way up towards the surface.  None of our guide sources have
told us that the crappies and gills are moving strongly to the surface. The
conditions that they need to do that - -strong sun melting and warming the
surface water, along with oxygenation of that water - -are still not quite
here yet.  Use a wiggler, spike, waxie or crappie minnow under a slip
bobber, small jig, or tip-down.  All day bite, with good action.

As for the potential for walleye and northern, we'll give you an
up-to-minute report after  the opener.  Can't much predict where or what the
action will be, because of the ice and conditions. There will definitely be
many anglers who will give opening day a shot, regardless of conditions.
Stay tuned, and we'll let you know how they did, and where they were able to
get fish. 

(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:
info@eagleriver.org; web: www.eagleriver.org
* "Muskie Matt", 715-891-5980; e-mail: rfrgoutdoors@gmail.com
* Mat Hegy, 715-571-7544, e-mail: lunkerclunkerguideservice@yahoo.com
* Guide's Choice Pro Shop, guide/owner "Ranger Rick" Krueger 715-477-2248
* George Langley, Eagle River Fishing Guides Association, 715-479-8804.
e-mail: fishing@eaglesportscenter.com


NORTHWEST INDIANA

Willow Slough remains the hot spot in the area for panfish, particularly bluegill. Evening bite has been good. Jumbo perch are drawing hundreds of fishermen to off Gary Light in 47 or 53 feet; best is perch flies and minnows. Weather may limit it the next few days. Poteshman said boaters are taking good lakers at the ``The Gong,'' spotty coho around East Chicago, while a few are deeper.

SHABBONA LAKE

Should be the best weekend of the year so far for multiple species. Lakeside will be open 8 a.m.-5 p.m. for spring and summer.

Lakeside has its Bass Contest Weekend this weekend:

Bass Contest Weekend - Shabbona Lake
May 4th & 5th
6 AM Saturday - & PM Sunday
May 4th & 5th are the dates for the Bass Contest Weekend at Shabbona Lake.  Shabbona is full of very large Bass.  The Lake record is 23", 7.85 Pounds.  Over the years we have heard several unverified reports of 8+ pound Bass. 
Early Spring Bass fishing techniques at Shabbona Lake include the following:
1. White Spinner bait -Work the shorelines & fallen logs
2. Chatterbaits - Work the rock piles
3. Rattle Traps - Work the bays in 5-8 feet of water
4. Rapalas - Work the stumps
5. Craw Papi - Work the drop offs
6. Baby 1 Minus - Work the earthen pier shorelines
7. Live Bait - Try a nightcrawler with no weight against a tree stump & leeches on a slip bobber next to wood.
8. Shad Raps - Work the 3-6 foot range
 
Prizes:
1st Place - Choice of $100 gift certificate at Lakeside Bait, Tackle & Boat Rental or an all-day weekday Pontoon or all day weekday Bass Boat Rental
2nd - Choice of $50 gift certificate at Lakeside Bait, Tackle & Boat Rental or an all-day weekday Motor Boat Rental.
3rd Place - Choice of $25 gift certificate at Lakeside Bait, Tackle & Boat Rental or an all-day Weekday Kayak or Canoe Rental.
 
Sign Up At Lakeside Bait, Tackle & Boat Rental
1.       You must sign up and donate $5 To the Walleye Restocking Fund Prior to Your Catch to Qualify.
2.       All entrees must be caught at Shabbona Lake between 6 AM Saturday, May 4th and 6 PM Sunday, May 5th. 
3.       Fish must be alive when measured.  We encourage catch & release, as soon as the fish is measured.
4.       One witness must be present to verify your catch, when you enter your catch.
5.       Determination of winning qualifying fish will be by weight.
Weigh In at Lakeside Bait, Tackle & Boat Rental.  
Sponsored by Lakeside Bait, Tackle & Boat Rental www.shabbonalake.com 815-824-2581

.

SOUTHEAST WISCONSIN LAKEFRONT

Here is the Lake Michigan Fishing Report:

Southern Lake Michigan Fishing Report: April 29, 2013
Kenosha Co.
Ramp: On Sunday, boaters fishing for coho and perch reported little success while working the breakwater outside the harbor.
Shoreline: The water clarity along the lakefront has steadily improved over the past week with visibility at 8-10 feet. The water was fairly calm on Sunday with a slight breeze coming off the lake. Anglers fishing the harbor from the North Pier reported some brown trout taken while casting green and white KO wobblers. One angler reported landing a nice size northern pike while fishing with a pearl white plastic worm. Fishing was slow at Southport Marina as anglers fishing with minnows for perch caught gobies instead. Anglers casting crank baits near the Pike Creek discharge pipe reported no fish taken. The surface temperature of the water along the lakeshore averaged 52F.
Pike River: The water level and flow rate on the river has returned to normal this week. The water clarity has also improved with the river bottom visible at 18-24". No anglers were seen at Petrifying Springs on Sunday as the warm weather filled the park with joggers, dog walkers, and picnic baskets. A few people were seen fishing at the mouth of the Pike with no reports of fish taken. The average water temperature was 56F on Sunday.
Racine Co.
Lakefront: Muddy water from the Root River continued to flow into the lake this week, but the volume has decreased thanks to the recent stretch of dry weather. The water clarity along the shoreline has also improved, giving game fish a better chance to see bait in the water. Anglers reported catching a few brown trout over the weekend while casting little cleos and crank baits from the South Pier. A few anglers were seen casting spoons from the floating pier at Reichert Court with no reports of fish taken. At the Pershing Park boat launch, a group of trollers looking for coho returned empty handed after working the shoreline from the Racine water treatment plant to the North Pier. One group of boaters fishing outside the three mile reef marker reported landing a few coho while trolling spoons 15 feet below the surface in 35-40 feet of water. At the tip of the North Pier, a few anglers casting spoons and crank baits for coho and brown trout found schools of alewives swimming near the rocks instead. The surface temperature along the lakeshore was 52F on Sunday.
Root River: A nice stretch of sunny weather with temperatures in the 60's brought plenty of anglers to the Root River this weekend. The flow rate at the Horlick Dam dropped to 300 cfs on Saturday and the water level was down to 3.5 feet. The water was still cloudy from the recent rainstorms with the river bottom visible at 6-8 inches. Once again, most of the fishing pressure this week was concentrated near the Horlick Dam. Nice catches of steelhead were reported on Saturday. One angler landed several nice size steelhead working the seams below the dam with a small caddis fly. The largest steelhead measured on Saturday tipped the scale at 10 pounds and was caught on a pink and white yarn fly. Earlier in the week, anglers casting dark colored wooly buggers had good luck landing steelhead from the gravel bar under the bridge. The river is filled with white suckers, and some anglers reported catching more than 20 in a day. At Quarry Park, one angler landed several steelhead using a polar shrimp steelhead fly. Fishing pressure was light at Colonial Park as a local ecology group spent the day planting trees and removing invasive species from the park. Lincoln Park saw very little fishing pressure again this week as anglers reported catching only suckers and carp. According to the few anglers seen at Island Park, the water was too cloudy and they moved to other parts of the river. The water temperature averaged 51-52F over the weekend. Some of the local anglers are looking forward to a little warmer water temperature, claiming that the steelhead fishing is best when the temperature reaches 54-56F. Fish were processed at the Root River Steelhead Facility on Monday, April 29, and the facility is now shut down for the spring season. A total of 301 steelhead were handled at the facility this spring, and 179 were passed upriver.
Milwaukee Co.
North Shore: Lighter winds have made trolling and jigging easier in the area, but the number of fish being caught were still relatively low. Boats were reporting very few brown trout being caught trolling the gaps and the harbor with spoons. Jigging for browns has been very slow with no reports of any fish being caught. Summerfest and the rest of the shoreline had mild success with anglers catching brown trout while fishing shiners or spawn sacs under a float, while casting spoons did produce a few additional brown trout. There were only a few reports of a few small perch being caught in the area on minnows either on the bottom or suspended under a bobber.
South Shore: Trollers only reported a few brown trout in the gaps, and spoons were most productive. There were no successful reports of jigging for fish in the area. A few fishermen under the Hoan Bridge were catching browns with the best presentation either being a shiner or spawn sacs under a float or casting small spoons. There were a few anglers fishing Grant Park for steelhead, but the success rate decreased as the water clarity became very clear. The number of Rainbow trout being caught has decreased in recent days with fly fishing with small flies being the best presentation. Oak Creek power plant has been slow with very few anglers fishing the pier and no reports of fish being caught. Trollers out of Bender Park reported a slim number of brown trout being caught trolling with spoons in about 40 feet of water. There were no reports of perch being caught in the area.
Milwaukee River: The river is about normal level for this time of year. The overall water clarity is fairly clear. The water temperature was approximately 47-50 degrees in the shallows. A few anglers were fishing for walleyes below the North Avenue dam but with no luck. A few fly fishermen were seen fishing for steelheads in Kletzsch Park but with no fish being caught.
Menomonee River: The river is running fairly low as of Saturday. The water clarity is crystal clear. The water temperature was approximately 48-52 degrees in the shallows. Fishermen were seen fishing for rainbows at Miller Park though their success rates were slim. Only a few steelheads were even seen in the river in the shallow water. A few people were seen fishing for brown trout and perch by MMSD but no fish were caught.
Ozaukee Co.
Fishing pressure remains steady in Port Washington, overall.
Port Washington Pier and Shore: Fishing pressure is increasing. Anglers on the north pier have caught Browns on shiners, and one fisherman reported a small Coho, caught on a Berkeley minnow. Anglers trying the slips and rocks within the marina have caught many small Browns, which were recently released from the hatchery. A few large Browns and Steelhead continue to come out of the power plant discharge (using spawn), but fishermen are mainly catching suckers (often foul-hooked), as well as some large carp. Water on the lake side of the piers is quite clear, but water in the marina remains murky.
Port Washington Ramp: Fishing pressure continues to be steady. A few boats were out this weekend (within sight of the marina), remaining on the Lake well into the afternoon. Many groups were catching multiple Browns, Steelhead, and Lake Trout (including a 10.5 pounder caught on a fly). Fish were caught anywhere from 15 to 50 feet of water, trolling plugs, spoons, and flies. Water within the marina is dirty, but an angler caught a few Smallmouth Bass casting near the power plant. The cleaning station at Port Washington Marina is now open.
Sauk Creek: Although water levels are still a bit high, clarity is increasing and water temperature has risen to about 54°F. Fishing pressure remains steady and a few Steelhead have been caught near the high school on flies and spawn. Large suckers are a common sight at access points.
Sheboygan Co.
Fishing pressure is increasing on Lake Michigan, lakeshore areas, and the rivers.
Sheboygan Ramps: I have seen more people using the Sheboygan Harbor ramp in the past few days, but I wasn't able to get an interview because of my site group assignment. Again, fishing pressure is low likely because of the cold weather and variable winds. The fish cleaning station on South Pier Road is still closed, as is the 8th Street ramp. The 14th Street ramp, along the Sheboygan River, remains under a massive snow pile.
Sheboygan Piers: Because of the nice weather this past weekend, many fisherman tried their luck on the South Pier. However, I was only able to interview anglers last Thursday; at that time they continued to report no catches. Water on the lakeside of the piers is a bit murky, as is water in the harbor.
Sheboygan River: There has been a fair amount of activity on the Sheboygan River over the past few days; water levels have been dropping steadily, now below bankfull stage. As water levels drop, water temperature has been rising, from about 46°F to 56°F over the past week. A few fishermen have reported catches of Steelhead near Kohler Dam using spawn, many are reporting catches of suckers, and many more are reporting nothing caught. Though water levels have dropped significantly, water clarity is still low and flow is fast.
Pigeon River: The Pigeon River has gone down another six inches over the past week and water temperature has risen from 40°F to 49°F, subsequently experiencing increased fishing pressure. The river is still a bit murky. White Suckers and Steelhead are moving upstream to spawn. A few fishermen have reported catches of small steelhead in areas around County Y (using spawn), but most reports are catches of suckers or no catch at all.
Weedens Creek: Weedens Creek has experienced a similar drop in water levels and a rise in temperature from 46°F to about 58°F over the past few days. Suckers are visible from the bank.


SOUTHWEST WISCONSIN LAKEFRONT

Tyler Harmon messaged:

Well Fishing was great over the weekend. Crawlers accounted for allot of big Brown Trout. But spinners and flies still took some fish. Inland lakes provided good action for panfish and bass. Live minnows and jigs were best for Crappies that were pushed shallow and are currently spawning. Action on Lake Michigan is starting to push out deeper for cohos and other species.


WOLF LAKE

A weekend bass tournament on the Indiana side (jigs) needed big bags to win. Should be bass pulling up all over this week.

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This page contains a single entry by Dale Bowman published on May 1, 2013 6:03 AM.

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