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Stray Casts will intelligently report and observe, hopefully with a touch of wit, on daily occurrences, reports and releases related to Chicago-area outdoors from bucks to bass to birds to bugs

Midwest Fishing Report: Lakes around Chicago fishing

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Coho on southern Lake Michigan (when weather allows), the impacts of the late ice-out in northern Wisconsin and the late arrival of typical spring patterns 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.

DALEY DERBY

The Daley Derby is open. 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

Again crappie reports and bass are the most prominent. But bluegill should soon be up, too.

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): Walleye, bass, crappies and musky (where allowed - -south of Hwy.
10) hitting, and turkey hunters still banging away; all in and amidst the
lakes and the Wisconsin River in Wisconsin¹s Marathon and Lincoln Counties
(near Mosinee and Wausau).

Walleye fishing remains good in the central Wisconsin area on the Wisconsin
River.  Lots of nice fish are being caught by jig and minnow anglers, and a
few taken from crankbaits tossed in shallow water.

Bass fishing is picking up in the central Wisconsin area, and a few lunkers
have been caught.  Bass up to and over the 20 inch mark are not uncommon at
this time of the year.  Look for most fish to be associated with shallow
rocks and wood in less than 4 feet of water. Toss jig and beaver combos or
run crawfish style crankbaits to tangle with these feisty bronzebacks.

There is a good crappie bite going on in the central Wisconsin area, as
these panfish are starting to make their move towards shallow water to
spawn.  Look for the crappies to be in less than 3 feet of water associated
with wood and brush.  A small minnow suspended below a tiny bobber will
tempt most crappies as they hang out near their spawning grounds.

Musky anglers south of Hwy. 10 (where musky fishing is allowed check with
the DNR to make sure you can fish a particular water) in the central
Wisconsin area have had a good start to the 2013 opener with a few nice fish
caught on the Wisconsin River system.  Small bladed bucktails and twitch
baits accounted for most fish but a few anglers picked up some muskies on
larger baits like Bulldawgs and Suicks, as well.


CHAIN O'LAKES AREA

Triangle reported white bass in back channel with current, walleye are good in current and crappie are in back channels, too.

As of Wednesday morning, only zone A between the Algonquin and McHenry dams remained no-wake. The other two zones are open. 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: I will try to get on update on the concessionaire today. The lake is open daily, 6 a.m. to sunset.

BRAIDWOOD/MAZONIA: Hours are 6 a.m. to sunset. Again, with water warming into the 60s, this is the prime time for Mazonia lakes. The next couple weeks will be prime. REMINDER: Anchoring outside the restricted area on the north end of Braidwood, then casting in is illegal.

HEIDECKE: Water is near prime. Prime is in the low and mid-60s. With slightly better water levels, the temporary launch is much better, however, it is only one ramp so be patient and be ready. 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 5/13/13 through 5/20/13

The yo-yo weather has been a constant factor this past week, it looks like stable weather
is coming this week which will help the fishing tremendously. With frost warnings in the middle
of May, it has been cooling the water temperature from where it should be this time of year.
When the weather is stable the fishing has been relatively good.

Largemouth bass are in the shallows in 3-4 ft of water. The best location is in the west
end in Viewcrest or Highlands Bay. The fish are being caught on a green pumpkin or root beer
colored Senko. The water is pretty cold for the largemouth to spawn, with the warm weather
predicted for this week the spawn is still probably a week to 10 days away.

Walleye Pike fishing has been average. Saturday when I was fishing there were a few
people that I spoke to that caught them in 23 ft of water. They were lindy rigging small suckers.
Look for the fish on main lake points. The few fish that I heard about were in excess of 25
inches.

Bluegill fishing has been good near the outlet dam or in the channels, such as Browns,
Viewcrest and the Highland. The best approach is red worms fished beneath a bobber in 2-3 ft
of water.

Crappie fishing has been good in the mid range weeds. You want to fish them in 6-10 ft
of water. The best location is by Browns Channel. You want to look for scattered weeds. With
the water clarity, you need to make long casts so you don't spook the fish. Small fathead
minnows on bobbers have been producing most of the fish. They can also be caught on small
plastics.

Northern pike action has been in the shallows. I've been fishing them in 6-10 ft of water.
I've been getting them on medium suckers fished beneath a Thill slip bobbers. The best location
has been the buoy line in Viewcrest Bay or the Highlands Bay.

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

Daily Reports

5/12/13 - Lake Geneva - sunny, 45 degrees, NW winds at 15 mph. Caught 7 largemouth bass
and 1 smallmouth. All the fish were caught in 3-4 ft of water in Abbey Harbor. The best
approach was a split shot rigged nightcrawler. The biggest fish was a 5 lb largemouth. The main
lake was very cold, tried to fish a few spots but the only thing we caught were a few small perch.

5/11/13 - Delavan Lake - sunny, 50 degrees, NW winds at 20-30 mph. Caught 6 northern pike.
All the fish were caught on a slip bobber rigged suckers in 7-8 ft of water. The wind made the
like un-fishable in most locations. Tried several locations for largemouth bass but they weren't
biting well.


GENEVA: Duwe sent this:

Lake Geneva 5/13/13 through 5/20/13

With the up and down temperatures the lake remains pretty cold which is causing some
inconsistent fishing. The best bite on the lake is perch and largemouth bass. Stable weather is
predicted and that will help turn on the smallmouth bass and bluegills.

Largemouth bass have been biting in the shallows in 3-4 ft of water. The best location has been
Trinkes or Abbey Harbor. They can be caught on a split shot rigged nightcrawler or a green pumpkin
Senko. With the chilly weather over the weekend, you need to fish really slow to get the bite.

Yellow perch were biting in 6-10 ft of water. Small minnows fished beneath a slip bobber were
the best approach. The best location was Belvidere Park or Rainbow Point. Overall the fish have been
on the small size at 6-7 inches. You needed to catch a bunch to sort through to find decent keepers.

Smallmouth bass have been spotty. Most of the fish are caught in 15-20 ft of water suspended
about 5-10 ft of water. The fish are near their spawning flats. Look for the fish by the Elgin Club, the
Military Academy or Crawfords Bar. The best approach is a white hair jig swam just underneath the
surface of the water. The fish are chasing the pods of minnows so once you find the minnows the bass
are sure to follow.

Bluegill action has been slow. They are being caught in the shallows on leaf worms. The best
location has been the Abbey Harbor and Trinkes or down in Geneva Bay by the Riviera. Look for the fish
in 3-4 ft of water.

Some northern pike are being caught in the weeds in 6-10 ft of water. The fish are being caught
on slip bobber rigged suckers. The best location has been in Williams Bay or the beach in Fontana. I've
been putting out quite a few rods to try and catch them. The best presentation is to anchor your boat
and fan cast the area.

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


DOWNSTATE NOTES

REND LAKE: Guide Jason Johns of Boneyard Fishing--618) 927-3432--reported crappie spawning in the bushes, best on a slip cork and a minnow. He expects one more big wave. Catfish are good, too.

LAKE OF EGYPT: Johns reported crappie about done with the spawn, but bass being caught on about everything.

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. The bait shop and boat rental should have expanded hours now, I just have not seen them.

GREEN BAY, WISCONSIN

The Wisconsin DNR report had this:

Green Bay Fishing Report: May 13, 2013
Brown Co.
Fishing effort on the west shore finally started to improve earlier this week but slowed down by the end of the week due to cooling temperatures. Water temperatures in Suamico started the week in the 56-58 degrees but dropped to 52-54 degrees by the end of the week. A similar story unfolded in the Fox River/lower bay area where water temperatures fell from 60 degrees down to 56.
West Shore: Most angling pressure on the west shore this week seemed to be focused in the Suamico area. Daily fishing pressure was fairly constant, and most anglers were targeting walleyes. Most walleyes caught this week were in the 18-22 inch range, but anglers really had to work hard to put fish in the boat. Walleye fishermen used a variety of crankbaits in various colors (perch, clown, blues and greens were popular), crawler harnesses (dark colors: red, blue, purple), and night crawlers in 3 to 11 feet of water. Other fish caught included Sheepshead, Catfish and Northern Pike. Several fishermen had success targeting Northern Pike in 4-6 feet of water using Rapalas. There are a few trailers out of Geano's Beach, and a few more people are showing up at Duck Creek to do some shore fishing. Fox Point Launch and the Brown County launches have had little activity in the last week.
Fox River: In the Fox River, there seems to be more activity at the Green Bay Metro launch, with most people heading out into the Bay to fish. Most fishermen were targeting Walleye in 7-12 feet of water with crawler harnesses, crank baits (gold and green), and gulp. Very few walleyes were caught; other species caught included White Bass, Catfish, and Sheepshead. The number of shore fishermen at Voyageur Park was lower than in the past weeks, but some anglers were present. Most fishermen were targeting Walleye and White Bass (getting good numbers of these). Baits used were Rapalas (black, silver, green) and jigs mostly. Other species caught included Black Crappies, Sheepshead and Carp.
East Shore
Fluctuating weather patterns have limited fishing pressure over the past week. Walleye fishing during the daytime has been minimal on the East Shore. Most fishermen have been reporting good success fishing during low light or nighttime conditions. Most effort has been focused out of Little Sturgeon Bay followed by Potawatomi State Park. The average size walleye being caught is in the mid-20 inch range with reports of a few 30+ inch fish being caught. Most anglers have been trolling.
Smallmouth bass have been heavily targeted in Sawyer Bay (Sturgeon Bay) and in Little Sturgeon Bay. Success seems to vary between fishing parties. Some boats have been reporting only a handful of fish in a several hour trip, while some fishing parties have had upwards of 40 fish in a day of fishing. Anglers have reported mixed sizes of Smallies, but many 4-6 pound fish have been caught during the last week. One extremely lucky angler had the opportunity to land a 7 pound bronze back this week. If you are looking for a trophy sized fish it appears Little Sturgeon Bay is the place to be.
Water temperatures have changed a lot over the week. As of the weekend shallow bays have had temperatures ranging from 47-52 degrees while the main water portion of Green Bay seems to be hanging in the low to mid 40's.
Oconto Co.
Fishing pressure was high in the beginning of the week with walleye being caught trolling on the Bay. With the weather change in the later part of the week, fishing pressure and catch rates dropped dramatically as cold, wet, windy weather swept through the area. Heavy water release at the Dam in Stiles kept most fishermen away this past week, and those that did fish caught a few suckers. Fishermen out of Oconto Breakwater Park and Oconto Park II did well trolling for walleye in 4 to 10 feet of water using crawler/harness or stick baits early in the week. With the change in the weather fishing on the Bay became almost impossible.
Marinette Co.
Fishing pressure was high in the beginning of the week with walleye being caught trolling on the Bay. With the weather change in the later part of the week, fishing pressure and catch rates dropped dramatically as cold, wet, windy weather swept through the area. Launching from the landing at the mouth of the Peshtigo River is becoming more difficult with lower water conditions, so most boaters are coming from the Oconto launches to fish in and around the mouth of the Peshtigo where the walleye bite has been heating up. Anglers are trolling in 4 to 10 feet of water using stick baits and crawler/harness, catching walleye, smallmouth, and pike. Browns and walleye are being caught trolling in the area of Little River trolling in 4 to 8 feet of water with stick baits and crawler/harness. Due to low water levels only small craft are launching from Little River; others are coming out of the Menominee River. Heavy current flows on the Menominee River has pushed most of the fishing activity down to the Turn Basin and out into the mouth of the river. Anglers are catching walleye and bass trolling and jigging with live and artificial baits.


LAKE ERIE: PORT CLINTON

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

LAKEFRONT

CHICAGO: Park Bait said the weather slowed one of the best runs in coho in years for shore fishermen. Capt. Bob Poteshman of Confusion Charters said boaters should still find plenty of coho from Montrose to 31st inside of the crib line; and the lakers should still be out deeper.

WAUKEGAN: Lori Ralph at the Salmon Stop said when weather allows, best has been 60 feet straight out for mainly coho. On Saturday, shore fishermen picked up a few perch off the end of Government Pier, otherwise shore fishermen with bait are picking up a smattering of browns and steelhead.

NORTH POINT: Poteshman reported very good coho, probably because there's tons of alewives in the dirty water from the beach to the hill; best Tuesday was outside of 50 feet.

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.

NORTHERN WISCONSIN?

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

Snow on May 11th!!! Woke up to white on the 12th. Fishing conditions have been terrible (cold, wind), but the fishing has been terrific! Not often we get to fish the walleye spawn and close post spawn. Lots of active fish.

Walleye: Excellent. Despite cold, wind, sleet, rain and snow, the walleyes have been very active. Lots of lake limits (due to 2 fish bag limits), but by moving to different lakes, 4 and 5 walleye catches have been relatively easy (and moving lakes is a nice excuse to get out of the cold for a while). Daytime anglers doing extremely well on jig/minnow combo. Examining the stomachs of kept males of 16-18" showed that while they are being caught up tight to gravel/rock shallows, there must be some forays to mud as mayfly larvae and leeches were in their bellies. Gravel/rock by for the best. If any wood in the same areas...even better. After dark, that's when the big girls are being caught. Casting gravel flats and Slowly retrieving Rattling Rouges, Floating Rapalas and Flat Raps has produced walleyes of 11 and 12#s this past weekend. Please consider releasing these big girls to spawn again.

Crappie: Very good. Check out sheltered bays with drowned trees where these fish are congregating in the warmer water. Casting tiny 1/64-1/32oz jigs of hair or plastic around wood to locate active fish. Scented artificial minnows and insects from Gulp Alive and Northland's Impulse have also been very effective. Minnows under pencil floats can't be beat. Lots of fish in the 10-11" class and smaller, but, I few slabs reported this weekend.

Pike: Very good. Spawn over and pike feeding. Chubs best (though hard to find). Large fatheads or even shiners working. Casting light jigs with plastic minnows over shallow weeds also working.

Smallmouth: Very Good. It is catch and release only, but nice smallies inhabiting rock/wood shallows trying to find warmer water and food. Most of these fish taking jig/minnow combos meant for walleyes.

Largemouth: Good. Again, catch and release only. They are holding tight to cover over dark soft bottom areas. Will take any sort of jig/minnow or jig/soft plastic combo.

Perch: Good. While not being targeted, nice perch or 9-11" being caught while fishing walleyes. Many of these fish with slack bellies meaning they have already spawned so should be hungry.

Bluegills: Haven't really heard any reports.

We still have a few lakes with ice (Trout, Fence, Big Crawling Stone). Most others that were closed such as Big Arb, Squirrel and Tomahawk are now open.

Fishing was fantastic as at the top of the report. Live bait is still an issue with anything wild such as redtailed chubs, black tails, dace and leeches very hard to come by.

With the cold of the weekend stretching out the walleye spawn, expect good fishing this week.
 
Kurt Justice
Kurt's Island Sport Shop
www.kurtsislandsports.com


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

(Head): Perch, crappies and bluegills putting on a good to excellent bite,
with good northern action, and walleye hitting fair to good. Wild turkey
hunters entering the final week of the season and hearing/able to locate
lots of gobblers.  All in the Eagle River, Wisconsin area.

The annual spring perch bonanza is going on right now in the Eagle River
area.  Fish shallow muddy bays with scattered weed growth.  Use a  small jig
and a crappie minnow.  All day bite.  Good to excellent action.

Crappies and bluegills in the Eagle River area locating in 8 to 15 feet of
water off of break edges.  Use a chunk of crawler or a crappie minnow under
a slip bobber.  All day bite. Good to excellent action.

Northern in the Eagle River area are in 8 feet of water or less in and
around weeds.  Use a Husky Jerk in a minnow or walleye patter, or a northern
sucker under a slip bobber.  All day bite. Good action.

Walleye in the Eagle River area are in 8 feet of water or less.  Use a
1/16th or 1/8th ounce jig, tipped with a fathead minnow.  All day bite, with
peaks in the evening.  Action is fair good - -day dependent.

(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

Winds shift made for a tougher Lake Michigan bite. Mik-Lurch reported decent bluegill action at Willow Slough and otherwise some bass on the inland lakes.

SHABBONA LAKE

Clint Sands at Lakeside reported muskie hot over the weekend, biggest going 42 inches, and crappie are in headed to spawn, most in 10 feet or less. Lakeside will be open 8 a.m.-5 p.m. for spring and summer.

Here are the details on ``Crappie Contest Weekend'' on Saturday and Sunday:

Crappie Contest Weekend - Shabbona Lake
May 18th & 19th
6 AM Saturday - 7 PM Sunday


May 18th & 19th are the dates for the Crappie Contest Weekend at Shabbona Lake. We are in a cycle of very large Crappie in Shabbona Lake. This should be an outstanding event, with some very hefty weights being recorded. The prizes will be awarded based on the heaviest stringer of ten crappies. This is an individual event. Stringers may only be combined if all fish were caught by IMMEDIATE FAMILY MEMBERS (MOM, DAD, SONs, DAUGHTERS, BROTHERS, SISTERS). Remember you must donate to be eligible for prizes.
This is not an event you will want to miss.

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 Place - 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 18th and 6 PM Sunday, May 19th. 
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: May 13, 2013
Kenosha Co.
Ramp: Boaters continue to have good luck landing coho according to reports from the small boat harbor at Simmons Island. Some charter boats have been coming in with their limits of fish. On Saturday, one charter boat captain filled the top row of the fish board with coho salmon (ten fish). Non-charter boats came in with nice catches of coho as well. A couple of boaters from Iowa, on their 17 foot boat named "Rooster Fly", came in with ten coho by 11:00 AM. They started at the hills and then headed south, trolling in 50-85 feet of water. 1/3 of the fish were caught on wonderbread spoons and the rest were caught on their homemade lures called "rooster flies". The anglers reported that the cohos' stomachs were filled with alewives. Earlier in the week, a boat with three anglers, trolling in 50-55 feet of water came in with its limit of fifteen coho. The average weight of the fifteen coho was three pounds.
Shoreline: Fishing pressure along the lakefront continues to be light. Anglers claim that the changing weather patterns are scattering the fish. Coho salmon began to move into the Kenosha area on Wednesday. Anglers landed a few cohos while casting little cleos from the lighthouse at South Pier. A cold front with rain and strong northwest winds moved into the area on Thursday. Some of the shoreline anglers began to wear winter gloves on Saturday as the temperature dropped to the low 40's. A few anglers near the Pike Creek discharge pipe tried soaking crappie minnows under slip bobbers on Saturday. They caught and released a few undersize brown trout. At Southport Marina, a few panfish were taken while fishing with crappie minnows. The fishing pier at the Kemper Center has not been opened yet for the season. Fishing along the shoreline should improve with a few days of warm, stable weather. The surface temperature of the water along the shoreline dropped from 52F on Wednesday to 47F on Saturday.
Pike River: : Very little fishing pressure was seen on the Pike River again. The water level and flow rate on the river are near normal for this time of year and the water is clear. Once again, no anglers were seen in Petrifying Springs Park. No anglers were seen near the Hwy A or Hwy E bridges. The water temperature on the Pike River was 52F on Saturday.
Racine Co.
Ramps: The Pershing Park boat launch saw very little action on Saturday afternoon. There wasn't more than one boat trailer in the parking lot at one time. One boat was seen trolling around the mouth of the Root River. There have been numerous reports of large numbers of bait fish and game fish in this area over the past week. Another boat was seen trolling the mudline from the Root River heading south. A smaller boat was seen trolling in Reefpoint Marina where there was protection from the wind. The parking lot at the boat launch was partially filled with cars Saturday afternoon, but the people were heading toward the beer tents at Festival Park where the Belle City Brewfest was taking place. The repair work on the boat ramp was underway this week. The six west lanes of the ramp have been shut down for repair while the six east lanes remain open. The six east lanes will be repaired after the west side is complete. A navigation channel for larger boats will be dredged in the harbor sometime this year according to a report from the Racine Parks Department.
Shoreline and Piers: On Tuesday, anglers casting spoons from the South Pier reported catching a few coho salmon. By Wednesday morning, anglers on the pier were landing nice catches of coho and some steelhead. A couple of anglers caught their limit of coho on Thursday while bottom fishing with alewives near the South Pier lighthouse. Anglers continue to report large numbers of alewives near the mouth of the Root River. One angler reported that in a little over an hour, he foul hooked a dozen alewives while casting a little cleo near the mouth of the Root River. A cold front, strong winds, and rain moved into the area on Thursday night. By Saturday morning, a line of muddy water extended nearly a mile out from shore. Strong northwest winds, gusting to 35-40 mph, churned up the water along the lakefront. One angler claimed that the winds were so strong on Saturday, he could cast his spoon from South Pier all the way to Michigan. Anglers fishing the rocks below the South Breakwater were protected from the wind but did not report any fish taken. The surface temperature at the lakefront was 48F on Saturday.
Root River: The steelhead anglers who showed up in large numbers earlier this spring are slowly being replaced by anglers looking for rock bass, bullheads, catfish, and northern pike. Strong winds, rain, and cold temperatures moved into the area on Thursday. The water temperature dropped from 59F on Wednesday down to 51F on Sunday. At the Horlick Dam, anglers tried casting spinner baits and artificial nightcrawlers for rock bass with no reports of fish taken. One angler tried casting bright, yellow colored flies for steelhead with little success. Anglers reported that a few brown trout and steelhead were landed near the dam earlier in the week. At Quarry Park, anglers who fished the river for steelhead a few weeks ago are now fishing on the piers and from small rubber rafts at Quarry Lake. An angler landed a ten pound, male steelhead at Colonial Park on Sunday while casting a small, red and white colored crank bait. It was the most colorful steelhead that I've seen come out of the Root River this year. Another angler caught and released two small steelhead and lost a large one while casting a muddler minnow. A few anglers at Island Park tried bottom fishing with nightcrawlers for bass and northern pike with no reports of fish taken. Some of the anglers said that the largemouth and smallmouth bass should start hitting in a few weeks when the weather warms up. The Root River Steelhead Facility has been 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: The number of fish being caught trolling is still relatively low for all species being targeted. Boats were reporting very few brown trout being caught trolling the gaps and the harbor with spoons. The best reports of an area to catch fish trolling has been in the area where the dirty water meets the very clear water east of the gaps with browns and a few Coho reported caught especially off the south shore gap. Fishermen off of McKinley pier were not reporting any fish being caught, but fish were spotted swimming along the pier. Summerfest and the rest of the shoreline had little success with anglers catching only a few brown trout while fishing shiners or spawn sacs under a float, and casting spoons did produce a few additional browns.
South Shore: Trollers only reported a few brown trout in the gaps trolling spoons. There were no reports of any 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. Anglers were again fishing for steelhead in Grant Park with a few fish being caught on spawn and small flies. Oak Creek power plant has picked up with more fishing effort resulting in a few browns and cohos being caught on crank baits and soft plastics. Trollers out of Bender Park reported some brown trout and Coho being caught trolling with spoons though the fish were very spread out over 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 52-54 degrees in the shallows with cooler weather over the weekend. A few anglers were fishing for walleyes and smallmouth below the North Avenue dam with smallmouth being caught on plastics and crank baits. There were no fly fisherman targeting rainbows in the area. Also, a few smallmouths were caught below the Estabrook and Kletzsch falls on plastics.
Menomonee River: The river is running fairly low as of Saturday. The water clarity is crystal clear. The water temperature was approximately 52-54 degrees in the shallows with recent cooler weather. No fishermen were seen fishing for steelhead near Miller Park. A few people were seen fishing for walleyes and smallmouth by MMSD, but no fish were caught.
Ozaukee Co.
Fishing pressure has decreased over the past few days due to recent storm activity.
Port Washington Pier and Shore: Fishing pressure has decreased along the lakeshore and near the power plant, again mostly due to the strong winds and rain. Anglers continue to catch small Browns and Suckers near the power plant, and a nice Brown was caught this morning using spawn sacs. Anglers have also tried the North pier, some have reported seeing fish near the surface, but nothing would bite.
Port Washington Ramp: Fishing pressure has decreased. In fact, I didn't see a single trailer at the ramp in the past four days. The recent bad weather created large waves and strong winds that would make fishing the lake hazardous for most boats. Despite this spate of rain storms and strong winds, I have observed hundreds of water birds (terns, gulls, and cormorants) in and around the harbor. Lots of alewives have moved into the area and fish are sure to follow.
Sauk Creek: Water levels have increased about 4 inches since the last rain storm, and water temperature has decreased to about 45°F; clarity has decreased as well. I haven't observed anyone fishing over the past few days, and have not spotted a sucker in that amount of time either.
Sheboygan Co.
Fishing pressure has dropped in all areas due to recent rain storms.
Sheboygan Ramps: Several anglers trolled the lake on Saturday morning, and a couple nice Browns were caught on spoons in 30 feet of water. Other anglers fished 30 to 40 feet of water trolling crankbaits, but no bites and a choppy lake drove them home early. The 8th Street ramp remains closed.
Sheboygan Piers: Recent storm activity rendered the piers unfishable from Thursday night to Friday evening. Large waves and high winds made conditions hazardous, and wave action has made the lake quite murky near shore. A handful of fisherman went out this weekend, but no catches were reported.
Sheboygan River: Fishing activity has dropped due to recent storm activity. Rains have increased water levels on the Sheboygan River: gage height on May 9th read just over 3 feet, which spiked to nearly 5 feet the next day. Since then levels have decreased and gage height is close to 4 feet today (May 12th). Water temperature has dropped from 56°F on May 5th to 47°F on May 12th; clarity is poor. Very few fishermen tried their luck, and no catches were reported.
Pigeon River: Water levels along the Pigeon River have also increased, by approximately 10 inches. Water clarity is poor and temperature has decreased from 49°F to 45°F over the past week. Again, only a handful of fishermen have been observed and only catches of Carp have been reported.
Weedens Creek: Weedens Creek water levels have increased as well, but excess water has receded quickly. Clarity is poor and water temperature has dropped from 55°F to 44°F in the past week. I haven't seen any cars at this location and believe nobody is fishing there anymore.


SOUTHWEST WISCONSIN LAKEFRONT/LAKES

Tyler Harmon messaged:

same as last week. Panfish on inland lakes.
Salmon action offshore on Lake Michigan. Walleye and bass in the rivers.


WOLF LAKE

Mik-Lurch reported some walleye and bass out of the corn channel.

LINES ONLINE

ILLINOIS

www.ifishillinois.org
http://www.heartlandoutdoors.com

CHICAGO AREA CHAT/REPORTS

www.chicagolandfishing.com
www.chitown-angler.com
www.windycityfishing.com
Water Dog Journal
Fishing Headquarters
angling101.com
http://www.foxlakefishing.com/
www.heartlandoutdoorsman.com
www.patharrisonoutdoors.com

CHICAGO AREA INFO

Click here

DOWNSTATE

larrysfishinghole.com

MICHIGAN DNR REPORT

Click here

WISCONSIN DNR REPORT

Click here

IOWA DNR REPORT

Click here

INDIANA DNR REPORT

Click here

MIDWEST

www.lake-link.com


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.

MUSKIE RESCUE

The annual rescue of muskies below Shabbona Lake is tonight. Meet at 5 p.m. at the archery hunting area on Shabbona Grove Road.

DALEY DERBY

The Daley Derby is open. 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

From photos and reports sent to me in the last week, crappie have become the top bite. Bluegill should be close behind. But there's plenty of good bass reports from local ponds and lakes, too.

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): Warmer weather means exploding walleye action, with ancillary
catches of northerns, smallmouth and catfish.  Turkey hunters enjoying a
very good season with lots of nice toms being taken; all in and amidst the
lakes and the Wisconsin River in Wisconsin¹s Marathon and Lincoln Counties
(near Mosinee and Wausau).

Warmer weather in the central Wisconsin area has caused an outstanding
walleye bite on the Wisconsin River.  We've had explosive action for lots of
eater sized fish in the 15 to 20 inch range, along with several fish in and
over the 20 to 28 inch slot size.  Most of the fish have been coming from
shallow water in one to three feet, associated with rocks and gravel.  These
are spawning walleyes that are up shallow and they can be caught by running
light 1/16th and 1/32nd ounce jigs baited up with fathead minnows. The
lighter jigs are necessary in the shallow water as the heavier 1/8th and
one-quarter ounce jigs will just get hung up on the rocks and snag the
bottom.

We have also started picking up a few non-target species, with smallmouth,
northern and a few catfish now showing up.  Most of these fish are coming
while we are targeting walleyes but are still just as much fun to catch.


CHAIN O'LAKES AREA

As of Monday, all three zones on the Chain went to no-wake, one of the best times to fish the Chain because you don't have to fight other boaters. Check for farther updates at the Fox Waterway Agency.

Greg Dickson at Triangle said best is crappie in the back channels. But oddly enough, probably high-water related, there's white bass and walleye in some of those channels also. Bluegill is picking up. Muskie and bass guys started getting out, no reports yet.

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

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

COOLING LAKES/STRIP PITS

LaSALLE: Hatchery staff reported 73 at the intake (cool side) on Tuesday. 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. Fishermen are pouring into the Mazonia lakes. The next couple weeks will be prime. REMINDER: Anchoring outside the restricted area on the north end of Braidwood, then casting in is illegal.

HEIDECKE: Water is near prime. It was at 58 degrees early int eh week. Prime is in the low and mid-60s. So probably next week will be prime. The lake came up 11 inches with the rains, so the temporary launch is much better, however, it is only one ramp so be patient and be ready. 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 Fishing Reports May 6 through May 13

The largemouth bass have been in pre-spawn and spawn patterns for the past week. They
can be caught while sight fishing or casting the shallow flats where there is a hard sand bottom.
A lot of the fish are being caught on tube baits or All Terrain Sticks. The best location has been
by the outlet or on the west end by the island. Many of the pre-spawn fish are over five pounds.

The crappie fishing has been excellent. Most of the fish are caught pre-spawn on the first
weedline break. The best bet is 12-15 ft of water. I've been catching most of my fish on small
plastics, either yellow or purple. Yellow has been out-producing the other colors. Look for the
crappies by the no wake buoys by the island or just off the gray condos.

Northern Pike fishing has been great in the shallow weed flats. Trolling large spinner
baits or shallow diving crank baits has been producing most of the action. Fire Tiger crank baits
or white spinner baits are the best option. I work a depth between 8 and 10 ft of water.

Bluegills are in a water depth of 4-5 ft. They are biting on wax worms or leaf worms.
Try fishing them with an ice jig with a bobber. The best location is by the gray condos or
Browns Channel.

Walleyes are biting in the 8-12 ft depth range due to the water temperature. The water
temperature is 50 degrees and they haven't become uncomfortable so they've staying in the
shallows. Slip bobbers fished with fat head minnows are the best bet.

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

Daily Fishing Reports

5/5/13-Whitewater Lake- Sunny, 75 degrees, Southwest winds at 10 mph- Fished Largemouth
bass in 3-5 feet of water. Fished green Pumpkin Senkos with great success in 2 hours of fishing
we boated 10 nice bass. Best location was by the bogs.

5/4/13- Turtle Lake- Opening Day- Partly cloudy,70 degrees, Southwest winds 10mph- Trolled
crankbaits along the drop-off in 12-15 feet, Silver and Black produced two largemouth and on
northern pike. Went to the shallows and caught 15 bluegills on red worms fished beneath a
bobber.

5/2/13- Delavan Lake- sunny, 78 degrees, winds light east, water temp 49 degrees- Fished
panfish in the shallows by the outlet in 3 to 4 feet of water. Caught about 30-40 bluegills on
waxworms and red worms. Bobber and an ice jig worked the best. Fished crappies in the main

lake caught 15 on small plastics fished on a 1/32oz jig, purple was the best color.


GENEVA: Duwe sent this:

Lake Geneva Fishing Reports May 6 through May 13

Due to the cool spring, fishing on Geneva has remained relatively slow. Most of the action has
been coming in shallow waters, 3-4 ft deep.

Largemouth bass have been biting in Geneva Bay, Trinkes and Abbey Harbor. Most of the fish
are coming in and around the boats. Use a split shot rig nightcrawler or an All Terrain Stik in Green
pumpkin. Some consistently warm weather will turn on the fish and make them more active.

Smallmouth bass have been really spotty. They are suspending out with the pods of bait fish in
12-15 ft of water. The ones that are being caught are biting on a small hair jig or a Kalin's grub fished on
a darter head. The best color is smoke and black or avocado pepper. Look for the fish by Elgin Club or
by Crawford's bar.

Crappies have been hit or miss. One day they are in by the boat docks thick and the next
they've moved into deeper water. Look for the fish by the Geneva Inn or by the Williams Bay piers.
Most of the fish are being caught on slip bobbers and small fat head minnows.

Bluegills, like the bass, are searching for the warmest water. They can be caught in Trinkes Bay
or in Abbey Harbor. The variable water temperatures have also made them spotty to catch. The best
approach is a small leaf worm fished underneath a bobber.

Northern Pike have been caught in the shallow weed flats. Look for the fish in 6-8 ft of water in
Trinkes bay or Williams Bay. They can be caught on shallow diving crankbaits in perch pattern or slowly
trolling large spinner baits in white. The best speed is about 1 ½ mph.

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


DOWNSTATE NOTES

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

EVERGREEN: Time on the Water Outdoors reported some good crappie fishing. 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: May 6, 2013
Brown Co.
Fishing pressure in the Fox River and along the West Shore declined this week due to cooler temperatures and rain storms. The water temperature was about 48 degrees, down from 54 degrees last week.
West Shore: Along the Lower West Shore of the Bay, fishing pressure was very low. At Suamico Landing, there were a few trailers with boat fishermen targeting Walleye. A few were caught (average size was about 24-25 inches fishermen were reporting) on crank baits (chartreuse in color) in about 10-12 feet of water. The docks are put in at Geano's Beach now.
Fox River: On the Fox River, boat and shore fishermen were targeting Walleye using crank baits (variety of colors), jigs, and night crawlers. Walleye numbers were low for both boat and shore fishermen. Boat fishermen were fishing in about 10-20 feet of water and a few Sheepshead were also caught. Shore fishermen are starting to catch more Carp, and more Walleye are being "snagged" than caught.
East Shore
Fishing pressure for walleyes has increased on the East Shore this past week. The number of fish being caught has also increased over the last week, but anglers still have to work to get a few fish. Most anglers that caught fish were trolling the shore line near Bayshore County Park, however walleyes are also being caught by Potawatomi State Park. Fish have ranged from 18-30+ inches with most being 23-26 inches.
Saturday marked the opening of the game fish season in Wisconsin. Little Sturgeon Bay and Potawatomi State Park saw an increase in fishing pressure as anglers looked to land a few bronzebacks. Unfortunately, cool weather limited the number of fish that anglers were able to catch.
The sucker runs at Red River Park and Sugar Creek have both gone past their peak and are almost done. Still, if anglers want to get a bucket of suckers it would be possible.
There are one or more launching piers in at Bayshore, Chaudoirs, Little Sturgeon Bay (Carmody Park), and Potawatomi Park. As of Saturday the fishing pier at Potawatomi Park had not been put in the water.
Oconto Co.
Fishing pressure remained strong this past week despite the cool wet weather. With the opening of the fishing season this weekend boaters and shore fishermen were out in full force with over 100 trailers at both the Oconto Park II landing and the Oconto Breakwater launch. With the cooler temperatures in the past week catch rates were slower than expected. Catch rates for walleye, trout, and pike at the Stiles Dam were low due in part to high water and the sucker run. Fishermen out of Oconto Breakwater and Oconto Park II were mainly fishing for walleye. Trolling was the most effective method using stick baits or crawler/harness in 4 to 8 feet of water. A few bass and pike were also reported being caught. Boaters were reporting a water temperature on the Bay from the upper 30's to the low 40's. Shore fishermen at Oconto Breakwater are catching a few pike using large shiner minnows or dead smelt fished on bottom, catch rates were low. Some walleye are being taken by shore anglers at the Municipal Landing, casting crank baits and Rapala's. Bullheads are being caught in the landing area at Oconto Park II.
Marinette Co.
Fishing pressure remained strong this past week despite the cool wet weather. With the opening of the fishing season this weekend boaters and shore fishermen were out in full force with over 100 trailers at both the Oconto Park II landing and the Oconto Breakwater launch. With the cooler temperatures in the past week catch rates were slower than expected. Anglers at the mouth of the Peshtigo River are keying on the post spawn walleye using live bait and casting cranks and sticks with good success. Fishermen at the Dam in Peshtigo are dealing with the peak of the sucker run and catching little else. A few small boats are launching from Little River to pursue brown trout with some success. The Menominee River has been raging, with 2 to 4 dams open, fishing has been difficult. A few walleye and many suckers are being caught off Stephenson Island using Rap's and Crank baits. Most boaters are jigging the Turn Basin or the mouth of the Menominee using gulp alive or minnows.


LAKE ERIE: PORT CLINTON

Rickards reported walleye best, when weather allows, northeast of Kelleys shoal or suspended by Green and Rattlesnake, a lingering bite just outside of Port Clinton.

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

LAKEFRONT

CHICAGO: Park Bait reported good coho all over at Montrose, best by powerliners with large fatheads or crawlers, casters catching a few on the horseshoe. Capt. Bob Poteshman of Confusion Charters reported great coho shallow (25-30 feet) from Montrose to 31st. Lakers remain outstanding in 35-45. Park Bait is open. Hours are 6 a.m.-8 p.m.

NORTH POINT: Poteshman reported good coho shallow on the color line.

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.

NORTHERN WISCONSIN?

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

Well, this was the WORST opener I can recall.  Not only were the opportunities limited, but, on the few places anglers could fish (either by boat or ice), the bite was terrible.
 
Ice Fishing:  For the most part, ice fishing is over almost everywhere.  Reports of two anglers falling through on Big Arb on Saturday.  Reports of ice from 13" to 17" but punky and soft ice.  Both anglers got out ok.  Some small crappies being caught, just a few walleyes.  Even the bluegill bite on Carrol shut off.
 
Open water:  Very poor.  Anglers at Murray's Landing pitched a complete shut out according to reports.  Same on the Rainbow Flowage.  The only good reports came from Tomahawk where water temps in low 40's (vs. mid to upper 30's up north) put walleyes in a biting mood.
 
The one bright spot.  Casting Rattlin Rogues and Floating Rapalas after dark from shore has produced some big walleyes from 25-29". These full of spawn females were released, but the few fortunate anglers working this bite also caught some eater males. This method should work well all week.
 
As of this morning (5/6), nearly every lake is still ice covered but the ice is black and melting quickly with the 70 degree temps.  The bite is soon to go from 0-60 as shallow water temps hit that 42-45 degree mark. These female walleyes have been holding their eggs a long time and are more than ready to spawn.  Expect some fantastic fishing by mid week and through the weekend.
 
The Willow Flowage by the dam is open to launch, but too much ice to get anywhere.  Pike Lake is open to the south, but can't get to Turner or Amik.  We will continue to update our website regularly as conditions change.
 
Kurt Justice
Kurt's Island Sport Shop
www.kurtsislandsports.com


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

(Head): 90% of the lakes still have ice, with some anglers still ice fishing
on the bigger lakes, and some open water perch and walleyes being taken in
back bays and on rivers.  Wild turkeys increasing gobbling and strutting
activity, with grouse drumming and woodcock well into their mating ritual.
All in the Eagle River, Wisconsin area.

This season's fishing opener didn't go as planned in the Eagle River area.
There is still ice on 90% of the lakes, with erosion and break up occurring.
Lynx Lake, a small lake on the Eagle River Chain of 28 lakes (the largest
freshwater chain of lakes in the world) is open, and anglers are also
getting out on the rivers and in some of the shallower back bays.  But not
that many anglers are going out.   While the shorelines of a number of lakes
have ice erosion, anglers can't really get out to fishing spots.  Indeed,
one can surmise that some of the walleye are spawning under the ice, with
others waiting for warmer water and weather.

Open water anglers fishing the rivers in the Eagle River area are getting
some walleye who are locating around structure relating to current in 6 feet
of water or less.  Other anglers are fishing shallow back bays that have
opened, in 4 to 5 feet of water, and getting some nice perch.  Anglers in
both areas are using small jigs tipped with a crappie minnow or fathead.

(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. Perch reports slowed, probably because of weather as much as anything. Smallmouth have been outstanding around East Chicago Marina area. Mik-Lurch reported good coho on boards around the Hole-in-the-Wall.

SHABBONA LAKE

Clint Sands at Lakeside reported crappie coming up in no-motor zone and by handicapped pier; a few legal walleye being caught and muskie are active.

Lakeside will be open 8 a.m.-5 p.m. for spring and summer.

For more info, check www.shabbonalake.com or call (815) 824-2581.

SOUTHEAST WISCONSIN LAKEFRONT

Here is the Lake Michigan Fishing Report:

Kenosha Co.
Ramp: One local resident reported seeing lots of boats heading out from the Simmons Island boat launch this week but returning without any fish. A local angler reported that some of the charter boats haven't gone out on the lake yet this year. One boater going out for the first time this year trolled the breakwater outside the harbor with little success. On Sunday, another boater trolling the harbor with stick baits landed a couple small brown trout near the base of the South Pier. As the temperature warmed into the 80's on Wednesday, hundreds of dead and dying alewives began to wash up on the Simmons Island boat ramp. The alewives disappeared by Sunday as the temperature dropped back down to the 60's.
Shoreline: Fishing pressure has increased on the shoreline, especially on the North and South Piers, but it's been a slow week as far as the number of fish landed. Early Wednesday morning, anglers were casting spoons from the South Pier near the lighthouse with no reports of fish taken. Anglers fishing along the North Pier reported a few browns taken this week. One angler reported that one of his brown trout had five gobies in its stomach. Anglers tried bottom fishing with alewives along the South Pier but had only a few strikes. One young angler was seen working the area around the Pike Creek discharge pipe for bluegills. Another angler fishing with crappie minnows caught and released several small brown trout from the South Pier. Many of the anglers are looking south as they wait for the coho salmon to move up from Illinois. The average surface temperature along the lakefront was 50F on Sunday.
Pike River: Very little fishing pressure was seen on the Pike River again this week. A couple of anglers from Minnesota spent the entire day working the river at different points along Hwy A but reported landing only suckers. The water level and flow rate on the river are near normal for this time of year and the water is fairly clear. Once again, no anglers were seen in Petrifying Springs Park. A couple of anglers were casting rapalas near the mouth of the Pike with no reports of fish taken. Temperature on the Pike River was 53F on Sunday.
Racine Co.
Ramps: A few boats made it out on Wednesday. One boater reported landing three brown trout averaging 7-8 pounds while trolling stick baits from the Racine water treatment plant to the mouth of the harbor. Another boater reported seeing large numbers of bait fish and game fish around the North Pier on his fishfinder. The boater trolled the area but could not produce a strike. On Sunday, one boater caught and released a couple of two pound coho salmon while trolling the mud line (line separating clear and muddy water) along the lakefront. There is a sign covering the launch fee meter at the Pershing Park boat ramp which reads as follows: "Piers need to be repaired due to record low water levels. Until then, passes are not needed & you will not be ticketed. *Be advised* If you choose to launch your boat without the piers, you are doing so at your own risk. For more information, please call the PRCS Department at 262-636-9131".
Shoreline and Piers: Fishing pressure increased along the lakefront this week but fishing success has been limited. More muddy water flowed into the lake from the Root River as another round of rain storms moved through the area. The line separating clear and dirty water along the lakefront is constantly shifting depending on the direction of the wind. Large numbers of bait fish were reportedly seen around the tip of the North Pier. Anglers tried casting cleos and crank baits for coho and browns from the North Pier with reports of a few fish taken. Casting a little cleo produced a nice size brown trout for one angler on the South Breakwater. Anglers fishing for panfish from the floating pier off Reichert Court caught lots of gobies. Anglers casting spoons from the South Pier reported limited success. One angler on the South Pier was fishing with a large salt cured smelt under a slip bobber but reported no action after three hours. The surface temperature along the lakeshore was 49F on Sunday.
Root River: Fishing pressure on the river was very light this week. The water level and flow rate are close to normal for this time of year, and the muddy water is finally beginning to clear up. There are still a large amount of suckers in the water below the Horlick Dam. Earlier in the week, anglers at the dam landed a few brown trout and steelhead from the gravel bar under the bridge. Some carp and a couple of northern pike were taken on Sunday. The most popular bait at the dam continues to be red or orange yarn flies. At Quarry Park, a few anglers used nightcrawlers to fish for rock bass. The majority of the anglers in the park were at Quarry Lake, fishing for stocker trout and largemouth bass. A few fishermen at Lincoln Park worked the river with dry flies but only a few suckers were taken. Washington Park was taken over by golfers this weekend. One of the best producing fishing spots in the park is now part of the 7th green. The river temperature averaged 54F over the weekend. 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: Light winds have allowed for excellent trolling conditions in the area, but the number of fish being caught was still relatively low. Boats were reporting a 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. The best area to catch fish trolling has been in the area where the dirty water meets the very clear water east of the gaps, with browns and even a few Coho have been reported 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, and casting spoons produced a few additional brown trout.
South Shore: Trollers only reported a few brown trout in the gaps trolling spoons. There were no reports of any success 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 didn't appear to be any remaining anglers fly fishing for steelhead in Grant Park. Oak Creek power plant has picked up with more fishing effort resulting in a few browns being caught on crank baits and soft plastics. Trollers out of Bender Park reported some brown trout and coho being caught trolling with spoons though the fish were very spread out over 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 steelhead 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 steelhead 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 has decreased over the past few days, mostly due to the recent rains and high pressure system that moved into the area.
Port Washington Pier and Shore: Fishing pressure has decreased along the lakeshore and near the power plant, again mostly due to the strong NE wind. Anglers continue to catch small Browns near the power plant and in the harbor. Smelt netters have been having a bit of luck lately along the North Pier (who were netting more alewives than smelt) and south of the power plant. Although I only witnessed a handful caught, I've heard that some fishermen are catching around 50 Smelt per trip.
Port Washington Ramp: Fishing pressure has decreased; over the past three days wave action has decreased, but the season opener for bass and musky likely drew some anglers to inland waters. A strong NE wind is making the lakeshore quite cool. Water within the marina is dirty, and due to wave action, water near shore is also quite murky. Despite the decreased fishing pressure, fishermen had some luck, one group landing a 15 lb. Lake Trout in about 40 feet of water trolling spoons. Another group caught a nice Steelhead in 15 feet of water; the stomach contents revealed several alewives.
Sauk Creek: Water levels have increased about 4 inches since last week's rains; water temperature increased to about 54°F and water clarity has decreased. Fishing pressure has decreased over the past few days as catches of Steelhead have dwindled. Suckers can still be seen at access points, but their numbers have noticeably decreased.
Sheboygan Co.
Fishing pressure is steady on the rivers, but pressure remains low on the lake.
Sheboygan Ramps: There have been a few boats launched from the harbor ramp, but no fishermen came in during my shift. Because fishing in Port Washington was slow, I believe the high pressure system and NE wind created similar conditions for Sheboygan fishermen. Also, the fact that bass and musky opened this weekend probably reduced fishing effort on the lake. The fish cleaning stations at the Sheboygan Harbor ramp and the South Pier are now open. The 14th Street ramp, along the Sheboygan River, is now open. The huge snow pile remains in the lot, but enough snow has been removed to use the ramp. The 8th Street ramp remains closed.
Sheboygan Piers: Early last week a SE wind and large waves kept fishermen off the piers, while this weekend a stiff NE wind and a high pressure system seem to have reduced fishing effort. The South Pier was closed on Saturday, however, I did observe a handful of fishermen on Sunday.
Sheboygan River: Fishing activity remains steady on the Sheboygan River; the gage height for the river increased from 2.5 feet on May 1st to 3.5 feet on May 5th. Despite the increased flow caused by rains last week, water temperature has remained 56°F and clarity appears little affected. Anglers continue to report good catches of Northern Pike and Smallmouth Bass near Kohler Dam, as well as downstream from Wildwood Park to the 14th Street bridge; fish are being caught on a variety of lures, namely shallow-diving Rapalas, plastics, and Mepps spinners. Steelhead are still being caught on flies near the Kohler Dam and in the Esslingen Park area.
Pigeon River: Water levels along the Pigeon River have also increased, by approximately 2 to 4 inches. Despite the increased flow from rains water clarity remains good and water temperature has held steady at 49°F. A few fishermen have tried their luck, some catching small Steelhead and Suckers on flies, while others caught Smallmouth Bass on spinners.
Weedens Creek: Weedens Creek water levels have increased slightly with recent rainfall, but it appears excess water is receding rapidly; water clarity has been little affected, and water temperature has increased to around 55°F. I did not spot any suckers in the creek this weekend and few people have reported catching them.


SOUTHWEST WISCONSIN LAKEFRONT/LAKES

Tyler Harmon messaged:

Well Cohos are starting to move offshore out on Lake Michigan, Good numbers are still being caught from many ports. On inland lakes Crappie have for the most part finished up spawning and are beginning to move back out of the shallows, Gills are still being caught in the shallows.


WOLF LAKE

A 9-pound walleye was reported on the Indiana side. There are bass spawning.

LINES ONLINE

ILLINOIS

www.ifishillinois.org
http://www.heartlandoutdoors.com

CHICAGO AREA CHAT/REPORTS

www.chicagolandfishing.com
www.chitown-angler.com
www.windycityfishing.com
Water Dog Journal
Fishing Headquarters
angling101.com
http://www.foxlakefishing.com/
www.heartlandoutdoorsman.com
www.patharrisonoutdoors.com

CHICAGO AREA INFO

Click here

DOWNSTATE

larrysfishinghole.com

MICHIGAN DNR REPORT

Click here

WISCONSIN DNR REPORT

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IOWA DNR REPORT

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INDIANA DNR REPORT

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MIDWEST

www.lake-link.com

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About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Dale Bowman published on May 15, 2013 6:05 AM.

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