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Midwest Fishing Report: Lakes around Chicago fishing

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Hints of shoreline perch, spawning fish all around and the opening of muskie season in northern Wisconsin lead this lakes section of the Midwest Fishing Report heading into the holiday weekend.

lakefront09-13-10hancock.jpg

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 OPENER, NORTHERN WISCONSIN

Muskie season opens Saturday in northern Wisconsin. The late spring is expected to have an impact. MINOCQUA: Kurt Justice of Kurt's Island Sport Shop emailed this forecast:

May not be the best of openers for muskies. Looks like a lot of fish more interested in spawning.  May get to see a lot though.


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

Many fish are pulling up on many lakes in time for the holiday weekend. A bigger problem may be the cool weather forecast.

Ken ``Husker'' O'Malley sent this with some good suggestions in it for holiday fishing:

Hey Dale,

The ponds out south are really starting to turn on with this nice weather. Bass have finished spawning. 6 plus bass an hour has been a welcome sight. During the evening, a lipless crankbait has worked best. Mostly male bass. During the day, larger bass have been caught using a tex posed senko or fluke. Weeds are getting thick. Dropping the bait down in pockets have been the pattern.
 
On another note, I a local creek a week ago. Still was slow as the water temps need to come up to get those smallies active. One largemouth and a few rock bass. It was amazing to see what the floods did to the creek. It is completely different now. It was like fishing a new body of water.
 
TTYL
 

Ken "Husker" O'Malley
"Tame that water and remember to practice CPR!"
Water Werks Fishing Team


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, crappies and smallmouth bass providing very active action;
all in and amidst the lakes and the Wisconsin River in Wisconsin¹s Marathon
and Lincoln Counties (near Mosinee and Wausau).

Water temperatures in the central Wisconsin area are now in the upper 50 to
lower 60 degree range and the walleyes have finished spawning.  The crappies
are up shall and on the beds, and the base are staged to begin their spring
ritual.

The walleyes in the central Wisconsin area have been very aggressive, with
lots of fish being caught by anglers running Wolf river rigs in 8 to 12 feet
of water.  A simple Wolf river rig set up is your line from your pole
headed down to a three way swivel.  From the swivel run one line
approximately 8 inches long going to a bell sinker and another line
preferably about 18 to 24 inches long going to a small octopus style hook
baited up with a large fathead minnow or night crawler. Lower this rig until
the sinker hits the bottom and wait for the action to start.

Crappies in the central Wisconsin area are up in the shallows and a great
way to take advantage of this is to get yourself a good pair of polarized
sunglasses.  Not only will the glasses protect your eyes, they will allow
you to see into the water, giving you the ability to spot shallow running
crappies as they make for their beds.  Once you locate the crappies a simple
hook baited up with a small minnow will do the trick. Set the bait about 8
inches to a foot below a bobber and toss it onto the crappies' bed.  It
won't take long and the action will start. For even more fun try a fly rod
with a small popper.  The action can be fast and furious.

Smallmouth bass in the central Wisconsin area have been very active and a
lot of nice fish have been caught including one that went 6.5 pounds, caught
on the Wisconsin River.  Most of the action is coming from shallow rocks in
less than 4 feet of water.  The bass have been taking a variety of baits
from jigs tipped with plastics to spinner baits and crankbaits.  Top water
action is just starting but as the water warms up it is really going to pick
up.


CHAIN O'LAKES AREA

Fishing looks good on many fronts for the holiday weekend, especially good news about the bluegill pulling up. Triangle staff reported bluegill in shallow, worth trying fly rod fishing poppers or ants or light spinning tackle with ice jigs and waxies. Walleye are excellent, feeding aggressively on fatheads or leeches, around current areas or main lake points. Muskie are fair on small jerkbaits or small bucktails. White bass are good on small minnows or leaf worms or spinners, try 8-15 feet on Bluff and Marie. Crappie are good morning and evening, Cubbie or pinkie jigs tipped with small fatheads. Some perch being caught on Marie or Catherine, small fatheads or spikes, relatively deep 12-15. Catfish are good, try crawlers or stinkbait, most lakes producing nice catches regularly.


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

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

COOLING LAKES/STRIP PITS

HEIDECKE: Walleye regulars are on fish with bottom-bouncers and crawlers or leeches or jointed Shad Raps. Rain raised levels. Remember, be patient and prepared with only the one temporary launch. Lake is open daily until sunset. Launch opens at 6 a.m.; bank angling, 6:30 a.m.

LaSALLE: Hatchery staff reported 84 degrees at the intake on Tuesday. There will be no concessionaire for the holiday weekend. The lake is open daily, 6 a.m. to sunset.

BRAIDWOOD/MAZONIA: Hours are 6 a.m. to sunset. Should be a perfect weekend for Mazonia lakes. REMINDER: Anchoring outside the restricted area on the north end of Braidwood, then casting in is illegal.

DELAVAN'GENEVA LAKES, WISCONSIN

DELAVAN: Guide Dave Duwe sent this:

Delavan Lake 5/20/13 through 5/27/13

Fishing on Delavan Lake has been really good. The bass are starting to spawn in the shallows and the Northern Pike remain in the shallow weed flats feeding heavily. Largemouth bass are in 3-4 feet of water. The best location has been by Lake Lawn Golf Course, the Highland and Viewcrest Bays. They are cruising the shallows beginning their spawn. With the ultra clear water, the best time is early morning or evening or cloudy days. They have been very spooky, so long casts are a necessity. The best approach is casting Yum Dingers in green pumpkin or Root beer colors with red flake. With the cool water temperatures, the pleasure boating traffic has been light so enjoy the calm lake while it lasts. Northern Pike action has been very good. I've had double digit catches every trip this week. The best location has been in Viewcrest Bay or by Browns Channel. The northern pike are in weed flats with hard sand bottom. I've been using Thill slip bobbers fished with medium suckers. Put the suckers about 4 ft under the surface of the water. There have been quite a few small ones but we've also caught a few legal fish as well. The bluegill fishing has been okay in 2-3 ft of water. They are very tight to the bank in and around the piers. The best approach has been fishing small red worms on a bobber rig. Look for the fish by Willow Point or by Viewcrest. Crappie action has been very good. The fish I've been keying on are in 6-8 ft of water. The fish are located in front of Lake Lawn or by Browns Channel. Purple and pink plastic have been producing most of the action. With the clear water, long casts are needed as well as a slow retrieve back to the boat with an occasional pause. Walleye fishing has been spotty. Most of the bigger fish are coming out of 20 ft of water. Lindy rigging small suckers or extra large fat head minnows has been producing most of the success. The best location has been off of the north shore from the Yacht Club down to the old marina. Good luck and I hope to see you on the water. For guide parties, please call Dave Duwe at 608-883-2050

Daily Reports
5/19/13 - Delavan Lake - sunny, 85 degrees, winds calm, water temp 64 degrees. Caught 13 largemouth and 10 northern pike. The same patterns continued to work today. It's always a great day when you are hitting double digits in multiple species.

5/18/13 - Delavan Lake - sunny, 78 degrees, winds light out of the east, water temp 62 degrees. Caught 14 largemouth, 1 smallmouth and 11 northern pike. The fish were still in the shallows in

3-4 ft of water. The pike again hit on slip bobber rigged suckers.

5/17/13 - Delavan Lake - cloudy, E winds at 15-20 mph, air temp 63 degrees, water temp 62 degrees. Caught 19 largemouth bass - 4 were legal, 3 smallmouth - 1 was legal, 2 walleyes - 1 was legal and 15 northern pike. Finally I had a really good day on the water. It was weird with the cold front and strong east wind but they were biting. Fish every opportunity, because you just never know. All the bass and walleye were caught on split shot rigged nightcrawlers in 3-4 ft of water. The northern pike were caught near Browns Channel in 10 ft of water.

5/16/13 - Delavan Lake - sunny, 78 degrees, calm winds, water temp 62 degrees. Caught 8 northerns and 5 largemouth bass. The northerns were caught in 10 ft of water by Browns Channel on slip bobber rigged medium suckers. The bass again were tight to shore in 3-4 ft of water.

5/14/13 - Delavan Lake - sunny, 85 degrees, water temp 60 degrees, W winds at 5-10 mph. Caught 5 northerns, 6 largemouth bass - 3 were legal. The northern pike were caught in 10 ft of water on medium suckers fished beneath a Thill slip bobber. The bass were caught tight to shore in 2-3 ft of water. The bass were caught on split shot rigged nightcrawlers.


GENEVA: Duwe sent this:

Lake Geneva 5/20/13 through 5/27/13
This spring has been very cold so the lake is still about 2 weeks behind schedule. With the cold water temperatures the overall fishing has been on the tough side. The best bite still remains largemouth bass in the shallows. Largemouth bass fishing has been average. The active fish are being caught in Trinkes or in Geneva Bay. The fish I was catching in the Abbey are starting to disperse with the warming waters in the harbor. The best approach has been a jig worm with a Yum Houdini worm. Green pumpkin or watermelon are the best colors. Bluegill fishing has been okay. The best location is near the piers by the Riviera or over by the Abbey Harbor. You want to fish small red worms or wax worms fished on a bobber. Look for the fish in 3-4 ft of water. They have not spawned yet and it will be another 10 days or so before they do. Smallmouth bass fishing has been improving. They have not yet spawned and they are hanging around the bait fish in the lake. They are suspended outside the weed flats in location such as the Military Academy or Elgin Club. The best bait remains white hair jigs or a split shot rigged fat head minnow. The suspended bass are about 5-10 ft down in 15 ft of water. Rock bass fishing has been slow due to the colder water. The best place to catch them is by the Military Academy or Belvidere Park. The best approach is a split shot rigged minnow or some small crappie jigs. Look for the fish in 12-13 ft of water. In a few weeks, they will literally be everywhere. Yellow Perch remain in the shallows. The best location is by Knollwood and Belvidere Park. Look for the fish in 6-7 ft of water. The best approach is slip bobber rigged minnows. You want to locate your bait about 1 to 1 ½ ft above bottom. 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: Guide Ken Wilson--(217) 454-2672--of Lithia Guide Service reported the crappie spawn is about done, best is trolling crankbaits in 12-15 feet; walleye and sauger are picking up on bottom bouncers with spinners or crawlers. Walleye are good below the spillway, around dawn or dark. Lake is about seven feet above normal summer pool.

REND LAKE: Last week, guide Jason Johns of Boneyard Fishing--618) 927-3432--reported crappie spawning in the bushes and was expecting one more big wave. Catfish are good, too.

LAKE OF EGYPT: Johns reported 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 20, 2013
Brown Co.
This past week's steadily rising air temperatures have helped contribute to warmer water temperatures as well as increased angling pressure and increased fishing success. This week water temperatures reached as high as 66 degrees in the Lower West Shore of the Bay, while most rivers were holding water between 59 and 62 degrees. Both Suamico and Geano's Beach have seen walleye fishing activity increase quite a bit of over the past week.
West Shore: Walleye were the main fish species being targeted out of Suamico and Geano's Beach this week. Anglers found success trolling a variety of crankbaits in various colors (perch, gold, and natural colors) or running crawler harnesses (glass blue, red, purple, green, etc.) Most fishermen were catching walleyes in 8-12 feet of water. The occasional Sheepshead and Catfish were also caught. Pleasure boater numbers also increased over the weekend.
Fox River: Fishing pressure on the Fox River was also high this past week. Most boat anglers were targeting walleyes by casting Rapalas (blue, red, green, purple, etc) or Flicker Shads (variety of colors); a few anglers chose to troll crawler harnesses, (gold, brass, glass blue). Most fishermen were fishing in about 4-15 feet of water, but some chose to fish deeper pockets of water. Walleye numbers were low during the week, but increased over the weekend. Other fish caught were Sheepshead, Catfish, and a few White Bass. Shore fishermen were targeting both Walleye and Catfish, but numbers of fish caught were low. Most fishermen were using cranks baits (orange and perch color) for the walleyes and jigs for the catfish.
East Shore
Walleye fishing on the east shore of Green Bay has picked up significantly in the past week. The majority of fishermen at Bayshore Park, Chaudoirs Dock, Little Sturgeon Bay, and Potawatomi State Park have reported finding fish in 10-12 feet of water by trolling crank baits (Flickershads, Smithwicks, and Salmos) 5-6 feet down; a few fishermen have been targeting walleyes in 18 feet of water using crawler harnesses. Most boats at Bayshore and Chaudoirs have been catching between 2-5 walleye per person. Shore fishermen at Bayshore Park have had success throwing floating lures (such as floating Rapalas) during dawn and dusk hours off of the rock pier. Shore fishing success varies by night, but some anglers have reported catching limits of walleyes. Most walleyes have been between 16-22 inches with a few fish larger than that. Anglers have also reported catching a few sheepshead as well as a musky.
Both Sawyer Harbor and Little Sturgeon Bay have seen extensive fishing pressure for bass this past week. Fishing success has varied day to day. Friday and Saturday yielded both large numbers of fish and large fish. A change in wind made fishing very tough on Sunday. Successful anglers have been the ones who are able to find the warmest water. Anglers reported that areas with even a one degree difference made the difference between seeing fish and catching fish. In most areas water temperatures have been hovering around 55-56 degrees, but some spots are holding water as warm as 62.
A few shore fishermen have been trying for bass with some success. The pier is in at Little Sturgeon Bay, but the fishing pier at Potawatomi State Park has not yet been put in.
Oconto Co.
Suckers, carp, and smallmouth are being caught on the Oconto River from the Dam at Stiles to the mouth. Bass are hitting spinner and crank baits as well as live bait; carp and suckers are hitting live bait fished close to bottom. There has been a good walleye bite from Pensaukee Landing to Oconto Park II. Most of the action is coming in 6 to 12 feet of water using crawler/harness and trolling stick baits. The color purple has been hot.
Marinette Co.
A few catfish are showing up at the Peshtigo Harbor; anglers are using stink bait or crawlers fished on bottom. The walleye bite has slowed some from the Peshtigo Harbor to the Menominee River; boaters are reporting a water temperature of 51 to 54 degrees. Musky fishermen were out in force on the Menominee River plying their trade without a lot of success. An angler told me the water is a bit cool and the river has quite a few suckers in it. Some northern pike and smallmouth are also being caught trolling from Stephenson Island to the river mouth. Anglers by the Hattie Street Dam are catching some walleye, smallmouth, and pike using stick baits fished in the current.


LAKE ERIE: PORT CLINTON

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

LAKEFRONT

CHICAGO: Capt. Bob Poteshman of Confusion Charters said reported coho good with a few kings, steelhead and browns mixed in. He's catching them on the beach, others are in 40-60 feet. It's primarily Dodgers and peanut flies. Steve Palmisano at Henry's reported some perch from shore at Belmont on Tuesday. Perch for the holiday weekend would be a beautiful thing.

WAUKEGAN: Like other lakefront spots, coho are the top bite and should still hold for the weekend.

NORTH POINT: Poteshman the coho are good from the beach to the hill, but there's bee catches to 230 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:

Spring is catching up rather quickly. Water temps are warming enough that crappies and muskies are being seen in the shallows. No crappies bedding as of yet, but muskies are pairing up.
Fishing has remained good if the weather- rain and more rain- sought to slow anglers' attempts.
Walleye: Very Good. The spawn is all but over, but on many bodies of water the bite remains very good. Recovering from spawning, walleyes are moving into the shallows to feed. Lots of action in water of 5' and less. Any place the water is a little warmer and green weeds are present, walleyes are actively feeding on insects, leeches and any small fish they can find. Lots of larger walleyes of 23-29" being caught on jig/minnow combos. Casting stick baits over these same shallows also scoring big.
Northern Pike: Very Good. Pike very active. Searching shallows for perch, pike taking jig/minnow combos as well shallow running shad raps and stick baits over weedy areas of shallow water (4-6').
Crappies:  Very Good.  Gathering in shallows. Search woody water for pre-spawn stagers. Tiny jigs of tinsel hair and plastic as well as the hard to resist crappie minnows under a float. Keep an eye open for protected bays with warmer water than the rest of the lake.
Perch:  Very Good.  Just finished their spawn- small-medium fatheads on 1/32 oz jigs below small floats. Many fish seem thing right now, but are feeding up to put on weight.
Bluegills:  Few reports due to rain.
Smallmouth Bass: Good. Staging outside spawning areas. Seek secondary breaks, preferably with wood. Tubes, craw imitation baits on 1/16 oz - 1/8 oz heads working. Fish not ready to come to top yet.
Largemouth Bass: Good-Fair. Most fish caught while targeting walleye/pike. Soft bottom shallows best.
May not be the best of openers for muskies. Looks like a lot of fish more interested in spawning.  May get to see a lot though.


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

(Head): Northern, perch, crappies and bluegills all providing good action,
with walleye fair to good.  All in the Eagle River, Wisconsin area.

All lakes in the Eagle River area are well open and providing good fishing
action.  Best bet would be to first try the Eagle River Chain of 28 lakes
(longest freshwater chain of lakes in the world).

Northern in the Eagle River area are in 10 feet of water or less in and
around weeds.  Use a Husky Jerk in a minnow or walleye pattern, or a
northern sucker under a slip bobber.  All day bite. Good action.

Perch in the Eagle River area are  tight to bottom in 8 feet of water or
less, over muddy bottom with scattered weeds.  Use a small jig tipped with a
minnow or crawler.  All day bite.  Action is good.

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

Walleye in the Eagle River area are locating in 10 feet of water or less in
and around weeds.
The walleye are tight to bottom.  Use a 1/8th or 1/16th ounce jig tipped
with a fathead minnow.
All day bite with peaks in the evening.  Action is fair to good.

(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

Mike Starcevich at Mik-Lurch reported a mixed bag at the gap at Cal Park, at the Gong, in 60-65 feet off Gary Light, and east of the Donut in 40-60. Willow Slough has bluegill in the lily pads; good bluegill at Pine and Stone.

SHABBONA LAKE

Denny Sands at Lakeside reported bass and bluegill moving up and crappie are finishing the spawn. But other species like hybrid stripers and catfish will be going, too.

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:

Southern Lake Michigan Fishing Report: May 20, 2013
Kenosha Co.
Ramp: The Simmons Island boat ramp and the fish cleaning station have been very busy lately, especially on the weekend. Most of the boaters have been catching their limit of coho salmon, usually within 3 hours. Some boaters reported finding cohos anywhere between 20-55 feet of water. One boat caught its limit of coho (ten fish) by trolling north from the breakwater outside the harbor for about 40 minutes and then trolling back. Some boaters reported success trolling from the Kenosha water treatment plant down to the Illinois border. Other boaters motored out to "the hills" and searched for larger coho and chinook. Dipsy divers and yellow birds with dodgers and flies was a popular setup for most boaters. The average weight of the coho measured on Saturday was 3.2 pounds. The Kenosha Sport Fishing and Conservation Association held a fishing contest this weekend. There were some nice size lake trout, steelhead, coho, and chinook weighed in at the cleaning station. One of the chinook salmon that was entered in the contest tipped the scale at over 21 pounds.
Shoreline: Anglers reported good catches of coho from the piers this week. The early morning bite, between sunrise and 8:00 AM, was most productive. On Wednesday, anglers near "the pines" on the South Pier caught their limit of coho while fishing with alewives. Casting stick baits produced some nice catches of coho as well. One angler landed a coho and a brown while casting a silver and blue cleo near the tip of South Pier. Some of the local anglers said that the morning bite hasn't been this good in almost three years. One angler, who caught his limit of coho on Wednesday, said that he didn't catch any cohos off the pier last year. Another angler reported that large schools of alewives are in the harbor. He filled his bait bucket with alewives in less than two hours. Other anglers on the pier tried fishing for brown trout and steelhead with night crawlers and crappie minnows with no reports of fish taken. The surface temperature at the lakefront was 53F on Sunday.
Racine Co.
Ramps: There was a big increase in boating activity this week at the Pershing Park boat launch. Over the weekend, there was an average of 15-20 trailers parked in the lot at any given time. Anglers were taking advantage of the recent mild weather with light winds and temperature in the 70's. One angler reported that the lake was as smooth as glass early Sunday morning. Most boaters have been catching their limit of coho salmon, usually in 3-4 hours or less. The fish are pretty aggressive, and some anglers report that they've had two or three cohos on at a time. Most of the fish were caught on dodgers and flies. The cohos were also hitting on spoons and some anglers reported catching cohos while trolling crank baits. A large number of boats were seen trolling the lakefront from the tip of North Pier to the one mile marker. One boat caught its limit of coho (ten fish) in less than 2 hours while trolling ½ mile north from the mouth of the Root River and then back. They were fishing in 25 feet of water. At the fish cleaning station, all of the coho were filled with alewives and some had gobies in their stomachs. The average weight of the fish measured on Sunday was 3.8 pounds. As of Sunday, only one pier was in the water at the boat ramp. The repair work continues on the six western launch lanes.
Shoreline: A few anglers were fishing for bass and bluegills from the floating pier at Reichert Court. They reported that fishing off the pier hasn't been the same since all the weeds were removed from the harbor. The only fish they've seen lately are gobies. Anglers on the wooden pier in the Pershing Park boat harbor tried fishing with nightcrawlers under slip bobbers for northerns and bass. They caught and released a few undersize trout. The surface temperature at the lakefront was 52F on Sunday.
Piers: Fishing pressure on the piers has picked up since the cohos arrived around two weeks ago. Anglers report that the best time to fish for coho is from sunrise to 8:00 AM. Cohos and brown trout were being taken on cleos, krokodiles, wobblers, and moonshine spoons. Silver and green or silver and blue were the most productive colors. On the tip of the North Pier, a couple of anglers caught their limit of coho on Thursday while casting little cleos. One angler who caught his limit of coho with a little cleo on Saturday said that jigging the spoon and fishing close to the bottom produced more strikes than just reeling the lure straight in near the top. The most productive way to fish for coho on the piers this week was bottom fishing with alewives. One angler said that if you have alewives, you will catch coho. Anglers catch the alewives by jigging a Sabiki rig or a gold hook rig with up to three hooks attached.
Milwaukee Co.
North Shore: Fishing has finally picked up with the arrival of the Coho salmon in recent days. Trollers were having success fishing in 20-45 feet of water going north from the north gap or trolling south all the way past the south gap. The best presentations were orange flashers paired with peanut files in variety of colors. Blue, white, green, and purple flies seemed to produce the most Coho. Limits of cohos being caught were not uncommon, especially from Thursday through the weekend. Fishermen off of McKinley pier did also catch Coho on live bait rigs of alewifes and shiners. Casting small spoons have produced additional cohos, though nearly all of the fish caught casting were caught in pre-daylight hours. Summerfest and the rest of the shoreline had little success with anglers catching very few brown trout while casting spoons or other crank baits. Live bait did not seem to produce any additional fish.
South Shore: The number of boats trolling has increased in recent with the arrival of the Coho salmon. Trollers seemed to have their best luck fishing in 25-45 feet of water stretching from outside the South Shore Yacht Club down to the boils. The best baits were orange flashers with peanut flies of white, blue, or green. The fish were not concentrated to any one particular area so covering the most ground produced many more fish. There were no reports of people catching fish from underneath the Hoan Bridge at Jones Island. Oak Creek power plant has produced a significant number of cohos with the best presentations being alewifes under a float or casting plastics or crank baits off the end of the pier. Trollers out of Bender Park reported a good number of Coho being caught trolling with blue or white flasher/fly combinations, though the fish were very spread out over the area in varying depths from 20-45 feet of water.
Ozaukee Co.
Port Washington Pier: Fishing on North Pier has been steady, but few fish are being caught. Water clarity has fluctuated over the past few days on the lake side, but clarity is quite good overall; water on the marina side is still murky. Schools of baitfish can be seen near the pier, and fishermen have been snagging a lot of Alewives. One group did have some luck on Saturday, with a couple Whitefish caught on minnows off the end of the pier. On Sunday the fishing pressure remained steady, but again, catches were low. I heard secondhand that a group caught a couple Cohos, a Chinook, and a Burbot.
Port Washington Shore: There has been steady pressure both in the marina and near the power plant. Fishermen casting spoons and using shiners from the rocks have reported no catches, while those using a variety of live bait near the power plant have been catching small Browns and Rainbows. On Sunday, a couple nice Steelhead, a Brown, and a Coho were caught near the power plant discharge using spawn.
Port Washington Ramp: Fishing pressure has remained steady off the ramp, and some fishermen have reported catching their limit of Cohos, while others spent hours on the lake without a hit. Fish were caught between 20 and 50 feet of water on flies (blue) and dodgers, and one group reported strikes on a variety of baits; most Cohos were 2 to 3 pounds. Another group caught a nice Brown (9.5 pounds) on a green flasher and fly combination in 38 feet of water. On Sunday a group caught a couple Cohos, a Brown, and a Lake Trout on flashers/flies; they were fishing in 75 to 120 feet of water near Concordia College. I have heard secondhand that some of the charters are catching Chinooks.
Amsterdam Road Ramp: The ramp dock is currently being installed.
Sheboygan Co.
Fishing pressure has remained low on the ramps and steady on the piers.
Sheboygan Ramps: Fishing pressure has remained low. A few boats were launched last week, and the one fisherman I talked to caught nothing. He was trolling in 10 to 40 feet of water near the power plant and marking fish at 30 feet. On Saturday only a couple boats were launched, but none came back before my site change. On Sunday a group caught a Steelhead in 70 feet of water off Kohler-Andre State Park. The 8th Street ramp remains closed.
Sheboygan Piers: Fishing pressure remains steady on the piers, but catch rates remain low. Small Browns are being caught every now and then on spoons, and one fisherman I spoke to thinks they may be closer to shore on the lake side(where he caught a 3 pound fish last week); this same fisherman caught a 6 pound Brown on the Marina side of South Pier early last week. Lots of baitfish are in the water and Alewives are commonly snagged by anglers casting spoons.
Sheboygan Shore: I have observed a couple Carp fishermen on the Sheboygan River east of the 8th Street Bridge, and one fisherman tried his luck off North Point but caught nothing.
Cleveland Ramp: I observed one fishing boat that was launched from the Cleveland Ramp, either anchored or trolling near Whistling Straits, but I saw no trailers at the ramp this weekend. From the dock, water clarity is good and the lake was calm all weekend with little wave action.


SOUTHWEST WISCONSIN LAKEFRONT/LAKES

Tyler Harmon messaged:

Nothing new. Same as last week, only new thing is catfish action has picked up.


WOLF LAKE

Starcevich at Mik-Lurch reported walleye exploded on lighted bobber and leeches, otherwise casting Husky jerks


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

Mike Starcevich at Mik-Lurch reported reported a mixed bag at the gap at Cal Park, at the Gong, in 60-65 feet off Gary Light, and east of the Donut in 40-60. Willow Slough has bluegill in the lily pads; good bluegill at Pine and Stone.

SHABBONA LAKE

Denny Sands at Lakeside reported bass and bluegill moving up and crappie are finishing the spawn. But other species like hybrid stripers and catfish will be going, too.

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

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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

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DOWNSTATE

larrysfishinghole.com

MICHIGAN DNR REPORT

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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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This page contains a single entry by Dale Bowman published on May 22, 2013 6:42 AM.

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