Midwest fishing report – Lakefront perch: Indiana/Illinois: Capt. Chuck Weis of Ace Charters found perch last week as deep as 38 feet on the Indiana shoals to as shallow as 18 feet at Gary Light after water temperatures dropped 20 degrees on Friday. ”Every day is different. There is no rhyme or reason,” he said. ”I don’t think I have caught them in the same spot two days in a row.” Some days, little fatheads work, other days baby roaches. Mik-Lurch reports perch in Indiana from shore at Pastrick out to 40 feet for boaters on baby roaches (No. 1) or pond craws. Keeping the presentations on or tight to the bottom improves catches in both states. Best In Illinois has been in 30 feet outside of Wilmette harbor, according Ed Shirley’s. Otherwise, boaters are working 30-65 feet south of Waukegan to off Highland Park. There are some perch out to the R4. Over the weekend, there was a perch revival from shore at Waukegan’s government pier and south rocks on small roaches or soft shells, the Salmon Stop reported. Henry’s reported a few early-morning perch at Montrose and Navy Pier. In Indiana, there were some from shore at Pastrick and over the weekend at Michigan City.
Area lagoons/lakes: Fair: Many area lakes have an odd greenish tint to them, most likely related to the extended low water and heat. JJ’s reports bass remain the most consistent fish, usually on topwaters early and late or plastic worms. Otherwise, most lakes have some bluegill.
Chain O’ Lakes area: Decent: Triangle reports good bluegills on waxies or ice jigs. With the added flow, walleye improved, including an 8.5-pounder. Current is the key, so focus on bridge areas and the river. In order, best are leeches, crawlers or fatheads. Muskie are improving on topwaters or bucktails, morning or evening. White bass improved greatly; work wind-blown shorelines. Petite and Bluff are best. Catfish remain excellent on Grass, Pistakee and Fox on stinkbait or crawlers. Crappie are fair. Jason Norris of windycityfishing.com reports good bass from the point and the south end of Deep Lake on topwaters and plastic worms.
Cooling Lakes/Strip Pits: Fair: Midwest Fishing Report friend Jim Giglio reports fair fishing for a mixed bag at Heidecke. Trolling Rogues or Shad Raps are producing smallmouth (occasional monsters), walleye, stripers and drum. Water is in the 80s. Mazonia rates as a decent option early and late for a mixed bag. LaSalle and Braidwood should moderate gradually.
Delavan/Geneva lakes, Wis.: Good: Guide ”Jimmy T.” Templin calls Delavan the best going nearby with nice bass on the weed lines and big bluegills suspended. Pike are doing well at both places, especially in 30-35 feet on Geneva with chubs or suckers, according to the Wisconsin DNR. Trollers taking some walleye at night on Geneva.
Downstate: Fair: Central and southern areas received a heavy shot of rain early this week. Shelbyville: Guide Mary Satterfield reports variable white bass action on the flats, some crappie on the deeper drop-offs (10-15 feet) and largemouth on shallow wood. Lake is cooling from the temps in upper 80s.
Fox River: Decent: The river came up and, though it receded some, it kicked in the white bass and smallmouth. ”Fish were hitting the boats as we were putting in boats over the weekend,” Ken Gortowski of WATERDOG ink in Montgomery reported. Even with the higher water, best fishing remains early or late. Smallmouth are sitting in classic smallie water, right off faster water. Floating leeches under a slip bobber have produced good catfish. Otherwise, go with the usual summer patterns.
Illinois River: Starved Rock area: Decent: Increased flow and water dramatically improved fishing. The river came up about a foot according to the National Weather Service, and is only projected to drop an inch or so. For white bass, find them schooling on shad, then throw bladebaits, topwaters or a jig and minnow. Catfish and drum remain strong.
Kankakee River: Decent: Rains added flow and color, especially upstream in Indiana, which may help fishing. Ed Mullady reports good catfishing throughout. Largemouth continue to be the year’s surprise with good action at the Aroma Park bayou, east of Momence and around Route 41 in Indiana. Smallmouth are decent (numbers better than size) around drifts, weed beds and riffles.
Lake Erie: Port Clinton, Ohio: Fair: Rickard’s reports perch are improving, some limits, east of Ballast, northwest corner of Kelleys and between Kelleys and Gull Shoals. Best for walleye is by the F can by the Canada line, early or late. Smallmouth are best off airport reef in 10-19 feet.
Lakefront: Decent: For perch, see top. Chicago: Rock bass and bluegill (mainly small) continue strong in the harbors, Henry’s reports. Capt. Mike Okoniewski reports very good action for kings and coho from the T-marker to the R4, mainly down 45-50 feet. Smoke Dodgers and flies such as white or green Hal flies are outproducing spoons. Waukegan/North Point: Capt. Bob Poteshman reports the best summer fishing in years continues. Leadcore setups have been the best producers. Aqua or white Howie flies and Dodgers or spoons (Dreamweavers, Stingers) are both working. Early morning (4 a.m.) is best right on the hill for kings. As the day lengthens, charters are going to 140-240 feet for outstanding summer steelhead action.
Northern Wisconsin: Decent: Continued cool weather (www.wunderground.com forecasts 40s at night this weekend) should cool lakes to the upper 60s. Minocqua: Guide Kurt Justice reports largemouth have been the steadiest toward evening in cabbage 4-8 feet deep. Smallmouth are on deeper rocks (20-30). Muskie have been fair, though there have been some big ones, including a 52-inch, 31-pounder on a Top Raider. Walleye are fair, better on overcast days. Better bluegills are deeper (weed edges in 10-16).
Northwest Indiana: Fair: For perch, see top. Mik-Lurch reports a few kings in 90 feet (58-20); a few out of Michigan City in 65 feet. Live pond crabs are taking a good mixed bag from shore. Amoco, Edison and Gary Light have good channel catfish; Sonny’s No. 1, otherwise live soft shells. Few steelhead in the creeks. Wolf is fair.
St. Joseph area, Mich.: Decent: B-J’s reports salmon and steelhead are close to the piers again, some from shore while the boaters are working from the pierheads to 90 feet. Perch remain good in 25-35 from New Buffalo to South Haven. Smallmouth and catfish are decent in the river.
Wisconsin lakefront: Starting: Locals report the first kings and browns from shore at Kenosha on Little Cleos. The WDNR reports Shore anglers in Milwaukee are picking up a few kings on glow spoons. Trollers off Racine and Kenosha are limiting mainly on kings in 100-120 feet very early.