Midwest fishing report – Big events: Mayor Daley’s second annual Salmon Classic will be held Sunday at Northerly Island. Registration is 5-6 p.m, and fishing is 6-9 p.m. It’s free. Call (312) 225-8538. … The Lake Shelbyville Fall Classic for muskies is Saturday and Sunday. Contact Bob Kearns at (217) 423-0932 or at bkearns@ insightbb.com.
Area lagoons/lakes: Changing: At least on some lakes, crappie should be schooled better by the weekend with the cooler weather. Ed Shirley’s reports fair action at Beck and the Busse dam in north Cook. DuPage note: The Forest Preserve District of DuPage County will stock Silver, Deep Quarry and Grove lakes with rainbow trout between Saturday and Oct. 14. During that time, the lakes will be closed to fishing. Fall trout season opens Oct. 15.
Chain O’Lakes area: Improved: Rain improved water levels and fishing for most species. Triangle reports white and yellow bass are the best bite. Catfish are strong in the rivers, too. Walleye are much improved with the increased water flow; try both river areas and the bridges. Bluegill are steady. Crappie are best on Marie in 8 to 15 feet. Muskies are variable.
Cooling lakes/strip pits: Waiting: With cooling water, expect Heidecke to become a hot spot in its final weeks. LaSalle closes Oct. 15 and goes Wednesday-Sunday beginning next week. Heidecke and Braidwood/ Mazonia close Oct. 18. Braidwood (82 degrees on the north end, 92 on the south) and Mazonia (70s) remain warm, according to site staff.
Delavan/Geneva lakes, Wis.: Good: MFR friend Mark Baumbach reported “huge numbers” of rock bass schooled in 18 to 26 feet on the north shore, taking crawlers or medium roaches. The longtime Geneva fisherman said, “I haven’t seen schools like this in a long, long time.” Pike are mixed in, and perch are moving into the same area. Guide “Jimmy T.” Templin said topwaters are taking smallmouth again on Geneva. On Delavan, the best bite for big largemouth and pike remains deep (14 to 20 feet) with live bait. But two MFR friends went shallow (4 to 7 feet) with jigs Friday and caught a multispecies bag (perch, crappie, largemouth, smallmouth, pike, walleye).
Downstate: Shelbyville: Guide Mary Satterfield said white bass remain strong on the flats. Crappie are fair (good numbers of small ones, keepers take work) in 6 to 8 feet. Largemouth are slow, but some on spinner baits shallow off wood. A few walleye on points. Powerton: Oct. 21 is the final day for boat fishing; bank fishing ends Oct. 28. Hennepin-Hopper: Saturday is the closing day. It reopens to the general public May 1.
Fox River: Western suburbs: Improved: Ken Gortowski of WATERDOG ink reports rain turned on the smallmouth on two-tone jig and twisters or black spinner baits, especially in the North Aurora and Montgomery areas. Muskies are more active with the fresh water, but away from the creek mouths. The fresh water should enliven all species.
Illinois River: Starved Rock area: Decent: Cajun’s reports boaters are doing better than bank anglers for white bass; keep hitting the normal fall spots. Catfish and drum are steady. Trollers are taking some walleye/sauger around Henry and Hennepin.
Kankakee River: Decent: Ed Mullady reports good action below the Kankakee dam for multiple species. Smallmouth are best through the state park, Wilmington Island Park through Des Plaines C.A. and around Aroma Park. Increased flow only should improve it. Catfishing is good throughout. Largemouth are decent in Indiana.
Kenosha/Racine, Wis.: Improved: Weekend rains brought a much-awaited spike in flow on both the Pike and Root and brought chinooks in at Kenosha and Racine, according to the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. The Root River Steelhead Facility reopened Monday. Beginning Saturday, fishing on the tributaries is closed from a half-hour after sunset to a half-hour before sunrise.
Lakefront: Decent: Chicago: Park Bait reported a mixed bag of kings and coho early Tuesday — 10 at the Montrose horseshoe, one at the Montrose mouth and several at Belmont. Perch fishing is slow, even for boaters at the R2. Capt. Mike Okoniewski reports charters are taking some fish at the T-marker in 50 to 70 feet, down 20 to 50 feet, on Dodgers and flies or spoons. Waukegan/North Point: Capt. Bob Poteshman said lakers are biting on South and Julian’s reefs, with some 20-pound-plus lakers being taken. Best is a green-and-white Spin-N-Glo with a white Howie fly within inches of the bottom. Perch (all sizes, some 14-inchers) are hot in 35 to 50 feet off Highland Park. Salmon Stop reports steady kings and steelhead on glow spoons from government pier and south rocks. Some perch from the piers, too.
Manistee, Mich.: Under way: Capt. Paul Schlafley said the king run is “pretty much coming in” on the river and off the piers. If cold weather builds cooler water, he expects steelhead to start coming in within the next week or two.
Northern Wisconsin: Changing: Entering the turnover period on some lakes. Minocqua: Guide Kurt Justice reported decent muskies on bucktails and spinner baits. The sucker bite will come as the water cools more. Walleye are spotty, moving toward fall patterns. Some nice crappie in shallow weeds; try to find green weeds in 6 to 10 feet). Pike are active; best on humps with weeds. Perch are decent on drowned wood or shallow gravel on windy days.
Northwest Indiana: Decent: Mik-Lurch reports good kings at night; Frenzies or blue Krocs are best. Best spots are Amoco, Hole-in-the-Wall or the Shipping Canal. Some perch outside of Pastrick. Capt. Chuck Weis reports fair numbers of quality perch in 38 to 41 feet on the Indiana shoals with baby roaches. In recent low-light days, he has had better success with glow beads and orange flies as attractors. A few perch in 28 to 30 feet. Weekend rains brought lots of fish into the creeks. Wolf Lake needs to cool to kick in fishing.
Harvest is ahead of schedule. Corn was 30 percent complete by Sunday, compared with the five-year average of 21 percent; soybeans were 19 percent complete, compared with the five-year average of 16 percent. Deer: Archery season opens Saturday. With it comes a new process for registering deer, either by phone at (866) 452-4325 or online at dnr.state.il.us/vcheck. Hunters must register by 10 p.m. of the day the deer was taken. The temporary harvest leg tag that is part of the deer permit should be placed on the deer immediately upon retrieval, and the deer must remain whole or field-dressed until it is registered. A confirmation number will be given. During registration, many of the same questions will be asked: sex and age of the deer, number of points on antlered deer and number of bobcats or wild turkeys seen. In some cases, a measurement from the deer’s antlers or hoofs might be needed. Those saving deer check pins may submit an application on the IDNR site to have a pin mailed. CWD note: Archery hunters in nine northern counties — Boone, Cook, DuPage, DeKalb, Kane, Lake, McHenry, Ogle and Winnebago — who wish to test their adult deer for chronic wasting disease can do so voluntarily. First check in the deer, then bring the deer or the unfrozen deer head with the two closest neck vertebrae attached for sampling. Contact wildlife biologists Ray Eisbrener at (815) 675-2386 or Doug Dufford at (815) 535-2875 for more details about CWD procedures during archery season. Turkey: Archery season opens Saturday.