Midwest fishing report

Midwest fishing report
Noteworthy : Shabbona Lake: The lake record for channel catfish (21.1 pounds) was caught on chicken liver around the barn foundation on Thursday, five days after the previous record was caught on marinated chicken breast in the same spot. ”If we can get some guys to use wings and legs, we’ll have the whole chicken,” said Gary Berg of Lakeside, which pays $100 for each lake record. ”I know there is a 25-pounder out there.” The lake cools through the mid-50s. Typically, this is good muskie time; at least two were caught over the weekend. There’s some bluegill in the no-motor zone from shore, a few bass on surface lures. There’s scattered crappie in the trees, down 4-6 feet.

Area lakes: Fair: A Midwest Fishing Report regular reports high waters slowed action at Skokie Lagoons, but it should be the best choice for weekend crappie. JJ’s reports small white bass at Saganashkee. Ed Shirley’s reports continued fair action for fall trout, especially at Belleau on small fatheads. Other nearby stocked lakes are Axehead and Horsetail (Cook County), Silver, Deep Quarry and Grove (DuPage), Bird Park Quarry (Kankakee), Big Lake at Silver Springs State Park (Kendall) and Sand at Illinois Beach State Park and Banana (Lake). Daily bag is five.

Chain O’Lakes area: Decent: Triangle reports excellent muskie fishing on big suckers or big jerkbaits. Crappie are coming together on small minnows on light jigs, start in 6-8 feet on Bluff and Petite; look in the same area for a good white and yellow bass bite on small minnows or spikes. Walleye are fair, a few bigger ones, on large fatheads or crawlers on Marie or around current areas. Perch and catfish are fair. Guide ”Jimmy T.” Templin seconds muskie being good on the Chain and on Loon.

Delavan/Geneva lakes, Wis.: Decent: Templin reports trolling over the weeds with Rapalas shallow is taking pike. On Delavan, lots of bass remain deep, but the pike are moving shallower there, too.

Downstate: Shelbyville: Guide Mary Satterfield said there’s some white bass in the creeks and others out in the main lake with a few walleye mixed in. Crappie are around wood or rocks in 5-15 feet; keepers are tough. Lake cools through the 50s. Powerton: Bank fishing ends Friday.

Fox River: Western Suburbs: Decent: WATERDOG ink in Montgomery reports good bite for all species. ”If you have the patience, use plastics; otherwise, use minnows,” Ken Gortowski said. Decent-sized drum, walleye and smallmouth available in 1-3 feet off the edge of the fast water in pools.

Illinois River: Starved Rock area: Decent: Cajun’s reports better white bass in the usual fall spots — drop-offs, shelves and bridge piers. Keep moving. Sauger are fair by Hennepin and the clam beds. Bank anglers are picking up a few sauger at the park. Catfish remain good on Sonny’s or chicken liver. Water cooled into the 50s.

Kankakee River: Decent: Ed Mullady proudly reported his grandson Rex, son of guide Matt Mullady, caught 10 smallmouth (one going nearly 4 pounds) in an hour on Saturday on, of all things, a Chug Bug. Catfish and rock bass remained strong. River remains fall low.

Kenosha/Racine, Wis.: Fair: Rain kicked up the flow on the Root since Sunday, but the levels remain low, fishing for chinooks fair. The Pike is low in Kenosha with some kings at the mouth.

Lakefront: Fair: Chicago: There were some spotty kings and coho on Monday at Montrose and Belmont, Park Bait said; but it died Tuesday. Mik-Lurch reports spotty perch from shore at Cal Park. Waukegan: Salmon Stop reports some perch in 70 feet south of the harbor and a 20-pound-plus brown caught off government pier on a crawler. Snagging: Henry’s reports the Lincoln Park lagoon south of Fullerton; Salmon Stop said Waukegan’s north harbor basin is strong.

Northern Wisconsin: Muskies: It’s muskie weather: nice fall weather with the lakes cooling through the 40s. Minocqua: Guide Kurt Justice reports suckers and quick-strike rigs taking muskie, but so are Cranes, Gliders and Bulldawgs. Justice has had better luck for walleye with half a crawler than minnows, but others are doing best with redtails and fatheads. Largemouth are active along weeds in 8-12 feet. Some crappie on shallow lakes.

Northwest Indiana: Decent: Mik-Lurch reports continued good kings from shore at Hammond and Pastrick on spawn under bobber or Frenzies. Scattered reports perch from shore at Cal Park. Creeks are holding good numbers of fish.

St. Joseph area, Mich.: Fair: Best thing is perch in 50 feet around the piers when weather allows. Steelhead remains very spotty as the river has extremely low flow.

Wolf River, Wis.: Fremont: Decent: Guide Bill Stoeger reports walleye (eater-sized) picking up upriver through Red Banks vertical jigging with minnows or crawlers in deeper water. Crappie are good around brush piles; white bass are slow.

Wolf Lake: Improving: Mik-Lurch reports improved crappie in the corn channel on minnows 4 feet under a float; improving walleye at night.

Corn harvest (89 percent complete by Sunday) is the fastest since 1991; soybean harvest (93 percent complete) is the fastest since 1997. Deer: Rapid harvest might be one reason hunters are reporting much movement of deer. The peak of the rut is two weeks away, but hunters already are sending in photos of big bucks. Waterfowl: Monday’s aerial survey around the northeast cooling lakes showed only a few ducks (720 compared to the 5-year average of 1,893) but above-average geese (4,390 to 4,295). The central zone duck season is Saturday through Dec. 27. The first season in the central zone for Canada geese, white-fronted geese, snow geese and brant is Saturday through Nov. 6. Youth season was decent at Braidwood, with 12 hunters taking 17 ducks. Remember the time change: the draw at Braidwood on Saturday is at 5:51 a.m. The Sunday draw is at 4:53 a.m. Weather moved geese in the suburbs, but hunting is decent. Even with the northeast winds, hunting was only fair at William Powers SFWA over the weekend with 10 mallards each day. Monday’s aerial surveys showed duck numbers continued down on the Mississippi and Illinois Rivers, but at least mallards (44,862 to 40,504), gadwalls, scaup, ringnecks and ruddy ducks exceeded the 10-year-average on the Mississippi. Nothing on the Illinois was above average. Turkey: The fall firearm season ends Sunday. Previous permits are required.

Dale Bowman

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