Midwest fishing report
Area lagoons/lakes: Fair: Ed Shirley’s reports best bass bite at Independence Grove in Lake County. Otherwise, most local ponds and lakes are again extremely low with fair bassing toward night with topwaters or roaches under slip floats. Kolar Bait reports catfish are good at Pratt’s Wayne and Mallard; fair walleye at night at Deep Quarry.
Chain O’Lakes area: Improved: Triangle said crappie are much better in 8-12 feet on Bluff, Marie and Petite as are white and yellow bass on windblown shorelines. Bluegills remain steady throughout on ice jigs and waxies. For walleye, focus on main lake points on Lindy rigs or split shot and a hook with crawlers. Catfish are fair on Marie or Fox. Muskie are improving.
Cooling Lakes/Strip Pits: Fair: Midwest Fishing Report friend Bill Anderson reported only a fair mixed bag at Heidecke; traditionally September tends to be a good month at Heidecke. Mazonia remains one of the area’s better options for multiple species, especially on cloudy days or low-light periods. Braidwood/Mazonia begins closing at 7 p.m. as of today.
Delavan/Geneva lakes, Wis.: MFR regular Arden Katz reports continued excellent bluegill in 18-24 feet on Delavan with small jigs and light line; hellgrammites are best, but worm pieces will work. Pike on both lakes continue strong on live bait in 20 to 30 feet, according to the WDNR. Guide Jimmy T. Templin reports drop-shots are producing bass deep on Geneva, yet some bass are also coming shallow from the docks.
Downstate: Evergreen: Site superintendent Mike Steffa reports the lake is down about 2 feet and in the 70s. Best fishing is crappie at the pumphouse and catfish around the boat rental and swimming beach; bluegill are decent around shoreline structure. Hennepin-Hopper lakes: Site supt. Rick Seibert reports surprisingly tough fishing. Lakes remain open until Oct. 1.
Fox River: Western Suburbs: Fair: Kolar Bait reports good channel catfish, and improved action for flatheads at night with the cooler water allowing bait to stay alive longer. Smallmouth are decent.
Illinois River: Starved Rock area: Fair: Guide Buster Culjan reports fair catfish on shad or stinkbait, early, late or at night. There are white bass right at the dam on pink and white or silver bladebaits for the first two hours. Drum are decent, but small. There are catfish and smallmouth in the holes of the extremely low Vermilion.
Kankakee River: Fair: Water is again dropping to extremely low levels, making for good wading. Catfish are the steadiest bite throughout. Otherwise, it’s smallmouth bass near riffle areas. Largemouth remain steady in slack areas such as bayou and creek mouths with water.
Lake Erie: Port Clinton, Ohio: Fair: Rickard’s reports perch are best northeast of Ballast, north of North Bass, around C Can and west of Green. Smallmouth are decent north of Kelley’s, by West Reef and west of North Bass. Walleye are fair.
Lakefront: Fair: If cold water wells up again on the shoreline, the shoreline salmon and perch might finally take off, until then it’s hit-and-miss. Chicago: Park Bait reports a few salmon every day very early at both Montrose and Belmont; an occasional coho on the horseshoe. At the rare times when cold water is on shore, there are some perch in the harbor. Otherwise, there’s been nothing from shore. Boaters continue to take some perch off Wilmette when winds allow. Rock bass are fair in the harbors. Capt. Mike Okoniewski reports fair salmon/trout off the T marker in 90 feet, down 40-65; slightly better at the R4 and north in 110-120, down 70-80, with Dodgers and flies. Waukegan: Salmon Stop reports most boaters are working in 110-120, 50-90 down, for kings, steelhead and lakers. Some kings and steelhead from shore with government pier and south rocks producing the best. Perch are fair, scattered. North Point: Capt. Bob Poteshman reports scattered salmon/trout in 100-300, some fish on the hill at low light, then fishing gets tougher and the bite deeper (130-250). Lakers remain steady, but steelhead are scattered and tough.
Northern Wisconsin: Decent: Lakes warmed back near 70, making patterning tougher. Muskie remain the steadiest across the area, pike improved. Minocqua: Guide Kurt Justice reports twitchbaits, small jerkbaits and shallow crankbaits are working best for muskies relating to weeds and edges; suckers are being sold. Redtails are working best for a tough bite on walleye, but the switch to minnows is not complete. Crappie come to the weeds at dusk; perch are decent on weedy humps and bars.
Northwest Indiana: Slow: Capt. Chuck Weis reports fair perch (keepers take sorting) in the clean water on the north end of the shoals in 28-42 feet; fatheads have been the bait of choice. Mik-Lurch reports no salmon on shore yet, trollers are only taking sporadic salmon. Creeks are slow. Southwest winds and cold rain are needed.
Shabbona Lake: Fair: Lakeside reported a 7-pound, 23-inch largemouth over the weekend on a plastic worm. Otherwise, bass are improving on surface baits at evening. Crappie are best in the deep trees, but being caught in shallower areas. Bluegills remain best on weed lines. Some better walleye are on the trees on the other side. Muskie are slowed with higher skies.
Wisconsin lakefront: Best bet: Ed Shirley’s reports Chicago-area anglers are seeing tons of fish from shore at Kenosha, but those doing catching (fair) of browns and kings are using Cleos or K-O Wobblers at night. King action from shore has slowed from Port Washington to Kenosha, according to anglers and the WDNR. Best fishing is from boats right in front of Kenosha. A heavy, cold rain would really kick things in.
Doves: Season began with spotty action statewide on Thursday. Remember, Eurasian collar doves count in the daily bag of 15, and more state sites went to non-toxic shot only or have some fields designated non-toxic shot. Teal: Season is Saturday through Sept. 18. Daily bag is four. In August, some had been reported as far south as Union County. Anglers on the Wisconsin/Illinois line reported seeing more in the past week. An aerial survey was scheduled for Tuesday. Squirrel: Silver Springs and Kankakee River opened up for squirrels on Tuesday. Canada geese: Early season runs through Sept. 15. Daily bag is five in the northeast (nine-county area); two elsewhere. Other: Rail runs Saturday through Nov. 18. Common snipe is Saturday through Dec. 25.