Midwest fishing report – Chicago reminders: Awards for the Chicago Park District’s derbies and tournaments this summer will be given out at Northerly Island Nature Center from 8 to 9 a.m. Saturday. Those who can’t attend will have their checks mailed next week. … After the summer hiatus, Mayor Daley’s Fishing Advisory Committee meets again at McKinley Park at 10 a.m. Thursday.
Area lagoons/lakes: Fair: More reports come of fish kills, especially on shallower lakes and ponds. Ed Shirley reported a 20-pound-plus flathead came from Beck’s; otherwise catfish remain the strongest at northern Cook lakes. JJ’s reports Maple is the best lake south for bass on Senkos.
Chain O’Lakes area: Best bet (panfish): Triangle reports excellent bluegill on waxies, leafs or red. Guide ”Jimmy T.” Templin seconds that with bluegills both on weed lines and in shallow shade. Some 40-inch class muskie are just starting to go on bucktails, big jerkbaits or suckers. Crappie, white bass or yellow bass are good on Yummies, pinkies, Mini-Mites on slip-bobber rigs; Bluff and Petite are best with Marie just behind. Catfish are fair on stinkbait or crawlers on Fox and Grass. Walleye are good in current areas on fatheads or crawlers on Lindy or slip-bobber rigs. Bass are slow.
Cooling Lakes/Strip Pits: Fair: The concessionaire is open select days at Heidecke and will have boat rentals. LaSalle closes Oct. 15; and goes Wednesday-Sunday in October. Heidecke and Braidwood/Mazonia close Oct. 18, but Monster at Mazonia South remains open year-round except during unsafe ice. Fishing has been tough during the heat, even at Mazonia.
Delavan/Geneva lakes, Wis.: Decent: MFR friend Jeff Roberts reported hot topwater action for smallmout and largemouth on Geneva’s southwest corner. Largemouth improved on Delavan; live bait is better than artificials, according to the WDNR. Pike are good on deep weed lines on both lakes. Smallmouth are decent on live bait during the day in 25 to 35 feet on Geneva.
Downstate: Shelbyville: Army Corps reports the lake is 1.7 feet below normal pool and in the upper 70’s. The double-jig rig is the best choice for multiple species on gravel bars; white bass are probably the best all-round bite (shallow on gravel and out deeper). Powerton: Closed Monday through Wednesday for maintenance; reopening Sept. 22. Hennepin-Hopper lakes: Remains open through Oct. 1.
DuPage River: Fair/low: Ken Gortowski and Dave Price of WATERDOG ink rigged weedless jigs and had fair smallmouth around Plainfield; but the river is extremely weedy with the low water.
Fox River: Western Suburbs: Fair/low: Riverside reports some smallmouth right at the dam and by the wall; though the river continues to drop to the lowest levels in two generations. Gortowski reports smallmouth decent from Geneva through Montgomery on just about any presentation toward evening on deeper channels that slope up to rock bars.
Illinois River: Starved Rock area: Fair/low: Guide Buster Culjan reports even the white bass at the dam shut down by 8 a.m.; catfish and drum are scattered. Vermilion is extremely low.
Kankakee River: Fair/low: Water is extremely low, but Ed Mullady reports good smallmouth, especially from the Kankakee dam through the state park. Catfish are decent throughout. Mike Lee at Frank’s Bait weighed a 8 1/2-pound flathead from the Momence area. Largemouth are good in Indiana shorelines and mouths of ditches or bayous. Wading guide Dale Craine reports more walleye in the state park area. DJ Dizz, WGCI’s night host, reports decent catfish around Des Plaines SFWA.
Kenosha/Racine, Wis.: Best bet (shore): MFR friend Arden Katz reports consistent hook-ups on kings 10 p.m.-4 a.m. at Kenosha. He prefers 3/4-ounce Rat-l-traps, but others are having good success with glow spoons. There’s some browns too. Racine has been relatively slow, though some steelhead are hitting spawn sacs, according to the WDNR. If rain ever comes, fishing on the Root River could explode, until then it has been so low even the steelhead facility is not running.
Lake Erie: Port Clinton: Fair/same: 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 Kelleys, by West Reef and west of North Bass. Walleye are fair.
Lakefront: Improved: Chicago: Henry’s reported a few smaller kings at McCormick Place in the evening on Little Cleos and Krocs. Park Bait reported seven chinook at Montrose Tuesday; a few keeper perch Monday afternoon. Capt. Mike Okoniewski reports kings and scattered other species at the R4 and a few miles north in 70-105 feet down 40-80, best on smoke Dodgers and white or blue flies. Waukegan/North Point: Capt. Bob Poteshman reported much improved action with just about any presentation working (Dodgers and flies or spoons both) in 70-200, down 50-100, for kings, coho, steelhead, browns and lakers. Hottest has been Waukegan’s South Reef or the hill in 130-150 out of North Point. Salmon Stop reports a few kings and steelhead from shore on glow spoons; government pier and south rocks are best.
Madison Lakes, Wis.: Decent: D&S Bait reports some muskie on Monona and Wingra; bluegill remain good on Monona and Waubesa and a good perch bite (smaller fish) on Mendota’s weed lines (10-14 feet).
Northern Wisconsin: Changing: Water warmed back into the 70’s, but that should change with cooler weather. Use caution, some flowages are extremely low. Minocqua: Guide Kurt Justice reports very good muskie bite on bucktails, spinner baits or topwaters in and around weed beds. Smallmouth have been good on Tomahawk and similar lakes; they are relating to weeds and taking anything. Largemouth were decent around docks and boat houses. Perch are decent in weeds (6-8 feet). Crappie are best in the evening moving in from deep water. Walleye are tough.
Northwest Indiana: Fair: Mik-Lurch reports some salmon out in 110 and in close at the Hole in the Wall Monday night. Capt. Chuck Weis reported fair perch (9 to 12 inches) scattered over the Indiana shoals; find small schools in 32-42 feet from the Inland Wall to the Gong and work them. Bass and catfish are the best bet at Wolf.
Shabbona Lake: Fair: Should be a good fall-pattern by the weekend. Lakeside reported lots of smaller crappie in the deep trees on Mini-Mites; more shoreline largemouth early and late. A few smaller muskie; some bigger catfish (heavier than 10 pounds) on chicken livers. Note: Shabbona Lake Sportsman’s Club will build and place fish cribs on Saturday, then drain the rearing ponds on Sept. 24.
Wisconsin River, Wis.: Dells: Decent: River’s Edge reports good action on sturgeon, including five legals (50 inches or longer) and one of 70 inches on opening weekend. No keepers reported since; likely they’re being caught and released. Smallmouth are decent, walleye are improving with cooler water.
With hot, dry conditions, harvest is ahead of schedule (corn was 6 percent harvested by Sunday). That allows hunters for early Canada goose hunters and scouters for deer more options. Doves: Unpressured private areas have plenty of birds remaining; virtually none at most public sites. Teal: Season ends Sunday. Canada geese: Early season ends Thursday. Unbroken hot weather hasn’t helped to bring in fresh birds. Pheasants: Pheasants Forever projects harvests for the state could be off 25 percent from last season when hunters bagged in excess of 200,000 pheasants for the first time since 1997. Deer: Jeff Lampe of the Peoria Journal Star reported an apparent outbreak of epizootic Hemorrhagic disease or blue tongue in some southern and central areas. The disease makes sporadic annual appearances, the last major outbreak was in 1998.