Midwest Fishing Report
Written by Chicago Sun-Times   
Wednesday, 31 August 2005 18:12
Area lagoons/lakes: Improved: A stable weather pattern and water cooled into the 70s should improve holiday fishing. In Cook County, Skokie Lagoons probably offer the best shore action, according to Ed Shirley's. Topwaters continue to produce good bass on Bass and Mallard lakes; walleye are decent on Deep Quarry with leeches or crawlers, according to Kolar's.

Chain O'Lakes area: Good: Triangle suggests bluegills on Petite, Bluff or Marie, but best are shallow on Channel or Catherine with ice jigs and waxies. Crappie are good in 8-12 feet on Bluff, Marie and Petite. White and yellow bass are best on wind-blown shorelines with Mepps, Roostertails or minnows under floats. Catfish are excellent, still on stinkbait or crawlers, on Marie or Fox. Muskie are decent on big jerkbaits or bucktails.

Cooling lakes/strip pits: Decent: The Mazonia lakes remain one of the best choices for multi-species action on overcast days or in low-light periods. A few scattered reports of busting hybrids at Heidecke, otherwise fair to decent for other species; it's hoped the concessionaire will be open for the holiday. Braidwood is cooling (90 north end, 98 south), but fishing is only fair. Hatchery staff report 90 at LaSalle's intake on Monday with increasing numbers of fishermen.

Delavan/Geneva lakes, Wisconsin: Good: Guide "Jimmy T" Templin reports good bass on Delavan's weed lines. Delavan also remains one of the area's top choices for bluegill. Pike remain strong on live bait on both Delavan and Geneva, according to the WDNR.

Downstate: Rend: Illinois Outdoors' Don Dziedzina reported a good bite on eater-sized channel catfish right off the resort; otherwise, bass are decent. Evergreen: Site super Mike Steffa reports good catfish on crawlers or cheesebaits around the boat rental, good bluegill on shoreline structure and decent muskie on drop-offs and points. Shelbyville: Lake is a foot below summer pool, according to the Corps. White bass on the flats are the steadiest bite.

Fox River: western suburbs: Decent: Ken Gortowski of WATERDOG ink in Montgomery reports good catfish and smallmouth from Geneva to Yorkville -- good enough that catfish are hitting twistertails. For smallmouth, black and white or pumpkinseed twisters are best. There are some walleye at Geneva.

Illinois River: Starved Rock area: Decent: Guide Buster Culjan reported a good bite at the dam for white bass and catfish. Bladebaits are best, very early (6-9 a.m.) for the whites; shad or bladebaits for catfish. River is low and clean. In the holes of Vermilion are smallmouth and catfish, some spotty white bass on blades.

Kankakee River: Decent: Ed Mullady reports good smallmouth, largemouth (in mouths of ditches or bayous and other quiet areas) and catfish (cheesebaits, chicken liver, soft shells) throughout. River and creeks are low, very wadeable. Class: The 168th Sportsman's Letter's Kankakee River Fishing Class with Mullady and his son Matt is at the Mokena Park District from 1-4 p.m. Sept. 10. Preregistration ($30 if done by Monday) is required at mokenapark.com or by calling (815) 932-7285.

Lakefront: Decent: Some shoreline kings and steelhead off government pier and the south rocks in Waukegan, according to the Salmon Stop. Henry's reported two kings at Montrose and one behind McCormick in the past week. Chicago: When winds allow, boaters continue to do best for perch off Wilmette in 30 feet. Holiday anglers would do best to try for rock bass or panfish in the harbors; shoreline perch have been slow, and the northeast winds aren't helping. Capt. Mike Okoniewski reports a good mixed bag from straight out of Diversey to north of the R4. Waukegan/North Point: There are kings, steelhead and lakers in 110-120 feet from 50 feet down on Little Boy Blue flies with smoke Dodgers and white flies with white Dodgers straight out. Perch have been tougher. Some kings are close to shore early. As the day wears on, some are going deeper for steelhead.

Madison lakes, Wisconsin: Good: Mendota is good for smaller perch (on the weed lines) and bigger bluegill (on the bars). Bluegill from shore or boat remain good at Monona and Waubesa. Muskie are improving on Monona, Waubesa and Wingra.

Northern Wisconsin: Decent: Stable weather and water stabilizing in the 60s should re-establish fishing patterns. MFR friend Jerry Swarbrick reported fair fishing on Rice Lake, but a strong muskie bite. Around Minocqua, guide Kurt Justice said broad leaf cabbage is dying off shallow, so look for curly leaf in deeper water. He said some flowages are dangerously low with some launches unusable. Muskie are good on surface baits. Justice said tail baits are best, but bucktails and twitch baits also are working.

Northwest Indiana: Decent: Mik-Lurch reports salmon best on meat rigs in 54 feet. Capt. Chuck Weis reports perch (take sorting) on the Indiana shoals (bigger on the west side). Best is drifting with minnows on the bottoms; glow beads or orange jigs or flies help the bite. Wolf Lake is fair for panfish and bass, slow for walleye.

Shabbona Lake: Improved: Lakeside reports a 48-inch muskie caught and released over the weekend on a Mepps Marabou. Weed lines are dying off, so shore fishing is improving for catfish and bluegill. Both shore and boaters are working the outside line for panfish. Some bass off the weed lines on buzzbaits and Rapalas. Crappie have moved to the shallower trees and cribs (15 feet). Walleye are slow; a few on leeches.

Wisconsin lakefront: Fair: From shore a few kings are being taken at Racine (some good browns, too), Kenosha behind the Holiday Inn (some browns, too), Milwaukee's McKinley pier (steelhead, too), Port Washington (browns, too) and Sheboygan, according to the WDNR. Trollers are working just outside of Racine for kings in less than 50 feet; similarly at the mouth of the Pike in Kenosha.

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