Midwest Fishing Report
Written by Chicago Sun Times   
Wednesday, 21 September 2005 14:42
Best bet: Shoreline kings: The kings finally stormed in mid-week, especially at Belmont and Montrose. The same goes for Waukegan, where good action continues with glow spoons, according to the Salmon Stop. As many as 20 kings were reported one night at Belmont. Some nice smaller coho mixed in at Belmont, which has been the continuing hot spot, according to Park Bait.

Monday was a better day than Tuesday. JJ's reported suburban anglers coming in and having success behind McCormick and on Northerly Island. It's the usual shoreline presentations: 3/4-ounce Rat-l-traps or spoons like K-Wobblers and Cleos. Smaller spoons give a better shot at the coho. Nights tend to be better, but some days produced, too.

Area lagoons/lakes: Fair: On farm ponds and subdivision ponds with deeper water, crappie are improving. Jason Norris of www.windycityfishing.com reported decent action for big bass at Beck. Guide ''Jimmy T.'' Templin said slop baits have been the best for bass on inland lakes with the low-water conditions. JJ's reports spotty crappie on the southern Cook lakes; Maple the best in the south for fair bass.

Chain O'Lakes area: Decent: Triangle reports continued strong bluegill on waxies or small worms; stay shallow. White and yellow bass are good on Yummies, pinkies, Mini-Mites on slip-bobber rigs; Bluff, Petite, Marie and up the river are best. Crappie are mixed in. Catfish are fair on stinkbait or crawlers on Fox and Grass. Walleye are fair, try to find current, then work fatheads or crawlers on Lindy or slip-bobber rigs. Muskie are just starting to go on suckers.

Cooling Lakes/Strip Pits: Reminders: The concessionaire is open at select times at Heidecke and will have boat rentals. LaSalle goes to Wednesday-Sunday in October and closes Oct. 15. Heidecke and Braidwood/Mazonia close Oct. 18, but Monster at Mazonia South remains open year-round except during unsafe ice. Action has been spotty.

Delavan/Geneva lakes, Wis.: Decent: Pike continue decent on both lakes on suckers or trolled lures deep (20 feet and deeper), according to the Wisconsin DNR. Live bait are taking largemouth bass deep on both lakes; some smallmouth, too, but action has slowed some.

Downstate: Shelbyville: Army Corps of Engineers reports water is down more than a foot and is cooling through the 70s. White bass remain the best bet, especially on double-jig rigs. Crappie are fair, water needs to cool some to really turn them on. Powerton: Scheduled to reopen after some work on Thursday. Hennepin-Hopper lakes: Oct. 1 is the final day.

Fox River: Western Suburbs: Decent: Dave Price in Montgomery reports recent rains washed out some algae, and smallmouth are hitting about any smaller grub or spinner; largemouth are decent on larger grubs (5-inch) and catfish continue good on leeches or stinkbait. Walleye are improving at the deeper pools or below the dams on jigs or larger grubs. When rains come, white bass kick in at the dams. Drum and carp continue strong.

Illinois River: Starved Rock area: Decent: Guide Buster Culjan reports better white bass with bladebaits on pea-gravel bars and rip-rap with drop-offs from Peru to Hennepin. Some sauger being taken by pulling crankbaits down the middle or near the breaks at the green buoys. Smallmouth, catfish and flatheads being taken in low Vermilion.

Kankakee River: Good: Rains helped water levels some, areas downstream of the Iroquois should receive more water over the next few days. Ed Mullady reports good action throughout. Lanny Chouinard at Lanny's reports good fishing at the Kankakee dam, including a surprising number of crappie and Bill Ostrowski's 15-pound channel cat. More flatheads being reported up and down the river. Smallmouth are tops in the state park area. Remember to check waterfowl regulations in Indiana areas before fishing.

Kenosha/Racine, Wis.: Fair: Midwest Fishing Report friend Arden Katz reports continued decent action for kings late night (10 p.m.-4 a.m.) on blue and silver Rat-l-traps in Kenosha, others are using glow spoons. There are more browns than kings in Kenosha. Otherwise, the WDNR reports generally slow shore fishing. However, the USGS flow charts showed several spikes on the Root River the past five days, which usually indicates better fishing in Racine.

Lakefront: Changing: For shoreline kings, see Best Bet. Chicago: Largemouth and rock bass are fair in the harbors; perch scarce. Boaters continue to do well off Wilmette for perch. Capt. Mike Okoniewski reported fair salmon/trout at the R4. Waukegan: Capt. Bob Poteshman reports some salmon on the beach, others deep, optimum seems to be 100-180 feet. Lakers are taking off on the reefs, tight on the bottom. Keep moving around to find fish with the changing winds. Salmon Stop said boaters are taking perch off Highland Park in 30-60 feet. Some perch off the south rocks. Reminder: The Chicago Carp Classic is Saturday at Northerly Island and behind McCormick Place.

Mississippi River: Savanna: Fair: Miller's reports river is very low, so most action is in the backwaters for bass on plastics or spinner baits, bluegills on ice jigs or some crappie in the deeper backwaters on minnows or ice jigs.

Northern Wisconsin: Changing: With lows forecast in the 40s the rest of the week, according to www.wunderground.com, lakes should cool through toward 60. Pike are active throughout. Minocqua: Guide Kurt Justice reports crawlers and leeches on weed edges and rocks continue to be the best for walleye, though that will change shortly to a deep bite as the water cools. Crappie are good as they move toward the weeds at dusk. Yellow perch are good, weeds for numbers, big fish on wind-swept gravel. Muskies continue strong on bucktails and spinner baits (topwater early and late), more with suckers as the water cools.

Northwest Indiana: Improved: Coho Harry reported female kings coming in much thicker (50-50) by Tuesday morning, especially at the Inland Ship Canal and the Hole-in-the-Wall on meat rigs or spoons. Recent rains have drawn kings into the streams, some are already all the way to Lake Station. Capt. Chuck Weis reported better perch in 38-40 feet on the shoals on fatheads or baby roaches. A few crappie are starting at Wolf.

Shabbona Lake: Fair: Lakeside reported variable water temperature has made patterning difficult. Some bass on dam-on lures; but on high-sky days, live bait is better. Weed lines or trees are probably the best target areas for the warmer, high-sky forecast for the weekend. Crappie continue to be caught, but in the deeper trees, poor from shore. Catfish and bluegill continue decent from shore. Fair muskie action on bucktails or topwaters. Note: Shabbona Lake Sportsman's Club will drain the rearing ponds on Saturday.

Wisconsin River, Wis.: Dells: Decent: River's Edge registered two legal sturgeon over the weekend to bring the total legals reported to seven. Legal sturgeon must be at least 50 inches in odd years. Smallmouth are improved, walleye are fair. Water remains low, but is cooling, which should improve the action.

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