Oh, I might be getting a little ahead of myself, but a look at the late-week weather forecast and I guarantee (thanks Justin Wilson, the late Cajun chef, not the Cubs pitcher) that at least some will be thinking or even trying to find ice fishing by this weekend up north.
Well, I chatted with Kurt Justice of Kurt’s Island Sport Shop Tuesday afternoon and he said that temperatures are not to go above freezing until the deer opener on Nov. 17 and there will be ice fishing by then.
Larry Green tweeted the photo at the top and the note below:
With that and a dash of hopes for perch to really get going on southern Lake Michigan, it’s on to the the sprawling raw-file Midwest Fishing Report.
The condensed Midwest Fishing Report appears Wednesdays on the outdoors page of the Sun-Times newspaper. The sprawling raw-file report is posted here online on the Sun-Times outdoors page.
It begins, at least somewhat. Staff at Henry’s Sports and Bait said some reports are coming from 95th.
Capt. Rich Sleziak at Slez’s Bait in Lake Station, Ind. texted:
Perch starting cal park up river to 95 xl fatheads best bait guys in boats moving a lot doing best but some ok catching on bank just starting this will only get betterPlease if u can say I’m on late fall winter hours 5 to 5 and I have 5 sizes of live minnows to choose from thank u
Some are still trying for the few remaining inland trout and a few are trying for crappie.
As for bass, Ken “Husker” O’Malley sent this:
Hey Dale,Here is a recap of this past week’s fishing.Area lakes- work bone colored jerkbaits when winds allow over the tops of deep weeds. A jerk-jerk-jerk-pause cadence worked best.. . .TTYL—Ken “Husker” O’Malley
Waterwerks fishing team
INLAND FALL TROUT: Click here for the statewide information on the fall inland trout season. We are three weekends in, so pickings are getting slim. Here are the nearby sites, including ones not included in the statewide release: Cook County (Axehead, Belleau, Busse North, Green, Horsetail, Sag Quarry East, Wolfe); DuPage (Silver, Pickerell, Grove); Kankakee (Bird Park Quarry, Rock Creek); Kendall (Big Lake at Silver Springs SFWA); Lake (Sand Lake at Illinois Beach SP, Banana); McHenry (Spring Grove Hatchery Pond); Will (Lake Strini, Van Horn Woods).
Here are the important details from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources:
All anglers . . . must have a valid fishing license and an Inland Trout Stamp, unless they are under the age of 16, blind or disabled, or are an Illinois resident on leave from active duty in the Armed Forces. The daily catch limit for each angler is five trout.
Click here to find river closures listed by the Illinois DNR. Go to http://water.weather.gov//ahps2/index.php?wfo=lot to check area water levels and projection. To get to more specific gauges, even on creeks, in Illinois, go to http://waterdata.usgs.gov/il/nwis/current/?type=flow
Closed for the year.
Tim Baker sent this:
TimmyBakes’ Fishing Report 11/6
. . .
I spent all Saturday fishing the fox chain for crappie with a few buddies and despite the cold, windy conditions, we ended up with 26 crappie. We fished two points on the lake in ranging depths from 20-30 feet. We marked fish using our graph before fishing and most fish were relating to the bottom.
We ran through a gamut of baits including spoons, jigs, plastics, and jigging raps before finally realizing that livebait was what they wanted. Since the fish were near or on bottom we rigged small minnows on a drop shot. Using minnows, leeches, crawlers, or waxies on a drop shot rig is simple and an effective way to fish anywhere.
Brad Irving at Triangle Sports and Marine said crappie are going in the back channels, especially tight to the walls, but there are also some out in 10-15 feet on Marie; white and yellow bass are also going in 10-15 feet on Marie with some evening walleye shallow; catfish have been surprisingly good on cut bait and stinkbait.
Check updates at Fox Waterway Agency or (847) 587-8540 for more information.
STRATTON LOCK AND DAM: The lock is closed through April 30. Click here for more info on the lock and dam.
Capt. Pat Harrison at Pat Harrison Outdoors sent this:
Chicago River and Lake Front Report.
Weather was up and down again last week surface temps 52degrees at the locks and 57 down river near River City. I was out for a couple ½ day trips. The first of the 2 produced a couple smaller Largemouth bass a 13” and a 16” and a lot of Gills from 6” to 9 ½ “ not what we were looking for but a ton of action. The second trip was a Father his son and his sons friend we fished hard for bass for awhile with no results and ended up chasing Gills again. The Boys had a lot of Fun and caught a ton of Gills they were Happy.
I took the time to teach them more about fishing. Even brought out the long rods 12 footers and showed them how to setup and use them to do a bit of speed fishing. Going into this week I have a couple trips. I would really like to see the weather settle down and the surface temps on the river hit 48 degrees. The past few years that seems to be the Magic number for the Bass to put the feed bag on. Smaller crank baits moved slower along the seawalls should produce well. Good Luck out there stay warm and dry and hopefully catch some fish.
DELAVAN LAKE, WISCONSIN
No update this week.
DES PLAINES RIVER
Tim Baker sent this:
Despite the recent rain, the Des Plaines River water level was low over the weekend in the south suburbs. On Sunday morning I fished alongside my three brothers and together, we managed a handful of largemouth bass. Fish were caught on worms and spinnerbaits in current breaks off the main river. The two oldest (and ugliest) brothers reeled in the bigger bass but we all caught fish.
Pike fishing still continues into the late fall while fish continue to feed-up for winter. Spinnerbaits, jerkbaits, crankbaits and swimbaits are good choices but remember as the water cools down, you need to slow down! Casting baits will continue to work well but don’t look past livebait, it’s a quick way to learn what lives in a river!
We spoke with a fly fisherman braving the conditions, wading the river, on our way out who claimed to have caught two healthy pike earlier in the week. He had no fish at the time we spoke, but I hope his luck end up changing.
Check out this Des Plaines River Pike Caught on Video! (Credit: Zenfish)
Larry Dozard of Larry’s Fishing Hole sent this update on closures and fall/winter hours at some Downstate sites:
* THIS AREA Will CLOSE TO BOAT FISHING on Oct. 17th. With the Last Day to Boat Fish being Oct. 16th
AND BANK FISHING ONLY ALLOWED AFTER 1PM but NO FISHING ALLOWED in EAST POINT ACCESS AREA,
(lakes to the East) which is CLOSED TO ALL FISHING to provide a GOOSE REFUGE AREA during seasonCLINTON LAKE:
An easterly area of Clinton Lake (The Waterfowl Refuge Area) between the DeWitt Bridge East (CH14)
and the Rt. 48 Bridge . . . remains Closed typically until April 1st.COFFEEN LAKE:
During the Central Zone waterfowl season: No fishing north of the railroad tracks (upper pool)
until after 1pm daily through Jan. 31stDOUBLE T STATE FISH and WILDLIFE AREA:* THIS LAKE IS CLOSED TO FISHING – . . . till Feb. 1stEMIQUON PRESERVE:
No boating, fishing or ice skating access before 12:00 pm during waterfowl hunting season.
Oct. 27 – Jan. 31
Lake users should be aware that hunting might occur on the Preserve other times as well.EVERGREEN LAKE:
– A SOUTHERN PART OF EVERGREEN LAKE – AROUND DEER ISLAND and ALL OF SIX-MILE CREEK BAYIS CLOSED TO GAS from Oct. 15th through JAN. 1st to allow resting areas for migratory waterfowl.
YOU ARE ALLOWED TO STILL RUN A TROLLING MOTOR ONLY IN THESE AREAS.HENNEPIN-HOPPER LAKES: * Lakes are CLOSED for season.. And will be Open spring 2019.McMASTER LAKE at – SNAKEDEN HOLLOW:
Lake will CLOSE TO FISHING on Oct 15th . . . Lake will Re-Open on February 1st.NEWTON LAKE:
As written in the fishing regs booklet : * The cold arm of Newton Lake shall be CLOSED daily
from one-half hour before sunrise until 1:00 pm to all fishing and boat traffic except for
legal waterfowl hunters during waterfowl season commencing with regular duck season through
the close of the Canada goose and regular duck season.
* For here – Regular South Waterfowl Season for 2018: Nov. 10 – Jan. 31PRAIRIE LAKE in Jim Edgar/ Panther Creek State F&W Area:
Lake Partial Closures during Waterfowl Season from Nov. 1st to Jan. 15th
Lake access is CLOSED until after 12:01 PM on Wednesday & Saturday.POWERTON LAKE:
*- Lake Will RE-OPEN to Shore Fishing on Dec. 24th
– but – Will Remain CLOSED TO BOAT FISHING Until Feb. 15thRICE LAKE:
Will Re-Open at end of Duck & Goose season.SANGCHRIS LAKE:
* THE WEST & EAST ARMS OF LAKE and Small AREA NEAR DAM WILL CLOSE DURING WATERFOWL SEASON to boat traffic . . . through Jan. 31, 2018SPRING LAKE (South & North):
Last Day of Boat Fishing in Hunting Areas is Oct. 19th
As – THIS AREA will CLOSE TO BOAT FISHING in Hunting Area on Oct. 20th
— with BANK FISHING ALLOWED ONLY AFTER 1pm–
– AREAS THAT REMAIN OPEN TO BOATS ALL DAY ARE NORTH OF MAPLE ISLAND with ramp at
north end at the Sky Ranch Road launch and IN PIKE HOLE with carry in boats —
and Shore Fishing is allowed in entire lake after 1pm in Hunting areas or at boat ramps all day.
FOX RIVER: WESTERN SUBURBS
FOX RIVER, WISCONSIN
GENEVA LAKE, WISCONSIN
I could use somebody to give winter reports.
GREEN BAY/STURGEON BAY
Closed for year.
Bill Guerrini of the Spring Valley Walleye Club sent this note on Monday:
Barto Landing Closed
Barto Landing will be closed for the next 5 to 10 days.
Construction of our “rock berm” will start on Tuesday 11-06-18
and conclude by 11-15-18 (weather permitting).
On fishing and conditions, check with B&B Live Bait in Ottawa–(815) 433-0432.
INDIANA STREAMS (LAKE MICHIGAN TRIBUTARIES)
Access points for Trail Creek can be found on the Trail Creek Access Map. Access points for Little Cal and Salt Creek, which are closer to Chicago than Trail Creek, may be found at littlecal_saltcreek_access.
Kyle Lund sent the fishing report below:
Hey Dale another report from the Kankakee. Fish are still grouped up as they were from last weeks report and seemed as if they were grouped according to size. There are some big changes that will improve fishing but I think it will also shorten the fall bite by a few weeks. The flow of the river has quadrupled and the gauge height has more than doubled in the last week. Water temps are still hanging low 50’s and high 40’s. The new water and higher flow will bring with it fresh bait from the creeks and cloudy water. Fall plus fresh water coming into the river at creek mouths is every fisherman’s dream. I went out Thursday and noticed a decent mudline at the Davis creek mouth stopped to fish it and landed over 20 smallmouth and a small walleye from the edge of that mudline on a swim bait. No really big fish but that tells me they are strapping on fall feed bags and will be feeding aggressively over the next few days with the rising water and new forage entering the river. The walleye bite should be firing up any day as well. Guys are getting one here and there but this rise in water levels and upcoming cold snap should be exactly what they need to flip their feeding switch. Snow is being talked about over the coming weekend and then a strech of highs in the mid 30’s with rain and lows in the teens overnight could shut things down very quickly. The next 4 to 6 days should provide some great fishing on the Kank. I will be heading out to my favorite fall walleye spot where last year I lost one of the biggest walleye of my life because I didn’t take the time re-tie after a snag and a few fish. Hopefully I’ll have a picture with the beast to share in next weeks report. Until then embrace the changing conditions and get catch em up!In every species of fish I’ve angled for, it is the ones that have got away that thrill me the most, the ones that keep fresh in my memory. So I say it is good to lose fish. If we didn’t, much of the thrill of angling would be gone. Ray Bergman
Always good to read Lund the whole way through. Would not have expected a quote from a trout guy, such as Bergman, but it fits.
Click here to see the Wisconsin DNR’s Lake Michigan Fishing Report. It generally comes out Tuesday.
A smattering of perch reports.
Staff at Henry’s Sports and Bait said there are still some salmon around.
SALMON SNAGGING: Snagging season is open at four spots on the Illinois lakefront. Here is the word from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources:
Snagging for chinook and coho salmon only is permitted from the following Lake Michigan shoreline areas from October 1 through December 31; however, no snagging is allowed at any time within 200 feet of a moored watercraft or as posted:
A) Lincoln Park Lagoon from the Fullerton Avenue Bridge to the southern end of the Lagoon.
B) Waukegan Harbor (in North Harbor basin only).
C) Winnetka Power Plant discharge area.
D) Jackson Harbor (Inner and Outer Harbors)
Closed to fishing.
MADISON CHAIN, WISCONSIN
Closed to fishing, except for Monster Lake at Mazonia South, which is open year-round to fishing.
MENOMINEE RIVER, WISCONSIN
Mike Mladeik at Mike Mladenik Guide Service is done for the year.
Click here to see the Wisconsin DNR’s Lake Michigan Fishing Report. It is generally out Tuesdays.
MINOCQUA: Kurt Justice of Kurt’s Island Sport Shop sent this:
Following a too hot and wet September, then a cold, wet, windy October, the first three days of November were incredibly nice, weather wise! Nicer than any three days in October it seemed. Now back to reality!
Rain, snow and wind came crashing back down to the Northwoods, with temps not forecasted to reach above freezing till the deer opener (Nov 17th).
Lake surface temps, up in the mid 40’s, will certainly start to fall again over the next two weeks. Not very many anglers out there, but…
Musky: Good – Lack of wind required using trolling motors to move suckers till the weekend. Still good action on suckers, slow moving glide & jerk bait or rubber baits.
Crappie: Good – Not numbers but big slabs this week to 15 ½” over drowned wood of 14-18’. Medium and even large fatheads under slip-floats best.
Smallmouth Bass: Good-Very Good – Big Smallies! Most of 18”+ with fish to 21 ½” stacking up along deep water transition areas. Larger minnows (suckers, chubs) best. Not many anglers targeting, but those that do – great fishing!
Walleye: Fair – Action slow. Fish at many depths, from 24-75’, but tough to convince to bite. Best on live minnows near wood in 18-24’. Deeper, mud flats use jigging Raps or Lindy rigs with larger suckers or chubs.
Cold for forecast means limited reports for next week also. Dropping water temps will get the hard water anglers excited. Keep eye on our social media for reports.
Capt. Rich Sleziak at Slez’s Bait in Lake Station, Ind. texted:
Whitefish on Michigan city peir and st joe peir has been decent fishing the bottom with little spawn saks and small peices of skein some I’m waxworms too must be on bottomLake trout at Michigan city peir also casting and jigging blade baits spoons and crankbaitsWhen weather allows wind wise fishing reef area out of burns ditch trolling and casting is picking upThe crappie bite is going good in the river burns ditch just up stream from portage marina around docks and brush piles minnows or jigs tipped with waxworms best some real nice one pulled out since my last report to uPerch starting cal park up river to 95 xl fatheads best bait guys in boats moving a lot doing best but some ok catching on bank just starting this will only get betterPlease if u can say I’m on late fall winter hours 5 to 5 and I have 5 sizes of live minnows to choose from thank u
ROCK RIVER, ILLINOIS
ROCK RIVER, WISCONSIN
ROOT RIVER, WISCONSIN
The Wisconsin DNR’s Root River Report is usually out Tuesday or Wednesday. Click here to see it.
ST. JOSEPH, MICHIGAN
Staff at Tackle Haven in Benton Harbor said whitefish are going at South Haven; otherwise there are some walleye and steelhead in the river.
ST. JOSEPH RIVER, INDIANA
Click here for reports from the Indiana DNR.
Lakeside–(815) 824-2581–is closed for the season, boat rentals are by appointment only in November.
Park hours are 8 a.m.- 5 p.m. through Jan. 31.
SOUTHEAST WISCONSIN LAKEFRONT
The Wisconsin DNR’s Lake Michigan Fishing Report restarted. Click here to see it. Streams flow info is at http://waterdata.usgs.gov/wi/nwis/current?type=flow.
WINNEBAGO SYSTEM, WISCONSIN
Check with River’s Edge.
Rob Abouchar sent this wrap-up:
Hi DaleI knew it was time to “pull up” the season as the reggae singers say when I got to the launch Saturday morning. The sunrise was so spectacular any fish catch would have been insignificant which was a moot point because I did not get a bite by noon and headed to the house. There were more duck hunters seen than anglers and the water temps hovering at 39 degrees. The river and weather were strangely calm but the bite was non-existent. The Pileated woodpecker sighting at the launch as we pulled out was further confirmation of one of the best seasons ever. Big Fish Rock and Roll Guide Service had the opportunity to put many anglers on personal best fish and first fish ever. Big thanks to those who made the trip to fish the Wisconsin River/Alexander Flowage. Looking forward to Braidwood opening in the Spring but may give the Ice Fishing a try in Merrill.Tight LinesRob
Pileateds are very noticeable birds, sound and vision.
WOLF RIVER, WISCONSIN
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