Crappie and coho lead this sprawling raw-file Midwest Fishing Report, but there are also some bass that have or are trying to do spawning.
Just an FYI, the Sun-Times is using a new system online and I am learning on the fly.
Larry Green tweeted the photo above and this:
AREA LAKES (AREA CREEKS)
Just about everything is trying to go, if only the weather cooperates a little bit.
BoRabb Williams texted:
Crappie SPAWN is done at Saganashki Slough… but on at Wolf Lake on the Indiana and Illinois side…. got a few walley also…. Crappie still good in the Calumet SYSTEM too … with plenty of bass and channel catfish EVERYWHERE … Cedar Lake Indiana is starting to produce nice crappie….. also Willow Slough JC Murphy Lake in Indiana produced some good crappie… bass and Big redear
Been FISHING EVERYWHERE every Day…. before and or AFTER I leave the Barbershop.
Ken “Husker’’ O’Malley emailed:
Here is a recap of this past week’s fishing.
Area rivers- there was actually a small window to wade creeks for some smallmouth action. Ned rigs pitched into areas of slack water produced a few bass.
Area lakes- high water presentations still remain the focus. Chatterbaits worked along areas of inflowing current produced good numbers of largemouth.
Ken “Husker” O’Malley
Waterwerks fishing team
CHAIN O’LAKES AREA
Art Frisell at Triangle Sports and Marine in Antioch said walleye are very good on leeches, crawlers or large fatheads on main lake points and around bridges or other current areas; bluegill are improving and they are moving shallow, try ice jigs with waxies or spikes; white bass are fair, try small minnows or spikes in 8-12 feet and drift with the winds; crappie are slow, in and out of channel mouths, try Mini-Mites tipped with fatheads or spikes.
Ken Miller and Dan Koniewicz won the Challunge on the Chain with muskies of 46, 37 and 36 inches.
All boating restrictions were lifted as of Tuesday afternoon. Check updates on water conditions at foxwaterway.com or (847) 587-8540.
A river regular on shore, Jeff, emailed:
So i was out on the river with my lil brother Saturday(before the storms) and sunday(during the storm), it is picking up, lost 2 carp but caught around 7 crappies, alot of plumped bluegills and a small largemouth(my brother takes the credit for the bass). Using live fathead minnows, rooster tails, and white grubs and gulp minnows with white jig heads, i was doing all my fishing under the bridges. Overall i would have loved to catch some carp but baggers cant be choosers.
COOLING LAKES/STRIP PITS
Lakes are generally open 6 a.m. to sunset, high winds often restrict boat access.
MAZONIA: Normally, this is when Mazonia should be popping, but then this has not been a normal spring yet.
BRAIDWOOD: Rob Abouchar emailed:
When I heard our old softball sponsor and legendary Bar in Ivanhoe; Weichs Inn was closing down I had to cancel fishing in Wisconsin to attend the celebration. Friday I joined the moonlight mile band for a session to appropriately close down the old watering hole. With a blazing and inexplicably danceable version of Country Boy dedicated to Mark and Dawn Abernathy on their 25th wedding anniversary the job was done. A couple casts in Diamond Lake were all i could get in before the gig. Some largies were in shallow looking to bed. This should be the case all around as the lilacs and dogwoods are in bloom!
The High School and Club tournaments continued this weekend all over the state. Kudos to you on your High School competition coverage.
Anglers Choice had 26 boats on a windy day Sunday for their 3rd tournament. It was won by Kyle Alexander and Robert Alexander with 11.51 pounds despite the windy conditions. 2nd went to Brett Wysock and Mark Stewart. 3rd went to Chuck Lide and Eric Neil. 4th went to Thompson and Elizando. The next Anglers Choice event is September 15th at the Braidwood North ramp.
The Happy Hookers Club had it’s 3rd event on the windy Cal Sag Waterway The event was won by Nick Koehne with 12.80lbs and a big bass of 3.93lbs. Dave “Bassman” Schultz took 2nd with 9.94lbs. Scott James took 3rd with 8.65 lbs.
My guide trips on the Wisconsin River will start back up this week with old hometown friend and ax man Larry Lixx LoCascio…things might go off the hook… will report!!!
HEIDECKE: Tom Lauraitis posted on Monday in Fish Tales Fishing Club FB page:
Fished Heidecke lake today
with Dave & Bill, weather man wrong again,windy,cold.
Sorted through small Walleyes and Crappie, fishing slow, but managed 3 nice Crappie 12” ,13 1/4” & 13 1/2” still beats sitting at home, good time fishing with friends.
DELAVAN/GENEVA LAKES, WIS.
DELAVAN: Dave Duwe emailed:
Delavan Lake 5/19/19 through 5/26/19
This has been the hardest I have worked in May to catch fish I can remember. I’m not sure if it’s the weather or the tremendous amount of fishing pressure but every trip has been a struggle.
Crappies are in the weedlines in 8-10 ft of water. They aren’t really schooled very tight, I’ve been catching 2 or 3 from some of my good spots and then having to move to another spot. All of my success has been coming off of small purple or motor oil plastics fished on a 1/32 oz Arkie Jig. It’s good to see that there is a really nice age class of 12-13 inch crappies in the lake now. The best location is by Assembly Park or by Willow Point.
Largemouth bass are still in the shallow water, 3-5 ft. However, it’s hard to get those little rascals to bite. Most of the fish I have caught have either been on nightcrawlers or a Texas rigged or wacky rigged Senkos in green pumpkin color. I’ve been fishing the west end by the Highlands and Viewcrest. Hopefully with the warmer weather, the bass will really turn on.
Northern Pike are in 10-12 ft of water. The fish I’ve been catching are on the weedlines. I’ve been using Thill Big Fish slip-bobbers rigged with suckers. My best location has been by the Delavan Marina or by Browns Channel. I have not caught a real good one yet. The best fish this year was around 30 inches.
Bluegills are starting to spawn in 2-3 ft of water. On Sunday you could see them on beds throughout most of the shallow waters. Look for the sand bottoms with scattered weeds. The best bait is leaf worms fished on a small bobber. I’ve been fishing from Willow Point west in and around the boat docks.
Walleye fishing has been slow, which is typical for this time of year. With the cooler water, they can be anywhere throughout the lake. To fish them successfully, you would need to use a slip bobber fished with a fathead minnow. Try for them in Browns Channel or Willow Point.
Good luck and I hope to see you on the water. For guide parties, please call Dave Duwe at 608-883-2050
GENEVA: Dave Duwe emailed:
Lake Geneva 5/19/19 through 5/26/19
With the weather patterns such that they are and the depth of Lake Geneva, the lake is still very cool. The most consistent fishing is in the 3-4 ft water depth range.
Smallmouth bass have been sporadic. If you can find the bait fish, you will likely find the smallmouth. They can be caught on hair jigs or a smoke colored twister tail. The fish are suspended 6 or 7 ft down in 15-20 ft of water. The best location is Elgin Club or the Military Academy.
Largemouth bass are in the shallows in 3-4 ft. Look for the fish in Geneva Bay or by Williams Bay. Nightcrawlers fished on a split shot rig are producing a lot of action. Water temperatures are too cold and the fish aren’t even close to spawning yet.
Perch can be caught in the 8-10 ft depth range where there are scattered weeds and hard sand bottom. They can be caught on slip bobbers fished with minnows or nightcrawler pieces. Look for them by Knollwood or Rainbow point.
Bluegills and Rock bass are around the boat docks. The best location is Williams Bay or Geneva Bay. Worms fished on bobbers have been producing most of the action. The best depth is 3-4 ft. Be prepared to sort, the numbers are decent but there are a lot of small fish in the mix.
There has been a lot of walleyes being caught at night. The best depth has been 7-12 feet of water. Knollwood or Bigfoot beach has been the best locations. Trolling crankbaits has been the ticket. With the clear water you need to use planer boards to get the baits away from the boat.
Northern pike are in the shallow weeds. The best depth is 8-10 ft of water. They are being caught on Lindys Shadling, the perch color has been producing the best for me. Another good bait is a white spinner bait, in a slow rolling retrieve.
Good luck and I hope to see you on the water. For guide parties, please call Dave Duwe at 608-883-2050
CARLYLE: Lots of water below the dam and the usual mix of fish with some baskets of white bass and crappie being caught; on the lake, crappie are done with spawn but some being caught and bass coming off spawn.
SHELBYVILLE: Ken Wilson of Lithia Guide Service said the crappie are good on spider-rigging; walleye are starting, probably another week until they are really going; white bass are slow; some muskies are being caught below the dam.
SOUTHERN ILLINOIS: Jason Johns of Boneyard Fishing said, “Everything, honestly, is pretty good across the board.’’ By that he means bass are going on Lake Egypt in the grass on swim jigs or dragging soft plastics; on Rend, crappie are still in the bushes in 2-6 feet, some are being caught on spider rigs in the stumps; bluegill are bedded and catfish good.
HENNEPIN-HOPPER: Will be open for Memorial Day, otherwise it is open Tuesday through Sunday. Go to http://www.wetlands-initiative.org/dixon-fishing
WESTERN SUBURBS: Violet Talley messaged that the cold weather and high water has made for tough fishing. I’ve had some good reports of muskie caught recently.
GREEN/STURGEON BAYS, WISCONSIN
Lance LaVine at Howie’s Tackle in Sturgeon Bay emailed this:
Good morning fellas
Here is the updated fishing report
The bass fishing as a whole has been fantastic with some giant fish getting caught. The fishing has been pretty good up and down the Door peninsula with some of the bigger bags coming from the southern end of the peninsula where the water is a bit warmer. Some of those areas include….Little Sturgeon, Riley’s Bay, Sand Bay along with Sawyer Harbor and the Sturgeon Bay Flats. The best baits have been Shorty tubes, Keitech paddle tails and jerk baits like Megabass, Strike King and Shadow Raps.
Perch season is now open in our area and with the amount of giant schools of Perch that were seen during the closed season and with the lack of pressure they had over the winter due to poor travel conditions, we anticipate a great year once again. Areas to try…Little Sturgeon, Sawyer Harbor, the Sturgeon Bay shipping channel along with the deeper water mud down around Chaudoirs Dock. Best baits generally are fathead minnows, leaf worms and crawler pieces
Walleye fishing has been on fire for the past few weeks and we anticipate that fishing just to keep rolling along right into June. Both the night and the day bite have been good for both the trollers along with the fishermen that prefer to cast and rip jig. Areas to try include…Chaudoir’s Dock, Henderson’s Point, Sherwood Point along with some of that off shore structure from Larsen’s Reef up past Monument Point now starting to fire up a bit. Trolling with Flicker Shads and minnows, Bandits, Husky Jerks and Rogues. For the rip jiggers, Rippin Raps, Hair Jigs, Blade baits and Keitech paddle tails have been the best
Pike action has been fantastic. Best areas have been right in downtown Sturgeon Bay in the channel and around the marinas, Sawyer Harbor, Little Sturgeon and Rileys Bay. Live baiting with large sucker minnows works really good along with casting and trolling large crank baits, spinner baits and large paddle tails like Keitechs
1309 Green Bay Rd
Sturgeon Bay, WI 54235
Under flood stage at Ottawa, still in flood at Starved Rock and LaSalle. Check with B & B Live Bait in Ottawa–(815) 433-0432.
Reminder: Perch season is closed through June 15.
Mike Wojtiuk at Park Bait said they are still catching coho, mainly casters with spoons or minnows, as of Tuesday.
Capt. Bob Poteshman of Confusion Charters said Chicago still has a great population of coho, but the bite is moving every day, by Montrose, Navy Pier and Wilmette, so they are a lot more scattered, there’s lots and lots of bait; occasional browns, few trying for lakers.
At North Point, giant lakers are the main thing on the hill with some coho, the occasional steelhead and occasional king. Unbelievable bait in front of the harbor. Really hot laker action.
Lori Ralph at the Salmon Stop texted:
It’s too dann cold, guys just arnt going out, boat or shore. Aug has a trip tomorrow, we’ll see how it goes
Capt. Scott Wolfe emailed on Sunday:
Waukegan – The success of the troller’s has depended completely on the weather allowing boats to make long runs south. On good weather days limits of coho salmon with kings Lakers steelhead and brown trout mixed in are the norm. Some of the trips saw limits in less than two hours fishing time. The hot rigs by far have been Jimmy fly Spectra flies. This is a green and Spectra mylar combination. Peanut size flies have been good for coho and trout. The “Laker “rig has taken King‘s Lakers and Coho. This is a spectra fly with a spin and glow in front of it. Good producers for kings have been Magnum warrior spoons with glow and UV tape. Spoiler patterns and Dr. Death were best. If the weather did not allow for a long run due to waves, fishing right at Waukegan has been spotty. If a boat can find a school of coho they should make a few passes through that area. There are some coho around but they are in very tight schools. There are big lake trout between Waukegan and Northpoint 80 to 100 feet of water if the silver fish can’t be found.
Out of Chicago fishing has been very good with most of the success coming between Montrose Harbor all the way to the apartments off of Wilmette. The coho are beginning to spread out as they usually do this time of year. If a boat gets two or three on at a time they should make a few passes through that area to see if the school stayed, rather than simply trolling away. Most of the Chicago catch has been Coho with the occasional king brown laker or steelhead mixed in.
Capt. Scott Wolfe
Muskie season opens Saturday.
MINOCQUA: Kurt Justice at Kurt’s Island Sport Shop emailed:
Saturday and Sunday’s rain and sleet put a kabosh on what looked like the start of a great weekend as of Friday. Temps creeping up, Crappies moved in…Walleyes starting to get active…then WHOOP…back to the drawing board.
Thankfully, Monday’s return of sunny skies has lured Crappies back in by most reports. Walleyes are still a bit finicky. Anglers also seeing Muskies in the sunny shallows, Bass nearby.
Crappies: Very Good-Excellent (if you discount the weekend) – Good reports of slabs being taken on staging in 5-7’ of water using MiniMites, Gapen Freshwater Shrimp or small fatheads below slip-floats. Check in tight to wood in 1 ½ – 3’ also as some Crappies have committed to the nesting process, even after the cold.
Northern Pike: Good-Very Good – Action on 4” Swim baits (360’s, Kietech), Spinner baits (Boonie, BooYah) and 4-5” Twitch baits (X-Raps, Husky Jerks) all working well in 5-8’ cabbage.
Largemouth Bass: Fair-Good – Improving with warming water in shallow bays. Light 1/8 oz Bass jigs tipped with 3-4” grubs in dark colors over dark soft bottom bays. Twitching smaller Rattlin Rouges and Husky Jerks also effective.
Smallmouth Bass: Fair-Good (all catch & release up this way!) – Staging out in 8-14’. Anglers fishing finesse jigs with small imitation craws, Senkos (3”) or Ned rigs reporting some bruisers in the 17-19” range on Monday. Watch for this species to show up by the weekend if we can believe the forecast.
Walleye: Fair – Just haven’t seen a hot bite as expected. Some anglers fishing #6 Rip ‘N Raps scoring some big post-spawn fish towards dusk. Fishing evenings has been best due to cold mornings (some in upper 20’s) but this should change with predicted warm up.
Bluegill: Poor – Few reports, little effort. This too should improve with forecast for holiday weekend coming up.
It’s tough to predict what the Musky opener will be like. Should be good. Anglers seeing fish cruising shallows. Leave the paired spawners alone, please! Otherwise, forecast looks good for Sat/Sun/Mon on water.
Kurt’s Island Sport Shop
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Capt. Rich Sleziak at Slez’s Bait in Lake Station said that fishing was good out of the Ditch toward Michigan City in 45-55 feet, more coho than kings now, they are all through the water column; Willow Slough has had good bluegill and redear on crickets and redworms for those moving around; catfish are going at the Portage Riverwalk.
ST. JOSEPH AREA, MICHIGAN
Staff at Tackle Haven in Benton Harbor said kings (one king already topped 30 pounds) with some coho and a few lakers are being caught in 90-130 feet, mostly on spoons; river is high and slow.
Clint Sands at Lakeside said crappie are still in pre-spawn and shallow; a few catfish were caught over the weekend; some largemouth are being caught; water clarity improved to more than a foot; weather stability would help.
Beginning on Friday, the restaurant will be open daily. Lakeside is open daily 6 a.m.-7 p.m. Park hours are 6 a.m.-10 p.m.
WOLF RIVER, WISCONSIN
FREMONT: Guide Bill Stoeger texted:
Water temp 53 this morning. The bite has been fair, 60 to 100 a trip. Everything deep, rigs and flies have been out fishing minnows. Walleye biting dragging jigs and crawlers.