Crappies, summer or not: Midwest Fishing Report/Chicago fishing

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Crappies, summer or not: Midwest Fishing Report/Chicago fishing

With weather closer to summer than November, crappie fishing builds for this sprawling raw-file Midwest Fishing Report; as do the number of fishermen still out trying to catch them.

The MFR for Chicago fishing appears in a condensed form Wednesdays on the Sun-Times newspaper outdoors page. The sprawling raw-file report is posted here online on the Sun-Times outdoors page.

BoRabb Williams emailed with the photo above:

It’s crappie time on the Calumet system Dale Bowman …. ya heard it from and CatDaddy & me 1st …… lol

Both Williams and Frankie “CatDaddy” Smith are members of Strokers Fishing Club.

Even though it feels closer to summer than November, it is crappie time, all over.

CRAPPIE

The great thing with this warmer than usual fall is that more fishermen are getting out than usual for this time of the year and the fish they are catching is crappie all over. Capt. Rich Sleziak  at Slez’s Bait in Lake Station, Ind. texted crappie are going on minnows on all area lakes and rivers. Tom Palmisano at Henry’s Sports and Bait said he doesn’t remember a November like this for people getting crappie in all kinds of places. Art Frisell at Triangle Sports and Marine in Antioch said crappie are being caught all over the Chain O’Lakes and other nearby ponds and lakes.

LAKEFRONT SALMON/TROUT

INDIANA: Capt. Rich Sleziak  at Slez’s Bait in Lake Station texted that a few steelhead trickled into the tributaries. A few lakers on the reef at Burns Ditch, but the lake needs to cool for the bite to really take off. CHICAGO: Stacey Greene at Park Bait said a few steelhead/rainbows are being caught at Montrose. SOUTHEAST WISCONSIN: Check the Wisconsin DNR report, usually out Tuesday. SOUTHWEST MICIGAN: Capt. Eric Conder at Tackle Haven in Benton Harbor said some steelhead are in the river; be aware leaves are making fishing interesting.

LAKEFRONT SNAGGING

Lori Ralph at the Salmon Stop in Waukegan said the only real reports are snaggers getting some. Here is the word on snagging legally on the Illinois lakefront from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources:

4) 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).

AREA LAKES

As FOTW will show when posted, largemouth are also going, along with the crappie mentioned above.

Ken “Husker” O’Malley sent along with this report:

Hey Dale,

Crappie are good on area lakes during mid day hours on road runners. Bass remain good as well on lipless crankbaits. Sunny days are best.
TTYL

Ken “Husker” O’Malley
Huskeroutdoors
Waterworks fishing team

In a special this week, Norm Minas sent this, from a break on fishing the Kankakee:

Took another Weir/sweet tea break and decided to pull the waders off and finish off the day fishing some ponds . I switched to a light action spin rig as I was just going to fish for whatever would bite . Well that and I have had success in the past with smaller jigs on crappies, bluegills and pumpkinseeds at these ponds . First pond, first cast a small largemouth on the jig/twister . I covered half the pond with the same lure, no more fish. I switched to a chenille/marabou crappie jig and found that was the ticket for largemouth, crappie, bluegills and pumpkinseeds . The largemouth were small , the crappie good sized for a pond that size and most of the sunnies in the 5 to 9 inch range . All in all a blast on light tackle .

Second pond jigs of any and all descriptions failed . I tied on a snap went to a size 7 then a size 5 floating rapala, no go . Switched to some crappie then gill sized crankbaits , still nothing . Went to some small rattlebaits, boom goes the dynamite . small largemouth and larger sunfish absolutely blasting them , what a gas on light gear .

Got home had just enough time to wash up and my lovely wife had dinner done, pork roast with all the trimmings .

Life is good .

Peace

Norm

AREA WATER LEVELS

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

BRAIDWOOD

Closed for the season.

CALUMET SYSTEM

crappie2016novcalumetborabb

As BoRabb Williams noted above, the crappie are going in the Cal.

He also added:

Dale we also caught Big yellow perch and bass ….we could see big salmon and steelhead and browns on the sonar and EYES.

CHAIN O’LAKES AREA

Art Frisell at Triangle Sports and Marine in Antioch said crappie are excellent (start with Channel and Catherine); muskies on large suckers (try Bluff) and walleye (try trolling stickbaits throughout) are good; water level remains good.

For updates, check with Fox Waterway Agency or call (847) 587-8540.

CHICAGO RIVER

Capt. Pat Harrison (click here for his site) sent this:

Chicago River Fishing Report 10/31 – 11/6 Water temps are dropping and fish are moving surface temps 58 to 62 degrees. Two trips last week both were good with a lot of fish caught Bass 11” – 17” Crappie 10” – 12” Gills 8” -10” Catfish 12” to 18” also some big warmouth / sunfish and a few perch. Fish are being caught throughout the water column. A little trick this time of the year when you catch a fish hold it a few seconds feel it’s body temp. If it’s warm it’s in the upper water column if it’s cool it’s from mid water column if it’s cold it’s from the lower water column that will help you narrow your search. Match your bait to the column and catch some fish. A lot of the Bass caught were in the mid water column so I was throwing a 1 ½ in. Crank bait that would dive 8 to 10 feet and it was working. I still have a few dates available through November and December if you would like to get out Please feel free to contact me. Looks like nice weather for the next couple weeks. Starting mid month I will also be doing trips on the Illinois River for Bass, Walleye, Sauger and Crappie. These trips will be full day only due to the travel distance.

DELAVAN/LAKE GENEVA AREA, WISCONSIN

GENEVA: Mark O’Neill, who posts fishing reports at http://www.structure-fishing.com/Lake_Geneva_Fishing_.html sent this:

DES PLAINES RIVER

No update.

DOWNSTATE NOTES

HENNEPIN CANAL: Thom Matejewski at Illinois Valley Outdoors in Spring Valley said crappie are going on minnows and slip-corks, especially around Annawan. EVERGREEN: Bait shop and boat rental are closed for the season. HENNEPIN-HOPPER: Closed for season. LAKE OF EGYPT/REND: Check with Jason Johns of Boneyard FishingSHELBYVILLE: Check with Ken Wilson of Ken Wilson Guide Service.

The updates on Downstate sites below come from Larry Dozard of larrysfishinghole.com:

        – RICE LAKE – . . , will Re-Open at end of Duck & Goose season..

– BANNER MARSH – Will CLOSE TO BOAT FISHING on Oct. 12th with last day to boat fish being Oct. 11th

   AND BANK FISHING ONLY ALLOWED AFTER 1PM  but  NO FISHING ALLOWED in EAST POINT ACCESS AREA,

   which is CLOSED TO ALL FISHING to provide a GOOSE REFUGE AREA during season till Feb. 1st
– DOUBLE T STATE FISH and WILDLIFE AREA – . . . remains Closed till Feb. 1st
– EMIQUON PRESERVE – No boating, fishing or ice skating access before 12:00 pm during waterfowl season.
– EVERGREEN LAKE – the SOUTHERN PART OF LAKE, AROUND DEER ISLAND
   and ALL OF SIX-MILE CREEK BAY IS  CLOSED TO GAS MOTORS from Oct. 15th through JAN. 1st

   to allow resting areas for migratory waterfowl.
    YOU ARE ALLOWED TO STILL RUN A TROLLING MOTOR IN THESE AREAS ONLY.
– SNAKEDEN HOLLOW & McMASTER LAKE – closed
– SPRING LAKE (South & North) – WILL BE CLOSED TO BOAT FISHING in Waterfowl Hunting Area ON OCT. 15th
   with Last Day to Boat Fish being Oct. 14th with BANK FISHING ALLOWED ONLY AFTER 1pm– 

   & AREAS THAT REMAIN OPEN TO BOATS 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.
– POWERTON LAKE – REOPENS TO SHORE FISHING ONLY ON DEC. 19th AND NO BOAT FISHING  till FEB. 15th
– SANGCHRIS LAKE – THE WEST and EAST ARMS OF LAKE
    and Small AREA NEAR DAM ARE CLOSED DURING  WATERFOWL SEASON to boat traffic

   effective Oct. 12th (last day to boat fish will be Oct. 11th) through Jan. 31, 2016 

   (during this time fishing boat traffic is permitted in the center hot arm only).
– PRAIRIE LAKE in Jim Edgar/ Panther Creek State F&W Area – Lake is CLOSED from Nov. 1st to Jan. 15th

  to Fishing until after 12:01 PM on Wednesday & Saturday.
– ANDERSON LAKE – THIS AREA Will be CLOSED TO BOAT FISHING in Main Lake

  from Oct. 15th (with last day to boat fish Oct. 14th) through Dec. 20th during waterfowl season

  with bank fishing Only allowed.
– CLINTON LAKE – an easterly area of Clinton Lake (The Waterfowl Refuge Area) between the DeWitt Bridge East (CH14) and the Rt. 48 Bridge

 will CLOSE be on October 10th and will re-open on MARCH 31st…

FOX RIVER: WESTERN SUBURBS

No update.

FOX RIVER: WISCONSIN

No update.

GREEN BAY/STURGEON BAY

No update from Lance LaVine at Howie’s Tackle in Sturgeon Bay (I think he is deer hunting). The Wisconsin DNR report is usually posted Tuesdays and includes reports from both the bay and lake sides.

HEIDECKE LAKE

Closed for the season.

ILLINOIS RIVER

Ken “Husker” O’Malley sent along with this report:

Hey Dale,

Hit the Illinois River the other day. The river rose 2 feet from the rains on Wednesday. River was still fishable with clarity around 8 inches. Sauger were decent early morning hours under lower light conditions. Focus on slack areas with a jig and minnow. Water temps were 56-57 so sauger are still spread out. White bass were slow in the Vermillon as it was up and dirty river with good current flow.
TTYL

Ken “Husker” O’Malley
Huskeroutdoors
Waterworks fishing team

Thom Matejewski at Illinois Valley Outdoors in Spring Valley said that live bait (minnows on floater jigs on three-ways or jig and minnow) are best for sauger and walleye; crappie are improving and white bass are being caught but take sorting.

INDIANA STREAMS

Access points for Trail Creek can be found on the Trail Creek Access MapCapt. Rich Sleziak  at Slez’s Bait in Lake Station texted that a few steelhead are coming in.

KANKAKEE RIVER

Norm Minas sent this:

Recent rain brought the levels up but it’s crested and dropping . Water temps in high 50’s , plenty of debris including leaves in the water but that’s just something else to make adjustments to , no biggy .

First up hit a couple creeks, both still to high to wade safely. First crick. 1/0 weighted keeper/3 inch twister in shoreline slack areas got a couple smallmouth and a couple rockbass. Second creek , got skunked , who cares, still a lot of a beautiful day left .

Moved to the river, it’s too high to wade safely, was able to get better casting positions in slackwater behind waterwillow beds . I went with a swimjig tipped with a 5 inch twister around the waterwillow beds and out into the current . Some beds produced others did not, never really got a handle on why . There where a few fish out into the current, all the willowbed fish on the points/pockets on the outside edge . I got a bunch of smallmouth in the 12 to 16 inch range , action steady enough when I found the beds that produced to keep the interest up .

Next up hit a series on inflows natural and manmade of varying sizes . The best success numbers wise was fishing a crankbait against the current flow of where a creek meet the river. Nothing huge but starting close to shore and working out brought a smallmouth on almost every cast until I reached the end of that juncture . Plenty of evidence that they were still crawdad oriented in feeding .

At another smaller creek junction upstream from the first I got into a bunch of walleye in the 10 to 15 inch range on a crankbait. no smallmouth, snagged a big carp in the tail . By the time I landed that fish and got my lure back my shoulders and arms were getting achy . Took a break, back to the car for a big drink of cold sweet tea and some new Bob Weir . That combo just fit real well .

I switched to a jig/pig at some of the smaller inflows both natural and mammade due to cover conditions . Two out of 6 inflows produced but they were the biggest smallmouth of the day a 17 and 18 incher .

Took another Weir/sweet tea break and decided to pull the waders off and finish off the day fishing some ponds . I switched to a light action spin rig as I was just going to fish for whatever would bite . Well that and I have had success in the past with smaller jigs on crappies, bluegills and pumpkinseeds at these ponds . First pond, first cast a small largemouth on the jig/twister . I covered half the pond with the same lure, no more fish. I switched to a chenille/marabou crappie jig and found that was the ticket for largemouth, crappie, bluegills and pumpkinseeds . The largemouth were small , the crappie good sized for a pond that size and most of the sunnies in the 5 to 9 inch range . All in all a blast on light tackle .

Second pond jigs of any and all descriptions failed . I tied on a snap went to a size 7 then a size 5 floating rapala, no go . Switched to some crappie then gill sized crankbaits , still nothing . Went to some small rattlebaits, boom goes the dynamite . small largemouth and larger sunfish absolutely blasting them , what a gas on light gear .

Got home had just enough time to wash up and my lovely wife had dinner done, pork roast with all the trimmings .

Life is good .

Peace

Norm

LAKE ERIE

The Ohio DNR has general Lake Erie info and a fishing report.

LAKEFRONT

See shoreline salmon/trout reports at top. Stacey Greene at Park Bait said some perch are being caught inside Montrose harbor, including some keepers; also some crappie and bluegill at Diversey; still regular pike at many harbors. Capt. Rich Sleziak  at Slez’s Bait in Lake Station texted that some perch are being caught around 95th.

LAKE VERMILION,  MINNESOTA

Check Jarek Wujkowski of Rodsbent Guide Service.

LaSALLE LAKE

Closed for season.

MADISON CHAIN, WISCONSIN

Go to Facebook for the latest updates from Gene Dellinger at D & S Bait.

MAZONIA

Closed for the season, but Monster Lake at Mazonia South remains open year-round. Check with Jon Meder at Jon’s Bait Shop–(815) 237-2822–in South Wilmington. Open daily, 6 a.m.-sunset.

MENOMINEE RIVER, WISCONSIN

Check with Mike Mladeik at Mike Mladenik Guide Service.

MILWAUKEE HARBOR

Check the Wisconsin DNR Lake Michigan Report, which generally comes out Tuesdays for updates.

NORTHERN WISCONSIN

MINOCQUA: Kurt Justice of Kurt’s Island Sport Shop sent this:

This incredibly mild November has given way for anglers to take advantage of increased opportunities out on the water.  Surface temps of 47-53 degrees are being reported throughout the Lakeland area.  Anglers finding good fishing for many species this weekend that typically by now they’ve given up on.

Musky:  Very good.  Continued good reports coming in as anglers just can’t help but take advantage of the beautiful weather.  Lots of good sucker action reports with one of our guides (George Metrich) steering a client to a 51 ½” monster this past weekend (released).

Walleye:  good.  Not a lot of traffic, but, good reports from anglers Lindy rigging chubs and suckers along transition gravel/mud bottoms of 22-45’ depending on the depth/size of the lake.  Also, anglers trolling deep diving cranks scoring nice walleyes to 28” this past weekend.

Northern:  Good.  Few targeting this species, but, some nice pike being caught (30+”) by musky anglers.

Crappie:  Good.  Where green weeds can be found, some nice catches in water as shallow as 6-8’ using crappie minnows under small floats.  The beautiful, calm weekend helped put anglers back out on the pan fish bite.

Perch:  Good.  Lakes with green weeds, flowages in deep wood and staging below dams has kept anglers happy with nice catches of perch in the 8-10” range with a few jumbos mixed in.

The forecast for the coming week doesn’t seem to be all that bad.  Highs not likely to hit 60 degrees again, but, a few nights into the 30’s should keep lake temps stable.

EAGLE RIVER: B+L, from reports from Colin Crawford, sent this for the Eagle River Chamber of Commerce:

Fishing Report

Muskie: Suckers and sucker imitations are the way to go at this time. Throwing a jerkbait or a big crankbait in addition to the sucker will add to success.

Northern Pike: Weed edges and other types of cover are where these fish are. Jerkbaits are the ticket.

Walleye: Finding them on deep mud flats and still on the deep rock humps. Early and late in the day you can find fish on the tops, but they will go deeper in the mid-day. Jig and large minnow combos, as well as lindy rigging with large red tail chubs seem to work best.

Bass: (Largemouth) Bass are lurking in the deep weed edges. If fishing weeds, (Smallmouth) Basic live bait rig is always a go to presentation; also crankbaits will work well.

Panfish: Bluegills are being found on the deepest weed edges where the greenest weeds are. For these fish, slip bobber rigs are the way to go baited up with a good selection of live bait such as waxies, and red worms. Plastics are working under bobbers with a twitch of the rod. Crappies are suspending over some mud flats and small jigs tipped with minnows or small blade baits like cicadas will work. Perch are being caught on mud flats using small minnows.

NORTHWEST INDIANA

See shoreline salmon/trout at the top. Capt. Rich Sleziak  at Slez’s Bait in Lake Station texted that some perch are being caught around 95th area and, as noted at the top, crappie are going in the rivers and lakes.

ROCK RIVER, WISCONSIN

No update.

ROOT RIVER, WISCONSIN

The Wisconsin DNR Lake Michigan Report is generally posted on Tuesday and includes a Root river section. Click here for the stream flow update, which can be really important for how good the fishing is.

ST. JOSEPH, MICHIGAN

See shoreline salmon/trout at the top. Capt. Eric Conder at Tackle Haven in Benton Harbor said some steelhead are in the river; be aware leaves are making fishing interesting; no whitefish off the piers yet.

ST. JOSEPH RIVER, INDIANA

Click here for reports from the Indiana DNR.

SHABBONA LAKE

Lake hours are now 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Lakeside  is closed until ice fishing. The restaurant is closed for the season. For more information and reports from Lakeside, go to shabbonalake.com or call (815) 824-2581.

SOUTHEAST WISCONSIN

The Wisconsin DNR posts a report at http://dnr.wi.gov/topic/fishing/lakemichigan/OutdoorReport.html. It is usually posted by Tuesday afternoon. Stream flow info is at http://waterdata.usgs.gov/wi/nwis/current?type=flow.

WISCONSIN RIVER

No update.

WOLF LAKE

It is one of the sites for fall trout.

WOLF RIVER, WISCONSIN

Bill Stoeger said the water is still 48 degrees, some white bass are being caught, mainly toward the mouth at Poygan; and there’s some walleye and crappie action in the river.

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