AREA LAKES: On Tuesday, there was a rush by guys trying to get in some ice fishing on forest-preserve lakes before the forecast rain, wind and warmth later this week likely will end it for a while. Regulations on public lakes are posted at STRAY CASTS (blogs.suntimes.com/bowman).
CHAIN O’LAKES AREA: Use extreme caution. Most area lakes have open water around current areas or the middle. Stay shallow for ice fishing. Be more cautious later in the week after the forecast rain, wind and warmth. Otherwise, Triangle reported a very good bite for crappie (toward evening) and bluegills (especially in back channels). Bass and pike have been active on tip-ups. Early-ice access points are listed at STRAY CASTS (blogs.suntimes.com/bowman).
DELAVAN/LAKE GENEVA AREA, WIS.: ‘‘People are going to wait to see how much rain we get Thursday,’’ said Brian Gates of Geneva Lake Bait & Tackle. If more than a half-inch of rain comes, he will pull his shanties off the west end; otherwise, he thinks the ice will hold. He reported some pike (mostly smaller on Delavan), with decent bluegills north of the island. Lots of bass and some pike on Como. Lots of bass at Pell. Some bluegills on Pleasant.
FOX RIVER: Arden Katz reported 5 inches of ice by Sunday on Nielsen’s Channel at Port Barrington. With a light bite, he starts jigging on the very top of the water column and works down to the edge of weeds for decent bluegills.
LAKEFRONT: CHICAGO: Harbors should open up this week. Henry’s reported guys fishing from piers are catching perch and some crappie at DuSable and Diversey. There are some perch (takes sorting) at 92nd and 95th in the river. PIER PASSES: The $6 pier passes for Chicago harbors, except 31st, are available at Henry’s.
MADISON LAKES, WIS.: Gene Dellinger at D&S Bait reported good ice on Kegonsa and Waubesa (crappie deep in 25 to 30 feet). Monona is covered, and bays are
being fished. Some bluegills and crappie on Cherokee Marsh. Mendota still has some open water.
NORTHERN WISCONSIN: EAGLE RIVER: Chamber of Commerce reported ice improving and ice fishermen getting out deeper. MINOCQUA: Guide Kurt Justice of Kurt’s Island Sports reported good ice fishing and good access, with 3 to 10 inches on larger lakes. He said walleye (best early and late or on overcast days, jiggers taking best ones on humps), pike and crappie (tip-downs with Rosie Reds) are very good. Bluegills moved deeper
(6 to 9 feet); best on red spikes on dark jigs. Largemouth are active on tip-ups.
NORTHWEST INDIANA: The couple of days of ice fishing at Willow Slough is over. On Tuesday, Mik-Lurch said some perch were caught at the reef at the Port of Indiana. Some steelhead are in the creeks; Trail is best. Crappie are being caught in Burns Ditch.