BRAIDWOOD OPENER: The cooling lake in southwest Will County reopened Friday; weather and wind have limited effort. It is open daily 6 a.m.-sunset. One reader tweeted that catfish (including many 1-pounders, a decent size for Braidwood) were good on the south end on Sonny’s. Mike Lynch said bass started slow for the opener, though some nice ones came on the rip-rap from 9-11 a.m. FOTW shows how nice some bass were on Sunday.
CHAIN O’LAKES AREA: Triangle reported Channel is producing good bluegill and crappie; pike are feeding throughout, best on roaches on tipups; yellow bass are coming back; white bass are better; and walleye are fair. Use caution around middle areas.
COOLING LAKES/STRIP PITS: For Braidwood, see top. Mazonia lakes are open, but mostly in between. LaSalle opens March 15, details to come. Heidecke opens April 1.
DELAVAN/LAKE GENEVA AREA, WIS.: Brian Gates of Geneva Lake Bait & Tackle reported lake trout remain good on Geneva on white tube jigs, Swedish Pimple or airplane jigs in 90 feet west of Black Point to Fontana; on Delavan, nice perch in deep water on spikes or wigglers.
LAKEFRONT: CHICAGO: Best perch action has been at Belmont, but all harbors have perch; harbors vary from open water to safe ice. Winds brought ice back to shore.
NORTHERN WISCONSIN: MINOCQUA: Guide Kurt Justice Of Kurt’s Island Sport Shop reported perch (mud-flat fish gorging on wigglers or blood worms) are best; bluegill and crappie are improving. EAGLE RIVER: Chamber of Commerce reported good crappie, bluegill and perch; ice thickness is 18-24 inches, slush making travel trickier.
NORTHWEST INDIANA: North winds piled ice on shore of Lake Michigan, inland ice is not safe. Creeks are holding steelhead; according to Mik-Lurch, especially on spawn sacs behind Bass Pro.
SHABBONA LAKE: Clint Sands at Lakeside reported good crappie in the deep trees; catfish are doing well, bluegill slowed. North and south ends have good ice.
SOUTHEAST WISCONSIN LAKEFRONT: Arden Katz reported slow trout fishing at Milwaukee with murky water, ice remains good.
SOUTHWEST MICHIGAN: Tyler Harmon messaged that pier fishing for whitefish is good on chunks of eggs; rivers are slow with some walleye and steelhead.