AREA LAKES: Once the weather settles, it will be back to typical late-fall crappie fishing until ice forms (and it feels like it will this year).
CHAIN O’LAKES AREA: Arden Katz
reported decent crappie and a few white bass in 12 to 15 feet on Marie and Bluff with minnows on drop-shot rigs. Only two muskies were caught in the fall Challunge on the Chain. Russ and Chris Schaller won with a 34.75-inch muskie caught on Fox Lake. Triangle
reported fair muskie fishing; best on small suckers or small jerkbaits in 15 to 25 feet. Bluegills are good, especially on sunnier days. Look for crappie near channel-mouth areas mornings and evenings.
DES PLAINES RIVER: Marcus Benesch reported some small pike on large crankbaits near Robinson Woods. Farther upstream, Jason Norris of windycityfishing.com reported excellent pike, including some of 20-plus inches, on spinner baits, inline spinners or Rapalas. He has been doing well on ChatterBaits.
FOX RIVER: WESTERN SUBURBS: Ken Gortowski reported some smallmouth last week in the warmer water, but they slowed with the cold and clear water.
ILLINOIS RIVER: STARVED ROCK AREA: Time on the Water Outdoors reported those trolling crankbaits by Senachwine or rip-rap are taking sauger and walleye (keepers take much sorting). Some white bass by the rip-rap and at the Vermilion. Some decent crappie by Jonesville on the Vermilion.
KANKAKEE RIVER: With hunting seasons open in both states, remember to check accessibility. Ed Mullady reported reported fair-to-good smallmouth around mouths of ditches or creeks, rock-lined banks, drifts or edge of fast water over slow water. Pike are good tight to shore or by brush piles.
LAKEFRONT: Waiting on the historic blow to pass.
NORTHERN WISCONSIN: EAGLE RIVER: Chamber of Commerce reported good walleye (right off break edges adjacent to mid-lake basin mud flats or over the mud flats), pike and panfish. MINOCQUA: Guide Kurt Justice of Kurt’s Island Sport Shop reported muskies as very good (best on suckers on quick-set rigs) and walleye and pike as good.
NORTHWEST INDIANA: Little going in the creeks. Otherwise, waiting for the historic blow to pass.
SOUTHWEST MICHIGAN: Tyler Harmon messaged the first whitefish of the year are being caught. Some steelhead on the lakefront and a few in the rivers.