Updated: January 27, 2013 6:28AM
AREA LAKES: Ice fishing will begin on some local lakes this week. Ice fishing regs on local public waters are nearly the same as previous years. I will post those regs at Stray Casts (blogs.suntimes.com/bowman/).
CHAIN O’LAKES AREA: Some guys tested the ice on backwaters already, but ‘‘the ice is pretty skinny,’’ Greg Dickson at Triangle said. ‘‘Every day it should keep getting better. By the weekend, it should be peak.’’
DELAVAN/GENEVA LAKES AREA, WIS.: Brian Gates at Geneva Lake Bait & Tackle said a few ice fishermen have been out on the west end of Delavan and by the boat launch. He said Como is frozen over.
FOX RIVER BACKWATERS: Ice fishing is near on Nielsen’s Channel at Port Barrington. Marcy Paschky at Hermann’s Lowlife Bar & Grill reported an inch on the front and back channels Monday morning.
KANKAKEE RIVER: River came up slightly above normal flow. Norm Minas managed to pick off a mixed bag (five species) Christmas Eve, including a couple walleye on a J-9 floating Rapala on a slow steady retrieve at an inflow.
LAKEFRONT: Dirty water outside the harbors has slowed perch fishing, though better results have been around the clearer water inside. A few steelhead and browns being caught. Mik-Lurch reported a few perch at 92nd in the river.
MADISON LAKES, WIS.: D&S Bait reported icing is underway with some small bluegill caught on Cherokee Marsh on Saturday; other lakes are safe or will become safe this week.
NORTHERN WISCONSIN: MINOCQUA: Guide Kurt Justice at Kurt’s Island Sport Shop said ice is building daily. There is 5-7 inches generally, though some bigger lakes still had open spots Monday. He is not recommending vehicle travel, though by the weekend that may be more widespread. Walleye have been good with many fish in the 7-10 pound range and pike have been good with fish to 36 inches. Crappie and bluegill slowed some with the fronts, but remain good. EAGLE RIVER: On Sunday, the Chamber of Commerce reported 3-6 inches of ice on the smaller lakes and 1-3 on the bigger ones with foot travel only. There’s an excellent pike bite (10 feet or less around weeds), good to excellent panfish and good walleye.
NORTHWEST INDIANA: Mik-Lurch reported some steelhead came in with the rain and snow last week, especially in Trail, Salt and Deep River. Spawn sacs have been working. Some browns are being caught at East Chicago and Hammond marinas on medium roaches or silver/blue or silver/green spoons. There will be some ice fishing in spots this week.
SOUTHWEST MICHIGAN: Tyler Harmon messaged that steelhead action has been all right on the river, spawn better than plugs; some whitefish being caught off the piers; and walleye picking up in the rivers.
DOWNSTATE NOTE: POWERTON LAKE: Reopened to shore fishing.