MIDWEST FISHING REPORT
LaSALLE LAKE OPENER: Prospects for all species look similar to recent years when the cooling lake reopens Friday (see column). Hours are 6 a.m.-sunset Wednesdays through Sundays in March. From I-80 west, take Seneca exit, go south through town and across the Illinois River on Route 170, turn right at the blinking light and go about 2½ miles.
BRAIDWOOD LAKE: John Farmer and his son Grant caught 23 largemouth and one good hybrid early last week. Rudy Steffan caught some nice catfish (two on a Mepps spinner) and watched a fisherman land a 5-pound largemouth. A faithful tweeter reported steady catfish on the south end.
AREA LAKES: South lakes are open or opening; north has fishable ice in spots. NOTE: In DuPage County, Pickerel, Grove and Silver are closed to fishing as of Friday because of trout stocking.
AREA RIVERS: For the first time in more than a year, all area rivers are bank-full. The Illinois crested at LaSalle and is expected to come off flood stage by the weekend.
CHAIN O’LAKES AREA: Greg Dickson at Triangle thinks there will be ice fishing through the weekend. Pike and bass on roaches are the top bite.
COOLING LAKES/STRIP PITS: For Braidwood and LaSalle, see top. Heidecke reopens April 1.
DELAVAN/GENEVA LAKES, WIS.: Brian Gates of Geneva Lake Bait & Tackle reported safe ice in Geneva Bay with pumpkinseeds and bluegills, bluegills shallow in front of Trinkes and lakers just west of ‘‘The Narrows.’’ On Delavan, good bluegills and crappie (late on tip-downs) on west end.
LAKEFRONT: CHICAGO: Henry’s reported good perch at Montrose and Belmont, off-and-on perch in the river at 92nd and 95th and browns at the tip of Northerly Island.
NORTHERN WISCONSIN: MINOCQUA: Guide Kurt Justice of Kurt’s Island Sport Shop reported lake travel difficult with slush (snowmobiles recommended). Perch are best bite on deeper mud flats on wigglers and bloodworms. Crappie are good and bluegills are improved. EAGLE RIVER: Chamber of Commerce reported good panfish. Ice is 22 to 24 inches, but thinning will come.
NORTHWEST INDIANA: Mik-Lurch reported boats could get out at East Chicago and Portage as of Tuesday, but winds might change that. Streams are high and dirty.
SHABBONA LAKE: Clint Sands at Lakeside said ice fishing is about done for the year.
SOUTHEAST WISCONSIN LAKEFRONT: Wisconsin DNR expects fresh steelhead in the tributaries when water recedes.
SOUTHWEST MICHIGAN: Tyler Harmon messaged that steelhead are steady in the rivers. Lots trying on the piers with little caught (a few whitefish, coho and browns).
Fish of the week
Ice fishing winds down, but nice northern pike keep coming.
Danny Touhy made his first time ice fishing special. The 13-year-old from Lake Villa pulled in a 30-inch, 8-pound pike Saturday from Deep Lake.
‘‘I set it up, he picked the spot, saw the flag pop and brought her in,’’ uncle Jason Fox emailed.
Fox said it had ‘‘half a bass sticking out of her gut and a gold ice jig we removed from her mouth.’’
‘‘She must have been on a rampage,’’ he emailed. ‘‘[Touhy] is hooked. He asked, ‘When are we going again?’ ’’