MIDWEST FISHING REPORT
SMELT NETTING: Begins Monday on the Chicago lakefront. Nets may go in at
7 p.m.; netters must be out of parks by 1 a.m. The outlook is dismal.
HEIDECKE LAKE OPENER: The former cooling lake near Morris reopens Monday with similar prospects to recent years. It is open daily until sunset. The launch opens at 6 a.m. and bank angling at 6:30 a.m. If the ramp is being worked on, there will be a temporary one.
AREA RIVERS: FOX: Sam Bennett reported river is high (but dropping) and cold. Walleye are being caught on live minnows in eddies. For smallmouth, try away from current and in rocky/sandy areas. ILLINOIS: This should be the prime weekend for big pre-spawn female sauger. River is dropping and near 40 degrees. KANKAKEE: Norm Minas reported river is low, off-color and in the upper 30s with consistent redhorse suckers on crawlers.
CHAIN O’LAKES AREA: Greg Dickson at Triangle expects ice fishing to continue through the weekend and beyond.
COOLING LAKES/STRIP PITS: LaSALLE: April hours aren’t definite yet. Concessionaire plans are progressing, but there probably won’t be one by this weekend. Bobby Bergren and friends caught 12 hybrids, one 5-pound blue, one smallmouth and lots of dink catfish (chicken liver) on half-ounce Rat-l-traps, gold Strike King RedEye Shads or white X-Raps. Ed McCain reported outstanding bluegills in cold water from boat. MAZONIA/BRAIDWOOD: Open daily from 6 a.m. to sunset.
DELAVAN/GENEVA LAKES, WIS.: Brian Gates of Geneva Lake Bait & Tackle said there was good ice as of Tuesday, but shorelines might be iffy by the weekend. He said there are good pumpkinseeds out of Trinkes and lakers west of The Narrows on Geneva and off-and-on bluegills and crappie on Delavan.
LAKEFRONT: CHICAGO: Henry’s reported some browns but few coho. Arden Katz reported lots of small perch with a few keepers from shore in the river at 92nd and 95th. WAUKEGAN: Lori Ralph at Salmon Stop reported some browns on roaches from Johnson and government piers.
NORTHERN WISCONSIN: MINOCQUA: Guide Kurt Justice of Kurt’s Island Sport Shop reported tough travel. Perch and bluegills are good to very good. EAGLE RIVER: Chamber of Commerce reported difficult travel but good ice (20 to 24 inches) with fair-to-good panfish.
NORTHWEST INDIANA: Mik-Lurch reported shore fishermen limited on coho with some browns and whitefish on spawn on the bottoms at East Chicago Marina and the public access at Portage. Fisheries biologist Brian Breidert said Michigan City had a good weekend. Lake dirtied up for boaters, but Capt. Mike Florey did well (5-for-8) Saturday at Gary Light.
ROOT RIVER, WIS.: Flows are ideal for steelhead, according to the report from the weir, but cold is limiting influx of fish.
SHABBONA LAKE: Lakeside reported lake is about 60 percent open. The hope is the boat launch will be open by the weekend. Lakeside will open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. for spring and summer fishing beginning Friday.
SOUTHWEST MICHIGAN: Tyler Harmon messaged that steelhead slowed in the rivers. A few whitefish, browns and coho are being caught off the piers.