MIDWEST FISHING REPORT
SPRING TROUT: Season opens Saturday. Daily bag of five. Those 16 and older need a fishing license and an inland-trout stamp. Area lakes include Axehead, Belleau and Sag Quarry East (Cook County); Silver, Pickerel and Grove
(DuPage); Gebhard Woods State Park Pond (Grundy); Bird Park Quarry and Rock Creek at Kankakee River State Park (Kankakee); Big Lake at Silver Springs State Park (Kendall); Banana and Sand (Lake); Lake Atwood, Hollows Conservation Area and Piscasaw Creek (McHenry) and Lake Milliken at Des Plaines Conservation Area (Will).
CHAIN O’LAKES AREA: Time to call it an ice-fishing season and begin open-water fishing. Staff at Triangle suggested focusing on crappie in back channels and creek areas.
COOLING LAKES/STRIP PITS: LaSALLE: Ken ‘‘Husker’’ O’Malley reported a good day of catching bass on a multitude of baits and plenty of catfish. They found a school of hybrids busting shad and capitalized. Others have reported good hybrids when found. Water was 57 to 85 degrees. HEIDECKE: Lake reopened Monday. Temporary launch is difficult, especially on icy mornings. Water was 41 to 43 degrees. MAZONIA/BRAIDWOOD: Bill Anderson reported channel catfish and one decent largemouth Monday at Braidwood.
DELAVAN/GENEVA LAKES, WIS.: Brian Gates of Geneva Lake Bait & Tackle pulled his last shanty off Delavan on Tuesday. Change is coming.
DOWNSTATE NOTE: POWERTON: Weather has delayed levee work and postponed reopening.
FOX RIVER: WESTERN SUBURBS: Sam Bennett said river reached 44 degrees; warmer water needed for smallmouth to really go. A few walleye around.
ILLINOIS RIVER: Time on the Water reported good sauger fishing, both by vertical-jigging and pulling. Big females are beginning to peak.
KANKAKEE RIVER: River is lower than normal. Walleye fishermen are out.
LAKEFRONT: CHICAGO: Park Bait reopened. Hours are 6 a.m.-8 p.m. There have been a few browns, coho and steelhead around. SMELT: A handful were netted opening night at Montrose. WAUKEGAN: Lori Ralph at Salmon Stop reported shore fishermen taking browns with roaches on the bottom, some steelhead on shrimp under a bobber and a few coho and pike off the South Rocks. One boater limited on browns in 25 to 30 feet.
NORTHERN WISCONSIN: EAGLE RIVER: Chamber of Commerce reported 20 to 24 inches of ice. MINOCQUA: Guide Kurt Justice expects enough ice for panfishing for weeks to come. There are 26 to 30 inches of ice.
NORTHWEST INDIANA: Coho and browns have been variable. Glen Gajewski at Mik-Lurch said one of the better spots has been in the warmer, cloudier water coming out of the Ditch. Trollers are using Brad’s Thin Fish, and casters are using Little Cleos. He said trollers need to slow down. Key is warmer water. Shore fishermen are using spawn, spoons or jig and squid.
ROOT RIVER, WISCONSIN: Wisconsin DNR reported fishermen concentrated at Horlick Dam, with steelhead to 31 inches and some browns.
SHABBONA LAKE: Lakeside is open daily now; boat rental is ice-free. Crappie and muskie fishermen are trying.
SOUTHEAST WISCONSIN LAKEFRONT: Wisconsin DNR reported boaters doing well for browns at Kenosha. Casters picked up nice browns over the weekend.
SOUTHWEST MICHIGAN: Tyler Harmon messaged that steelhead are being caught from shore and boat. Piers should be hot for the next week for steelhead, browns, whitefish and coho.