MIDWEST FISHING REPORT
AREA LAKES: Most of the weekend focus was on the opening of trout season with generally good catches, but some trout are still available. Otherwise, there have been some quality largemouth posted on Facebook, and Henry’s reported crappie are picking up around the city and suburbs.
CHAIN O’LAKES AREA: Open water is here. Triangle reported crappie are in the channels and channel mouths, walleye are moving shallow on the Fox and Pistakee, white bass have been good on Marie, pike are spawning (practice catch-and-release), carp are good and bluegills and muskie are fair.
COOLING LAKES/STRIP PITS: Winds have been the limiting factor. Lakes are open 6 a.m. to sunset daily. MAZONIA/BRAIDWOOD: Mazonia lakes need to warm up. HEIDECKE: Lake needs to warm up. The temporary launch is tricky, especially on icy mornings, and tight. LaSALLE: Concessionaire is still in the plans, but not by this weekend.
DELAVAN/GENEVA LAKES, WIS.: Brian Gates of Geneva Lake Bait & Tackle reported ice is gone from Delavan (piers are in). Geneva started opening seriously Tuesday.
DES PLAINES RIVER: Marcus Benesch tried the ‘‘big river’’ portion downstream (and found water to 55 degrees) and reported very good white bass (to 12 inches). Bass also were decent.
DuPAGE RIVER: Apparently on fire. Frank Macikas did best on largemouth in a backwater just off the current. James Wawrzaszek reported bass best on Shad Raps with some orange; he suspects that’s because of many crayfish moving. Ed Schmitt said current seams are key because fish have moved out of winter holes.
FOX RIVER: WESTERN SUBURBS: Sam Bennett reported smallmouth are transitioning, but they still are holding in slower water. Some quality walleye are being caught. Ken Gortowski said this should be the week where things turn around in the creeks.
ILLINOIS RIVER: Time on the Water Outdoors reported sauger ‘‘on fire,’’
especially around the Peru flats; jigging a jig and minnow or Berkley PowerBait are best.
KANKAKEE RIVER: Norm Minas reported the river remains low for spring. Algae caused problems, so best bait was a Berkley PowerBait Heavy Weight Worm T-rigged on a 5/0 EWG hook, primarily for smallmouth. But he said other trips are multispecies days.
LAKEFRONT: CHICAGO: Henry’s reported coho and browns doing better on South Side; powerliners (large fatheads better than crawlers) are doing better than casters. WAUKEGAN: Weather has limited effort, but the Salmon Stop reported shore fishermen taking some coho, browns and an occasional pike. SMELT: Poor catches. Netters must be out of the parks by 1 a.m.
NORTHWEST INDIANA: Capt. Bob Poteshman, who has two boats in East Chicago Marina, said it has been a fair spring. He has focused on the Hole-in-the-Wall, East Chicago, Gary Light and Buffington. He thinks the best is yet to come. He used Dodgers and flies, but he said others are doing well with crankbaits. Mike Starcevich at Mik-Lurch reported shore fishermen are catching browns on a jig and squid, spawn and Little Cleos. Perch are in 42 feet, but weather has limited windows to chase them. Willow Slough is on fire for panfish, as are Pine and Stone in LaPorte. Monster crappie (to 16 inches) are being caught at Webster, which is known more for its muskie.
NORTHERN WISCONSIN: Plenty of ice. Chamber of Commerce reports 20 to 26 inches around Eagle River.
ROOT RIVER, WISCONSIN: Wisconsin DNR reported good steelhead at Horlick Dam on flies or spawn sacs.
SOUTHWEST MICHIGAN: Tyler Harmon messaged that rivers have warmed enough to end the steelhead run, but suckers are coming. Lake Michigan fishing remains steady.