MIDWEST FISHING REPORT
REMINDER: On Friday, Illinois will hold 22 sectionals for high school bass fishing. Respect the young anglers. Chicago sectionals are Braidwood, Busse, Chain O’Lakes, Des Plaines Conservation Area, Heidecke, Shabbona and Wolf.
AREA RIVERS: Most rivers are nearly bank full, with potential to reach flood stage. Time to dabble pockets and eddies tight to shore. Ken Gortowski was referring to the Fox, but this applies generally: ‘‘If your lure is more than a foot away from the wall [at Geneva], it’s too far. This kind of high-water fishing can be done anywhere on the river right now.’’
CHAIN O’LAKES/FOX RIVER: It’s no-wake from the Algonquin dam to the Wisconsin line. Check foxwaterway.state.il.us for updated restrictions. Arden Katz reported good crappie Tuesday in channels (water is high but decent color) on ice jigs with white or silver plastic; key is tight to docks. Some bluegills are mixed in.
COOLING LAKES/STRIP PITS: Mazonia lakes, Braidwood, LaSalle and Heidecke are open daily from 6 a.m. to sunset. LaSALLE: Henry’s reported decent hybrids from shore and boat. HEIDECKE REMINDER: The launch is a temporary one. Rains might help launching.
DELAVAN/GENEVA LAKES, WIS.: Brian Gates of Geneva Lake Bait & Tackle said boaters are catching more bluegills than crappie in Abbey Harbor on Geneva. He said they are catching bluegills middays to afternoons on Delavan, then more crappie until dark.
LAKEFRONT: CHICAGO: When weather allows, there are browns, coho and lakers on the breakwalls downtown at the Chicago Light gap. On Saturday, Larry Emerson reported Dipsy Divers were working best; slow speeds and spoons were key (Ludington Special Stinger best). Henry’s reported shore fishermen are doing best at 63rd for coho. There are browns inside the harbors. SMELT: What smelt? WAUKEGAN: Lori Ralph at the Salmon Stop reported a few browns off Government and Johnson piers on frozen roaches or spawn sacs. A few coho on spoons.
NORTHERN WISCONSIN: MINOCQUA: Kurt Justice of Kurt’s Island Sport Shop said to keep ice gear out. He doesn’t expect to be ice-free by the May 4 walleye opener. Panfish action has been very good. EAGLE RIVER: Chamber of Commerce reported 2 feet of ice. Panfish are good in 10 feet or less around weed growth or over mud flats in 12 to 25 feet.
NORTHWEST INDIANA: Capt. Bob Poteshman of Confusion Charters
reported so-so fishing for coho with a few browns. Fish are scattered in front of East Chicago Marina, by Gary Light and the Hole-in-the-Wall. Good lakers at ‘‘The Gong.’’ Mik-Lurch reported crappie and bass at Wolf Lake. Bluegills are good on warmer days at Willow Slough. NOTE: There’s a shore-fishing contest at the Hammond Marina (free entry and parking, refreshments, prizes for largest salmon, trout and bass), 7 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, Hammond Casino.
SHABBONA LAKE: Denny Sands at Lakeside reported a 24-inch walleye caught Sunday. Crappie remain deep with water 46 or 47 degrees. FISHING CONTEST: Lakeside holds its first Mega Big Fish Contest Weekend with multiple species. Call (815) 824-2581 or go to shabbonalake.com.
SOUTHEAST WISCONSIN LAKEFRONT: Rains have limited effort on the Pike and Root. Harbors are holding good browns when weather allows access.
SOUTHWEST MICHIGAN: Tyler Harmon messaged Lake Michigan is hit-or-miss for browns, coho, whitefish and a few Chinook. Rivers are very high and muddy, but the sucker run is on.