WOLF RIVER, WISCONSIN: WHITE BASS/WALLEYE: Guide Bill Stoeger said white bass turned on around Fremont on a light jig and minnow. If water cools, switch to a river rig and twitch it in deeper water. Walleye still are coming down, so some are catching limits on a jig and crawler, then white-bass fishing.
AREA RIVERS: DES PLAINES: Marcus Benesch reported best is channel catfish in the Joliet-Channahon area. Otherwise, focus on dam areas. Largemouth and smallmouth are moving shallow. FOX: Receding slowly. Sam Bennett reported some high-water spots fishable again, with smallmouth out of the boulders and back into current breaks and crappie and largemouth moving into slower water. Ken Gortowski caught so many he had bass thumb Sunday. He worked a Cabela’s 1/16th-ounce plain head jig with a 1/0 hook and a 3-inch Producto Spring Grub. KANKAKEE: Water is below normal spring levels, with temperatures in the mid-60s. Smallmouth are starting to bed (catch-and-release only). Norm Minas caught gar on a fluke worked fast at creek mouths and smallmouth by waterwillow stubble with single-spin slow-rolled.
CHAIN O’LAKES AREA: Chain went no-wake Monday. It’s one of the best times for fishermen to get out without competition from other boaters. Triangle said best is crappie in the back channels and, oddly, some white bass and walleye in the same channels. Muskie and bass guys are out.
COOLING LAKES/STRIP PITS: MAZONIA/BRAIDWOOD: Should be near prime for Mazonia lakes the next two weeks. LaSALLE: Hatchery staff reported 73 degrees at intake Tuesday. HEIDECKE: Lake is up 11 inches. Work progresses on ramp, but there is only one temporary launch. Be patient and prepared. Lake is 58 degrees, near prime.
LAKEFRONT: CHICAGO: Park Bait reported good coho all over at Montrose; best by powerliners with large fatheads or crawlers. Casters catching a few on the horseshoe. Capt. Bob Poteshman of Confusion Charters reported great coho shallow (25 to 30 feet) from Montrose to 31st. Lakers remain outstanding in 35 to 45 feet. NORTH POINT: Poteshman reported good coho shallow on the color line.
NORTHERN WISCONSIN: Much ice made for a difficult opener. Kurt Justice of Kurt’s Island Sport Shop said one bright spot was those casting Rattlin’ Rogues and Floating Rapalas after dark from shore for walleyes up to 29 inches. He expects fantastic fishing to erupt through the weekend as the ice goes and the walleye head into spawn.
NORTHWEST INDIANA: Willow Slough remains the top spot for bluegills. Mik-Lurch reported good coho on boards around the Hole-in-the-Wall.
SHABBONA LAKE: Clint Sands at Lakeside reported crappie coming up in no-motor zone and by handicapped pier. A few legal walleye are being caught, and muskie are active. NOTE: Muskie rescue is Wednesday. Meet at 5 p.m. at the archery hunting area on Shabbona Grove Road.