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12/18: Midwest Fishing Report, Fish of the Week, Buck of the Week

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Updated: December 17, 2013 8:50PM

Midwest fishing report

LAKEFRONT PERCH: With harbors icing, ice fishing is beginning. DuSable and Belmont have been best. Montrose has some action. Ice goes in and out at Navy Pier and 87th, but 87th is very good when ice-free. PIER PASSES: Available at Henry’s.

AREA LAKES: Fish of the Week (golden trout) came from Axehead. Mik-Lurch: Some pike out of Wampum. For public-site regs, go to expanded fishing report at Stray Casts (

CHAIN O’LAKES/FOX RIVER BACKWATERS: Triangle: Good bluegills throughout. Walleye fair around current areas, which have soft, dangerous ice nearby. White bass are fair. Mike Starcevich: Some walleye on south end of Pistakee in 10 to 13 feet on break. Some good bluegills and crappie. Arden Katz: Nielsen Channel has 4 inches of mostly good ice. Outstanding bluegills. ‘‘Trick is to jig the whole water column down,’’ he said. ‘‘I was sight-fishing, basically.’’ For Chain access, go to expanded fishing report at Stray Casts (

DELAVAN/GENEVA LAKES, WISCONSIN: Brian Gates, Geneva Lake Bait & Tackle: On Geneva, they’re walking on Geneva Bay already, which is early. Some bluegills, crappie and small pike on Delavan, bluegills on Pleasant and some small pike and largemouth on north end of Como. Gates has shacks for rent on Delavan. Call (262) 245-6150.

MADISON LAKES, WISCONSIN: Gene Dellinger, D&S Bait: Bluegills on Mud. Fair perch on Kegonsa and Waubesa. Mendota just capped.

NORTHERN WISCONSIN: EAGLE RIVER: Chamber of Commerce: Walleye (off weed or break edge in 10 to 25 feet), pike and panfish are good to excellent. The are 4 to 8 inches of ice. MINOCQUA: Kurt Justice, Kurt’s Island Sport Shop: Good access. Expects truck travel on many lakes by weekend. Expects good action with temperatures warming above zero. Walleye best on tip-ups at dusk.

NORTHWEST INDIANA: Starcevich: Action variable on Willow Slough (Mormon Hill closed for deer season); better from Patrol Road than up front. Snow dumped on Valpo Chain, but redear and bluegills on Long. Some steelhead in the streams.

SHABBONA LAKE: Cliff Sands, Lakeside: Crappie (deep trees) and catfish being caught. There are 4 to 6 inches of ice, but geese are keeping one spot on north end open. Bait shop open 8 a.m.-2 p.m. Friday to Sunday. Restaurant open 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

WOLF LAKE: Site staff reported some pike. Two to 4 inches of ice in spots.


Ryan Whitacre had a different sort of golden moment Friday. While ice fishing at Axehead Lake in Park Ridge, he caught a golden trout.

‘‘It blew my mind!’’ Whitacre texted. ‘‘I had to look it up.’’

Trout are stocked in the spring and fall in Axehead, which is part of the Forest Preserve District of Cook County.

Make Fish of the Week nominations by Facebook (Dale Bowman), Twitter (@BowmanOutside) or email (


Jason Kokaska of Plainfield had a surprise opening morning of the first firearm season on a farm in central Illinois.

‘‘I had hardly seen any bucks all of bow season till a couple of days before the opener of gun, and the bucks were running does like crazy,’’ he emailed. ‘‘This buck was with two other big shooters, but he was the biggest, and I had a total of five good shooter bucks opening morning. It was very odd that this guy was with the two others! And I did not see one doe near them or with them!’’

He said the nine-point (the 10th point was broken off) rough-scored 160.

Send Buck of the Week nominations by Facebook (Dale Bowman), Twitter (@BowmanOutside) or email

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