01/08: Midwest Fishing Report and Fish of the Week
BY DALE BOWMAN For Sun-Times Media January 7, 2014 9:13PM
MIDWEST FISHING REPORT
AREA LAKES: All you need to know, even before the weather chased all but the hardiest fishermen off the ice for several days, is that people were buying extensions for their augers. Regulations on public area waters are posted at Stray Casts (voices.suntimes.com/category/sports/stray-casts).
CHAIN O’LAKES AREA: Triangle staff reported bluegills are good throughout; best on south end of Channel. Walleye are good on Marie and Channel. Some pike on large roaches shallow in bay areas and some bass in similar places. White bass are fair; try in 20 feet. Look shallower for crappie. Public-access points on the Chain are posted at Stray Casts (voices.suntimes.com/category/sports/stray-casts).
DELAVAN/GENEVA LAKES, WIS.: Few have been out, but that will change with more moderate weather. Brian Gates at Geneva Lake Bait & Tackle said there was still one open hole Monday on Geneva. Otherwise, it is locking in.
LAKEFRONT: CHICAGO: Steve Palmisano at Henry’s said it best: ‘‘The ice is getting thicker and the backs are getting sorer.’’ There is up to 12 inches of ice in spots in the harbors. Winter perch bite is consistent. He said there is enough ice that it might be worth trying the outer harbor at Jackson Park. Some even are ice-fishing the east side of Burnham.
MADISON LAKES, WIS.: Gene Dellinger at D&S Bait said that Mendota now has 5 to 10 inches of ice and that perch fishing is beginning in 45 to 50 feet. With moderating weather, that will take off. There are some bluegills and crappie on Monona, Squaw and Turbo bays. Mud has some bluegills, crappie and smaller pike.
NORTHERN WISCONSIN: MINOCQUA: Kurt Justice of Kurt’s Island Sport Shop said: ‘‘If you didn’t have a permanent shanty with a good heater, you stayed home.’’ That will change with more moderate weather. He said most lakes have 15 to 17 inches of ice, though Fence and Trout have 11 to 13. Travel is good. EAGLE RIVER: Chamber of Commerce reported walleye, pike and panfish as good to excellent, with ice 10 to 14 inches in spots.
SHABBONA LAKE: Ken ‘‘Husker’’ O’Malley of Water Werks Fishing Team said bluegills and a few crappie were in 15 feet on cribs over the weekend on tungsten jigs tipped with spikes or waxies.
SOUTHEAST WISCONSIN LAKEFRONT: Arden Katz said there is fair action for trout at Racine, better than Kenosha.
FISH OF THE WEEK
Dave Burton landed an improbable catch — a buffalo — while ice fishing Dec. 30 at LaSalle Fish and Wildlife Area in Indiana.
The dedicated fisherman from Schneider, Ind., was using a jigging Rapala for largemouth bass at Black Oak Bayou on opening day for ice fishing at LaSalle FWA.
‘‘I don’t know how he got it through the ice,’’ property manager Ken Bisacchi said.
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