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01/15: Midwest Fishing Report & Fish of the Week



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Updated: January 14, 2014 10:58PM


AREA LAKES: Plenty of ice. Ken ‘‘Husker’’ O’Malley, Water Werks Fishing: Jigging spoons tipped with fatheads producing good bass on local ponds. Regulations on public area waters are posted on the Stray Casts blog.

CHAIN O’LAKES AREA: Greg Dickson, Triangle: When bluegill fishing, find the weeds first. Best bluegills and crappie are on south end of Channel, Catherine and Petite and on south end of Pistakee Bay. For white bass, try Marie or Pistakee (close to Bald Knob). For walleye, try outside edges of Pistakee Bay near deeper water (near Oak Park) and Marie. Deep Lake has bluegills, crappie and some bass. Public-access points on the Chain are posted on the Stray Casts blog.

DELAVAN/GENEVA LAKES, WIS.: Brian Gates, Geneva Lake Bait & Tackle: On Delavan, Lake Lawn ($5 parking) was hot over the weekend for crappie. Otherwise, bluegills, crappie and a few pike on west end. On Geneva, lake trout in front of Aurora University and a few in the Narrows. On Como, lots of bass and pike.

LAKEFRONT: CHICAGO: Arden Katz: Perch remain hot at 87th, both for those busting holes from shore and those ice fishing. Steve Palmisano, Henry’s: All harbors have fishable ice, and most have perch. His boys even caught a brown this week at Belmont. WAUKEGAN/NORTH POINT: Lori Ralph, Salmon Stop: Ice fishermen at North Point taking panfish and pike.

MADISON LAKES, WIS.: Gene Dellinger, D&S Bait: Decent perch bite in 45 to 65 feet on Mendota west of Governor’s Island and in the western basin. Ice is good (but varies from 5 to 10 inches).

NORTHERN WISCONSIN: MINOCQUA: Kurt Justice, Kurt’s Island Sport Shop: Perch (Rosie Reds on tip-ups on flowages) and pike (big weed points jutting into deeper water) are good to very good; bluegills (bays with green weeds) and walleye (after dark off weed edges in 12 to 15 feet) are good. Ice is 17 to 18 inches. EAGLE RIVER: Chamber of Commerce: Walleye, pike and panfish are good to excellent. Good ice conditions (14 to 18 inches with some slush) with some truck travel.

NORTHWEST INDIANA: Mik-Lurch: Good bluegills at Willow Slough. Just about any lake has fishable ice. Steelhead on b-moths and jigs or spawn sacs on Trail, Salt and Little Cal.

SHABBONA LAKE: Crappie are going. Lakeside is open 8 a.m.-noon Monday-Thursday and 8 a.m.-2 p.m. Friday-Sunday.

SOUTHWEST MICHIGAN: Tyler Harmon: Some steelhead being caught in the rivers, though water is up.


Cam Riedesel caught 40 muskies in 2013. Thirty of them topped 30 inches, including the 39.5-incher (near right) caught July 30. The 14-year-old eighth-grader from Ottawa entered 22 muskies to take first place in the Illinois Muskie Tournament Trail Youth Honor Roll for 11- to 16-year-olds.

‘‘Cam’s on Cloud 9,’’ said Pete Riedesel, Cam’s father. ‘‘And that trophy. Wow. I’ve never seen one that needed its own seat belt!’’

On Saturday at the Chicago Muskie Show, Cam received his trophy from the IMTT (far right). He also got a couple of muskie rods and a reel. The other winners were Zach Stall, 5, who had seven entries to take first place in the 0-10 age bracket, and Wade Garrett, 11, who had the big fish (527⁄8 inches).

Cam’s exploits remind me of when Hall of Famer Spence Petros talks about fishing as a kid. So my day was made when the two met and Cam started picking Petros’ brain about how to make it in the business.

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

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