Weather Updates

02/05: Midwest Fishing Report & Fish of the Week

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Updated: February 4, 2014 10:44PM


ICE-FISHING BENEFITS: The Walk on Water Charity Ice Derby ( is 7 a.m. to noon Saturday out of Lindy’s Landing on Bangs Lake. . . . The Island Lake Lions Club’s annual Ice Fishing Derby is 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday. Awards and raffles are at 3D Bowl at 3 p.m. Free chili, compliments of Sideouts Tavern. Hotline is (847) 604-1709.

AREA LAKES: Plenty of ice but also plenty of snow cover. Still receiving varied reports of multiple species for those venturing forth into the tundra on both private and public waters.

CHAIN O’LAKES AREA: Triangle reported Pistakee Bay is best for crappie. On Marie, white and yellow bass are being caught in about 12 feet. Some walleye, but they take sorting for keepers. Channel remains the best spot for bluegills. Loon has been good for pike on tip-ups. Deep has slowed. Ice is 2 feet in many areas.

DELAVAN/GENEVA LAKES, WIS.: Brian Gates at Geneva Lake Bait & Tackle reported a lot of pike and some bass on tip-ups and golden roaches on Como. On Geneva, east end is producing small pike and tiny perch. There are lakers in the Narrows, Williams Bay and part of Fontana. Some decent perch in 40 feet on Fontana. On Delavan, some bluegills, crappie and pike. Perch moved to north-shore areas.

LAKEFRONT: Ice fishing is universal in the harbors. The hottest spot remains the slip north of 87th Street for perch.

MADISON CHAIN, WISCONSIN: Gene Dellinger at D&S Bait reported perch (good enough to drive for) are going in 65 to 80 feet on Mendota.

MAZONIA: Both units are open for ice fishing. Lots of snow cover.

NORTHERN WISCONSIN: EAGLE RIVER: Chamber of Commerce reported good pike and panfish and fair walleye. Ice is generally 20 inches or more. MINOCQUA: Kurt Justice of Kurt’s Island Sport Shop reported deteriorating travel conditions because of slush and snow. Pike are good on shiners on tip-ups (as shallow as 5 feet to outside of weeds in 12 to 14 feet). Perch, walleye and crappie are fair to good.

NORTHWEST INDIANA: Still a few steelhead in the streams. Willow Slough remains the top ice-fishing spot.

SHABBONA LAKE: Because of snow, Rockfest was rescheduled for Feb. 22.

SOUTHWEST MICHIGAN: Tyler Harmon messaged that steelhead are decent in the rivers. Ice is good inland with decent panfish.

WINNEBAGO STURGEON SPEARING: The spearing season, which opens Saturday (previous permits required), is expected to be over quickly this year.


A called fish makes an unexpected fish a gift. Robert Purpura did that last week while ice fishing with a buddy at Silver Springs State Fish and Wildlife Area near Yorkville.

After each drilled two holes in the deepest part, Purpura called, ‘‘I will get a big one in five minutes.’’

Both laughed. But Purpura hooked into something big while jigging a yellow-and-green Diamond jig tipped with a wax worm on 2-pound monofilament in his second hole.

‘‘Thought I was pulling up a bass . . . but once I saw the belly in the water, I knew it was a trout,’’ Purpura emailed. ‘‘We pulled him out and started jumping around like little kids on Christmas. Took the pictures and let him go.’’

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

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