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02/12: Midwest Fishing Report & Fish of the Week

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WISCONSIN STURGEON SPEARING: The season ended after only three days on the Upriver Lakes section of the Winnebago system. Lake Winnebago season is expected to be closed shortly. Numerous fish of more than 100 pounds, including a 148-pounder, were speared.

AREA LAKES: Steve Silic of the Forest Preserve Districy of Cook County said 14 inches of ice were reported on forest-preserve lakes. Ken ‘‘Husker’’ O’Malley of Water Werks Fishing Team said access is getting more difficult on small ponds and lakes because of the snow cover. He said the key to bass is jigging tungsten jigs and plastics (Little Atom wedgies) near clumps of green weeds.

CHAIN O’LAKES AREA: Triangle reported bluegills picking up again; try a little deeper (9 to 12 feet). White bass are good in 9 to 12 feet. For walleye, Marie and Petite are best. Crappie should be good until ice-out.

COOLING LAKES/STRIP PITS: MAZONIA: Plenty of ice and plenty of snow on top. BRAIDWOOD: Numerous readers noted it reopens to fishing March 1. Only a couple of weeks, baby.

DELAVAN/GENEVA AREA, WISCONSIN: Brian Gates at Geneva Lake Bait & Tackle reported some perch in 40 feet in Fontana, lakers and ciscoes scattered around in 65 to 105 feet, bluegills and pumpkinseeds off Trinkes, some pike on Como and fair bluegill and decent pike (including some legals), bluegills and crappie (near dark) on Delavan.

DOWNSTATE: POWERTON: Reopens to boat fishing Saturday.

FOX RIVER: Adam Micaletti proved smallmouth can be caught in the dead of winter at discharges. He used a 1/16-ounce jig with a Gulp! minnow.

LAKE ERIE: Two reports of outstanding walleye (heavier than 10 pounds) while ice fishing.

LAKEFRONT: Harbors have plenty of ice. 87th Street is best for perch. More trying tip-ups for trout.

MADISON LAKES, WISCONSIN: Gene Dellinger at D&S Bait reported perch (worth the drive) in 50 to 75 feet all over on Mendota.

NORTHERN WISCONSIN: EAGLE RIVER: Chamber of Commerce reported 22 or more inches of ice, with pike and panfish good to excellent and walleye fair. MINOCQUA: Kurt Justice of Kurt’s Island Sport Shop reported ice is averaging 28 to 30 inches. Fishing has been fair for pike, walleye, perch and crappie.

NORTHWEST INDIANA: When weather allows access, a few steelhead are being caught in the streams. Otherwise, it is ice fishing when weather allows. Willow Slough has variable reports.

SOUTHWEST MICHIGAN: Tyler Harmon messaged fishing is about the same. Some steelhead in the rivers when weather allows. Ice fishing is good inland.


The family that fishes together — well, it had to go ice fishing this winter.

That’s just what husband and wife Veronica and Jeff Pogose of Frankfort and Veronica’s mother, Karen Hull of Midlothian, did two weekends ago on Wampum Lake.

They did just fine on the forest-preserve lake in southern Cook County, catching crappie and largemouth bass.

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

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