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Midwest fishing report

Updated: September 24, 2012 6:25AM



FISH OF THE WEEK: In mid-January, Tom Kline took two steelhead while ice fishing at Jackson Harbor, one of the lakefront hot spots this winter. (Photo courtesy of Henry’s Sports & Bait.) He was jigging an orange jighead and a red spike to take a 30-incher weighing 7 pounds, 9 ounces and a 25-incher weighing 5-12. The longer one was a skamania. E-mail FOTW nominations to straycasts@sbcglobal.net.

AREA LAKES: South suburban ice fisherman Bill Lanham e-mailed, “We may be into winter’s doldrums, but there are still a few biters under that frozen surface to supply smiles about our cheeks.’’ FOTW nominations suggest farm and retention ponds from the western suburbs to northwest Indiana are giving up big crappie. Ice conditions are good, snow cover cut down on the slickness. MAZONIA: Probably the steadiest of local waters during this midwinter slowdown. Clear Lake has been steadiest for bluegill, reported Mik-Lurch.

CHAIN O’LAKES AREA: Triangle reported solid bluegill, though it takes sorting; best on Channel and Catherine. Walleye are good on tip-ups, fished in 8-12 feet, mornings and evenings. Try for suspended crappie down 8 feet in 15 with glow jigs, look for fish rising as evening comes; Marie is best. White bass are fair; try Mineola or Pistakee, start looking in 8 feet. Catfish are fair in 15-20 feet. Pike has been good throughout the year on most area lakes.

DELAVAN/GENEVA LAKES AREA, WIS.: Geneva Lake Bait & Tackle reported Pleasant remains the hot lake for bluegill and crappie. Over the weekend, better perch were being taken deeper (24-40 feet) on Geneva, which is frozen but not completely safe for vehicles. Como has good pike. Delavan slowed, but some perch and walleye in 44-50 feet, some crappie suspended in the same depth.

DOWNSTATE NOTES: Guide Ken Wilson ( lithiaguideservice.com ) reported Coffeen is good for crappie in 10 feet about mid-lake, also solid bass action; Newton is giving up some nice bass at Newton; but plant is down at Sangchris.

LAKEFRONT: Still some perch scattered around the harbors, but it takes sorting for keepers. There have been some scattered steelhead, too, such as the FOTW from Jackson Park. There have been a few trying with roaches at the stateline power plant.

NORTHERN WISCONSIN: EAGLE RIVER: Chamber of Commerce report indicated excellent ice conditions with solid fishing action. Walleye are best evenings on suckers on tip-ups. MI NOCQUA: Guide Kurt Justice reported the cold kept down effort over the weekend. Walleye are sporadic, mostly an evening bite after 7 p.m. Milder weekend should revive fishing.

NORTHWEST INDIANA: Mik-Lurch’s Glen Gajewski reported fair stream action on Salt and Trail with some coho up to Valparaiso. Harbors are iced in.

SHABBONA LAKE: Check reports on Shabbonalake.com.

Dale Bowman



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