Midwest Fishing Report (May 18)
By DALE BOWMAN outdoordb@sbcglobal,net May 17, 2011 6:40PM
Updated: June 19, 2011 12:38AM
BEST BETS: Lakeside hosts a crappie open Saturday on Shabbona Lake. As the weather stabilizes, Mazonia gets my nod for multiple-species action. Capt. Bob Poteshman reported quick limits on coho on the hill around the Wisconsin-Illinois line.
AREA LAKES: Largemouth pulled up last week, then backed off. Henry’s reported good crappie at Saganashkee, Maple, Tampier, Busse and Monee.
CHAIN O’LAKES AREA: Triangle reported bluegills are best; fish shorelines around trees or piers. Crappie are good in channel mouths. For walleye, fish the current areas or bridges; Marie is best lake for larger walleye. Muskies are improved on large jerkbaits or bucktails. Pike are good on Mepps spoons or Johnson spoons around creek mouths. Catfish are fair on crawlers or stinkbait.
COOLING LAKES/STRIP PITS: MAZONIA/BRAIDWOOD: Bill Lanham reported all species crashed into spawning mode at once as water temperatures pushed into the 70s late last week at Mazonia. At Braidwood, staff reported water was in the upper 70s on both ends last weekend. Henry’s reported bluegills and catfish are still the top bites at Braidwood. HEIDECKE: Mik-Lurch reported some good crappie to go with good walleye and hybrids.
DELAVAN/GENEVA LAKES, WIS.: DELAVAN: Guide Dave Duwe reported action exploded with the warmer weather, then cooled off. Largemouth are preparing to spawn. Crappie are near spawn, too. Pike are good in shallow, weedy bays. Bluegills are loaded into channels and shallow water. GENEVA: Lake needs to warm for most action, but largemouth are decent on a split shot and crawler. Rock bass are in 10 to 12 feet.
DES PLAINES RIVER: Water is nearing normal. Dan Sims of Sims Spinners said: ‘‘Fish are moving into their summer patterns. Fish shoreline structure and current breaks for your best results. In-line spinners and crankbaits have done exceptionally well!’’
DOWNSTATE NOTES: EMIQUON: The spot for largemouth bass. SHELBYVILLE: Guide Ken Wilson said best bet is walleye on wind-blown flats on Bandit crankbaits. Crappie spawn is winding down. Lake cooled from 77 to 62 degrees. EVERGREEN: Time on the Water Outdoors reported crappie as the hot bite, but saugeye and muskies also are drawing effort.
FOX RIVER: WESTERN SUBURBS: Ken Gortowski continues his campaign to fish the creeks, and it’s a good year to do it because of the high water on the river. He has been having success for multiple species going pool to pool in the creeks.
ILLINOIS RIVER: STARVED ROCK AREA: Time on the Water reported trollers are taking some sauger on the St. Bede and Peru flats. White bass are slow.
KANKAKEE RIVER: Most areas of the river are receding. Smallmouth are in the spawn. Ed Mullady reported catfish throughout, rock bass and crappie hitting in quieter areas and fair walleye at the mouths of ditches, creeks and bayous.
LAKEFRONT: CHICAGO: Harbors are a bit cleaner than outside water, so a few smallmouth are being caught at Burnham and Belmont. Weather has been the limiting factor, but Capt. Bill Kelly reported coho by the corner of Chicago Light, on the wall by Baldy’s Point (north end of outside wall) and in 20 to 30 feet from Diversey to the north end of the Montrose horseshoe. WAUKEGAN: Salmon Stop reported a few coho and perch have been caught by hardier shore fishermen. NORTH POINT: Poteshman reported outstanding coho with a few kings and an occasional steelhead on little Dodgers (red or clown) and small flies (Stanley Stingers or Howie nuggets in aqua, blue/green, gold, teal) on the hill on both sides of the state line.
NORTHERN WISCONSIN: EAGLE RIVER: Chamber of Commerce reported pike are good around emergent weeds or dead weeds in 10 feet or less on live bait. HAYWARD: Guide Kurt Justice said water has cooled back into the 40s. Walleye are shallow on warm days. Smaller pike are around shallow new weeds. Panfish should rebound when water warms back into the 50s.
NORTHWEST INDIANA: Mik-Lurch said the best bets have been bass and crappie on ponds. Willow Slough has the best bluegills in the back by the bulrushes; the site no longer rents boats. Before the blow, salmon were in 42 to 52 feet.
ROCK RIVER: OREGON: TJ’s Bait/Tackle & Canoe Rental reported a few small flatheads on crawlers and catfish hitting dip bait. River is a little high.
SHABBONA LAKE: Lakeside hosts the crappie open — $100 for the heaviest stringer of 10 crappie — from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. Go to shabbonalake.com or call (815) 824-2581. Guide Jay Angel reported good crappie over the fish cribs and deeper brush piles. Bass are improving on lipless crankbaits over emerging weeds.
WOLF RIVER, WIS.: FREMONT: Guide Bill Stoeger said the cool-down (62 degrees to 55) pushed the white bass out deeper; best action is in 10 to 14 feet on river rigs, either minnow or fly and minnow. He suspects fish will be shallow again by the weekend.