Northern Illinois Fishing Report - December 28th, 2012
The browns and steelhead are in the harbors in full strength. Spawn sacks under a float are working well as well as the standard tinsel or white tube jig tipped with wax worms.
The steelhead bite is starting to increase in the downtown harbors with spawn being a primary choice of baits. Fishing with spawn sacks in a pink or chartreuse color under a float or on the bottom will offer a great opportunity for one of these tough fighters. Tinsel jigs as well as tube jigs under floats are also producing fish.
There has been some great reports of the brown trout and lake trout bite picking up in southern Wisconsin areas. Trolling silver/green spoons and casting rattletraps has been a productive tactic. This time of year you can find the warm-water discharges along the harbor areas and these will hold the baitfish that will bring the trout in. The discharge north of Waukegan has had some good reports of fish being caught, but you need to watch the weather conditions, and there are no piers in at the launch, so proceed with caution.
Navy Pier and the downtown harbors are producing some good catches of perch. The fish are ranging in size and a lot of sorting is required, but crappie rigs with fathead minnows seem to be producing the best. Also artificial plastics such as small minnow-style plastics rigged on double rigs and pulled along the weedbeds can produce some of the larger fish. Launching out of 95th Street and fishing the channel and surrounding lakefront has been producing some limits of perch. Also fishing in Indiana waters near the “hole-in-the wall” has been also showing some promise with the perch fishing. Fishing bottom rigs with minnows and feather tied hooks has been the top producer.
The walleye action is good with live bait. Reports show good catches in the river channels and mouths of the creeks throughout the day.
Panfish are good on ice jigs under slip floats or small spoons worked in the deeper areas. Muskie action is slow.
Drifting the weedbeds with large suckers on quick-strike rigs has been producing some nice muskies.
Look for the breaklines associated with decent weed growth. The fish are taking suckers drifted behind the boats over weedlines and breaklines.
Fishing small plastics tipped with wax worms has been a top producer.