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Northern Illinois Fishing Report – October 19th, 2012

Lake Michigan

Slow reports from boats have not allowed for much feedback, but the few boats that are getting out are finding some good action in close.  Look for bait balls and you will find fish.
The kings are in full swing for the shore fishermen. The 4-year olds are being found in the harbors making their way to spawn. Crankbaits in white colors as well as Glow spoons worked near the bottom with a pause and reel retrieve are best.
Brown trout action will start to really pick up soon. Chartreuse 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 will increase in the downtown harbors in coming weeks. Fishing with spawn sacs in a pink 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.
Most of the lake trout that are being caught are by trolling dodgers with Spin-n-glows along the reef near the Port of Indiana. The hot colors have been copper/chart and chart/orange dots. They are being found in 20 to 40 feet of water around and on top of the reefs.


The walleye action is hot. Fishermen have been reporting good catches in the river channels and mouths of the creeks throughout the day. Live bait such as minnows or leaches are proving to be best. The flats are also holding fish as well.  Casting jerkbaits in the low light are producing aggressive strikes. Shad color or chartreuse are doing the best.
The bass are moving to the deeper weed lines away from any dying vegetation. Soft plastics worked slowly on the breaks are doing well. Wooden boat docks are holding fish during the day as they warm the water faster.
Panfish are still being caught on smaller presentations. Live bait is working well, however plastics are getting some of the larger fish to bite.
Muskie action is really starting to pick up. Some big fish are showing themselves on Channel and Petite lakes in the deeper water areas. Big suckers drifted across the deeper areas have been effective. Look for the breaklines associated with decent green weeds. The fish are taking suckers drifted behind the boats over the green weeds and breaklines.
Also drop shotting small plastics on the deep breaklines has been producing some good catches of crappies. The fish are suspending and you need to watch your graph closely. Follow the fish as they move. For the bluegills, fish the weedbeds and set your depth to just above the weeds. The shallow portions of the bays seem to be producing quite well as well as the channel areas found between lakes. Find the thick weedbeds in 8 feet of water or less and the gills will be there, but look for deeper water for the white bass and crappies.


Crappie fishing is fair to good. Crappies are being caught over the fish cribs. Search the cribs that surround each of the land piers. The secret to success this time of the year is to use a lively minnow. You will have to continually change your minnow because they don’t last for very long. Perch are still being caught along the deeper weedlines. Use minnows near the bottom for best results. 

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