Chain: The walleye action is hot with the cooler weather. Reports show good catches in the river channels and mouths of the creeks throughout the day. Live bait is proving to be best.
The flats are also holding fish as well. Jerkbaits in the low light are producing aggressive strikes. Shad color or chartreuse are doing the best.
The bass bite is slowing down. Live bait rigged on the breaks is producing some bites. Wooden boat docks are holding fish during the day as they warm the water faster. Wacky-rigged stick-style plastics are producing.
Panfish are hot right now as well. Ice jigs under slip floats or small spoons worked in the deeper areas. Live bait is working well, however plastics are still 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 as well as bucktails are the baits of choice.
Shabbona: Crappie fishing is good on minnows and jigs in 6-8 feet of water. Best bet is to search the cribs that surround each of the piers and switch minnows frequently. Perch are still being caught along the deeper weedlines. Use minnows near the bottom for best results. A few muskies being caught, but no large ones. Expect bigger muskies to start biting in the middle of the month. Bass slow, but a few being caught on spinners. Catfish good on nightcrawlers and doughbaits.
Forest Preserve Lakes: Crappies and bluegills are both slow. Channel cats biting on stinkbaits, nightcrawlers and chicken livers. Flatheads biting on big roaches, bluegills, sucker minnows and carp. Bass fishing steady using medium roach minnows, soft plastics, lizards and worms. Pike biting in good numbers on roach minnows.
Lake Michigan (Chicago Area): The boaters are finding some salmon out deep in the 140 feet of water range. Most fish are taken on full lead-core or downriggers with magnum spoons.
The lake trout bite is hot on the south end. Troll the reefs with smoke or clown dodgers with white or yellow spin-n-glows. Jigging with gulp or large white twisters has also been taking fish.
The kings are in full swing for the shore fisherman. The 4-year-olds are being found in the harbors. Spawn under a slip float is the best presentation as of late. The brown trout bite is starting. Spawn sacs under a float or small tube jigs worked about 6 feet down under a good slip float is producing.
Lake Michigan (Waukegan): Kings and coho slowing, but being caught in 50-90 feet, depending on time of day, on spoons, Dodgers or flies.