Archive for the ‘Lake Michigan’ Tag



Since the 60’s this body of water has hosted a variety of Salmonoid that provide fishing action year around. As the different species migrate along the coast of Chicago the action heats up. It is at this time of year that salmon migrate to their wintering areas at the south end of the lake.

Of primary interest this month are the lake trout and Chinook salmon. King salmon and steelhead salmon are usually present but in a little deeper water. Charter boats are your best bet for this fishing due to the large area to be covered and the ever present threat of sudden storms. Both weather and fishing conditions change often in fall.

The large charter boats venture further out from shore and to deeper depths in search of colder water.

Locating a boat is as simple as contacting a local bait shop or harbor concession. Most also have web pages and can be located by Googling “Chicago fishing charters.” Local telephone yellow pages also can be a source of contacts.

Usually the charter boats provide all tackle, and sometimes lunch or refreshments. You can also provide your own. Remember that these are big fish and heavy duty rods and reels are vital. The various captains network with one another to share information on where different species are and what patterns and lures to use.

Depending upon species and depth they inhabit a wide variety of colorful lures with crazy names are popular. Trolling often leads to the use of leadcore line as well. The heavy line is to keep lures down with the help of downriggers which control the actual depth. Planner boards allow for the trolling of lures away from the wake zone of the boat.   The combination allows anglers to cover a wider range of depths and more surface area at the same time.

As the waters closer to shore begin to cool, chinook and steelhead move closer to the shore. Temperature is important in this fishing. The salmon family is susceptible to a need for cooler water. In the fall the west wind allows cooler water closer to shore. Fish move close to piers where fishermen catch them with casting spoons and inline spinners.   A check of local newspapers results in information about fishing conditions.

Often perch are still biting in the fall. In the water near the Illinois Indiana border it is even possible to pick up a smallmouth bass or two.


ICE FISHING WOLF LAKE   Leave a comment


There are two Wolf Lakes in Illinois.  This one is near Chicago just off of Lake Michigan on the Illinois/Indiana state line.  The other one is downstate.

Wolf Lake is a 419-acre lake in the William W. Powers Conservation Area located at 131st Street and the IL/IN state line.  Dredged and separated into different sections by dikes.  There are 5 different sections.  The maximum depth is 15-feet with an average depth of 5.91 feet.

Numerous drop-offs and weed lines provide excellent ice fishing opportunities.  There is a variety of species available including smallmouth bass, walleye, northern pike, bluegill, redear sunfish, crappie, bullhead, carp and yellow perch.

Entrance is from Avenue O at about 123rd street.  It is accessible from Interstate 94 and 90.  Ample parking is available in the winter a short distance from the shoreline.

Most of the better fishing areas are on the Illinois side.  Be sure you know what side your fishing as you need a license for the state in which you are fishing.  The state line is well marked.

A popular area for ice fishing is the cove at the south end of the lake just off 133rd street near the Ranger’s office.  The weed beds in the cove attract perch.  Other areas attracting fish include those with current.  The current flows through the dikes but it may make the ice pretty thin as it wears away the underside.

Basically the current flows into the Illinois side of the lake at the state line and the dead end of State Line Road.  It then flows northeast to the railroad bridge.  As it flows under the tracks there is a deep drop-off of from 5-feet to 14-feet.  It then flows southwest to the culvert dike, coming back up to 5-feet.  From there it flows west over the dam and into Indian Creek near the parking lot.

As the waterfowl season ends the ice fishing begins as the ice begins to thicken enough to be safe.  It continues as long as the ice is safe.  The park is open sunrise to sunset and there is no ice fishing at night.

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