Fishing reports and news

The following fishing reports and news releases have been recently received to share with my readers.   If you have a fishing report and photos, please email them to

Shabbona Lake Report byKen Husker O'Malley

Hey Don,  I hit Shabbona yesterday. The auger got a workout. Ice is almost at 2 feet. Crappie and bluegill bite was very good. Key was staying mobile fishing brush piles and cribs. Once the bite slowed, on to the next hole. Crappie were caught jigging tungsten jigs tipped with Maki Plastics jamie. Bluegill were caught on tungsten jigs tipped with multiple spikes. Crappie averaged 11 inches and the gills at 7. Not a bad day on the hard top.
Husker Outdoors
Water Werks Fishing Team

 Crappie Tournament Draws Near by Don Gasaway

The countdown to southern Illinois' largest crappie tournament has begun. Anglers from a number of states are making plans to come to southern Illinois for this event. The tournament sponsored by Cabela's Crappie USA and the Williamson County Tourism Bureau offers the largest cash purse ever offered in this area. The total purse is guaranteed at $10,000 minimum. It may increase based upon the total number of boats entered. Additionally some winners in various categories will receive sponsor bonus money. A number of contestants will move on to compete in the $100,000 Cabela's Crappie USA Classic October 16-18, 2014 on Lake Cumberland, KY.

Information about entry is available on the Crappie USA website and from Williamson County Tourism Bureau at

Registration ends on March 14, 2014 at 7:00 P.M. when all participants and the public attend the Seminar at the The Pavilion of the City of Marion, 1602 Sioux Drive, Marion, IL. Crappie USA conducts a seminar the evening before each tournament. It offers a chance to win field test items from some of the national sponsors as well as a review of the lake and conditions. Review of tournament rules and a question/answer session follows.

The following morning the contestants take to the water at 6:30 A.M. and will return to the Weigh-In at Pyramid Acres Marina & Campground, 21271 Marina Road.

While the contestants are on the water, youngsters 12 and under compete in the Kids Fishing Rodeo at the Marion Elks Lodge Pavilion on Lake Of Egypt Road. Bring your own tackle. They sign up from 8 A.M. to 9:00 A.M. and the tournament runs from 9:00 A.M. to 11 A.M. In addition to the fun, all participants are eligible to win one of six $1,000 scholarships drawn at the Crappie USA Classic.

Starting at 3:00 P.M. the weigh-in begins back at Pyramid Acres Marina & Campground. The winners will be determined and prizes awarded.

Crappie USA is a national organization formed in 1996 to establish and expand family-oriented, cost effective and competitive tournaments for amateur and semi-professional crappie anglers. Nationally there are tournaments in more than 25 states. Anglers compete for a place in the field for the "super bowl of crappie fishing" the $100,000 Cabela's Crappie USA Classic to be held on Lake Cumberland, KY October 16 to 18, 2014.

Teams of two anglers pay an entry fee of $100 to compete in the amateur division; semi-pro competitors pay a $200 fee. In addition to the local purse, the top 25 teams will advance to compete in the Cabela's Crappie USA Classic. The $10,000 purse will increase based on the number of entries. For entry information, contact Crappie USA (270-395-4204) or Williamson County Tourism Bureau (1-800-GEESE-99) in Marion.

Free information regarding hotel accommodations and points of interest is also available from Williamson County Tourism Bureau, 1602 Sioux Drive, Marion, IL 62959 or by calling 1-800-GEESE-99. Current information is also available online at, the Williamson County Tourism Bureau website. Their e-mail address is

Niagara New York Area Fishing Report by Bill Hilts

Lake Ontario and tributaries – If you “love” hard water angling, this is the perfect year for it all around the state. Ice action in Wilson and Olcott harbors is at the top of the list for the most consistent area fishing, but you will have to work for a mix of panfish, perch, trout and pike. One spot that was producing some nice pike through the ice was on the east side of the harbor in Olcott near the old wooden docks according to Greg Stanley at All in the Same Boat Tackle Shop. Burt Dam and 18 Mile Creek has been locked up with ice, but if you can break away ice to create some open water around the power station, you’ll catch browns and steelhead. Use a white 1/32nd ounce jig tipped with a wax worm to take your trout. The water is clear so be sure to downsize your presentation. The Lake Ontario State of the Lake meeting for Region 9 will be held on March 13 at Cornell Cooperative Extension Lockport, 4487 Lake Avenue (Route 78). The public session starts at 6:30 pm and it’s important to get a good turnout to show support of the programs.

Lower Niagara River – The Roger Tobey Memorial Steelhead Contest is Saturday (Feb. 15) in the lower river and area tributaries. You can register online at or you can stop down to Creek Road Bait and Tackle in Lewiston. As far as the weather, it looks like a decent weekend with temperatures in the 20s – a heat wave! As far as the local fishing scene, the lower river has been doing pretty well for trout according to some of the local charter captains. Despite the cold temperatures, both Jeff Draper and Joe Marra reported some decent days earlier this week on browns and steelhead. A combination of minnows and Kwikfish were producing a mixed bag of fish; egg sacs were the tickets for just steelies. Fish could be caught throughout the river system, however the ice was posing a problem at the mouth of the river so not too many people have fished the Bar area. Remember that walleye season is open and the big females filled with eggs are extremely susceptible to angling pressure. If you are going to keep one for the frying pan, keep one of the smaller one. The daily limit on walleye is one fish per person this time of year.

Upper Niagara River – Not too much to report other than some ice fishing around Grand Island – at the Beaver Island Marina and the Holiday Inn area.

Bill Hilts, Jr.
Niagara Tourism & Convention Corporatio


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