Fishing Reports, News and Photos

If you have a fishing report, outdoor news and photos of your prize catch, send them to me at iloutdoors@comcast.net.

Here's this weeks reports, news and pics that were sent in.

Ice and Pond Report by Ken HUSKER O'Malley

Hey Don, Looks like this was the last weekend for hard water action out south. Shore line access is getting difficult to find as runoff and warmer temps are melting shoreline ice. The main pad is still good at 9 inches, but with all the water on top it will be hard to tell what ice is good. PFD a must at this time with old ice. Not minding that much that the ice season is coming to an end. What a great run we had!! Time to get the boat ready though. Bluegill bite was on fire shallow where there was access to deep water. Custom Jigs & Spin Demon tipped with a waxie was the bait of choice. T-boning the waxie was the key as the light jig made the bait flutter on the way down.

Husker Outdoors
Water Werks Fishing Team

Illinois State High School Tournament Results by Chris Young, IL DNR

Schlarman Academy of Danville took first place in the High School Division of the 2014 Illinois State High School Tournament held Saturday at the Illinois State Fairgrounds.

 
Schlarman Academy recorded a team score of 3,279 to best second place Roberto Clemente High School of Chicago which took second place with 3,250. Armstrong-Potomac High School of Armstrong took third with 3,200 points.
 
Jefferson Middle School of Champaign won the Middle School division with 3,305 points - also the highest score overall. GRF Middle School of Georgetown was second with 3,171. Pinckneyville Jr. High took third place with 3,131.
 
Armstrong-Potomac Grade School won the Elementary division with a score of 2,624.
 
Illinois Department of Natural Resources Director Marc Miller presented the awards.
 
Daniel Weyers of Canton High School had the meet's high score, with a score of 290. Maddy Brown of Jefferson Middle School had the highest score for a female competitor with a 285.
 
Top Individual finishers are attached. Team photos to follow.
 
Chris Young

Boulder Junction Area Report by Janie Harpster

We have lost snow....    Went ice fishing yesterday afternoon. The ice surface was surprisingly firm! I had no slush on that lake and easy navigation. The ice was still 30 inches, walking and 4-wheelers could go anywhere. I don't know that those conditions are the norm, but what a pleasure to get around. BTW even the bluegills and perch were cooperative!!!  Have a great day!!!

Janie

Niagara NY Area report by Bill Hilts Jr.

Lake Ontario and tributaries – There’s still plenty of good fishing to be had in the tributaries off of Lake Ontario like 18 Mile Creek in Burt-Olcott. With the mild weather this past week, the streams are flowing and they should be prime for some good trout action. Because steelhead are starting to drop their eggs as part of the spawning ritual, egg sacs or egg imitations are always good baits to try and target trout. According to Greg Stanley at All in the Same Boat Tackle Shop in Newfane, in addition to eggs, small jigs fished under a float is another good approach. Tip the jig with a wax worm. The water is a bit stained right now and if we don’t see too much rain, it should get better by the weekend. The important thing is that they are catching fish. Keg Creek has some open areas, too. If you can get out on the piers in Wilson or Olcott, cast spoons or spinners to pick up trout. Just around the corner is one of the first contests of the year – the Wilson Conservation Club’s bullhead contest, set for April 11-13. Jean’s Bar in Wilson is also going to sponsoring a bullhead event later in the month, the last weekend in April. More to come.

Lower Niagara River – The water was a little stained on Wednesday morning, but fish were consistently being caught by boat drifters working Kwikfish lures off three-way rigs. Captains Ernie and Nick Calandrelli were both working their magic for customers on Wednesday morning and managed to hook 10 steelies by 10 am, all on Kwikies. Egg sacs and minnows will also work for you. Brown trout and lake trout are both available, as well. The same will work in the lower river in places like Devil’s Hole or the Whirlpool. Spoons and spinners are popular hardware for rod-tossing. Be careful when walking the shoreline along the river – that water is 32 degrees!

Upper Niagara River – Safe ice is still being reported at the Buffalo Boat Harbor. No reports of late at Grand Island. Caution is advised with the recent warm ups. Casting the shoreline for trout at the head of the river or just above the upper rapids with spoons or spinners are good bets this time of year. Sunday, March 23 is the Niagara River Anglers Association’s big fundraiser – the John Long, Sr. Memorial Raffle and Feast at St. Vincent DePaul Hall on Military Road in Niagara Falls starting at 2 p.m. Be there!

Bill Hilts, Jr.
www.Niagara-USA.com

Lake of the Woods Minnesota Report by Joe Henry

Fish houses out until March 31, walleye season open until April 14, pike season does not close. Walleyes spread out this week. Over mud, try 22-24 or 27-30 feet of water. Use spoon tipped with frozen shiner head in jigging hole, bright colored jigs tipped with live shiners or fatheads as dead stick. Afternoon best bite, with short flurries of action common all day. Good reports from the reefs of Knight and Bridges Island, 29-31 feet. Electronics helpful. Lots of small walleyes and saugers in the mix.  Some fish making their way to south shore, staging for spawning run up Rainy River.  Good evening bite in shallower water. Tulibees are plentiful. Check with resorts as some are no longer allowing wheeled houses on their roads. Tip-up fishing for pike best 10-12 feet of water baited with live sucker minnow.  

On the Rainy River, walleyes are moving up river. Fishing still consistent near airport and Wabonica Church (chapel) using pink, gold, and red/white with frozen shiner. Evening bite best. Try 16-19 feet. Rapids near Birchdale starting to open, open water on Big Fork River.

Up on the NW Angle, fishing remains steady. Try 22-24 feet with pink, chartreuse, or glow jigs tipped with live or frozen shiner. Walleyes, saugers, perch, and pike active. Crappie fishing good reports for mobile anglers just over border.  For lodging info, www.LakeoftheWoodsMN.com/lodging.     

There is still plenty of ice fishing to be had.  Whether you are using on of our full service resorts who transport you out to a heated fish house or driving out on your own, come on up and enjoy one of the best fishing and weather months of the year.  Resort houses out through March 31st.  Walleye season open until April 14.  Pike open all year long!  

Adrians: Open and including wheel houses
Cyrus: Closed to full sized vehicles (creek starting to flow), snowmobiles and ATV's only
Morris Point: Open to vehicles, closed to wheel houses
Zippel Bay: Open and including wheel houses
Long Point: Open to vehicles, closed to wheel houses
Babblers: Closed to vehicles, snowmobile and ATV only (pressure ridge)

Some of the best action of the ice season happens in March. In the lower part of MN, the fishing season for walleyes and pike ends the end of February. On Lake of the Woods, however, the season remains open until April 14th. Great news and an extended season.

Resorts are allowed to keep their fish houses out through March 31st. With over 30" of ice and a good snow pack, chances are that we will be ice fishing to the very end.

Take advantage of fish "putting on the feed bag" and getting ready for the spawn.

Devil's Lake SD photos by Scott Buechel

Scott Buechel of Boulder Marine in Boulder Jct. WI sent me a hand full of photos to share.  He was fishing Devil's lake and as you can see in the photos, he had some cleaning to do.  Thanks for sharing Scott.

 

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