Fishing & Hunting Report and News

This is the place for you to do some bragging.  Got a fishing or hunting report?  How about a photo of your prize catch.  Send reports and photos via email to me at iloutdoors@comcast.net

Pheasant Hunting at Rooster Heaven by Don Dziedzina

I got my last hunt in at Rooster Heaven for the 2013/2014 season.  Can't wait till fall to get out there with my daughter Lisa and our German Shorthaired Pointers Wager and Profit.

On my last hunt I was joined by Dave June from Chicago and his GSP Kady.  We got a lot of pheasants and had a great time.  Actually, just the other day I made some dynamite pheasant chili.

I was able to get a TV show recorded on our hunt, it will air on Comcast and Insight Cable, channel 138  May 10 at 8 AM.  I've added a few photos to share.

Lake Shelbyville Report by Steve Welsh

The Corp has the lake rising to 596 and presently it needs about 4-inches. They will raise it to summer pool of 599.99 in May.

The water temps I saw this past week were running from 49-51 with it spiking up to 57 on calm sunny days. The entire lake has cleared up quite a bit. The wind keeps it stirred up but over all color isn't a problem unless you want to catch them on the bank. The shallow fish that everyone has enjoyed chasing these past three weeks have moved back out to about ten-feet on the north end and slightly deeper on the south end.

The stained and dirty water from the wind has the fish suspending high in the water column. We caught fish down anywhere from 6-10 feet over deeper brush and heavy trunks of down trees. Water depth doesn't mean as much as a branch in the 6-10 foot range. Remember this time of the year fish are seeking warmth and heavy trunks of down trees provides more so  brush might only have small fish in it.

With the current water color we have my best colors on dark rainy days have been a 1/8 or 3/16oz.Deep Ledge Jig in either orange, black or chartreuse with a chartreuse glow Midsouth tube or an orange and chartreuse tube. On sunny days I am using a white head and a Bass Pro Crystal Minnow or my Brush Bugs with a white head, pearl tensile and glow legs. Since we aren't fishing that deep I have downsized from my typical 1/4oz. jigs and got out my twelve-foot rods so we can stay back.

On windy days we have been drifting slip bobber rigs over deep brush with plain minnows, calm days sticking more to jigs.

On calm days I can see the fish suspending off the sides of points with my side imaging on the south end where there are stumps and brush so we are getting out the spinner rigs this week and line counter reels and doing some long line pulling. This method is deadly on suspended fish.

Steve Welch
Website: www.lakeshelbyvilleguide.com

Job Testing for IL DNR CPOs

Written exams for the position of Illinois Conservation Police Officer Trainee will be held May 5-9 at approved Central Management Services testing centers. The test will be used to form a list of eligible candidates from which trainees may be chosen for proposed police academy training.

Prior to taking the test, submit a completed CMS 100 Application to Department of Central Management Services, Examining and Counseling, Room 500, Stratton Office Building, 401 S. Spring Street, Springfield, Il. 62706. All qualified applicants will be given the opportunity to take the written exam. If you are unable to mail the CMS 100, you may contact a testing center and take a completed CMS 100 to the testing facility for review prior to taking the exam.

A list of required qualifications can be found at http://dnr.state.il.us/law3/career.htm .

North Side Pond Report by Paul Simanauskas

Fished a park district lake in Hoffman Estates before a large storm approached, caught an 18" bass on night crawler from shore.  First rumble of thunder and I called it quits.

South Side Pond Report by Ken HUSKER O'Malley

Hey Don,Area lakes continue to produce good numbers of bass. With improved water clarity, a variety of baits have produced. Lipless crankbaits, chatter baits, and swim baits have all caught good numbers. On sunny days, bass are up shallow. Cloudy days push them back. Wind blown shorelines have been best. Water temps are slightly warmer there as the winds blow the warmer surface temps into those shorelines.   TTYL

Husker Outdoors - Water Werks Fishing Team

Rend Lake Fishing Report by Randy Cordray - US Army Corps of Engineers

SPECIES RATING    BAIT OF CHOICE              SUGGESTED LOCATIONS REGULATIONS
LARGEMOUTH BASS  Good Worms, black and blue jigs, minnows, and spinner baits. Fish in shallow bays near brush cover and bushes. Fish around bridges and along the rocks. Reports of fish being caught around Jackie Branch, Sandusky cove, and below the dam. 14” minimum length limit, 6 daily creel limit. 1 fish daily creel limit in PONDS 14” minimum length.
CRAPPIE  Good Jigs are working well. Quarter-Ounce pink and white tub jigs. Small & Medium Minnows. Meal worms. Fish are in about 5’-14’ of water. Fish the main lake drop off areas.  Try the Gun Creek Area. From shore fish near structures, hot spots are Jackie Branch, Sandusky, and Marcum Coves, and Ina Boat Ramp. 25 fish daily creel limit with no more than 10 fish 10 inches or longer
BLUEGILL  Fair Crickets, worms, wax worms, meal worms, small jigs. Fish in the back of necks and on flat shallow banks and on the rocks. Try fishing shallow with crickets, worms or small jigs. From shore try Sailboat Harbor. 10 fish daily creel limit in PONDS. 
CHANNELCATFISH

 

Good Sonny’s stink bait, Hoss’s Hawg Bait, leeches, night crawlers, and large minnows. Try the Waltonville Dam, Turnip Patch, Jackie Branch, and North Sandusky Day Use Area. Set line 3-4’ from the shore over rocks. Try leeches in moving water. Try deeper water in the middle of the lake.  Drift fish the flats. 6 fish daily creel limit in PONDS.Jugs must be attended at all times while fishing.
WHITE BASS Good Jig and curly tail grubs, inline spinners. Fish in shallow bays near brush cover and bushes. Fish around along the rocks and dropoffs. Reports of fish being caught around  the 154 bridges. 20 fish creel limit.No more than 3 fish 17” or longer daily

Information as of:  04/13/2014

LAKE LEVEL: 409.60      AVERAGE POOL FOR THIS DATE: 407.95    WATER TEMP:61°F

Use of a minnow seine, cast net, or shad scoop for bait collecting within 1000 yards downstream of the Rend Lake dam and spillway is prohibited.

Maps of the Fish Attractor tree locations along with GPS readings are available at the Rend Lake Corps of Engineers Project Office.  Contact Randy Cordray for more information at (618) 724-2493.  In order to maintain a cleaner recreation area, anglers and bow fishermen fishing below the dam are asked to return dead rough fish to the water.

Niagara NY Area Fishing Report by Bill Hilts Jr.

  1. Lake Ontario and tributaries -- Shoreline trollers in the lake are picking up browns and Coho salmon with regularity, using stickbaits to attract these feisty fish to hit. Dennis Hoffman of North Tonawanda reported good success on Cohos usually any silver colored Rapala stickbait long lined or fished off boards in 8-10 feet of water. Steelhead were in 8 to 20 feet of water in front of Four Mile Creek. In the clearer, shallower waters, an electric motor worked better than his kicker motor. Boat pressure can also make a difference on fish attitudes. The piers in Wilson and Olcott are also producing browns, steelhead and the occasional Coho according to Wes Walker at The Slippery Sinker in Olcott. Tributary action has also been good. Browns and steelhead are still at Burt Dam and 18 Mile Creek and there are even some reports of bass. Remember that bass season is catch and release right now. If you do target bass, you must use artificial baits. Creek temperatures were in the low to mid-40’s. If you are helping out with the Olcott pen rearing project, they will be receiving their fish at 1 pm on April 22 at the Town of Newfane Marina. Check out www.lotsa.org for details or to sign up for the feeding schedule. The Wilson Conservation Club held their 3rd Annual Bullhead Contest last weekend and there was some pretty good action in the area around Wilson. A total of 54 adult anglers competed in the friendly contest, as well as 8 junior fishermen. Winning two fish weight was 3.65 pounds reeled in by Joel Feagin of Wilson. Second place was John Pittsley with 3.55 pounds. In the kids division, Cameron McKee was first place with a two fish weight of 3.07 pounds. Next bullhead contest on the calendar is being hosted by Jean’s in Wilson from April 25th to the 27th. Call 751-9198 for more info. They are also picking up some perch in Wilson harbor, too. A new outdoor show on LCTV (Time Warner Cable Channel 22; Phone number is 716-434-1733; www.lctv.net) is kicking off this Wednesday April 23 at 4 pm called “The Outdoor Beat”, bringing aboard local experts on area outdoor activities. It will be live for call-in and also air several other times on Thursday and the weekend. Check it out!
  2. Lower Niagara River – If you were looking to venture down into the gorge and chase some trout, the good news is that the stairs at the Whirlpool and Devil’s Hole state parks are now open after the nasty winter that doesn’t want to go away. It was closed down for nearly a month due to safety concerns. Lower river trout action has been good with steelhead, brown trout and lake trout snapping for anglers in the river and out on the Niagara Bar. Minnows, kwikfish and egg sacs will all work for drifters; casters can use spoons and spinners. River conditions have been good with water temperatures in the 34 degree range. That’s not going to change too much with the amount of ice still left in Lake Erie. Last projected report for lifting the ice boom had it started the end of the month, but the determining factor is less than 250 square miles. Until that happens, we can only hope for some strong northeast winds to push the ice toward the west to help with the ice dissipation. A reminder that walleye are still out of season and that it’s not legal to target a fish that is out of season. Walleye season opens on May 3.
  3. Upper Niagara River – Most of the river is staying colder due to the ice in Lake Erie. Look for bays and inlets around Grand Island to find waters that will be warming quicker to seek out a mix of panfish like perch, crappie and bluegill. Trout are still an option off the Bird Island Pier and Broderick Park by casting spoons, spinners or egg sacs. Remember that Hyde Park Lake, Gill Creek (Niagara Falls) and Oppenheim Park Pond (Wheatfield) all received trout stockings from DEC last week.

Bill Hilts, Jr - Director, Outdoor Promotions
Niagara Tourism & Convention Corporation
www.Niagara-USA.com

Northwoods Wisconsin Report

Snow seems to be never ending in the northern parts of Wisconsin in the Boulder Junction and Mercer Areas.

Lake of the Woods Minnesota Report from Joe Henry, LOW Tourism
Walleye season closes April 14 and opens again May 10th.  On the ice, nice walleyes and saugers still the norm this week with a few perch and tulibees. In front of Graceton Beach and towards Morris Point Gap and Lighthouse Gap 16-18 or 20-22. Using Gold or pink tipped with live minnow. Pike are ready to run, try 8-10 near Zippel Bay or Four Mile Bay tipped with live sucker minnow.  Use resorts for info before venturing out, snowmobile or ATV traffic only.On the Rainy River. Nelson Park at Birchdale, Frontier and Vidas accesses are open to all boats.  Open water goes to in front of the Royal Dutchman. Sturgeon fishing is open and fishing has been good.  Catch and release now through April 23, keep season opens April 24th - May 7th.  See sturgeon fishing article below for specific dates.Up at the NW Angle, walleye fishing this past week was good. The pike bite is also active for those still getting out on the ice. Pike season open all year at LOW and Rainy River.
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