Fishing Reports and News

The fishing season is here and although we had a cool and damp week, people are still getting out and catching fish.  How about sharing your fishing report and photos of you're prize catch.  Email them to iloutdoors@comcast.net

Heidecke Lake Report from Ken HUSKER O'Malley
Hey Don,  I hit Heidecke yesterday. Fishing was very slow. Water temps were down to 57 as a result of last weeks weather. Vertical jigging, casting, and trolling did not produce. A for effort, D for results. I'm attaching a new species caught for the first time. One I'm not that thrilled about. The goby as made his appearance.On local lakes, thing are slow as well. Water temps dropped dramatically and water clarity is an issue as well. A few bass caught on tex posed finesse worms.   TTYL

Husker Outdoors
Water Werks Fishing Team

Lake Shelbyville Report by Steve Welsh 

The lake is slowly coming up to summer pool and the water temps are hovering around the 68-70 range. The crappie spawn is about half over but they are still biting very good. The north end has fish spawned out and still spawning but now the south end has fish on the bank as well so you can fish just about anywhere you want.We are fishing for them with minnows under a slip bobber from 18-inches to 10-feet. We are also using my 1/4oz. Deep Ledge Jig with a Midsouth tube in some variation of chartreuse. My Brush Bugs have caught on fire and I am selling them as fast as we can make them. They hold up well and I can fish the same jig for several days. All my Deep Ledge products are flying off the shelf so I am glad my listeners are using them.I am catching a lot of nice white bass suspended out over channel breaks and off flats where they drop off into deep water. The fish we have been getting are pushing two-pounds and very healthy and really put up a fight. I haven't seen any busting yet but anglers have told me they have seen them the last couple of days so it won't be long. I love to white bass fish and can't wait.I am seeing walleye show up at the cleaning stations so they are starting to bite as well. I had five a couple of days ago caught while drifting slip bobbers over main lake stumps. I will be fishing for them all day long very shortly and will have more to report.The bass are spawning on stumps and down trees in coves and you will catch a mixture of them and crappie if you just fish coves.Steve Welch
Website: www.lakeshelbyvilleguide.comRend Lake Report by Randy Cordray,  Natural Resource Specialist, 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
Excellent
Jigs are working well. Quarter-Ounce pink and white tub jigs. Small & Medium Minnows. Meal worms.
Spawning fish are biting in 1-3 feet of water in the bushes.  Fish the main lake drop off areas.  Try the Gun Creek Area. From shore fish near structures, hot spots are Jackie Branch, Sandusky,  Sailboat Harbor, 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
Excellent
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
Fair
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:  05/13/2014
LAKE LEVEL: 409.46      AVERAGE POOL FOR THIS DATE: 407.99    WATER TEMP:68°F       Approximately 3.5 inches of rain has fallen in the last few days.
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.

Youth and Women's Wingshooting Clinic at Des Plaines Conservation Area by Terry Doyle

Hi Don, There is a Youth/Women’s Wingshooting Clinic scheduled at the Des Plaines Conservation Area in Wilmington June 7th & 8th. There are still several openings. Anyone interested that would like more information and to register can go to: www.dnr.illinois.gov, type in wingshooting clinic schedule in the search box, then click on wingshooting clinic schedule, scroll down the the site and click on which date they want to attend. That is the link to obtain the necessary forms to register.  Thanks for putting the word out!

Terry Doyle
Chautauqua County New York Fishing Report by Craig Robbins
Lake Erie and Tribs
Out of Dunkirk, anglers report decent smallmouth bass catches around Van Buren Bay and deeper off the point. Van Buren bass anglers have also caught a few walleye and lake trout. Three tube jigs, jigs with twister tails, deep diving stickbaits and live minnows are good bass baits. The harbors at Barcelona, Dunkirk are great spots to target smallmouth bass as well.With cold water temperatures since walleye season opened last Saturday, there has not been much walleye fishing activity. Near shore, temperatures are still in the mid-40s. Traditionally, the best near shore walleye action occurs at water temperatures between 50 and 54 degrees. The early season walleye bite is generally found around nearshore spawning shoals at night. Good early season locations (from west to east) include Van Buren Bay and off the mouth of the Cattaraugus Creek. Trolling over rocky/rubble areas in 6-15 feet of water with shallow diving stickbaits or worm harnesses, is the standard program.Steelhead numbers are starting to slowly drop in the tributaries. Targeting the remaining steelhead in the lower sections of streams [something is missing here]. Smallmouth bass are now moving up into the streams. As creek temperatures warm, look for the smallmouth bass action to really take off. Woolly buggers and minnow imitation patterns are good bass offerings for fly anglers, and spinning anglers generally do well with stickbaits and natural baits like minnows, crayfish and worms. Channel catfish have started to show near the mouth of Cattaraugus Creek. The small and medium size streams have lower, clear conditions. Cattaraugus Creek is in great shape.Chautauqua Lake
The first part of the walleye season saw cool water temperatures and walleye season got off to kind of a slow start but this past week the water temperature has moved up into the high 50‘s. Anglers are catching walleye, trolling along weed edges in Warner and Dewittville Bays and off the Chautauqua Bell Tower. Targeting walleye along shallower shoreline areas at night is a good early season tactic. Boaters troll outside weed edges with stickbaits and worm harnesses, or drift and work jigs with nightcrawlers or leeches. Shore anglers can connect by casting stickbaits, especially in areas near stream inlets.With the warmer water temperature, bass are moving into the shallows. Lakewood Bar, Burtis and Bemus Bays have been producing good numbers of both large and smallmouth. Anglers are mixing up their baits with stick baits and three tubes. Keep in mind the special catch and release bass season regulation are in effect until the opening of the regular season June 21st.Craig Robbins
www.oakridgeoutdoorstv.com
www.oakridgegamecalls.com
www.robbinsscent.com
www.wnyguideservice.netNiagara New York Area Fishing Report by Bill Hilts Jr.

1.       Lake Ontario and tributaries – The waters are slowly starting to warm in Lake Ontario now that the ice is out of the system – which could be perfect timing for the Lake Ontario Pro-Am Salmon Team Tournaments coming up May 24-25 and May 31-June 1. The Trophy and Classic Divisions are set but Recreational Open teams can still register at The Slippery Sinker or The Boat Doctors in Olcott up until May 19 for the first weekend; May 26 for the second weekend – cash only. This year’s double tournament could be perfect timing for the fishing – something we didn’t experience last weekend due to the late start. Best spots in the lake seemed to be either side of the Niagara Bar wherever some warmer water and baitfish could be found. Another popular area was around the 30 Mile Point area east to Shadigee Road. Warm water and baitfish combined for some of the winning fish in the Lake Ontario Counties spring derby, as well as the Wilson Harbor Invitational event. Spoons, stickbaits, plugs and flasher-fly combinations were all catching fish, with no set pattern off riggers, divers or boards. Staying away from the pack of boats seemed to help a little, too. Salmon and browns could be found in 10 to 40 feet of water; lake trout a bit deeper, outside of 50 foot depths. As of the end of the week, some surface temps were over 50 degrees and a few fish were caught in the 30-50 foot range. Alewives were starting to move in, which means the kings won’t be far behind. Pier fishing in Wilson and Olcott has been producing some trout and an occasional coho on spoons. In the harbors some perch and catcn and release bass are being reeled in. At Burt Dam, the bowfin moved in according to Wes Walker at The Slippery Sinker. They have chased out any other fish that were in the area, or so it seems. Last weekend was an exciting end to the Lake Ontario Counties Spring Derby, the Wilson Harbor Invitational tournament, and other events associated with the WHI – the Salmon Slam and $1,000 a Day events. A pile of cash was up for grabs and there were a few very big winners – starting with John Tustin of Canonsburg, Pennsylvania. His 23 pound, 12 ounce king salmon caught the first Saturday of the derby held up the rest of the week to win the $15,000 Grand Prize. He was fishing out of Olcott when they ran into boat problems. Thanks to some quick work by The Boat Doctors, he managed to get his boat back on the lake and produce the winning fish. First place in the Salmon Division was Doug Parker II of Lockport, fishing with Matt Dunn of Newfane and Marc Dunn of Lockport – with a 23 pound, 12 ounce king salmon – yes, the same weight as the fish that won the derby. Based on the rules, first fish to the scales takes top billing. They were fishing just west of the Niagara Bar. The biggest money winners of all were the second place salmon in the LOC Derby, reeled in by Nick Downey of Edinboro, Pennsylvania. Fishing with Anthony Campanella of Erie and Justin Nekoloff of Waterford, the trio hauled in a 23 pound, 11 ounce fish east of Olcott – just one ounce behind the leaders. They had just won $25,000 in the Wilson Harbor event with three fish totaling just over 45 pounds and a total score of 75 points. In addition, they earned$6,000 of the $7,000 being offered in the $1,000 a Day contest. The only thing they didn’t win was the Salmon Slam – best seven salmon leading up to the WHI for the week – won by John Van Hoff of North Tonawanda and his Terminator team. He won $3,600 – not the ten grand previously reported. Rounding out the other LOC Derby divisions was Tanner Niezgoda of Newfane winning the brown trout division with a 16 pound, 10 ounce fish caught around the 30 Mile Point area east of Olcott while fishing with the Thrillseeker Team and Capt. Vince Pierleoni. Biggest lake trout was a 25 pound, seven ounce fish caught by Mike Ehrhardt of Brockport while fishing west of Wilson with Capt. Matt Yablonsky of Wet Net Charters out of Youngstown. The only winner not caught in Niagara was a 10 pound, 15 ounce fish caught out of Henderson Harbor by Tim Queior of Dexter on opening day of walleye. Some 69 percent of all the winning salmon and trout came out of Niagara USA.

2.       Lower Niagara River – Some decent trout fishing was being reported this past week as the waters warmed up a bit. Amazingly, the smelt run was still producing some nettings for dippers around Lewiston. Capt. Jim Taylor of Hawg Master Charters produced double digit steelies on a day that his trolling motor wasn’t working properly. It may not have been a bad thing as the swirling currents produced a spin-drift that seemed to entice to hit the minnows being offered off three-way rigs. Some lake trout are also being caught. Artpark Drift was another good area to target trout from boat, which means that shoreline casters can also do well in the gorge and along the Lewiston shoreline at the Fine Arts facility. Casting spoons, spinners or twisters can produce some trout. The stairs at Artpark should be completed by the end of the month – good news for shore fishermen. Bass fishing at the mouth – catch and release with artificial baits only – has been good on tubes. Strike King’s Coffee Tubes in watermelon gold and copper flake was best.

3.       Upper Niagara River – Waters should finally start warming now that the ice is gone. Perch and other panfish are available in the marinas and harbors in the river around Grand Island and up toward Buffalo. Northern pike action should also improve a little. Some trout could be available by casters in the Bird Island Pier area and around Broderick Park on spoons, spinners or egg sacs.

Bill Hilts, Jr.
Director, Outdoor Promotions

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