Fishing Reports, News and Photos

Northwoods Report by Don Dziedzina

It's been a great week of fishing up north.  I've been to the Turtle Flambeau Flowage, Chauquamagon Bay of Lake Superior, Ballard, White Birch, Irving, and Star Lakes by Boulder Junction.  Fishing was good on all.  Walleyes came on small jigs, light line and 2 inch fathead minnows retrieved over the weed tops.  Several largemouth bass came up out of the weeds too.

Smallmouth bass were exceptional.   Seemed like a post spawn situation where females apperated to be spawned out and hanging around wood.  That was the number one type of cover/structure to fish.  Saw nothing on beds.  Best baits were all plastics from wacky worms to tubes, grubs and craws.  Bigger Chigger Craws worked best which surprised me.  I've usually had good luck with the 3 inch Chigger Craws.  4 inchers worked better and produced more fish.

Panfish were going nuts.  We (Roger Wright) and I fished for gills and crappies one morning and probably caught 150 fish in just about 3 hours.  It was non stop action however nothing was rally big.  On White Birch and Ballard it would have been the perfect situation for Dad to bring the kids to get them bit.  I heard from guide Bob Bertch that it's like that all summer on those lakes; fish after fish after fish.

Roger got his personal best smallie from White Birch, a six pound seven ouncer.  It fell for a Big Chigger Craw, pumpkin color.   This big smallie appeared to be spawned out.  After some photos, weigh and measure (23 inches) it was release wtihin moments of the catch.

South Suburban Pond Report by Ken HUSKER O'Malley

Hey Don, Bass continue to be good on crankbaits during evening hours and last hour of daylight. Many area lakes have floating moss and casting a shallow running crankbait along the outside of those mats have produced good numbers. Making an accurate cast is key.

Smaller rivers and creeks have produced smallmouth in various plastics. Using a 1/0 keeper hook produced the perfect drift for the bait. A few smallmouth are still in their beds this late into the spring.

Area lakes have been on fire with the recent warmer weather. Bass have been caught on a variety of baits from square bill crank baits, 5 1/4 inch senkos waky rigged, and in-line spinners. Larger females have recovered from the spawn and are on the feed. Crappie have also been good on minnows under a slip float.

Husker Outdoors
Water Werks Fishing Team

Chicago River News by Chris Young, IL DNR

On Tuesday, June 10 Friends of the Chicago River and the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) will release 30,000 one year old channel catfish into the Chicago River system as the first step in a spawning habitat restoration project funded by the new Chi-Cal Rivers Fund. The project which includes the installation of 400 constructed nesting cavities for channel cats at eight locations ranging from the North Shore Channel to the Little Calumet River will help this critical species repopulate the system after years of degradation limited its breeding success. Over the next 18 months 100,000 fish will be released.

Water quality problems do remain, yet conditions have improved markedly in the Chicago River system and this will continue to do with the approval of new aquatic life standards pending at the Illinois Pollution Control Board.  In recent years, fish communities have responded to these improvements and there are more native species in the river. However, in many cases they are still low in numbers or sporadic in occurrence.  A lack of habitat has been identified as one of limiting factors to fish reproduction success. This fish habitat project will also benefit largemouth bass and sunfishes such as bluegill and pumpkinseed sunfish and serve as a charismatic invitation for people to think beyond the banks and consider how what they do at home can impact the Chicago River.

Lake Shelbyville Fishing Report by Steve Welsh

The water temps are hovering close to 80 and we are still just about 3-inches below summer pool. Watercolor is very clear all over the lake. The crappie are still being caught even though a good percentage have spawned. Fish are being caught on standing timber all over the lake in the front half of the coves and deeper brush out on the main lake. We are using minnows under a cork at about 10-12 feet down in much deeper water.

I am walleye fishing for the most part every day now and in the last five days I have caught 87 over the legal size with the biggest being about 26-inches. I am amazed at just how many we are catching in the 10-13-inch range, about 30-50 a day. We will have good fishing for years to come on the walleye.

We are pulling bottom bouncers and spinner rigs for these fish on line counter reels. The best blade colors have been chrome or white with some pink on it. We are using single hook rigs that I tie myself and putting a lively minnow on it. This way we are catching plenty of crappie and keeping everyone busy in the boat. We are pulling these rigs at about 1-1.4 mph and you can flat out put a lot of fish in the boat doing this since it catches everything but it is the walleye we want.

The largemouth bass are out on the deeper drops near stumps and we are catching about a dozen a day about three pounds or so pulling the spinners. Most anglers are catching their walleye by casting Big Dudes or my Deep Ledge Jig Spinners with a small piece of night crawler on it. They are biting on several pattrns so whichever you like to fish you can catch them. This should continue for about a month.

Steve Welch

Rend Lake Fishing Report by Randy Cordray, Natural Resource Specialist, US Army Corps of Engineers

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. Recent success when fishing a few feet inside the bushes from the lake side. Otherwise: 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:  06/02/2014


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.

Sturgeon Bay fishing report by Steve Mampe

Hi Don,  Just got back from a 3 day trip to Sturgeon Bay with my friend Ray Larson from Springfield.   All I can say is, ‘WOW’, what a fish factory!!   Our first day there, our group of 6 caught over 200 smallmouth!  Most were in the 3-6# range.  We found them on beds and even managed to catch some on top water as the water warmed.  I’ve attached a few pics…  looking forward to the Mille Lacs trip!

Regards,  Steve Mampe

Chicagoland Muskie Hunters news from Dean Rosset

Hi Guys-No June VFW meeting.   The Chicagoland Muskie Hunters (03) chapter of Muskies Inc. We meet the second Tues. of the month at the Park Ridge VFW (Higgins and Canfield) at 7:30. Meetings feature top speakers, fishing reports, favorite lake presentations by our members, muskie info sharing, door prizes and raffles. All are welcome!! Contact Dean—847-677-0017— or Learn how to catch a muskie, or more muskies, or larger muskies, or join MI. All are welcome!

No VFW meeting in June—Sat June 7- Bilka Blowout on the Fox Chain-Launch your time/place-meet 11:30 at the Thirsty Turtle on Channel Lake- ( OR help at the Huck Finn Kid’s day on Green Lake in Buffalo Grove—7:45-10:00 Due north on Rte 83 to Deerfield. (

Niagara Area New York Fishing Report by Bill Hilts Jr.

Lake Ontario and the tributaries – Fishing turned on in Lake Ontario big time for salmon and trout – just in time for the 30th Annual Lake Ontario Pro-Am Salmon Team tournament run out of Wilson and Olcott. In the first leg of the tournament, it was the Vision Quest team led by Capt. Pete Alex of Erie, Pennsylvania who swept both the Trophy and Classic Divisions to take the top prizes in the contest held May 24-25. The team’s two day total of 507.89 points (based on 10 points per fish and a point per pound) was enough to beat out runner-up Maverick (led by Capt. Chris LoPresti of Spencerport) by just 10 points in the Classic Division. In the Trophy Division, Vision Quest nipped Maverick by .4 points with a score of 258.42 to 258.02, one of the closest finishes in the history of the tournament. The stage is set for the second event this weekend and it’s anyone’s game. Catching a limit did not ensure being in the prize money as fishing was excellent for the tournament. The first day, there were 22 classic limits; the second day there was 18 limits. Catching bigger fish was key and team strategies had to adapt their program to try and focus on bigger salmon. Only 12 fish are allowed in the Classic Division and no culling is allowed so if a smaller tournament fish was caught and reeled in, it must be kept as part of the tournament limit. Vision Quest focused all of their attention for two days in 140 to 190 feet of water between Wilson and Olcott, fishing deeper below the surface with spin doctors and flies for the bigger fish. Because of all the money on the line this weekend, we can’t get any further reports from trollers. Pier casters can still pick up an occasional trout and in the harbors perch and panfish are both good targets. In the Recreation Open Division, it was Great Escape led by Tom Pearce to win first place and big fish in the single day event based on a three-fish catch for Sunday. His score was 84.10 and his big fish was a 21.54 pound king salmon. Balls Deep 3 led by Brandon Poole of Newfane won the Saturday event with a score with a score of 82.57 points. This also sets the stage for another close contest as the Recreation Open Cup is based on the best two scores of the four possible single day contests. For a complete rundown of the scores, check out The Don Johannes/Pete DeAngelo Three fish-One Fish event is set for May 30 and you must be registered by 7 am to fish in the fun contest. Tip of the week comes from Doug Chaney of Pennsylvania: When climbing into a boat to go fishing, make sure your footing is secure before you make your leap of faith. If you slip, you just might do the splits!

Lower Niagara River – Trout are still cooperating nicely for boat drifters and shoreline casters – from the gorge to the Niagara Bar. In the gorge, boaters are pulling Kwikfish, Mag Lips or shiners behind three-way rigs bouncing the bottom. Shoreline casters are using spoons, spinners or jigs to take trout and a mix of other fish. Look for silver bass to turn on soon. Some black bass are also starting to hit. Remember that if you target bass you must use artificial baits until June 21 this year. Trout are also available in many of the drifts all the way to the mouth – steelhead, lake trout and browns. At the mouth, an occasional coho salmon may grab your bait, too. Bass are also hitting tube jigs at the mouth around the Coast Guard Station.

Upper Niagara River – National Fishing Week starts on June 1 and there are two kids fishing events locally on June 7 to get them out fishing – at Widewaters Marina in Lockport and at the Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge in Alabama. Both start at 8 am. Yellow perch, white perch and other panfish are showing up around Broderick Park, the northern tip of Squaw Island and around the Ontario Street Boat Launch area/wall. Dipping bait in the area is one way to ensure success. Local tackle shops are well stocked, too. Best bass fishing has been around Motor and Strawberry islands with artificial baits like tubes, jigs and streamers.

Bill Hilts, Jr.
Director, Outdoor Promotions

Lake of the Woods MN fishing report from Joe Henry, Lake of the Woods MN Tourism

Great fishing in many depths this week. Walleyes slowly moving to deeper waters after spawn. From Long Point to Graceton beach, jig in 28-30 feet or drift with spinners 14-16 feet. Morris Point Gap heading towards Lighthouse Gap doing well 12-20 feet. Trolling crankbaits in 6 - 14' along Pine Island also good.  Some resorts headed towards Knight and Bridges reefs doing well in 25-32' jigging.  Hot colors this week include gold, chartreuse, pink, orange or a combination of those tipped with frozen shiner.

On the Rainy River, June kicks off the month of small mouth bass! Excellent reports of smallies as water levels drop.  Check Clementson Bay or rocky areas. Tributaries into the river holding good numbers of nice pike . Walleyes still shallow.
Up at the NW Angle, try a couple different depths throughout the day, 15-20 feet mornings and evenings and 28-30 mid day.  Bright colored jigs tipped with minnow.  Pike and bass active.  Good lake trout fishing for anglers venturing into Canada.  More info on resorts and guides at


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