Fishing and hunting reports and news (Updated Ice Report)

Here is the lates fishing and hutning reports that I've received.   If you have reports and photos to share, send them to

Nielsen Channel Report by Marcy (12/19/14)

Sorry folks, still no good ice. It is all skimmed over, no water on top, but it's not thick. Maybe we'll get a measurement tomorrow...
Nielsen Channels

Rend Lake Waterfowl Hunting Report by Randy Cordray







CANADA GEESE 150 Nov. 8 – Jan 31 Daily Bag Limit – 2Possession Limit -- 6
SNOWS/BLUES  1,000 Nov. 8 – Jan. 31   Daily Bag Limit - 20 Snow/Blue & Ross’ Geese 1 BrantPossession Limit – Unlimited Snow/Blue & Ross’ Geese, 3 Brant
WHITE-FRONTS  250 Nov. 19 – Jan. 31 Daily Bag Limit – 2Possession Limit - 6


Information as of:  12/16/2014LAKE LEVEL: 407.44      AVERAGE POOL FOR THIS DATE: 405.53                                                               CASEY FORK: 412.14     BIG MUDDY: 411.96


 Illinois Deer Harvest Report from Chris Young, IL DNR


Muzzleloading rifle hunters harvested a preliminary total of 3,444 deer during the muzzloader season (Dec. 12-14), compared to 3,485 for the same period last year.   Harvest sex ratios were 55% female:45% male (1905:1539).  Top five counties were Pike (121), Fulton (105), Adams (104), Jefferson (99), and Randolph (88).  A table of county results is attached.


Through Sunday, December 21, 2014, Illinois archery deer hunters harvested a preliminary total of 51,530 deer, compared to 52,888 for the same period in 2013.  Harvest to date has consisted of 46.4% does and 53.6% males (23,913F: 27,617M).  Top five counties are Pike (1988), Fulton (1441), Jefferson (1286), Adams (1119), and JoDaviess (1070)

Report written by Paul Shelton, Manager, Forest Wildlife Program

Tennessee Deer Hunting Report by Tony Renella

Just Outside Columbia Tennessee November 22nd opening day for rifle hunting. Mornings were cold 17-25 degrees. Mid day was 40-50 degrees through evenings Rut was on big time perfect moon phase, barometric pressure. They said its the best they have seen in 7 years.

Every morning hunt, bucks were running does. Opening morning we shot 5 deer, big 9 point, a 8 point, a 6 point, a 4 point, and a doe. Couple of day we had high winds and a little rain, so we sat in the shooting houses.

I finally got my chance at a big one Friday morning. Just as the sun started to rise a big 8 showed its face. It was following a doe and came right under my stand. I clearly saw the body, the neck, the rack, he was definitely a shooter. But, being it was the first thing in the morning it took all my power not to shoot him and let him go on a walk away. I knew that there was a bigger one out there but i told myself if he come back, he was going down. 20 minutes later he back without the doe.... 50 yards broadside and i put him down. when i got down to look at him he was a beauty but it wasn't the biggest rack but the body and neck were huge. Big mature buck about 4 1/2 years old.
Had a great trip, just want to say thanks to a good friend Allen Shorelte and his family for having me and thanks to cousin Dennis Woods for letting me hunt in his stand.

Central Wisconsin Fishing Report by Barb Carey

This is an Audio Report by Barb Cary of   CLICK HERE to Listen

Midwest Waterfowl Report from Travis Madden, Avery Outdoors

Name: Justin Weber
Date: 12/16/2014
Location: Cottage Grove, Wisconsin
Weather: Partly Sunny with lows in the 30’s and highs in the low 40’s
Snow Cover: Most snow has thawed out
Water Conditions: With warmer temperatures ice is starting to melt and more open water is becoming available to remaining birds.
Feeding Conditions: Geese are hitting cornfields in the morning and in the afternoon.
Species and Numbers: There are large concentrations of geese on open water with decent numbers of mallards and goldeneyes as well.
Migrations: There are very few birds north of us right now; however, have seen some geese heading north. Guessing this warmer weather has birds a little mixed up.
Season Stage: Late-Season
Hunting Report: Hunted a lake that had a section, with a good current flowing through it, that was open. Geese were very decoy and call shy. It seems that right now large spreads are needed to convince birds to commit to your spread.
Gossip: Lots of geese around for the last week of season.

Boulder Junction Walleye Photo by Scott Buechel, Boulder Marine

Heres a giant walleye (30 inches, 10 pounds)  my co worker caught when i took him out fishing. it was his 3rd walleye hes ever caught.  Scott

Niagara New York Area by Bill Hilts, Jr.

  1. Lake Ontario and tributaries – Good news for tributary anglers along Lake Ontario: the snow is melted and we received a fair amount of rain at mid-week to increase flows a bit and stain the water to allow for a more effective presentation. Water was low and clear at Burt Dam just prior to the rain and snow melt, but with colder temperatures in the forecast it should be good this weekend for anglers on 18 Mile Creek. Taz Morrison of Barker reports that the bite has been tough below the dam, but that should improve with the medium-stained water and more flow. It could pull some more fish in, too. Small jigs tipped with a wax worm and fished under a float is one approach; egg sacs or egg imitations like trout beads is another. Pier casters should still be able to catch some fish in Wilson and Olcott on spoons and spinners. Perch are also available.
  2. Lower Niagara River – Lower river water clarity became a little more cloudy on Wednesday (probably from run-off – rain and snow melt) and let’s hope the front blowing in on Wednesday doesn’t muddy the water up too much. Trout action has been good most of the time. Patience is important on occasion. Devil’s hole, Artpark and the Niagara Bar have been the best three spots, but a few fish are starting to show up in the down river drifts. Kwikfish, MagLips, minnows and egg sacs (white, yellow and pink) are all working to varying degrees depending on the day. Remember that lake trout season reopens for the Lower Niagara River and Lake Ontario on January 1, 2015 – good news for drifters and casters. Lake trout season is open on the Canadian side of the river. This will be the place to beat for that category for a new fishing contest that will be starting on January 1 across the state. The Winter Classic Tournament will run through Feb. 22, 2015 and local weigh stations are The Slippery Sinker, Olcott; and All in the Same Boat, Newfane. This contest will be for fish caught through the ice, in open water, in the tributaries, and rivers. Categories are trout (including browns, lake trout and steelhead), pike, walleye, pickerel, crappie, yellow perch and panfish (sunfish and bluegill). Check out for more details or stop in to the two tackle shops mentioned earlier. The fish cleaning station in Lewiston is back to being functional.
  3. Upper Niagara River – Nothing changed from last week as far as options … unless the water turns murky from blowing winds on Wednesday. Trout and perch top the list of preferred targets, from Buffalo to Niagara Falls – depending on location. Outdoor Trade shows will be starting up soon, too. January 23-25 are the dates for the Greater Niagara Fishing and Outdoor Expo and things are really starting to come together nicely. Check out for details including a list of speakers and exhibitors.

Bill Hilts, Jr.  Director, Outdoor Promotions

“Little League” Fishing Coming to a Frozen Lake Near You by Kolt Ringer, American Angler Leagues

Youth anglers across the country will have the opportunity to compete in a youth ice fishing season this winter.  Starting on January 1st, 2015 kids can earn points for going ice fishing and catching fish on any frozen body of water.  Last season, Minnesota youth anglers were the first to compete in a youth ice fishing season using a point based scoring system which rewarded kids for ice fishing and catching fish through the ice.  The anglers earned plaques, certificates, and other awards for their success!

The American Angler Leagues’ introduces fishing to children in a structured environment similar to youth sports.  “We believe that in order for children to become lifelong anglers, they need continuous opportunities to fish while they are young.  They also need someone to teach them how to fish and then take them fishing” states founder Kolt Ringer. The model relies on encouraging experienced anglers to recruit and fish with non-experienced angling families.

The competitive ice fishing season is open to boys and girls between the ages of five to seventeen.  Anglers will be allowed to fish anytime on any frozen lake or river from January 1 - February 28, 2015.  Coaches and parents will be able to set up times to fish that work for their schedules.  They can also schedule tournaments and group outings   in their respective regions to make the season more fun.

“Last season was a great experience for Bode and myself.  We love to go ice fishing together, but it was even more fun to have Bode fishing for points.  It gave him some extra motivation to get on the ice and forced us to schedule more time ice fishing!” stated Mike Beighley, who coached his son Bode to a third place trophy in Minnesota last year.

“For countless families, winter is a time when their attention turns to the ice rink or basketball court,” said Michelle Ringer, American Angler Leagues’ Director of Marketing. “We’re excited to be able to introduce ice fishing as a fun, structured, competitive activity for families to participate in this winter.”

Families can register any time online at

Lake of the Woods Minnesota Fishing Report by Joe Henry

Resorts are on the move this week chasing the fish. Anglers working lines are catching fish.  Jig in one hole, dead stick in the other. Good variety of saugers, walleyes, perch, eel pout, and even some crappies. From 4 Mile Bay, Pine Island, and Morris Point Gap try 18-28' or 31'. From Zippel Bay, Long Point, Twin Islands, and Rocky Point try 24-26'. Hot colors are bubble gum, gold, and glow/red.  On dead stick a plain hook tipped with a live minnow. Mornings and afternoons having better reports with a light bite midday. Electronics helpful,  finding some suspended fish cruising 5-6' off bottom. Ice averages 14-17".

All snowmobile trails on the Rainy River, across the lake, and NW Angle are open, staked, and marked. Some cracks areas near Knight Island, look for double flags or warning signs, stay on trail and proceed with caution. Land trails are open as of December 1st, but will be groomed after 12" of snowfall as some areas are still bare.

Up at the NW Angle, limits of walleyes in 18-26' using gold, pink, and chartreuse. Ice Roads from Young's Bay to islands are open. Snowmobile trails marked. Ice thickness 14-15 inches on roads.  Stay on trails!  Info at


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