Outdoor News and Reports

If you have outdoor news, a fishing or hunting report or photos to share, send to iloutdoors@comcast.net.


Illinois Outdoors TV and Fishing & Outdoor Radio FANTASISTA Rod Contest Update

Thank you all for submitting your short videos trying to say the name FANTASISTA.  You all did a great job.  All of the videos have been forwarded to Abu Garcia for their selection of a winner.

As we mentioned before, our prize for this contest has been upgraded.  Besides winning a $500.00 Fantasista Rod, you'll also get a Abu Garcia Revo MGX reel valued at $350.00 AND some fishing tackle.

The winner of this contest will be announced on the Fishing & Outdoor Radio Show, Wednesday evening, December 10.  The radio show airs from 6:30 to 7:30 PM every Wednesday on WCSJ AM 1550, WCSJ FM 103.1, WSPY FM 107.1, WSPY AM 1480, WSQR FM 93.5 and WSQR AM 1180


Fishing and Outdoor Radio Show Broadcasts LIVE

The Fishing and Outdoor Radio Show will be broadcasting LIVE from the Progressive Chicago Boat, RV and Strictly Sailing Show at McCormick Place, on Wednesday, January 14 from 6:30 to 7:30 PM.   The Show dates are January 14 to 18, 2015

We’ll also so a LIVE broadcast at the Chicagoland Fishing, Travel and Outdoor Expo at the Schaumburg Convention Center on Thursday, January 29, 2015 from 6:30 to 7:30 PM.  The Show dates are January 29 - February 1, 2015.

Visit the show websites now for Discount Ticket offers.

Progressive Chicago Boat, RV and Strictly Sailing Show – www.ChicagoBoatShow.com

Chicagoland Fishing, Travel and Outdoor Expo – www.SportShows.com/Chicago


Walleyes Unlimited USA – December 2014 /January 2015 Update by Bob Clark WU

Upcoming Meetings Dates:

Visit our updated monthly speaker line-up our site at: http://www.walleyesunlimitedusa.org/
December 10th - Greendale, WI – Luke Roffler  “Improved Walleye Stocking in Southeastern Wisconsin”

Luke Roffler is a Senior Fisheries Biologist for the Wisconsin DNR. His territory is within 3 counties. He is in responsible for inland lakes in Kenosha & Racine counties and all of Walworth county Wisconsin. Luke's presentation will focus on the Wisconsin Walleye Initiative and its effects on walleye stocking this year and into the future.

With a resource like Luke this will be a great opportunity for a lot of Q & A from someone that has the pulse of the inland lakes and streams of Southeast Wisconsin. Now will be a great time to get your question answered about a specific body of water in his area. Luke has spoken to numerous clubs like ours and has been well received with good reports about his information and presentation. Another interesting topic that should provide some quality information about our area lakes & streams.

December 30th (Tuesday) – Gurnee, IL – Swap Night NO SPEAKER
Saturday, January 17, 2015 – 17th Annual Ice Fishing Jamboree & Meat Raffle
Where: A J's Bar & Grill | S90 W13970 Boxhorn Dr. | Muskego, WI  53150

This is the most important Club fund raiser of the year. Proceeds help fund all our benevolent activities throughout the year. Just one of many reasons that define and differentiate Walleyes Unlimited from every other fishing club in the country. For more details go to: walleyesunlimitedusa.org/2015_icejamboree.htm.

January 29 – February 1, 2015 – Chicagoland Fishing Travel & Outdoor Show
Where: Schaumburg Convention Center, Schaumburg, IL
Look for Times & Seminar Schedule at: www.sportshows.com/chicago.   Stop by and visit with us in Booth 906 at the show!

Saturday, March 21st, 2015 8:00 am - 3:00 pm
Indoor Fishing Swap Meet & Sale Sponsored by Walleyes Unlimited, USA
Where: Fox Lake Legion Hall | 703 N. US Rt. 12 | Fox Lake, IL 60020 | 847-587-2323
FREE PARKING FREE ADMISSION Doors Open for Exhibitors’ Setup at 6:30 am
EXHIBITOR FEES: $15/ 6’ Table or $25/ 9’ Table (2 chairs w/each table reservation)
EXHIBITORS’ RESERVATION REQUIRED  For more information, please call Walt Koch at: 847-710-5453

Monthly Meeting Information

Wisconsin Meetings - 2nd Wednesday of each month
Greendale American Legion
6351 W. Grange Avenue.
Greendale, WI 53129

The post is located close to downtown Greendale and the Southridge Shopping Mall

Illinois Meetings - Last Wednesday of each month December only Tuesday the 30th
Gurnee American Legion | 749 Milwaukee Ave. | Gurnee, IL  60031
2 miles east of Gurnee Mills on Grand Ave. (Rt. 132)
Near the intersection of Milwaukee Ave. (Rt. 21)

Guests are always welcomed at our meetings - Guest Fee is only $5.00 - Meetings begin at 7:00 PM sharp.

Visit our web site at: walleyesunlimitedusa.org  Contact us if you have any questions at: info@walleyesunlimitedusa.org


IL DNR goes YouTube by Chris Young, IL DNR

Everyone,  One of the IDNR’s Office of Communications initiatives during the past year has been to more fully develop the agency’s YouTube Channel. You can find the channel’s landing page here: https://www.youtube.com/user/TheIllinoisDNR/videos

We’ve been adding about a video a week since early last spring, and are continuing to build our library with others in the shooting, editing or planning stages.

If you are interested in a particular topic, you can browse a series of seven playlists.  We’ve grouped the videos by topics such as Hunting Heritage, State Parks, and more.

Here are a few examples:

Hunting Heritage: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLUaPP6_C5O6Jit1ado3bd82SXNLmEMF88&spfreload=10

Programs and Special Events: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLUaPP6_C5O6Lat-Fed9sSGGCgXXBUqTfB

Illinois State Parks: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLUaPP6_C5O6Ip4QD7En_unTheQXP3Omh_

Also available on the YouTube channel is an extensive series of how-to trapping videos produced a couple of years ago to supplement an online trapping course. You access the individual videos at any time. However, you may have to scroll down through the list of videos to find them.


Waterfowl Report from Travis Madden - Avery Outdoors

Name: Brandon Geweke
Date: 12-2-2014
Location: Lake County Illinois
Weather: Freezing temps single digits for lows and 20’s for highs
Snow Cover: 2 inches
Water Conditions: Small ponds sloughs are frozen, bigger water has open holes. Birds are concentrating on the Rivers.
Feeding Conditions: Geese are not hitting the fields until 11 am – 2 pm, we are seeing mallards still hit the fields early.
Species and Numbers: Large concentration of Geese here now. Large amount of Mallards here as well. Weather does not look like it will be changing any time soon so birds should be hanging around.
Migrations: about two weeks ago we saw a large amount of birds push into our area. They seem to be content and have been staying in the area
Season Stage: we have 2 weeks left for our duck season. About half way through our goose season
Hunting Report: Hunting has been exceptional. Limits of geese and mallards out of the fields, love this time of the year

Rend Lake Waterfowl Report by Randy Cordray







CANADA GEESE 0 Nov. 8 – Jan 31 Daily Bag Limit – 2Possession Limit -- 6
SNOWS/BLUES 5,500 Nov. 8 – Jan. 31 Daily Bag Limit - 20 Snow/Blue & Ross’ Geese 1 BrantPossession Limit – Unlimited Snow/Blue & Ross’ Geese, 3 Brant
WHITE-FRONTS 225 Nov. 19 – Jan. 31 Daily Bag Limit – 2Possession Limit - 6



IL DNR News from Chris Young, IL DNR

Firearm Deer Permits:  Remaining Illinois firearm and muzzleloader deer permits are available over-the-counter (OTC) from DNR Direct license and permit vendors through Dec. 7 or until quotas are exhausted.  Find a vendor at this link:  http://www.dnr.illinois.gov/LPR/Pages/LicensePermitVendors.aspx

Donate to Illinois Sportsmen Against Hunger:  Hunters are encouraged to donate whole deer to the Illinois Sportsmen Against Hunger program to help Illinois families in need.  Participating meat processors turn the donated deer into ground venison for delivery to food banks and charities in Illinois.  For more information on the Illinois Sportsmen Against Hunger program, check the IDNR website at www.dnr.illinois.gov/programs/ISAH.

Resident Archery Deer and Fall Turkey Permits:  Illinois Archery Deer and Illinois Archery Fall Turkey seasons are open through Jan. 18, 2015.  Resident combination archery deer permits, resident antlerless-only archery deer permits, and resident archery fall turkey hunting permits are available over-the-counter from DNR Direct license and permit vendors.  Find a vendor near you at this link: http://dnr.illinois.gov/DNRDirectMonitor/VendorListing.aspx

Late-Winter and CWD Deer County Permits: 2014-15 Late-Winter Firearm Antlerless-only Deer county permits will be available over-the-counter (OTC) through DNR Direct license and permit vendors beginning on Tues., Dec. 9.  County permits for the CWD Deer Season will also be available OTC beginning on Dec. 9.  Late-Winter and CWD Deer season dates are Jan. 1-4, 2015 and Jan. 16-18, 2015.  For information on these seasons, including open counties, check the IDNR website at http://www.dnr.illinois.gov/hunting/deer/Pages/ResidentHunting.aspx

Archery, Firearm, Muzzleloader, and Late-Winter/CWD Seasons Sampling: Deer hunters statewide in Illinois are encouraged to allow samples to be taken for chronic

wasting disease (CWD) testing from adult deer they harvest.  For locations serving as CWD sampling stations, taking samples from entire deer or deer heads through Jan. 18, 2015, check the IDNR website at this link:  http://www.dnr.illinois.gov/news/Documents/CWDSampling2014.pdf

Spring Turkey Applications:  Hunters may now apply for the second lottery for 2015 Illinois Spring Wild Turkey Season permits online. Go to the IDNR website for more information at this link:  www.dnr.illinois.gov/hunting/turkey.  The application deadline for the second lottery for 2014 resident spring turkey permits is Jan. 12, 2015.

Hunt for Veterans with Disabilities:  IDNR will host a pheasant hunt for veterans with disabilities at Ramsey Lake State Park on Tues., Dec. 23.  Veterans with disabilities interested in participating in the hunt should contact the Ramsey Lake site office for more information by calling 618-423-2215 or by email at tim.pryor@Illinois.gov.

ICF Wall Calendar:  Buy your beautiful 2015 Illinois Conservation Foundation wall calendar today.  Calendars are just $12 each, and proceeds from the sale of the 2015 ICF wall calendar will support youth conservation education programs in Illinois.  Order online at www.ilcf.org or by phone at 217-785-2003.

Handmade for the Holidays:  Visit the Illinois State Museum in Springfield on Sat., Dec. 6 (9 a.m.-5 p.m.) and Sun. Dec. 7 (Noon-4 p.m.) for the “Handmade for the Holidays” Illinois Artisan Art Spree. Wander the Illinois State Museum and discover the work of Illinois artisans:  glass, jewelry, fiber, painting, photography, and pottery, with live demonstrations and crafts made in Illinois that may be perfect, locally-created gift items for the holidays.  The Museum Store will be open with great gifts.  The Illinois State Museum is at 502 S. Spring St. in Springfield.

Youth Goose Hunt:  The registration deadline is Fri., Dec. 12 for the annual Central Illinois Youth Goose Hunt, sponsored by the IDNR on Dec. 26-27 at private waterfowl hunting clubs in Peoria, Fulton and Knox counties. Youth hunters must phone in no later than Dec. 12 to 217-785-8060 to register for a drawing to participate in the hunt, and youth hunters selected will be notified by mail.  The hunt is open to youngsters ages 10-15 at the time of the hunt.  To register for the hunt, or for more information, call 217-785-8060.

Freshwater Mussels:  The Illinois State Museum Science Series program for December is “Freshwater Mussels of the Illinois River Basin: Community Variation and Change” on Wed., Dec. 10 at 7 p.m.  The free program is at the ISM Research and Collections Center, 1011 East Ash, Springfield. The presentation also looks at past and present human uses of mussels – as sources of food and as raw material for making shell tools, ornaments, buttons, and cultured pearls. For more information, phone 217-782-0061 or 217-785-0037.

Super Saturday:  Bring the children to the Illinois State Museum in Springfield on Sat., Dec. 13 for “Celebrations Around the World” – a special family event highlighting holiday cultural celebrations around the globe.  The free event is 11 a.m.-3 p.m., with games and crafts for children.  The Illinois State Museum is located at 502 S. Spring St. in the State Capitol Complex in Springfield

Pere Marquette Bald Eagle Days:  Enjoy watching bald eagles on the Illinois and Mississippi rivers near Pere Marquette State Park this winter by participating in one of the park’s popular Bald Eagle Days tours.  The informative programs about bald eagles are conducted on select winter dates beginning in late December.  All programs begin at the Pere Marquette Visitor Center at 8:30 a.m., and reservations are required by calling 618-786-3323.  To check the schedule of program dates, go online to http://www.illinois.gov/Documents/EagleDaysBrochure.pdf

Camping in Illinois:  If you’re planning a camping trip to an Illinois State Park, reservations for many IDNR campsites can be made now through the IDNR website at: www.dnr.illinois.gov/recreation.


Niagara NY Fishing Report by Bill Hilts Jr.

1.       Lake Ontario and tributaries – In 18 Mile Creek, trout fishing is still going strong and, surprisingly, a few salmon are still swimming around below Burt Dam. Egg sacs or egg imitations are slowly switching over to jigs tipped with a wax worm and fished under a float. However, every day seems to be different according to Greg Stanley at All in the Same Boat. Egg sacs were a hot bait one day earlier this week. Another day it was white jigs. Pier casters can still catch some fish, too, with spoons or spinners. Spoons were working nicely to take a few trout. With ice fishing season just around the corner, check out www.nysiceproam.com for details of some events around the state. In addition, a new state Winter Classic Tournament is set to kick off Jan. 1 through Feb. 22 and local weigh stations include The Slippery Sinker in Olcott and All in the Same Boat in Newfane. This is for fish caught through the ice, in open water, in the tributaries, rivers, and more. Categories include trout (browns, lakers steelhead), pike, walleye, pickerel, crappie, yellow perch and panfish (sunfish and bluegill). Check out the website or visit the two weigh stations in Niagara.

2.       Lower Niagara River – The Niagara River is finally clear enough to fish – whether you want to fish from shore or fish from a boat. Local guides were reporting that they hit the water last weekend and conditions were marginal for murkiness. Only a few fish were caught. Conditions slowly improved and fishermen are back to reeling in trout – steelhead, lake trout and browns. That said, any strong winds could rile that water up again so be forewarned. If that happens, just look for clear water. Shore fishermen can have an advantage at times in those types of situations. Remember that lake trout is closed in New York waters, but if you venture over into Canadian waters, lake trout season is open over there. And if you are a musky fisherman, the season is open until Dec. 15 in the lower Niagara and Lake Ontario. The Niagara Musky Assn. will also be holding its annual John Henning Memorial Musky Tournament on Dec. 7, a catch and release event that remembers one of their members who loved to fish for lower river muskies.

3.       Upper Niagara River – The regular bass and musky seasons are closed but waters are starting to clear for some other action like for trout around Broderick Park or Bird Island Pier. You may have a hike now with the construction going on. Yellow perch in the fall can be a good distraction along the waterfront, especially the northern tip of Squaw Island. 

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


Lake of the Woods NInnesota Fishing Report by Joe Henry. LOW MN Tourism

The ice season has officially started! Anglers spent Thanksgiving weekend out filling limits of walleyes and saugers, with some big pike and some jumbo perch in the mix. Depths range from 18-26 feet. Hot colors have been gold, orange, bubble gum, or glow tipped with live minnow on bobber line or a frozen shiner head on jigging spoon. Fish biting light, use smaller presentation. Reports of a strong afternoon bite. A few reports of portables also fishing the Rainy River, 14-18 feet mornings and evenings best.

Ice trails are open and marked out over Pine Island, Morris Point, and Zippel Bay. ATV or snowmobile use only. Some resorts have permanent fish houses out and providing ice transport already.  13-17" average for ice conditions from Lighthouse Gap, 4 mile Bay, Pine Island, and Morris Point. Long Point and Rocky Point area shaping up nicely. Ice conditions vary, safety first.  Work through resorts and stay on marked ice trails.

Up at the NW Angle, good ice 10-12" with marginal ice 3-6" in current areas. Trails are being marked this week for ATV, snowmobile, and tracker use. Resort permanent houses by this weekend.

Many resorts are fishing and others will be this week. Great bite continues.  List of resorts at www.LakeoftheWoodsMN.com/Lodging

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