Outdoor News and Reports

This last week I was in attendance at the SHOT Show.  This has to be the largest outdoor sports trade show in the world.  Although the majority of items seen at this show fit in to the shooting sports, there were quite a few other items that any outdoors person would enjoy.

Well, now that I'm back in the ball game, here are some of the reports that came in last week.   If you have any reports, photos or news, send them to iloutdoors@comcast.net

Fishing, Travel and Outdoor Expo this week by Don Dziedzina

The Chicagoland Fishing Travel and Outdoor Expo opens on Thrusday, January 28 and runs through Sunday, February 1, 2015.

Jim DaRosa of the Fishing and Outdoor Radio Show and I will be at the show held at the Schaumburge Convention Center.   On Thursday at 6:30 PM Jim and I will be doing a remote broadcast from our booth from 6:30 to 7:30 PM.  Guests include Tod Alberto, show manager, Liz Ogilvie (Keep America Fishing), Gerald Swindle (professional bass fishing angler), and Jim Saric (Musky Hunter Magazine).

Stop by at our Radio Show booth; we're located to the left at the entrance.   Show Hours are Thursday: 12:00pm-8:00pm, Friday: 12:00pm-8:00pm, Saturday: 10:00am-7:00pm and Sunday: 9:00am-3:00pm (this year only because of the Super Bowl)

Local Pond Ice Report from Ken HUSKER O'Malley

Hey Don,   Fishing on area lakes was very good this weekend. Bass were caught on tip ups and jigging spoons. Key area was focusing on outside weeds lines. Crappie were also very good on jigging spoons tipped with a fat head minnow. Ice, even though sloppy on top from the warm up, was a consistent 7 inches.

Ken "Husker" O'Malley
Huskeroutdoors
Waterworks Fishing Team

Illinois Deer Harvest Report by Chris Young, IL DNR

Hunters in Illinois harvested a preliminary total of 145,804 deer during all 2014-15 seasons, which concluded Jan. 18. The total preliminary deer harvest for all seasons of 145,804 compares with a total harvest for all seasons of 148,614 in 2013-14.  During this year’s deer seasons, hunters took 47 percent does and 53 percent males.

A breakdown of Illinois deer hunting seasons are as follows:

Archery: Archery deer hunters in Illinois took a preliminary total of 56,083 deer during the archery season (Oct. 1, 2014-Jan. 18, 2015), compared with the archery deer harvest of 57,364 in the 2013-14 archery season.

Youth: Young deer hunters harvested 2,768 deer during the 2014 Illinois Youth Deer Season (Oct. 11-13, 2014), compared with 3,016 deer in 2013.

Traditional Firearm Season: Hunters took a preliminary total of 76,729 deer during the 2014 Illinois Firearm Deer Season (Nov. 21-23 and Dec. 4-7, 2014), compared with 74,318 taken during the 2013 season.

Muzzleloader: Hunters using muzzleloading rifles harvested 3,478 deer during the 2014 Muzzleloader-Only Deer Season (Dec. 12-14, 2014), compared with 3,536 in 2013.

Late-Winter Seasons: The 2014-15 Late-Winter Antlerless Only and Special CWD deer seasons concluded on Jan. 18, with a combined preliminary harvest total for both seasons of 6,746 deer, compared with a harvest of 10,380 deer taken during those seasons in 2013-14.  Season dates for the Late-Winter and CWD seasons were Jan. 1-4, and 16-18, 2015.

With the addition of Will County this year, 12 northern Illinois counties were open to the Special CWD Season, compared to 11 in 2013-14.  The Special CWD season is used to assist in slowing the spread of chronic wasting disease in the Illinois deer herd.

Twenty fewer counties were open for the Late Winter Antlerless Season in 2014

because they had reached deer population goals. The number of open counties went from 55 to 35 this year. Counties that are at or below their individual goal for two consecutive years may be removed from the late-winter season.

Niagara New York Fishing Report by Bill Hilts Jr.

  1. Lake Ontario and tributaries – Frigid cold invaded the region once again with single digits temperatures occurring on Wednesday. This will cause some problems with stream fishermen but it will help solidify the ice fishing action in Wilson. For any open water at 18 Mile Creek, use a jig tipped with a wax worm and fished under a float. A wax worm all by itself is another good tactic for this time of year. Steelhead is the primary target but you may catch a brown.
  2. Lower Niagara River – Trout fishing was happening once again according to Capt. Matt Yablonsky of Youngstown. Monday and Tuesday he was hosting outdoor writer Bud Cole of Pennsylvania and they did extremely well despite the cold. Best spot was Devil’s Hole and best bait was a pink egg sac both days. Each day they averaged about 10 fish, steelhead and lake trout. Water was a little murky for Kwikfish, MagLips or minnows, but that should improve as Lake Erie continues to ice over. As of mid-week it was 85 percent ice covered. A few shore fishermen were out this week, too. You have to pick your spots because of ice along the shoreline. However, a few steelhead and lake trout were caught on white maribou jigs. Be careful out there! Starting on Friday, Jan. 23rd at 1 pm and running right through until Sunday at 5 pm, the Greater Niagara Fishing and Outdoor Expo will be up and running at the Conference and Event Center in Niagara Falls. This is one outdoor event that you don’t want to miss. If you want to try and learn anything about fishing, there isn’t a better show for you – with over 100 seminars on salmon, trout, bass, walleye, musky, carp, perch and more. The focus is on the waters of Western New York including Lake Erie, the Niagara River and Lake Ontario. The lineup is amazing! Check out the complete list at www.niagarafishingexpo.com. There is a long list of attractions for the three days so you might want to attend more than just one day with the speaker lineup this is available free to attendees. For fishing, Matt Straw from In Fisherman and Lance Valentine from Walleye 101 top the list of expert instructors. For hunting, Charlie Alsheimer is a big one on Friday; Gerry Rightmyer and Steve Schicker of Forever Wild Outdoors TV show are big ones Saturday and Sunday – to name but a few. You can learn about kayak fishing from Paths, Peaks and Paddles or how to fish for salmon out of a kayak from Lockport’s Phil Ptak. There’s stuff for the ladies, too, thanks to Colleen Gaskill with the Ladies Shoot N’ Hoot program and there’s even seminars on fishing and the shooting sports for the kids. Speaking of kids, anyone 10 years of age and under will get a free ticket for the show … and the fishing pond run by the Niagara River Anglers Assn. The Niagara County Federation of Conservation Clubs is running their shooting trailer for the three days, too – teaching safe gun handling. If you want to see some exciting outdoor related exhibits, the main hall has over 100 booths. On Sunday, the Lake Ontario Marketplace will be going on in the ballroom – a show within a show at no additional cost. There will be another 60 tables of new and used gear, charter captains, and manufacturers that should peak your interest. Friday hours are 1 to 8; Saturday 9 to 8; Sunday from 9 to 5. Hope to see you there! Don’t forget the NRAA steelhead contest on Feb. 7 which also includes tributaries like 18 Mile Creek. Check out www.niagarariveranglers.com for details.
  3. Upper Niagara River – The cold is hampering fishing action in the river itself. Look around the marinas in Grand Island for some ice fishing opportunities. The Buffalo Harbor area should have plenty of safe ice. Perch and sunnies are the target species but you may catch a pike, too.

Bill Hilts, Jr. - Director, Outdoor Promotions
www.Niagara-USA.com

Lake of the Woods Minnesota Fishing Report by Joe Henry

From the south shore, in front of Pine Island, best reports from anglers headed out 15 miles or more to clearer water.  Combo of walleyes and saugers.  Others headed up to structure such as Knight and Bridges or Garden Island and catching as well.  From Morris Point area to Zippel Bay, decent bite in a bit shallower, 17 - 28'.  Morning / evening bite in 15 - 18'.  Long Point and Arnesen's still producing with reefs most consistent.

On the Rainy River, frozen shiners in 16' with orange or chartreuse has been the go to.  Please work through outfitters and bait shops and know where you are going on ice.

Up at the NW Angle, overall, good fishing continues on the edge of structure in 25 - 28'.  Gold and glow red still consistent.  A mixed bag, with more walleyes than saugers.  Some jumbo perch, pike and eelpout mixed in.  Big crappies still going on Canadian side through NW Angle resort guide services.  For info on renting a fish house and lodging, go to www.LakeoftheWoodsMN.com/lodging.  For last minute reservations, try our lodging availability request.

Editor's Note:   Meet Joe Henry at the Chicagoland Fishing Travel and Outdoor Expo at the Schaumburg Conventuion Center, Jan 28 to Feb 1.  Joe will be doing fishing seminars on Thursday at 4 PM and Sunday at 10 AM.

And now for a more recent LOW MN report that just came in....

From the south shore, in front of Pine Island, best reports from anglers headed out 15 miles or more.  Good fishing this week.  Combo of walleyes and saugers.  Others headed up to structure such as Knight and Bridges or Garden Island and catching as well.  Snowmobile trail north of Knight Island re-staked and groomed due to ice upheavals.  From Morris Point area to Zippel Bay, decent bite in 20 - 28'.  Morning / evening bite in 15 - 18'.  Long Point and Arnesen's still producing with reefs and mud adjacent to reefs most consistent.

On the Rainy River, frozen shiners in 16' with orange or chartreuse is still the go to.  Please work through outfitters and bait shops and know where you are going on ice.Up at the NW Angle good fishing continues on the edge of structure in 20 - 30'.  Gold and glow colors effective.  Jig one line, dead stick second line.  A mixed bag, with more walleyes than saugers.  Some jumbo perch, pike and eelpout mixed in.  Big crappies still going on Canadian side.  For info on renting a fish house and lodging, go to www.LakeoftheWoodsMN.com/lodging.  For last minute reservations, try our lodging availability request.

Joe Henry, Lake of the Woods Tourism

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