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Muskie Expo

Muskie Expo Chicago, running January 9th through the 11th at the Sears Center arena, in Hoffman Estates right across the street from the Cabela’s just north of I-90.

The Progressive, Boat, RV and Strictly Sail Show

The CHICAGO Boat, RV & Strictly Sail Show  is coming January 14-18, 2015 at McCormick Place, South Hall.  On Wednesday, January 14 the Fishing and Outdoor Radio Show will be broadcasting live from the Boat Show at the main entrance from 6:30 to 7:30 PM.  Stop by and say hello.  More details on the show visit

The Chicagoland Fishing, Travel and Outdoor Expo

The Chicagoland Fishing, Travel and Outdoor Expo will be held from January 29 to February 1 at the Schaumburg Convention Center.  This is Chicagoland REAL Outdoor show where you can see all of the latest tackle, resorts, clubs and more.  Seminars by fishing pros will be seen each day.

The Fishing and Outdoor Radio Show will be broadcasting live from the Schaumburg Show from 6:30 to 7:30 PM on opening night, Thursday January 29.  Visit the Radio Show booth right inside the show hall entrance.

To see more info on the show, seminar schedules and more  CLICK HERE

Waterfowl Report From Travis Madden of Avery Outdoors

Name:  Brandon Geweke
Date: 1/6/2015
Location: Lake County Illinois
Weather: Freezing temps. Wind/Snow/Ice
Snow Cover: 3-6 inches
Water Conditions: Most lakes are frozen completely river has open pockets
Feeding Conditions: Majority of birds are keeping their holes open all day not feeding until the evening.
Species and Numbers: This past week we had a ton of honkers, seen a couple groups of specks.
Migrations: In the past couple days we have had a deep freeze pushing a lot of our birds south.
Season Stage: 2 weeks left in season
Hunting Report: Hunting Honkers has been exceptional. This past season has been one of our best for regular season. Weather and conditions had them here the entire season.

Name: Justin Weber
Date: 1/06/2015
Location: Cottage Grove, Wisconsin
Weather: Partly Sunny with lows below 0 degrees and highs in the single digits
Snow Cover: 4-6”
Water Conditions: Everything is frozen with the cold front we are experiencing right now across Wisconsin.
Feeding Conditions: Birds are using cornfields; however, with temperatures this cold they may be sitting on the roost for a couple days.
Species and Numbers: Canadian Geese are the predominant bird left in the area with a few fat mallards mixed in.
Migrations: Very stagnant right now. The birds that are left will likely stay the entire season if they can find open water…
Season Stage: End of Season
Hunting Report: Hunting eason is over.
Gossip: Cold as all can be right now.

Bowfishing Association Illinois Meeting Info from Ed DeVries

The 2015 BAI Membership Meeting Dates Are; Summer Meeting-July 11th 6pm Bass Pro Shop, Bolingbrook.  Fall Meeting-October 3rd 6pm Bass Pro Shop, Bolingbrook   visit

Mississippi River Report by Mike Cyze

Greetings Don:  Well, although the fishing on the Mississippi River has been great in Pools 12 & 13, the snow storm and very frigid temperatures has all but stopped boat anglers from getting out. The River is rapidly freezing up so getting to the fish is tough. Look for excellent year classes of both Walleye and sauger to be available in the Spring.

For the ice anglers, look for some great panfish action in the many Mississippi River backwater areas. Also. Don't forget to set a few tip-ups for the good number of Northern that are cruising the backwaters also. Frozen smelt fished just below the ice will work well.  Winter has arrived here on the Mississippi River, but by switching from open water tactics to ice fishing, you can have a ball.

Nielsen's Channel Report by Jerry Bauer

While on the ice on 1/6/15 at Nielsen's Channel, Jerry sent this over.  "Doing well out there, very cold about 4 inches of ice"

Pond Ice Report by Laz C.

I got out 3 days ago in huntley on a small private pond. Ice was about 4.5" thick.

Illinois Deer harvest reports from Chris Young, IL DNR


Through Tuesday, January 6, 2015, Illinois archery deer hunters harvested a preliminary total of 53,434 deer, compared to 54,922 for the same period in the 2013-14 archery deer season.  Harvest to date has consisted of 47% does and 53% males (25,092F: 28,342M).  Top five counties are Pike (2053), Fulton (1483), Jefferson (1325), Adams (1165), and JoDaviess (1088).   A table of county results is attached.


Illinois deer hunters harvested a preliminary total of 2,986 deer during the first segment (January 1-4) of the Late Winter Antlerless Deer Season and the Special CWD Season.  Thirty-five counties were open to the Late Winter Antlerless Deer Season, compared to 55 last year.  Twelve counties were open to the Special CWD Season, compared to 11 last year.  During the first segment of these seasons last year (2013-2014), 5,361 deer were harvested.  The Special CWD Season is conducted to help manage deer populations in counties where Chronic Wasting Disease has been found in the deer herd.  A table of county results is attached.

By Paul Shelton, Manager
Forest Wildlife Program

Greater Niagara New York  Fishing Report by Bill Hilts Jr.

1.       Lake Ontario and tributaries – Your best bet for catching trout is in 18 Mile Creek below Burt Dam area, but even that water was a bit stained following rain last weekend. That said, it should be good by the weekend. The frigid temperatures will probably create some shoreline ice so caution is advised no matter where you will be fishing. Keg Creek was back to flowing again and there were fish to be caught but that could be iced over by the weekend. The piers are ice-covered so that’s out. However, on the subject of ice, Wilson harbor was sitting on at least two inches of ice on Tuesday and it could be fishable with safe ice by the weekend with at least 4-5 inches. In the Winter Classic Fishing Tournament, there are a few fish on the board but nothing that can’t be beat with a little hard work … and luck. As of Wednesday the fish to beat were a 6.5 pound pike; a 12.3 pound steelhead in the trout category; a 9.5 pound walleye; a .78 pound perchand a 2.5 pound crappie. There were no panfish or pickerel yet. Check out a live leaderboard at Weigh stations are the Slippery Sinker in Olcott and All in the Same Boat in Newfane.

2.       Lower Niagara River – With another major wind event taking place most of this last week, Niagara River fishing was pretty much a wash as turbid, cold conditions hurt any chance for success. When we encounter terrible conditions outside like the past week, one thing you can do to keep busy is to plan for some indoor activities like the Lake Ontario Trout and Salmon Association’s Salmon School set for Jan. 24 this year, once again held in conjunction with the Greater Niagara Fishing and Outdoor Expo Jan. 23-25 at the Conference and Event Center Niagara Falls. Salmon School instructors this year includes Capt. Paul Czarnecki of Pennsylvania who fishes out of Wilson and Point Breeze; Capt. Greg Gehrig of Oswego with the Top Gun out of his home port; and Mark McClutchey of Michigan who operates Diabolical. It’s a full day of in-depth instruction on salmon and trout fishing for just $75 – and that includes lunch, admission to the show Saturday and Sunday and a goodie bag. The deadline for signing up is Jan. 18 on the LOTSA website at And don’t forget about the Lake Ontario Marketplace that LOTSA will conduct on that Sunday of the Expo, Jan. 25. More than 60 additional tables – over and above the 100-booth expo – will be showcased. To find out more about the three day expo, go online at The Roger Tobey Memorial Steelhead Contest run by the Niagara River Anglers Assn. is set for Feb. 7 this year. Check out for more details.

3.       Upper Niagara River – The upper river is not fishable with the turbid, cold conditions. It wouldn’t be long before there will be come ice fishing taking place in some of the harbors and marinas around the river. Speaking of ice fishing, Capt. Bob’s ice contest is underway.

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

Lake of The Woods Minnesota Report by Joe Henry

The bite is picking up as more anglers are taking home limits of walleyes and saugers, with some jumbo perch and trophy walleyes mixed in. Some resorts already north 8 - 20 miles past Pine Island fishing in depths 21-34 feet. Good reports.  Heading west towards Zippel Bay, anglers are fishing shallow in 13-15 during low light or 24-26 daytime.  Long Point and Arnesens area, hitting the reefs in 23-34 feet. Hot jigging colors are gold and pink. Plain hook with a live minnow has been effective. Ice conditions average 18 - 20 inches, and snowmobile trails are now groomed with an additional 10 inches of snow.

On the Rainy River, anglers are finding fish in 16-18 feet. A light presentation best. Glass eyes, pink, and white working best using shiners. Most fish close to bottom with some suspended fish caught with help of electronics.

Up at the NW Angle, consistent reports of good walleye fishing in 24 - 30 feet. For anglers fishing Ontario side out of NW Angle resorts, great walleye and crappie action continues.  For more info on lodging and ice fishing, go to

EDITOR'S NOTE;  Joe Henry will be manning the Lake of the Woods Minnesota booth at the Chicagoland FIshing, Travel and Outdoor Expo January 29 to Feb 1.   Sit in on Joe's seminar on Thursday at 4 and Sunday at 10.  Stop by and say hello and let Joe help you arrange your 2015 ice and open water fishing vacation.

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