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Illinois Fishing Licenses Expire March 31, 2015

I'ts time to get your new 2015 Illinois Fishing License.  Illinois fishing licenses and stamps are available at DNR Direct license and permit locations, including many bait shops, sporting goods stores and other retail outlets.  For a location near you, check the IDNR website at this link:

Fishing licenses and stamps can also be purchased by using a credit card through DNR Direct online via the IDNR website at, or by calling DNR Direct toll-free at 1-888-6PERMIT (1-888-673-7648).

If you plan on enjoying Fishing AND Hunting in Illinois get a Sportsman's license which will cover both at a discount.  And if you're going to fish Lake Michigan for salmon or trout you'll need a 2015 salmon stamp.   If you're going to fish any of Illinois inland lakes for the trout that will be stocked soon, you will need an inland trout stamp.

Braidwood Lake Report by Ken HUSKER O'Malley

Hey Don, Here's the first open water report of 2015.

I hit up Braidwood with a buddy on Thursday. Water temps dropped about ten degrees, which made for a very slow bite . Pitching to wind blown shoreline points with either creature baits or craw imitators was the only consistent pattern. We had to work for every fish. Average was 12 inches with no fish being larger than that. It was still nice to wet a line in open water all the same.
Area lakes are very slow. A good warm spell will definitely move things in the right direction.

Ken "Husker" O'Malley - Huskeroutdoors
Waterworks fishing team

DES PLAINES CANOE AND KAYAK MARATHON from Lambrini Lukidis, Forest Preserves of Cook County

Sunday, May 17 • 8 am.   Join the second oldest continual canoe race in the United States! Race begins at Oak Springs Rd in Libertyville and ends at Dam #2 in Mount Prospect. Free for spectators. Race start: 8 am. Activities at Dam #2 start at 11 am. Register

All About Water from Lambrini Lukidis, Forest Preserves of Cook County

Wednesday, April 29 • 5 – 7 pm - Saganashkee Slough Boat Launch, 11672 W 107th St, Willow Springs

Help us test a nearby lake to see how “healthy” it is; we’ll also use dip nets to find out what critters call the lake home and why clean bodies of water are essential. We’ll end with a quick paddle on the water.

PADDLING (series) - from Lambrini Lukidis, Forest Preserves of Cook County

Bring your own canoe or use one of ours! We have a limited number of boats available. Canoe instruction provided. Call 708-386-4042 x23 to reserve a spot.

Little Calumet River Trip  Saturday, April 4th • 11 am – 3 pm, Beaubien Woods Boat Launch, 950 E 134th St, Chicago

Explore the Little Calumet as we paddle from Beaubien Woods to Whistler Woods.  We’ll provide a free shuttle bus back to Beaubien Woods after we finish the paddle. Don’t forget to pack a lunch!

Tampier Lake Evening Paddle  Wednesday, May 20 • 6 – 8 pm  Tampier Lake Boat Launch, 31st St west of Wolf Rd, Orland Park.  Pack a picnic and enjoy a spring evening canoeing with us. Beginners welcome!

Niagara New York area fishing report by Bill Hilts, Jr.

1.       Lake Ontario and tributaries – Warm rains are filling area streams on Wednesday and Thursday, which means it will be “trout-on” when things settle back down – probably this weekend. The warm again, cold again roller coaster temperature ride has been both a blessing and a curse for anglers. Places like the piers in Olcott and Wilson open up and become fishable, only to have the combination of cold cold night and north winds cover them back up again. Safe to say, after the rain the piers will be ice free again ... at least for a few days. Cast spoons or spinners to take a trout or two. A minnow fished under a bobber is another good way to get a fish to hit. The warmer water coming out of 18 Mile Creek should turn some fish on in the lake, too. Wes Walker at The Slippery Sinker in Olcott reported a few boats heading out and the action was slow as they trolled the shoreline to seek out warmer waters. The rain could be the ticket to pulling in some baitfish. Up at Burt Dam, good action was being reported for fresh steelies by anglers using egg sacs, jigs tipped with wax worms and live minnows. Keg Creek was low and clear with a few fish being reported from the big pool, but that will change with the rain. Four Mile Creek was showing a few fish and a couple mid-sized trout were caught by one Niagara Falls angler looking to get an early bite. Wilson still had ice in the harbor but it was unsafe.

2.       Lower Niagara River – Water color was good according to boat drifting looking for trout. Steelhead could be found through the river. Some lake trout and the occasional brown trout are also being netted at the boat or along the shoreline for casters. Boat fishermen are using minnows, egg sacs or Kwikfish-type lures, fished off three-way rigs. Shore fishermen are using spoons, spinners or egg sacs/egg imitations to take fish in the gorge.

3.       Upper Niagara River – At last report there was still a little ice action going on at Buffalo Harbor, but that will probably history after the rain this week. We’ve not heard anything else this week. Casting the upper rapids area in Niagara Falls could produce a trout or two as one option.

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

Lake of the Woods MN Fishing Report by Joe Henry

Ice fishing continues for some resorts, others have pulled houses.  Rely and work through resorts.  Some resorts still transporting customers via ice transport.  In addition, here is an ice road report.  Conditions can change daily.
Adrians...  Road open to ATV's and snowmobiles only.
Cyrus...  Using Morris Point road.  ATV's and snowmobiles only.
Morris Point...Ice road in decent shape.  No wheel houses.  ATV's and snowmobiles only.
Zippel Bay Resort...Road closed to vehicles and wheel houses.  ATV's and portables only.
Babbler's Road... ATV's and snowmobiles only.
Long Point Resort...ATV's and collapsibles only, no vehicles.
Arnesen's Rocky Point...Moved houses closer, ice good where fishing.
Young's Bay Resort (NW Angle)... Ice road closed to vehicles.  ATV's and snowmobiles only.  Snowmobile trail stakes on lake removed.  NW Angle Resorts doing pick ups with ice transportation.
Resorts monitoring ice daily.  Safety first.  Lake ice in decent shape where resorts are fishing.  Check with your resort if questions.
Fishing has improved this week.  Mixed reports off of Pine Island with some good fishing coming in from 26 - 28'.  Morris Point area reports continued pike action as well as decent walleye bite in 26 - 30'.  Morning / evening bite in 14 - 18'.  Arnesen's and Long Point reporting better walleye fishing this week as well.  Some pike being caught, not in big numbers.  Below zero temps may have effected bite.
On the Rainy River... The Nelson Park Landing in Birchdale is open and ice free.  We anticipate Frontier access open mid week  The river is open 1.8 miles east of Frontier Landing or 6.2 miles west of Birchdale.  Bite has been hit and miss with about 20 - 25 walleyes per day, but improving.  Fish up to 25 inches so far.  Water temp about 34 degrees.  Better bite and larger fish as temp warms.  Best bite has been shallow with jig and minnow.  Safety first, both on water and roadways.
Up at the NW Angle, walleye action continues with mixed in jumbo perch.  Resorts still ice fishing.  Good morning / evening bite in 20-26' on south end of Oak Island.  Picking away at fish during day.  Crappie action on the Ontario side continues.  Use resort outfitters for safety.  Daily updates on Facebook at Lake of the Woods Tourism.  Lodging and river info at

Joe Henry | Executive Director | Lake of the Woods Tourism

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