Outdoor News and Reports

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Here's the lastest.....

Coffeen Lake Reopens after oil spill from Chris Young, IL DNR

Coffeen Lake in Montgomery County was reopened to boating and fishing Tuesday afternoon, March 2, following the completion of an oil spill cleanup. The cleanup effort is complete on the main lake, but boaters are urged to avoid a line of collection booms blocking the hot water discharge ditch just south of the hot water ditch restricted area.

Coffeen Lake has been closed to boating since Feb. 25 while turbine oil leak at the Coffeen Power Station was cleaned up. No direct impact on fish or wildlife was observed. However, the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency recommended the closure to expedite cleanup activities.

The Illinois Department of Natural Resources manages recreational access to the lake.

 Braidwood Lake Report from Jose Garcia

Good morning Don, This is Jose. I met you at Air marine in Chicago.  Just wanted to give you a report on Braidwood.

I was out on Monday 3/2 with my buddy boat chili morning but when the sun came up it was not too bad.  The bass where on fire from 7am till 9am it was a blast. Here is a picture of one of the hogs we caught.  Spinnerbait was the ticket. Water temp on the hot side was 63-65 on the cold side the water temp was 52. Can't wait to go back.  (SEE PHOTO)

Illinois Spring Trout Season by Chris Young, IL DNR

The 2015 Illinois spring trout fishing season opens on Saturday, April 4 at 46 ponds, lakes and streams throughout the state.  In addition to the bodies of water that have been stocked in the past for spring trout fishing, three additional areas will be open to rainbow trout fishing for the spring of 2015, and three additional locations will be available for catch-and-release fly fishing prior to the opening of the spring trout season.

The new locations for spring trout fishing are Morgan Lake (Nichols Park) in Jacksonville, Kings Park Pond in Pittsfield, and Willow Lake at Peabody River King State Fish and Wildlife Area in St. Clair Co.  The new catch-and-release fly fishing locations for this spring are Morgan Lake, Willow Lake, and Rock Creek in Kankakee River State Park.

The new Spring Catch-and-Release Fly Fishing-only season will be available at nine sites beginning on March 21.  IDNR first offered the catch-and-release fly fishing-only season at a number of trout locations last fall.  Fly fishing anglers can use fly fishing gear to catch and release trout beginning March 21 at the nine select sites designated in the list below.  No trout may be kept during the fly fishing-only period, but anglers can keep trout after the opening of the regular season beginning April 4.

The Illinois catchable trout program is funded entirely by those who use the program through the sale of Inland Trout Stamps.  The IDNR stocks more than 80,000 rainbow trout each year in bodies of water where trout fishing is permitted during the spring season.

No trout may be taken from any of the stocked sites from March 15 until the spring trout season opens at 5 a.m. on April 4.  Anyone attempting to take (harvest) trout before the legal harvest season opening will be issued citations.

All anglers – including those using fly-fishing gear who intend to release fish caught before April 4 ­­– must have a fishing license and an Inland Trout Stamp, unless they are under the age of 16, blind or disabled, or are an Illinois resident on leave from active duty in the Armed Forces. The daily catch limit for each angler is five trout.

Not all sites open at 5 a.m. on opening day. Anglers are reminded to check the opening time of their favorite trout fishing location prior to the season.

For more information on trout seasons and other Illinois fishing opportunities, check the website at www.ifishillinois.org.

Illinois fishing licenses and Inland Trout 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:  http://dnr.illinois.gov/DNRDirectMonitor/VendorListing.aspx

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

For more information about all site regulations, anglers should contact individual sites that will be stocked with catchable-size trout. The 46 locations that will be open for spring trout season are listed below:2015 Illinois Spring Trout Locations
(** Denotes Sites Open for Catch-and-Release Fly Fishing-Only Early Season)North --- Boone County --- Mill Race Ponds, BelvidereNorth --- Bureau County  --- Hennepin Canal Parkway
 North --- Cook County --- Wolf Lake at William W. Powers State Recreation Area, ChicagoNorth --- Cook County --- Green Lake in Calumet City, Cook County Forest Preserve District
 North --- DuPage County --- Silver Lake, DuPage County Forest Preserve DistrictNorth --- Jo Daviess County --- Apple River, Apple River State Park **
 North --- Kankakee County --- Bird Park Quarry, KankakeeNorth --- Kankakee County --- Rock Creek, Kankakee River State Park **
 North --- Kendall County --- Big Lake, Silver Springs State Fish and Wildlife Area
 North --- LaSalle County --- Illinois and Michigan Canal, Utica
 North --- LaSalle County --- Lake Mendota, Village of Mendota
 North --- Lake  County --- Sand Lake, Illinois Beach State ParkNorth --- McHenry County --- Lake Atwood, McHenry County Conservation DistrictNorth --- McHenry County --- Piscasaw Creek, McHenry County Conservation DistrictNorth --- Ogle County --- Pine Creek, White Pines Forest State Park **
 North --- Stephenson --- Waddams Creek, Lake Le-Aqua-Na State Recreation Area
 North --- Stephenson --- Yellow Creek in Krape Park, Freeport
 North --- Whiteside  County --- Centennial Park Pond, Rock FallsNorth --- Will County --- Lake Milliken, Des Plaines Conservation AreaNorth --- Winnebago County --- Four Lakes, Winnebago County Forest Preserve District
 Central --- Adams County --- Siloam Springs State Park Lake **
 Central --- Cass County --- Gridley Lake, Jim Edgar Panther Creek SFWA **Central --- Champaign County --- Lake of the Woods, Champaign Co. Forest Preserve Dist.
 Central --- Christian County --- Manners Park Pond, Taylorville Park District
 Central --- Coles County --- Eastern Illinois University Campus Pond, CharlestonCentral --- Hancock County --- Horton Lake, Nauvoo State Park **
 Central --- Macon County --- Sportsman’s Club Pond, Macon County Conservation District
 Central --- McLean County --- Miller Park Lake, BloomingtonCentral --- Morgan County --- Morgan Lake at Nichols Park, Jacksonville **Central --- Moultrie County --- Wyman Lake, SullivanCentral --- Pike County --- Kings Park Pond, Pittsfield
 Central --- Sangamon County ---  Southwind Park, SpringfieldCentral --- Sangamon County --- IDOT Lake, Springfield **
 Central --- Sangamon  County --- Washington Park Pond, Springfield
 Central --- Shelby County --- Forest Park Lagoon, Shelbyville
 Central --- Vermilion County --- Clear Lake, Kickapoo State Recreation Area
 South --- Jefferson  County --- Mount Vernon Game Farm Pond
 South --- Johnson County --- Ferne Clyffe State Park Lake
 South --- Marion County --- Boston Pond, Stephen A. Forbes State Recreation Area
 South --- Massac County --- Fairgrounds Pond, Fort Massac State Park
 South --- Randolph County --- Derby Lake, Sparta (World Shooting and Recreational   Complex)
 South --- St. Clair County --- Frank Holten State Park Main Lake
 South --- St. Clair County --- Jones Park Lake, East St. LouisSouth --- Willow Lake at Peabody River King State Fish and Wildlife Area **
 South --- Wabash County --- Beall Woods Lake, Beall Woods State Park
 South --- Wayne County --- Sam Dale Trout Pond, Sam Dale Lake State Fish and Wildlife Area

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Local Pond Report from Ken HUSKER O'Malley

Hey Don,  Hit a lake in Saturday that I usually only hit once during the ice season. This lake holds some true trophy bass. Once the sun came up and started to warm things up, I had five flags go off. Each time the fish dropped the bait. So I decided to start jigging for them with a northland buckshot rattle spoon tipped with a fathead minnow. That produced good numbers in the main basin as bass were just cruising along it. Key to this presentation was using a single hook versus a treble. The single hook allows the minnow to move more freely. Attached are a few of the ones caught. The second one is my personal best through the ice.  (SEE PHOTOS)

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

Walleyes Unlimited News by Bob Clark - Walleyes Unlimited

Upcoming Meetings and Event Dates

Visit our updated monthly speaker line-up our site at: http://www.walleyesunlimitedusa.org/
Wisconsin Meeting: American Legion Greendale Post 416 | 6351 W. Grange Ave. | Greendale, WI 53129
Date: Wednesday, March 11, 2015
Speaker: Ryan Standke
Topic: Fishing the Winnebago System
Our speaker for March will be Capt. Ryan Standke. Ryan owns and operates a successful guide service on the Winnebago System. Ryan’s specialty is fishing the Winnebago System for walleye, perch, bluegill, white bass, and northern.

He spends an average of one-hundred days a year on the water. His specialty is tactical presentation methods for structure fishing on the vast system. Ryan not only guides, but he also has what is named the World of Walleye Program. They are a series of educational workshops that cover everything from Invasive Species to a Tactical Approach to Fishing Weeds and Cane Beds on Winnebago.

Ryan is not one to hide secrets to catching fish consistently. He'll teach and coach you so you can be independent in the future. One of his clients sums it up by saying, "If you're looking for a fishing guide to teach you new fishing tactics, then Ryan Standke is your man. His passion is teaching people how to improve their fishing skills so they can be independent and enjoy successful fishing adventures the rest of their life."

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

Doors Open for Exhibitors’ Setup at 6:30 AM
EXHIBITOR FEES: $15/ 6’ Table or $25/ 9’ Table (2 chairs w/each table reservation)
For more information, please call Walt Koch at: 847-710-5453

Illinois Meeting: Gurnee American Legion | 749 Milwaukee Ave. | Gurnee, IL 60031
Date: Wednesday, March 25. 2015
Speaker: Line 2 Lead Team - Jeff Greene and Lincoln Buchanan
Topic: Weeding Walleye

Jeff and Lincoln are tournament fisherman with a strong passion for everything outdoors. Fishing, hunting, and education are what we are about. As we continue to learn we continue to share the information with everyone whether it is tips, tricks, or product information. Lincoln and Jeff are also the 2014 WWA Team of the Year Champions and 1st place team for the October 5, 2014 WWA qualifying tournament.

Wisconsin Meeting: American Legion Greendale Post 416 | 6351 W. Grange Ave. | Greendale, WI 53129
Date: Wednesday, April 8, 2015
Speaker: Capt. Mike Karempelis
Topic: Early Season Smallmouth Tactics

Captain Mike has been featured in magazines such as In-Fisherman Walleye Guide, Walleye Insider, Great Lakes Angler, and he also co-hosts the WDOR Door County Outdoors Radio Show, a weekly show which highlights the great fishing opportunities Door County and the Bay of Green Bay have to offer!

Captain Mike Karempelis fishes the waters of Door County and Green Bay, WI on a daily basis, which is a key factor in making sure he is able to stay in contact with the fish throughout the season. This experience on a large body of water like the Bay of Green Bay can prove invaluable when it comes to consistently producing fish despite changing conditions and seasonal movements.

Whether you’re after walleye, smallmouth bass, northern pike or any of the other great opportunities available, Captain Mike will know when and where the fish are biting, and will let you know in advance the best times of the year to target each species! Sounds like an exciting presentation you will not want to miss.

Illinois Meeting: Gurnee American Legion | 749 Milwaukee Ave. | Gurnee, IL 60031
Date: Wednesday, April 29, 2015
Speaker: Matt Porter of Jackpot Charters and Porters Hunt Club
Topic: Lake Michigan Coho to Salmon Transition

Captain Matt Porter is a U.S. Coast Guard Licensed Master Captain and was raised 4 blocks from the shores of Lake Michigan. He has been fishing the Illinois and Wisconsin areas of Lake Michigan for salmon and trout since they were first stocked in the 1960's. That's over 40 years of Lake Michigan fishing experience. As a full-time Lake Michigan salmon and trout fishing charter captain, working with a network of charter captains from 4 harbors, Matt is able to stay on top of the fish EVERY DAY. When Matt is not on the water, he is overseeing a big portion of the operation at Porters Hunt Club in McHenry, IL

Matt will be discussing the transition from the early season coho runs to when the larger schools of salmon become accessible on Lake Michigan. This promises to be real interesting presentation from an outdoorsman who has spent more than his share of time on the water and in the fields.

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
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 always welcome | 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

Best Regards,
Bob Clark - Secretary and Media Director - Walleyes Unlimited

Niagara New York Fishing Report by Bill Hilts, Jr.

  1. Lake Ontario and tributaries – The local open water fishing scene has been tough this winter but with some temperatures finally rising above freezing, look for some open water at Burt Dam and 18 Mile Creek to entice some anglers out. Snow melt and recent rain should help the water color a bit, as well as attract come new fish into the system. Olcott and Wilson harbors still have ice fishing options available and Olcott has been reporting some decent pike catches above the bridge. They are also catching a few trout and perch. Don’t forget the State of Lake Ontario meeting run by DEC is set for March 16 at Lockport’s Cornell Cooperative Extension Niagara starting at 6:30 pm.
  2. Lower Niagara River – Some favorable conditions are being reported in the Lower Niagara River … finally. If you fish the lower Niagara, you will need to adapt to the clear water with lighter line, smaller hooks and smaller baits. That could change a little with the recent rains and run off. Capt. Frank Campbell with Niagara Region Charters made it out earlier in the week and customers managed to get 15 trout for the morning, mostly steelhead. Minnows or Kwikfish/MagLips are the best baits to use off three-way rigs. Fish could be found from Devil’s Hole to the Johnson Drift. Beyond that, winds played a role in how and where they fished. With the water so clear, pay attention to fishing pressure, too. Too many boats on a drift could cause the fish to shut down or move out to slightly deeper waters. Diehard shore fishermen have managed to catch some steelhead in the gorge using float rigs with sacs or beads according to Capt. Jake Joseph with Jiggin’ Jake’s Charters. Forecast for next week sees high temps in the 30’s – a heat wave for us this year.
  3. Upper Niagara River – Not too much changed from the last few weeks with ice fishing action around Grand Island or Buffalo Boat Harbor your best option. It’s that time of year again for the Western New York Sport and Travel Show out at the Erie County Fairgrounds in Hamburg  through March 8. The Agri-Center will be filled to the rim, along with several other buildings, with outdoors-related booths. Guest speakers include Pat and Nicole Reeves from the hit Outdoor Channel show “Driven.” Gerry Rightmyer and Steve Schicker with Forever Wild Outdoor Adrenaline Adventures will also be on hand exhibiting and giving seminars. We can’t cover everything that’s at the show here so your best bet is to head to the website at www.eriepromotions.com and see what’s available. It’s a great way to relieve that cabin fever … especially this year! And if you like bass fishing, you’ll want to check out the Outdoor Beat on March 11 when WNY Bassmasters president Jim Lamb of Williamsville will be on the show on Time Warner’s LCTV live at 4 pm. We’ll be talking bass and how to get yourself ready for the early bass season on Lake Erie. That’s Channel 22 if you have cable. If not, check out www.lctv.net.

Bill Hilts, Jr. - Director, Outdoor Promotions

Lake of the Woods MN Fishing Report by Joe Henry

The walleye fishing in March has started strong.  Good reports from the Garden Island area over to Knight/Bridges.  A mixed bag of walleyes and saugers.  Some saugers up to 17" showing up.  Some nice fish being taken in the basin over mud as well.  Some big 40"+ pike showing up in front of Zippel Bay.  9 - 14' with live suckers.  Walleyes showing up in 26-31' from Zippel to west Reefs.  Decent eaters primarily with occasional big fish.   Colors, good reports with gold, glow red, and pink.

On the Rainy River, locals still catching walleyes in 15-18'.   Orange is the go to color for walleyes.  Best mode of travel is a snowmobile.  Best time is evening.  Some sturgeon being caught and released.  Please work through outfitters and bait shops and know where you are going on ice.

Up at the NW Angle good fishing continues.  Walleyes being caught shallower in the mud on the south side of Oak Island in 18-22'.  Some big crappies caught this week both on the MN side and Canadian side.   Fish houses on ice through March 31st.  Walleye season open to April 14th.  Pike open all year.  Openings for ice fishing around the lake at www.LakeoftheWoodsMN.com/Lodging.  (SEE PHOTOS)

Joe Henry - Lake of the Woods MN Tourism

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