Latest reports and outdoor news - May 27, 2015

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LaSalle Lake Fishing Report by Jim Hartley

Don, Did have a great day Saturday on La Salle Lake.   Had to fight off and boat 15 sheephead  3-10 pounders; But; We have been seeing walleyes all year so far, and my partner Wayne did boat this 40" blue cat, which was really challenging and fun to bring to boat. Stripes were slow ,did manage a couple, but I am sure  from now till July 1 , will be prime time for them on the lake.  Any questions , call anytime.  JIM

Local Pond Report by Ken HUSKER O'Malley
Hey Don,  Area lakes are really starting to heat up. Senkos continue to be the bait of choice. Watermelon is best bet as far as color goes. Post spawn females are starting to consistently bite along outside weedlines. Smaller males are active on the inside weedlines. Here are a few of the nicer ones.  TTYL

Ken "Husker" O'Malley
Waterworks fishing team

HOOAH Deer Hunt for Heroes information

Hi Don,    Travis wanted me to let you know that our next event in Southern Illinois will be Wednesday October 14th. We will have 8 soldiers arrive at 11:30a. at Rend Lake Sporting Goods in MtVernon,IL. for a meet and greet luncheon. Lunch will be provided by Rare Chop House, MtVernon,IL. There will be a ceremony, introduction of soldiers and then we will fit them with there hunting clothes and boots provided by HOOAH Deer Hunt for Heroes. Then we will head back to my house to get the soldiers settled in and sight in crossbows. A fish fry we be provided at my house for the soldiers, volunteers and guides by Ashley Sportsman's Club. We will hunt Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Sunday October 18th we will have a Heroes Banquet at Rend Lake Resort at 1p. We will recognize our sponsors, Donors, and volunteers and they will be able to visit with the soldiers and hear how the event has helped them. We will play videos of the hunts, and fishing trips and enjoy a fantastic dinner. There is a lot of press on the web about us. If you google HOOAH Deer Hunt for Heroes and click on some of the articles and videos it will provide a lot of information.
Thank you again for taking an interest in our soldiers and our organization.

Tom Gaither
HOOAH Deer Hunt for Heroes

Editor's Note: If you're interested in helping out for this event, visit them on Facebook CHICK HERE

Lake Shelbyville Reports and Photo

Roy Schodtler wrote...   Attached is a photo of Mike Sweeney and the 48" Muskie he caught and released in the spillway mid April.
Steve Welsh wrote...

The lake is only about six-inches under summer pool and the water temps are running about 71. Rain is in the forecast all week so overcast skies should make it possible to get back on the shallow walleye. We are using blade baits called Big Dudes and my Deep Ledge Jig Spinners 3/16oz. with a twistertail on it. We are casting them up on shallow flats.

We are also pulling bottom bouncers and spinner rigs on ledges all over the lake and catching crappie, white bass and walleye. We are also still drifting minnows over deep main lake brush at about 12-15 feet. We are still limiting out on crappie every day even though the spawn has wrapped up. This week we will be pulling spinners all over the lake and experimenting on where I can get away with it without getting snagged all the time. The fish are staged just outside deep brush on main lake so this method will be deadly. The line counter reels make it possible to pull the spinners through anything once I know exactly how deep they are running. I have found that at 1 mph on a 1 1/2oz. bottom bouncer 18 feet of line runs you ten feet deep. Right now that will get you a bunch of fish.

Steve Welch - Crappie Specialties

Proposed changes to deer hunting rules from Chris Young, IL DNR

To: Illinois Deer Hunters,

Hunters should be aware that the  Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) is planning some rule changes prior to the upcoming 2015-2016 deer hunting seasons.

All changes must proceed through the Administrative Rules process which requires a 45-day public comment period, revision, and review by the Illinois General Assembly’s Joint Committee on Administrative Rules. If changes are approved, they will be in place prior to the opening of archery deer hunting season on Oct. 1, 2015.

“After listening to constituent groups, and talking with our Office of Law Enforcement, I have decided to push to make these changes this year, and not wait for another hunting season to pass,” said IDNR Director Wayne Rosenthal. “To do that, we encourage your input and patience as we work through the administrative rules process. Please take the survey at the link below and let us know what you think about overall bag limits for archery deer hunters. You will be able to comment on all these proposed changes during the 45-day comment period. We will let you know as soon as the proposed rules are filed.”

Proposed changes include:

  1. Youth Deer Season permit: IDNR is amending the rule to allow unsuccessful youth deer season hunters to use unfilled permits during the first weekend of the regular firearm season.
  2. Bag limit: Below, please find a link to a survey that asks deer hunters their opinion on establishing a bag limit on archery deer hunters. This survey is open to all deer hunters.
  3. Non-resident OTC:  IDNR intends to eliminate the sale of non-resident Over-the-Counter antlerless-only archery deer permits. Non-residents need to be aware of the intent to make this change and plan accordingly for the upcoming season.

More information, including links to proposed rules and instructions on how to comment, will be forthcoming.

You can find the hunter survey on bag limits here: The survey is open now, and will close on Monday, June 9, 2015.

Rend Lake Fishing Report by Randy Cordray

LARGEMOUTH BASS Good Worms, black and blue jigs, minnows, and spinner baits. Fish in shallow bays near brush cover and bushes. Fish around bridges and along the rocks. Reports of fish being caught around Jackie Branch, Sandusky Cove, and below the dam. 14” minimum length limit, 6 daily creel limit. 1 fish daily creel limit in PONDS 14” minimum length.
CRAPPIE Good Jigs are working well. Quarter-Ounce pink and white tub jigs. Small & Medium Minnows. Meal worms. Lately, many fishermen have been fishing in the bushes.  Fish the main lake drop off areas.  Try the Gun Creek Area. From shore fish near structures, hot spots are Jackie Branch, Sandusky,  Sailboat Harbor, Marcum coves, and Ina Boat Ramp. 25 fish daily creel limit with no more than 10 fish 10 inches or longer
BLUEGILL Good Crickets, worms, wax worms, meal worms, small jigs. Fish in the back of necks and on flat shallow banks and on the rocks. Try fishing shallow with crickets, worms or small jigs. From shore try Sailboat Harbor. 10 fish daily creel limit in PONDS. 
CHANNELCATFISH Excellent Sonny’s stink bait, Hoss’s Hawg Bait, leeches, night crawlers, and large minnows. Leeches on trotlines was hot this weekend along with stink bait on rod and reel.  Try the Waltonville Dam, Turnip Patch, Jackie Branch, and North Sandusky Day Use Area. Set line 3-4’ from the shore over rocks. Try leeches in moving water.  Drift fish the flats. 6 fish daily creel limit in PONDS.Jugs must be attended at all times while fishing.
WHITE BASS Fair Jig and curly tail grubs, inline spinners. Fish in shallow bays near brush cover and bushes. Fish around along the rocks and dropoffs. Reports of fish being caught around  the 154 bridges. 20 fish creel limit.No more than 3 fish 17” or longer daily
Information as of:  05/26/2015LAKE LEVEL: 408.20        AVERAGE POOL FOR THIS DATE: 407.74     WATER TEMP:  69°F

Use of a minnow seine, cast net, or shad scoop for bait collecting within 1000 yards downstream of the Rend Lake dam and spillway is prohibited.

Maps of the Fish Attractor tree locations along with GPS readings are available at the Rend Lake Corps of Engineers Project Office.  Contact Randy Cordray for more information at (618) 724-2493.

Niagara NY Fishing Report by Bill Hilts Jr.

Greater Niagara Fishing Forecast for May 27, 2015

1.       Lake Ontario and tributaries – The 31st Annual Lake Ontario Pro-Am Salmon Team Tournament is back in Wilson and Olcott this weekend, bringing some of the top trolling teams to town for some high stakes fishing contests. The actual event is Saturday and Sunday, May 30 and 31, with the weigh in taking place at the Lions Club Pavilion in Olcott’s Krull Park starting at 11 am and running through 3 pm. Action in Lake Ontario has been great throughout the month of May and the fish right now are spread out all along the Niagara County shoreline from 60 to 150 feet of water as far as the prized salmon are concerned. The key for the tournament will be to find some bigger fish because the tournament is based on 10 points a fish and a point per pound, up to 12 fish each day. Total score for the two days wins the tournament. But this tournament is more than that. A second weekend has been added to the mix, set for June 6 and 7. Point totals for both weekends combined will win some big bucks thanks to some extra sponsor money. In addition to the Trophy and Classic Divisions, a Recreational Open Division is offered to the weekend warriors who like competition but don’t think that they can fish at a level that the big charter boats perform at. The Rec Open is a daily event that allows teams to weigh in up to three fish each day. In all cases, more than 100 percent payback is offered to the teams in whatever category they want to fish in. If you want to keep track on what’s happening in this year’s tournament, check out for updates. Some little fun derbies are being offered before each Pro-Am weekend for just $100 a boat. The Don Johannes and Pete DeAngelo Memorial contests are being offered on May 29 and June 5 for teams looking to fish for fun and see where the fish are on the lake for the big tournament. That said, you don’t have to fish in the big tournament to fish in these one fish, three fish events. For more information, call the Slippery Sinker at 778-0713 to find out more details.

2.       Lower Niagara River – Steelhead are still available throughout the river system for casters from shore and boaters drifting minnows, Kwikfish or egg sacs. They probably won’t be in much longer as the waters continue to warm in Lake Erie. Good numbers of bait schools have been reported, pulling in some more predator fish. A few small king salmon were also caught in the river because of that bait. Rodger Morrison of Niagara Falls had a bit of a surprise recently while fishing off the sand docks in Lewiston. After fishing for an hour with live bait, he decided to switch to a Gitzit tube bait and, on his second cast, caught a 36 inch, 12.5 pound Northern pike. Bass are still hitting around the Niagara Bar and at the mouth of the river near the Coast Guard Station. Tubes are one of the better baits to use, but Dan Argona was trolling a firetiger body bait in front of Fort Niagara in 12 feet of water and hooked into a six pound 10 ounce smallmouth! Nice fish. The next big kids fishing contest is the Wilson Conservation Club’s event on June 20. This county-wide contest is based on measurement. Bring your fish in by noon to the Conservation Club located on Route 425 in Wilson.

3.       Upper Niagara River – Remember that bass fishing is catch and release only and you must use artificial baits if you are targeting bass. Both smallmouth and largemouth are available throughout the river, but especially around Grand Island in many of the cuts, streams and marinas. Tube jigs are always a good bait to use, but spinnerbaits are another favorite. Plastic worms, too. Perch, crappies and bluegills are options in many of those same areas around Grand Island, too. A few walleye were being reported around Squaw Island. Don’t forget the big kids fishing contest June 20 out of Niawanda Park in Tonawanda. Mark your calendars!

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

Lake of the Wood MN Fishing Report by Joe Henry

Great fishing this week as the weather is warming and the water is clearing from last weeks storm. Anchoring and jigging with a frozen shiner is the go to method. Good numbers of limits with a mix of trophy walleyes in 17-24 feet near Lighthouse Gap and Pine Island. Some anglers headed north fishing the many reefs around Knight and Bridges islands in 17-21'. Heading west, anglers caught in 16-19 off the fields west of Zippel Bay and in 18-30' off of Long Point and Twin Islands.  Those that were pulling spinners had luck in 14-25' between Pine Island and Zippel Bay. Hot colors gold, white, pink, chartreuse/green.

On the Rainy River, anglers still hitting mornings and evening a little shallower in 15-19 feet. Hot colors were pink, orange, and gold. Best from the mouth of the river to Wabanica Bay or the International Bridge.
Up at the NW Angle, mixed bags galore! Walleye, sauger, crappie, pike, smallmouth and more filling limits. Try 18-21 or 26-32 feet hopping between island points and currents. Muskie opener is June 20th in both the MN and Ontario portions of Lake of the Woods!  For info on lodging and guides across the lake, go to
Joe Henry | Executive Director | Lake of the Woods Tourism |

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