Outdoor News and Reports, May 20 2015

Here's the latest in fishing, hunting reports and news as of May 20.

If you have any reports, news or photos to share, send them to iloutdoors@comcast.net.

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Boat Registration Renewal Stickers, Order Yours Online

As you may or may not have heard, the IL DNR is not sending out notices for renewal.   It's up to us to note when our registration expires and need to go online to renew our stickers.

I went the website of www.TakeMeFishing.org and  followed the links to get to site for renewals online.

To help you get to the online page for Illinois boat registration renewals,  CLICK HERE.  

Take a look at your registration sticker on your boat to see when it expires.   Renewal online is quick and easy.

Free Fishing Days set for June 5-8 here in Illinois

Summer is a great time to take the family fishing. The Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) is announcing resources, clinics and other events designed to make fishing more enjoyable. When you go fishing this summer – whether you are an experienced angler or first-timer – be sure to take someone with you. Introduce another person to the sport of fishing this year.

Free Fishing Days for 2015:  The 2015 Illinois Free Fishing Days promotion will be held June 5-8.  During this time, no fishing license is required. It is a great opportunity for families to try fishing, without needing to purchase a license immediately.  Many events are held locally so check with your town's Park District.

Two Rivers Family Fishing Fair:  The 24th annual Two Rivers Family Fishing Fair will be held at Pere Marquette State Park near Grafton, IL on Sat., June 6 from 10 a.m.-4 p.m.  The free event features fun for children and families.  For details, call 618-786-3323 or check the website at http://dnr.state.il.us/lands/landmgt/parks/R4/PRM/PMTwo_Rivers_Fish_Fair.htm

Fishing Licenses: Fishing license revenue helps fund three state fish hatcheries, IDNR fisheries staff and related conservation and education efforts. For more information about fishing licenses and to buy a license online, follow this link: http://www.dnr.illinois.gov/LPR/Pages/default.aspx

Ifishillinois.org: For complete information about fishing in Illinois, including fishing reports, science and research, tips and techniques, places to fish and more, visit: www.ifishillinois.org.

Want to see more resources on fishing?  Visit: http://takemefishing.org/. Want to show off your first catch? Make sure you add the Hashtag: #FirstCatch when you post them to Social Media.

Local Pond Report by Ken HUSKER O'Malley

Hey Don,  Area lakes remain very good for bass. It's a post spawn bite now. Top water either very early or late evening has been the most consistent bite. Following up on missed strikes with a senko  has been productive. TTYL

Ken "Husker" O'Malley
Waterworks fishing team

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 Fair 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:  05/18/2015LAKE LEVEL: 408.66        AVERAGE POOL FOR THIS DATE: 408.06     WATER TEMP:  62°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.  In order to maintain a cleaner recreation area, anglers and bow fishermen fishing below the dam are asked to return dead rough fish to the water.

Lake Shelbyville Fishing report by Steve Welch

The lake is rising fast and at present it is only about a foot low. So this means it came up two-feet this week. This has moved the crappie to the banks in many coves. Even though the spawn is about done the fish will remain shallow as long as there is food present. The rivers are starting to produce some nice crappie as is Bo-Woods cove. Minnows are your best bet uner a slip bobber.

I am splitting the day between crappie and walleye depending on the customer. My best day last week was 16 legal sized and about 30 fish total. Most days I am getting a half dozen. We still need water to get the fish up on the shallow flats.

If it is very windy I am drifting and throwing either a Deep Ledge Jig Spinner and twistertail in 3/16 or 1/4oz. Or I am drifting and throwing a 1/4oz. Big Dude in Candystripe, Chrome or Chartreuse. Both baits I am throwing them into the wind and reeling them back very slowly or almost not bringing them in at all depending on how hard the wind is blowing. We are also using my 1/2oz. Candystriper when drifting in deeper water.The walleye are very shallow in less than four-feet of water and I have seen some nice ones this week with the biggest a fat six-pound fish but I turned two this past week that would of went eight or so. Got to see the bellies as they pulled the hook free. The sauger are slightly deeper in ten-feet or so.

On calm days we are pulling 1 1/2oz.bottom bouncers and spinners tipped with a minnow on line counters at about 1-1.4mph. We are fishing about ten to fifteen feet of water and targeting the sauger.

Even though the crappie are still biting very good I am switching to pulling bottom bouncers 90% of the time for the next three weeks. This gets some nice walleye and sauger and post spawn crappie as well. Plus it is something my clients can easily do and they seam to enjoy it. We are the only guide service that is doing this on the lake and it takes a special rig and trolling motor big enough to do it all day.

Steve Welch
Website: www.lakeshelbyvilleguide.com

Niagara NY Fishing Forecast for Thursday, May 21, 2015 by Bill Hilts Jr.

1.       Lake Ontario and tributaries –Fishing continues to be very good on Lake Ontario from the Niagara Bar to 30 Mile Point off the shores of Niagara County. Top catches have been for spring salmon and lake trout, but if you want to target catch and release bass, you’ll want to toss some tubes or jerk baits around Fort Niagara near the mouth of the Niagara River. Getting back to the salmon and trout, outdoor writer Dave Barus of East Aurora (better known as Forrest Fisher), took his grandson Collin Voss out earlier this week to the Niagara Bar drop off and they managed to do extremely well. They caught 7 fish in four hours of action before noon including 5 kings up to 21lbs and 2 steelies...all nice fish. They fished the edge of the bar 4 miles east out the Fort. Collin caught his first king and it took him 26 minutes to reel in. All he could say was …"wow!" He caught that one on a wire line dipsy with a salmon candy spoon on 9 foot leader at 2.7 mph at the drop off near the red buoy marker. Awesome fun! Next big fishing contest will be the Lake Ontario Pro-Am Salmon Team Tournaments May 30-31 and June 6-7 out of Wilson and Olcott. Deadline for registering for the recreational open division is the Monday prior to each event by paying cash only – all one day contests for a total of four. Drop them off at The Slippery Sinker. Sign up in Olcott by 5 pm Monday. Don’t forget that there will be two one-fish, three-fish contests the day before each Pro-Am weekend  (May 29 and June 5) – the Don Johannes and Pete DeAngelo Memorial events. You don’t have to be in the Pro-Am to fish these. Call 778-0713 for more info. Speaking of The Slippery Sinker, the best action in the lake has been between 70 and 150 feet of water on spoons, but flasher-fly are catching a few, too. In the creeks and harbors, a few trout could still be available but most of the action has been on warm water fish like bass, pike, perch and carp. Another new regulation that DEC slipped in without telling anyone is that it’s now illegal to take a picture of a fish that’s been caught out of season.

2.       Lower Niagara River – Good mix of fish is being reported by drifters and casters. Pick and choose what you want to try and target, but you will probably catch something different anyway. Capt. Frank Campbell was reported six different species of fish near Fort Niagara on tube jigs – smallmouth, largemouth, Coho salmon, sheepshead, steelhead and lake trout. Up in Devil’s Hole, mixed bags were being reported by boats drifting Kwikfish lures, minnows or egg sacs off three-way rigs. Shore anglers are catching fish, too. It’s a good time of year to be fishing in the river.

3.       Upper Niagara River – With water temperatures over 50 degrees now, a mixed bag of fish species is being reported – crappie, bluegills, perch and bass. Kody Lozinsky of Niagara Falls has been doing well on largemouth bass using rubber worms, but like a true fisherman he was fishing from a “secret” spot on Grand Island! Inland waters musky will open up on May 30 this year, which is new, with a minimum size of 40 inches and a limit of one fish if you wanted to keep one. However, this new season does NOT include the Niagara River (upper or lower), Lake Erie and Lake Ontario. Great Lakes musky regulations will continue to be an opening day of the third Saturday in June (June 20 this year). In addition, the minimum musky size for all Great Lakes waters will be 54 inches in length with a daily limit of one. And if you catch a musky in those Great Lakes waters … don’t take a picture if it’s before the season!

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

Lake of the Woods Minnesota Fishing Report by Joe Henry

Lots of limits and trophy walleyes in the mix this week. Plenty of saugers and pike as well. Anglers had success fishing  Pine Island and Lighthouse Gap in 15-19 feet or 22-26 feet. Heading west anglers fished the fields over rock west of Zippel Bay or near Gull Rock Reef and the Twin Islands. Best depths 18-22 or 26 feet.  Shallower morning and evening.  Anchoring with a 3/8 oz jig / minnow or drifting with spinners and minnows productive. Gold, hammered gold, pink, and white were the best colors.

On the Rainy River, mornings and evenings best.  Depths of 18-22 feet. Anchoring and jigging effective. Those that drifted also caught some northern pike and smallmouth bass. Gold or green jigs best tipped with minnow or frozen shiner.

Up at the NW Angle, fish were found in 18-20 or 25-30 feet. Island points south of Oak Island and current areas held good numbers. Anchoring with jigs or drifting with spinners produced numbers of walleyes and jumbo perch. Crappies are still deep in 28-32 feet of water in Ontario waters.  Lodging available at www.LakeoftheWoodsMN.com

Joe Henry, LOW MN Tourism

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