News, Photos and Reports for the Outdoors - June 18

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Bass Photo of Ryan Renella from Local Pond

My nephew Ryan Renella nailed a nice largemouth from a local pond near Bartlett using a Berkley Power Minnow.  See photo.

Walleye Photo by Dan Stefanich

Dan Stefanich of DanStefOutdoors had a great day on Heidecke Lake catching some nice walleyes.  See photo of two that were caught and released.  Check out his site at

Muskie Photo by John Campbell

John Campbell sent in a photo of a recently caught muskie from Snakeden Lake, Victoria Illinois.  He said, "Got a little one friday, went yesterday and had 10 follows and no hook ups frustrating"

Rend Lake Fishing Report from 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. 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. 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:  06/14/2015LAKE LEVEL: 410.18        AVERAGE POOL FOR THIS DATE: 407.28     WATER TEMP:  72°F       The lake level is rising due to current rains.

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

NW Wisconsin Report by Ken HUSKER O'Malley

Hey Don,  Fishing and the weather continued to be good in NW Wisconsin. Walleye have been very good on slip bobber rigs with leeches drifted over emerging weed beds. Pike have also been good in the same areas casting mepp spinners. Smallmouth have been going on topwater baits in the evening on rock points and bars. Largemouth casting to shoreline structure with senkos have been ticket. Only bad part of the trip is that I had to come home last night.   TTYL

Ken "Husker" O'Malley
Waterworks fishing team

Niagara NY Fishing Report by Bill Hilts Jr.

1.       Lake Ontario and tributaries – Like the saying goes, wind from the east … fishing is least. More east wind was in the forecast this week and action on the lake has been slow for salmon and trout. It’s going to be a hit or miss proposition in the big lake, evidenced by the leaderboard of the Lake Ontario Counties Summer Derby going on right now. As of this writing there still wasn’t a salmon on the board yet. In the Oak Orchard/Orleans County Open Tournament last weekend, it was the Yankee Troller team led by Capt. Rickard Hajecki of Rochester who won the contest – for the second year in a row. In the uniquely formatted event, they caught five salmon and five trout for the tournament limit on day one. They came up two short in the trout division for day two – good enough for their second consecutive title. Top salmon was caught by Vision Quest, a 17.19 pound king. Top trout was a 20.84 pound lake trout reeled in by the Free Spirit team. According to Hajecki, they fished inside of 200 feet for their salmon each morning right out front of the Oak. On Saturday it was a Familiar Bite Whip Flash with Familiar Bite Herring strips doing the best on their divers back 130-150 feet. On Sunday the best salmon set-up was Dreamweaver Sea Sick Waddlers on the riggers. Both days they headed down to Devil's Nose to catch their lake trout, and they were taken on Hammerhead Cow-Bells and A-Tom-Mik flies. The steelhead posed the biggest headache. On Saturday they were lucky enough to score one on the inside while salmon fishing. The second one took a Dreamweaver Blue Bubble offshore in 350 feet of water. Sunday they just couldn't find a steelhead, and they fished for them for three hours. While targeting steelhead offshore on Sunday they upgraded their salmon three times. They found Salmon in the top 30 feet over 350-500 feet of water. It was mostly a spoon bite off their Cannon downriggers. This weekend is for the kids, with the Wilson Conservation Club holding their annual youth derby in all waters within Niagara County from 8 a.m. to noon. The awards will take place at 1 p.m. at their club house located on Route 425. For more info call 930-7500. If you are looking the take the kids fishing next weekend, the Olcott Lions Club will be sponsoring a kids outing at the Town of Newfane Marina starting at 8 am on Saturday, June 27. Just show up.

2.       Lower Niagara River – With the opening of bass and musky seasons on Saturday, June 20th, fishing action should start to improve a bit. A few trout are still hanging around the river system, but they seem to be reducing in numbers on a daily basis. It’s definitely a mixed bag of fish that also includes bass, silver bass, sheepshead, carp and walleye in addition to steelhead and lake trout. Moss is still a nuisance, but it’s still fishable and not a complete turn off so far. Shore fishermen have been taking catch-and-release bass and silver bass from the NYPA fishing platform and along the shoreline in Devil’s Hole. Boat fishermen are doing the same in the Hole and further down the river. Bass are spawning right now so try not to pull fish off the beds – even if it is legal come Saturday. Kelly’s Korners in Niagara Falls has an opening day bass contest from 5 am to 4 pm that day. You must be signed up by June 19. Best two fish total weight wins the prize money. For more information call 283-2040.

3.       Upper Niagara River – Musky and bass seasons will be the focus this weekend with the openers taking place on June 20. The big event will be Saturday when the City of Tonawanda will be holding its 20th Annual Kids Fishing Derby for junior anglers up to age 16 at Niawanda Park from 9 a.m. to noon. Registration at 8 am at the Band Shell on River Road, Tonawanda. Over $8,000 in prizes. For more info call John or Kate White at 692-6306. In addition to the fishing derby, there will be numerous educational stations set up including the Niagara River Anglers Association’s trout pond, a casting contest and more. The Fifth Annual Hooked on the Tonawandas Fishing Derby set for June 27-28 out of Gateway Harbor in North Tonawanda. If those dates sound familiar it’s because those are the state’s Free Fishing Weekend dates, a time when no fishing license is required to take advantage of New York’s excellent natural resources as they pertain to fish and fishing. That’s the reason that the contest organizers picked the dates that they did. Species categories for this event are smallmouth and largemouth bass, northern pike, walleye, carp, perch and bullhead. Channel catfish also has special recognition. A registration fee of $15 is for adults and junior anglers have the option of registering as an adult or fish in a free kids division. The eligible waters are in the cities of Tonawanda and North Tonawanda and you can fish from shore or boat. For more information check out their website at  The grandfather of all Canal derbies, though, is the 25th Annual Erie Canal Fishing Derby, an event that has spanned a quarter of a century. Steve and Lynn Harrington of Gasport will be running the show from July 1 to 12, offering participants over $20,000 in cash and prizes across the board. Bass, walleye, bullhead, northern pike, carp, sheepshead and catfish are all species categories and the size of previous winners is impressive. The Grand Prize is a boat, motor and trailer, with the big winner determined through a drawing on awards night of all first place winners. There are $10,000 worth of tagged fish put into the canal, too. Eligible waters for this derby are from Albion in Orleans County to the Niagara River in Erie and Niagara counties. For more information, visit the contest website at

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

Lake of the Woods MN Fishing Report by Joe Henry

Great week of fishing. Anchoring and jigging or drifting with spinners most common method.  A good shallow bite this week in 8-10' as well as good numbers sliding out deeper.  Limits of walleyes and saugers filled daily with plenty of trophies and photo worthy fish in the mix. Some anglers still heading north fishing the reefs of Stony, Knight Island, and the West Bar in 22-27 feet jigging or 8-12' drifting. Anglers that stayed near Pine Island heading west towards Zippel Bay fished 23-27. Long Point and Twin Islands held fish in 17-18 drifting or 31-32 jigging. Shallower depths produced a number of big pike this week as well. Hot colors gold, pink, white and chartreuse.

On the Rainy River, anglers jigging in deep pockets for walleye 18-20 feet. Evenings best for walleye. Daytime hours producing numbers of smallmouth and northern pike along shore lines and weed beds. Hot colors pink, neon, gold.
Up at the NW Angle walleyes and saugers filling limits with a few pike as well. Trolling with spinner harnesses tipped with crawlers or leeches the best method. Try 18-24 feet near Norman, Little Oak and Crow Duck Islands or Fort St. Charles Reef. Some fish off Island points near mud flats. On the Ontario side, try Monument Bay.  Walleyes on rocks eating crawfish or in mud eating hatches.  Lodging and guide info at

Joe Henry - Lake of the Woods Minnesota Tourism

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