Reports, news and photos - July 24, 2015

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Local Pond Report by Ken HUSKER O'Malley

Hey Don,  Good bass action abounds on area lakes. Stable weather has helped. Bass are very good early on top waters before the sun gets too high. Walk the dog baits best. Larger bass are close the shore under weed matts during early morning hours. Pitching plastics to open spots has produced some quality bass.   TTYL

Ken "Husker" O'Malley
Waterworks fishing team

EDITOR'S NOTE:   Don Dz along with Roger Wright were able to fish with HUSKER this week at a local pond.   We picked a wrong pond to try.  There was a lot of algae growth on the water's surface making fishing difficult.   Every catch resulting in bringing in a pound or two of moss along with the fish.  We probably caught 8 or 9 bass during one evening, nothing big.   Surface baits were the least frustrating to work; frogs, floating worms with not weight did well.  Wacky worms worked but required a lot of moss removal after every cast.

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:  07/23/2015LAKE LEVEL: 409.32        AVERAGE POOL FOR THIS DATE: 406.40     WATER TEMP:  85°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.

Lake Shelbyville Fishing Report by Steve Welch

The lake has bounced all over the place this past week and currently we are still at ten-feet over summer pool. The Corp is pulling it pretty hard and this week we should start to see it go down about four-inches a day. The heat has also hit us this past week and the water temps went from 77 up to 85. It is supposed to cool down some this week so it should return to that high 70 range.

I have seen a slight thermocline forming at 18 feet so this will concentrate the fish more at the 15-17 feet range. This will help us since the fish will all move out to those depths. The larger white crappie have showed up this past week and I have seen several in the 13 to 14-inch range which are nice fat crappie. They are really bulging with shad and even their mouths are red from gorging so much.

We are still using a slip bobber and minnow and fishing them right down in the top two-feet of the brush in the 15-17 feet range. Bottom depth of the spot means nothing you need the top part of the brush right at the thermocline. Have plenty of healthy bait with you as we typically use 12-15 dozen or more every day. That alone should tell you we are catching a ton of fish.

Once this thermocline really gets thick and August is usually the best summer month for this the crappie bunch up on brush and I have had many a guide trip that we pulled over forty nice crappie from just one spot.

No report on white bass since we are concentrating on the crappie now since they are RED HOT!!!! and will be for the remainder of the summer.

Steve Welch


Niagara New York Area Fishing Report by Bill Hilts, Jr.

1.       Lake Ontario and tributaries -- The Summer Lake Ontario Counties Trout and Salmon Derby is into its final weekend of action and don’t be surprised if there will be some changes to the leaderboard. Last weekend it was John Monroe of Rochester fishing in the Lake Ontario Trout and Salmon Association’s Curt Meddaugh Memorial event on Friday who produced the current Grand Prize leader – a 28 pound, 8 ounce fish while trolling out of Olcott aboard the Black Jaw. He was using a spin doctor and fly to take his trophy. They were actually fishing straight out of Olcott, 75 feet down over 170 feet of water with a Nuke green spin doctor and an A-Tom-Mik fly. Winner of the Friday best three fish contest, though, was Alan Sauerland of Newfane with a three-fish weight of 58.01 pounds and a big fish of 25.44 pounds. He was fishing out of Wilson and trolled north until he hit 300 feet of water. He noticed a narrow band of cold water about 200 to 300 yards wide and worked that band going north and south through the east-west band with spoons to take 15 fish. Riggers were 60 to 75 down; 300 foot copper lines with flasher-fly took some fish, too. Joe Yaeger, president of LOTSA, took top honors on Saturday for the club’s King Salmon Big Fish event with a 26.14 pound king taken out of Olcott. He was fishing in 200 feet of water in front of the microwave tower to the east, using 200 feet of copper line off an in-line board. It was a green and white e-chip flasher with a green Big Weenie fly that tricked the fish to hit. Also on Saturday was a 28 pound, 5 ounce fish to take over the lead in the Salmon Division – caught by Dave Colvin of Springwater, NY while fishing out of the Oak. There was a new leader in the steelhead division, too. Gasport’s Brian Gregson was trolling off Olcott on Saturday when he nailed a 16 pound, 9 ounce fish on a spoon. They were also fishing the LOTSA event. The new brown trout leader came out of Sodus Bay – a 20 pound, four ounce fish hauled in by Tom Duyssen of Ontario, NY on a Stinger spoon. Three of the top five lake trout came in over the weekend, too, but not the first place leader. It’s still a 23 pound, 14 ounce fish caught by John Stanton III of Rochester back on June 20th. The action continues until July 26 at 1 pm. We’ll have a full wrap up for you next week. Tip of the week is from Joe Yaeger of East Amherst. You have to be in it to win it. Yes, when a derby is going on, you need to be in if you want to cash out. Joe Yaeger won the LOTSA King Salmon Tournament on Saturday but his fellow fishing partners weren’t in – a 26 pound, 1 ounce fish that would be in fifth place right now. Add in Alan Sauerland, too.

2.       Lower Niagara River – Action in the lower river continues to be a bit spotty. While live bait like shiners and crayfish will produce a few smallmouth bass, sheepshead and silver bass, artificial baits seem to be producing as many if not more fish for casters and drifters. Tube jigs and Booyah spinner baits were working earlier this week for Capt. Frank Campbell and his customers looking to connect with the nice fish. They did have to work for them, but they did catch mostly smallmouth using tubes and spinnerbaits in the lower section of the river. Fish up to five pounds were reported, including a 20-inch smallie reeled in by Gary Hall of Niagara Falls on Thursday. The Fishing Platform is still an option for shore fishermen, too, as well as the trails leading into the gorge from Artpark, Devil’s Hole and Whirlpool state parks. As always, caution is advised, especially in the early morning when water levels are low and rocks are slippery.

3.       Upper Niagara River & Erie Canal – Plenty of bass to go around in the upper river with live bait a preference like crayfish and shiners. Worm harnesses will take a mix of fish that will include bass, sheepshead and walleye. In the Erie Canal Derby, it was Joe Henneberger of Tonawanda who became the Grand Prize recipient when a special drawing was held in Gasport last Sunday for the boat, motor and trailer. All first place winners were put into a hat to see who the big winner was. Henneberger caught the top carp, a 21.41 pound fish. Winner of the Youth Grand prize was Colby Lawrence of Lockport, receiving a bike in the special drawing. He was the top youth in the bass division with a 2.17 pound fish. For a  complete wrap up check out

Bill Hilts, Jr. - Director, Outdoor Promotions

Lake of the Woods MN Fishing Report by Joe Henry

Bite has been hot and keeping anglers on the move. Walleyes are being caught jigging, drifting with spinners and trolling crankbaits. Nice limits filling in a mix of walleyes and saugers with a few jumbo perch. Graceton Beach, Zippel Bay, headed east towards towards Gull Rock are active in depths of 10-18 or 29-32 feet. Some are still headed north towards Garden, Knight, and Bridges Islands in 15-23 feet over rubble and off points. Hot colors are hammered gold and pink tipped with minnows or crawlers.
On the Rainy River, sturgeon season is still in session! Keep one per year with the purchase of a tag only from July 1st to September 30th or the spring season, which was April 24th through May 7th. The slot is from 45" to 50" or over 75". Also a lot of catch and release.  Deep Pockets still best, anchoring shallow and presenting bait in deeper hole. Use a 5/0 circle hook with a gob of crawlers and 3-4 oz no roll sinker in 20 feet. Walleye fishing best during afternoon and evening hours in 16-19 feet.

Up at the NW Angle, points, reefs, and rock piles best for the walleye bite. Areas around Little Oak and Four Blocks active in 26-30 feet using bottom bouncers and spinners. The hot depths in Ontario waters are 22-25 feet. Try areas in and around Little Traverse such as the Massacre Island area.  Any florescent colored jig is working tipped with frozen shiners.  Muskie anglers are catching and releasing nice fish over 50".  Info on resorts and guides at

Joe Henry | Executive Director | Lake of the Woods Tourism |


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