If you have any reports, news or photos to share, send them to email@example.com.
Don’t miss any of Don’s blogs, outdoor news , stories, or reports from Illinois Outdoors. Type your email address in the box and click the "create subscription" button. My list is completely spam free, and you can opt out at any time.
LATEST PHOTOS, REPORTS AND NEWS - August 17, 2015
Bowfishing Assn. of Illinois note from Ed Devries
Hey Don.....something you might be interested in.........
TOTAL STATE SHOOT FISH WEIGHT Got the report from Schaffers yesterday and we removed 15350 pounds of Asian carp from the Illinois river during the Interloc State Championships. That's a lot of fish and a great benefit to the rivers health. Congratulations and great job everyone!
Alligator Gar on Display in Conservation World from Chris Young - IL DNR
The Alligator Gar, an ancient fish that disappeared from Illinois decades ago, is doing well in Powerton Lake, just south of Peoria. Illinois Department of Natural Resources fisheries biologists recently collected nine fish with an average length of 51 inches. The average weight was 36.3 pounds each. Three of the fish are on display in tanks in the fisheries tent in Conservation World at the Illinois State Fair.
The fish are now six years old and have been tagged with microchips to help biologists measure their growth rates. The nine fish collected account for about 10 percent of the original 78 fish that were stocked in Powerton Lake.
Prior to the start of restoration efforts, the last Alligator Gar was caught by an angler in 1966 near Cairo. Alligator Gar are river fish, but also can thrive in large lakes. As part of the project, IDNR biologists released them in several other locations where habitat was suitable. Alligator Gar are not being released at this time. IDNR biologists are monitoring fish from the initial stocking.
See a video of the alligator gar in Conservation World here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZakqnWGu35U
Hunting Permit Info
Firearm Deer Permits: Permit applications will be accepted until Aug. 21 for the new third lottery drawing for 2015 Illinois firearm and muzzleloader deer permits. For details, check the IDNR website at www.dnr.illinois.gov/hunting/deer.
Hunters can check on the status of their firearm deer permit application online:
Fall Wild Turkey Shotgun Permits: Hunters may apply for the second lottery for 2015 Fall Wild Turkey Shotgun permits through Aug. 24 (third lottery deadline for fall shotgun turkey permits will be Sept. 21). The season dates are Oct. 24 – Nov. 1. For more information:
Resident Archery Deer and Fall Turkey Permits: Resident combination archery deer permits, resident antlerless-only archery deer permits, and resident archery fall turkey hunting permits are available over-the-counter from DNR Direct license and permit vendors (as of Aug. 4). Find a vendor near you at this link: http://dnr.illinois.gov/DNRDirectMonitor/VendorListing.aspx
Rend Lake Fishing Report by Randy Cordary
|SPECIES||RATING||BAIT OF CHOICE||SUGGESTED LOCATIONS||REGULATIONS|
|LARGEMOUTH BASS||Excellent||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||Excellent||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: 08/16/2015LAKE LEVEL: 408.40 AVERAGE POOL FOR THIS DATE: 405.79 WATER TEMP: 82°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.
Quad County Hawg Hunters Chapter of Muskies Inc. Musky Tournament info
When - September 26, 2015
Where: Evergreen Lake, IL
Time: 6:20 AM – 2:30 PM
Take Off / Return: White Oak Boat Ramp.
Entry Fee: $50.00 per person.
25 Boat Field
Mail Entry Fee by September 20, 2015 to: Duane Landmeier, 220 W. Miller St., Hinckley, IL. 60520
Starting order in order of payment received.
Boaters must have an Evergreen Lake sticker on your boat or daily permit to fish the event available at the ramp or call: Comlara Park Evergreen Lake at Com Lara County Park 13001 Recreation Drive Hudson, IL. 61748 309-434-6770
Lake Shelbyville Report by Steve Welch
The lake is slowly falling and is currently five feet over summer pool and the water temps are running 82-86 and is gin clear.
The Corp slowed down the flow rate and this slowed down the migration of white bass from the Kaskaskia so I switched up this week to trolling crankbaits for crappie, white bass and just about anything that will hit a crankbait.
I am long line trolling five rods and pushing two more. So seven crankbaits coming through the water on line counter reels for depth accuracy. This keeps me and my two or three clients very busy. We are catching about fifty or more crappie a day and plenty of other fish while setting in a nice chair and listening to the radio so pretty laid back until we go through a school of fish then it gets pretty hectic. More than once this week I have seen five rods go off at the same time.
I am trolling 300 Series Bandits 50-55 feet back at 1.4mph to get me down about 12 feet. Colors, many are working but I have had good success with white, pink, or chrome. This is how I will be fishing until the lake gets closer to summer pool and then the main lake brush piles should be working.
If white bass are all you want I have been seeing them busting the surface clear down by the dam at daylight and you can also get them on points on the north end with jigging spoons.
IDNR Announces Wildlife Violations Involving Illegal Deer Hunting from Chris Young - IL DNR
The Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) Office of Law Enforcement has announced court action in three separate wildlife cases in Calhoun County, Illinois. Two cases were a result of joint efforts with the Illinois Conservation Police and wildlife officers in multiple states.
After a six-month investigation in multiple Illinois counties and eight other states, Weldon “Jesse” Bean of Bourbonnais, Illinois was charged with outfitting without a license and outfitting while wildlife privileges are revoked. Wildlife officers from Ohio, Michigan, Louisiana, Texas, Oklahoma, Alabama, Michigan and Arkansas assisted with the investigation. Bean’s hunting privileges were revoked after an arrest in a 2011 Unlawful Taking of White-tailed Deer case in Kankakee County.
In an unrelated case, Illinois charges were filed against Joe Slye of Cartersville, Georgia for providing outfitter services without a license, the unlawful take of an antlered deer without an either-sex deer permit, the unlawful possession of a white-tailed deer, and failure to report harvest. The investigation was centered on Slye, owner of 8up With It Outdoors, and his associates taking antlered deer in Illinois while only in possession of non-resident antlerless-only deer permits. Officers with the Georgia DNR Law Enforcement Division assisted with the investigation. One buck was seized from Slye and two other bucks were seized from Slye’s associates. Additional charges against the associates are pending.
In a third case, Michael Tomlanovich of Wood River, Illinois pleaded guilty to two misdemeanors following a 2014 investigation into illegally obtained landowner deer permits and the unlawful taking of white-tailed deer. His total fines and court costs were $7,232. The investigation was centered on Tomlanovich fraudulently applying for resident landowner deer permits for several non-hunting members of his family. A total of 21 white-tailed bucks were seized from Tomlanovich and his hunting associate, David Cox of Roxana, Illinois. The case against Cox is still pending.
Illinois Youth Firearm Deer Hunt info from Chris Young - IL DNR
Illinois Youth Firearm Deer Hunt is October 10-12. All Hunters Reminded of Blaze Orange Requirement during the Youth Hunt
The 2015 Illinois Youth Firearm Deer Hunt is Oct. 10-12 for those hunters with a valid Youth Deer Permit who have not reached their 16th birthday by the first day of the hunt. Youth Deer Permits are available over-the-counter at license vendors throughout the state. Hunters may purchase only one permit (either-sex) for one of the open counties.
All youth hunters must have a current, valid Youth Deer Permit and have a regular hunting license, Youth Hunting License or Apprentice Hunter License, unless exempt. If using a regular hunting license, participants must have completed an IDNR-approved Hunter Education course. Each hunter participating in the Youth Deer Hunt while using an Apprentice Hunter or Youth Hunter License must be accompanied by a non-hunting, validly-licensed (Illinois hunting license) parent, guardian or grandparent who is 21 years of age or older. All other hunters participating in the Youth Deer Hunt must each be accompanied by a non-hunting supervisor (parent, guardian or responsible adult) who has a valid Illinois hunting license or who has in his or her possession a valid Firearm Owners Identification (FOID) card. The non-hunting supervisor must wear the orange garments required of gun deer hunters (blaze orange cap and upper garment with a minimum of 400 square inches of solid blaze orange material), and must remain with the hunting youth. Each supervisor may only accompany a single youth at any given time during the hunt.
All Illinois counties except Cook, DuPage and Lake Counties, and that portion of Kane County east of State Route 47 are open for the youth deer season. Hunting hours are one-half hour before sunrise on to one-half hour after sunset on Oct. 10-12. The bag limit is one deer per legally authorized permit. All either-sex permits are subject to the following restrictions: no hunter, regardless of the quantity or type of permits in his/her possession, may harvest more than two (2) antlered deer during a year, including the youth, archery,
muzzleloader and firearm seasons.
Successful hunters must register their harvest by 10 p.m. on the same calendar day the deer is taken by calling the toll-free telephone check-in system at 1-866-ILCHECK or by accessing the online check-in system at www.dnr.illinois.gov/vcheck. They will be provided with a confirmation number to verify that they checked in their harvest. This number must be written by the hunter on the temporary harvest tag (leg tag).
The Illinois Department of Natural Resources has proposed rules to allow young hunters to use unfilled permits from the youth season during the first segment of the Firearm Deer Season on Nov. 20-22. As proposed, unfilled Youth Firearm Deer Hunt permits would be valid during the first firearm deer season only for private land in the county named on the permit, or for hunting on public land that is open to statewide regulations (no limit on hunter access) in that county during the firearm season. Unfilled youth permits would not be valid during the first firearm deer season on special hunt areas that limit hunter numbers with a quota.
Youth hunters are reminded that archery deer season will be underway and archery hunters will be afield during the Oct. 10-12 youth hunt. Archery deer hunters and all other hunters are reminded that they must comply with requirements to wear blaze orange the weekend of the youth deer hunt (except in counties closed to the youth deer season).
For more information on the Youth Deer Hunt in Illinois, check the IDNR website at www.dnr.illinois.gov/hunting/deer.
HOOAH Deer Hunt for Heroes info
HOOAH Deer Hunt for Heroes was started to give back to our soldiers who have given so much. I'm able to share my passion for hunting and fishing. The outdoors is the perfect place to heal mentally and physically and enables our soldiers to experience the outdoors in ways they did not know was possible. This program enables soldiers to network with other soldiers and civilians, just an awesome experience.
EVENTS - UPCOMING
Sept. 26, 2015 Golf Scramble - Bloomington, IL
September 2015 3D Bow Shoot Tournament Rend Lake Sporting Goods in Mount Vernon, IL
Oct. 14-18 2015 Crossbow Deer Hunt Jefferson County,IL
Nov. 4-10 2015 Pheasant Hunt and Crossbow Deer Hunt MccLean County,IL
Nov. 9 2015 Hero Banquet Bloomington,IL
For more informatin, visit http://www.hooahdeerhuntforheroes.com/
Walleyes Unlimited info from Bob Clark
Updated speaker information will always be posted at http://walleyesunlimitedusa.org/index.htm and click on the Speaker link.
Wednesday, August 8, 2015, 7:00 PM | Wisconsin Meeting: American Legion Greendale Post 416 | 6351 W. Grange Ave. | Greendale, WI 53129 | Speaker: Jason Brenic | Topic: The State of Bass Fishing on Big Green
Wednesday, August 26, 2015 7:00 PM | Illinois Meeting: Gurnee American Legion | 749 Milwaukee Ave. | Gurnee, IL 60031 | Speaker: Bill Sutton | Topic: Success on the Walleye Tournament Trails Wednesday,
Wednesday September 9, 2015 | 7:00 PM | Wisconsin Meeting: American Legion Greendale Post 416 | 6351 W. Grange Ave. | Greendale, WI 53129 | Speaker: Mark Kumorkiewicz - NPAA #134 | Topic: Walleyes on Green Bay
Wednesday, September 30, 2015 7:00 PM | Illinois Meeting: Gurnee American Legion | 749 Milwaukee Ave. | Gurnee, IL 60031 | Speaker check website http://walleyesunlimitedusa.org/index.htm for info | Topic: TBA
Secretary and Media Director - Walleyes Unlimited
Wisconsin Fishing Reports
Roger Wright from Illinois Outdoors TV waded the Wisconsin River this past weekend. Fishing was slow, water dark, yet he was able to catch some walleye, stripers and a few drum.
Bryce from the Tracker Shop at Bass Pro Bolingbrook fished further north on a number of different lakes and did well on smallmouth bass and musky (see photos)
Lake Geneva Fishing Club info from Bob Clark
Wednesday, September 9th, 6:30 PM | Cabela’s | 5225 Prairie Stone Pkwy.| Hoffman Estates, IL 60192 | (847) 645-0400 | Speaker: Will McClamroch | Lake Geneva Fishing Club Outings Director | Topic: Artificial Intelligence - Geneva Smallmouth & Largemouth Bass Strategies
Wednesday, 14th, 6:30 PM | Cabela’s | 5225 Prairie Stone Pkwy.| Hoffman Estates, IL 60192 | (847) 645-0400 | Speaker: Club Member Expert Panel - Frank Miller, Jim Bloede, Ben Garvens, and Paul Beran |Topic: Recapping the 2015 Season - Successful Strategies and Techniques
Lake Geneva Fishing Club http://lakegenevafishingclub.com
Niagara NY Fishing Report by Bill Hilts Jr.
Lake Ontario and tributaries – Some mature kings have been coming in the 60 to 100 foot range in front of Olcott and to the west according to Wes Walker at The Slippery Sinker. Cutbait, flasher-fly, magnum spoons and, to coincide with the time of year, J-plugs. Plugs took three fish for one Michigan boat on Tuesday, mature kings between 24 and 26 pounds. Tom Yarger of Lockport had his first 25 pound king of the year this week, straight out from Olcott at the 26-27 GPS line. Some boats have been heading to the 28-30 GPS line for fish, but each day makes a difference as to where the active fish are. Its derby time on Lake Ontario and the Orleans County Rotary Derby is now history, ending last Sunday. Georgia Barkdoll of Pennsylvania was the Grand Prize winner with a 29 pound salmon caught off the Point. Top steelhead was a 12 pound, 14 ounce fish reeled in by Mike Ayotte of Florida. Big brown was a 14 pound, 5 ounce fish hauled in by Chad Kennedy of Massachusetts and the leading lake trout overall was a 17 pound, 12 ounce fish weighed in by Mike Engle of Hamlin. Next up on the derby calendar is the Fall Lake Ontario Counties Trout and Salmon Derby, kicking off on Friday, August 21st and continuing through Labor Day. Grand prize salmon is worth $25,000! Check out www.loc.org for more information. On Saturday, August 22, the 39th Annual Greater Niagara Fish Odyssey Derby will be starting up and running through August 30th. Six different species categories will be up for grabs including salmon, trout, walleye, carp and smallmouth bass. There are also six different catego-ries for the kids division and entry into the youth division is free! Stop in at a registra-tion outlet or sign up online at www.fishodyssey.net. This derby is open to a wide ar-ea, including public waters of Niagara, Erie and Orleans counties, as well as large por-tions of Lake Ontario and Lake Erie. Get those kids signed up today! Lots of great priz-es are available for the winners. The best thing about the Odyssey is that everyone in the adult division has a chance to win the Grand Prize of $2,500. All first place win-ners are put into a hat during the awards ceremony in Newfane at 4 pm.
Lower Niagara River – Contrary to recent announcements, there will not be a Niagara River An-glers Assn. walleye contest in the lower river this year – even though walleye fishing has been pretty darn good. No one has stepped up to the plate to run a one-day event so local anglers looking for a little competition will have to settle for the Walleye Division of the Greater Niagara Fish Odyssey Derby that runs from August 22-30. Worm harnesses are the best approach for boaters, drifting the bottom with three-way rigs in the river or on the Niag-ara Bar. Power trolling on the bar is another tactic that can produce some nice ‘eyes, using worm harnesses or stickbaits. Kwikfish are taking some fish off three-way rigs, too. Bass con-tinue to be pretty finicky but fish are available from the Bar to Devil’s Hole. Bass fishing has been hot and cold and Capt. Frank Campbell gives a good example of what it can be like. On one day in particular, they boated bass in three hours. In the next 40 minutes they caught 11 bass. Best baits have been minnows, crayfish, tubes and Kwikfish. There is a Bass Division in the Odyssey, too. Check out www.fishodyssey.net for details.
Upper Niagara River-Erie Canal – Action in the upper river has been a bit more difficult this week with the scorching temperatures – bothering the fishermen more than the fish. Bass and walleye are still options in the hole in front of Strawberry Island and at the head of the river. Worm harnesses or crayfish are good bets. Thompson’s Hole is always a favorite for the Fish Odyssey, but with the live bait options no longer available for boaters coming over from New York, this popular spot will prob-ably be for artificials only. Don’t forget the Erie Canal as an angling option, especially for carp or to get the kids out fishing in the derby. Yes, it’s free for the kids to compete in the derby! Go to www.FishOdyssey.net for details.
Bill Hilts Jr.www.Niagara-USA.com
Lake of the Woods MN Fishing Report by Joe Henry
Limits of walleye and sauger filling with ease this past week as charter boats and anglers finding success in a variety of locations and with a variety of methods! Windy days have been perfect drifting with spinners and bait fishing. Try hammered gold, orange, or green tipped with crawlers or leeches. Those jigging had best luck with gold or chartreuse. Others having luck down rigging with shad raps and other crankbaits out in the basin of Big Traverse. More walleyes being caught in Big Traverse and south shore than in past weeks in depths of 10 - 33'.
On the Rainy River, anglers have been hitting the evening hours for walleye with great success near the International Bridge heading east towards Timbermill. Sturgeon fishing keep one season open through September. 45-50" or one over 75" allowed. Deep pockets still best using a circle hook with a gob of crawlers and anchoring upriver.
Up at the NW Angle, consistently good walleye fishing in 26-28 feet over reefs and rocky points off of Little Oak ,Oak in MN and Falcon Island in ON. Use bright colored spinners tipped with crawlers or minnows. Also try casting with spoons in 21-23 feet. Muskie and pike active in weed beds using jerk baits. Consistent great fishing continues. Lodging is available at www.LakeoftheWoodsMN.com/Lodging
Joe Henry | Executive Director | Lake of the Woods Tourism | www.LakeoftheWoodsMN.com