Latest Fishing Reports and Photos September 23, 2015

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Illinois Conservation Foundation News Update

ICF Gala!
A handful of tickets are still available to the 2015 ICF Gala this week. Help us celebrate “turning screen time into green time” with the 2015 Illinois Outdoors Hall of Fame class and the Illinois Conservation Foundation! Our supporters will gather at the Hilton Indian Lakes Resort in Bloomingdale on Thursday, September 24thto raise fund for the ICF’s youth programs. The event includes a silent auction and other fun activities. Click here to learn more, purchase your tickets or to make a gift in honor of one of our honorees!

Bid on the Silent Auction from Home!
If you’re unable to join us this week, you can still support the 2015 ICF Gala through our silent auction.  When you click here, you’ll be taken to our auction site where you can browse the items and make bids on your computer, tablet or even smartphone! Don’t let our attendees have all the fun…take a look and bid from the comfort of home today and help support youth outdoor education programs!

ICF Membership Program
For the first time, the ICF is proud to announce a membership program. An easy way to support “turning screen time into green time” for kids in the state of Illinois, the membership program will allow friends to make a meaningful contribution to partner with the ICF’s mission. Adult memberships are available for $35, and a junior membership for kids high school aged or younger is only $15.  Members receive a decal to show their support of the ICF and will be the first to hear of ICF events. Discounts will also be available to members for special events, hunts and youth education classes at the Torstenson Youth Conservation Education Center.  Please click here to get your membership today!

Rend Lake Fishing Report from Randy Cordray

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:  09/21/2015LAKE LEVEL: 406.66       AVERAGE POOL FOR THIS DATE: 405.14     WATER TEMP:  79°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.

Kentucky Lake report by Don Dz

I fished Kentucky Lake over the weekend with Roger Wright.  We were there to get a segment for the Illinois Outdoors TV Show.   Fishing was slow for bass, stripers and crappies.  The lake is in a transition stage with the lake level being drawn down for the winter.  I've heard from locals and in many fishing reports that when this happens, fish are scattered, most go to deep water and are hard to pattern.   We got some bass on wacky worms and stripers with blade baits.  Most all fish came off main lake points in 12 or more feet of water.  We could not find the crappeis.   We fished the northern portion of KY Lake.

We stayed at the Kentucky Dam Village Resort.  Great accomodations.  Highly recommended.  We stayed in a 3 bedroom cabin that was about 2 blocks away from the KDV Marina boat ramps.

Boulder Junction Harvest Fest info from the Boulder Jct. Chamber

Join us here in Boulder Junction for a day of family fun and celebrate the fall season with food, games, face painting, shopping and much, much more! The 20th Annual Harvest Fest is set for Saturday, October 10 from 10am to 3pm.  Bring the kids, dressed in costume, to join Granny Autumn as she leads kids to various activities sponsored by local merchants and ride an old fashioned hayride through town. In observance of Fire Prevention Week, the Boulder Junction Volunteer Fire Department will have tours of the station, a Fire Fighter Challenge, and a Vehicle Extraction Demo. Adults can enjoy the fun too with a Cranberry Wine Tasting held at Alder Lake Cranberry Gift Shop. Adults can also collect receipts from purchases made in town and bring them to Shop the Haystack for a chance to win prizes and gift certificates. Come early to town and enjoy some Pumpkin Pancakes at the Granary Family Restaurant for breakfast. For lunch enjoy a bowl of chili or a hot dog served by the Boulder Junction Lioness and for dessert bite into a fresh hand-dipped caramel apple from the Boulder Junction Chamber booth or stop by The Bakery for a Fall Bakery Treat!  A fall sale with pumpkins, produce, and honey will be available all day at Winkler's Green House. A full schedule of events will be available at the Boulder Junction Chamber. See you in Boulder Junction on Saturday, October 10.  For more information visit or call 1-800-GO-MUSKY.

Lake of the Woods MN Fishing Report by Joe Henry

Awesome fishing this past week.  Good numbers of eater and trophy walleyes being caught trolling crankbaits in 30-34'.  Try west of the 9 footer, in front of Pine Island, 8 miles north of Graceton Beach and all around Lem's Reef. Some going across to Garden and Knight Islands in 22-25 or 28-32 feet pulling spinners. For colors, try firetiger, gold, red or orange. Plenty of eater walleyes and saugers in the mix with crankbaits, spinners and jigs all producing.  Walleyes starting to show up on the south shore and in the river.

On the Rainy River, walleye and sauger active in the evenings 18' jigging. Use a crawler or a live minnow for an aggressive bite. Best colors pink or glow. Sturgeon active as well using a circle hook and gob of crawlers. Anglers anchoring for all species on the high side of a drop off casting in. Best areas Baudette Bay towards Clementson. Pike active casting off docks pulling baits over weed beds.

Up at the NW Angle, walleye bite active!  On MN side, try areas of Oak and Little Oak Islands, points and gaps productive jigging with a minnow in 22-24 or 28-32 feet. On the Ontario side crappie bite hot! Try 30-34 feet jigging with a minnow in deep troughs or off points over structure.  Good muskie fishing as water cools.  Lodging and guides available at

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

Niagara NY Fishing Report by Bill Hilts, Jr.

1.       Lake Ontario and tributaries – After experiencing one of the warmest Septembers on record (and nicest), some of the salmon and trout have to be wondering what’s going on. With very limited rainfall and warm water temperatures, the lake options seems to be better than the river or stream option based on angler input. The Niagara Bar was hot for Capt. Matt Yablonsky of Youngstown, keeping his net wet with a mix of king and coho salmon at the Niagara Bar drop off. Water temperatures were in the 60s down to 70 foot depths at the drop off. From 70 to 80 feet, the temperatures were in the 40s and that’s exactly where all the fish were stacked up. Flasher-fly and spoon took five mature kings, a couple of coho and some immature salmon this past week. Those fish have to be waiting for nature’s call to run up the river. The same thing was going on off Olcott with Capt. Vince Pierleoni of Newfane, picking up some mature kings and Cohoes that were staging off 18 Mile Creek. Pier action has been slow at Olcott and Wilson, but Dr. John Syracuse took some time off of his busy schedule to reel in a king a few nights ago while casting a glow Little Cleo spoon. Orange and silver also produced a king by a neighboring caster, but few fish were caught. Up the creek, some fish have been caught in the harbor by trollers, but the better action is still to come. Very few fish have been reported at Burt Dam. Wilson Harbor should be seeing returning brown trout soon along with straying salmon, but again water flow in 12 Mile Creek needs to improve to pull fish in. Casting the piers there with spoons or drifting with treated egg skein could be producing some fish soon.

2.       Lower Niagara River – Capt. Steve Drabczyk of Lewiston was excited on Sunday when his charter produced four mature kings from Devil’s Hole using a red Pro-Cure treatment from Creek Road Bait and Tackle. He was using a six foot lead off his three-way rig, bouncing bottom with 15 pound test line. That elation was short lived as the next day did not even produce a hit. Local charters have been struggling with salmon there so far and they would love to see more fish showing up to battle customers. Off the fishing platform, a few king salmon are being reported by casters, but fishing has not been consistent. Again, the best is yet to come. Remember that this weekend is the New York Power Authority’s Wildlife Festival both Saturday and Sunday and part of the festivities is a kids fishing contest. Fish in any public water around Niagara County and bring your catch to the NRAA fishing pond at the Festival between noon and 2 pm to compete for prizes. Age classifications are 9 years of age and under; and 10 to 15 years of age. Winners will be interviewed by the Fishing University TV Show that will be filming throughout the Festival. Bass and walleye action continues to be spotty. Use live bait such as crayfish and shiners for the bass; worm harnesses for the walleye.

3.       Upper Niagara River – Bass fishing continues to be good throughout the system, but especially around Strawberry and Motor islands and at the head of the river near the round house. Crayfish and shiners top the list of live bait; tube jigs are best for artificials but other lures will also work for you – from jerk baits to spinnerbaits. Water temperatures are still near the 70 degree mark coming through from Lake Erie so the best is yet to come for the musky fishing, as well.

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

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