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Illinois Fall Trout Season Opens October 17 from the IL DNR

The 2015 Illinois Fall Trout Fishing Season opens on Saturday, Oct. 17 at 53 ponds, lakes, and streams throughout the state. The fly fishing catch-and-release trout season that debuted in Illinois last spring, which proved very popular among anglers, will be offered again in the fall.

The Fall Catch-and-Release Fly Fishing-only Season will be available at nine sites beginning on Oct. 3 at locations marked with an asterisk (*) in the list below.  Fly fishing anglers can use fly fishing gear to catch and release trout beginning Oct. 3 at the nine sites. No trout may be kept during the fly fishing-only period, but anglers can keep trout after the opening of the regular fall trout season beginning Oct. 17.

The Illinois catchable trout program is funded entirely by those who use the program through the sale of Inland Trout Stamps. The IDNR stocks more than 80,000 rainbow trout each year in bodies of water where trout fishing is permitted during the fall season.

No trout may be taken from any of the stocked sites from Oct. 1 until the fall trout season opens at 5 a.m. on Oct.17. Anyone attempting to take (harvest) trout before the legal harvest season opening will be issued citations.

All anglers — including those using fly fishing gear who intend to release fish caught before Oct. 17 — must have a valid fishing license and an Inland Trout Stamp, unless they are under the age of 16, blind or disabled, or are an Illinois resident on leave from active duty in the Armed Forces. The daily catch limit for each angler is five trout.

Illinois fishing licenses and Inland Trout Stamps are available at DNR Direct license and permit locations, including many bait shops, sporting goods stores and other retail outlets.

For a location near you, check the IDNR website at this link:

Fishing licenses and trout stamps can also be purchased by using a credit card through DNR Direct online via the IDNR website at, or by calling DNR Direct toll-free at 1-888-6PERMIT (1-888-673-7648).

NOTE: Not all fall trout sites open at 5 a.m. on opening day. Anglers are reminded to check the opening time of their favorite trout fishing location prior to the season. For more information about all site regulations, anglers should contact individual sites that will be stocked with catchable-size trout.

Rend Lake Fishing Report by 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:  09/09/2015LAKE LEVEL: 407.13       AVERAGE POOL FOR THIS DATE: 405.32     WATER TEMP:  80°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.

Walleyes Unlimited info by Bob Clark

Updated speaker information will always be posted at and click on the Speaker link.

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: Steve Rusteberg |
Topic: Smallmouth Strategies for Washington Island

Wednesday October 14, 2015 | 7:00 PM | American Legion Greendale Post 416 | 6351 W. Grange Ave. | Greendale, WI 53129 | Speaker: check website | Topic: TBA

Wednesday, October 28, 2015 | 7:00 PM |
Illinois Meeting: Gurnee American Legion | 749 Milwaukee Ave. | Gurnee, IL 60031 | Speaker: check website for info | Topic: TBA

Bob Clark
Secretary and Media Director - Walleyes Unlimited

Lake Geneva Fishing Club Info by Bob Clark

Wednesday, September 9th, 6:30 PM | Cabela’s | 5225 Prairie Stone Pkwy.| Hoffman Estates, IL 60192 | (847) 645-0400 | Speaker: Ben Garvens Note this is a change in Speaker, topic remains as scheduled earlier | Lake Geneva Fishing Club Secretary | 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

Wednesday, November 11th, 6:30 PM | Cabela’s | 5225 Prairie Stone Pkwy.| Hoffman Estates, IL 60192 | (847) 645-0400 | Awards Banquet, No Scheduled Speaker

Thanks for your help,

Bob Clark
Lake Geneva Fishing Club

 Niagara NY area Fishing Report by Bill Hilts, Jr.

  1. Lake Ontario and tributaries – Fall fishing action is slowly starting to transition into its normal patterns as salmon make their way closer to the shoreline and stage off the creek mouths and river mouths – tributaries that they think are home. Trolling the shoreline in front of Wilson and Olcott was a given as a normal pattern inside of 100 feet, but when the lake rolled over going into last weekend after a northeast blow, fish scattered and you needed to head out to deeper waters to find more stable conditions. That helped some of the winners in the Lake Ontario Counties Trout and Salmon Derby that ended on Labor Day. In fact, the big day of change was Sunday when every single divisional leader was replaced with bigger fish. Capt. Matt Yablonsky was out earlier this week and found the ice water had turned to bath water on Tuesday, 65 degrees down 80-90 feet over 100 foot depths in front of Olcott. Slowly cooler water was replacing the warmer water and by the end of the they ended up boating three mature kings, a mix of steelhead and a few other fish. He caught fish on spoons and flasher-fly set-ups. J-plugs and cut bait rigs will also work for you if you are targeting staging kings on the inside. Over on the Niagara Bar, fishing action had been very good for staging kings. Yablonsky found cool water down 40 feet on the ledge, from the red can to the green can, before the lake flipped over. Trolling the outside of the ledge is a good spot for staging fish with all of the baits mentions, but some of those fish are already starting their river run. Some kings are being reported off the piers at Olcott at night and early morning, but the best is yet to come. Glenn Bird of Barker was leading the Lake Ontario Counties Trout and Salmon Derby for over a week with a 30 pound, 11 ounce salmon that he caught west of Wilson. When the lake rolled over from a northeast wind over Labor Day weekend, he thought he had it – the $25,000 Grand Prize. That’s when fate stepped in and allowed Ken Ruszklewicz of Mexico, NY to reel in a fish one pound better on Sunday Sept. 6 to take the top prize and push the Angry Bird into first place in the salmon division. For Bird, he still ended up with a check for $5500, plus $500 from the Fish Odyssey and $700 from LOTSA for the largest salmon caught by a LOTSA member (and witnessed by a LOTSA member) – so it wasn’t too bad. Second place salmon also came from Niagara County, a 30 pound, 8 ounce fish caught by Chris Veitch of PA while fishing the Niagara Bar. First place in the Rainbow/Steelhead division was also reeled in off the shores of Niagara County, an 18 pound, 15 ounce fish caught by James Nowakowski of East Aurora while fishing off Olcott with Capt. Matt Yablonsky of Youngstown. In the brown trout division, there was a complete change of the top three the final two days, leaving previous leaders Karen Cinelli of Newfane and Thomas Wallace of Ohio in 4th and 5th place respectively with their Niagara County fish after combining to lead for over two weeks. The winner of the $2.700 check was Dave Maliszesky of West Henrietta with a 15 pound, 4 ounce fish caught the final Sunday off Hamlin Beach.
  2. Lower Niagara River – A Lake Ontario roll-over usually means good bass fishing at the mouth of the river and many fishermen are normally in tune with that scenario. In the river itself, fishing action for bass continues to be hot and cold. Tube jigs and live bait are the two best attractions for fish to hit according to Capt. Frank Campbell. Best bass areas have been from the clay banks to the mouth around the green can. Walleye are still available in the lower section from Stella down to the Coast Guard, as well as around the green can. Worm harnesses top the list of best baits. As far as salmon, there have been a few more reports of kings off the fishing platform, especially in the corner near the No. 1 generator. One individual claimed hooking up with three in one platform visit. The countdown is starting for the NYPA Wildlife Festival, set for Sept. 26-27 at the Visitors Center in Lewiston. There will be a kids fishing contest again this year.
  3. Upper Niagara River – Bass fishing continues to be the most consistent offering for anglers, around Strawberry Island, at the head of the river and in the west river. A word of caution if you are fishing in Canadian waters – be it the Emerald Channel near the head of the river, Thompson’s Hole, Staley’s Reef or around Navy Island to name but a few favorite bass spots: make sure you don’t have any shiners, crabs or leeches on board. In addition, if you have worms, make sure they are not in dirt. Law enforcement from Canada has been writing tickets for this infraction. Some walleye are being taken in the hole in front of Strawberry Island. Shore fishermen are picking up a few fish around Ontario Street and at Broderick Park. The Greater Niagara Frontier Fishing and Hunting Show is Sept. 19-20 at the North Bailey Fire Hall in Amherst.

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

Lake of the Woods MN Fishing Report by Joe Henry

Limits of walleye and sauger filled boats this week with plenty of trophy walleyes in the mix. Drifting with spinners or trolling/down rigging has been the favored method. Drifting has been productive in areas near Morris Point, Graceton, Zippel Bay, or Long Point 5-15' or 23-27' with gold or orange best tipped with minnows or crawlers. Trolling with Rapala Shad Raps and Reef Runner crankbaits has been good in 31-34' out from Lighthouse Gap, Garden Island, near Long Point and at various spots in the Big Traverse basin.  Wide variety of colors working.

On the Rainy River, sturgeon still active. Best areas are east towards Clementson and Birchdale anchoring over pockets with a 3 ounce no roll sinker, a 5/0 circle hook and gob of minnows or crawlers. Some walleye and bass action 17-19 feet near shorelines and weeded areas.

Up at the NW Angle, fall patterns starting as island points and neck down areas with current turning on. jigging and drifting with spinners the go to. Try 24-30' off Crow Duck, Four Blocks, and Little Oak Islands using gold or glow spinners. North Island and Falcon Island in Ontario waters having walleyes as well as strong crappie bite. Muskie and pike active close to shorelines casting with big crankbaits.  For lodging and guides, go to

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