Latest Photos, Reports and News - November 22, 2015

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Local Pond Report by Ken HUSKER O'Malley

Hey  Don,It's time to hunt for big bass. Area lakes are cooperating. Bait of choice is a strike king bitsy bug with a twin tail spider grub. Certainly not a numbers game. Dragging the bait slowly through areas that still have good weed growth is key. Late morning or early afternoon are best times. Attached are a few of the nice ones. TTYL
Two days later....
Big bass continue to be the story on area lakes. Even a snow storm didn't slow the bite. Key was slowly dragging the jig on the bottom and twitching it momentarily in open pockets. I switched up the trailer and went to a four inch Berkley chigger craw for a bigger profile and added scent. Attached are few nice ones. It was worth getting covered in snow.

Ken "Husker" O'Malley
Waterworks fishing team

Waterfowl Dates from Chris Young, IL DNR

Everyone,  I want to alert you to recommendations by the Natural Resources Advisory Board to make some changes to IDNR’s recommended season dates and zone lines for the next five years (2016-2020). IDNR is accepting comments on the recommendations until Nov. 24. The deadline for the final draft to be submitted is Dec. 1. You can read more about it, CLICK HERE

Chris Young - Communications Director, IL DNR

Illinois Archery Deer Report from Chris Young, IL DNR

The following Archery Deer Report was received from Paul Shelton, Manager - Forest Wildlife Program

Through Sunday, November 15, 2015, Illinois archery deer hunters harvested a preliminary total of 43,228 deer, compared to 42,147 for the same period in 2014.

Harvest  to date has consisted of 47% does and 53% males (20,513:22,715), while 45% percent of the harvest has been antlered bucks (19,348).  In the last seven days, harvest sex ratios were 32% females:68% males, while antlered bucks comprised 61% of the harvest.   Top five counties are currently Pike (1677), Fulton (1269), Adams (961), Jefferson (956),  and JoDaviess (927).   A table of county results is attached.

Up-to-date archery harvest figures (for either deer or turkey) by county/state sites can be tracked on the web at

Rend Lake Fishing Report by 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  Good 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:  11/16/2015LAKE LEVEL: 405.43       AVERAGE POOL FOR THIS DATE: 404.83     WATER TEMP:  59°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.

Rend Lake Waterfowl Report by Randy Cordray







CANADA GEESE 25 Nov. 14 – Jan 31 Daily Bag Limit – 2Possession Limit -- 6
SNOWS/BLUES  0 Nov. 14 – Jan. 31   Daily Bag Limit - 20 Snow/Blue & Ross’ Geese 1 BrantPossession Limit – Unlimited Snow/Blue & Ross’ Geese, 3 Brant
WHITE-FRONTS  100 Nov. 14 – Jan. 31 Daily Bag Limit – 2Possession Limit - 6
Information as of:  11/16/2015LAKE LEVEL: 405.43      AVERAGE POOL FOR THIS DATE: 404.83                                                               CASEY FORK: 411.40     BIG MUDDY: 410.75


Lake Shelbyville Fishing Report

The wind has torn up the lake these past few days and the water temps have fallen to 51 on the north end and 55 on the south. We are still catching plenty of crappie on both ends of the lake. The south end is so full of 9 1/2 inch fish you need to catch about ten before you get a good one. The fish catching on the south end is unbelievable by days end you will have over 100 in the boat. We are concentrating more on the north end since you can catch bigger fish. I even saw a 14-inch big white crappie this past week so they do exist. The action on the north end is slower than the south end but at the end of the day you have bigger fish.

I am using my 3/16oz. Deep Ledge Jig black with a chartreuse Bobby Garland or a white jig with a clear or light blue Wally Marshall
Shadpole. On the south end I am using my lighter 3/32oz. jig and jig it up and down about three-feet to get a reaction strike.

The bigger crappie will start to show up these next couple weeks as the water cools. This week is bringing rain and overcast so the north end shallow fish is where you need to be. We are catching them about ten-feet down in brush and on ends of down trees.

Steve Welch

Niagara NY Fishing Report by Bill Hilts, Jr.

Lower River Shore Fishing Best Local Option

  1. Lake Ontario and tributaries – Stream anglers have been disappointed with the lack of rain the last few weeks. Low, clear conditions have left only the harbors of Wilson and Olcott, as well as 18 Mile Creek, the only options – until we see more rain. There could be some salvation in 18 Mile Creek and the Burt Dam area with the de-watering of the Erie Canal. That should help increase the flow and attract more fish. It should also provide a little stain to the water. For the fish that are available, use light line and small egg or bait presentations to combat the clear conditions. Primarily trout are available to anglers, but the word is that fish numbers are limited. If you can get on the piers in Wilson or Olcott, casting spoons or spinners might produce a trout. That has been a big “if.” Lake temperatures finally hit 50 degrees this past week.
  2. Lower Niagara River – With more wind in the forecast, we’ll have to wait and see how that shakes out for lower river drifters and casters. In the meantime, shore fishing in the gorge area has been the best angling option in Western New York for anyone looking to wet a line. Despite chocolate-like conditions throughout the river corridor, the shoreline has cleared enough to allow for some decent trout fishing. Casting spoons or spinners will work for you, as will brightly-colored egg imitations. Options include the Artpark trails in Lewiston; the trails along Devil’s Hole and Whirlpool state parks; and the NYPA fishing platform - all good access points. The Fishing Platform will remain open until Dec. 1 or when the snow starts flying, whatever comes first. The elevator there is being worked on so that access is not available. If you catch any lake trout, remember that those fish should be put back into the water immediately as that season is closed. Lake trout season does open on the Canadian side of the river on December 1. Steelhead and brown trout are both available to anglers as well. No boating reports in the past week and all of those fish will be available to anglers if the water clears at all. Remember that musky season in the lower river extends to Dec. 15. The regular bass season closes on Nov. 30.
  3. Upper Niagara River – Not good news for musky fishermen with the last week being a wash due to turbid conditions. The season ends on Nov. 30. The only option the past week was some shoreline action up towards Buffalo. Due to severe winds, some of the access points like the Bird Island Pier were not fishable. With another wind event happening at mid-week, we’ll have to wait and see what happens with that. Sounds like hunting might be a better option – the big game regular season opener is Nov. 21. Stay safe out there. If you are not a hunter, check out the Greater Niagara Fishing and Outdoor Expo website at to see what’s planned for the third annual show set for Jan. 22-24, 2016. It’s going to be a great one!

Bill Hilts, Jr. - Director, Outdoor Promotions

Lake of the Woods Minnesota Fishing Report by Joe Henry

Fishing remains good for the few anglers interested in the last remaining open water.  Walleyes, saugers and some trophy walleyes are being caught in 14-30' of water in front the Lighthouse Gap and Pine Island on the south end of the lake.  Some ice forming in bays but still too thin to venture out on.

On the Rainy River, walleye fishing remains good. With rain, more current this week.  More walleyes and larger walleyes are showing up in the river.  Good reports at various spots from Wheeler's Point to Frontier Access.  The fish prefer jig and minnow still near bottom.  Orange, and gold mixed with bright color the ticket tipped with minnow.

Up at the NW Angle, not many fishing as ice is showing up in spots.  A thin coat of ice this week in backwater areas.  Resorts are ready for ice fishing. Walleye action in 15-26 feet jigging near Oak Island, Rabbit Ears, and Hay Island. On the Ontario side, areas with current adjacent to deep holes best.  Muskie fishing going well trolling in 10-20' adjacent rock walls.  Info on resorts and upcoming ice fishing at

Check out the pre ice fishing video.  Added surprise as a nice walleye decided to hit my jig while filming!

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

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