Latest Outdoors News and Reports - 25 January 2016

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Local Fishing Report from JM Radford

Hello Don: I wanted to send some photos from some father n son fishing yesterday in Bolingbrook. It was on. Thanks, Justin Radford. Bolingbrook Il.

The Chicagoland Fishing, Travel & Outdoor Expo is one week away

The Expo features an All-Star lineup of the finest tackle manufacturers in the world, including Shimano, Daiwa, Okuma, St. Croix, Temple Fork Outfitters, Gamma Fishing Line, Rapala, Plano, G. Loomis, Frabill, Ardent, Garmin, Eagle Claw, Seaguar Fishing Line, PowerPro, Raymarine, Livingston Lures, Stormr and Joe Bucher Outdoors, to highlight just a sampling. Be the first to explore these exciting new products for the 2016 season.

The Boatyard brings you one step closer to that perfect craft, with new models on display from Lund, Crestliner, Ranger, Tuffy, Prince Craft, Sea Ark, Alumacraft, Bayliner, Avalon, Sun Tracker, Tahoe, Crest, Smokercraft, Triton, Recon and more, and a nice selection of kayaks too! Show pricing offers great deals so plan for those lazy days on the water now!

Catch up with all your fishing buddies and don't forget to stop by the Wildcat Lodge Booth in the 800 aisle.  I'll be there every day at the Chicagoland Fishing, Travel & Outdoor Expo at the Schaumburg Convention Center, January 28-31.

Pre-buy your ticket online before the show's opening day and save $2!  Save $2.00 on your ticket* with Promo Code: EXPO. *Discount is valid on Adult Tickets only; must be purchased online; promo code is only good through January 27, 2016.  CLICK HERE for more show info on seminars, location, exhibitors and tickers

Boulder Jct. WI Big Bundle Up Clothing Drive was a Success

It's a good thing when locals and visitors team together to help those in need.  The Boulder Jct. Area of Wisconsin is not only the Musky Capitol of the World, but also a community with a big heart.

This Winter Season the Boulder Junction Chamber of Commerce teamed up with the Wisconsin Department of Tourism to bring warm winter clothing to families in need. Residents and visitors of the Boulder Junction area dropped off new or gently used coats, sweaters, hats, mittens, and other warm winter items as part of the Wisconsin Department of Tourism’s “The Big Bundle Up”. This year marked the fifth year of the Big Bundle Up. To date, the program has collected more than 49,300 winter items to help families in need. The Big Bundle Up is a statewide collection program that ran November 19, 2015 – January 3, 2016.

“I would personally like to thank all of the Boulder Junction residents and visitors who donated winter gear and helped to make The Big Bundle Up such a success. Once again the Community of Boulder Junction came together to support a great cause!” said Kristen Tichacek, Executive Director of the Boulder Junction Chamber of Commerce. The Boulder Junction Chamber of Commerce was able to collect five winter vest, thirty-two winter sweaters, fifteen winter coats, one pair of snowmobile pants, fifty-two winter hats, seven pairs of socks, three scarfs, five pairs of gloves, one pair of boots, three kid’s winter coats and two pairs of kid’s snowmobile pants. All of the winter gear collected at the Boulder Junction Chamber of Commerce was donated to the Community Church of Boulder Junction Food Pantry.

For more information on this and other upcoming events please contact that Boulder Junction Chamber office at 715-385-2400 or by visiting

Niagara NY Area Fishing Report and News by Bill Hilts Jr.

The Greater Niagara Fishing and Outdoor Expo is finally here, running from Friday through Sunday this weekend! It’s hard to believe how much they have under one roof at the Conference and Event Center Niagara Falls. There are so many things going on, you may have attend more than one day. Buy the weekend pass for just $16 to solve that problem! And kids under 10 years of age are free. There are over 120 educational seminars on a wide variety of topics and fish species. Listen to the experts giving tips on fishing for salmon, trout, bass, walleye, musky and perch. Some of the names headlining the WNY Fishing Academy include Dave Genz – the Godfather of ice fishing – and Mark Romanack with the Fishing 411 TV show. Charlie Alsheimer, Mr. Whitetail, will be giving three talks on Saturday – two on deer and one on photography. Learn how to rig a boat and use your electronics. The Lake Ontario Marketplace is Sunday morning and if you are looking for used tackle, that’s a great place to be. Over 150 booth spaces are occupied with show-stopping vendors and great show specials. And for the kids, there’s a fishing pond and air rifle trailer to keep the youngsters busy, as well as a simulated ice fishing experience and an entire Fun Zone. Lots of animals, too, from birds of pretty to monkeys. Check out for all of the details, including the list of seminars, speakers and vendors. It’s the largest freshwater fishing show in the state and one of the biggest on the Great Lakes. You won’t be disappointed.

1. Lake Ontario and tributaries –The big news has to be that the hard water is supporting some anglers in the back bay at Wilson. Perfect timing for the Outdoor Expo’s focus on ice fishing thanks to the Ice Team and Dave Genz! Reports of perch, pike and the occasional trout have been reported and the best baits have been minnows, spikes, wax worms and a variety of Maki plastics. All the smaller streams are frozen up but there is some open water at Burt Dam and 18 Mile Creek according to Wes Walker at The Slippery Sinker. Small jigs tipped with a wax worm and fished under a float has been one of the most popular approaches, but don’t rule out using one of the Lazy Larry’s beads that imitate a trout egg. Check out the Expo to see how they work. The water has come down a bit and it’s not as stained as it was. Steelhead and the occasional brown is being caught.
2. Lower Niagara River – Nothing since last Friday when water color turned to mud. Last Friday Capt. Frank Campbell was doing some experimenting with some of the Pautzke UV Fire Brine in a new green color and actually changing the color of his minnows as he fished the Devil’s Hole area of the lower river. Conditions weren’t the best but they were fishable. Fishing alongside a couple of other boats, Campbell’s green minnows out-produced the other boats 3 or 4 to one. Stop in and see Frank at the Expo and ask him about it or listen to one of his seminars. Capt. Matt Yablonsky will also be on the seminar stage talking Niagara Bar fishing and he reported that when the waters clear, the Bar should continue with some excellent action if the conditions allow for it. Not too much from the shore fishing guys the past week. Spoons, spinners and beads will all catch fish when it starts to clear up but water clarity has been tough for a week. Go to the Expo this weekend and learn some new techniques! Remember that the Roger Tobey Memorial Steelhead contest is set for Feb. 6 in the lower river. Contact 998-8910 for more info or stop in at Creek Road Bait and Tackle in Lewiston.
3. Upper Niagara River – The water has been muddy and limited fishing conditions. When it clears, look for the trout action to pick back up around Broderick Park and around Ferry Street.

Bill Hilts, Jr. - Director, Outdoor Promotions

Lake of the Woods MN Fishing Report by Joe Henry

As the weather warmed up, so did the ice fishing. Ice roads are allowing half-ton trucks onto the lake when not towing a trailer. Ice averages 14-17”. As always, stay on marked resort trails and talk with your resort about ice conditions in their area. Fishing in 24-34’ seems to be the best. Glow colors remain hot and the two way punch of jigging and dead stick remains the go to plan of attack. Ice electronics are key in catching more fish. Walleyes and saugers caught primarily in late morning with flurries in afternoon.  Lots of nice saugers in the mix throughout the basin.

The Rainy River is iced over and being fished in spots but mainly by locals who know the ice.  For safety, work through resorts.  Safety first.  Most anglers fishing the lake.

Up at the NW Angle, fishing is hot.  Ice is 22” where resorts are traveling on Minnesota side and 14” on the Ontario side. Limits in 24-28' adjacent or on reefs for walleyes and 30-34' for saugers in the mud. Jumbo perch, pike, and eelpout in the mix. Large crappies (in 30-33') and lake trout (via snowmobile and guide) being caught on Ontario side.  Resort listings at

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

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