Fishing Reports and News

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LATEST NEWS AND REPORTS  (Photos are at the end of this Blog post.)

Mercer WI area Fishing Report by Don Dz...

Roger Wright and I just returned from a week-long trip to the Mercer, Wisconsin area.   It was a great week and the fishing was fantastic.

The Turtle Flambeau Flowage was doing very well.  Since Roger and I were with fellow members of the Association of Great Lakes Outdoor Writers, we were among many anglers on the water.   Walleyes were doing well, many keeper sized fish were caught.  Minnows on a jig worked best.

Guide Bobby Orr took some of our members for crappie fishing and caught quite a few slab crappies.   For a change of pace, they chased a few walleyes and were successful too. The crappies came off cribs by using a slip bobber with a minnow held either atop the crip or along it's side.

Like us, many members wanted to go for the smallmouth.  We nailed them.   One day we made our way into Blair Lake with our friend John YAGO Jagodzienski, owner of Angler's Paradise at Yago's Retreat. It's a fantastic resort on the Turtle Flambeau Flowage.  From Blair we caught a good number of largemouth.  LMB are not typical from the TFF, but can be found in the attached Blair Lake.  Just don't ask me how to get in there.  Good thing John was with us.

Roger and I also fished a couple local small lake for smallies and got our fair share on wacky worms, ned rigs and plastic worms.   We also caught some perch, and two muskies on and lost em, and  one made it into the boat, caught by Yago.

A good source of information on the TFF and Mercer area lakes is Nancy or Scot at the Turtle River Trading Post in town.  For more information on the Mercer Area, re lodging, dining, guides and events, visit

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 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:  05/15/2016LAKE LEVEL: 409.31       AVERAGE POOL FOR THIS DATE: 407.99     WATER TEMP:  66°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.

Lake Shelbyville Fishing Report by Steve Welch

The water temps are running about 65 and the lake is just under summer pool. The crappie spawn is all but done but we are still catching plenty. We had our four man limit on the 15th by fishing the spots they will start using in the summer. We are drifting a slip-bobber and minnowright across them and catching a hundred or more each day on the south end of the lake. Jigs will work but I prefer the latter.

Steve Welch

Kentucky Lake Fishing Report by Capt. Rich Bay

Your fishing report for May 20, 2016 from the deck of The Kick’n Bass Fishing Pontoon

Weather temps have been below normal this week bringing the water temps back into the mid to upper 60’s. We had a cool front move through this week but by Saturday the weather should be back to normal for this time of year. Fishing has been fair to very good but these dang cold fronts are hurting the action (and my back). Crappies are post spawn as are the bass but redears and bluegills are just starting to nest up. Time to get your light poles out. The full moon is here and mixed with steady weather fishing is going to explode!

Lake conditions
Water temps are 66.6 degrees in the morning and warming up to 72 degrees in the sunny afternoons. Water color is a little stained but clearing up fast from all the rain last week. TVA has brought the lake levels up past normal pool and according to their published schedule it appears to be staying above for the foreseeable future. Still alot of floating debris, especially after a very treacherous Saturday last week that saw several boats taking water over the bow. Four foot rollers are no joke on KentuckyLake.

You can view the lake levels:  Click Here

Only fished crappies two days this week but managed some quality fish. Pulled cranks in bays and main lake ledges with fair results. Most crappies came in about 16 feet of water about 12 feet down. Arkies blue shad and crappie colored 350 series crankbaits were the best producers.

Starting to see alot more bass boats fishing the main lake ledges although many fish are still being caught up shallow. Those that the toon has caught were while pulling crankbaits. Deep diving cranks, steelshad bladebaits and shaky head worms have been catching fish.

The full moon is here and the redear/bluegill bite is on! Look for spawning beds on gravel banks and you should find fish. Concentrate on the 2 to 5 foot range. Small Sheltons Phyllis bluegill bugs or Popeye jigs tipped with a cricket or redworm are doing the trick under a slip bobber. Waxworms and meal worms are working also. Everlasting Slip Bobbers are the only slip bobber that I use. We have used some light drop shot rigs with limited results. This cool front pushed them out a bit but persistence is paying off.

White bass
Whitebass have completed their spawn and are schooling in deep water on humps in the main lake and in the deep water bays. Ken’s Hybrid spinners and Steelshad bladebaits have been catching fish. Didn’t fish for them this week but had plenty while fishing for other species.

Catfish are still prespawn but are being caught from shallow to deep. Caught several on cranks this week and a few on crickets while chasing red ears. They are full of eggs that do not look ready to be dropped. They may be up shallow raiding spawning nests for the eggs and small fry to eat. I have started using some new rods from and they are the real deal! They have a full line of rod/reel combos and a great assortment of stinkbaits, hooks and other accessories for all your catfish needs so check em out. Waiting to yank a big cat up still but it’s gonna happen.

Niagara Fishing Forecast for Friday, May 20, 2016 by Bill Hilts Jr.

Tournament Week Kicks off into High Gear

1. Lake Ontario and tributaries – Lake Ontario Pro-Am Salmon Team Tournament Week is upon us, with the main event starting on Friday out of Wilson and Olcott. A total of 50 teams will be competing for some great cash prizes based on a unique scoring system. East wind continues to be a problem, but action finally turned on for some decent spring salmon fishing on Tuesday for many of the boats. Exact details are sparse because of the tournament, but many boats were catching fish between Wilson and the Niagara Bar, as well as east of Olcott. Decent kings, too, in the 20 pound class. A 31 pound king was caught off St. Catharines last weekend as the catch was flying around social media circles. In the Buffalo Sabres Alumni Charity Fishing Outing last Wednesday, a total of 24 boats hit the waters around Olcott. The captain guiding the crew to the biggest fish was Capt. Mark Vilardo with Kingfisher. His 19 pound, 3 ounce king took the top prize with numerous in the 18 pound class on other boats. It was a fun time had by all as the local fishery was showcased. Look for a mixed bag this weekend at the tournament weigh in at Krull Park at 2 pm each day. Check out for details. Marty Polovick of Lockport won the Grand Prize in the Lake Ontario Counties (LOC) Trout and Salmon Derby held May 6-15, reeling in a 26 pound, four ounce king salmon to take the $15,000 top prize. He also earned an extra $500 for big fish of the day and a check for $1,000 by catching the largest salmon by a Lake Ontario Trout and Salmon Assn. member. On the final weekend of the derby, the crew of Doug Parker of Lockport; Matt Dunn of Newfane; and Matt’s father, Marc Dunn of Lockport along with Polovick used an 8-inch Dreamweaver Spindoctor rigged with a white John King Baithead with a piece of Crowes Cut Bait (aka N&D Bait) to take the winning fish. They put their downrigger on the bottom in 100 feet of water. The lucky Laker Taker was Patrick Barber of Niagara Falls while fishing with his brother Richard (also from Niagara Falls) on Friday the 13th. They were trolling the Niagara Bar off the mouth of the Niagara River in 25 feet of water on the bottom when the 27 pound, 8 ounce fork tail hit their chartreuse holographic Kwikfish rigged with Hammerhead cowbells on the rigger. Big brown trout came from Oswego when Ryan Massey of Oriskany Falls reeled in a 16 pound, 2 ounce fish east of the harbor. First place walleye was weighed in by Tim Farmer of Dexter, an 11 pound, 14 ounce fish from Chaumont Bay.

2. Lower Niagara River – Devil’s Hole is the place to be for a mixed bag of fish, but with the closure of the gorge early in the week because of the transmission line removal, it forced guides down river to try and target other areas and other fish species. Kwikfish and minnows are the best baits to use. Mitch Grant of Virginia was showing off some of him new Rapid Fishing Solutions gear while fishing with Capt. Bruce Blakelock on Tuesday and they reeled in some nice smallmouth on tubes and swim baits. It won’t be long before the hard baits will be working on the smallies as those water temps were just starting to hit 50 degrees. We told you about the green can area working for the Killer B’s at the mouth of the river on lake trout. During the derby they reeled in over 100 lakers.

3. Upper Niagara River - There will be a Teach Me to Fish Clinic at Bison City Rod and Gun Club in Buffalo on Sunday, May 22 starting at 2 pm. Get there a little early for registration. Fish the harbors, inlets and creeks for a mixed bag of panfish and bass around Grand Island and along River Road. The Erie Canal is open for fishing now, too.

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

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Lake of the Woods MN Fishing Report by Joe Henry

The MN fishing opener presented cold weather and wind making fishing challenging at times but that didn't deter most anglers who chose 4 mile bay and the Rainy River to avoid some of the elements. Anglers fished various depths up to 28' on the main basin to find walleyes. Jigs tipped with minnows worked best. Colors that seemed to do better than others are gold, orange, pink, and chartreuse.

On the Rainy River, walleyes were caught from 4 mile bay all the to Birchdale, about 40 miles upstream. Most walleyes caught in 5-15 feet of water. Slow presentations worked best.  In some spots due to current, a 1/2 ounce jig  was required to reach bottom. Gold and bright colors worked best when tipped with a minnow.

Up at the NW Angle, resorts and guides are also on fish. 20-27 feet of water is producing eater walleyes. 1/4 ounce jigs in Pink and gold while tipped with a minnow is best right now. Lodging, guides, charters, area attractions and more from around the lake at

Joe Henry | Executive Director | Lake of the Woods Tourism |
m: 320-260-7727 | office: 800-382-3474 |

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