Latest News and Reports July 20, 2016

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Local Pond Fishing Report by Ken HUSKER O"Malley

Hey Don, Larger bass have been good on area lakes. Focus on the outside weedlines utilizing a drop shot rig. A 4 inch bass pro shops tri-color worm is the bait of choice.

On the Calumet River, bass have been good pitching Texas rigged Berkley quad craws to shoreline wood. Key was focusing on the shaded shorelines. Pitching to outside weedlines also produced good numbers. TTYL

Ken "Husker" O'Malley
Waterworks fishing team

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:  07/16/2016LAKE LEVEL: 407.44      AVERAGE POOL FOR THIS DATE: 407.14     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.

Lake Shellbyville Fishing by Steve Welch

The water temps are creeping back up into the mid 80's and we've had little rain so the water color is still gin clear. The good news is that a slight thermocline is developing on the south end and this will drop the bait down to the many brush piles that have branches extending up into the thermocline. This will turn the crappie on and from now on the rest of the summer we are going to just hammer the crappie and start to see some big fish as well. This past week we limited out on crappie every day three or four limits and we saw some nice fish thirteen-inches plus. We have also been getting some big large mouth bass off the top of these deep brush piles most running four to five pounds. It is the crappie that we are chasing and every day we boated over a hundred this past week and nothing will change this week or for the next several weeks. SUMMER CRAPPIE ON FIRE!!!!!!!

We locate a deep brush pile in at least 15-20ft. of water then look at the very top depth of the branches and then set our slip bobber and minnow rig to run right by these branches using the slight breeze we always seam to get on Shelbyville due to its width. We catch several off that pile then move to the next one and repeat. By the end of the day we will have boated over a hundred crappie. This lake is chalked full of crappie. We use minnows and slip bobbers for a couple reasons. One is that I believe in getting away from fish that are such clear water and two the latteral movement of the minnows drifting right by their nose is irrestable. Plus we generally fish four from the boat and using slip bobbers is just easier.

Kentucky Lake Fishing Report by Capt. Rich Bay

Weather forecast is for highs in the mid to upper 90’s for the next week with scattered thunderstorms on some days. Pretty hot so bring alot of water and sunscreen for your ventures out in the lake (or beach!). With all the rain the area has experienced, up to 15 inches in about a week, water levels reached two feet above summer pool. This rain event and subsequent water level rise brought a lot of logs, leaves and garbage out into the bays. When the TVA started pulling water to reduce the lakes level, it brought all of this debris into the main lake. At this writing most of the debris is gone but there are new obstacles in the careful.

Lake conditions

Water temps are 85 degrees in the morning and warming up to about 89 degrees in the afternoons. Water color on the main lake is clear to about three feet. Levels are a bit above summer pool (359.0 elevation) but they are dumping a lot of water to bring the level down. This is causing a very good current which has helped increase the fishing!


Crappies have settled up into their normal pattern on the main lake. Pulling Arkie crankbaits has produced some nice fish. I have been varying my trolling speed between 1.6 and 2.1 mph. No one color seemed to be favored this week. Fishing the deeper bays over brush and stake-beds with minnows has also produced some good catches. Having to sort through a bunch of short fish to find keepers is a good/bad situation.


The summer ledge pattern has taken ahold on Kentucky Lake. Those that the toon has caught were while pulling crankbaits or tossing a Steel Shad bladebait and Ken’s hybrid inline spinners for whitebass. Swim baits, Steelshad bladebaits, shaky head worms and Texas rigged creature baits have been catching fish. A few bass fisherman have reported an early morning top water bite on buzzbaits and poppers also. Redear/Bluegill I did not get the chance to fish for gills and redears this week so I do not have a report.


The Whitebass are moving into their summer patterns as well. They are stacking up on river channels and deep flats mid lake. With the TVA generating electricity and dropping the lake level, Whitebass and Yellowbass have really picked up the bite! They seem to be feeding on a huge hatch of pin minnows that look like clouds on my Lowrance HDS12. We have caught a bunch on Steel Shad blade baits and Ken’s Hybrid spinners. Best tip for catching stripes is to always stay in contact with the bottom. We have been Rich’s wife Diane’s artwork Bob Adelsberger and Cap’n Rich both enjoyed a good Largemouth fight this week catching fish from on the bottom to ripping our lures up 6 to 8 feet off the bottom. They have been feeding very aggressively and there is nothing like a pound and a half Whitebass trying to yank the pole out of your hand!


Didn’t get a chance to fish for cats this week but caught a few while whitebass fishing. Saw a 5 gallon bucket overflowing with bluecats a couple days ago at Malcolm Creek Resort. I wasn’t able to get the catman to tell me where he caught them (of course!!) but he said he is using stinkbait in very deep water.

Captain’s Recommendation I had some minor repairs needed on my boat this past week and HiTec Outdoors came through for me. I highly recommend HiTec for any electronic, battery charger and trolling motor purchases and repairs. The HiTec crew diagnosed my charger problem as a lightning strike from the storms and got me back on the water the very next day! Great prices for new and used equipment and great installations in a timely manner. Zane Collins shows off one of his mess of Whites. Tiffany, Chance and Brian Stiff enjoyed a good day on the water. Blaine Collin’s Stripe might be a bit bigger than his brother’s... Front row: Vicki, Zane and John Collins. Back row: Ethan Vinardi and Blaine Collins


We want to thank Kick’n Bass Guide Service for a wonderful two days of fishing. Hopefully we made memories that are grandsons and their friend will remember for years to come. That’s what’s special for us, and we want to thank Rich for helping us do that. Anybody that wants to take a family group fishing, the way to go is on the pontoon boat. —Vicki C.

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A note from  Mercer Wisconsin by Tina Brunell, Mercer Chamber of Commerce 

The north end of Iron County, Wisconsin, especially the shores of Lake Superior and our neighboring communities suffered some major destruction from a storm that hit this past Monday night. Our hearts are heavy as we know it will be a long road ahead to rebuild all the roads, homes and Saxon Harbor itself. Our Community is coming together like we always do and will recover from this devastation over time.

Thank you to everyone that has expressed concern and offered to help.

Fortunately, the Mercer area in southern Iron County remained untouched. Since Iron County relies heavily on tourism for our economy, we want to let our summer visitors know they can and should continue to come up to this pristine area.  This is a great way you, as a visitor, can help and support Iron County during the rebuild process. Mercer has beautiful resorts, cabins, & motels, restaurants, and outdoor recreation that can be enjoyed as it always has been. Throughout our 240 inland lakes including the famous 14,000 acre Turtle Flambeau Flowage we offer  some of the best fishing experiences, scenic waterways,  island camping, ATV/UTV trails, and hiking /biking trails.

Come vacation with us and create memories to last a lifetime. Tina Brunell- Executive Director Mercer Area Chamber of Commerce

Niagara Fishing Forecast for Friday, July 15, 2016 by Bill Hilts Jr.


1.       Lake Ontario and tributaries – Action on Lake Ontario continues to be very good for trout and salmon trollers working out of the mouth of the river, Wilson and Olcott. In the Lake Ontario Trout and Salmon Association’s King Salmon Tournament last weekend, Fisherman's Daughter came away with the win for big fish – 27 pounds 14 ounces and the 3-2-3 win with 65.56 pounds for three fish! Impressive totals. Capt. Matt Yablonsky of Wet Net Charters has been doing great all week. Last weekend this was his hot set-up on the Niagara Bar. Morning bite was in 190-205 feet of water around the red can, 40-60 down and an all-spoon bite. Early afternoon bite was 140-150 feet of water but closer to the Canadian line, 55-80 feet down down with still mostly a spoon bite. Silver Streak lures were taking most bites. Afternoon/early evening bite was 100-150 feet of water on the ledge. Tried to turn a few but was never able to. He ended up by 4 mile. He couldn't keep his spin doctor and A-Tom-Mik flies in the water. Afternoon matures all came on flies. There has been a good mix of fish off Olcott 40 to 50 feet down over 80 to 100 foot depths. Spoons or flasher-fly rigs. Of course you can also fish out deep over 300-plus feet of water for a mixed bag of salmon and steelies. Stephen Liebler of Williamsville reeled in a 30.02 pound salmon earlier in the week to take over the lead in the Salmon Division on a flasher-fly. Larry Wills of Lewiston is still leading for the Grand Prize with a 30 pound, 15 ounce fish. Wade Winch of North Tonawanda is still the top steelie catcher, but Alfonse Gouker of Pennsylvania got close Sunday with a 17 and a half pound steelhead weighed in at The Slippery Sinker. Bob Turton of Sanborn lost hold of the lake trout lead when Ephriam Burt weighed in a 24 pound, three ounce fish in the eastern basin around Henderson Harbor. First place brown is still 17.06 pound brown trout caught out of Wilson by Thomas Gies of Ann Arbor, Michigan. The derby continues to July 31 and the website to follow the action is

2.       Lower Niagara River – Moss is slowly starting to dissipate and bass are starting to cooperate a bit more. The Niagara River Anglers Assn. Bass Contest is Saturday, July 23 and you can sign up at Creek Road Bait and Tackle.  Crayfish and shiners are the best live baits; tubes and drop shot rigs for artificials.

3.       Upper Niagara River – While bass numbers have been decent, bass size has been smaller for the Bassmaster pros fishing the bracket tournament right now. Catch some of the live action at The two top fish catchers going into Thursday action was Kevin Van Dam and Brett Hite with 20 pounds 8 ounces and 21 pounds, 14 ounces respectively. Action continues through Friday. The Erie Canal Fishing Derby is over as far as the fishing is concerned but the real excitement will take place at the Awards Ceremony on Sunday in Gasport at the fire hall starting at 3 pm. The unofficial leaders for the different divisions are: Here’s some of the leaders so far: Ron Robel of Wheatfield with a 8.4  sheepshead; Craig Udell of Gasport with a 19.9 pound carp; Patty Young of Kent with a 9-plus pound catfish; Albert Whaley of North Tonawanda with a 7.9 pound pike; Shawn West of Lockport with a 3.58 pound walleye; Joe Cwiklinski of Depew with a 2.9 pound bullhead; and John Justice of North Tonawanda with a 3.8 pound bass. The website is


1. Lake Ontario and tributaries – Fishing in Lake O. continues to be as hot as the weather – really! Capt. Dan Evans of Lone Wolf Charters in Wilson reports fishing was great earlier in the week – lots of kings and steelhead from 120 to 350 feet of water. He found good temperature from 60 to 75 feet down so he was setting riggers at 45-60-75 feet using spoons in black and glo, green and glo down deeper; orange and silver up higher. Off the divers, he was running green dot spin doctors and hammer flies or white glo spinnies and hammer flies. He’ll also run copper, using spoons to entice the fish to hit way back behind the boat. He will run lures back from 200 to 350 feet with copper. Over in Olcott, mature kings have been inside of 200 foot depths according to Wes Walker with The Slippery Sinker. Good mix of steelhead and salmon are being reported. You can also head out deeper to 350-450 feet of water with steelhead and cohos in the top 50 feet; the bigger kings below 60 foot depths with spoons or flasher-fly. Smallmouth bass, perch, rockbass and pike are all being caught in the harbors. The Lake Ontario Counties Trout and Salmon Summer Derby is producing some nice fish, many from right here in Niagara County. While it’s still early in the game for a contest that runs through the 31st, Niagara County has jumped out of the starting gates after the first week to lead every single category. Based on the new structure for the summer competition, every one of the current leaders has already earned some early cash. Larry Wills of Lewiston won $1,000 for the biggest salmon during the first week of action with his grand prize-leading 30 pound, 15 ounce king out of Wilson. Other species categories earning $250 each were steelhead, led by Wade Winch of North Tonawanda, with a 17 pound, 10 ounce fish; Bob Turton of Sanborn with a 23 pound, 7 ounce lake trout; and Tom Gies of Ann Arbor, Michigan with a 17 pound, 6 ounce brown trout – all caught out of Niagara waters. Of course, it’s a new week and new anglers can try to cash in. Check out the leaderboard at You have to be in it to win it! That’s a hard lesson to learn and we hear it every derby. This time it was customers of Capt. Paul Czarnecki of Tri-State Charters who caught a 32 pound salmon. They weren’t it. This weekend is the LOTSA In-Club Tournament (July 16) and the Curt Meddaugh Memorial event (July 15). Check out for details.

2. Lower Niagara River – Moss is still an issue for anglers casting and drifting the section of water below Niagara Falls. Hopefully it will be gone by the time the Niagara River Anglers Association’s smallmouth bass contest is here, set for July 23. Don’t have any of the details yet so your best bet is to contact tournament coordinator Ed Garcia at 870-5318 for more info.

3. Upper Niagara River-Erie Canal – Bass are your best option still and moss seems to be getting better. Just in time for some unique fishing to take place. The Bassmaster Bracket Tournament is July 19-22 on the upper river between the north Grand Island Bridge and the Peace Bridge – no Canadian waters. It should be interesting. Weigh in will take place in live time right on the boats, of which there will only be eight. Check out the website at Another big contest going on right now is the 26th Annual Erie Canal Fishing Derby, ending on Sunday, July 17th. Like with all of these contests, some really nice fish are being caught and the leaderboard can change overnight. Here’s some of the leaders so far: Ron Robel of Wheatfield with a 8.4  sheepshead; Craig Udell of Gasport with a 20 pound carp; Patty Young of Kent with a 9-plus pound catfish; Albert Whaley of North Tonawanda with a 7.9 pound pike; Phyllis Whaley of North Tonawanda with a 2.5 pound walleye; Joe Cwiklinski of Depew with a 2.9 pound bullhead; and John Justice of North Tonawanda with a 3.8 pound bass. The derby ends Sunday night at 9 pm. The website is    

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

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Lake of the Woods MN Fishing  Report by Joe Henry

Guides and anglers had an unbelievable week. Fish are feeding and there are limits to be had. Many resorts are downrigging and pulling crankbaits. Jig fishing and drifting spinners are also putting fish in the box. Schools of fish in the middle of the lake in 28-32 feet being targeted by jiggers and crankbaiters continues to heat up. Gold and silver colors have been strong. White baits also working because walleyes are targeting schools of tulibees. A strong bite along the south shore appears at times as well. On the Rainy River, some walleyes are being caught near the mouth of the river and into four mile bay. Water clarity continues to be an issue as it seems to rain every couple days. Jig and minnow remains best option for catching walleyes with some anglers using a bottom bouncer paired with a stick bait as well. Most anglers fishing the lake.

Great smallmouth bass bite up and down the river. Sturgeon "keep" season is now open through Sep. 30th. Up at the NW Angle, water temperature is near 73 degrees. The north and west side of Little Oak has been producing good numbers of saugers and walleyes in depths of 25 to 30 feet. Work the offshore reefs and humps using spinners and bottom bouncers with crawlers, or a jig and minnow combination, as the majority of fish have moved off the larger islands onto the mid-lake structure. The southwest side of Oak and the areas around Four Blocks were also good producers this week. Gold, pink and orange are top color choices. On the Canadian side, the offshore reefs and humps around Bishop Bay, Deepwater Bay, and Massacre Island have been giving up fish in 18-30 feet.

Muskie action is on fire with some fish topping 50 inches. Shallow rocks seems best with bucktails and topwater baits. Smallie, pike action strong and a emergence of jumbo perch this week. Resorts, guides, and local events at c

Joe Henry | Executive Director | Lake of the Woods Tourism |
Office: 800-382-3474 |

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