Outdoors News and Reports, September 27

If you have any fishing or hunting reports,  or photos to share, please send them to iloutdoors@comcast.net

Photos are at the end of this blog.

Wildcat Lake Muskies from Sandy Ferron

Hi Don.....  Here are the photos that you asked me to send you.  Let me know if you make me rich and famous.... lol
The  photo by the kayak is the 39" musky, and the ones on the boat are the 36" musky.  Both caught in Big Kitten. (and released)
It was a great weekend.  Bill and I enjoyed meeting and getting to know you and Judy.  You guys will be a great asset to the resort!

Thanks,  Sandy

First Annual Walleye Classic in Boulder Jct., WI

The Boulder Junction Lions Club will host their 1st Annual Walleye Classic on Friday, October 7 and Saturday, October 8 on fourteen Boulder Junction area lakes and invite the area anglers to this event.

This is a catch and release tournament with awards being given to the teams catching the most total inches:

  • 1st place, $300 per team
  • 2nd place $200 per team
  • 3rd place $150 per team. 

The tournament will begin with orientation at 9am on Friday, October 7 at the Boulder Junction Community Center. Coffee and donuts will be served and anglers will pick-up their registration materials for Friday fishing, which is from 10am to 6pm.

Saturday fishing continues from 7am to 4pm and the day will close with tournament awards, raffle prizes winners announced and a fish fry at Headwaters Restaurant and Tavern. The cost to participate is $100 per two-person team and includes the fish fry dinners.

Anyone can get into the action by purchasing the Lions Walleye Classic raffle tickets for these fabulous prizes!

  • Grand Prize of a St. Croix Avid 7’ Medium Light Fast Action Tip Spinning Rod with a Daiwa Revros 2500H reel
  • 2nd place is $100
  • 3rd place $50 Boulder Bucks

There are many more really great prizes like a Milwaukee Tool portable drill set.  Tickets can be purchased for 6/$5 at Northern Highland Sports, Gooch’s A-1 Bar and Grill, Boulder Junction Chamber of Commerce, the Boulder Bear Motor Lodge or by contacting Bob Bertch at 715-385-2711. You do not need to be present to win.

100% of the proceeds will support the Boulder Junction Lions Club local programs. 

Rules, regulations and entry form can be found here: http://boulderjct.org/event/boulder-junction-lions-club-walleye-classic/ . For more information, contact tournament coordinator Bob Bertch at macooa@centurytel.net or (715) 385-2711.

A note on Doves and Ducks from Rooster Heaven Hunt Club

First of all we want to thank all of you that hunted doves this year on opening day it was fantastic this year with morning hunts all finished by 10:00 am! A quick fact on doves. According to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the HIP program, the 2015 U.S. population of mourning doves was a staggering 274,000,000 birds! Annual harvest is approximately 14,000,000. A 4 tear old dove is ancient. Most live 1.5 to 2.5 years old.


Enjoy a great Duck Hunt at Rooster Heaven before the actual season opens.  Members shoot ducks at a discount.  Non members shoot ducks at members cost! Lunch and cleaning also included! (breasted ducks only) What a great way to sharpen your shooting skills for when you get into your own blind. This is also a great opportunity to polish up that retriever as well before the waterfowl season gets underway!

We are also ready for pheasant season if you are! Beautiful pheasants of all colors! We know your dogs are ready! Call T.Cope (Field Operations Manager) at (630)-669-0163 for reservations!

Rooster Heaven Hunt Club
12330 North 2900 East Road
Forrest, IL 61741
Phone (815) 832-4327
Mobile (630) 669-0163

Kentucky Lake Fishing Report from Captain Rich Bay
Your fishing report for September 26, 2016 from the deck of the Kick’n Bass pontoon

This has been the best fishing week for crappies since last spring! The crappies and other fish are moving towards their autumn places and the bigger fish are moving in. Have been catching fish anywhere from main lake to inside the bays. Weather forecast is for highs in the mid 80’s for the next week with scattered thun-derstorms on some days. Nighttime lows are mid 60’s. This cooler air and longer nights will really turn on all the fish as they feed for the winter. The humidity will be more tolerable now with the later sunrises and earlier sunsets. Water levels are on a slow downfall as the TVA is lowering the lake towards winter pool. Doing a lot of moving from place to place until we find feeding fish has helped. Pulling crankbaits on the toon has been a great way to cover a lot of water and has been producing a mixed bag of fish.

Lake conditions
Water temps are 82 degrees in the morning and warming up to about 85 degrees in the afternoons. This should drop to the high 70’s shortly which means Crappie time!! Water color on the main lake is clear to about 3 feet. Levels are at 355.8 about 3 feet under summer pool (359.0 elevation) and they are not pulling much water at this time. TVA chart shows water levels dropping to 355.3 by the 30th.
You can view the lake levels here: tva.gov/Environment/Lake-Levels/Kentucky

Crappies are really starting to pick up! The fish are moving in spite of the water being a bit warmer than usual for this time of year. The big fish are following the smaller fish in and this has been reflected in our catch, the sizes are increasing. Got the chance to fish with some great folks this week and we had a ball! Main colors for our crankbaits have been all pink and some mixed colors that have included pink. Chartreuse and sun perch have also caught their fair share of fish. I have been trolling at 1.8 miles an hour and us-ing arkie 350’s mainly... good luck!

Whitebass and Yellowbass are scattered on river channels and shallow flats mid lake. Also in some of the deeper bays. We haven’t fished for them in a while but we have caught quite a few. The yellows seem to be all over the lake right now. They have really put on the feed bag.

The ledge pattern is still working but the bass are moving towards the secondary points. The bite has been steady and some big fish have been caught. Working main lake and secondary points with creature baits has taken fish. Some top water action has been good on summer days. Purple ribbon tails 10 inches long have done well along with green pumpkin crawfish soft plastics.

Caught a few cats while pulling crankbaits this week. Most catfishers have been fishing anywhere from real shallow to real deep. Minnows have taken fish along with stink baits and crawlers. Went out on my own and used rods, reels, terminal tackle and some ex-perimental cubed baits from rippinlips.net and caught some bluecats and channel cats. Give them a try.

I didn’t fish for gills and redears this week, but we did catch several in 12 feet of water on crankbaits.

Captain Rich’s Fishing Tip
Keep varying your speed and colors and depths until you pinpoint the best areas to fish. If you find there is no fish where you are then you just narrowed your fishing area. As long as you remember where they ain’t, it’ll make it easier to figure out where they are! This plan of attack should increase your odds of better numbers of fish caught.

We had a great time visiting and catching fish. We want to book for next year!
—Thanks, Toni and Tom C., St. Louis Area

Captain Rich

Kentucky Dam Village Campground News

Campground Halloween Weekend - Fun for the whole family with hayrides, trick or treating, campsite decorating/costume contests, campfire tales, crafts, and games. Make campsite reservations at KY Dam Campground Reservations. Periodic activities will start Friday night and end Saturday night. Please remember to supply candy for trick or treating. Call 270-362-4276 x412 for details.

Kentucky Dam Village | (800) 325-0146|

Local Ponds by Ken HUSKER O'Malley

Hey Don, Bass on areas lakes have been very good. Work top water baits early morning hours before sun rises over tree tops. Cast parallel to the shorelines to cover as much water as possible. Once the top water bite slows, start pitching jigs along inside and outside weedlines. Work the jig aggressively to trigger reaction strikes. Pitching into weed mats late in the morning will produce a few as well. TTYL

Ken "Husker" O'Malley
Water Werks Fishing Team

Rend Lake Fishing Report by Randy Cordray

LARGEMOUTH BASS Good Minnows spinner baits, worms, and black and blue jigs. Reports of fish being caught around Jackie Branch, Sandusky Cove, and below the dam. Fish in shallow bays near brush cover and bushes. Fish around bridges and along the rocks 14” minimum length limit, 6 daily creel limit. 1 fish daily creel limit in PONDS 14” minimum length.
CRAPPIE Excellent Meal worms. Small & medium minnows. Quarter-ounce pink and white tub jigs. From shore, fish near structures, hot spots are Jackie Branch, Sandusky, Sailboat Harbor, Marcum coves, and Ina Boat Ramp. Try the Gun Creek Area. Fish the main lake drop off areas. 25 fish daily creel limit with no more than 10 fish 10 inches or longer
BLUEGILL Good Small jigs, worms, meal worms, wax worms, crickets. From shore try Sailboat Harbor. Try fishing shallow with crickets, worms or small jigs. Fish in the back of necks and on flat shallow banks and on the rocks. 10 fish daily creel limit in PONDS. 
CHANNELCATFISH Excellent Large minnows, leeches, Hoss’s Hawg Bait, night crawlers, and Sonny’s stink bait. Try leeches in moving water.  Drift fish the flats. Set line 3-4’ from the shore over rocks. Try the Waltonville Dam, Turnip Patch, Jackie Branch, and North Sandusky Day Use Area. 6 fish daily creel limit in PONDS.Jugs must be attended at all times while fishing.
WHITE BASS Good In-line spinners, jig and curly tail grubs. Reports of fish being caught around the 154 bridges. Fish around along the rocks and drop-offs Fish in shallow bays near brush cover and bushes. 20 fish creel limit.No more than 3 fish 17” or longer daily

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.

Illinois Fall Trout Season Opens October 15 from Chris Young IL DNR

The 2016 Illinois Fall Trout Fishing Season will open on Saturday, Oct. 15 at 53 ponds, lakes, and streams throughout the state.

Two weeks prior to the fall trout opener, the Fall Catch-and-Release Fly Fishing-only Season will open at nine sites (locations marked with an asterisk (*) in the list below) on Saturday, Oct. 1.  Fly fishing anglers can use fly fishing gear to catch and release trout beginning Oct. 1 at those 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. 15.

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.15. 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. 15 – 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: http://dnr.illinois.gov/DNRDirectMonitor/VendorListing.aspx

Fishing licenses and trout stamps can also be purchased by using a credit card through DNR Direct online via the IDNR website at www.dnr.illinois.gov, 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.

The 53 locations that will be open for Fall Trout Fishing Season are listed below:

2016 Illinois Fall Trout Locations
(* Denotes Sites Open for Catch-and-Release Fly Fishing-Only Early Season)

• Bureau County: Hennepin Canal Parkway
• Cook County: Axehead Lake, Cook County Forest Preserve District
• Cook County: Belleau Lake, Cook County Forest Preserve District
• Cook County: Busse Woods North, Cook County Forest Preserve District
• Cook County: Green Lake, Cook County Forest Preserve District
• Cook County: Wolf Lake, Wm. Powers Conservation Area
• DuPage County: Silver Lake, DuPage County Forest preserve District
• Jo Daviess County: Apple River, Apple River State Park (*)
• Kankakee County: Bird Park Quarry, Kankakee
• Kankakee County: Rock Creek, Kankakee River State Park (*)
• Kendall County: Big Lake at Silver Springs State Fish and Wildlife Area
• Lake County: Banana Lake, Lake County Forest Preserve District
• Lake County: Sand Lake, Illinois Beach State Park
• LaSalle County: Illinois and Michigan Canal, Lock 14, La Salle-Peru
• McHenry County: Spring Grove Hatchery Pond
• Ogle County: Pine Creek, White Pines Forest State Park (*)
• Rock Island County: Prospect Park
• Warren County: Citizen’s Lake
• Whiteside County: Centennial Park Pond, Rock Falls
• Will County: Lake Strini
• Will County: Van Horn Woods

• Adams County: Siloam Springs State Park Lake (*)
• Cass County: Gridley Lake at Jim Edgar Panther Creek SFWA (*)
• Christian County: Manners Park Pond, Taylorville Park District
• Coles County: Eastern Illinois University Campus Pond, Charleston
• Douglas County: Villa Grove West Lake
• Hancock County: Horton Lake, Nauvoo State Park (*)
• Macon County: Rock Springs Pond
• Macoupin County: Beaver Dam Lake
• McDonough County: Argyle Lake
• Morgan County: Morgan Lake, Nichols Park, Jacksonville (*)
• Sangamon County: IDOT Lake, Springfield (*)
• Sangamon County: Southwind Park Pond, Springfield
• Sangamon County: Washington Park Pond, Springfield
• Shelby County: Forest Park Lagoon, Shelbyville
• Tazewell County: Mineral Springs Park Lagoon
• Vermilion County: Clear Lake, Kickapoo State Recreation Area

• Bond County: Greenville Old City Lake
• Crawford County: Crawford County Conservation Area Pond #6
• Jefferson County: Mount Vernon Game Farm Pond
• Johnson County: Ferne Clyffe State Park Lake
• Madison County: Highland Old City Lake
• Marion County: Boston Pond, Stephen A. Forbes State Park
• Massac County: Fairgrounds Pond, Fort Massac State Park, Metropolis
• Randolph County: Derby Lake, World Shooting and Recreational Complex, Sparta
• Randolph County: Randolph County Lake
• Saline County: Jones State Lake Pond
• St. Clair County: Frank Holten State Recreation Area main lake
• St. Clair County: Jones Park Lake, East St. Louis
• St. Clair County: Willow Lake, Peabody River King State Fish and Wildlife Area (*)
• Wabash County: Beall Woods Lake, Beall Woods State Park
• Wayne County: Sam Dale State Fish and Wildlife Area Trout Pond
• Williamson County:  Devil’s Kitchen Lake

Niagara Fishing Forecast for Thursday, September 23, 2016


Lake Ontario and tributaries – On the eve of National Hunting and Fishing Day activities for this weekend, it looks like there will be plenty of things going on to see and do. If you want to wet a line, the Niagara Bar is still a place to be for a salmon bonanza … if the forecasted northeast wind doesn’t do too much damage to the waters. It looks like a beautiful weekend otherwise and the Niagara Bar is holding mature kings getting ready to run up the Niagara … we hope! Target the red can at the drop off to take your salmon, using flasher-fly, cut bait or spoons. J-plugs will also work for you. Just get your baits into the fish zone using downriggers, dipsy divers, lead core line – whatever it takes. Capt. Frank Campbell of Niagara Region Charters took his 20-foot Lund out to the drop and used dipsy divers to take five nice kings by employing spin doctors and flies behind his dipsy divers. It proved to be much better than trying to drift for kings in Devil’s Hole, trying to satisfy customers looking to catch a salmon. Over in Wilson and Olcott, brown trout are starting to show up in small numbers. Ditto for kings in Olcott. A small slug of salmon showed up in the harbor but not at the dam yet. There are a few fish around there, but nothing to write home about. Bass fishing has been better. Don’t forget that the King of the Creek salmon contest is being run by All in the Same Boat Tackle from Sept. 23 to Nov. 6. There is a boat and a shore category. Call 638-4158 for more info. There was a good turnout at the special DEC meeting held in Lockport last Monday. For a position paper on this, check outwww.dec.ny.gov. Make your comments by Sept. 30 at fwfishlo@dec.ny.gov.

Lower Niagara River – Anxious anglers are waiting in force to try and catch these king salmon in the last stages of their lives. The NYPA Fishing Platform is one of the hotspots for your best chance for a king salmon. Casting spoons, spinners or crankbaits can catch fish, but the best is yet to come. Other shore anglers have been using spoons, spinners and jigs to take a mix of fish, including bass and walleye. River water is still 74 degrees. Bass fishing has been spotty. Some days are better than others. Look for the active fish by moving around the river and the green can at the mouth. Live bait like shiners will work; tubes and Ned rigs will catch some fish, too. With the NYPA Wildlife Festival going on Sept. 24-25, co-sponsored by the Niagara County Federation of Conservation Clubs, remember that there’s also a kids fishing contest that’s part of the Festival. Just catch a fish in Niagara County and bring it to the scales at the NRAA fishing pond. Lots to see and do from 10 am to 5 pm each day. It’s free and a great family activity.

Upper Niagara River – A few musky were active the past week, but you really might want to wait until water temperatures come down a bit before you start putting any heavy pressure on them. Ryan Shea of the Brookdog Fishing Company had been focusing on bass this week, but he still had a couple follows on his fly while casting the upper river areas. Bass action continues to be fair to good, depending on the day and the conditions. Be careful around the Canadian boundary and don’t venture across that line without calling in. Abide by the bait regulations, too.


  1. Lake Ontario and tributaries – An important meeting is being held this Monday, September 19 at Cornell Cooperative Extension Niagara, 4487 Lake Avenue, Lockport starting at 6:30 pm. If you are a Lake Ontario drifter, troller or tributary fisherman, you’ll want to attend this meeting. Members of DEC will be discussing what their proposed plans are for 2017 when it comes to salmon and trout stocking, based on recent forage base assessments. This is your opportunity to listen to the proposal and voice your concerns. On Sept. 23, the King of the Creek salmon contest – from both boat and shore – is being run by All in the Same Boat Tackle, 2911 Lockport-Olcott Road, Newfane through November 6. Call 638-4158 for more info or visit www.abstackle.com. And speaking of salmon, one of the hottest spots has been the Niagara Bar at the drop off. Salmon are stacked up there like you wouldn’t believe. Capt. Mike Johannes of On the Rocks Charters out of Wilson went 15 for 18 matures last Saturday on the Niagara Bar before the wind picked up and cut the day short.  Fish were in 80 to 200 feet of water down 50 to 80 feet on wire divers set on 3 out 160 to 180.  Out of the 15 boated, 14 were caught on meat behind large flashers and twinkie rigs.  His best flasher was a white King’s Flasher.  He also caught some on white/green Bechhold flashers.  When running the larger flashers, a speed of 2.2 to 2.4 is best.  They were marking a lot of fish and quite a bit of bait when they were there. Olcott also has a fair number of fish hanging inside of 80 feet of water according to Wes Walker at the Slippery Sinker. Plugs, cutbait and flasher-fly are working there for matures. They are starting to pick up a few off the piers and some browns, too. Browns off the piers in Wilson, as well, with spoons. Both harbors have a mix of warm water fish. A few trout and salmon have been caught at the dam, but mostly warm water fish have been hanging around.
  2. Lower Niagara River – Salmon numbers are slowly starting to increase for the shore guys. A few have been caught on spoons; some have been caught on spinners. Rattlebaits will also work for you. NYPA Platform casters are out-producing the boaters right now as far as salmon in the river. That said, the boaters are still doing well on bass and walleye – especially downriver and on the bar. Worm harnesses for the walleye; tubes and live bait for the bass. Capt. Randy Lingenfelter reports that fishing has been good with soft baits and crayfish if you still can find them. B.A.S.S. pro Ray Van Horn fished on his boat recently, throwing Strike King Soft Baits doing very well. Baby Rage Craw in three inch. They were catching 25 to 30 fish a day. One of his charters caught a 6.5 lb. smallie last week. Several local media were in town last weekend and managed to get some decent smallmouth bass. The New York Power Authority’s Wildlife Festival, held at the Visitor Center, 5777 Lewiston Road, Lewiston will be Sept. 24 and 25 from 10 am to 5 pm both days. Everything is free! This is the area’s version of National Hunting and fishing day and the event is co-sponsored by the Niagara County Federation of Conservation Clubs. Get ready to have a great weekend!
  1. Upper Niagara River – Bass are still the best thing to go after with tubes, spinnerbaits or live bait like crayfish and shiners, fished off three-way rigs. Know where you are at all times in the river because there are severe restrictions in Canadian waters – on bait and on calling in before you venture across the line … or is it as you cross the line … or is it when you are in Canadian waters. Not quite sure because we’ve been getting different answers from different people.

Bill Hilts, Jr. - Director, Outdoor Promotions - Niagara Tourism & Convention Corporation
website | facebook | twitter | blog

Lake of the Woods Minnesota Report by Joe Henry

Walleyes and Saugers continue to move closer to the south shore. Good fishing in 23 feet of water outside the Lighthouse gap and all along the south shore. Shiner minnows in the area keeping large schools of walleyes active! The bite will continue to improve in the coming weeks. Anchoring and jigging with a shiner minnow successful with gold or pink/gold the colors of choice. Some crankbait action in the afternoons to cover water to find active schools. Lots of ducks and geese in the area as local waterfowl still around. Should expect a good northern push in a few weeks as it gets colder.

The Rainy River continues to get better each day as more shiners and walleyes push into the river. Fall walleye fishing on the Rainy River can be some of the best! Sturgeon are being boated up and down the river daily.

Up at the Northwest Angle, walleye and sauger action is hot. Drifting with a bottom bouncer, spinner, and a minnow doing great. Anchoring and jigging with a minnows doing good as well. Look for deep holes and mud areas in 18-30 feet between Oak and Flag Island. Also look for points with depths of 8-18 feet as shiners have started moving into bays. On the Ontario side, walleye fishing is red hot as the feed bags are on to bulk up for the winter. Use electronics to locate schools of fish in 18 to 28 feet and use a jig and minnow. Bottom bouncers with spinners can be used to cover water to locate fish. Crappies over 15 inches are stacked up in sharp drop offs and around flooded timber in 30 feet. Muskie action has turned to trolling large minnow baits in 10-18 feet. Plenty of waterfowl in area with local birds still around. Resorts, guides, and general info at LakeoftheWoodsMN.com

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


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