Latest Outdoor News and Reports October 5, 2016

If you have outdoor news, photos or reports that you'd like to share, send to



On the morning of October 1st, 2016, bass teams from 17 high schools loaded into 32 boats at William G. Stratton State Park in Morris, IL to fish the Illinois River. With the assistance of Rayjus Outdoors, the Illinois B.A.S.S. Nation, and Unique Bassmasters, the Oak Lawn Community High School Spartan Fishing Team was able to host the 2016 Rayjus Outdoors - Oak Lawn High School Bass Tournament.

As the teams began to roll into the park as early as 5:00am, over 90 high school anglers quickly assembled on the River. Each student that was participating in the tournament was given a gift bag full of fishing merchandise provided generously by Rayjus Outdoors. The gift bags included merchandise from companies such as Tournament Tackle, Jackall, Xcite Baits, Missile Baits, G. Loomis, Jackall, and more.

Once the 32 boat field was in the water, the tournament was off to a brisk start. Adrenalin was high amongst all the anglers. The morning temperatures were running in the mid 50’s and rain started two hours into the tournament. The conditions made for an ideal day of smallmouth fishing. By the end of the day, this tournament weighed in one of the heaviest bags of fish in the history of the tournament!

The dynamic duo from Oak Lawn Community High School, team captain Justin Sullivan and Bart Rafacz, put together a solid limit of smallmouth to project themselves to the win. The two-man team said they worked the bottom all day long; rarely diverting from that tactic. “We focused on fishing the bottoms of rock flats, using a few different approaches that proved to have worked” says Sullivan. “Finesse tubes and jigs played a key role in our success that led to a respectable limit.” Bart Rafacz stated, “The morning did start off slow. We only had one keeper in our well by the 8 o’clock hour, but fishing picked up and we were able to fire them up. When it was all said and done, we had well over 25 fish for the day, having to cull out about seven times.” The young anglers prevailed from the crowd with a tournament record 9.60lbs, beating out their hot seat competition by ounces.

Trust Say from Independent Bass Team 6 (Bolingbrook), caught the Bettenhausen Big Bass of the tournament, weighing in at 2.75lbs. “I made a long cast into the heart of the pads and started to work the frog back into the boat, and just as I started to reel it up to make another cast I saw a huge explosion on my frog! I set the hook as hard as I could and it ripped through the pads. After a few minutes of dealing with the pads and the fish we finally got it to the boat” says Say. For taking Bettenhausen Big Bass, Say was presented with a Big Bass Award and a Shimano Crucial casting rod and Shimano Caenan bait casting reel. Bart Rafacz of Oak Lawn HS caught the second largest bass (2.58lbs) and was awarded a G. Loomis E6X rod and the third largest bass (2.51lbs) was caught by Justin Bedeker of Seneca and he was awarded a Shimano Caenan baitcaster.

The top eight finishing teams from this event are now qualified for the Illinois B.A.S.S. Nation High School Championship which is to be held on Lake Springfield in June of 2017. Those teams include Oak Lawn, Minooka, Seneca, Downers Grove South, Manteno, Independent Bass Team 6, and Gardner- South Wilmington.

Jake McTeague of Oak Lawn Community High School was Creature Fish tournament winner. He won this event by catching a 2.06lbs channel catfish off shore.

This event would not be possible without our great sponsors and people who assisted the Spartan Fishing Team on this day. A special thanks to the Frank Labanowski and the Illinois B.A.S.S. Nation along with Unique Bassmasters for running an amazing weigh-in. Trophies and gift bags for this tournament were provided by Rayjus Outdoors, Tournament Tackle, Xcite Baits, Missile Baits, and more. Thanks to Frank Hyla and Shimano, G. Loomis, Jackall for Big Bass awards and to Bettenhausen Dodge for providing lunch to all the anglers!

If you are interested in fishing this tournament in 2017, please feel free to email Coach Kuchyt at for information.

This article was written by Oak Lawn Community High School junior and fishing team captain Justin Sullivan.

Illinois DNR News from Chris Young, IL DNR

Youth Deer Permits: Resident and non-resident Illinois Youth Firearm Deer permits are available over-the-counter (OTC) from DNR Direct license and permit vendors. The Youth Deer Hunt is Columbus Day weekend, Oct. 8-10, 2016. For more information: CLICK HERE

Blaze Orange Oct. 8-10: Archery deer hunters and all other hunters are reminded that they must comply with requirements to wear blaze orange in Illinois during the Youth Firearm Deer Hunt, Oct. 8-10 (except in counties closed to the youth deer season). That means all hunters afield on Oct. 8-10 must wear a blaze orange cap and upper garment with a minimum of 400 square inches of solid blaze orange material.

Resident Archery Deer Permits: Resident combination and antlerless-only archery deer permits are available over-the-counter (OTC) from DNR Direct license and permit vendors. Find a vendor link here: CLICK HERE

Non-Resident Archery Deer Permits: Illinois Non-Resident Archery Deer combination permits are available over-the-counter (OTC) from DNR Direct license and permit vendors. The Illinois Archery Deer Season continues through Jan. 15, 2017.

Firearm Deer Permits: Illinois Firearm Deer permits and Muzzleloader-only Deer permits remaining after this year’s lottery drawings will be available over-the-counter (OTC) from DNR Direct license and permit vendors beginning Oct. 18.

CWD Sampling: Deer hunters statewide in Illinois are encouraged to allow samples to be taken for chronic wasting disease (CWD) sampling from adult deer they harvest. For a list of locations that are serving as CWD sampling stations, taking samples from entire deer or deer heads from October 1, 2016 thru Jan. 20, 2017, click on this link:

Hunting and Trapping Digest: The Illinois Digest of Hunting and Trapping Regulations 2016-2017 edition is available in PDF format on the IDNR website:   CLICK HERE

Illinois Waterfowl Digest: Review this season’s Illinois waterfowl regulations with the Digest of Waterfowl Hunting Regulations 2016-2017, available online on the IDNR website at this link:  CLICK HERE

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.


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


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. 



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

Information as of:  10/03/2016


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.

Hakes and Andreas Win Evergreen Lake Muskies Inc. / IMTT Tournament by Duane Landmeier

The Quad County Hawg Hunters Chapter of Muskies Inc. of Plano, IL. Held a musky tournament on Evergreen Lake just north of Bloomington, IL. On September 24. The event was held in conjunction with the Illinois Muskie Tournament Trail. Several musky fishermen from all over the state participated. The bite was a bit slow but a few fish were caught. The ones that were coaxed into biting were very nice size however. Three of the muskies were over 40 inches which is a very nice musky for wherever you go musky fishing. Hats off to the Illinois Division of Fisheries for producing such a great musky fishery that we can all use. It was really a nice day to fish cloudy skies and comfortable temperatures throughout the day. The top baits used were spinnerbaits, Buck tails and small crankbaits.

The top four places were as follows:

1st Place Gary Hakes of Bloomington, IL. And Christian Andreas 32 inch and 42 inch.
2nd Place Kyle Kroening of Marion, IL. And Howard Chambliss of Mount Vernon, IL. 44.75 inch.
3rd Place Victor Fox of Waterman, IL. And Duane Landmeier of Hinckley, IL. 42 inch.
Big Fish Kyle Kroening a beautiful 44.75 incher.

Thanks to everyone for attending hope you all had fun.

This event was a fundraiser for the Muskies Inc. club. Any profits were going to be used to put towards the purchase of a fisheries trailer that is used to transport fingerlings to lakes and rivers around the state. The trailer is used for all species of fish.

Local Pond Report by Ken HUSKER O'Malley

Hey Don,  Bass have been good on area lakes. Top water baits at first light and spinner bait sin the evening have produced numbers. Bass have been running on the smaller side but action remains good despite the inconsistent weather.

Bass have slowed on Area rivers. Water levels have risen and water clarity is about 6 inches at best after recent rains over the past week.
Ken "Husker" O'Malley
Waterworks fishing team
Latest Salmon Unlimited Newsletter
To see the latest news and info from Salmon Unlimited, CLICK HERE
Lake Geneva Fishing Club News by Bob Clark

We Welcome New Members to the Lake Geneva Fishing Club

The Fishing Club of Lake Geneva is dedicated to promoting sport fishing for all species on Lake Geneva. We also encourage kids to fish, and the club sponsors an annual Kids Free Fishing Day as described on our Kids Day page. The club has season long outings and contests on Geneva. At the monthly meetings, we have speakers that include members along with expert fishing and electronics professionals. We meet at Cabela’s the second Wednesday of the month from March through November. We welcome all – men, women, and youth.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016 | 6:30 PM | Cabela’s | 5225 Prairie Stone Pkwy. | Hoffman Estates, IL 60192 | (847) 645-0400 | Speaker: Dave Floberg LGFC Member – 2015 Angler of the Year | Topic: October Is Football Season – Catching Football Sized Geneva Smallmouth

October means the smallmouth bass will have the feed bag on and your chances of catching many large fish will increase at this time of year.

Past President Dave Floberg has been fishing Lake Geneva regularly since 1999. Dave joined the club in 2007. Floberg’s success has earned him multiple awards as LGFC Angler of the Year. He wins many of the weekend outing contests the club holds on Geneva Lake.

Dave has had the opportunity to fish with many club members and hone his skills to be a successful angler on Lake Geneva. Floberg generously gives his time to new club members to help them learn how to fish Geneva. He will share his thoughts and techniques on getting those October FOOTBALL sized smallies in your net!

Walleyes Unlimited News by Bob Clark

Wisconsin Meeting: American Legion Greendale Post 416 | 6351 W. Grange Ave. | Greendale, WI 53129 | Date: Wednesday, October 12, 2016 | Speaker: Paul Delany - Late Eyes Sportfishing Guide Service, LLC | Topic: Shallow Water Walleyes

Charter Capt. Paul Delaney will be talking with us about Shallow Water Walleyes. Paul owns and operates Late Eyes Sportfishing Guide Service and is based out of Baileys Harbor in Door County, WI.

Paul practically lives on the water 12 months a year. He fishes for everything from bluegills through the ice to giant walleyes in the late fall. He fishes on the waters of Green Bay, Door County and Lake Michigan including Oconto, Marinette, Sturgeon Bay, Egg Harbor, Fish Creek, Sister Bay, the Menominee and Fox Rivers, Cedar River, MI and Little Bay De Noc, MI. This guy is on fish!

Paul has been featured in the following magazines; In-Fisherman, Mid-West Outdoors and Fishing Facts. He also has been featured on the television shows: In-Fisherman TV, Buck-Eyes Sportsman and is a regular on In-Depth Outdoors.

Certainly a wealth of knowledge and will undoubtedly be a great speaker to learn from and get some of those tough questions answered! For more information about Capt. Paul Delaney and Late Eyes Sportfishing Guide Service

Illinois Meeting: Gurnee American Legion | 749 Milwaukee Ave. | Gurnee, IL 60031 | Date: Wednesday, October 26, 2016 | Speaker: Andy Bushman – Bushman Sport-Fishing Team | Topic: Late Fall Fishing in Door County

Captain Andy grew up on Lake Michigan in Door County and was highly influenced by his parents. Andy developed a passion for fishing at a very young age & turned that passion into success, when he started fishing tournaments competitively.

Andy has multiple top 20 finishes in the Sturgeon Bay Open Bass Tournament (recently 9th place) and cashed a check in his first Masters Walleye Circuit event last August. He's also cashed several checks at the Door/Kewaunee County Salmon Derby. As a result of his success, Andy has joined Bass Pro Shops, Nitro Boats, Mercury Outboards, and Howie's Tackle Pro Staffs.

Andy came to Kenosha in 1998 to attend Carthage College and play baseball for the Carthage Redmen. After graduating he accepted a teaching position with the Kenosha Unified School District. He then earned his U. S. Coast Guard Captain’s License and established himself as a talented fishing guide and successful tournament angler. Andy is a devoted husband, father and an inspirational teacher, who enjoys sharing his fishing stories with his students. Likewise, Andy enjoys teaching and sharing his fishing expertise with you.

Andy is a wealth of knowledge for fishing the Door County area along with Salmon on the Lake Michigan side of the peninsula. His presentation will focus upon the bass & walleye at this time of year in northern Door County. Learn more about the Bushman Sport – Fishing Team at

Chicagoland Muskie Hunters News by Dean Rosset

Hi Guys-Summer was just here and now its fall!!
We meet the second Tues. of the month at Giuseppe’s La Cantina, 1062 Lee St, Des Plaines, IL. 7:30pm. Come join us——The Chicagoland Muskie Hunters (03) chapter of Muskies Inc. Meetings feature top speakers, fishing reports, favorite lake presentations by our members, muskie info sharing, door prizes and raffles. All are welcome!! Contact Dean—847-256-9322 or Learn how to catch a muskie, or more muskies, or larger muskies, - join MI. All are welcome! The Oct. 11 meeting will present Frank Jakubicek of the IDNR, muskie coordinator for northern Ill. Waters.
The Chicagoland Muskie Hunters full color Newsletter with color fish catch pictures, catch data, articles, info re meetings and outings is available to you. To receive this free Blue Ribbon column and to learn more about our chapter and Muskies Inc.--contact

Niagara USA Fishing Forecast for Wednesday, Oct. 5, 2016 by Bill Hilts Jr.

Lake Ontario and tributaries –A few fish are still being caught off the Olcott piers the last couple of nights on the lake side of the piers. While spoons are normal hardware for casting there, it was Rattletraps that made the difference of late.  Try skein under a float, too. A few slugs of salmon made it up into the harbor but no further than that according to reports. A few browns at the dam but only early in the morning at first light. Hopefully this rain that is in the forecast for Saturday will trigger some sort of a run in the creek at 18 Mile. Over in Wilson Harbor, there has been a good bite on northern pike. Try casting spinnerbaits. Wilson Pier is a good spot for browns, too, if we get some water flow coming out of the creek. Maybe this weekend.  If you want to make it out into the lake for some trolling action, the better bite has been out deep for a mix of immature kings and some trout. Spoons are the way to go. Anchoring up at the pier heads in Olcott is another option to try and cast for kings. Lake trout season ended on Sept. 30.

Lower Niagara River – The kings finally showed up in Devil’s Hole a bit more frequently. Capt. Steve Drabczyk of Lewiston is reporting a minimum of five kings every trip out. Secret to his success if the “magic eggs” that have been cured by his wife, Lisa at Creek Road Bait and Tackle. He uses three-way rigs and bounces bottom to take his fish. According to him he is out-fishing everyone! The NYPA Fishing Platform is still one of the best spots for a king salmon. Casting spoons, spinners or rattlebaits 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. Try up toward the Whirlpool area, too. Some action along Artpark on mixed species. River water temp was down to the 60’s. Bass fishing continues to be spotty. Some days are better than others. The south launch ramp at Fort Niagara is closed as of Oct. 3 for some work on the ramp, shoreline and the dock.

Upper Niagara River – Bass action should start to pick up as water temps start to cool down. Ditto for musky action. 

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

Sportfishing has a $30 million annual economic impact in Niagara USA!

Lake of the Woods Minnesota Fishing Report by Joe Henry

The fall bite is on.  Anglers are catching walleyes at many spots along the south shore including Long Point, Zippel Bay, Pine Island and the Lighthouse Gap. Key depths vary based on clarity of water and bait, but a good start is 20-24'. Jig and a minnow or frozen shiner is the go to with pink, chartreuse, and bubble gum the hot colors. Finding clean water is key to improving catch rate. Pulling spinners tipped with a minnow or trolling crankbaits have their place but most anglers finding success jigging.

The river is getting closer to prime time fall fishing as more shiners and walleyes move up river. It is showing improvement but it is not quite there yet. Jig and a minnow is producing some fish as river fishing ramps up. Sturgeon keep season ended September 30 and now we move to the catch and release season.

Up at the Northwest Angle the fish are chowing. Shiners are along points and in bays and the walleyes are right there with them. The areas between Flag Island and Oak Island, Little Oak Island, and Crowduck are holding lots of fish in the 8-15 foot range. On the Ontario side, crappies are electric. Finding deep holes with steep drop offs has been the go to near 30 feet deep. Walleyes are holding in 15-25 feet of water chasing emerald shiners. Jig and a minnow  with bright colors and gold. Troll for muskies in 8-15 feet with big swim baits as the beasts are stocking up for winter. Resorts, guides, and general info at

Joe Henry, Executive Director LOW MN Tourism


Leave a comment