Outdoor News and Reports

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Photos are at the end of this blog post.

Chicago River Fishing Report by Capt. Pat Harrison

THIS WEEK - Only spent one day on the water with it being Thanksgiving week Enjoyed time with the family. I had a trip cancel for 11/19 I was already on the water so I fished a few hours hit the walls and wood as usual and caught some fish. I was fishing 1/4 “ to 1/64 jigs with a twister tail or small plastics etc. some tipped with a waxy or minnow.  Fish were about 6’ down in 12’ to 14’ of water. Most fish came on a slow drop and it was a mix of Gills, Sunfish, Crappie, Bass, White Bass and a couple Perch. It was fun it was like ice fishing without the ice.  This is the time of year to start downsize and start thinking like your ice fishing.

This is Transition time Fish are putting on the feed bag but are looking for an easy meal. They don’t want to exert energy to chase a lot of baits they are looking for an easy meal to bulk up for a long cold winter under ice in most places. That’s one of the reasons I fish river systems there are rivers that do not freeze hard were a small boat or a barge can break them up.  We can still throw some baits and get fish to go because these water are in the mid to upper 30’s even into the 40’s in some areas.

LAST WEEK - One trip last week weather was a bit tough for clients. Surface temps were 49 to 53 degrees and a bit warmer at discharges. We caught fish  Bass in the 12” to 16”  Crappie Gils Sunfish a few cats. Downsizing baits is the trick for this time of year fish are putting on the feed bag for winter and will take a small bait quick because it’s easy no energy needed. Start to think about the baits that catch fish through the ice small and easy.

 I am planning on headed south a bit to 95th   street and chase some Perch this week then would like to head up toward Evanston heard about some good fishing up there. I am planning on fishing the Chicago and Illinois rivers all winter in different spots. If  you’re  looking a  Great gift for the angler in your family thinking about getting them a gift certificate for a Great River Trip.

Thanks Capt. Pat

Local Pond Report by Ken HUSKER O'Malley

Hey Don,   Area lakes are still producing good numbers of bass and crappie. Live bait has been the way to go. Work roaches under a slip float worked along the outside weedlines during early morning hours. Using circle hooks allows the fish more time to take the bait without worry of gut hooking them. Jigs with a Berkley chigger craw have taken a few bass as well.  TTYL

Ken "Husker" O'Malley
Waterworks 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.




Meal worms. Small & medium minnows. Quarter-ounce pink and white tub jigs. Route 154 Causeway!  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


Fair 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. 



Good 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 Fair 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:  11/28/2016


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.

Illinois Deer Harvest Report - Archery

Through Sunday, November 27, 2016, Illinois archery deer hunters harvested a preliminary total of 46,920 deer, compared to 47,970 for the same period in 2015.

Harvest  to date has consisted of 43% does and 57% males (20105: 26815).  Top five counties were Pike (1786), Fulton (1304), Jefferson (1093), Adams (1087), and JoDaviess (893).   A table of county results is attached.

Up-to-date archery harvest figures (for either deer or turkey) by county/state sites can be tracked on the web at http://www.dnr.illinois.gov/hunting/Pages/IDNRHarvestQuery.aspx

Paul Shelton, Manager - Forest Wildlife Program

Rend Lake Waterfowl Report by Randy Cordray





CANADA GEESE 50 Nov. 11 – Jan 31 Daily Bag Limit – 2

Possession Limit -- 6



3000 Nov. 11 – Jan. 31 Daily Bag Limit - 20 Snow/Blue & Ross’ Geese 1 Brant

Possession Limit – Unlimited Snow/Blue & Ross’ Geese, 3 Brant



400 Nov. 11 – Jan. 31 Daily Bag Limit – 2

Possession Limit - 6

Information as of:  11/28/2016

LAKE LEVEL: 405.95      AVERAGE POOL FOR THIS DATE: 405.51                                                               CASEY FORK: 412.02     BIG MUDDY: 411.69



GATHERING OF THE EAGLES - Kentucky Dam Village January 20-22, 2017

Join us at Kentucky Dam Village for  The Gathering of the Eagles, a weekend dedicated to our national symbol, the Bald Eagle. With the weather turning colder, Bald Eagles migrate to Kentucky Lake for ample food supplies. We offer you an opportunity to take advantage of this chance to view this majestic bird in the wild.

Two different tour options are available through our park.

Luxury Boat Tours-$50/person
Experience  Kentucky Lake on a luxury cruise ship while you view a diverse range of wildlife from the comfort of indoor cabins and outdoor decks. Interpretive staff from Kentucky  Parks and  Fish and Wildlife will be available to assist in spotting these magnificent birds and to answer any questions.

Three chances:
* Saturday, January 21st departing at 8:00am
* Saturday, January 21st departing at 1:30pm
* Sunday, January 22nd departing at 8:00am

Ballard Wildlife Management Area Bus Tour-$45/person.
Join us for an exclusive tour of Ballard Wildlife Management Area lead by KY Fish and Wildlife Biologists and Site Manager and KY State Park staff.

Two chances:
*Saturday, January 21st departing at 7:30am
*Sunday, January 22nd departing at 7:30am

Included in the price of the tours are the following:

Eagles in Kentucky
Friday, January 20, 2017, 7:00pm

LIVE Birds of Prey Program
Saturday, January 21, 2017, 7:00pm

Call 800.362.4276 to Reserve Your Spot.

Niagara USA Fish Forecast for Friday, Nov. 25, 2016 by Bill Hilts, Jr.

Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving Day celebration! With the long weekend, many people are out there hunting and fishing. Hope you can find the time to enjoy it with family and friends. As the days tick away, remember that November 30th is the final day for musky season in the state – with the exception of the lower Niagara River and Lake Ontario. That season will end on Dec. 15. Nov. 30 is also the final day for the regular bass season, but Dec. 1 kicks off a catch and release season until the season reopens next June.

Lower Niagara River - In the Lower Niagara River trout fishermen are still doing well, especially along Artpark. Spoons, spinners and beads lead the way as top enticements from shore. Be careful out there as water temperatures start to drop. Paul Luzzi of Lewiston was using a Lazy Larry’s bead off a three-way rig long Artpark recently and managed to catch two steelhead, two lake trout … and a whitefish! Like we say time and time again, that’s one of the best things about fishing in the Niagara – you never know what you are going to catch! Remember that lake trout season is closed in New York until the end of the year, but if you venture over into Canadian waters, the season opens on Dec. 1. That’s not very far away! Best baits from boats have been Kwikfish and MagLips for boats; spoons, spinners, eggs or egg imitations from shore. Artpark has been the best spot to target.

Upper Niagara River – With the water clearing, this is the last hurrah for musky and bass as far as regular seasons are concerned. Some nice muskies have been reported and this is the time of year you can take a true trophy. With a minimum size of 54 inches though, catch and release as best you can, as quickly as you can.

Lake Ontario and tributaries – Best spot to be is still 18 Mile Creek and Burt Dam for trout and the last remaining semblance of a salmon run.  Browns, steelhead and salmon are still available, but water is low and clear for the most part. Downsize your baits to single eggs, small sacs or smaller streamers and wooly buggers in more natural colors. Perch and pike are still an option in Olcott and Wilson Harbors. Casting the piers are an option if the winds will let you. Another good spot to cast is off creek mouths that have jammed up mouths that won’t let fish in. Cast with spoons and spinners and you should pick up some fish. 

Lake of the Woods Minnesota Fishing Report by Joe Henry

The walleyes continue to chow in the lake and river. Some very good days recently with a strong bite in the morning and evening. Those who have not put away the boat are getting rewarded. Many hawg walleyes reaching over 28" boated. South shore from the gap to Morris Point to Rocky Point strong.  Walleye and saugers good numbers in 15-20 feet of water. Bring lots of bait as anglers are going through multiple packages of frozen shiners. Ice fishing on its way as bays are just about iced over.  Cold snap in forecast start of next week.

Shiner run continues in river and walleyes are staying right along with them. Terrific river fishing.  Walleyes are in 10-25 feet of water.  Jig and a shiner is best tactic with bright colors or glow.

Up at the Northwest Angle, walleyes going strong in 10-30' and crappies in 30'.  Jig and a minnow producing limits. Fishing remains excellent for those who can get out as there is scattered ice in bay and marinas.  Most resorts preparing for ice fishing.  Ice forming in back bays and harbors.  Resorts and ice fishing reservations atwww.LakeoftheWoodsMN.com/Lodging.

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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