Latest Outdoor News

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

The Latest Outdoor News  -  Photos are at the end of this blog post.

Southern IL Fishing Report by Ron DaRosa

Hi Don, here's a southern Il report. Prior to the cold front we had water temps solidly in the mid 50's. Crab orchard has really given up some big fish. Here are a couple from last week . We have caught bass up to 7 pounds . lipless cranks, jigs, and still a few on jerkbaits all producing. Crappie had started to move shallow before the front.  Weather supposed to rebound this weekend .  Thanks, Ron at

Local Pond Report by Ken HUSKER O'Malley

Hey Don,  Despite the colder temps, area lakes are slowly starting to rebound after the heavy rains and dropping water temps that we recently had. Active bass are hitting lipless cranks worked along the inside weedlines. Best bite is during midday hours on sunny days. Yellow bass are decent on small crappie minnows worked under a slip float.  TTYL

Ken "Husker" O'Malley Huskeroutdoors Waterworks fishing team

Photos from the Illinois River

Check out the photos in the Gallery below of a recent catch on the Illinois River near Starved Rock submitted by Ryan Welzenbach.

Chicago River Report by Pat Harrison

I was out for a half day early last week surface temps were about 49 to 54 look for warm water we caught fish Crappie and strippers seems to be the most aggressive just a couple small Bass Jig and twister tail with a waxie was the trick. I am trying to get out a couple times this week but the weather may change my plans.

I'm looking forward to a Great 2017 season I will try to post all I can about when where and how. Thanks have a great week  Tight lines.

Pat Harrison

Latest Salmon Unlimited News

Click here to download this month's Hook'n Line newsletter.


Mark Sandahl - Hook'n Line Editor

Kentucky Lake Fishing Report by Capt. Rich Bay

Your fishing report for March 11, 2017  from the deck of the Kick’n Bass pontoon.

I had been spider rigging for the last couple of weeks, with pretty good success but with the warmer weather and water temps moving near 60 degrees I gave pulling crankbaits a shot…and I am glad I did!! Took my friend and fellow guide Scott McGlinchey out for some fun. Scott is a bass guide and was pretty amazed by the size of crankbaits we were using. He is now a believer!

After I have a back procedure next week, it is going to be a full sprint to May! Note of caution…the long range forecast has a lot of heavy winds in it so be careful.

Lake conditions
Water temps are about 56.5 degrees in the morning and warming up to about 60 degrees in the afternoons. These temps are perfect for crappie fishing…especially for pulling crankbaits!! A cold front moving in will lower these temps some but the crappies are already filling up with eggs…. Water color on the main lake is clear to about 3 feet. Levels are at 354.8 which is a little above normal for this time of year. The TVA is pulling a lot of water right now, 61,600 cfs, and the lake level will be inching up ever so slightly according to the TVA website.

You can view the lake levels here:

Weather forecast

Crappies are still feeding pretty heavy. As I said above we have started pulling crankbaits. The reasoning behind this decision is my theory that in the deeper bays, the crappie stage in that 10 to 18 feet of water. The Crappies are there to get ready for the spawn. They DO NOT all move shallow at once though. The spawn happens in waves. So essentially I am fishing for prespawn and post-spawn fish at the same time. They are here because they are feeding for the spawn and also to recover from the spawning activities. This way I am not fighting the shoreline crowds during the spawn. Also I can cover acres and acres of fresh water that the fish have not been bombarded with jigs and minnows.

Now, don’t get me wrong. Minnows catch more crappies than any other bait but I can be impatient so I like to keep moving after fish. I learned to fish from my Mom and Dad and we anchored and casted a minnow under a cork. And I constantly got told to sit still. (Never happened!) So after being taught how to pull cranks by a friend of mine I have honed this technique to suit my ants in the pants mentality!! Ok, that was long winded. Best speed has been 1.7 mph and although red/chrome caught a few fish the overwhelming favorite color has been the Arkie Pink black and the pink sparkle. After years of doing this I have learned to always start with several pink crankbaits mixed in with other colors. The crappie are not full of eggs yet, and the eggs they do have are bright yellow, not very close to spawning yet I believe. Good luck out there.

Other Species
Haven’t fished for any other types of fish but we have had incidental catches of largemouth, yellow bass (some good sized fish) and a bunch of perfect eating sized whitebass. The whites and yellows had eggs that looked reddish and gritty…a sure sign of being close to their spawn. They spawn from about 54 to 65 degrees so keep that in mind!

ATTABOY:   (Nice to get a pat on the back!)

“Please let me know if you are available.  If you are not available, then perhaps you could recommend someone who enjoys a reputation that is comparable to yours.”

—Joe C. Illinois

Captain Rich

Central Wisconsin Outdoor Report by Phil Schweik

Recent ice conditions in and around the central Wisconsin area are not good, most area lakes are wide open and the ones with remaining ice are unsafe.  If you travel further north you will find lakes with decent ice anywhere from 8 to 14 inches.  We are now looking at lakes in the Minocqua area and north of that.  But be careful this recent warm weather and rain will make even those area lakes questionable.

With that said fishing remains very good with great catches of panfish.  Crappies are topping out the list with bluegills coming in a close second followed up by perch.  Most of the fish we are catching are related to one of two locations, deep mud flats in 12 to 16 feet of water, or thick weeds in 4 to 8 feet of water.

The best advice I can give you right now is to use your mapping, find what look like likely looking locations, and drill a bunch of holes. Once your holes are drilled, stay mobile and use your electronics to find active fish. If you aren’t seeing anything don’t sit very long waiting for something to happen. Give each hole 3 to 5 minutes and if you aren’t seeing any fish its time to move.  Sometimes I won’t even sit at a hole unless I am either seeing fish or some sort of structure.

With open water already at some locations it is time to start thinking about getting that boat out and ready or maybe it’s even time to buy a new boat. Have a great week,

Phil Schweik
Hooksetters Guide Service

Destination Niagara USA Fishing Forecast for March 16, 2017 by Bill Hilts. Jr.

Niagara County was hit with a pretty severe snow storm this week, with some areas of the county digging out of over two feet of the white stuff. With that said, there was still plenty of fishing going on for anyone willing to brave the elements.

In the Lower Niagara River, both boat and shore fishermen were pulling some nice trout out of the water. Even with the snow and wind, the water was still fishable due to the northerly wind directions. Boaters were drifting pink egg sacs or minnows off three-way rigs in Devil’s Hole and along Artpark. Steelhead and lake trout were the most cooperative, but the occasional brown trout is also showing up. Shoreline casters are still using spoons and spinners, but the secret bait on Tuesday was soft plastics that were being cast by Ricardo Davila of Wheatfield. He caught 5 nice lake trout in the blizzard. Remember that walleye season is now closed, along with northern pike, pickerel and tiger musky. Shoreline casters were using spoons and spinners to take fish. The Niagara River Anglers Association will be holding its 12th Annual John Long, Sr. Raffle and Feast is set for April 2 from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. at the Niagara Active Hose on Lockport Road in Niagara Falls. Call 628-1460 for information.

In Lake Ontario and the tributaries, the lake and piers have pretty much been off limits with the snow, wind and cold. The only open water has been at Burt Dam on 18 Mile Creek and a few browns and steelhead have been caught. Egg sacs, small jigs tipped with a wax worm or spikes, a few different fly patterns … the fish change their mind on what they want on any given day. Hopefully it will get better next week! If you enjoy antique fishing tackle, there will be an antique fishing tackle show in Lockport on March 25. It will be held at the Elks Lodge, 6791 N. Canal Road, Lockport from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. For more information call Dan Bedford at 713-9410.

Bill Hilts, Jr. - Outdoor Promotions Director
Inline image 2
Niagara Tourism & Convention Corporation
10 Rainbow Blvd., Niagara Falls, NY USA 14303
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

Ice continues to be good with 24-34 inches in most areas.  As always, use a resort or outfitter road for safety as they are monitored.  Bite varies daily but good catch rate most days. Fish are aggressive following lures up and down the water column. Electronics helpful as some walleyes are suspended.  Jigging spoon tipped with minnow head or tail and a dead stick with a plain hook or small ice jig and minnow are doing good.  Key depth  26-33 ft.  Best colors glow pink/red. Northern pike are staging near spawning areas and are very active with fish over 40" caught daily.

The Rainy River  is open from Birchdale to the east with shore ice present.  Some  anglers have already started pushing boats over the ice. Warm weather should get the ice moving again this week as it stalled out last week. Daily open water progress on Rainy River at

Up at the NW Angle, ice conditions are still good with 20-24 inches of solid ice in non-current areas. On the Minnesota side, walleye fishing is hot between 20-30 feet. Black and gold have been the hot colors.  Jumbo perch have turned on this past week with many 14 inchers.  In Ontario the crappie bite continues to be hot, typically using small plastics.  Remember to shift to another species after you have your limit of crappies as these fish have a high mortality rate over 25' of water. Work through resorts and give them a call before you head up as ice conditions change rapidly this time of year. Fish houses can stay on ice through March, walleyes/saugers through April 14th.  Pike and crappies open all year for LOW MN.  Resorts and ice fishing reservations at   Please remember to "Keep It Clean" and remove trash from ice.

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

Leave a comment