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The Latest Outdoor News - Photos are at the end of this blog post.
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.
Latest Salmon Unlimited News
Click here to download this month's Hook'n Line newsletter.
Mark Sandahl - Hook'n Line Editor
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,
Hooksetters Guide Service
Niagara USA Fishing Forecast by 2017 by Bill Hilts. Jr.
It’s all about the weather sometimes and this week was no different. Yesterday saw high winds with gust to 70 miles per hour locally, which spelled bad news for river or lake fishermen. In the Niagara River, the water went from perfect conditions on Tuesday to chocolate milk on Thursday. With a wide open Lake Erie set as a backdrop to the river fishery, boaters and shoreline casters are at the mercy of what happens on the Great Lake. Every week it seems like a combination of wind and rain has been hampering the fishing action. Lower river drifters were pulling a fair number of fish earlier in the week, with one boat in particular hitting 20 trout – a mix of steelhead and lake trout. Pink egg sacs fished in a three-way rig set-up was the best approach. Other colors can also work, but figuring out what the fish want on any given day is part of the fun. Shore casters have been struggling a bit. Ric Davila of Wheatfield managed to catch a few small lakers earlier in the week casting spoons and spinners. The Niagara River Anglers Association has announced that their12th 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.
Lake Ontario and tributaries – The streams were high and muddy following the recent rains, but they should come down quickly. In the meantime, look for more frigid temperatures this weekend with lows into the single digits. Remember we spring ahead one hour on Sunday morning if you are going fishing. Steelhead and brown trout are both being caught at Burt Dam but with the stained conditions, you do have to work for them with egg sacs, egg imitations, woolly buggers, jigs tipped with a wax worm and fished under a float … all will catch fish. A few suckers are starting to show up, too. Down in the harbor, some perch and northern pike are being caught. Remember that pike season closes at the end of the day on March 15. The piers should be ice free now, but that could change with the cold temps if we get any winds at all. There were a few reports of some bullhead being caught. The run is still a ways off. Hopefully it will coincide with the Wilson Conservation Club bullhead contest set for April 7-9. Call Eric at 628-6078 for more info. The Western New York Sport and Travel Expo is going on this weekend at the Erie County Fairgrounds in Hamburg thru Sunday. Check out the website at www.eriepromotions.com and look for the WNY Sport and Travel Expo. Fishing has been a little tough for the All in the Same Boat Annual Catch and Release Steelhead Tournament which already started and it will be running through March 25. Boundaries are for Niagara and Orleans County tributaries only. Register at the Newfane shop and pick up rules there. The new leader came last weekend when Matt Tall of Wilson caught a 33-1/2 inch trout. On March 25, the 28th annual Antique Fishing Tackle Show will be held at Elk’s Lodge, 6791 N. Canal Road, Lockport from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Admission is $5. Tables are available for $15 before March 18; $20 after. For more information call Dan Bedford at 713-9410.
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 http://lakeofthewoodsmn.com/rainy-river/
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 www.LakeoftheWoodsMN.com/Lodging. Please remember to "Keep It Clean" and remove trash from ice.
Joe Henry | Executive Director | Lake of the Woods Tourism | LakeoftheWoodsMN.com
Office: 800-382-3474 | Joe.Henry@LakeoftheWoodsMN.com