Outdoors News, Reports and Photos

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Braidwood Lake Charity Tournament set for June 3

Exelon Generation’s 16th annual Braidwood “Fishing for a Cure” charity bass fishing tournament is just a few weeks away and there is still room for additional boats.

Entries to the event will be accepted until the 100-boat limit is reached. The charity bass fishing tournament will be held Saturday, June 3 from 6:30 am. to 3 p.m. on Braidwood Lake in rural Will County, Ill.

Teams of two anglers per boat will compete for a share of $10,000 in cash prizes. The tournament is open to anglers of all skill levels.   The tournament will start from Braidwood Lake’s Kankakee Road (south) ramp. The entry fee is $150 per team.

This year all proceeds will benefit the Braidwood Area Healthy Community Coalition (BAHCC). The coalition is focused on addressing the alarming rise of drug addiction and drug-related overdoses in the area. The local community experienced a record number of heroin-related deaths in 2016, up more than 40 percent over the previous year. BAHCC, a grassroots, volunteer-driven organization, will use the resources raised through the tournament to provide education, intervention, prevention and support services.

Tournament rules and the entry form, can be found at this website:http://www.exeloncorp.com/newsroom/events/exelons-fishing-for-a-cure  or contact Pegg Warnick, Braidwood Generating Station Communications Manager atpeggy.warnick@exeloncorp.com or (815) 417-3184.

A children's fishing derby will be held at the Godley Park District pond the same day, Saturday, June 3, from 10 to 11:30 a.m. Registration will begin at 9 a.m. The entry fee is $5 per child.

Since its inaugural tournament in 2002, Fishing for a Cure has raised $455,000 for charity.Braidwood Generating Station, located about 60 miles south of Chicago, generates nearly 2,400 megawatts of carbon-free electricity, enough to power more than two million homes.

Chicagoland Muskie Hunters Note by Dean Rosset

Chicagoland Muskie Hunters new team Brian Hoagland & Nichole Mesnard-Hoaglin won first place in the May 20 Fox River Valley Spring tournament with  37" & 37.5" fish. They re young but experienced fisherfolk both with 50" fish in their catch lists.

Local Pond and Heidecke Lake Report by Ken HUSKER O'Malley

Hey Don,   I hit Heidecke last Friday. Beautiful day to be out on the water and not in the office. Water temps are still on the cold side for this time of the year. Surface temps were 56-57. This warmup will get things closer to prime. Walleye were caught on 1/4 oz jigs tipped with a half crawler on humps and drop offs adjacent to deep water. Hybrids were caught drifting a slip bobber tipped with a fathead set halfway down in the water column.

Bass have been very good on area lakes. Evening hours have been producing good numbers. A few bass are still on the beds, but most are post spawn. Pitching a 4 1/4 inch senko along the outside edges of weed clumps has been the best producing presentation. A few bass have also been caught on spinnerbaits burned on the weed tops. If you see a front moving in, get out and fish! TTYL

Ken "Husker" O'Malley
Huskeroutdoors Waterworks fishing team

Rend Lake Fishing Report by Randy Cordray

 

SPECIES RATING    BAIT OF CHOICE              SUGGESTED LOCATIONS REGULATIONS
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. Shallow water!  Fish attractors!  From shore, fish near structures, hot spots are Jackie Branch, Sandusky, Sailboat Harbor, Marcum coves, and Ina Boat Ramp. Try the Jackie Branch Breakwater and along Mine 21 Road. 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 and Mine 21 Road. 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. 
CHANNEL

CATFISH

 

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 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:  05/19/2017

LAKE LEVEL: 409.86      AVERAGE POOL FOR THIS DATE: 408.62     WATER TEMP:  74°F

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.

Chicago River Report by Pat Harrison

THIS WEEK - Last week due to weather I was only out once we found a few Bass along the Break walls throwing some Glo Pro crank baits pulling from the walls out bouncing bottom. SaturdayI Nick and I fishing the Lions Club Big Bass Tournament on Bangs Lake Nick brought 14" Bass to the scales I got a 12"  Minimum was 14"so I zeroed out. Sunday I fished the Take A Vet Event on the Chain with Cathy a Air Force Vet and My Brother Bern Marine  Vietnam Vet. This is always an outstanding day of giving back to the Vets I Thank Them all fir their service to Our Country. I will be back on track starting with trips next week. 

 I went out to G3 Yamaha Boat in Lebanon Mo. for my Boat Monday. Angler V 19 SF Yamaha 200 and 9.9 kicker Garmin Electronics, MinnKota Terrova and all the toys including full stand up Bimini top with all the side curtain. It's at Lake County Water Sports to finish off the rigging. I'm going to fish it a couple times to get used to it  and break it in a bit. Saturday I am planning on fishing a tournament put on by the Calumet Harbor Sportsman's Club on the lake for Trout and Salmon. then off to work with it next week.
I Hope to be  posting some fish catching reports starting with this Saturdays results and this coming weeks trips. Enjoy your week catch some fish

LAST WEEK -  Monday I had Ed from Oklahoma out  Surface temps ranged from 49 to 55 degrees on the river and 55 to 57 on the lake. The bit was off a bit we caught some fish but not the numbers we would normally get. Again tossing tight to wood,concrete and steel on the river that hold a little heat was the answer. small cranks and jigs worked. The rain and up and down temps aren't helping.

 I was out again Friday with a father and son from Philadelphia we did a bit better as the sun and warm temps helped. surface temps 55 to 58  up the North branch found some 60's. We caught Lg. Mouth Stripper/White Bass Crappie Gils and the Cats are active we boated some in the 5 lb. range. This week I have some other projects I will only be out one day Wednesday. I am fishing the Lions Big Bass Tournament on Bangs Lake Saturday and then the Take A Vet Fishing Event Sunday on the Chain Of Lakes.
 Monday the 22nd is the big day for me I will be picking up my New G3 in Lebanon Mo. I am really Honored to be a part of G3's Certified Professional Guide Staff. Look for me on the River if the Red G3 have a Great week catch some fish.
Thanks Pat

Lake Shelbyville Fishing Report by Steve Welsh

The lake has been hit by yet another wave of storms and is currently rising. Today's level had it at 611.9 which is 11 feet over summer pool. No report on what it will crest at. The north end has gotten muddy so anglers have switched it up and moved down to the south end and started spider rigging with live bait over suspended fish out away from the bank anywhere from 15-20 feet deep over much deeper water. Good electronics will tell you where the fish are.

Pulling bottom bouncers and single hook spinner rigs is what I have had luck doing on line counter reels. You can cover water quickly and with the heavy weight turn on a dime. We target the mouths of coves or any river channel bank that has wind blowing into it.

We are not putting the bottom bouncer on bottom like it typically would be but rather using it to deflect off standing timber and we make our spinner rigs from 15lb. Fluorocarbon and only 18-inches long with a small number four blade. In chrome,chartreuse,pink and white or chartreuse and orange.

We pull these spinners at about 1-1.4 mph and allow about 8-10ft. of line out more than the depth you actually want to fish at. If you want to get down and fish 15ft. deep allow your line counters to read 23ft. With the lake so high suspended fish will be the ticket for some time so the two options mentioned will catch fish. With the spinner rigs you can expect to catch just about anything so don't rule out some walleye or white bass as well as crappie.

Steve Welch
Crappie Specialties
E-mail: stevewelch@mchsi.com
Website: www.lakeshelbyvilleguide.com

Central Wisconsin Outdoor Report by Phil  Schweik

Great weather this past week has led to some outstanding fishing in the Central Wisconsin area. Water
temperatures are in the upper 50 degree range to low 60’s in some areas. A few guys are still out turkey
hunting and having great success.

With the water temperatures heating up the crappie bite has really turned on. Most of the fish are in
their traditional spawning locations like shallow water brush and bogs, along with downed timber and
shoreline reeds. The best presentation for catching these shallow water crappies is a simple bobber with
a hook or jig suspended below it.

I like to run minnows on the hook or jig for crappies as bait but my favorite is running a tiny Mini- Mite
type of jig below my slip bobber. The fish seem to inhale it better and you get more hook-ups than
misses like you can when running minnows. Also if you miss a fish, you can leave your bait right there as
the crappies aren’t going to steal your bait.

The walleye bite has been steady, with good action during low light periods. We have been targeting
shallow water locations in 3 to 6 feet of water with wood and some weeds. Jigs tipped with fathead
minnows are working the best but we are also catching some of the larger walleyes on crankbaits.
In addition to the crappies and walleyes we are catching some really nice smallmouth bass. Most of the
bass are holding around rocky shorelines in 2 to 8 feet of water. Jigs tipped with beaver tails are working
and so are crankbaits for catching the majority of our bass for us.

One interesting thing that I have been seeing this spring is the abundance of muskies. So far we have
caught 8 incidental muskies while targeting other species. Normally we see a couple but this year has
been crazy. If this is any indication to how the musky season is going to go, it looks like it is going to be a
good one.   Have a great week,

Phil Schweik
Hooksetters Guide Service
Web: www.hooksetters.biz

Destination Niagara USA Fishing Forecast  by Bill Hilt's Jr.

THIS WEEK - Just a quick reminder on water levels: There is still a state of emergency along the Lake Ontario shoreline for high water levels. This isn’t really going to affect the fishing that much, but the Niagara County Sheriff is asking that boats creating a wake stay at least 500 feet from shore. This doesn’t include trolling. Caution is advised for floating debris when you are out in the lake moving around. The problem seems to be launching. The best spot to be right now is the Town of Newfane Marina in Olcott. Fort Niagara has an open launch but you need boots up to your knees or above. Golden Hill State Park launch is closed and Wilson-Tuscarora Park is day to day (but you need hip boots for sure). It’s worth the effort for the good fishing!!

Congratulations to all of the winners in the Lake Ontario Pro-Am Tourney out of Wilson and Olcott last weekend. The Screamer team led by Dave Antenori of Pennsylvania was on a mission. After placing second in the Wilson Harbor Invitational the weekend before, they wanted to take the first place prize in the Niagara County/Lake Ontario Pro-Am Salmon Team Tournament held May 19-21 out of the ports of Wilson and Olcott. After catching a 12-fish tournament limit the first day, he was poised to be in a perfect position as he sat in second place - behind Team Maverick and Capt. Chris LoPresti. After a blow day on Saturday, it was all business on Sunday as the team boated another limit and won the Niagara County version of the Pro-Am and the $15,000 prize with a score of 471.02 points (10 points per fish and a point per pound). Second place was Maverick led by Capt. Chris LoPresti, taking home a check for $7,500 with a score of 448.59 points. Third place went to Dirty Goose/Cold Steel led by Capt. Casey Prisco ($5,000) with 447.79 points, followed by Vision Quest and Capt. Pete Alex ($2,500) with 429.84 points. Big fish for the tournament was a 24.04 pound king salmon caught by Thrillseeker led by Capt. Vince Pierleoni.  He won $300 plus a new Raymarine Axiom Unit.

In the Amateur Division, it was Mother Moose winning the $500 prize and a special Cup for the three day event. Anonymous, last year's cup winner led by John Muehl, won the Day 3 contest for the amateur open but it wasn't enough to repeat. Big fish for the day was Dipsy Ranger with a king salmon weighing 19.23 pounds. In the Amateur Open, each day was a separate contest. Day one winner was Dipsy Ranger led by John Nevlezer. Day two winner (by drawing due to inclement weather) was HK1 and Chris Petrucci. Big fish prizes, good for $500 and an ITO Flies prize package were: Day one – Mean Machine and Kyle Hovak with a 19.43 pound king salmon; Day two (drawing) – Streaker and Matt Dunn; Day three – Dipsy Ranger with a 19.23 pound king salmon. 

Best action for kings and cohos has been out in 110 to 300 feet of water. DW Super Slims and Spin Doctors with the new A-Tom-Mik stud fly doing pretty good right now in the top 80 feet of water. Riggers, dipsy divers and 200 and 300 feet of copper. Browns can still be caught inside of 50 feet. Congrats to Jon Eckert of Lockport who reeled in a 30 pound king last Thursday out of Olcott on a flasher-fly. He was fishing with Capt. Mark Vilardo, Kingfisher Charters. 

Lower Niagara River fishing action is still good in Devil’s Hole where boaters were using minnows and egg sacs to take trout off three-way rigs. Try coloring up the minnows with Pautzke Fire Dye in chartreuse. Steelhead, lake trout, silver bass and smallmouth bass are still all being caught from boat and shore but water temps are heating up so the trout won’t be around long.  The New York Power Authority stated that the fishing platform was closed down again on Monday due to high water levels. It will remain closed until water levels recede. Before you head down fishing there, you might want to call 796-0135 Ext. 45 to see if it’s open. White jigs were working for Mike Rzucidlo of Niagara Falls earlier in the week when he caught silver bass, smallmouth and lakers. No problems at the Lewiston launch ramp but Fort Niagara is having some issues with the high water. The south ramp is closed. As waters continue to rise, the north ramp could be closed soon, too.

Upper Niagara River fishing action has been good for a mixed bag of fish the past week. Decent walleye have been caught along with bass and lake trout. Good numbers of lake trout are showing up as bass casters target catch and release smallmouth. 

LAST WEEK - Just a quick reminder on water levels: There is still a state of emergency along the Lake Ontario shoreline for high water levels. This isn’t really going to affect the fishing that much, but the Niagara County Sheriff is asking that boats creating a wake stay at least 500 feet from shore. This doesn’t include trolling. Caution is advised for floating debris when you are out in the lake moving around. The problem seems to be launching.

The best spot to be right now is the Town of Newfane Marina in Olcott. Fort Niagara has an open launch but you need boots up to your knees or above. Golden Hill State Park launch is closed and Wilson-Tuscarora Park is day to day (but you need hip books for sure). In the LOC Derby that ended last Sunday, the Grand Prize winner for the $15,000 check was Paul Nienaltowski of Michigan with a 27 pound, 8 ounce king out of Wilson while fishing the Niagara Bar. He was using a Diabolical meat rig.  First place in the Salmon Division was a 25 pound 5 ounce king out of Wilson, reeled in by Lee Beaton of Clifton Springs. Big brown trout was a 16 pounds, 12 ounce fish out of Olcott – weighed in by Dave Rafle of Pennsylvania. Top lake trout was also out of Niagara County, a 22 pound 10 ounce from the Niagara Bar – reeled in by Brian Marketich of Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania. Water color is still a factor and you may have to go deeper. Most of the fish are coming on spoons, but flasher-fly and cut bait rigs are also working. Congrats to Tom Allen and his A-Tom-Mik team for winning the Wilson Harbor Invitational Tournament last Saturday. They caught six fish – the tournament limit – to record the top score among 46 boats total. One of his hot baits was a new A-Tom-Mik meat rig. The Don Johannes and Pete DeAngelo memorial big fish-three fish contest was held today in the high winds. The wind kept some teams away for sure. Winner was Big Cat led by Greg Catrabone with a big fish of 20.04 pounds and a three fish total of 85.74 based on 10 points per fish and a point per pound. No details were revealed because tomorrow is the next contest. The Lake Ontario Pro-Am Tourney is May 19-21.  We’ll have a full report next week. Good luck to all you tournament fishermen and women.

Lower Niagara River fishing action is still good in Devil’s Hole where boaters were using minnows and egg sacs to take trout off three-way rigs. Steelhead, lake trout, silver bass and smallmouth bass are still all being caught from boat and shore.  The New York Power Authority stated that the fishing platform was closed down again on Monday due to high water levels. It will remain closed until water levels recede. Before you head down fishing there, you might want to call 796-0135 Ext. 45 to see if it’s open. Yellow and silver jigs were working for Mike Rzucidlo of Niagara Falls earlier in the week when he caught 30 silver bass, 6 smallmouth and a laker. No problems at the Lewiston launch ramp but Fort Niagara is having some issues with the high water. The south ramp is closed. As waters continue to rise, the north ramp could be closed soon, too.

Upper Niagara River fishing action has been good for a mixed bag of fish the past week. Decent walleye have been caught along with bass and lake trout. Good numbers of lake trout are showing up as bass casters target catch and release smallmouth.

Chris Shaffer with Pautzke was in town this week filming for the company website on the lower Niagara River with Capt. Frank Campbell. Frank caught this dandy steelie on a shiner that was treated with Pautzke fire dye in chartreuse.

Bill Hilts, Jr.
Outdoor Promotions Director

Inline image 2
Destination Niagara USA
10 Rainbow Blvd.
Niagara Falls, NY 14303
p: 1-877 FALLS US | 716-282-8992 x. 303
www.niagarafallsusa.com

Lake of the Woods Minnesota Fishing Report by Joe Henry

Another great week to start off the open water fishing season! Fishing has been consistent even with the ever changing weather last week. Some boats still catching over 100 fish in a day, weeding through small fish to find good keeper walleyes and saugers. Key depths around 17-24' of water. Good fishing all across south shore. Fish are responsive to most kinds of bait right now but jig and a minnow is the best presentation with pink and gold jigs standing out.  Some anglers pulling spinners.  Others hit reefs in 25-30', also good. Jumbo perch and pike mixed in all over the lake.

Walleyes are still in the Rainy River but fishing has slowed besides a good morning bite. Most walleyes have headed back to the lake but some remain in the river. Same as the lake, a jig and a minnow have been best tactic for boating walleyes.  Sturgeon fishing is closed until July 1st.

Up at the NW Angle, anglers are hammering fish.  Many have limits before lunch during.  Fish are all over islands such as Oak Island and Little Oak. Jig and a minnow up at the angle is the go to method. Gaining steam is trolling with cranks in the shallows or pulling spinners to keep baits moving. Colors should include chartreuse, pink, glow colors and some gold. Key depths ranged from 16-26' of water. Crappies can be found in Canada in 20' of water with sandy bays. Pike being found in current areas. Many smallmouth bass found with walleyes. Lodging, charters and guides are available at www.LakeoftheWoodsMN.com/Lodging

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

 

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