Fishing Reports and News

Finally, ice fishing reports are washed up and it’s open water fishing.  Starting to get more reports and photos.

If you have a fishing report or news to share, send them to  Got Photo?  People like seeing them and here’s you’re opportunity to share your prize catch.

Fox Chain, North of the Border and Illinois River Report by Don Dziedzina

Been going up to Lake Geneva quite a bit lately and get to pass through the Fox Chain area.  I’ve looked at many lakes and noted that late last week there was still a lot of ice on the surface.  However, as of just a couple days ago our warmer weather and heavy rain washed away all of the ice that I could see.  No boaters have been seen yet on the water.

In the Lake Geneva area ponds are almost all open.  Lake Geneva itself as of Wednesday still had some ice on it but not safe ice for walking on.  It won’t be long before Lake Geneva, Delavan and others will be wide open.

Last weekend the Masters Walleye Circuit had it’s opening tournament on the Illinois River out of Spring Valley.  Anglers fished Saturday and Sunday from Starved Rock to Henry.

There were a total of 694 walleyes and sauger caught during the tournament.  There were 84 teams competing and for the two days; 114 limints were brougt to the Barto Landing. That ended up as 1334 pounds of fish caught and released following the weigh-ins.  There were six blanks.

Tournament winners were Scott Rhodes of Interlochen MI and Jeff Koester of Brookville IN.  They took first place with 26 pounds 4 ounces of fish with their 10 fish/2 day limit.

More information and detials can be found at

Local Pond Report  and Pic by  Paul Simanauskas

Hi Don; first fishing report. Got this chunky guy today on a fathead suspended 18″ down from a float, in the Palatine area also a smaller bass on the same presentation, and three bluegills on night crawlers. Very windy and warm, bite turned on as the clouds rolled in.

 Mega Fishing Contest at Shabbona Lake by Clint Sands

Finally, a fishing contest for everyone, what more could you ask for? And the best part it is, all we ask is that you donate $5.00 to our Walleye Restocking Fund. No matter what your favorite fish is, you have a chance to win lots of cash, and everyone enjoys winning cash! Like to fish for Largemouth Bass and Smallmouth Bass, you’re in! How about Muskie, Walleye, Crappie, Catfish, Striped Bass, you’re in!!!

Fore more details CLICK HERE

Bighead Carp Report by ED DeVries – President BOI

Hey everyone, thought you might find this interesting. The first bighead of the season was shot at the BAI`s spring kick off shoot by Chad Liptak on the DesPlaines river near Wilmington. This is the earliest we have seen them and in the coldest water. Many more were there but kept just out of the boat lights.
Ed DeVries – President Bowfishing Association of Illinois

Chicagoland Muskie Hunters  News  by Dean Rosset

Come join us.  The Chicagoland Muskie Hunters (03) chapter of Muskies Inc. We meet the second Tues. of the month at the Park Ridge VFW (Higgins and Canfield) at 7:30. Meetings feature top speakers, fishing reports, favorite lake presentations by our members, muskie info sharing, door prizes and raffles. All are welcome!! Contact Dean—847-677-0017— or Learn how to catch a muskie, or more muskies, or larger muskies,  join MI. All are welcome! The Tues. April 8 meeting is awards nite. Frank Jacubicek, IDNR muskie guy, will discuss Illinois . Muskies. AND FREE PIZZA!!!      Dean      

Lake Geneva Fishing Club News by Bob Clark, LGFC

Lake Geneva Fishing Club will have a presentation by Russ Warye on the Premiere Smallmouth Waters of Wisconsin at their May meeting at the Cabela’s in Hoffman Estates.  The meeting will be on Wednesday, May 14 at 6:30 PM.

Russ Warye is an author of fishing books, seminar speaker, guide, fishing educator/teacher, recognized freshwater fisheries researcher and activist on clean water issues. Russ is a licensed multi-species guide concentrating on Smallmouth Bass and Muskie.  For more information on Lake Geneva Fishing Club go to   

Guest are welcome, there is a $5 fee for guests to help defray the speaker cost, this will be deducted from your dues if you join.

Kinkaid Muskie Tournament Won by Fox and Landmeier by Duane Landmeier

The Illinois Muskie Tournament Trail put old man winter to rest by starting up their 2014 circuit on March 23 and 30. Saturday morning seemed pretty good until the wind picked up and cloudy skies with a cold front arrived. The elements made for tough conditions. Boat control was an issue with 25 mile an hour winds and cold temperatures that got colder as the day went on. As always there is a team or two in a tournament that figures out some type of pattern to catch the elusive muskie. This time it was the long time team of Victor Fox of Waterman, Il. and Duane Landmeier of Hinckley. IL.

The two anglers used Drifter Tackle Hellhound Jerk baits and Jake Crank baits. The lures worked well because they had a good pausing action for the fish that were a little lethargic. The technique of a longer than usual pause was the trick. On Saturday the two anglers caught a 36.50” and a 40.75” muskie.  Sunday came along with air temperature of 27 degrees with thick fog. The tournament was delayed 40 minutes due to safety issues. When the take off started they found that the two anglers place to fish had changed.

The water temperature had dropped the area they were fishing 4 degrees. The shad had moved out and so did the muskies. So they went to a heavily wooded cove with warmer water temperature. Soon their game plan paid off. With a fish that followed once left and came back a few casts later and hit the bait. The fish then got off the line. Victor kept figure eighting and the fish turned around and came in and followed 4 times around on the 8 and then hit the bait and was netted. How exciting.

The two fishermen ended up winning a total of about $2000. There were 30 boats entered in the event. 6 fish caught Saturday and 5 caught on Sunday. Congratulations to the two anglers on their efforts. In second place were Randy and Kyle Hilger. The father and son team from Missouri caught 2 muskies that were 37.50”. In 3rd Place were Scott and Pat Donovan local area fishermen from the Murphysboro area who caught 2 muskies that were 30.75” and 33.50”, In 4rth Place were Dale Craine and Ron Rodak of the South Suburbs of Chicago. The two anglers caught a 41.25” Muskie. Congratulations to all that participated in the event. The next event is on Spring Lake north near Manito/Pekin Illinois area.

Niagara New York Area Fishing Report by Bill Hilts Jr.

1.       Lake Ontario and tributaries – Local creeks like 18 Mile, Keg and 4 Mile were all producing some nice trout all week despite some high and stained conditions. Pink or red colored egg sacs, egg imitations or small white jigs tipped with a wax worm are good approaches for taking steelhead and brown trout at Burt Dam according to Greg Stanley at All in the Same Boat in Newfane. With some warm rain in the forecast, it should be the ticket to attract some more fresh fish into the streams and also help pier casters catch a few trout in Wilson and Olcott. Casting or trolling the mouths of these streams will also work and it should get better from here on out. The LOTSA pen rearing project is starting work on Saturday morning, April 5 in the Town of Newfane Marina starting around 8:30 am so get ready to help feed those fish. Check out for more info. The Oak Orchard pen project starts April 5 at 8 am at Lake Breeze Marina. Remember that there is a new license fee structure in place for resident and nonresident anglers. Seven day licenses were actually reduced once again with the passing of the state budget. Nonresident seven day licenses are now $28; resident seven day licenses are $12. Annual licenses are $50 for nonresident; $25 for resident and they are good for a full year from the date of purchase. Check out the DEC website for more info at

2.       Lower Niagara River – The lower Niagara River is doing well with trout, too. Good reports have come in from Devil’s Hole all the way to the mouth of the river on the Niagara Bar. Steelhead, browns and lake trout are all being reported by drifters using egg sacs, minnows or Kwikfish lures fished off three-way rigs. Shore fishermen have a bit of a problem with access, though. The stairs at Devil’s Hole, Whirlpool, the NY Power Authority access road and Artpark were all closed last week. Whirlpool and Devil’s Hole were dealing with ice problems. Call 284-5778 for an update on the parks access. Artpark stairs were going through renovations and they are projecting that project to be completed by mid-May. The NYPA access road and fishing platform is also going through a construction issue to improve safety and the road, stairs and platform are all closed until further notice. For updates on the fishing pier and construction call 796-0135 Ext. 45.

3.       Upper Niagara River – Try casting for trout off the Bird Island Pier or Broderick Park with spoons, spinners or egg s. The Power Authority did announce that the reservoir is now open for fishing as of April 1. Trout stockings at Hyde Park Lake and Oppenheim Park Pond will take place on April 11th.

Bill Hilts, Jr.

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