Outdoor News and Reports

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Illinois Fishing Report from Chris Young IL DNR

Here’s the latest Illinois Fishing Report received from the IL DNR.  CLICK HERE

High School Tournament News

There are still a few openings at the RAYJUS Outdoors/Oaklawn Community High School Tournament that will be held at the DesPlaines Conservation Area this Saturday,   CLICK HERE for more details

Illinois River Report by Rob Piorkowski

We hit spring valley yesterday, white bass were small and it took work finding them. Jig minnow, caught nothing on cranks or trolling. Went all the way down to ~209 marker. Did not go above spring valley bridge. Rob

Liv’s Hunt for a Cure only a month away

Liv’s Hunt for a CURE returns for 2014! Come and spend two days with some of the world’s finest goose callers for an all inclusive waterfowl hunting weekend, and help out a great cause. You will hunt in the finest choice locations throughout beautiful Lake County Illinois. Be a part of making a difference in the lives of 30,000 children and young adults by supporting research through your generous donations.

When: Friday, Nov. 7 – Sunday, Nov. 9, 2014.
Contact: Mauro Tomassetti 847-224-8216 for more info.
For more information, CLICK HERE

Youth Waterfowl Hunting info from Chris Young, IL DNR

IDNR Announces State and Federal Sites to be Open for Youth Waterfowl Hunting Seasons
Youth Hunt Weekends Precede Start of Regular Waterfowl Seasons in Each Zone

More than 50 Illinois State Parks, Fish and Wildlife Areas, Conservation Areas and Recreation Areas will be open to youth waterfowl hunting seasons in all four zones, the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) announced today. Federal sites that fall under the IDNR waterfowl administrative rule that will be open are also listed below.

At most sites, regulations that apply during the regular waterfowl hunting season apply during the Youth Hunt. Hunters should check for site-specific regulations, including changes in legal shooting hours. During the Youth Hunt, the bag limits are the same as during regular seasons.

As part of the Youth Hunt, hunters age 15 or younger may hunt ducks, geese, coots and mergansers as long as they are accompanied by an adult at least 18 years of age. The accompanying adult cannot hunt these species, but may participate in other open seasons.

Youth hunters must have a hunting license, Youth Hunting License, or Apprentice Hunting License. The youth hunter or his or her accompanying adult must have a valid FOID card. The supervising adult does not have to have a hunting license if they are not hunting other species. Youth hunters age 15 or younger are not required to have a state or federal duck stamp.

All waterfowl hunters, including those participating in the Youth Hunt, are required to register with the Harvest Information Program. In order to register with HIP, hunters will need to have their hunting license number available.

Hunters should register for HIP at the license vendor when they buy their hunting license or by calling 1-888-6PERMIT (1-888-673-7648) or online through the IDNR website at www.dnr.illinois.gov

The lists of state and federal sites to be open during the Youth Waterfowl Hunts in the North, Central, South Central and South zones are below.

2014 North Zone Youth Waterfowl Hunt (Oct. 11-12) – State Sites Open
Chain O’Lakes State Park
Des Plaines State Fish and Wildlife Area
Lake DePue SFWA
Sinnissippi Lake Wildlife Area
Mississippi River Pools (All located in North Zone)
William W. Powers State Recreation Area

2014 Central Zone Youth Waterfowl Hunt (Oct. 18-19) – State and Federal and Private Sites Open
Anderson Lake SFWA
Banner Marsh SFWA
Braidwood Lake SFWA
Clinton Lake SRA
Coffeen Lake SFWA
Emiquon Preserve (The Nature Conservancy, Fulton County, mail/email drawing Oct. 9)
Freeman Mine
Henderson Creek SFWA
Horseshoe Lake State Park (Madison County)
Horseshoe Lake State Park (Madison County) (Gabaret, Mosenthein, Chouteau Island Units)
Kankakee River State Park
Marshall SFWA
Marshall SFWA – Sparland Unit
Marshall SFWA – Duck Ranch Unit
Mazonia SFWA
Meredosia Lake
Mississippi River Area (MRA) – All sites managed by MRA
Mississippi River Pools (All located in Central Zone)
Momence Wetlands State Natural Area
Pekin Lake SFWA
Quincy Bay
Ray Norbut SFWA
Rice Lake SFWA
Sanganois SFWA
Sangchris Lake State Park
Shelbyville SFWA
Spring Lake SFWA
Starved Rock State Park
Weinberg-King State Park – Spunky Bottoms Unit
Woodford SFWA

2014 South Central Zone Youth Waterfowl Hunt (Nov. 1-2) – State and Federal Sites Open
Campbell Pond
Carlyle Lake SFWA
Kaskaskia SFWA
Kinkaid Lake SFWA
Mississippi River Pools (All located in South Central Zone)
Oakwood Bottoms
Pyramid State Park (Captain, Denmark, Galum, and East Conant Units)
Rend Lake Project Land and Waters
Ten Mile Creek

2014 South Zone Youth Waterfowl Hunt (Nov. 15-16) – State and Federal Sites Open

Bluff Lakes
Cache River SNA
Cape Bend SFWA
Crab Orchard NWR
Cypress Pond SNA
Deer Pond SNA
Devils Island
Dog Island
Horseshoe Lake SFWA (Alexander County)
LaRue Swamp
Mermet Lake SFWA
Mississippi River
Newton Lake
Saline County
Sielbeck Forest SNA
Union County SFWA

For more information on Illinois waterfowl seasons, check the IDNR Digest of Waterfowl Hunting Regulations 2014 -15, which is available at IDNR offices and online through the IDNR web site at http://www.dnr.illinois.gov/hunting/Documents/DigestWaterfowlHuntingRegulations.pdf

Rend Lake Fishing Report by Randy Cordary

LARGEMOUTH BASS Good Worms, black and blue jigs, minnows, and spinner baits. Fish in shallow bays near brush cover and bushes. Fish around bridges and along the rocks. Reports of fish being caught around Jackie Branch, Sandusky Cove, and below the dam. 14” minimum length limit, 6 daily creel limit. 1 fish daily creel limit in PONDS 14” minimum length.
CRAPPIE Excellent Jigs are working well. Quarter-Ounce pink and white tub jigs. Small & Medium Minnows. Meal worms. Fish the main lake drop off areas.  Try the Gun Creek Area. From shore fish near structures, hot spots are Jackie Branch, Sandusky,  Sailboat Harbor, Marcum coves, and Ina Boat Ramp. 25 fish daily creel limit with no more than 10 fish 10 inches or longer
BLUEGILL Good Crickets, worms, wax worms, meal worms, small jigs. Fish in the back of necks and on flat shallow banks and on the rocks. Try fishing shallow with crickets, worms or small jigs. From shore try Sailboat Harbor. 10 fish daily creel limit in PONDS. 
CHANNELCATFISH Excellent Sonny’s stink bait, Hoss’s Hawg Bait, leeches, night crawlers, and large minnows. Try the Waltonville Dam, Turnip Patch, Jackie Branch, and North Sandusky Day Use Area. Set line 3-4’ from the shore over rocks. Try leeches in moving water.  Drift fish the flats. 6 fish daily creel limit in PONDS.Jugs must be attended at all times while fishing.
WHITE BASS Fair Jig and curly tail grubs, inline spinners. Fish in shallow bays near brush cover and bushes. Fish around along the rocks and dropoffs. Reports of fish being caught around  the 154 bridges. 20 fish creel limit.No more than 3 fish 17” or longer daily


Information as of:  09/29/2014LAKE LEVEL: 407.09     AVERAGE POOL FOR THIS DATE: 405.07     WATER TEMP:  75°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.  In order to maintain a cleaner recreation area, anglers and bow fishermen fishing below the dam are asked to return dead rough fish to the water.

Kankakee River and local pond report by Ken HUSKER O’Malley

Hey Don,  I was able to get out Friday and hit the Kankakee. I was surprised the river was up and dirty. Must have come down the Indiana side. With that in mind, I focused mainly on slack areas and current seams. Crankbaits would pick up a fish her and there. Nothing large. Switched to plastics late morning and that produced a few better fish. Erie darter was the choice on a 1/0 keeper hooked dragged very slow on the bottom. Keeping bottom contact was key.

Area lakes are still producing good catches of bass in the evening hours. Senkos still the bait of choice. Watermelon has produced the best.

Husker Outdoors
Water Werks Fishing Team

Lake Shelbyville Report by Steve Welsh

The weather has turned back into summer and the water temps are moving back up. I had 75 on the water yesterday after seeing it drop to 68 and I am still seeing some signs of turnover but the main lake bite is back as good as it was back in August. Fish bunched up on deep brush and being able to get a three man limit in less than two hours. We are still drifting minnows over deep piles and just watching corks go down one right after another.

I am setting up the slip bobbers anywhere from 14-18 feet depending on how deep the top of the brush is. There is still a thermocline on the south end at about thirty feet and I have been able to catch fish as deep as twenty-five. We are also getting quite a few big white bass once we start to fish that deep. They are on the ends of points and on sheer drop-offs suspended down anywhere from fifteen to twenty.

For the white bass I am using a drop shot rig or a half ounce weight on bottom and then a tensile hook tied on about a foot above it on a small loop and then using a minnow. The heavy weight allows you to feel the rough bottom the white bass prefer.

P9080868 is of Larry Katkus and friends with a four man 60 fish limit of
crappie caught on Lake Shelbyville with guide Steve Welch

Steve Welch
Website: www.lakeshelbyvilleguide.com

Lake of the Woods MN Fishing Report by Joe Henry

Walleye and sauger limits this week as the fall brings fish to shallower waters. Some resorts still fishing Little Oak and Garden Island pulling harnesses with hammered gold spinners. Bait with leeches or crawlers 14-24 feet. Others are jigging in 20-28 feet with frozen shiners. Out in front of Lighthouse Gap, Pine Island and moving west towards Zippel Bay, anglers are jigging with shiners in 24-30 feet. Long point 20-24 feet with bright colors. Some trolling with harnesses in 15-20 feet.

On the Rainy River, anglers doing well in 14-20 feet jigging, 16 feet being the most successful. Use pink and gold tipped with shiners. Sturgeon catch and release starts October 1st. Sturgeon anglers catching from Birchdale down to the mouth of river using circle hooks and a glob of crawlers.

Up at the NW Angle, Little Oak and Oak Island the hot spots in 18-24 feet jigging with frozen shiners. In Ontario, deep points in front of bays, 24-28′ best.  Gold the hot color. Fall crappies starting to turn on.  Perch and bass have been active in the mix. Muskies are following walleyes.  Cast rocks.  Fall trollers starting to catch muskies.  More info at www.LakeoftheWoodsMN.com

Niagara NY Fishing Report by Bill Hilts

  1. Lake Ontario and tributaries – Hopefully cooler temperatures and forecasted rains will bring some more salmon into places like 18 Mile Creek. Pier action has been spotty for salmon, although there have been some success stories like 14 year old Sarah Syracuse of Newfane reeling in her first salmon earlier this week using a green glow Little Cleo in the early evening with her father, John and sister Sidney. She ended up out-fighting a 25 pound salmon for 20 minutes and successfully bringing in the bruiser to the Olcott pier – all on 8 pound test line. As far as the action, some nights are better than others. According to Karen Evarts at The Boat Doctors, there are some trout at the dam – browns and steelhead – but the salmon are still in the lower stretches with fish jumping in the harbor. A good rain will change that. Try trolling the harbor with large J-13 Rapalas. If you fish early morning or its overcast, try using treated egg skein under a float in some of the holes of the creek. When the weather cooperates, you can still troll the pier heads with all your traditional fall baits early morning or just before dark. Daytime trollers can also pick up the occasional mature king or head out deeper for trout or immature salmon. Remember that lake trout season in Lake Ontario is now closed. The smaller creeks could use a good rain to get things flowing and pull fish in.
  2. Lower Niagara River – After a beautiful week of fall weather, river anglers could use some cold temperatures and rain to trigger a fresh run of fish. Early morning is still the best time to target kings in the river, using treated egg skein off three-way rigs if you are drifting in a boat. However, there are usually a couple of other times that fish will hit like mid-morning and around lunch time so you have to pay attention and capitalize on fish hits when they happen. That can make a difference on some days. Shore anglers are still catching kings off the NYPA fish platform, utilizing the free shuttle service that the power company is providing from Lot C at the Visitors Center from 7 am to 5 pm each day. Remember that the Artpark Stairs are open again, too, but this is better for the trout fishermen. Bass is still an option, especially down river around Fort Niagara and the green buoy marker at the bar. Tubes, spinnerbaits and live bait like shiners and crabs will catch fish for you.
  3. Upper Niagara River – As water temperatures start to cool, musky fishing should start to pick up around the river and Buffalo Harbor areas. Some musky are being caught around Strawberry Island, the Huntley Power Station and outside weed bed edges with large tubes, body baits or spinnerbaits. Using a three-way rig with live bait (large chubs or something similar) can also work along certain drifts as fish start to move into the river system. Bass action is still strong around Strawberry and the head of the river on shiners, crabs and tubes.

 Bill Hilts, Jr., Director, Outdoor Promotions

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