Outdoor reports and news - Update

Here’s the latest fishing, hunting and outdoor news report.   If you have report, news and photos, send them to iloutdoors@comcast.net.

Illinois River Report by Mike Grell

Sunday – Oct 19 – Great day to be outside. Fall colors are in full swing at Starved Rock Park. I seen an eagle along with the park full of happy people picnicking and enjoying the outdoors. You see there are a lot more to just fishing. I enjoy everything as I fish. It is my relaxing therapy and helps me catch fish easier.

The water was high, fast and dirty at 56 degrees so I simply adjust for the conditions.
I pulled in and released 7 mixed bag as expected for the conditions. I included 6 photos of the 7 some small some keeper size. A 16″ sauger was very, very dark to the point I would call black was a surprise.
2 sauger, 2 sheep, 1 smallie, 1 whitebass.
When the conditions are better for example 2 weekends ago I caught 29 decent sized whitebass and 4 keeper sized sauger.
But under the conditions the fishing part was good.

Im already making plans for the Mississippi next weekend.

So… enjoy the week and lets see what happens on the mighty.

Illinois Archery and Youth Deer Numbers Update by Paul Shelton, IL DNR


Through Sunday, October 19, 2014, Illinois archery deer hunters harvested a preliminary total of 12,081 deer, compared to 11,312 for the same period in 2013.  Harvest to date has consisted of 67.5% does and 32.5% males (8151; 3930).  Top five counties are Pike (402), Fulton (393), Jefferson (322), JoDaviess (253), and Williamson (246).


The Youth Deer Season (October 11-13) concluded Monday with a preliminary reported harvest of 2,761 deer, compared to a preliminary reported total of 3,007 for that season last year.  Harvest sex ratios consisted of 46% does and 54% males (1266; 1495).  Top five counties were Pike (152), Randolph (81), Fulton (80), Jefferson (69), and Adams (67).  County results are included in the attached table.

Paul Shelton, Manager
Forest Wildlife Program

Waterfowl Report for Illinois by John Gordon, Avery Outdoors

Location: Antioch, Illinois
Weather: Cool weather throughout the last week! 40’s and low 50’s.
Snow Cover: N/A
Water Conditions: Good with recent rains.
Feeding Conditions: Geese are feeding heavy in the afternoons in bean fields, mornings find them loafing longer than previous weeks.
Species and Numbers: Lots of geese, good amount of mallards/teal/woodys.
Migrations: Geese are stacking up, really thick in our area right now.
Season Stage: Our opener is this coming weekend. Looks like we will have great weather NNW winds 15-20mph with a 47 high and 30’s lows.
Hunting Report: Nothing at this time.
Gossip: Nothing at this time.

Date: 10-12-14
Location: Peoria, IL
Weather:  High in the 60s and lows in the low 40s at night. Three days of rain this week and cloudy. Good duck hunting weather for the youth hunt.
Snow Cover: None
Water Conditions: Good amounts of water to high water.
Feeding Conditions: Fresh cut corn fields and flooded timber along with moist soil areas are the feeding spots.
Species and Numbers: Decent amount of puddle ducks and local geese.
Migrations: Couple of good pushes so far.
Season Stage: Youth starts in one week.
Hunting Report: Should be a good youth hunt.
Gossip: Nothing at this time.

Rend Lake Fishing Report by Randy Cordray

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 Good 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 Good 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


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.

Lake Shelbyville Fishing Report by Steve Welch

The rain never stopped last week and this brought the surface temps down to 64 and scattered the crappie. Now I can catch a dozen small fish to every good one on main lake brush and the same in coves. So getting our three person limit was tough last week. We need the sun to shine so light can penetrate for better visibility for the crappie.

The best news I have is that some good fish are showing up on the north end right up on the bank. We are throwing a slip bobber with either a lively big minnow under it or a 3/32oz. Deep Ledge Jig and tube. We are also getting some huge white bass doing this as they have moved very shallow as well. This bite has been better in the afternoon so we are still going south and working main lake piles and some coves then working our way back for the afternoon bite to find some big fish.

The main lake brush we are using is down trees and brush in 12-20 feet. Then the coves we are using about brush in about 8-10 feet.

We need the water temps to go below 60 and then the crappie will start to move into the ten-foot brush up on the north end and remain there until December. We can then vertical jig for them and get right over them. This is some of the best fishing of the year.

I am going to be guiding down on Kentucky Lake starting October 20th so there will be no fishing report from Shelbyville until November 10th.

Steve Welch

Mississippi River Photo from Jeremiah Burish

Don, check this out.  (Said to be a 13 pound walleye caught from the Clement’s Fishing Barge located on the edge of La Crosse Wisconsin last week.)

Jeremiah Burish – La Crosse Area CVB

Niagara NY Area Fishing Report by Bill Hilts, Jr.

1.       Lake Ontario and tributaries – As far as the salmon run in the tributaries, there’s been some improvement over last week. A modest increase was realized in 18 Mile Creek and other tribs are starting to see some more fish with the influx of fall weather. The best fishing has been for brown trout at Burt Dam with a few salmon and steelhead mixed in. Better fishing for salmon has not been at the dam but down the creek in the lower sections from boat or off the piers at night. Some night fishing has also been taking place out in the lake by anglers casting glow in the dark spoons or rattlebaits – anything that can get their attention. Trolling large J-13 Rapalas in the harbor early morning or just before dark is another good approach, as is drifting treated egg skein in some of the deeper holes. Smaller egg sacks or egg imitations will work on the trout, too.

2.       Lower Niagara River – The lower river run seems to be slowing down a little but some good fishing still exists. Options are available from boat and shore for salmon, with a few trout also being reported. From shore, hiking into the gorge at the Whirlpool or Devil’s Hole are great options for those that like to rough it. The New York Power Authority fishing platform is another easier option to deal with thanks to a shuttle service that runs daily from 7 am to 5 pm from Lot C at the Visitor’s Center up above off Lewiston Road adjacent to Niagara University. Access is also available along Artpark, but most of that area is best for trout. Boaters can work the Devil’s Hole area for the best salmon options, drifting treated egg skein from three-way rigs. Just ask 16 year old Ben Bailey of Youngstown who was fishing with his dad Stephen last Sunday. Using some “magic eggs” from Creek Road Bait and Tackle, the young angler reeled in his first salmon – a 20-something pound king. With fishing pressure down from boats in Devil’s Hole, action has actually improved in the past week. Downriver, some bass action is still an option – especially around Fort Niagara and the Coast Guard station. Live bait, spinnerbaits or tubes will all catch fish this time of year.

3.       Upper Niagara River – Bass fishing is still going strong in the upper river and musky action is starting to pick up a notch, too. For bass, live bait like shiners, crayfish and worm harnesses will all catch fish. Tubes, spinnerbaits, crankbaits and plastics will all catch fish as well. Local fly fishing expert Rick Kustich has been picking up a few musky up to 42 inches long on the fly by targeting the outside weed edges where the bottom drops off. Large tubes or body baits can also produce some fish this time of year.

Bill Hilts, Jr., Director, Outdoor Promotions
Niagara Tourism & Convention Corporation

Lake of the Woods MN Fishing Report by Joe Henry

Winds have kept anglers close to the South Shore, but still filling limits the norm. Jigging with a frozen shiner has been the most popular.  18-28 feet in front of Zippel Bay and Pine Island or 25 feet outside Lighthouse Gap. Some reports of pulling spinners near Garden Island 15-25 tipped with crawlers.

Shiner run continues in the Rainy River and walleyes are in the river. Fish are moving at little deeper 17-20 feet. Use a 3/8 oz pink/gold jig with live minnow from the International Bridge moving towards the Gap.  Trolling crankbaits also effective.
Up at the NW Angle, Little Oak and Oak Islands the hot spots jigging with frozen shiners. Gold the best color in 18-24 feet. Anglers fishing Ontario pulling big numbers of walleyes.  Crappie bite has started as well.  Mixed bags. Muskie bite still active with good reports.  Walleye anglers catching muskies on jig/minnows as they are feeding on walleyes.  Rock points and reefs.  Trollers also catching muskies.  The bite is on!  Lodging info at www.LakeoftheWoodsMN.com/lodging

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