Outdoor reports and news

It’s been a busy week being at the Chicagoland Fishing< Travel and Outdoor Expo.  It was great to see a lot of old friends and make some new ones.  The show was busy with a record breaking attendance for the opener on Saturday.  I guess that Jim DaRosa of the Fishing and Outdoor Radio Show and I can say that we had the best booth in the show.   Well, the best location.  We were situated to the left of the show entrance.  Everyone who walked in the door got to see us and stop by out booth.  And I think they did.

Too we had the Lakemaid Beer booth next to us and someone with Beef Jerky next to them.  Going down the wall that we backed up to, the Pickle vender was there.  We did not go home hungry or thirsty.

It was god to see all of the manufacturers that were there will the newest fishing and outdoor products.   There were many quality vendors selling fishing tackle and plenty of resorts and outfitters to talk to as well.  I was glad to see several of my friends from the Wildcat Lodge, the Mercer and Boulder Junction Chambers, White Birch Village resort, Bedford Sales, and the Gear Grabbar from Magnetic Marine Products.

Well, my reports and news got a little behind but here are some items that came in early this week.  If you have any outdoor news, reports or photos, send them to iloutdoors@comcast.net.

Chicagoland Muskie Hunter News by Dean Rosset

Hi Guys-Please note the date and venue change for Feb. NOTE -SPECIAL MEETING DATE & LOCATION
Come join us——The Chicagoland Muskie Hunters (03) chapter of Muskies Inc. at our February 2015 meeting
Meetings feature top speakers, fishing reports, favorite lake presentations by our members, muskie info sharing, door prizes and raffles. All are welcome!!
Speaker:           Luke Ronnestrand
Topic:               Lake Vermilion
Date:                Thursday, Feb 12
Time:                7:30 pm
Location:          Park Ridge Park Dist. Senior Center , 100 S. Western, Park Ridge
Learn how to catch a muskie, or more muskies, or larger muskies, or join MI. All are welcome!   For more information contact Dean (847)677-0017 or dlrosset@sbcglobal.net

Illinois DNR News from Chris Young

Kaskaskia Eagle Fest – Feb. 7:  Join the fun at the Kaskaskia Eagle Fest at the Jerry F. Costello Lock and Dam in Modoc, IL on Sat., Feb. 7 from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.  There will be eagle watching with spotting scopes, birds from the World Bird Sanctuary, interpreted walks both upstream and downstream from the dam, and tours of the lock and dam.  Sponsors include the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, IDNR, Randolph County Economic Development, Lower Kaskaskia Stakeholders, Inc., Randolph County, Chester Tourism, North County Savings Bank, Evansville Booster Club, Horse Prairie Mutual/FarMutual, CLIFFTOP, and the Kaskaskia River Port District. For more information, contact the Kaskaskia River Project Office at 618-284-7160 or e-mail us at KaskyL&D@usace.army.mil.

Eagle Day Festival – Feb. 7: The 15th annual Eagle Day Festival at Dickson Mounds Museum is Sat., Feb. 7 from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. The event includes activities at Dickson Mounds Museum, the Lewistown Visitor Center, Havana Nature Center, Chautauqua National Wildlife Refuge, and TNC’s Emiquon Preserve. Activities include raptor programs and bird watching. The event is free, but donations are welcomed. http://www.museum.state.il.us/ismsites/dickson/events.html?EventID=2407

Buy 2015 Illinois Licenses/Stamps:  Illinois fishing, hunting and sportsman’s combination licenses and stamps are available from DNR Direct license and permit vendors, online through the IDNR website at www.dnr.illinois.gov or by calling 1-888-6PERMIT (1-888-673-7648). The 2015 licenses and stamps will be valid through Mar. 31, 2016, unless otherwise noted.

Hunters Reminded to Return Harvest Cards:  Illinois hunters who received a Free Upland Hunting Permit are reminded to return the Free Upland Hunt Harvest Survey Card by Feb. 15. Even if they did not hunt at the site, hunters must return the postage-paid card to remain eligible for the next year’s drawing for a Free Upland Hunting Permit.

These data are used by biologists to track hunter satisfaction, effort, harvest and the amount of upland game encountered at the sites. IDNR appreciates the cooperation of hunters who provide this information.  For all of IDNR-managed state sites that utilize the Windshield Card system, the reporting deadline is also Feb. 15.  The link to the Windshield Card reporting site is: https://dnr.state.il.us/windshieldcard/index.asp

Spring Turkey Applications:  Hunters may apply for the third lottery for 2015 Illinois Spring Wild Turkey Season permits online through Feb. 9. Go to the IDNR website for more information at this link:  www.dnr.illinois.gov/hunting/turkey

Spring Youth Turkey:  Spring Youth Turkey Special Hunt Area permit applications will be accepted online through Monday, Feb. 16.  Spring Youth Turkey Season County Permits will be available over-the-counter from IDNR license/permit vendors beginning on March 3.  For information on spring turkey hunting, check the IDNR website:  http://www.dnr.illinois.gov/hunting/Documents/SpringYouthTurkeyHuntingInformation.pdf

Hunter and Boating Safety Education Courses:  Register now for Hunter Safety Education and Boating Safety Education courses from the IDNR.  Spring classes are being scheduled, and since classes fill up quickly, check the IDNR website for class dates and locations.  The website link for all IDNR Safety Education course information is www.dnr.illinois.gov/safety

Science Series:  “Excavations: Digging in Lincoln’s Neighborhood” is the February Science Series program at the Illinois State Museum’s Research and Collections Center in Springfield at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 11.  ISM research associate Dennis Naglich will present the program on the work last June of archaeologists who excavated part of a lot in the Lincoln Home neighborhood in downtown Springfield.  The program is free and open to the public.  For more information, phone 217-782-0061.  The ISM Research and Collections Center is located at 1011 East Ash Street in Springfield.

Earth Day in the Parks:  Applications are being accepted through Feb. 28 for Earth Day in the Parks events this spring at Illinois state parks.  Check the website at this link to download an application form: http://dnr.state.il.us/education/CLASSRM/EDITPinstruct.htm. Teachers are invited to apply to involve their students in natural resources stewardship activities this spring. A grant from the Illinois Wildlife Preservation Fund helps support Earth Day in the Parks.

IDNR at Deer and Turkey Expo:  Visit with IDNR staff at the 2015 Illinois Deer and Turkey Expo on Feb. 20-22 at the Prairie Capital Convention Center in Springfield.  Buy 2015 licenses, deer and turkey pins, photos for FOID applications, and learn about upcoming hunting seasons.  For more information on the expo:  www.deerinfo.com/illinois

Super Saturdays at the Museum:  The ‘Super Saturdays’ event at the Illinois State Museum in Springfield on Sat., Feb 14 is ‘North in the Night: The Underground Railroad’ from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m.  The Underground Railroad included routes through Springfield.  For more information on the free event, call 217-782-6044.  The Illinois State Museum is located in the State Capitol Complex in downtown Springfield.

Junior Collector’s Day:  The Illinois State Museum in Springfield presents its Junior Collector’s Day on Sat., Feb 21 from 1-3 p.m.  Explore the collections of area children and teens. Collections include rocks and minerals, coins, toys, and more. Children between the ages of 8 and 15 can display a collection and meet other young collectors. There is no fee, but registration is required by Feb. 16. Call 217-782-0061.

Camping Reservations:  Make your reservation now for campsites and shelters for many IDNR sites for 2014.  Reservations can be made online through the ReserveAmerica website at www.reserveamerica.com using a Visa or MasterCard.   For more information, check the IDNR website at http://dnr.state.il.us/lands/Landmgt/Programs/Camping/

Emiquon Science Conference:  The Dickson Mounds Museum near Lewistown will host the annual Emiquon Science Conference on Thurs., Feb. 19 from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. This year’s conference title is ‘Emiquon Science 2015: River Floodplain Restoration and Connection.’ The conference will feature presentations and a panel discussion about the controlled connection of Emiquon to the Illinois River. Registration is required to accommodate all participants in the Museum’s auditorium. The $10 registration fee covers lunch and refreshments.  For registration information, go to the Emiquon Partnership webpage at www.experienceemiquon.com  (phone 217-520-9359 or email lbenedic@uis.edu).

Weekend Knap-In:  Visit the Dickson Mounds Museum for a Weekend Knap-In on Feb. 28-March 1. The public is welcome to view flintknapping demonstrations and learn about the different techniques used by craftsmen with stone tool creations.  The free event is from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. both days.  For more information, phone 309-547-3721.

Artifact Identification Day:  Dickson Mounds Museum near Lewistown hosts an Artifact Identification Day on Sun., March 1 from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.  Museum staff and other experts will be available to identify artifacts, rocks, fossils, animal bones, and other artifacts.  Dickson Mounds Museum is located at 10956 North Dickson Mounds Road, Lewistown, IL 61542.

Dickson Mounds Kids Day:  Bring the kids to the Dickson Mounds Museum in Fulton Co. on Sat., March 7 for “Wild about Animals in Illinois” – a special event featuring live animals from the Peoria Park District’s ZooMobile.  Hours are 1-3 p.m. with the ZooMobile presentation at 2 p.m.  For more information, phone 309-547-3721.

Follow the IDNR:  Keep up to date with events and information on outdoor recreation and natural resources in Illinois through IDNR postings on Facebook and Twitter.  Links to IDNR Facebook and Twitter updates can be found through the homepage at www.dnr.illinois.gov.

Save the Date!  Can-Yak Fishing Tournament & Festival coming to Mercer WI September 4-6, 2015

Love fishing?  Love paddling?  We sure do.  And finally there’s an event that combines our love of canoes, kayaks and fishing—right here in Mercer, Wisconsin’s Favorite Outdoor Playground tm!

Mercer is home to the famous Turtle-Flambeau Flowage Scenic Waters Area, as well as boasting 214 other lakes in a 30-mile radius, so there’s plenty of room for anglers and plenty of fish to catch.  Just to sweeten the deal we added in a free fishing & paddling tradeshow on Saturday so you can see the latest and greatest that manufacturers have to offer plus demos and workshops by experts who can teach you how to get the most out of your gear, and a special performance on Sunday by fishing legend/blues band extraordinaire Joe Bucher and the Top Raiders!

Whether you fish the tournament or stop in for the FREE trade show and demonstrations, we think you’ll have a great time at Can-Yak!  And don’t forget the band—Joe Bucher can really belt the blues.

More information and details coming soon. Be sure to watch our website www.Can-Yak.com , follow us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/MercerCanYak or contact the Mercer Chamber to be added to their email or mail list for updates at info@mercercc.com or (715) 476-2389.

Tina Brunell – Executive Director
Mercer Area Chamber of Commerce

Walleyes Unlimited USA – February – March 2015 Update from Bob Clark

 Upcoming Meetings and Event Dates

Visit our updated monthly speaker line-up our site at: http://www.walleyesunlimitedusa.org/

Wisconsin Meeting Wednesday, February 11, 2015
Speaker: Jason Drewa
Topic: Ice Fishing the Mississippi River Backwaters – Pools 7 – 9

Jason is 28 years old originally from Marshfield WI, but moved to the La Crosse area when he was just 18. While in the La Crosse region for 5 years, he fished on a daily basis, getting to know the back water areas of the Mississippi.

For the past few years work has taken Jason to the Milwaukee area but he regularly returns to the great fishing on the back waters of the Mississippi. Getting up to the minute reports from someone who fishes these prime areas should prove to be very beneficial. Make you plans to attend this meeting now.

Illinois Meeting Wednesday, February 25, 2015
Speaker: Frank Hyla
Topic:  Lake Michigan Bass Fishing

Frank Hyla is a Southern Illinois University graduate in Fisheries Sciences Management. He owns and operates the TV show, “Time on the Water” which airs on Comcast SportsNet Chicago. His show is primarily dedicated to bass fishing the upper Midwest on public waters. In Frank’s younger years he fished FLW Walmart Bass Circuit in the Plains Division.

We asked Frank to concentrate on Lake Michigan bass fishing but he indicated he will discuss a number of current topics based upon wherever audience interest and questions would like to go.

Frank is a very polished speaker and someone who is absorbed in the industry from a number of different points of view. Come meet Frank and absorb his local knowledge gained over the years pursuing his passion of bass fishing with many of the top pros and industry manufacturers.

Wisconsin Meeting: American Legion Greendale Post 416 | 6351 W. Grange Ave. | Greendale, WI 53129
Date: Wednesday, March 11, 2015
Speaker: Ryan Standke
Topic: Fishing the Winnebago System

Our speaker for March will be Capt. Ryan Standke. Ryan owns and operates a successful guide service on the Winnebago System. Ryan’s specialty is fishing the Winnebago System for walleye, perch, bluegill, white bass, and northern.

He spends an average of one-hundred days a year on the water. His specialty is tactical presentation methods for structure fishing on the vast system. Ryan not only guides but he also has what is named the World of Walleye Program. They are a series of educational workshops that cover everything from Invasive Species to a Tactical Approach to Fishing Weeds and Cane Beds on Winnebago.

Ryan is not one to hide secrets to catching fish consistently. He’ll teach and coach you so you can be independent in the future. One of his clients sums it up by saying, “If you’re looking for a fishing guide to teach you new fishing tactics, then Ryan Standke is your man. His passion is teaching people how to improve their fishing skills so they can be independent and enjoy successful fishing adventures the rest of their life.”

Saturday, March 21st, 2015 8:00 AM – 3:00 PM
Indoor Fishing Swap Meet & Sale Sponsored by Walleyes Unlimited, USA
Where: Fox Lake Legion Hall | 703 N. US Rt. 12 | Fox Lake, IL 60020 | 847-587-2323
Doors Open for Exhibitors’ Setup at 6:30 AM
EXHIBITOR FEES: $15/ 6’ Table or $25/ 9’ Table (2 chairs w/each table reservation)


For more information, please call Walt Koch at: 847-710-5453

Monthly Meeting Information

Wisconsin Meetings – 2nd Wednesday of each month

Greendale American Legion

6351 W. Grange Avenue.
Greendale, WI 53129


The post is located close to downtown Greendale and the Southridge Shopping Mall

Illinois Meetings – Last Wednesday of each month

Gurnee American Legion | 749 Milwaukee Ave. | Gurnee, IL  60031

2 miles east of Gurnee Mills on Grand Ave. (Rt. 132)

Near the intersection of Milwaukee Ave. (Rt. 21)

Guests always welcome | Guest Fee is only $5.00 | Meetings begin at 7:00 PM sharp.

Visit our web site at: walleyesunlimitedusa.org
Contact us if you have any questions at: info@walleyesunlimitedusa.org

Niagara New York Fishing Report by Bill Hilts

  1. Lake Ontario and tributaries – There is a little open water in 18 Mile Creek near Burt Dam and anglers that are braving the cold use minnows or jigs tipped with a wax worm and fished under a float to take steelies. Remember that tributaries off Lake Ontario are fair game for the Niagara River Anglers steelhead contest on Feb. 7. Ice fishing in Wilson Harbor has been a bit slow but some perch and panfish are being caught near the boat launch at Wilson Tuscarora. The occasional trout or pike is also caught by hard water anglers. There have been some ice fishermen on Olcott Harbor, too, but no reports on success.
  2. Lower Niagara River — One of the keynote speakers of last weekend’s Greater Niagara Expo – Matt Straw, editor of In Fisherman Magazine from Minnesota – was impressed with the event and couldn’t believe it was in its second year. He then took to the water Monday to fish with Capt. Frank Campbell in the lower Niagara River and enjoyed some good success drifting for steelhead with his wife, Mary and Mike Smith from Clam Outdoors. They caught a dozen trout on pink egg sacks in the Devil’s Hole area each day, despite cold temperatures that hovered in the teens. Fishing should be good for the Niagara River Anglers steelhead contest set for Feb. 7 in the lower river and Lake Ontario tributaries. The Roger Tobey Memorial Steelhead Contest is a popular winter competition for this hearty bunch. There is also a brown trout prize for the biggest fish caught. Check out www.niagarariveranglers.com for details. Shore fishermen can do well if you can find a spot that gives you safe and decent access to the water. Casting spoons, spinners or marabou jigs will catch fish. If you missed the Greater Niagara Fishing and Outdoor Expo last weekend at the Conference and Event Center Niagara Falls, then you really missed a good one. With over 120 seminars and over 100 exhibitors, it was an excellent second year to an event that is growing leaps and bounds. Dates are already set for next year, Jan. 22-24, 2016.
  3. Upper Niagara River – Extreme cold is creating problems for any open water anglers. Ice is the way to go such as in the Small Boat Harbor. Up to 9 inches of ice is being reported and jiggers are picking up panfish and perch. Tip-ups rigged with a big minnow is producing some pike. Beaver Island Marina is another good spot for perch, but you will need to be in the right place at the right time to do well.

 Bill Hilts, Jr. – Director, Outdoor Promotions

Lake of the Woods Minnesota fishing report by Joe Henry

A good week of fishing.  The success from day to day is effected by weather systems moving through.  Downsize lures the days fish get sluggish.  Electronics helpful.  Many of the best reports from the south shore are from anglers headed out 20 miles or more.  Combo of walleyes and saugers.  Structure around Knight and Bridges or Garden Island are doing well.  Long Point and Arnesen’s reefs still producing meals of fish with an occasional trophy.

On the Rainy River, frozen shiners in 15-17′ with orange or chartreuse is still the go to.  Please work through outfitters and bait shops and know where you are going on ice.

Up at the NW Angle good fishing continues on the edge of structure in 20 – 30′.  Jig one line, dead stick second line.  A mixed bag, with more walleyes than saugers.  Some jumbo perch, pike and eelpout mixed in.  Big crappies on the Canadian side.  Fish houses on ice through March 31st.  www.LakeoftheWoodsMN.com/lodging.
Joe Henry, Lake of the Woods MN Tourism

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