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Chicagoland Muskie Hunters News by Dean Rosset

We meet the second Tues. of the month at Giuseppe’s La Cantina, 1062 Lee St, Des Plaines, IL. 7:30pm. Come join us——The Chicagoland Muskie Hunters (03) chapter of Muskies Inc. Meetings feature top speakers, fishing reports, favorite lake presentations by our members, muskie info sharing, door prizes and raffles. All are welcome!! Contact Dean—847-256-9322 or Learn how to catch a muskie, or more muskies, or larger muskies, – join MI. All are welcome! The April 12th meeting features super guide on super lake—Bob Benson on Lake Vermilion! This meeting $5.00 at the door.
The Chicagoland Muskie Hunters full color Newsletter with color fish catch pictures, catch data, articles, info re meetings and outings is available to you. To receive this free Blue Ribbon column and to learn more about our chapter and Muskies Inc.–contact–SUBJ:muskie

 Temporary Closure of Boat Ramp on Crab Orchard Lake by Neil Vincent USFWS

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) would like to notify the public of the temporary closure of one of the boat launching ramps at Crab Orchard Lake.  The Service is in the process of performing rehabilitation work on the West End Boat Ramp located on Spillway Road. The work is scheduled to begin on March 30th and is expected to take approximately 1 month to complete. The boat ramp and parking lot will be closed to the public throughout the duration of the work. The ramp and parking lot will reopen as soon as the project is completed.

During this time, anglers and boaters wanting access to Crab Orchard Lake will need to use one of the boat launching facilities located at Greenbriar Recreation Area, Prairie Creek Recreation Area, or Route 13 Ramp. These ramps are located on the Northeastern part of the lake. Maps of their locations are available at the Refuge Visitor Center located on State Route 148.

This improvement project is financed by Recreational Fee Dollars collected at Crab Orchard National Wildlife Refuge. The Recreation Fees have provided Crab Orchard NWR with the opportunity to make numerous improvements throughout the years. Some of the most visible being the expansion and improvements at Little Grassy Lake Boat Ramp, Crab Orchard Campground, and Wolf Creek Recreation Area. Please visit these sites and see your Recreation fees at work.

Local Pond Report from Ken O”Malley and Tony Renellla

SOUTH SUBURBS  – Hey Don, Area lakes remain slow due to the inconsistent weather. With the colder overnight temps, no need to get out early. Best bite for bass has been midday along inside weedlines on sunny days. Overcast days keep the bass deeper. A strike king red eye shad worked parallel along the weedline has produced the best numbers. TTYL

Ken “Husker” O’Malley
Waterworks fishing team

NORTH SUBURBS – Been out bluegill fishing with Ryan and we’ve been catching a mess of bluegills on worms below a bobber from a local park district pond.   It’s been good when the weather is nice.  Here’s some photos.     Tony

Niagara NY area Fishing Report Update  by Bill Hilts, Jr.

  1. Lake Ontario and tributaries – Trout and salmon fishing has started along the shoreline for trollers working stickbaits or spoons in the shallows around creek outflows – especially off Wilson and Olcott – as well as off other streams like 4 Mile Creek. Trolling the shoreline inside of 15 feet is a good place to start. Some Coho salmon, brown trout and steelhead are being caught…when it’s not too windy and rough. There was quite a bit of wind the last week chasing trollers off the lake. The piers are also an option, casting spoons or spinners. Fishing a minnow under a float will also work, again when the winds will cooperate. In the harbors, there have been some perch around, but they have been more cooperative in Wilson because the water has been clearer according to Wes Walker at The Slippery Sinker. He also reported some trout are still being caught at Burt Dam in 18 Mile Creek, but the water has been stained. Smaller tributaries have been clear, but with an inch of rain in the forecast, look for action to shut down this weekend for the most part until the waters clear again. The Niagara County Bullhead contest IS next weekend starting at 5 pm on April 8 and continuing through 1 pm on April 10, sponsored by the Wilson Conservation Club. Best two fish. Weigh in will take place at the club on Route 425, Wilson from 9 am to 1 pm on April 10. Sign up at The Slippery Sinker. Some bullheads are being caught in Wilson. The Lake Ontario Trout and Salmon Assn. are getting their pens ready to accept fish from the state. April 9th is when the group will be getting the pens up to speed at the Town of Newfane Marina at 9 am and they can use all the help they can get. They will also need help feeding the fish after that are put into the pens on April 13. The purpose of these pens is to improve the survival rates of the fish being stocked and to imprint them to the waters of 18 Mile Creek. Check out the group’s website at for details.
  2. Lower Niagara River – High winds during the week stained the water up a bit and created unfavorable fishing conditions from boat and shore. Anglers started catching fish again on Wednesday, but with the weather forecast that was predicted, we could see more wind and rain heading into the weekend. We’ll have to wait and see what that will do to the water. In the meantime, trout have been cooperating for casters from shore with spoons and spinners. Egg sacs and minnows will also work. Boaters have been using minnows, too, and when the water is stained, adding some color with the new Pautzke Fire Dye. Steelhead and lake trout are the primary focus, but a few browns are still being caught in the river. No word on the smelt run yet. The Lewiston Smelt Festival is set for May 6. April 1 is the kick-off for the NYPA Access Road for the fishing platform and the stairs to the shoreline. This comes at a good time because of the construction taking place on the stairs at Whirlpool State Park. The stairs are closed there from now into July. The lower trail could be closed during the week from Tuesday to Thursday due to falling debris. Don’t forget that the Niagara River Anglers Association’s 11th Annual John Long Sr. Raffle and Feast will take place at Niagara Active Hose, Lockport Road, Niagara Falls on April 3 from 2-6 pm. Call 628-1460 for tickets.
  3. Upper Niagara River – April 1 signifies the opening of the inland trout season. Niagara County inland stockings (these are different than the Great Lakes) will take place in mid-April at Oppenheim Park Pond in Wheatfield; Hyde Park Lake in Niagara Falls; and Gill Creek in Niagara Falls, the outflow of the lake into the Upper Niagara River. No exact date has been given yet as to when that stocking will take place. April 1 is also when NYPA opens up access to the Reservoir in Lewiston. Access is available off Upper Mountain Road at the fire department and at Reservoir State Park.

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

Lake of the Woods MN Fishing Reports by Joe Henry

Spring fishing! While the majority of the main lake is working on losing it’s deteriorating ice, the Rainy River is open and clearing up. The walleye and pike bite is picking up nicely. The go to is a jig and minnow or jig and plastic. Wheeler’s Point, Timber Mill, Vidas, Frontier, Birchdale, and Franz Jevne landings are all accessible by all boats. The open water reaches into 4 Mile Bay and into the main basin past the Lighthouse Gap.

Sturgeon fishing is strong and has really picked up. Good numbers of fish being caught in 4 Mile Bay and up river. Use a 3-5 ounce no roll sinker and a sturgeon rig loaded with crawlers. Please take good care of these prehistoric fish. Don’t touch eyes or gills, hold horizontally and support their bellies. Holding a big fish vertically can tear internal organs. Updated river info, sturgeon fishing info and boat access map at

Up at the NW angle, the ice fishing season is finished up. Resorts and guides have turned the attention to gearing up for open water season. Area lodging, walleye and sturgeon guides and more at

Joe Henry | Executive Director | Lake of the Woods Tourism |
m: 320-260-7727 | office: 800-382-3474 |

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