Latest News and Reports, July 2016 UPDATE

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Check Your Boat Registration:  The IDNR reminds boat owners in Illinois to check their three-year boat registration/decal and renew their registration if it expires on June 30, 2016.  Renewing watercraft registration can be done online through the IDNR website at or by phone by calling 1-866-867-3542.  To renew registration, have available the watercraft’s Illinois registration number, the first six characters of the watercraft’s hull ID number, the first three letters of the registered owner’s last name, and a credit card. For details on Illinois watercraft registration requirements, check the IDNR website.

Non-motorized watercraft, including canoes, kayaks, paddle boats, or sail boards in Illinois, are no longer required to be titled/registered in Illinois, unless the vessels have a motor or sail.  Non-motorized watercraft owners are required to purchase an Illinois Water Usage Stamp for $6.00 per calendar year (for each of their first three vessels, and $3.00 each for any additional vessels).  An agent fee of $0.50 is charged per vessel.  The 2016 Illinois Water Usage Stamp is valid through December 31, 2016.  Water Usage Stamps are available over-the-counter from IDNR license and permit vendors.  Find a vendor through the IDNR website at

Local Pond Report by Ken HUSKER O’Malley

Hey Don, The summer bass pattern is in full swing on area lakes. Pitching 4 inch Berkley chigger craws Texas rigged into open weed pockets have produced good numbers. Heavier line is a must with this presentation to get the fish out of the weeds. Sometimes the weeds out weigh the bass. Overcast mornings have been better as fish seem to bury themselves deeper in the slop on sunny mornings.

Thought I would share this cool pic with you of mallards enjoying a lazy morning in the sun. They let me come right up to them. TTYL

Ken “Husker” O’Malley
Waterworks fishing team

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 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

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.

Lake Shelbyville Fishing Report by Steve Welch

THIS WEEK Water temps have fallen somewhat from 87 to 79 but the lake remains very clear even though we had a lot of rain on the 3rd. It mostly stayed south of Lake Shelbyville. We are still doing about the same thing as
last week.

White bass are busting bait fish all over the lake early in the morning or all day on overcast days. Pick areas with tons of bait in calm water and wait. They will come up and bust bait for about five minutes then  the bait drifts a little then they will do it again. The north end is the best since it holds the majority of the whites. We are using my Candystripers to run through schools as fast as you can reel them. Plus we are popping them off bottom on points and working them up the ledges.

The crappie are bunched up on big brush and out on ledges on stumps. We have been setting up slip bobber rigs to drift them over the top of these piles and stumps. The bait is high in the water column so the crappie are on top of the structure. We have not really had to fish down any deeper than 10-12ft. over the top of the structure. Working jigs over the top is equally effective. We are using my 3/32oz. Deep Ledge Jigs and swimming them over the top with a tube on it.

We are catching a ton of crappie but this year you must do just that to get the bigger fish since it takes about ten to twenty to get a fish  over ten-inches. We move often after we believe there is nothing left but 9 1/2 inch fish. Plenty of action and we have been getting close to our three and four person limit each day. Kids love the action and who wouldn’t want to watch a cork go down all day long one time after another. I even had a woman tell me this past week that this slip bobber  thing is too much work you have a fish on all day long. First for me!!!!

Anglers are still getting walleye but mostly a lot of 13-inch fish. We have put away the trolling rods and are concentrating on the crappie and whites.

LAST WEEK The lake has dropped back to summer pool and the water temps have risen to nearly 86. This caused me to change things up and go back to the summer crappie fishing. The walleye got tougher to get any legal sized and the whites were only showing up in a few spots.

We don’t really have a thermocline set up yet so the brush piles that get good wind on them to push bait through are holding tons of crappie both big and small. We are catching them on slip bobbers set at anywhere from 8-15 ft. depending on how thick the brush is. So far I have guided but two trips and we got 23 over ten and 30 over ten respectively plus both days about five times that many under ten so plenty of action. Big stumps are producing the larger fish and nothing is too shallow if wind is blowing into them. We are using both stumps and brush for numbers and big fish.

Once we get our algae bloom and it drops down to a strong thermocline.   The bait fish will drop down and then the summer crappie bite is on big  time. One of my favorite times to fish for crappie. Four man limits can be caught from just one spot. I still have plenty of open spots for that so just check my website.

The white bass show up in the afternoons out over drop offs so trolling can be effective or casting a two-jig rig out over the drop-offs.

Steve Welch

Mercury Marine`s Summer Challenge Professional Musky Tournament Trail Eagle River, WI. Results by Duane Landmeier

Hello Everyone, Here are the results of this past weekends tournament up on Eagle River, WI. Thanks Again,

Duane Landmeier – Press Release Editor
Professional Musky Tournament Trail

Picture 1 Sunday Big Fish 43″ caught by Josh Sullivan and Clayton Spiess

Picture 2 Back Row Left to Right Second Place Gary Lehnherr of McFarland, WI. and Nick Cammarata of Cary, IL. Third Place Ryan Becker of Clear Lake, Iown and Travis Nielsen of Winnebago, MN.

Front Row First Place Jeff Piazza of Lake Tomahawk, WI. and Mark Lijewski of Minoqua, WI.

Picture 3 First Place Mark Lijewski of Minoqua, WI. and Jeff Piazza of Lake Tomahawk, WI.

Kentucky Lake Fishing Report by Capt. Rich Bay

Your fishing report for July 2, 2016 from the deck of the Kick’n Bass pontoon

Weather forecast is for highs in the upper 80’s for the next week. Pretty hot so bring alot of water and sunscreen for your ventures out in the lake (or beach!). Looks like a great week to fish and play in the sun again. Being the 4th of July weekend be cautious on the water. There is going to be alot of boats on the lakes area. Check the local paper for fireworks extravaganzas! This report is very simi-lar to the last because conditions haven’t changed too much…just hot. Mixed bags of fish has been the norm this week and it is nice to see the Sauger making a come-back in the lake.

Lake conditions
Water temps are 85 degrees in the morning and warming up to about 89 degrees in the afternoons. Water color on the main lake is clear to about three feet. Levels are at summer pool (359.0 elevation) for now and according to the TVA this is the level they are going to hold at through the holiday weekend. Not much water being pulled at this point, at least during the day so we have been doing alot of running from spot to spot.
You can view the lake levels here:

Crappies have settled up into their normal pattern on the main lake. Pulling Arkie crankbaits has produced some nice fish. I have been varying my trolling speed be-tween 1.6 and 2.1 mph. Seems the best colors this week have been the #3 Sexee Shad and chartreuse/black combo Arkie crankbaits but that can change day to day.. Fishing the deeper bays over brush and stake-beds with minnows has also pro-duced some good catches. Having to sort through a bunch of short fish to find keepers is a good/bad situation.

The summer ledge pattern has taken ahold on Kentucky Lake. Those that the toon has caught were while pulling Sexee Shad crankbaits or tossing a Steel Shad bladebait for whitebass. Deep diving cranks, Steelshad bladebaits, shaky head worms and Texas rigged creature baits have been catching fish. A few bass fisher-man have reported an early morning top water bite on buzzbaits and poppers also.

I did not get the chance to fish for gills and redears this week but have still seen nice baskets of both at the cleaning. We have caught a few in deep water on crank-baits. An old pattern I’ve used in the past is to find a long flat in about 10 feet of water and let the current slowly move the boat along. Bounce a piece of crawler on a bare hook with a split shot one foot above the hook and be ready!

The Whitebass are moving into their summer patterns as well. They are stacking up on river channels and deep flats mid lake. Only problem we have had is the lack of current to get the baitfish excited and the other fish to start chasing. No current means less oxygen for the fish in this hot weather which causes them to be slug-gish…but they still gotta eat! We have caught a bunch on Steel Shad blade baits and Ken’s Hybrid spinners. Occasionally I like to use a slab spoon to keep my lure near bottom especially when the TVA is not pulling any current. Best tip for catch-ing stripes is to always stay in contact with the bottom. What I mean by that is raise the lure up off the bottom but you have to let it flutter back to the bottom. They like to chase and attack their food and letting your lure flutter back towards the bottom will pick up alot of fish. The whites are deep and relating to current on the main lake and near the mouth of the bays. Large yellow bass have been mixed in with the stripes along with a few sauger.

Catfish have spawned and are being caught from 12 to 60 feet deep. Juggers have had a rough time because the cats are just not in the bays very thick. Caught sev-eral on cranks this week. Night crawlers or chunk stink baits on a catfish rig are taking lots of channels,flatheads and bluecats right now and I would think the cat bite is going to keep getting better. Catfish rigs fished near deep rocky areas are producing along with cut bait and stink baits. Check out the Rippin’ Lips website. I’m using their line of rod combos, terminal tackle and jars of stinkbait to catch some good fish. The new bait chunks that we are testing have caught some nice fish so stay tuned for these new products! •

Lake Geneva Fishing Club News for July by Bob Clark

Wednesday, July 13, 2016 | 6:30 PM | Cabela’s | 5225 Prairie Stone Pkwy.| Hoffman Estates, IL 60192 | (847) 645-0400 | Speaker: Steve Kappel Jig Master & Local Lakes Champion | Topic: Draggin’ for Green & Bronze – Geneva and other s/e Wisconsin waters

Steve Kappel is the past President of Walleyes Unlimited USA. He was also the club’s Local Lake’s Champion in 2012. Steve is a skillful multi-species angler from Elk Grove Village, Illinois. He spends most of his free time fishing the waters of southeastern Wisconsin and is fortunate enough to take a few trips a year to places like Sturgeon Bay, Canada, and LakeNewton.

When Kappel’s not on the water he can be found at home enjoying time with his wife and two children. Steve is a graphic designer for a large insurance company in Lake Forest, IL. He also generously volunteers with the graphical content for fishing club and various freelance projects.

Steve will be talking about fishing football style jigs and various jig and plastic combinations throughout the year on Geneva as well as other southern Wisconsin waters, e.g., the Madison Chain and PewaukeeLake. These techniques will work for a variety of species and can put some better than average largemouth and smallmouth bass fish in the boat. Come to listen and hone your skills using these artificial lures. Kappel will cover the equipment, other tackle, and some unique techniques that lead to success on highly pressured waters.

Lake Geneva Fishing Club

Walleyes Unlimited updates by Bob Clark

Upcoming Meetings and Event Dates

Visit our updated monthly speaker line-up our site at:

Note: July Only Location AND Date Change Wisconsin Meeting: M-W Marine | 11901 W. Janesville Rd. Hales Corners, WI 53130 | Date: July 20, 2016 | Speaker: No Speaker – Boat Night

Note: July Only Location Change Illinois Meeting: Fox Lake American Legion Grounds |703N. US Highway 12 | Fox Lake, IL 60020 | Date: Wednesday, July 27, 2016 | Speaker: No Speaker – Social Night

August 2016

Wisconsin Meeting: American Legion Greendale Post 416 | 6351 W. Grange Ave. | Greendale, WI53129 | Date: Wednesday, August 10, 2016 | Speaker: Mike Arrowood – Walleyes For Tomorrow (WFT)| Topic: Sustaining Walleye Populations

Mike Arrowood,Executive Director of WFT will talk about how this 501 (c) (3), and Affiliate Member of Walleyes Unlimited USA, helps improve Wisconsin walleye and sauger fishing. WFT is a project-oriented organization with the goal of increasing the population of walleye in the waters where habitat projects are undertaken. The mission of WFT shall be to work with other clubs, agencies, and the DNR to improve the quality of walleye and sauger fishing.

Among the many methods used by WFT are portable hatcheries, spawning protection, water quality and habitat improvement. Walleyes For Tomorrow will help provide the needed resources to achieve the above through fund-raising efforts and by recruiting volunteer labor where possible.

Walleyes For Tomorrow and other volunteer organizations such as fishing clubs, municipal, state or federal governments (including state and federal fishery bureaus such as the DNR and others) may carry out projects. You will learn how many chapters of WFT improve walleye fishing.

Illinois Meeting: Gurnee American Legion | 749 Milwaukee Ave. | Gurnee, IL60031 | Date: Wednesday, August 31, 2016 | Speaker: Eric Haataja | Topic: Fishing the Menominee River

Eric Haataja owns and operates Big Fish Guide Service in SoutheasternWI. One of the best Wisconsin fishing guides and Wisconsin fishing Charter Captains in the Midwest, Eric is a true multi-species fishing guide so he is on hot fish throughout the entire year.

Eric has a pretty impressive list of accomplishments that indicate is he is more than just show. He is an accomplished tournament Bass, Salmon, Muskie and Walleye competitor, a Great Lakes Charter Captain, and a World Record Line Class holder (steelhead.)

Haataja fishes for everything from monster king salmon to big bluegills through the ice, so to say he is multi-species angler is an understatement. Eric plans to speak about what he does on the Menominee River throughout the year and when is the best time to be on the river.

Lake of the Woods MN Fishing report by Joe Henry

THIS WEEK – Fishing is in full swing.  Numerous weather systems moved through this past week but anglers were still on fish.  The fishing has remained steady with pulling spinners working the best.  8-17 feet while pulling spinners tipped with a crawler or leech on south shore and islands was productive. Jigging with a minnow on reefs in 15-30 feet is also producing walleyes. Different schools of walleye keying in on a variety of bait.  Gold and silver jigs and spinners were best. Trolling crankbaits in the shallows evenings producing active walleyes and pike.

On the Rainy River, walleyes are being caught near the mouth of the river and into four mile bay. Although the river  fishing slowed temporarily with all the rain some fish are still being caught. Jig and minnow remains best option for catching walleyes. Most anglers fishing the lake.  Smallmouth bass consistent.

Up at the NW Angle,  Resorts and guides are finding walleyes in 6′ to 30′ targeting areas with current or closer to shore for the mayfly hatch. Pulling spinners tipped with a minnow, crawler or leech or 1/4 ounce jigs in pink and gold while tipped with a minnow is the ticket. Muskie season has begun with vengeance.  Numerous “skies” caught and released.  With 14,552 islands, big musk LAST WEEK –ies are prevalent!  Lodging, guides, and charters at

Fishing continues to be strong.  Despite some summer weather systems moving through this past week, anglers still catching fish.  Pulling spinners working the best.  8-17 feet while pulling spinners tipped with a crawler or leech.  Anchoring and jigging with a minnow on reefs in 14-30 feet is also producing walleyes. Report of schools of fish in the middle of the lake in 28-32 feet. Gold and silver jigs and spinners were best.

On the Rainy River, some walleyes are being caught near the mouth of the river and into four mile bay. Although the rain hasn’t helped clarity some fish are still being caught. Jig and minnow remains best option for catching walleyes. Most anglers fishing the lake.  Great smallmouth bass fishing continues.

Up at the NW Angle, resorts and guides are finding walleyes in 18′ to 30′ targeting areas in the mud near transitional areas. Pulling spinners tipped with a minnow, crawler or leech or 1/4 ounce jigs in pink and gold while tipped with a minnow. Lots of muskies caught and released.   Smallmouth bass and pike prevalent.  Resorts, guides, and local events at

Joe Henry | Executive Director | Lake of the Woods Tourism |

Niagara New York Area Forecast for Friday, July 1, 2016 by Bill Hilts Jr.

THIS WEEK –  Niagara Fishing Forecast for Friday, July 8, 2016

1.       Lake Ontario and tributaries – Fishing for salmon and trout was on fire over the long holiday weekend, evidenced by the leaderboard of the Summer Lake Ontario Counties Trout and Salmon Derby for starters. John Van Hoff of North Tonawanda targeted the waters off Wilson in 100-plus feet of water and in two days of fishing had 60 releases!! He ended up catching 30-something salmon and some nice steelhead, including one that made it onto the board of the LOC Derby. It didn’t seem to matter what he threw at them as far as his spoon selection, or how he fished them – riggers, copper lines, dipsy divers. It was the best fishing he’s seen in years. And if you are going to be fishing in the lake, make sure you are in the derby. Ask Capt. Paul Czarnecki of Tri-State Charters, the featured speaker at the next Lake Ontario Trout and Salmon Assn. meeting on July 14 in Lockport. He boated a 32 pound king over the weekend, but the customers failed to register for it. The current leader for the $10,000 check is still Tim Condes of Wilson with a 29 pound, 8 ounce king caught on a flasher with cut bait. First place in the Salmon Division is Cory Kyovsky of Branchview Heights, Ohio with a 29 pound, 2 ounce king out of Wilson. Second place is a 28 pound, 5 ounce king out of Olcott reeled in by Nicolas Curtiss of Overland Park, Kansas. It hit a Spin Doctor and Fly while fishing with Capt. Vince Pierleoni out of Olcott in 180 feet of water. He was also the top youth catcher for the salmon division so far at 15 years old. Top brown trout is out of Wilson, a 17 pound, 6 ounce fish caught by Thomas Gies of Ann Arbor, Michigan, caught on an Ice Shadow Moonshine spoon over 220 feet of water, 45 feet down on a rigger with Capt. Dan Evans of Wilson. Yes, out deep targeting salmon. Current lake trout leader is Bob Turton of Sanborn with a 23 pound, 7 ounce fish from the Niagara Bar. He was trolling a Kwikfish lure. First place steelhead is a 16 pound, 3 ounce fish hauled in by Francis Holly IV of Wilson while fishing out of his home port. Yes, all of the current leaders are off the shores of Niagara County! The derby continues through July 31 so there’s plenty of room for improvement and plenty of fish to catch! Go to for a complete leaderboard update.

2.       Lower Niagara River – Moss is still a factor but it seems like things are slowly starting to subside. Lisa Drabczyk at Creek Road Bait and Tackle in Lewiston reports the better action has come around the Coast Guard station and the green can, but it’s been difficult. The slack water near the Fort Niagara launch ramps has produced a few bass, as well. A few walleye have been reported, too. Remember that the NRAA Bass Contest is July 23. Register at Creek Road Bait and Tackle in Lewiston or check out the website at for details.

3.       Upper Niagara River-Erie Canal – Moss is still an issue but manageable. Hopefully things will be clear for the new bracket tournament being held from Grand Island to the Peace Bridge by Bassmasters July 19-22. Only 8 boats and no formal weigh in – everything is weighed on each boat live time. Watch next week’s Outdoor Beat with BASS writer Don Barone as he covers the circuit and the new tournament. It starts Wednesday (the show) at 4 pm. The big news is the 26th Annual Erie Canal Fishing Derby underway through July 17. While fish have been coming to the scales early on, there’s plenty of room for improvement. Big bass is a 2 pound fish caught by Albert Whaley of North Tonawanda; biggest pike so far is a 6.7 pound fish reeled in by Michael Boncore of Tonawanda; Amy Schultz has the top bullhead at .79 pounds; Ed Lane of Lockport is leading the catfish division with a 3.79 pound fish; first place carp is 14 pounds, caught by Richard Udell of Gasport; and the sheepshead leader is Jacob Velesko of Middleport with a 8.28 pound bomber. No walleye yet. Go to

LAST WEEK    1.       Lake Ontario and tributaries — Some monster fish are being caught out there. Capt. Dan Evans of Wilson reported a 32.5 pound salmon hauled in by Todd Garzarelli on Tuesday. According to Evans with Lone Wolf Sportfishing, fishing for both salmon and trout has been good from 80 to 350 feet of water depending on wind direction. He was finding 48 degree water 60 feet down, stacking spoons on either side of that temperature break. Silver-green glo and black colors have been working best off copper rigs and downriggers. Spin doctors and A-Tom-Mik flies have worked best off the divers. White with green dot doctors and hammer flies are at the top of the list for him. He also hit a milestone last weekend when Harry Camardella of Wilson caught the biggest steelie Evans has ever taken off his 32 foot Luhrs, a 20 pound steelhead. With the LOC Derby starting July 1, don’t be surprised if we break the 20 pound mark for each one of the trout species and 35 for the king salmon division. Over in Olcott, Capt. Bob Cinelli was using all spoons to take a mix of salmon and trout – including a nice 12 pound Atlantic. Riggers, divers, and coppers. His best copper rigs were back 350 and 400 feet. Fish seem to be laid out west of Wilson all the way down the lake. His best fish catching depth was 65 to 80 foot zone. The Lake Ontario Counties Summer Salmon and Trout Derby is slated for July 1-31, 2016. A total of $29,000 will be up for grabs during July around the lake, including a Grand Prize of $10,000 for the biggest salmon weighed in. Four different species categories will be offering a $1,000 prize for the biggest fish in each. In addition, a weekly prize of $1,000 will also be given out to the largest salmon and $250 each to the largest lake trout, brown trout and rainbow/steelhead. And, if you are a member of the Lake Ontario Trout and Salmon Association, you can win another $500 in cash just for entering the largest salmon caught by a LOTSA member and witnessed by a LOTSA member. For $10, become a member of a group that’s fighting for every fish in the lake. Find out more on LOTSA at For information on the LOC Derby go to Capt. Paul Czarnecki of Tri-State Charters will give a talk on fall salmon fishing at the next LOTSA meeting on July 14 at Cornell Cooperative Extension Niagara starting at 7 pm.

2.       Lower Niagara River – Lower river action continues to be slow for bass and walleye because of the moss situation. However, you can find some spots in the river where the moss isn’t as bad, such as around the launch ramps at Fort Niagara. Minnows or crayfish work best. The Niagara River Anglers Assn. will be holding its annual bass contest on July 23. To find out more information go or call 807-6111 at Creek Road Bait and Tackle.

3.       Upper Niagara River-Erie Canal – Moss is still a problem in the upper river, too, but according to Scott McKee, president of the Niagara Musky Assn., the most is manageable for trollers and casters pursuing Mr. Toothy. The 26th Annual Erie Canal Fishing Derby is set for July 6th through the 17th. With more than $20,000 in cash and prizes up for grabs, there should be plenty of anglers lining the banks of the canal from the Niagara River to Albion. Categories include bass, sheepshead, northern pike, carp, catfish, bullhead and walleye. To find out more information contact Steve Harrington at 772-7972 or visit the derby website at In the Hooked on the Tonawandas tournament held June 25 and 26, some impressive catches came to the scales including a 22.4 pound carp reeled in by Matt Steffan of Williamsville; a 5 and a quarter pound Northern pike hauled in by Dan Dolan of Grand Island; Matt Melendez of Buffalo caught the biggest bullhead, a 1.22 pound fish; Richard Jopp of Buffalo led the charge with a .43 pound perch; and Sean Franklin of Buffalo placed first with a three pound bass.

Bill Hilts, Jr. – Director, Outdoor Promotions
Niagara Tourism & Convention Corporation
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Sportfishing has a $30 million annual economic impact in Niagara USA!


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