The Latest Outdoor News Update May 4, 2017

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Outdoor News

Kentucky Lake Fishing Report from Capt. Rich Bay

Your fishing report for May 2, 2017 From the deck of the Kick n Bass pontoon

Well, the last three weeks have been exciting! Fishing has been excellent for the most part. Wind, rain and cold fronts have made it tough but working hard to keep on the fish has paid off!  Between crappies, largemouth, stripers and a few sauger, the fishing has been a mixed bag of fillets. With redear/bluegill season just getting underway, the steam heading into summer is full speed ahead!

Lake conditions
Water temps are about 68.5 degrees in the morning and warming up to about 73 degrees in the afternoons. These temps are perfect for pulling cranks crappie fishing as long as they are steady. Weather forecast is for steady temps but some storms…overall May is going to be great for fishing! Water levels are at 357.0 and they are predicted to stay at that level for the near future. TVA is pulling 150,000 cfs right now to accommodate the storms that are blasting the area this last week.

Rain, rain…go away!!

You can view the lake levels here: Click Here

These last few weeks have been just fantastic for fishing…especially for crappies! Some weather has caused a couple of rough trips but the bite and the spawn are on. The KnB pontoon has been pulling crankbaits exclusively. With the water temps and the water rising and then being lowered as rapidly as the TVA are doing it, my best way to find these scattered crappie is by covering A LOT of water. The deeper bays have been where I have concentrated my efforts these last few weeks and all the crappies have been prespawn with eggs. The West KY biologist has told me the reason for these fish with eggs is that some just do not move up to spawn. They will spawn in deeper water than most.

We have had fish from 6 inches to 17 inches! Yesterday’s near 17 inch white female crappie by Ernie Knepp from Indiana has been the largest to date this year…full of eggs from 18 feet of water. Best speed has been 1.8 mph but when the cold fronts move in, I have slowed to 1.6 mph. Best color has been changing nearly daily. Luckily I have a huge stash of every color Arkie crankbait that they make. Lately the black/gold 350 series and the various chrome lure colors have been like dynamite. Also, some days a Perch colored Arkie has done the trick. I ALWAYS run some pink or pink variation as a constant….best crappie color in my opinion. In fact, the 7 pound largemouth we caught last week was on a pink crank in 15 feet of water. Some fish are coming from shallow water stake beds but I have not fished shallow at all….staying away from the crowds.

Other Species
Same report as my last report on other species. Haven’t fished for any other types of fish but we have had incidental catches of largemouth (to 7 pounds), yellow bass (some good sized fish) and a bunch of perfect eating sized whitebass. Have had several sauger but only one longer than the 14 inch minimum. Haven’t fished yet for redear and bluegill but have seen some good, prespawn catches of both. Some great catches of cats by the catfishers too.

ATTABOY:    Rich, just wanted to again say we loved and appreciated all your hard work you put in to guide us the last 2 days. We will be back!   Ernie, Kendall, Ryan, Alan and Braxton  Montgomery, IN.

Captain Rich! •

Salmon Unlimited News by Mark Sundahl

Click here to download this month’s Hookn Line newsletter.

If you’re interested in fishing in the Salmon Unlimited of Wisconsin’s “SU WI Open” Tournament on June 3rd this year, Click here for the rules and entry information.   Enjoy!

Mark Sandahl
Hookn Line Editor

Walleyes Unlimited News by Rob Clark

Founded in 1969, Walleyes Unlimited USA is now recognized as one of the top multi-species fishing clubs in the country and has been educating anglers for over four decades. The majority of our members are residents of northern Illinois and southern Wisconsin.

Our club attracts a wide variety of anglers and skill levels. By sharing information, Walleyes Unlimited members learn the latest techniques and methods and locations for a variety of species.

Although our main interest is on walleyes, our membership benefits includes some of the top local anglers for bass, northern pike, muskie, panfish and salmon. Whether you are a novice or hard core fanatic, our meetings and membership can increase your skill and knowledge for most freshwater fish. Find More on our Facebook Page

In May of 2007 Walleyes Unlimited USA was honored to be inducted as an organization into the “Fresh Water Fishing Hall of Fame.”

Upcoming Meetings and Event Dates

Both WI and IL meeting locations have both soft and adult drinks available for purchase down the hall in the same building; the Wisconsin location also has a full food menu at the connected restaurant.

May 2017

Wisconsin Meeting: American Legion Greendale Post 416 | 6351 W. Grange Ave. | Greendale, WI 53129 | Date: Wednesday, May 10, 2017 | Speaker: Greg Kuhn | Topic: Bassin’ on Big Green Lake

Greg Kuhn is a dedicated husband and father of two beautiful girls. He started his fishing journey nine years ago, with one fishing rod and a hand me down boat fishing small lakes in South and Central Wisconsin. This hobby has developed into a passion for the sport of fishing.

Now a part time guide, Beaver Dam Bass Anglers Club President, and tournament fishermen Greg has honed his fishing skills as a multi-species fisherman by fishing throughout the upper Midwest. Greg donates his time introducing today’s youth to fishing, guiding, and promoting the sport with a positive attitude.

Greg has an outstanding record fishing within his club. Finishing in the top three in Angler of the year standings the last four years, winning in 2015. Fishing club tournaments Greg has cashed a check 16 times dating back to 2013. At Big Green Lake, Greg has finished with all top 3 finishes winning 3 times in club tournaments dating back to 2012, along with several top 5 finishes at open tournaments. Greg has also fished in the FLW BFL tournaments as a co-angler finishing 11th in his first and only tournament fished.

Greg is a member of the NPAA, B.A.S.S, FLW, and a guide representative of: St. Croix Rods, Eco-Pro Tungsten, Simms Fishing, Trokar, and River 2 Sea.

Greg’s presentation on Big Green should be informative. An excellent opportunity to become familiar with patterns on this lake that so many club members fish years ago. A perfect tune up presentation for the opening of bass fishing in Wisconsin.

Free Children’s Fishing Clinic Sunday May 21, 2017 | Time: 2:00 – 5 :00 PM | LOCATION: Hastings Lake Forest Preserve | 21155 Gelden Rd. | Lake Villa, IL 60046

You are invited to attend this informational clinic at no charge. This is a great opportunity for a parent to attend with their child. Children under sixteen wishing to attend must be attended with a parent. Reservations are not required but please e-mail or call soon so we know how many might attend.

Walleyes Unlimited is a fishing club with members primarily residing in northern Illinois and southern Wisconsin and has been inducted into the Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame due in part to the club’s dedication to teaching others to fish.

Contact Coordinator: Eric Ehrhardt (224)415-1354

Illinois Meeting: Gurnee American Legion | 749 Milwaukee Ave. | Gurnee, IL 60031 | Date: Wednesday, May 31, 2017 | Speaker: Phil Piscatello | Topic: An In-Depth Look at Advance Bass Fishing Techniques

Phil Piscatello has been a Walleyes Unlimited Club member for 29 years. Phil is a multi-species angler with over 40 years fishing experience. He is both a tournament angler and fishing guide. Locally, Phil fishes many bodies of water including local lakes such as the Fox Chain O’Lakes, Geneva, Delavan, and Pewaukee.

Piscatello has fished both the Northland Bass Circuit and the Sturgeon Bay Bass Open along with numerous walleye circuits including MWC. PWT, FLW, and Fox Chain circuit. He is an outdoor writer for Midwest Outdoors Magazine. Additional media credits on TV and radio shows include Steve Sarley’s Outdoors Experience, Frank Hyla’s Time on the Water, FLW Outdoors, and Midwest Outdoors TV, Chauncey’s Great Outdoors, and Mike Jackson Outdoors.

Please join us as Phil will be sharing his knowledge on how to catch bass all season long with artificial baits on heavily pressured local bodies of water.

Lake Geneva Fishing Club News by Rob Clark

We Welcome New Members to the Lake Geneva Fishing Club

The Fishing Club of Lake Geneva is dedicated to promoting sport fishing for all species on Lake Geneva. We also encourage kids to fish, and the club sponsors an annual Kids Free Fishing Day as described on our Kids Day page. The club has season long outings, including a “Learn the Lake Outing” for newer members or those not familiar with this body of water, and contests on Geneva. At the monthly meetings, we have speakers that include members along with expert fishing and electronics professionals. We meet at Cabela’s the second Wednesday of the month from March through November. We welcome all – men, women, and youth.

Monthly Meeting Information

Cabela’s new store hours (closing at 8 PM) necessitates a change in our meeting time. Food and soft drinks/bottled water will be available for purchase ($5.00) by members at 5:00 PM so that we can settle into our seats by the 5:30 PM start. The “Guest Fee” of $10 includes food and a beverage. Feel free to arrive early to have a bite to eat, get acquainted with other members and guests, etc.  Meetings starts promptly at 5:30 pm.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017 | Food and Beverage at 5:00 PM, meeting begins at 5:30 PM – Note new start times! | Cabela’s | 5225 Prairie Stone Pkwy. | Hoffman Estates, IL 60192 | (847) 645-0400 |Speaker: Mike Norris – Author, Guide, Media Star | Learning About Big Green Lake – A Remarkable Deep Clear Water Fishing Opportunity

As one of the Midwest’s top tournament anglers and fishing guides, Mike Norris’s extensive knowledge of fishing covers techniques from basic innovative strategies. This flexibility makes him as successful fishing for panfish and northern pike as he is at catching bass and walleye.

Mike’s expertise doesn’t end on the water. He is a dynamic seminar speaker, radio host, outdoors writer and photographer.

Before moving to central Wisconsin in 2008 Mike hosted weekly outdoors radio shows on “The SCORE” and WBIG.  And in between tournaments, he guided on Geneva Lake and he wrote weekly outdoor columns for the Aurora Beacon and Elgin Courier newspapers and other regional fishing publications.  As a bass tournament angler Mike dominated regional bass tournaments.  And as walleye angler, Mike founded “The Walleye Masters Institute” which was attended annually by hundreds of walleye enthusiasts.

Mike’s numerous magazine articles, photo credits and television appearances combined with his extensive tournament, radio and seminar experience make it easy to see that Mike Norris is truly a multi-media operation.  And now let me give the floor to…Mike as he teaches us how to fish Green Lake to catch monster smallmouth and other species.

Chicagoland Muskie Hunter News by Dean Rosset

Here we are in the Merry Month of May.  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 May 9 meeting will feature Dan Lazzeroni, Wisconsin guide, on Top water trolling and live bait tactics.

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

Chicago River Report by Pat Harrison

 Good Morning.  Out a few times last week fish on the river are a bit confused with the change in weather and current. Water levels were up and down on the river last week and sometimes almost still. Had to work for the fish we caught the Carp are starting to move to spawn and are jumping they have moved some of the Crappie Gils and Bass out of areas that normally hold them. Catfish 16″ to 22″ seemed to like what was going on we caught about 20 in 3 trips. Bass were coming on crank baits along the walls with sun on them biggest being about 15″. Crappie/Gills were tough but some were good size on Jig and waxie or minnow about 6 foot down in 12 to 14 foot of water..

 Out on the lake we flat lined cranks baits and boated one nice Brown about 6 pounds. I’m in the transition period waiting for the new boat but still fishing. I have a few trips this week and the weather looks a bit better. Have a Great week go fishing.
Thanks Pat

Local Fishing Report by Ken HUSKER O’Malley

THIS WEEK – Hey Don,  Before the rains, water clarity was very good on area lakes. Bass were up shallow staging for the spawn. Various baits were taking good numbers of male bass. Chatterbaits, mojo rigs, and lipless cranks were the baits of choice.

Once the rains hit, water clarity was down to a few inches as water levels rose. Throwing spinner baits tight to flooded shorelines took good numbers despite the conditions. Weather has not been cooperating this spring, but at least the fish have.   TTYL

LAST WEEK – Hey Don,  The bass bite has been very good on area lakes. The recent warm temps has triggered a very good even bite. Bass are up shallow, so casting parallel to the inside weedlines keep the bait in the strike zone longer. Lipless cranks have been the most productive bait. My personal choice is the strike king red eye shad.   TTYL

Ken “Husker” O’Malley Huskeroutdoors Waterworks fishing team

Rend Lake Fishing Report by Randy Cordray

LARGEMOUTH BASS Good Minnows spinner baits, worms, and black and blue jigs. Reports of fish being caught around Jackie Branch, Sandusky Cove, and below the dam. Fish in shallow bays near brush cover and bushes. Fish around bridges and along the rocks 14” minimum length limit, 6 daily creel limit. 1 fish daily creel limit in PONDS 14” minimum length.


Excellent Meal worms. Small & medium minnows. Quarter-ounce pink and white tub jigs. Shallow water!  Fish attractors!  From shore, fish near structures, hot spots are Jackie Branch, Sandusky, Sailboat Harbor, Marcum coves, and Ina Boat Ramp. Try the Jackie Branch Breakwater and along Mine 21 Road. Fish the main lake drop off areas. 25 fish daily creel limit with no more than 10 fish 10 inches or longer


Fair Small jigs, worms, meal worms, wax worms, crickets. From shore try Sailboat Harbor and Mine 21 Road. Try fishing shallow with crickets, worms or small jigs. Fish in the back of necks and on flat shallow banks and on the rocks. 10 fish daily creel limit in PONDS. 



Excellent Large minnows, leeches, Hoss’s Hawg Bait, night crawlers, and Sonny’s stink bait. Try leeches in moving water.  Drift fish the flats. Set line 3-4’ from the shore over rocks. Try the Waltonville Dam, Turnip Patch, Jackie Branch, and North Sandusky Day Use Area. 6 fish daily creel limit in PONDS.

Jugs must be attended at all times while fishing.

WHITE BASS Fair In-line spinners, jig and curly tail grubs. Reports of fish being caught around the 154 bridges. Fish around along the rocks and drop-offs Fish in shallow bays near brush cover and bushes. 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 Report by Steve Welsh

THIS WEEK – With the recent rains the lake is projected to rise eight-feet this week. This will muddy the entire north end that have the main feeder rivers coming in. The key is to find coves that have no creek in the back and the banks are very steep. All these bank have bushes on them and the crappie will just go up with the water and get in the green vegetation. They are shallow from pre-spawn so they will just rise up the banks. Water color will be your main concern so like I said search coves with no creek in the back. There are a ton of them.

After the lake settles then you can start to try and get above the incoming water way up in the feeder creeks. I mean way up I have had my boat some six miles above the lake in creeks that normally you can walk across.

With the biggest tourneys of the year approaching this week and the next two you will have your work cut out for you because now the lake is twice as big.

The walleye and white bass will remain up in the creeks now for a few weeks but will be on points and anything area with a hard bottom. Four-feet above summer pool is really a great depth to navigate the rivers and you will have clear enough water to fish in a few days. With Carlyle also going up eight-feet Shelbyville will remain high for quite some time so get out there and find your fish again.

LAST WEEK – Lake Shelbyville currently is at 596 and some change. This is slightly four-feet below summer pool. The water temps are running about 60-63. This has really brought the male crappie into the shallows to prepare for spawning. Boat and bank anglers alike are doing very well fishing anywhere from 3-6 ft. deep along shore line wood or rock just about
anywhere on the lake but the north end is your best bet right now.

A chartreuse and orange or red Midsouth tube and a 3/32oz. Deep Ledge Jig under a slip cork is flat out catching a hundred a day but don’t forget your plain minnow under a slip cork as well.

Walleye and Sauger will soon start coming back down from the river to the lake and can be caught on points and edges of flats by casting jigs and twisters or pulling bouncers and spinners. Typically this starts about mid May but everything is running a little early this year.

Steve Welch
Crappie Specialties

Central Wisconsin Outdoor Report by Phil Schweik

Lots of rain this past week has made for high and muddy conditions on the Wisconsin River and
surrounding streams and creeks. Water temperatures have dropped considerably from earlier this week
and are now back in the mid 40 degree range. A lot of the fishing we have been doing lately has
revolved around getting out of the fast water and into backwater areas of the main river system itself.
We are catching nice walleyes, crappies and catfish by working areas that have zero or significantly
reduced current. A lot of these fish are post-spawn fish that are holding in traditional post spawn
locations. Jig and minnow combinations have been working very well for us, but we are also picking up a
few nice fish by running slip bobbers set at various depths. Most of our action is coming from 10 to 14
feet of water but we are also picking up a few shallow crappies that are hugging shoreline structure.
With a lot of focus on spring fishing lately don’t forget that the 2017 Spring Turkey season has started
and hunters are off with a bang. A lot of nice birds have been taken this past week despite the adverse
conditions with rain and wind. Terry Waldvogel bagged a very nice bird on the second day of season
after passing on several opportunities at smaller birds that same day and the previous day.
Have a great week,

Phil Schweik
Hooksetters Guide Service

Mercer’s 11th Annual Lupine Junefest Festival

Celebrates the area’s Lupine wildflowers that bloom in early June and kicks off the busy summer season.

The festival is hosted by the Mercer Area Chamber of Commerce to promote the Mercer area as a vacation destination for silent sports enthusiasts.

Join Us on a Bike Tour Among the Lupines

These are not races, but opportunities to encourage outdoor enthusiasts to enjoy the beautiful Northwoods and the spring wildflowers that are native to our area. Individuals can elect to take part in 10, 26. 28 or 50 mile Junefest Bike Tours.

The rides travel along paved roads among blossoming lupines and other wildflowers.   SAG vehicles, food, water and comfort stops provided en-route.  Bicycle helmets are required!

CLICK HERE for more Information   Register Now!

Destination Niagara USA Fishing Forecast by Bill Hilts Jr.

There is still a state of emergency along the Lake Ontario shoreline for high water levels. This isn’t really going to affect the fishing that much, but the Niagara County Sheriff is asking that boats creating a wake stay at least 500 feet from shore. This doesn’t include trolling. Caution is advised for floating debris when you are out in the lake moving around.  The Spring LOC Derby ( is full steam ahead so good luck to all your derby fishermen and women. For fishing, it’s been a mixed bag for trollers. Stickbaits or spoons in tight to shore off boards or riggers in 10 to 25 feet of water for browns, a bit deeper for Coho salmon and the occasional king salmon. After the hard east blow last Sunday, things need to settle down a little for the kings to show back up again in any numbers. If there is a mud line, work it for any shoreline trolling. Head out to 50 to 125 feet of water for lake trout on the bottom and Cohos up top, too. The Lake Ontario Pro-Am Salmon Team Tournament is set for May 19-21 out of Wilson and Olcott. The registration link is now live for registering. Go to  Of particular note is the revamped Amateur Open Division with each day being a separate event. Just bring in your best three fish and win some great prizes. The Wilson Harbor Invitational Tournament is May 13. Check out for details. Speaking of Wilson, if you launch at the state park, bring along some boots. At least until the new floating docks are put into place. Those should be in by this Saturday.The Don Johannes and Pete DeAngelo 3-fish/1-fish contest is May 18 as a precursor to the Pro-Am. Sign up at any of the LOC weigh stations in Wilson and Olcott. The piers are questionable because of the high water levels. Don’t take any chances out there. The pier at the foot of Route 425 is currently underwater. Yes, it’s over 20-inches high out in the lake. The creeks are all high and muddy. More rain is on the way!

Lower Niagara River fishing action slowed down considerably yesterday with the muddy water coming down the river. The place with the cleanest water was Devil’s Hole or on either side of the river current in the lake. The high water levels in the river have not had a huge impact on the area fishing … so far. However, a recent note from the New York Power Authority stated that the fishing platform built at the Niagara Power Project was closed down on Monday due to high water levels. It remained closed until water levels receded. Before you head down fishing there, you might want to call 796-0135 Ext. 45 to see if it’s open. As of May 3 it was back open again. Some steelhead, lake trout, smallmouth bass and silver bass have been caught off the platform last week. Those fish can still be caught off the shoreline in Devil’s Hole and along Artpark, too. Some nice bass were also caught downriver on swim baits and jerk baits. Another fishing option is the NYPA Reservoir. Mike Rzucidlo of Niagara Falls caught numerous smallmouth bass last week tossing white and yellow jigs. There is access at Reservoir Park and off Upper Mountain Road at the Fire Company. The Fort Niagara launches should both be open on Friday of this week.

If you want to learn more about the fishing in Lake Ontario, you’ll want to attend the next LOTSA meeting May 11 in Lockport starting at 7 p.m. They will be holding a round table session with their members. The Lewiston smelt festival is set for May 5. Cooking starts at 5 p.m. For more details on that, go to

Bill Hilts, Jr. – Outdoor Promotions Director
Inline image 2
Destination Niagara USA

Lake of the Woods Minnesota Fishing Report by Joe Henry

THIS WEEK –  Finally some warmer days again after a spring snowfall this week! Many big sturgeon boated up and down the river this week.  Fish different holes until you find fish as one day one hole may be better than the day before.  Use a 3 ounce no roll sinker, a 1-1.5 foot leader, and a circle hook (called a sturgeon rig)  loaded with and crawlers and/or frozen shiners. Anchor boat up stream of a deeper hole and pitch sturgeon rig into the hole. Heavy equipment is preferred.

Pike fishing is hot right now in shallow bays and in bays on the Rainy River. Best methods so far are using buzzbaits, spinnerbaits, or lying a frozen cisco on bottom with a hook and weight (similar to a sturgeon rig but with less weight).  Pike are open all year up on LOW.

Up at the NW Angle, the ice has been gone for a couple of weeks and resorts are getting ready for the MN fishing opener May 13th.  Pike and crappies open all year for LOW MN and sturgeon fishing through May 15th and re-opens again July 1st.  Walleyes are in good numbers around the lake.  Lodging, charters and guides still available for opener at

LAST WEEK – Many big sturgeon boated this past week again.  Has been a great year for sturgeon so far up and down the river.  Fish different holes until you find fish.  Use a 3 ounce no roll sinker, a 1-1.5 foot leader, and a circle hook loaded (called a sturgeon rig) with frozen shiners and crawlers for best results. Anchor boat up stream of a deeper hole and pitch sturgeon rig into the hole. Heavy equipment is preferred.  Pike fishing is going good right now in shallow bays and on the Rainy River. Best methods so far are using buzz baits or lying a frozen cisco on bottom with a hook and weight(similar to a sturgeon rig but with less weight).

Pike are active in bays. The lake and bays and water starting to warm up and pike are being caught.  Pike are open all year up on LOW.

Up at the NW Angle, the ice is gone and it’s open water.  Remember, walleyes open May 13th, pike and crappies open all year for LOW MN and sturgeon fishing through May 15th and then again July 1st.  

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


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