- We appreciate those who have been sending us reports - THANKS .!
And we welcome any new reports others wish to share with other anglers and we really enjoy those photos too..
- Read about our Outdoor Writers/Broadcasters Visit at Kentucky Lake
- There were only a couple reports this past week and all with Poor results...
If we can trust the forecast, it looks like a few days of milder weather coming..
And this will start a Slow melt of snow & ice...
We still saw some open water spots that Geese are keeping open..
- Avoid most rivers as there were high waters that caused breaking and flowing of ice..!
- We stress - Be Very Careful on the ice..! Always check Ice often..
- Ice fishing is still at your own risk. And Never Go Alone..!
- It may be hard to believe that spring could be near soon.
But with that we have some tips to help you GET READY for Open Water Fishing..!
- SOMETHING To LOOK FORWARD To:
Illinois´ 2014 Spring Trout Fishing Season Opens April 5th at 47 sites.
Check THIS PAGE for details and list of lakes stocked..
- One big thing to remember is no matter how bad the fishing has been for us anglers this summer, those Bait Shop owners have tried to keep fresh baits for us all.
However, they are just not selling very much bait with no one coming back in for more, they are not able to pay the rent or for inventory..
Too many have not been able to make it and went out of business in the past making it hard to find bait - so -
Please make sure to stop by those local (family run) bait shops for your bait, supplies and for current reports.
This will help to assure they will be there for all us anglers when we need bait.
- Possible Fish Kill - While talking with an IDNR Fisheries Biologist last week,
they feel this long winter of thick ice along with all the heavy snow cover may cause
fish kills in some area small lakes and ponds. The lack of sunlight and reduced oxygen in the water
will cause fish kills but may not be known till the snow and ice melt off.
- SWCD Fish Sales through 1st week in April :
Fulton County call Andy at 309-547-2215 ext 3
Peoria County call 309-671-7040, ext 3 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
- - Notes Of Interest : -
** Just a few lakes still Closed to fishing during the winter season.
--Check below in reports for the Closure dates provided to us..
* You should contact the lake or site directly for Closure updates and/or winter hours before going.
- - - - - -
- Check our sponsors on the right for your baits, tackle, guide options and more.
Visit their website links on the right.. ---------------->
- NORFORK LAKE in Arkansas
For current reports or to set up an Awesome fishing trip (we highly recommend),
check Tom Reynolds of STR Outfitters at www.stroutfitters.com
- Here is latest Report & tips from Tom for Early Spring Striper Fishing Tactics:
" Winter in the Ozarks this year is the worst I have seen in 17 years of living here but it will be over soon so it is time to start thinking of early spring striper movements.
The current water temperature is the lowest since 2000. That year we had a large shad kill and I expect the same this year.
Striper fishing in 2000 was outstanding, the fish were hungry, and with reduced shad population, the bite was on. Starting in late February we typically will see the winds switch to the south and a gradual warm up of air and water temperatures.
The stripers will begin to move from the deep water following the shad. There will multiple opportunities to catch stripers at that time. Both live bait and artificial baits will be very effective.
The night bite will begin once the winds blow from the south. You will want to fish the northern and northeastern banks of the bays and main lake and main arm points.
Some excellent spots are the points near the near the Norfork Dam, Koso Bay and Point, the Hudson area, Frog Pond, Diamond Bay, Cranfield Island,
and the points north of the Cranfield area heading towards Red Bank access. The best time to night fish is a half hour before dark until about 10 pm.
The best baits historically are 5 or 6 inch Rouges. The color of the Rouge varies with black/gold, clown, & blue/black combinations seeming to work the best,
but experiment with the colors until you find the one that works best that night. Bone color has been hot the last few years.
Make long casts parallel to the bank and reel very, very slowly. A lot of the bites will be right next to the boat so always have a big net ready.
Stripers, Hybrids, & Walleye are all active during this time. Watch the water temperature. As it moves up towards 60 degrees, the bite will get stronger.
During this time of year live bait, shad & shiners, are also very effective. The stripers will be roaming the shoreline looking for food.
I use shad but everything I do can be done using shiners. Most days I will run a large spread of lines. I begin with 2 inside planner boards,
one near the shore and other out 20 to 30 yards. These board lines will have large gizzard shad in the 4 to 8 inch range.
Out of the back of the boat I will have two lines with floats, shad on the hooks, with no weight at varies depths from 10 to 30 feet from the floats.
These lines will be set back from the boat between 30 to 60 yards. I then set out two free lines with a split shot weight on one line and nothing on the other.
Both will have large shad on them and will be set 40 to 60 feet from the back of the boat.
The last outside line will have one planner board with a large shad out 40 yards from the back of the boat.
As the water warms the stripers will continue to move into the larger creeks to spawn. The magic water temperature number is 60 degrees.
Your tactic to catch stripers should be to keep moving with the fish and continue to experiment with your techniques
- Our friend Bill caught this 20 inch Redfish near Naples, Florida
that has 10 - 11 spots per side which is
pretty unusual as most only have 2 to 5 spots.
Says there are not very many Red´s around now but this was
one of the better days in the back water this year so far.
Caught several sheephead & ladyfish, a 18 inch Snook, a 17 inch Spotted Sea Trout and his first Black Drum too.
You never know what is going to grab you bait here.
HEIDECKE LAKE -
* * The Lake is CLOSED for season --
Heidecke Lake is scheduled to Re-Open to fishing on April 1st but may depend if there is still ice..?
McMASTER LAKE at - SNAKEDEN HOLLOW - - NW of Peoria, just 1 1/2 miles East of Victoria South off IL Route 167,
there is a 10HP limit. 309-879-2607
** The Depot Bait and Tackle Store in Victoria, 2 blocks south of U.S. 167 on Union St. has live bait & tackle
open from an hour before sunrise till an hour after sunset, 7 days a week!!
Stop in and tell Duane & Becky we said HI, or give them a call at 309-879-2401
** THIS AREA IS OPEN TO FISHING For the Season
-- Check with them at The Depot Bait and Tackle Store in Victoria for Bait & current reports
and info on the Fishing in the area.
REND LAKE -
* Lake had some ice yet today on the shoreline, main lake was open many ramps iced heard the Gun Creek boat ramp may be open.
This warm up will surely open more up soon..? Only a few Crappie being caught around bridges..
- Check with Todd Gessner Outdoors Guide Service on Rend Lake at 618-513-0520 for future fishing trips
and make sure to look into a stay at the new Gun Creek Fin, Fur & Feathers Sportsmens Club now with a bait shop too..
|The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers at Rend Lake has partnered with the Rend Lake Lunker Busters
and Mt. Vernon Winnelson Company, to provide collection stations for recycling monofilament fishing line.
Monofilament fishing line can be damaging to our environment and harmful to wildlife and visitors
when not disposed of properly. Each year hundreds of animals are entangled in discarded fishing line.
In addition, the improperly discarded fishing line causes damage to boat motors and can even entangle swimmers
The recycling containers for monofilament line are provided at various locations around Rend Lake at the following boat ramps:
Dam West, Jackie Branch, Sailboat Harbor, Rend Lake Conservancy District, Ina, South Marcum, North Marcum, South Sandusky, North Sandusky, Rend Lake Resort, and Gun Creek.
While at the lake, visitors are asked to place all used fishing line in the newly placed recycle containers but please do not place cans, bottles,
or other trash in these special fishing line recycling bins. All used line that is collected will be sent to a manufacturer in Iowa where it will be made into fish habitat structures.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers encourages all visitors to pitch in to make Rend Lake a safer
and more beautiful place to recreate.
For more info feel free to contact the Rend Lake Project Office at 11981 Rend City Road, Benton, IL 62812
or by phone at 618-724-2493.
SHABBONA LAKE -
- - This Lake has a 10-horsepower limit.
- - - Park hours thru January 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Park hours thru March 8:00 AM – 6:00 PM
-- Reports of near 20 inches or more of ice..
- Bluegills were FAIR on rock piles at road-bed
- Crappie were FAIR at start of weekend in the trees but not much to report this week so far..
- Lakeside is open 7 days a week,
Monday thru Thursday 8AM to Noon and Friday thru Sunday 8AM to 2 PM
Restaurant is open Saturday & Sunday 11 am to 4 pm
SPRING LAKE (South & North) - Just south of Pekin off Manito Blacktop, 5 miles northwest of Manito,
and there is a 25HP limit. (309-968-7135)
** On morning of March 7th site super reported about 8 inches of Ice on lake and felt it could take 10 - 12 days, depending on over night temps, rain and wind for Ice to go off lake.??
- - - - SOME ILLINOIS POWER PLANT LAKES - - - -
BRAIDWOOD LAKE -
* Lake has Re-Opened to fishing for the season..
- Dale Bowman reported in the Chicago Sun-Times - Tough weather, but some of the boaters had good success with bass and even hybrid striped bass.
Shorelines were treacherous, to say the least.
CLINTON LAKE - Three miles east of Clinton off Route 10 or 54 Ph 217/935-8722.
A PORTION OF LAKE FROM ABOUT IP POINT UP TO 54 BRIDGE IS CLOSED
--A NO-WAKE speed limit is in effect from a half-hour after sunset to a half-hour before sunrise at Clinton Lake.
Signs will be posted at the lake for reminders and a Violation will lead to a $75 ticket.
* Joe of Ol´ Joe´s Bait and Tackle on Rt. 54 in DeWitt is Open for winter
from 5am - 11am 7 days a week ( UNLESS we are having a blizzard, then I will be closed)
for ALL your fishing needs and will try to stay open as long as the fishermen want.
He want to let those interested that the business is FOR SALE .
- We can highly recommend you stop by or call Joe at 217-935-6244.
** Also, this is the place to get your FIZARDS .! AND he has a 24 hour bait machine up and running with some tackle and other machines coming soon..
REMEMBER the easterly area of Clinton Lake between the DeWitt (CH14) and the 48 bridges
is CLOSED FROM OCT. 10th through MARCH 31st to protect fish and wildlife. It will Re-OPEN April 1st..
And – No bow-fishing is allowed in spillway which is considered a developed recreational area.
LAKE SPRINGFIELD - At Springfield off I-55 Exit 94 and go the east.
- - About 22,800 blue catfish 3-5 inches in length were stocked into Lake Springfield in fall 2013.
-- Check with Trevor at Big Reds Bait and Tackle for your bait and current reports
at 2193 Stevenson Drive in Springfield just a mile west from the lake dam.
You can call them at (217) 679-1800
LaSALLE LAKE - (815) 795-2448
** This Lake is CLOSED for the season
And Re-Opens March 15th with hour in March of 6 a.m.-sunset, Wednesday through Sunday.--
NEWTON LAKE - 16-17 miles southeast of Effingham off Route 33.
- The lake is clear and late last week water temps were in high 40s to 60 on hot side
but now about 46 at ramp.
- The Bass were FAIR last week but now SLOW-FAIR on jigs and plastics near deep timber
-- There is new white marker buoy line at the hot water area..
POWERTON LAKE - One mile south of Pekin off Route 29 along Manito Blacktop.
---- site Office 309-968-7135
- - LAKE IS OPEN TO SHORE FISHING and BOAT FISHING - -
-- WINTER HOURS : 8am - 4pm
- - This is an amazing fishery and some anglers tell us it will be for years if CPR ( Catch - Photo - Release ) is done sometimes
JUST A THOUGHT !
- - The DNR Fisheries Biologist deserve a Big THANKS for their stocking, maintaining and yearly surveys to monitor the Bluecats population in this lake..
* - Check with at Riverside Bait & Tackle in Pekin (309) 347-3793 on your way for bait and latest reports
or his full line of tackle.. Tell them Larry sent you..!
* Oh Yeah, this is a place to get FIZARDS...!
WINTER HOURS: Mon - Sat 7am to 4pm and Sun 8am to 3pm..
SANGCHRIS LAKE - South of Springfield off I-55 Exit 82 and go east on Route 104 about 10 miles, with a 25HP limit.
-- Sangchris Lake site office at 217/498-9208 from 8 a.m.- 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.
- No Reports from here..
-- Check with Trevor at Big Reds Bait and Tackle for current reports
at 2193 Stevenson Drive in Springfield on your way to lake..
* West Boat ramp remains closed due to pending construction with a completion date in spring.
- LINKS or Other Lake Reports outside Central Illinois. -
The complete Guide to the Carlyle Lake area.
- For Chicago area and southern Wisconsin Fishing Reports check out the
Chicago Sun-Times Outdoors section by Dale Bowman
- MARK TWAIN LAKE in Missouri
---Check Out The Fishing Reports from the Good people at South Fork Resort
- NORFORK LAKE in Arkansas
For current reports or to set up a fishing trip (we would recommend),
check STR Outfitters at www.stroutfitters.com
--- View STR Outfitters Facebook page click here
for real time up to date each day or read Tom´s fishing blog here at http://stroutfitters.blogspot.com
If you are thinking of Fishing or Hunting this year
Check the Reports & specials from Tom Reynolds of STR Outfitters
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