- We appreciate those who have been sending us reports - THANKS For Sharing.!
And we welcome any new reports others wish to share with other anglers and we really enjoy those photos too..
* With these conditions, we will not Update again until Feb 11th
-- Looking at the extended 10-day forecast, there will be several warm day for more melting
with some cold days and cold over night temps 1st week of February that may cause some re-freezing but not much more building of ice..?
* Be Very Careful *
- With this warm-up and all the variables in ice conditions, there is no such thing as 100 percent SAFE ICE
which means Ice Fishing is done at you own Risk..
There are several lakes that may have fair ice on lake but now have very thin shoreline ice..
- Ice less than 4 inches is not totally Safe which means you could have 2 inches of ice or less near you.
- Fact is that Ice seldom freezes or refreezes uniformly
- Check the Ice thickness often and Never assume the Ice is Safe
- Never go ice fishing alone, it is always best to go with a buddy, or at least fish near other ice fishermen and let others know where you will be.
- Always take a throwable safety cushion and attach about 25 feet of rope.
- Have a pair of Ice Claws or Picks on you to help one get out of a hole - and we hope you will never use them..
-- Ice fishing can be a great way to enjoy winter, just - Always Be Careful - do not rely on what others say, but verify for yourself.
- If you go out to take advantage of any ice fishing, dress warm, take extra clothes just in case, get some Hand Warmer and follow the tips above.
- With the winter weather, we have some tips to help us
Keep Our Fishing Season Going
till that first fishing day next spring.
- - Notes Of Interest : -
* The New 2015-2016 Illinois Fishing Information guide is now available in PDF format
on the IDNR website where
you can read or print your copy.
Noteworthy for Central Illinois is the change in
Saugeye limit on Evergreen Lake
& Crappie limit on Lake Bloomington & Bluegill limits on Dawson Lake
and PLEASE NOTE TOURNAMENT INFORMATION CORRECTION: A change to the Tournament Fishing Permit information found on page 58.
The information for item bullet i, number 1 is incorrect. This rule will not be implemented.
* There are several New Conservation Laws in 2015.
Review the Full list HERE
- Construction to begin at Stratton Lock and Dam on the Fox River in McHenry County.
The $16.7 million improvement project will install new dam gates and extend lock to reduce wait times for boat traffic.
Lock construction will take place during the non-boating season, November 1 thru April 30.
Be aware to construction zones near the lock and dam and possible limited fishing access areas.
The project is expected to be completed by November 2016.
More Details and Aerial
** NOTE -- With the last day of waterfowl hunting seasons on Jan. 31st, there are many lakes that will Re-Open for fishing.
* You should contact the lake or site directly for Closure updates and/or winter hours before going.
--Check below in reports for the Closure and/or Opening dates that have been provided to us..
- Check our sponsors on the right for your baits, tackle, guide options and more.
Visit their website links on the right.. ------------------------------------> >
- LOCAL PONDS & STRIP MINE LAKES -
- - Here are couple photos from past couple weeks:
- Our friend Jeff and his fishing buddy Marcus (pictured)
fished a private lake in Rushville Jan. 20th
where there was about 8 inches of ice
and they caught a lot of Bluegills ( 101 )
along with 5 Bass and these 12 & 13 inch Crappie
- Bryon, Scott & Max (above) say the Bluegill and Bass where both hitting good on wax worms
at a farm pond west of Bloomington on Jan. 17 & 18 where there was some spots of 8 inch ice.
- Max says by later Sunday the warm weather made the ice thinner in some spots,
so they are
going to stay off the ice until it gets below freezing for a few days..
- 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 from Tom :
"This past week the weather has been very cold and windy, a warming trend started mid-week and the fishing conditions changed overnight.
The Norfork Lake water temperature is in the mid-40s and the stripers, hybrids, and white bass bite continue to school but moved from the Blue Lady area and back to the main lake in front of the Henderson Marina.
There is an old road bed that starts at the marina and goes across to Panther Bay. The stripers & hybrids follow it and schools of bait roam along the roadbed. Follow that looking for bait & stripers.
The other spot is the north side of the 62 bridge, large schools of bait & stripers are roaming up and down the length of the bridge on the shaded side. Once the sun hits the north side of the bridge the shad go deeper and the fish disappear.
Stripers are being caught from 30 to 105 feet deep.
I started fishing this week in the Blue Lady dock area. We caught several stripers on Monday but the bite was very slow and fish were biting very lightly. The latter part of the week I had Mitch & Mark from Kansas City.
They were here participating in my Cast & Blast special.
The first day Thursday we only caught one 14 lb striper, we were on fish all day but it was the first day of high pressure with the start of the warming trend. The second day we went pheasant hunting at Ozark Wings and had a blast hunting.
They harvested 15 pheasants that day. The last day we were in the third day of warm weather and I knew the bite would be good.
We started again at the Blue Lady area but I saw very few fish so I called a friend and he was catching fish near the Henderson marina.
The best bite of the day was just north of the 62 bridge in the shade, we caught 5, 1 striper & 4 hybrids that weighted 6, 8, 9, & 10 lbs.
We had multiple opportunities for number 6 but the wind came up and the fish disappeared.
A trick I learned from an old timer when using threadfin shad in the winter. The water temperature is in the mid-40s and when you catch the small bait they stress out and die very quickly.
To solve this problem I purchased a Aquarium water heater that is undersized, my tank is 50 gallons so the warmer was for 30 gallons. You want to warm the water but only about 15 degrees.
My bait lived all day when the water was warmed.
Norfork Lake remains at 1 foot below the old normal fall/winter pool. The water visibility is stained in the creeks and pretty clear in the main channels.
Tom Reynolds has fished Lake Norfork for over 35 years and guides out of Tracy Ferry Marina; you can reach him at www.stroutfitters.com or 870-421-1541 or on Facebook.
** Reading these Norfork reports it is hard to know the time and work involved to get & keep bait to be able to catch these awesome fish,
but We can verify the time and how much work it is for a live bait fishing guide as we spent 2 days with Tom from start to finish of day to understand "A day as a Guide" and all the time and work involved.
Read our full STORY HERE
- Or read Tom´s Winter Striper Tactics
BANNER MARSH - 3 access points on Routes 24/9 3 mi. NE of Banner, with a 25HP limit. (309-647-9184)
** FISHING IS ONLY ALLOWED AFTER 1PM Through Jan. 31st and WILL RE-OPEN To ALL FISHIGN ON Feb. 1st - -
DOUBLE T STATE FISH and WILDLIFE AREA (3 miles northwest of Canton)
* * THIS LAKE WILL Re-OPEN TO FISHING for the season on FEB. 1st--
EMIQUON PRESERVE - Between Havana and Dickson Mounds Museum on IL Route 78
For more info and details on Emiquon, go to http://experienceemiquon.com
- - - REMINDER : Fishing is ONLY Allowed from noon to sunset During the Central zone waterfowl hunting season..
* New permits are required for boating and fishing each year - are free and
available at Dickson Mounds Museum, 10956 N Dickson Mounds Rd, Lewistown, IL from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Call The Nature Conservancy at (309) 547-2730.
- -Some of the site rules are: - No live bait except worms; - No bank fishing is allowed;
- No gas motors (not even on the boat) including ice augers.
- Minors must be accompanied by an adult 18 years of age or older and authorized by the minor´s parent or legal guardian.
- Boating and fishing are permitted between sunrise and sunset with additional restrictions applying:
No boating, fishing or ice skating access before 12:00 pm during waterfowl hunting season. Lake users should be aware that hunting might occur on the Preserve other times as well.
- - Check their site for updated rules or go to Official Site RULES file.
EVERGREEN LAKE - North of Bloomington to Exit #8 on I-39, and West just over 1-mile and turn left (south) at sign.
* This Lake has BOATING FEES and Evergreen Lake remains a 10 hp (or less) lake.
** NEW limit Reg for 2015 is Saugeye . . 18 inch Minimum Length Limit and 3 Fish Daily Creel Limit
* * The road going over the Evergreen Lake Spillway is CLOSED for bridge replacement/repairs.
The road closure will be in effect until May 15, 2015.
HEIDECKE LAKE -
* * Lake is CLOSED for the season --
HENNEPIN-HOPPER LAKES - 2 miles South of Hennepin off IL Route 26, turn West on Road 810N and then next right.)
* Hennepin & Hopper Lakes continue to be Closed to all public sport fishing,
while the Wetlands Initiative and the (IDNR) monitor efforts to remove invasive common carp from the lakes. --
* LATEST NEWS
* Fishing could return to Hennepin & Hopper Lakes in spring 2015.
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
** THIS AREA IS CLOSED TO FISHING Through Jan. 31st And Re-OPENS on Feb. 1st for the Season --
REND LAKE -
- 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
The US Army Corps says "Please fish safely! Always wear your life jacket on the water! "
- 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
at various locations around Lake.
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.
- Reports of 6 - 9 inch ice on Jan. 24th but has melted some around edges..?
- Catfish were FAIR last week in deep water spots.
- Crappie were FAIR and mostly in deeper water with a few really nice fish last week
- Bluegills reported as just FAIR
- Lakeside is open for Ice anglers on Fri - Sun 8 AM to 2 PM and Mon - Thur 8 AM to Noon 815-824-2581.
* Caution, on the ice as it varies from the warm-up. Make sure to keep checking ice thickness yourself.
As always, be careful out there!!!
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)
** FISHING IS ALLOWED ONLY AFTER 1pm Through Jan. 31st when the LAKE WILL Re-OPEN to all Fishing Feb. 1st --
- - - - SOME ILLINOIS POWER PLANT LAKES - - - -
BRAIDWOOD LAKE -
** Lake is CLOSED for the season --
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 should be posted at the lake for reminders and a Violation will lead to a $75 ticket.
- Richard and his son had a
Good day over weekend at Clinton,
caught a Nice Mess of fish.!
* Joe of Ol´ Joe´s Bait and Tackle on Rt. 54 in DeWitt is Open
from 5am - 5pm 7 days a week for ALL your fishing needs and full line license service.
- We can highly recommend you stop by or call Joe at 217-935-6244.
** Also, this is the place to get your FIZARDS .!
Ol´ Joe´s says "
New winter hours are 7 days a week from 5 am till 11:30 am, or they can try and catch me at 217-935-6244."
And "Be Safe, Enjoy and Have a Happy 2015 .!"
REMEMBER an 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...
LAKE SPRINGFIELD - At Springfield off I-55 Exit 94 and go the east.
-- Check with Trevor at Big Reds Bait and Tackle for your bait and current reports
at 2193 Stevenson Drive in Springfield 62703 just a mile west from the lake dam.
You can call them at (217) 679-1800
LaSALLE LAKE -
* * Lake is CLOSED for the season --
POWERTON LAKE - One mile south of Pekin off Route 29 along Manito Blacktop.
---- site Office 309-968-7135
- - The LAKE is OPEN TO SHORE FISHING ONLY - WINTER HOURS (Oct. 1st - April 30th): 8am - 4pm
and LAKE REMAINS CLOSED TO BOAT FISHING till FEB. 15th - -
- Chris (on left) tells us he had a great day of fishing at Powerton
with my buddy Mike (on right) whose birthday it was.
They caught 4 Blues with total weight of 129 pounds & All of the fish were released.
- He did state that seeing all the trash people leave out there took away from the enjoyment of a day at the lake.
And feels if this keeps up it could end a Good thing sooner or later.
SANGCHRIS LAKE - South of Springfield off I-55 Exit 82 - go east on Route 104 about 10 miles.
-- Lake has a 25HP limit, Lake site office # 217/498-9208 from 8 a.m.- 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.
-- Check with Trevor at Big Reds Bait and Tackle for current reports
at 2193 Stevenson Drive in Springfield on your way to lake..
* * THE WEST and EAST ARMS OF LAKE and Small AREA NEAR DAM ARE CLOSED DURING WATERFOWL SEASON to boat traffic
through Jan. 31st And WILL Fully Re-OPEN on Feb. 1st
- LINKS or Other Lake Reports outside Central Illinois. -
- 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
- Read about our Outdoor Writers/Broadcasters Visit at Kentucky Lake
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