- 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..
- Northern IL ice anglers found only a few ponds and lakes with fishable ice over weekend.
With the Cold weather we have now, this all may change next weekend..?
Wisconsin anglers are and have been enjoying Ice fishing with some good fish being caught..
- With Central IL in between open water and ice, there is little to report on fishing around here presently.
We will have to wait and see how this cold weather builds ice in the area..
- If you go out to take advantage of any cool fishing day, dress warm, take extra clothes just in case, get some Hand Warmer and make sure to Wear your lifejacket too.
* With cold nights, there will be Ice on ramps in mornings - Be Careful..!
- With freezing temps here and if your fishing for the year has ended, here are some tips for
Getting Gear Ready For Winter .
- With this Cold weather and hunting season here, many have put up fishing gear but we are still hoping for a couple great fishing
days before hard winter hits.
-- With so few anglers out & very few or no current reports along with the lake Closures taking place,
we have dropped some lakes from our reports till next spring..
- - Notes Of Interest : -
- Three New Laws go into effect Jan. 1, 2015 to help Improve Safety and Education in Illinois´ Waterways
making outdoor recreation safe and enjoyable for everyone.
The three new laws expand boating safety education,
improve safety and awareness of water skiers and tubers
and increase penalties for those who operate watercraft under the influence.
Senate Bill 3434 allows for the seizure of a watercraft used in the commission
of certain offenses related to operating under the influence.
The new rules bring penalties for boating under the influence more in line
with those for operating a motor vehicle while impaired by drugs or alcohol.
Senate Bill 3433 requires all persons born after Jan. 1, 1998 to take
and pass a boating safety course validated by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources
and hold a valid boating safety certificate before they can operate
a motorboat with an engine over 10 horsepower.
Senate Bill 2731, which mandates that the operator of any watercraft that is towing a person,
such as a water skier or tuber, must display a bright orange flag
measuring not less than 12 inches per side. The flag must be displayed from the time
the person to be towed leaves the boat until that person returns to the boat
at the conclusion of the activity.
During fishing & boating season in 2014, there had been 16 reported boating fatalities on Illinois waterways.
Increased boating safety education and responsible boating practices may have prevented
many of these fatalities.
- 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.
Boaters should be alert to the construction exclusion zones near the lock and dam and
of the limited fishing access that will remain outside the construction fencing.
The project is expected to be completed by November 2016.
More Details and Aerial
** NOTE -- With waterfowl hunting seasons in, there are many lakes that are Closed
or Partially Closed to 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 dates that have been provided to us,
that also include other special hunt date closures, etc..
-- Other Lakes not mentioned in reports below that will have Closures are:
- Rice Lake is CLOSED to boat fishing and will Re-Open at end of Duck & Goose season..
- Prairie Lake in Jim Edgar/ Panther Creek State F&W Area
also has Closures during waterfowl hunting season
listed in upper right of sign at lake..
- Check our sponsors on the right for your baits, tackle, guide options and more.
Visit their website links on the right.. -----------------> >
- ILLINOIS RIVER
- - Near STARVED ROCK and South downstream :
- No New Reports this week
Be Careful - Ice on Ramps in mornings..?
- LOCAL PONDS & STRIP MINE LAKES -
- Our friend Mark was out Bass Fishing a local strip mine lake
during November and tring out his new video camera
and shared it on You Tube
- Here are Extreme different fishing photos for this past weekend from Southern & Northern USA -
- Nate sent this photo of the
Sheepshead they caught
while in Gulf Shores, AL
- Our friend Jeff and
his fishing buddy Marty
had a good day Ice Fishing
and catching nice Pike
in NW Wisconsin..
He tells us they have between
9 - 12 inches of ice depending on lake..
- 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 and water temperature has been stable;
the stripers, hybrids, and white bass bite has been outstanding during periods though out the day.
The big problem is finding the shad. One day the shad are in Float Creek and the next day they are gone.
The same goes for the Bidwell area, you have to keep moving around looking for balls of shad,
and without the shad you will not find the stripers.
Stripers are being caught from 30 to 70 feet deep. The deep fish are more stable, they stay in the same place longer. The higher the school is in the water column the faster they seem to move.
Just keep moving slowing around and the fish will move under you so always be ready.
Stripers were biting and the pheasants were flying for Rob & Brian this pass week. They participated in my 5 day Cast & Blast special.
They striper fished with me, stayed at Three Oaks Resort and we hunted at Ozark Wings.
Lake Norfork has lots of opportunities to fish and hunt around the lake and surrounding areas. Rob & Brian´s first’s day was striper fishing, we started on Bidwell point
and within 2 1/2 hours we were done with a limit of stripers.
The striper schools were massive. At one time we had 4 fish on. The next day I picked them up and we went up to Ozark Wings for a day of pheasant hunting,
I guided for them and they harvested 11 Pheasants and 4 Quail.
The final day we again fished Bidwell area and only caught 5 stripers with the biggest being 14 lbs. That day we missed over 10 fished.
The fish were 70 foot deep and we could not get a good hook set.
Right now the word is flexibility when your striper fishing, stay on the move, look for shad, and be ready for some fast action.
Norfork Lake remains at 4 feet below normal fall/winter pool. The water temperature ranges from the mid to low 50s.
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
ANDERSON LAKE - Site Office 309-759-4484
- - THIS AREA IS CLOSED TO BOAT FISHING in Main Lake for season
with bank fishing Only allowed.
BANNER MARSH - 3 access points on Routes 24/9 3 mi. NE of Banner, with a 25HP limit. (309-647-9184)
** THIS AREA IS CLOSED TO BOAT FISHING - with
- BANK FISHING ONLY ALLOWED AFTER 1PM but NO FISHING ALLOWED in EAST POINT ACCESS AREA,
which is CLOSED TO ALL FISHING to provide a GOOSE REFUGE AREA during season till Feb. 1st - -
DOUBLE T STATE FISH and WILDLIFE AREA (3 miles northwest of Canton)
* * THIS LAKE IS CLOSED TO FISHING for the season --
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.
** Therefore, During the Central zone waterfowl hunting season, Fishing is ONLY Allowed from noon to sunset.
- - 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.
- - A SOUTHERN PART OF EVERGREEN LAKE - AROUND DEER ISLAND and ALL OF SIX-MILE CREEK BAY IS CLOSED TO GAS MOTORS from Oct. 15th through JAN. 1st
to allow for resting areas for migratory waterfowl. YOU ARE ALLOWED TO STILL RUN A TROLLING MOTOR IN THESE AREAS ONLY.-
* * 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.)
--For membership info, call (815) 481-0778 and talk to Site sup. Rick.
* Hennepin & Hopper Lakes continue to be Closed to all public sport fishing,
while the Wetlands Initiative and the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) monitor efforts to remove invasive common carp from the lakes. --
- - - LATEST NEWS - - -
** Fishing could return to Hennepin & Hopper Lakes in spring 2015.
LAKE SHELBYVILLE - Between Shelbyville and Sullivan -
LAKE INFO LINE (217) 774-2020 and LAKE PROJECT OFFICE (217) 774-3951.
- No New Reports.?
* Lake Shelbyville drawdown delayed till (about or around) Monday, December 29, 2014 when the winter draw-down will begin.
This is due to the mild weather conditions and to maintain current lake levels till end of Central Duck season.
For more info on this winter draw down, contact Lake Shelbyville Project Office at (217)774-3951.
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 for the Season --
And reopens to fishing after central zone goose season ends, typically on February 1st each year.
REND LAKE -
- With water temps in the 40s - Crappie were FAIR over weekend in 8-12 foot water
- 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 and they have a bait shop too..
* Gun Creek Bait & Tackle where You can get your jar or bucket of Hoss´s Hawg Bait...!
And to get your bottle or two of The Original Vanilla Bug Spray to repel those biting gnats, flies and mosquitoes..
- - Here is this week's Fishing Report from US Army Corps -
They also say "Please fish safely! Always wear your life jacket on the water! "
HERE for Areas Temporary Closing during Deer Seasons at Rend Lake
- 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.
- - - Park hours April thru October 6:00 AM – 10:00 PM
- No New Reports.?
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)
**THIS AREA IS CLOSED TO BOAT FISHING in Hunting Area -- with BANK FISHING ALLOWED ONLY AFTER 1pm--
-AREAS THAT REMAIN OPEN TO BOATS ARE NORTH OF MAPLE ISLAND with ramp at north end at the Sky Ranch Road launch and IN PIKE HOLE with carry in boats --
- - - - 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.
* 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 report from Weekend:
The fishing was Awesome over weekend...
Lots of crappie and white bass caught at the DeWitt bridge area.
Also some Catfish AND our infamous Walleye are being caught on the flats near the Bridge.
Fish being caught at all bridges with first hours of daylight and last hours of daylight best bite times,
and contrary to what everyone is saying MINNOWS are still the best bait.
Yes I am selling a lot of different jigs too but minnows still #1 bait.
And he says " Hope this weather holds till about the 1st of March.
Be Safe & Enjoy and Have a Merry Christmas .!"
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."
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...
COFFEEN LAKE - Southeast of Hillsboro off Rt 127 or south of Coffeen off Rt 185,
site office 217-537-3351.
-- There is a 25hp motor limit.
* During the Central Zone waterfowl season: No fishing north of the railroad tracks (upper pool) until after 1pm daily.
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 --
NEWTON LAKE - 16-17 miles southeast of Effingham off Route 33.
As written in the fishing regs booklet :** The cold arm of Newton Lake will be Closed daily
from one-half hour before sunrise until 1:00 pm to all fishing and boat traffic except for legal waterfowl hunters
during waterfowl season commencing with regular duck season through the close of the Canada goose and regular duck season.
POWERTON LAKE - One mile south of Pekin off Route 29 along Manito Blacktop.
---- site Office 309-968-7135
- - THIS LAKE IS CLOSED TO ALL FISHING
and REOPENS TO SHORE FISHING ONLY ON DEC. 24th
AND NO BOAT FISHING till FEB. 15th - -
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
effective Oct. 15th through Jan. 31, 2015
(during this time fishing boat traffic is permitted in the center hot arm only).
And the Entire Lake will be CLOSED during firearm deer hunting on adjacent properties.
The exception will be for hunting programs with restricted usage during this time period.
For more info, contact site office at 217/498-9208 from 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday through Friday.
- 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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