Fishing and hunting report

Northern Illinois – Dave Kranz from Dave’s Bait, Tackle and Taxidermy in Crystal Lake reports:

“Smallmouth bass on the lower Fox River are hitting 3- to 4-inch suckers rigged with a slip float. Water levels are low, and the fish are in the pockets of deep water that are left.

“Three Oaks Recreation Area continue to give up nice smallmouth, largemouth and pike. Rapala Husky Jerks in natural colors will work well.

“Deer hunters should start to see better movement as the weather cools. The next week or two is a good time to make mock scrapes.”

Call 815-455-2040 for hunting or fishing updates.

From the Spence Petros Fishing Newsletter: “Fall is a time of “feast or famine” fishing. There will be more fish bunched on fewer spots, but when you connect, it can be a bonanza. During the warm trend in the next week or so, watch for fish (bass particularly) on the warming flats, particularly if weeds are present. Yum Dingers rigged wacky worm style would be my first choice of lures. Suspending jerkbaits such as Suspending Rogues or Husky Jerks can also be good, as can spinnerbaits, if the water has some color to it.

“The best fishing at this time of year (unless you are fishing rivers) will generally be from mid-day to evening. When the sun drops low enough so you feel a loss of heat, that’s usually when the bite slows. During these warm trends a lot of bass may be found under piers.”

For up-to-the-minute water conditions on the Fox Chain and Fox River, go to or call 847-587-8540.

Southern Wisconsin – The Root River’s water is low and fairly clear with temperatures hovering around 58 degrees. Anglers concentrating around Lincoln Park had the most success fishing early morning.

You can call the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Lake Michigan fishing hot line at 414-382-7920 to hear the latest fishing information for Lake Michigan and its tributaries.

Delavan Lake and Geneva Lake continue to confound fishermen because of the unseasonably warm weather.

Mushroom Hunting – Mushrooms are scarce because of the warmth and lack of precipitation. If we get a little rain, the Hen-of-the-Woods, Sulfur Shelf and Puffball species of fungi should sprout quickly. Check Tom Nauman’s website at to learn about which kinds of mushrooms are safe to eat.

– Steve Sarley

The Illinois Smallmouth Alliance is one of the largest and most active groups around. They are bringing their Nov. 13 meeting to Dick’s Sporting Goods in Schaumburg. The session starts at 5:30 p.m. Dick’s is located on Martingale Road. The event is open to the public.

The National Marine Manufacturers Association has announced its concern over last week’s announcement by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) of its limited approval for the sale of gasoline containing up to 15% ethanol (E15) for model year 2007 and newer motor vehicles. This decision excludes marine engines, snowmobiles and other gas-powered small engines. The NMMA anticipates problems with consumer confusion and the risk of using the wrong fuel in boats and other watercraft. The EPA will ensure that lower-alcohol blend, compatible fuels will remain available for the nation’s 13 million registered boat owners. NMMA President Thom Dammrich stated, “We are extremely disappointed that EPA is allowing this fuel to enter the market without the appropriate scientific data or consumer and environmental safeguards. This decision not only adversely impacts marine manufacturers, but creates a significant risk of misfueling for the nation’s 66 million boaters who will be left ‘holding the bag’ for performance issues and expensive repairs. We are astonished that EPA has decided to move forward with a fuel that will increase air pollution and damage hundreds of millions of existing products.


The PMTT Ranger Boats World Championship was held the weekend of October 9 and 10 on Lake Minnetonka outside of Minneapolis. Warm weather and clear skies teamed up to make a difficult bite and Minnetonka is always tough because it is highly pressured, anyway. The best one hundred muskie fishermen in America competed in two-man teams. Wisconsin anglers, Todd Radke and Nathan Leverance won first place by being the only team to register fish on both days. On Saturday they got a 47.25” fishes on a Bulldawg. On Sunday, they landed a 41.25” on a Cowgirl Bucktail to take the crown and the first prize, a brand new 2011 Ranger 619 Fisherman boat, powered by a Mercury Outboard and Ranger Trail Trailer worth more then $36,000.

          Illinois was not overlooked at the PMTT Championship, as Mundelein residents, Cesar Saucedo and James Reiter, took second place. The two anglers successfully caught and released two muskies, 42” and 42.75” in length. Their lure of choice was a purple and blue spinner bait. They worked the baits slowly over weeds in the bays in 12 to 15-feet of water, just above the weed tops. Congratulations to our boys from Illinois.

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