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Got this from Illini Muskie Alliance Chairman Ray Thompson. These are some pretty impressive Illinois fish!

Illinois Big Muskies in 2011

50.75 inch Muskie caught at Fox Chain O'Lake with a live bait sucker by Ryan Stochl of Fox Lake Caught Sunday 10/30/11. The fish had a 23” girth which puts it at 37.33 lbs. with one conversion formula. Ryan won the 2011 Illini Muskies Alliance Trophy and his club, the South of the Border Chapter of Muskies, Inc. won the traveling trophy. Ryan’s fish was the 45th confirmed 50” or better Illinois muskie!

Second place fish caught on 9/17/11 out of Evergreen Lake. Ate a bucktail right around 3pm. Thad Hinshaw - 49.5”

Been fishing a prototype of the new Swim n Spin DT from Rubberhairy Tackle and it is awesome! Eric Larsen has come up with another great bait. You can fish it like a bucktail or spinnerbait. Easy to fish and very versatile. Eric will be at all the musky shows so be sure to stop by and see this cool new bait.

Our friends at Musky Hunter Magazine have found a great site for all you hunters and fishermen. It is
You can create a monthly calendar with the sunrise, sunset, moonrise and moonset times for your location. It is a really cool site!

The state of Illinois is losing a terrific friend to the world of muskie fishing! Chief of Fisheries Steve Pallo has announced his retirement at the end of June.
Steve has done a tremendous job in all areas of fisheries for the state but as a muskie nut he always made sure the muskie program was alive and well. Steve is a great person and great friend!
We wish him and Christi the best on their retirement. I know they will finally get to enjoy their place on Lake Vermillion. Thanks for everything Steve!

Here is an update from Duane Landmeier, President, Quad County Hawg Hunters Chapter of Muskies Incorporated Plano, IL on the 2011 muskie rescue at Shabbona Lake. Great job everyone!!

"Forty two dedicated fishermen that love the lake called Shabbona took forth in a muskie rescue below the spillway in Indian Creek on May 3. The weather and the water was cold as they all knew. When a date is set to do a rescue it has to be completed. The creek can be very much of a challenge to move about in between the sticks and unforeseen rocks that are in your path while holding a large muskie net. Many of the volunteers fell down and it did not matter if you had waders or not you got wet and very cold. Thank you to all of the people who helped and to all of those that came and watched because of their interest in the resource that we were protecting. One of the volunteers (Ed Haagenson) was a boy scout master and he brought his troop to watch. A couple of them even got in the water and helped. What a great experience for youngsters to witness.
The rescue was a success. We caught and released back into Shabbona Lake 51 muskies measuring 24"-40" and 24 Walleyes ranging 14"- 30.50".
About a month ago a barrier fence was constructed (at a cost of $15,000 funded by Illinois Muskie clubs) in Indian Creek about 250 yards downstream from the spillway of Shabbona Lake. This fence was constructed to keep the fish that go over the spillway during high water periods from either going downstream never to be seen again or die in low water periods in the creek. The fence did its job it was incredible to see how well that it has worked. The fence was made possible through the Hugh Becker Grant Fund which is a conservation minded grant fund and that is available to muskie related conservation projects. It was also made possible by several Muskies Incorporated Clubs and Muskie Clubs that are members of the Illinois Muskie Alliance in Illinois and also Illinois Muskie Tournament Trail. Shabbona Lakeside Baitshop and Shabbona Sportsman’s Club also contributed funds to the fence.
Thank you to all of the people that helped out at the muskie rescue it was one of the worst weather days that we ever had. It amazes me at the dedication that these people have it makes me proud to have been a part of it. I have done this for years and there are several young men there that were kids a few years ago. This year they were right there in the water next to their dads. They have turned into fine young men. All of these people that made time in their lives to make the lake better for others should be given a nice pat on the back and a thank you.
The barrier fence will be a great addition to protect our fishery if it is maintained and stays intact. Muskies are approximately 12-15 dollars a fish to purchase and stock. Just imagine how much a loss of money 51 muskies of larger size are worth when they are lost. Now this will be prevented. Shabbona will become an even more plentiful fishery in the next few years."

Here is an interesting report compiled by the Canadian Ministry of Resources called Distribution and Management of Muskellunge in North America: An Overview

Larry and Linda Dozard from Larry’s Fishing Hole introduced us to a neat new product. It is “THE ORIGINAL” Vanilla Bug Spray. It smells great and really works on mosquitos, gnats, fleas and biting flies! For more information visit or call owner Donna Zimmerman at 309-346-1044.

Saw some cool new stuff at the Chicago and Milwaukee Muskie Shows.
The new Squirlly SS Shad from Smoker Tackle is one hot looking bait! This is the soft tail version of the original SS Shad and runs down to about 3 feet. The soft tail makes this bait come alive!!

A topwater bait called the Tinhead is made by Corey Nazer at Naze Baits. This baby is easy to use and makes a lot of noise. The jitterbug style lip really makes the bait dance! Check out this demo video!!

If you are looking for someone to put a custom paint job on your favorite muskie lure or just need a lure refinished give Greg Kos at Red Eye Custom Muskie Bait Finishing a call at 847-409-6759.

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