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Weather Updates

Rain and snow should spark new run of steelhead

Updated: January 22, 2013 10:11AM



The belated dramatic weather shift will deliver a mixed bag, much like the precipitation Thursday, for pursuits outdoors by fishermen and hunters.

The winds on Thursday effectively ended what had been been an astonishingly wonderful run of perch fishing for boaters from Gary Light to Portage.

But the rain and snow should be significant enough to spark a belated run of winter steelhead into the streams.

“It ain’t a fall salmon run, it is no 200 or 300 kings; it is 20 or 30 steelhead,’’ said Capt. Rich Sleziak from Slez’s Bait in Lake Station. “But they are beautiful and they will bite. You have to know what you are doing.’’

Some will stick with floating spawn. But Sleziak said the more successful fishermen lean toward micro steelhead flies tipped with a piece of shrimp. Then they cover water.

Ice fishermen will still need to think farther north into Wisconsin and Michigan, though there might be some ice fishing on backwaters of the Chain O’Lakes in northern Illinois by the weekend.

The weather change may both spike and kill the second duck season in Indiana’s north zone, which opens Saturday and runs through Dec. 30.

As of Thursday morning, property manager Ken Bisacchi sounded hopeful for the second duck season at LaSalle Fish and Wildlife Area.

“We are covered up with ducks, mostly mallards; the woodies moved on,’’ said Bisacchi, who estimated 1,200 mallards are around.

At the much shallower Willow Slough FWA, site staff said, “We have holding some ducks. But all it takes is one day. We are playing it by ear.’’

As usual, there will be a draw at 4:30 a.m. Saturday at Willow Slough. But a freeze, and that can happen quickly at Willow Slough when the wind settles, may determine where hunters may go.

It should be go time for upland hunters.

This might be the latest that upland game hunters have had snow cover in many areas.

With most areas expecting snow (too much in some areas), rabbit hunters will have the real start to their season.

Other seasons are winding down.

Quail hunting north of Route 26 and pheasant hunting end Sunday. It has to be least amount of days with snow cover, or close to it, for pheasant hunters.

Waterfowling notes: As of Thursday morning, Bisacchi said that at LaSalle FWA they will still go with the plan to hunt the corn blinds (11, 23, 24, 28, 29, 30) until 1 p.m. on Saturday and Monday; and all day on Wednesday and Dec. 29 and 30. All other spots will be all day the entire late season.

The Indiana Department of Natural Resources will offer a late season for hunting Canada geese, Feb. 1-15, in 30 counties primarily around urban areas. For three years, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service granted Indiana a late season as an experiment. Indiana met the set criteria for the late season, so now hunters in the late Canada goose season no longer need a special permit, nor do they need to check shot geese.

Deer hunting: The special antlerless deer season opens in select counties on Wednesday. The extra season, focused on counties with high deer density, runs for 12 days and will take place only in counties with a bonus antlerless quota of four or more. That is one of the tweaks to deer hunting in Indiana this year. Go to http://www.eregulations.com/indiana/hunting/bonus-antlerless-deer/ for details ... Muzzleloader deer season ends Sunday. From reports at public sites, it appears to have been a fair season at best.



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