Showing posts with label Fishing. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Fishing. Show all posts

Sunday, January 30, 2022

Hunting and Fishing Legislation Filed - 2nd Year of the 102nd Illinois General Assembly

January 28th was the deadline for the General Assembly to file bills for the second year of the 102nd G.A.  Both the House and Senate filed many outdoor related bills and we will highlight those below.

Be sure and "Like" our Facebook page where we post updates on bills as they move through the committee process and eventually for a full vote on either the House or Senate floor.

Want to voice your concern regarding a certain bill?  You can either reach out to the bill sponsor with specific questions or file a witness slip to document your position.  We outlined how you would go about filing a witness slip here.

Capitol Outdoors will dive deeper into each bill as they continue in the process.

The following are bills that were filed this year.  If you would like to read the full text of the bill, click the link. 

HB 4372
Rep. Anna Moeller
Prohibits contests or competitions with the objective of taking any fur-bearing mammal. Provides an exception for field trials. Provides that a person who violates the new provisions is guilty of a Class A misdemeanor and subject to a fine of no less than $500 and no more than $5,000 in addition to other statutory penalties.

HB 4386  Rep. Lance Yednock
Provides that a centerfire rifle may be used to harvest deer during the firearm open season set by the Director of Natural Resources annually. Provides that all straight walled rifle rounds are legal ammunition for a centerfire rifle

Requires all persons or entities seeking to charge fees to participants, provide items for sale, or otherwise collect money or items as part of an event located on property or facilities that are owned, leased, or managed by the Department of Natural Resources to complete a permit to sell application form to obtain a permit to sell. Provides that all revenue generated from an event shall be subject to a 10% fee payable to the Department of Natural Resources upon completion of the event. Requires all funds received by the Department to be allocated to the site at which the fees were collected. Waives activity permit fees, permit to sell fees, and facility usage fees for formally recognized Friends Groups and for all fishing tournaments and clubs

HB 4540 -  
Rep. David A. Welter
Provides that hunting and fishing license fees shall be one-half the price of the current license fee amount for all resident veterans, regardless of deployment (instead of only for veterans after returning from service abroad or mobilization by the President of the United States).

Defines "rifle" as any firearm designed, made, or adapted to be fired from the shoulder that uses the energy of an explosive in a fixed metallic cartridge to fire a projectile through a rifled bore by a single function of the trigger. Permits hunting with a rifle for the taking of deer; makes related changes. Provides that legal handguns and rifles include any bottleneck centerfire cartridge of .30 caliber or larger with a case length not exceeding 1.4 inches or any straight walled centerfire cartridge of .30 caliber or larger both of which must be available as a load with the published ballistic tables of the manufacturer showing a capability of at least 500 foot pounds of energy at the muzzle.

HB 4680 -   Rep. Tony McCombie
Removes provisions requiring a veteran who has served as an active duty member of the United States Armed Forces, the Illinois National Guard, or reserves of the United States Armed Forces to apply in person for a fishing license at a regional office of the Department of Natural Resources. Provides that the Department of Natural Resources shall establish by administrative rule the documentation that qualifies as acceptable verification of service; defines "acceptable verification" of service

Repealing the Section that created the Department of Natural Resources Advisory Board. Makes corresponding changes in the Wildlife Code and the Illinois Open Land Trust Act. Amends the Department of Natural Resources Act. Authorizes the Department of Natural Resources to conduct regional yearly public forums to obtain public input and comments on subjects, matters, or programs under the control of the Department of Natural Resources. Requires the Department of Natural Resources to consider all comments received during a public forum.
    -You can read our thoughts on this particular bill here

HB 4981 -   Rep. Robert Rita 
Requires any individual who is required to obtain a fishing license, also obtain an aquatic conservation stamp prior to taking or attempting to take fish.

SB 3184 -  Sen. Neil Anderson
Amends the Fish and Aquatic Life Code and the Wildlife Code. Provides that the current fees for a fishing license, sportsmen's combination license, and hunting license are annual fees. Allows a resident to obtain a 3-year fishing license (for a fee of $45), sportsmen's combination license (for a fee of $78.75), or hunting license (for a fee of $37.50). Provides that there is no fee for an annual or 3-year fishing license, sportsmen's combination license, or hunting license for a resident Gold Star Family member.

Repealing the Section that created the Department of Natural Resources Advisory Board. Makes corresponding changes in the Wildlife Code and the Illinois Open Land Trust Act. Amends the Department of Natural Resources Act. Authorizes the Department of Natural Resources to conduct regional yearly public forums to obtain public input and comments on subjects, matters, or programs under the control of the Department of Natural Resources. Requires the Department of Natural Resources to consider all comments received during a public forum.
    -You can read our thoughts on this particular bill here

Capitol Outdoors continues to track legislation throughout the legislative process and will continue to update you via our Facebook page. 

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Four New Locations Added to Spring Trout Release

Here at Capitol Outdoors, we always look forward to the Fall and Spring trout release.  It's a great way to get those who've never fished before or to get kids outside.  This is a great way to teach the basics and the action can be fast and furious. There are lots of ways to catch these slippy fish.  Casting a spoon, power bait, minnow, and even corn.  However if you're looking to increase your odds, read our prior articles.  "Capitol Outdoors' Tips and Tricks for Inland Trout Fishing" Looks like there will be four new fishing locations added to this year's season.  Baumann Lake in Cherry Valley, Weldon Springs Lake in DeWitt County, Casey Park Pond in Casey, and Belk Lake in Wood River.  Below you'll see a list of locations for this tradition.  

Check out Autumn catch a golden trout at Jim Edgar Panther Creek.  Also you can watch one of our first video we ever did.  Go ahead and laugh we sure did!   GOOD LUCK!

2019 Illinois Spring Trout Fishing Season Opens April 6

Press Release - Illinois Department of Natural Resources

Friday, February 15, 2019

Constitutional Amendment Guaranteeing the Right to Hunt & Fish Filed in Illinois

Each year thousands of bills and resolutions get filed in Illinois to become law.  Most of these bills get stuck in committee and never really gain any traction.  Bills, however, that have legislator support, constituent support or are overall popular, usually end up seeing movement.  However, popularity doesn't always stem from within the state and outside influence can also start the avalanche of support for a particular bill.  Let's take a look at one of the most recent House Joint Resolution Constitutional Amendment.

Thursday, January 3, 2019

New Years Newsbits January 2019

Illinois DNR Newsbits – January 2019

Monday, December 17, 2018

Illinois Receives Money From Michigan To Help Combat Asian Carp Problem

The Asian Carp problem is not just an Illinois problem.   Our neighboring states, like Michigan, Minnesota and Kentucky all fear these invasive species and the problem that they cause.   It's great seeing other states step up and look at the bigger picture, seeing that this problem affects them too. Governor Rauner needs to appreciate the support and take any help we can get at this time.  Yes, the issue is real and the problem can potentially be combated, but it is going to take a lot of work and other states cooperation to get this done.

 Below you'll see a a press release from Governor Bruce Rauner.

Illinois to Michigan: Put your money where the carp is

Michigan’s $8 million offer welcome, but should be put toward immediate efforts, not 10 years from now

CHICAGO — Gov. Bruce Rauner said today that Illinois is happy to accept $8 million from the State of Michigan to put toward the fight to keep Asian carp out of the Great Lakes — provided the funds can be used now to advance the effort. Unfortunately, Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder’s current offer of financial assistance isn’t applicable until 2028.

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

December 2018 IDNR Newsbits

Here is the list of event dates and reminders from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources:

IDNR Newsbits - December 2018

Archery Deer and Fall Turkey Permits: Illinois Archery Deer and Illinois Archery Fall Turkey seasons are open through Jan. 20, 2019. Permits are available over-the-counter at DNR Direct license and permit vendors. Find a vendor near you at this link:

Friday, November 16, 2018

2018 Black Friday Hunting, Fishing and Outdoor Ads

Everyone loves a good deal, especially when it comes to hunting and fishing gear! We are always keeping an eye out for those special prices! Are you looking for a new addition to your tournament tackle, interested in a new graph or perhaps you are looking for that new shotgun? Check out the deals in the stores below!  We have worked with many of these companies, they are great people with exceptional products for those who love the outdoors. Is there a store that you know offers some great deals.  Email us and let us know about the deal.

Are you a Bass Fisherman looking to up your spinnerbait game?  

Make spinnerbaits cool again with Angler Assets! Be sure and check out the Double Willow at  Available in a variety of proven colors and incorporating unique plazma skirt material, the Angler Assets Plazma Series Spinnerbaits give the fish a new look and the angler the competitive edge.

You can also find Angler Assets at Scheels and Tackle Warehouse

Give yourself the edge on the water with Basset Baits plastics and other tackle. 

Check out the Phantom Craw. It is an all around bait, trailer, texas rig, wobbleheads.  It is a must have in your arsenal.

Proven Big Bass Catcher. 

Variety of colors available. Bait Shown in Milky Way.

For the Crappie and Ice Fishing Enthusiast, check out Brushpile Jigs, where you'll find an assortment of plastics for all your pan fishing needs. 

Brushpile plastics help you catch more fish with their UV enhancement on all their lures.

Many options available for purchase. 

Do you worry about your fish staying alive in your live well? You need the New Pro Product VT-2 System. 

A livewell equipped with the V-T2 Livewell Ventilation System allows you to weigh-in with confidence, avoid penalties and dramatically reduce the risk of stress-delayed-mortality after the release.

This product really helped keep our fish alive this summer. 

There is nothing like fishing in some of the shadows of some of Chicago's biggest skyscrapers.  Be sure and check out Pat Harrison Outdoors

Pat Harrison is a full-time licensed fishing guide, United States Coast Guard licensed charter captain, and influential angler from Northern Illinois. A resident of Northwest Chicago suburb of Park Ridge, Harrison has over 38 years worth of angling experience, with 9 seasons of guiding under his belt. After taking courses and undergoing certification, Pat became a USCG certified captain 3 years ago.

10% off on 1/2 day trip and 15% off on full day trip until Christmas

Let Captain Pat know that Capitol Outdoors sent ya!

Gear up for next year with a custom designed jersey from Sublime Wear.  Have an Ugly Christmas Sweater Party to go to? Get your ugly sweater from Sublime as well! 

They are a dye sublimation company that manufactures their product from start to finish; from processing the order, to design, printing, pressing sewing and shipping, it is all done right there. 

Sublime Wear Custom Jersey

Do you want to start capturing video of your fishing trips?  Let Yolotek Power Your Adventures this year! 

Voted Best New Product at the Bassmaster Classic and Best in Show at ICast the Powerstick is a must-have product! Check out their many awesome products today. 

Use promo code: CAPITOLOUTDOORS for free shipping! 

Powering Your Adventures:

Below you can find links to come of the bigger outdoor stores!  Be sure and check with your local bait shops and hunting stores.  Support your local businesses! 

Ad won't be released until Nov. 22nd

Happy Sale Hunting! 

Friday, November 2, 2018

November Reminders and Dates - IDNR Newsbits

IDNR Newsbits – Nov. 2018

November is a great time for hunting, fishing, leaf peeping, and just plan enjoying the outdoors

  • Remaining Firearm Deer Permits: A limited number of Illinois firearm and muzzleloader deer permits are available over-the-counter (OTC) from DNR Direct license and permit vendors through Dec. 2, or until quotas are exhausted. Find a vendor near you at this link:

Thursday, November 1, 2018

Loyola and Glenbrook South September Tournament Results

Seven boats took off in late September in a high school tournament on Liberty Lake in Libertyville, IL.  Loyola and Glenbrook South High School hit this private lake owned by the Hick's Family. John Hicks is one of the assistant coaches and parents of a senior at GBS. They provide student anglers with the opportunity to practice and compete against each other and other schools.

Seven boats total, four from GBS and three from Loyola participated in the 4 hour competition. Six boats weighed in fish at the end with some decent weight.  GBS finished 1st, 2nd and 4th while Loyola took 3rd place but also had the Big Bass at 3.68 lbs.  At this level every fish matters even if it's not a bass, anglers from Loyola caught  a 42" northern pike.

Top Three teams were:
1. Nick Schaefer, Aiden Osakada and Riley Racana - GBS Boat 1: 2.31 lbs BB and 10.14 lbs total
2. Joe Winandy, Tommy Gebien and Evan Hartshorne - GBS Boat 2: 1.87 lbs BB and 7.65 lbs total
3. Patrick Gunnison, John Daguinsin and Nick Lovcik - Loyola Boat 2: 3.68 lbs BB and 7.25 lbs total

  • Total Tournament Results 
    • GBS Boat 1: 2.31 lbs BB and 10.14 lbs total
    • GBS Boat 2: 1.87 lbs BB and 7.65 lbs total
    • Loyola Boat 2: 3.68 lbs BB and 7.25 lbs total
    • GBS Boat 3: 1.82 lbs BB and 7.12 lbs total
    • Loyola Boat 1: 1.54 lbs BB and 4.65 lbs total
    • Loyola Boat 3: 2.62 lbs BB and 4.6 lbs total

Story submitted by: Justin Zummo, Coach for Glenbrook South High School

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Fall Wrap-up of the Illinois High School Bass Fishing League

Earlier this summer Capitol Outdoors was informed about a bass tournament league that was formed to give high school anglers a true series to compete in. This isn't your average bass fishing league.  In it's second year, it has seen some major sticks compete in the series.  Below you'll see a wrap up by John Whelan on this fall season.  


Fall Wrap-up

The Illinois High School Bass Fishing League, closed out its fall series this past Sunday (September 30, 2018) on Clinton Lake, the fall series consisted of three tournaments, that teams fished accumulating points to determine a overall series Champion, the series brought together some of the very best High School teams in the state, several State Champion teams and anglers with National level experience battled it out.

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

October 2018 IDNR Newsbits and Happenings

As leaves begin to change and winter being right around the corner, October is the perfect month to get outside with the family.  What is happening this month?  Well, check out this month's Newsbits from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. While there are several reminders in regards to season dates, etc. there are some family fun filled adventures planned this month as well.  One event that is not listed is the Fall Inland Trout Release on October 20th.  This is a perfect adventure to introduce kids and adults to fishing.  Also, make sure to read this month message form Director Rosenthal.  

Waterfowl season starts this month learn more about it here.

IDNR Newsbits – October 2018

Sunday, September 23, 2018

U.S. Department of Commerce Report Shows the Outdoor Industry has a $731 Billion Impact on Economy

Hunters and anglers on Capitol Hill are welcoming the release of the first government statistics on the outdoor industry as a contributor to the U.S. Economy.  This may sound familiar to you, we reported about the passing of Outdoor Recreation Jobs and Economic Impact Act back in 2016.

A federally funded report by the Departments of the Interior, Agriculture and Commerce was released on September 20, 2018 by the Department of Commerce's Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA).  In this report  the BEA published that the outdoor industry has a U.S. GDP contribution of 2.2 percent and a economic impact of $731 billion.  

Capitol Outdoors has said it before along with countless other organizations, hunters, anglers and outdoor enthusiasts are a huge part of the economy in the United States.  Shopping, hotels the list goes on and on.  Outdoors people now have federal numbers to back up our statements.  

"This economic contribution level is greater than other key economic sectors, including the mining, utilities and chemical products manufacturing industries. In addition, with 4.55 million jobs, the outdoor recreation sector generates similar employment as other major job creators in the United States, including hospitals, transportation and warehousing and educational services." ASA

According to the BEA report boating and fishing contribute over $36 million of gross output and is the largest of all the outdoor activities. Hunting, shooting and other activities contribute nearly $14 million.

The full report issued by BEA can be found here.

Thursday, September 6, 2018

Illinois Fall Trout Season Opens October 20

Update:  Capitol Outdoors was just informed that several lakes were not included in this list for Dupage County:  Silver Lake at Blackwell, Pickerel Lake at Pratt’s Wayne Woods in Wayne and Grove Lake at Wood Dale Grove in Wood Dale.
If you've been following Capitol Outdoors for a while, you've seen we're big fans of the Spring and Fall Inland Trout Season.  It's a great time to introduce new people to fishing and just a good time to be outside.  This season, however, is going to be a little different for me when it comes to the opener.  You see, some of my very first fishing memories were of me inland trout fishing and now I get to share those moments with my daughter Autumn. It has been fun watching her as she experiences the outdoors.

This year, 57 (four new fall sites added) sites will be stocked prior to opening day, which is October 20th.  Remember to buy that trout stamp, because without it the program would not exist.  

Read some of our other articles "Capitol Outdoors' Tips and Tricks for Inland Trout Fishing" watch our youtube video from a few years back - Trout Fishing at Southwind Park Springfield.

Illinois Fall Trout Season Opens October 20

The Fall Catch-and-Release Fly Fishing Season Opens October 6 at select sites*

2017 fall opener at Gridley Lake

SPRINGFIELD, IL – The 2018 Illinois Fall Trout Fishing Season opens on Saturday, Oct. 20 at 57 ponds, lakes, and streams throughout the state.

Monday, August 20, 2018

How to get a Hook Out of Your Hand - The Tip Every Angler Should Know

Splash, my lure hit the water and I began cranking the reel.  My buddy Matt and I were working some baits through weeds when  "WHAM"...

"Got one" I said.  

"Is it a good one?"Matt asked.  

"Feels like it" I responded.

IDNR and ICF Honor Volunteer of the Year Recipients and Hall of Fame Inductees During Conservation Day at Illinois State Fair

Conservation Day at the 2018 State Fair was buzzing with activity.  Governor Rauner signed two pieces of legislation, volunteers received recognition as well as the Illinois Outdoor Hall of Fame Class of 2018 was recognized.  You can watch the LIVE broadcast here:

The 2018 IDNR Outstanding Volunteers of the Year are:

Saturday, August 18, 2018

Governor Rauner signs two hunting bills on Conservation Day at Illinois State Fair

Governor Signs HB 4231 and HB 5317 into law. 

Springfield, IL -  Today, Governor Rauner signed two hunting related bills into law.  Alongside DNR Director Rosenthal, the Governor signed HB 4231, Blaze Pink Clothing Bill and HB 5317, Wildlife Restiatution Bill.

Friday, August 3, 2018

IDNR Events and Permit Deadlines - August 2018 Newsbits

Here is a list of events, permits deadlines and more from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.

Illinois DNR Newsbits – August 2018

Firearm Deer Permits: Permit applications will be accepted until Aug. 17 for the third lottery drawing for 2018 Illinois firearm and muzzleloader deer permits. For details, check the IDNR website at

Thursday, June 28, 2018

Illinois Department of Natural Resources host Bowfishing Tournament July 21

Bowfishing, like so much of the fishing industry, is picking up speed across the country. Much of this increase is due to the invasive species Asian Carp.  Asian carp have been around for quite some time battling their way into our ecosystem. This past year there has been some national attention from professional bass anglers, and politicians like Illinois Lt. Governor and Congressman Adam Kinzinger.  However, the idea to fight and push back against this invasive species is still up for debate due to the increasing cost.  

As some of you know the IDNR has hired commercial fishermen to help dent the population in Northern Illinois along the Dredsend Dam.  But what about the rest of the state?  The IDNR is hosting a Bowfishing Tournament at Wood Duck Marina near Baldwin, Illinois.  This is sure to be a great time and fun for the whole family.  Check the full press release below for price and more information on the tournament.  

Kaskaskia River Rough Fish Roundup Bowfishing

Tournament Planned for July 21

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Auction of Confiscated and Abandoned Property hosted by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources

As hunters and anglers we're always looking for a good deal.  Many times those deals are found in the off season or in discount sections at various online and other retailers.  What if I told you, you could find a good discount and that the money you pay for your item goes into the State Fish and Wildlife Fund?

We've all heard stories about the poachers that have had their equipment confiscated because of their crimes and other equipment is just left in the field.  Have you ever wondered what happens to that equipment?  This weekend the Illinois Department of Natural Resources is hosting an auction in regards to confiscated and abandoned property.

The last time an auction was held was back in 2013 and it raised $53,145.00.  If you're looking for a good time with food and good deals make sure to put this on your calendar for the weekend.

Read below to read the Illinois Department of Natural Resources Press release and the items up for auction.

IDNR to Conduct Auction of Confiscated and Abandoned Property

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Here is a great family opportunity from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources at one of Illinois most exciting parks.  

Fishing Event a Great Catch for Families at Pere Marquette State Park

28th Annual Two Rivers Family Fishing Fair on June 9

GRAFTON, IL – For a day filled with fun and educational activities for the entire family, check out the Two Rivers Family Fishing Fair onSaturday, June 9 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Pere Marquette State Park near Grafton, on Illinois Route 100.