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Heartland Outdoors July 2017 cover catfish flathead rend  lake


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Recent entries



Illinois has new crappie record

Thu, March 30, 2017

illinois record crappieIllinois has a new record crappie.

Whether it is a black crappie or hybrid crappies yet to be determined.

But there’s no question the fish caught by Ryan Povolish while bass fishing at Kinkaid Lake in southern Illinois was huge. The fish weighed 4 pounds, 8.8 ounces, was 18 1/8 inches long and had a girth of 16 1/4 inches.

Fisheries chief Dan Stephenson told Dale Bowman of the Chicago Sun-Times that “It appears to be a pure black but we may test for hybridization, so more to follow.”

Either way, it’s a record. The black crappie record belongs to John Hampton, who caught 4-8 slab out of Rend Lake on May 15, 1976. Marcus Miller own the Illinois-record for hybrid crappie (4.52 pounds), which came from a Jefferson County farm pond on May 14, 2008.

Les Winkeler of The Southern reported that Povolish of Carbondale was bass fishing with friend Josh Jackson and using a Strike King chatter bait when he caught the big crappie.

“I probably took about five casts and thought I had hooked a bass honestly, Polovish told Winkeler. “Josh actually reached down and grabbed it and threw it in the boat. That’s something I’ll never forget.

“The first thing that went through my mind was I have a crappie to put on the wall. I was just talking to my brother-in-law a couple months ago about how pretty his is on the wall.”

on the water record crappie


Elmwood fish pond fully stocked!

Fri, March 03, 2017

It’s always exciting to have a fish pond at the Elmwood All Outdoors Show that includes at least one bruiser of a catfish ... a fish that will outweigh some of the youngsters holding a pole!

That’s this blue catfish, Bluto, held here by fisheries biologist Rob Hilsabeck. You can’t see the gut on this rascal in this picture, but estimates put his weight at 50+ pounds.

rob ad blue cat in pond

In addition to Bluto, there are a few other chunky blue cats, a couple buffalo, some fat largemouth bass and plenty of trout to keep your youngster fishing this weekend in Elmwood. Trout were hauled in courtesy of Nate Herman and the fine folks at Herman Brothers Pond and Land Management.

The fishing pond will be open throughout the Elmwood All Outdoors Show, which is Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is $5 for adults and youngsters age 13 and under are admitted for free.

The pond is one of several attractions at the 8th annual show. Hunters can also enter deer heads Friday (tonight) from 4:30-8 p.m. and Saturday from 9-12 for the big buck contest. And for those who have cool non-deer mounts, there is also a contest that offers a $100 first prize.

The main attraction, though, is the wide variety of more than 90 vendors who will be selling all sorts of outdoors-related items.

We’ve also got seminar speakers, plenty of good food, a silent auction, raffles, a new Kid’s Zone with all sorts of activities for youngsters and much more.

So come on out to Elmwood this Saturday and Sunday (March 4-5).

Tell em Bluto sent you.



Come get your deer measured

Wed, March 01, 2017

I’ve always felt like deer shows should reward hunters for taking the time to bring their bucks to be displayed.

That’s one reason why we like to give away so many prizes to those who enter deer at the Elmwood All Outdoors Show, which celebrates its 8th anniversary this Saturday and Sunday in the Elmwood schools. Part of the show is a big buck display in the high school gym, which to me is one of the highlights of the whole event.

The key to that, of course, is getting entries. So bring yours in! We accept deer Thursday and Friday from 5-8 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m. to noon. You can pick your bucks up Sunday after 3 p.m.

While we guarantee 1 in 10 entries will win a prize, the reality is that’s more like 1 in 7. And you don’t have to be the biggest buck to win – you just need luck of the random draw. We also award plaques for largest Archery and Firearm typical and non-typical.

That’s a good reason to attend the show, which in the past seven years has raised more than $175,000 for athletes and athletic programs at Elmwood High School. That’s another good reason. Schools need all the help they can get in this day and age.

Myself, I like the chance to see people you don’t normally get to see and to hang out in the deer measurers room.

One down note this year is that Tim Walmsley, father of the Illinois Deer & Turkey Classic, will not be with us. Tim was supposed to be in the room measuring this weekend, but he suffered a heart attack Monday. And it was a near thing. Modern medicine and doctors aren’t all bad, though. Tough nut that he is, Tim is home and doing well. Within a week I’m sure his wife Bea will have her hands full. This weekend, he will be sorely missed. Having him telling tales in the measuring room always made the weekend more fun. Get well, Tim.

For the rest of you, bring your big bucks to Elmwood and enjoy a quality outdoors show with lots of fishing, hunting and outdoors-related vendors.

For $10 you get your deer measured and a two-day pass to the show.

It will be worth your trip.

Learn more at



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