Chicago Sun-Times
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Fishing the closed Fox River/Chain

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Because of the flooding, the Fox River and Chain O'Lakes are closed to boating from the Wisconsin line to the Montgomery dam.

For the latest, go to or call (847) 587-8540.

But closed to boating doesn't mean closed to fishing.

As one of my smartass fishing friends, North Sider Todd Carlander, noted when he sent this photo: ``The Chain is closed to boating but it's still legal to fish tied off to the pier!''


Here's some other advice.

I happened to call district fisheries biologist Frank Jakubicek about a carp die-off on Dunn's (nothing out of the ordinary) and we ended up talking about high-water fishing on the Chain and Fox.

``Fish move like crazy during the high floods,'' he said. ``You won't think it, but guys catch fish like crazy at the dams. But you have to be careful when fishing near the edges.''

Downstream, friend and wading guide Ken Gortowski offered these practical and philosophical observations:

``When the Fox River is flowing at 5500 cubic feet per second when normal is around 750 cfs . . .

When 5500 cfs translates to the river flowing at about 4 feet above normal . . .

You have no choice but to use high, fast and muddy fishing techniques, in this case along the east shore of the river for over a half mile in Geneva.

If you go out for a little over two and half hours and land 4 smallmouth bass, a crappie and a channel catfish . . . taking the conditions into consideration, is that a good day fishing or bad?

When you get to hook and see 8 more smallies before they spit the lure back in your face . . .

When you get a good dozen more hits that you never even get to set the hook on . . .

Does that make it a better day of fishing or did it really suck?

I don't know, kept me trying for two and a half hours though.''

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This page contains a single entry by Dale Bowman published on June 16, 2008 2:22 PM.

A journey into darkness (Chicago lakefront fishing June 14, 2008) was the previous entry in this blog.

Fourth Illinois record fish of 2008 is the next entry in this blog.

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