The dawn was spectacular at Montrose with the storm line passing through the heart of Chicago.
The reopening of perch fishing in Illinois waters of Lake Michigan was less so Friday.
Though I found a couple people who did all right, despite water temperatures well into the 70s.
When I stopped at Park Bait for soft shells and spikes about 5:30, the word was some good jumbos had come from both the outside of the harbor mouth and the horseshoe.
Even the guys there didn't have any idea why the perch would be in close to shore in such bath water.
I didn't turn a perch in an hour, nor did anybody within sight of me. But I walked a couple people closer to the harbor mouth and saw a handful of keepers in the bucket of Pete Marinakos.
He had come out about 4 a.m. He tried fishing with jigs (Mini-Mites) on a rod, but all his fish came powerlining with soft shells on plain hooks.
A couple guys farther west, I saw the best of the morning. Chuck Cicero had nearly a limit, including one jumbo pushing 13 inches.
He had tried inside the harbor early and caught nothing. Then about 5:15, he tried on the outside (the area once known as the south rocks) and caught them until about 6. Then it shut down.
``At least I have enough for a meal,'' he said.
A good meal, I would say.
He was using soft shell pieces on a 1/32nd-ounce jigheads with a split shot, down about 10-11 feet under a slip bobber.
I decided to hop south. On the drive out, I had to stop for a rainbow setting up over the condo line along Lake Shore Drive.
I beat the rush hour through the Loop and stopped at Northerly Island.
Weed growth was bad enough to make fishing tough, but at least I caught some gobies and rock bass between rain drops.
Only a few people were fishing at Northerly Island, still one of the great secret spots in the city.