Ice fishing draws the greatest fishing effort on the Fox Chain, in part because of the access for ordinary fishermen. You don't need a boat, just a good set of feet.
But the parking access has become tougher in recent years. Here's the updates on access points and general conditions as ice fishing spreads over much of the Fox Chain and Fox River backwaters this weekend.
The one area of major caution comes from Tom Cahill at Barnacle Bob's on Marie, there is still some open water on Marie and he thought it would be at least early next week before it filled in.
Here are views of access. Generally it's $5 to park.
The current overview came from Greg Dickson at Triangle--(847) 395-0813--who said, ``We're good: The south end of Channel, the south end of Pistakee, and just about every backwater you can name. East Loon was fishable last week.
He cautioned against using motorized vehicles yet.
On a side note, at least at his shop, the most popular on the Chain, Little Atom plastics are the hot ticket. Dickson said, ``You can't find them everywhere. I will sell more Little Atom plastics than everything else completely combined.''
For Nielsen's Channel on the Fox River at Port Barrington, Wayne Krcmar at Hermann's--(847) 639-9644--said, ``They are out there and catching fish, bluegill and crappie.''
There's 3.5-4 inches of ice and they're fishing the front and back, but use common sense. He said it should easily withstand the snow forecast tonight. He has chili, hamburgers, drinks and wax worms (for fishing).
Mickey at Famous Freddie's--(847) 587 9677--off the T Channel, said ice fishermen could park for free in the back by the sign if they leave by 11:30 or so before the lunch rush, or otherwise come in and eat. The T Channel is living up to its reputation as one of the first ice spots.
At Spring Lake, they've been parking and eating at Joe's Rock N Wave Diner--(847) 838-9283--off Grass Lake Road for a week, and ice fishing.
On Channel, Chopper's Bar--(847) 838-1230--and the Thirsty Turtle--(847) 395-4704--have access. As of Thursday, there was several inches of ice off Chopper's and catching was beginning.
If you eat or drink at Chopper's, staff will work a parking deal too. Thirsty Turtle offers a free cup of chili with the purchase of any drink (alcohol or otherwise).
Barnacle Bob's--(847) 395-2036--has access to Marie, but, as noted above, Cahill said there is still open water and he thought it would be next week before full access.