Perch fishing on the lakefront headlines Chicago Wild Weekend Wanderings. They're here.
The crowd filled in slowly on the south side of Montrose harbor at 5 a.m. Thursday, but that will be different this weekend. Thousands will be perch fishing at Montrose, Belmont, Diversey, Burnham, Northerly Island, McCormick, 39th, Casino Pier and 95th by the weekend.
LAKEFRONT PERCH: They're late, but they're here.
And it will be worth being up at dawn to catch them. Carl Vizzone reported measuring three 15-inchers on Thursday.
NORTHERLY ISLAND PERCH DERBY: I think Steve Palmisano was right when he said conditions look perfect for the fifth annual Northerly Island Perch Derby on Saturday. It's free with medals and prizes. Fishing is 5-9 a.m., registration begins at 4:30 a.m. Call (312) 225-8538 or go to henryssports.com. Henry's will open at 4 a.m. for those seeking bait.
This dawn shot at Northerly Island was taken four years ago when perch came in better at the end of May, a good three weeks earlier than this year. But at least they're here.
BERRY PICKING: Norm Minas mentioned that in his ramblings around the Kankakee last weekend, he found his first mulberries on Sunday. i picked and ate my first on Wednesday. And I one upped him when my kids picked their first raspberries on Thursday. Mulberries are here across the area. Raspberries will be ripening from south to north across the area this week too. Don't know about wild blueberries. I have never had luck finding them around Chicago.
KIDS AND JOYSTICKS: Brunswick, the locally-based company, is helping launch Mayor Daley's Fish N' Kids program at 10 Monday morning. For each kid who successfully docks a boat with Brunswick's new joystick technology near the Chicago River and Lakeshore Drive, Brunswick will donate $100. That joystick technology is something, if you had a chance to try it at the boat show or a dealer.
SHABBONA LAKE BASS OPEN: Saturday is the bass open (heaviest single legal bass). Go to shabbonalake.com or call (815) 824-2581.
BULLFROGGING: Bullfrog season opened Monday: I had one offer to go bullfrogging with a bow. I would also like to get out and try some other ways. If you don't mind some company, contact me email@example.com.
Here's the details from the IDNR regs:
A sport fishing license is required to take bullfrogs. Bullfrogs may be taken by hand, pole and line fishing methods, pitchfork, landing net, bow and arrow or bow and arrow device, spear or gig. Firearms, air guns, gas guns or commercial fishing devices such as dip nets, hoop nets, traps or seines are not allowed in the taking of bullfrogs. Bullfrogs may be taken from June 15 to August 31 (both days inclusive). The daily limit is 8 bullfrogs with 16 bullfrogs being the possession limit.
BEGINNING FLY TYING: Trout Unlimited Oak Brook chapter's ``Learn to Fly Fish'' will be held at Oak Brook Park District Dean Property in one-hour sessions from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday. Go to www.obtu.org or contact Jeremy Slade at firstname.lastname@example.org
PERSONAL PICKS: I usually get the afternoon of Father's Day to myself. My hope had been to get in a good three hours of wet wading the Kankakee. Considering conditions, I don't think that will happen. So plan B will be wandering around Mazonia, unless my buddy Pete Riedesel talks me into something more exotic.
I will be berry picking throughout the weekend.
And if weather holds and I muster the energy for another 3 a.m. wakeup, I will be poking around the Northerly Island perch derby Saturday morning. Might even fish it for a change.