It's a long holiday weekend and weather looks good for Chicago Wild Weekend Wanderings.
Don't forget perch fishing and your local ponds or lakes.
LAKEFRONT PERCH: Yes, the season is closed during July for those 16 and older in Illinois, but it is open for those 15 and younger with a daily bag of 10. The first year it was opened for kids, my daughter caught her first fish, a good eater perch at Navy Pier. Good memory stuff. Don't let the bitterness over the stupidity of the July closure keep you from taking kids perching on the Chicago lakefront in July.
The other option is fishing the reciprocal waters around Cal Park with an Indiana license. I was pleasantly surprised to see how many were doing it Thursday when I was checking the new dock at 95th. That's Bob Lee and Al Krusza of Tinley Park with two best of their 18 caught from the weed beds of Cal Park. I also had to laugh because the fishermen in the boat or so before them were bitching about how bad the fishing was.
RETENTION PONDS/LOCAL LAKES: It's time to be throwing frogs early and late or dropping Senkos or plastic worms on weed lines or into the pads. Or dabbling around shade areas for bluegill with your kids.
KANKAKEE RIVER FISHING DERBY: The 26th annual derby runs through Sunday. The Kankakee is in very good shape, and there's been some strong catches so far. Go to kankakeefishingderby.com.
WADING: The note above reminds me that the Kankakee should be in the best wading shape of the year. ``Catfish Dave'' Bradigan expected to be wading for catfish around Momence last night. I haven't heard how he did. The DuPage should be close to perfect as the Kankakee. Ken Gortowski thought the Fox may be calmed enough to finally wade by the weekend. However, I would check on that one first.
BERRY PICKING: I think this is a fun family activity. Mulberries are nearing the end, and raspberries are closing out too. We already were doing some picking yesterday. I've never had luck finding blueberries in Illinois. If anybody else has, I would love to know where to look.
BULLFROGGING: Bullfrog season is going and I still haven't gone. But I will. If you don't mind some company, contact me firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
PERSONAL PICKS: I will get at least an hour or two wading the Kankakee.
I will be berry picking with the kids at least for some moments.
My daughter has been itching to go fishing with a stick rod she made, so we will hit the town pond and try for some bluegill (and maybe I will get her to try frog fishing for the first time).
Should try perch fishing with the kids, but hanging on the lakefront on a holiday weekend is not one of my favorite times.
And we will get some hiking (haven't decided which spots yet) in between visiting the Taste of Chicago and several sets of fireworks.