Ice fishing leads this Wild Weekend Wanderings around Chicago outdoors.
ICE FISHING: It just goes on. We're at three months straight for ice fishing on the Chain O'Lakes. I had a solid outing for crappie and perch with Capt. Jeff Hahn (above) on the Chain Wednesday evening. It was quite the thing to be out with a 21-year-old who already has his own guide business--Chain O Lakes Fishing Guide Service--and is in his fifth season of guiding.
LIONS DERBY: The Island Lake Lions Club's annual ice fishing derby is 7 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday. It looks like a good time, plus the Lions are one of my favorite charities, so I wish I could make it. The hotline is (847) 604-1709.
GULLING: The ninth annual Illinois Ornithological Society Gull Frolic is Saturday, beginning at 8 a.m. at Winthrop Harbor Yacht Club. This is one of those things I wish I could go to, but have not been able to so far. Alvaro Jaramillo will speak on slaty-backed gull identification at 9:30 and 11:30 a.m. The $10 registration fee includes continental breakfast, lunch, including Sea Gull Stew, vegetarian chili, drinks and more. Coffee, tea and hot chocolate will be available all day. Go to http://www.illinoisbirds.org/fieldtrips.html
HERMANN'S ICE FISHING EVENT: On Sunday, Hermann's holds an ice fishing derby on Nielsen's Channel at Port Barrington. Sign-up begins at 6:30 a.m., tournament ends 1 p.m. $5 parking, $5 entry. Biggest perch, crappie, bluegill and striper win. Also optional big fish pot for other legal species. Call (847) 639-9644.
INDIANAPOLIS SHOW: The 56th Indianapolis Boat, Sport & Travel Show, biggest of its kind, opens today and runs through Feb. 28 at the Indiana State Fairgrounds. Ed McCain at Mik-Lurch just raves about this show, calling it the best in the Midwest. I need to see it at least once in my life. Go to
SHOWTIME: Our World-Underwater is at the Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont from today through Sunday. Go to ourworldunderwater.com
PERSONAL PICKS: I am covering bowling, the last sectionals for Beat the Champs, this weekend, so my get-outside time will be limited or non-existent. . . . I hope to hit ice fishing the Chicago harbors next week on a week day or try to do some open water stuff with Bill Anderson. . . . I will get in a hike at some point this weekend. . . . Birding over the Great Backyard Bird Count last weekend was sparse for me. I did see a red-bellied woodpecker and some house finches, which added something a bit special. Surprisingly, some Canada geese are hanging around and I don't know of any open water nearby.