A good summer variety--bluegills, berry-picking, perching, kids stuff, a bass open--makes this Wild Weekend Wandering around Chicago outdoors a good mix.
BLUEGILLS: This is just about a perfect time to get out and fish the local ponds and lakes for bluegills. Triangle Sports called it still the top bite on the Chain. I would say that's true across the area. Ed McCain of Mik-Lurch called it ``bluegill farming'' to describe it at the Mazonia lakes, especially the north unit.
BERRY PICKING: Raspberries are nearing the peak from the south to north across Chicago outdoors. Mulberries are doing well too, though trees to the south are past peak now. I don't know about blueberries. That is one thing I wish I could find. (Hint to somebody who might want to suggest a spot or two.)
LAKEFRONT PERCH FISHING: Winds over the next few days suggest the perch fishing should hold on the lakefront, especially around Montrose. Boat fishing has been hit and miss in the weed beds off Navy Pier for the favorite of Chicago fishing. Boaters have picked up some off Cal Park too.
SHABBONA LAKE BASS OPEN: It's the third Saturday of the month, so there's an open at Shabbona Lake SRA. This time it is for the heaviest legal bass (14 inches or longer). Guide Jay Angel suggested fishermen focus on deep weed edges. He said the dam face has been pounded in recent days. Click here for details.
KIDS DUTY: Sgt. Tommy's Kids holds its fourth annual fishing day for the families of servicemen and servicewomen on Saturday at Herrick Lake in Wheaton. Click here for registration and other information.
FROGGING: Speaking of things I would like to try (help a brother out), bullfrog season in Illinois opened Tuesday and runs through Aug. 31. A sport fishing license is required. 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. Daily bag is eight.
YOUTH BOWFISHING: The Bowfishing Association of Illinois holds the second annual AMS Illinois Youth Bowfishing Championship out of Three Rivers Marina in Wilmington on Sunday. E-mail Ed DeVries at firstname.lastname@example.org.
PERSONAL PICKS: I plan to get down to Emiquon Preserve to fish it for the first time this weekend with my buddy and budding guide Pete Riedesel (email@example.com). The heat may make that interesting. All the same, this is a long overdue trip. I love Emiquon as an idea and in execution. And I am glad that The Nature Conservancy added fishing to the options there. . . . On Monday, I will ride with Capt. Bill Kelly in the Gary Zilian Memorial Fishing Tournament out of Diversey harbor. Looks like the timing should be good. There's been a decent to good bite off Chicago. The tournament uses the neat format that favors catching all or nearly all the usual salmon and trout. . . . And berry picking has been ongoing with me and my kids. . . . When the Kankakee River settles down again, I will finally get in my first wet wade of the year. But that might have to wait a week or more. The kids are getting anxious to do their first wade of the year too.