Ice fishing leads this Wild Weekend Wandering around Chicago outdoors, a bit of a doldrums one before the outdoor shows start next week.
But overall, this photo from Bill Peak of ice fishing on Wolf Lake in December, pretty much sums things up.
Yeah, the winter is starting to get a little long for me.
ICE FISHING: We have safe ice everywhere, even the Chicago harbors are generally locked up. The best results are on local retention and farm ponds. For public waters, the Chain O'Lakes is best, especially Channel and Catherine for bluegill.
PERCH FISHING: The best size continues for the favorite of Chicago fishing remains at Navy Pier. You still have to bust ice and do sorting, but there are perch there. There's perch in the harbors, but it takes more sorting there.
EAGLE WATCHING: As our rivers really lock up again over the next week or two, eagles should concentrate again below the dams. If you're really serious about it and want to do it this weekend, your best bet would be to hit the dams along the Mississippi River. Looking at the forecast, I would think by next weekend that Starved Rock should be prime.
HUNTING: There's a bunch of endings for hunters in northern Illinois on Saturday when goose hunting ends, as does upland hunting for pheasants, rabbits, pheasants and partridge.
SHOWTIME: Showtime is near. Next week is the big one in Chicago, but there is a starter show in Kankakee on Saturday. Outdoor Life Adventures presents the third Outward Bound Adventure Sports Show at Kankakee First Church of the Nazarene from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday. There's reptiles, ``Team Fitzgerald,'' plenty of kids activities and an expected 50 exhibitors. It's $5 at the door. For info, call Kankakee County Convention & Visitors Bureau at (815) 935-7390.
OPEN-WATER FISHING: If you're sick of ice, shore fishing is open again at Powerton Lake, the cooling lake outside of Pekin, from 8 a.m.-4 p.m. It is a wonderful lake for white bass, catfish, flatheads and smallmouth.
PERMITS: Tuesday is the last day to apply for spring turkey hunting permits, second lottery.
ARCHERY: Archery Bow Range Chicago offers beginner courses and much more regularly. Click here.
PERSONAL PICKS: I have to poke around the Chicago harbors, either today or Saturday. Might not make up my mind until after breakfast. . . . We got about an inch of snow yesterday, completely unforecast snow, which is the best kind for a guy like me. But I don't think we have enough for the kids to sled in. Unless we get more than passing flurries this afternoon and evening. . . . We will get in our weekend hike as a family. We have not been at Plum Grove Nature Center near Crete for awhile, might be time to play around there again. One of our favorite times there was a maple syrup event a few years ago, but that is a month or more away. . . . I had hoped to get in one last small game hunt, but I don't think it is going to happen. . . . And frankly, my time is tied up some with working on ``Outside,'' the radio show Joel Greenberg and I are doing at 4:30 p.m. Mondays on WKCC-FM (91.1).