Chicago Sun-Times
Stray Casts will intelligently report and observe, hopefully with a touch of wit, on daily occurrences, reports and releases related to Chicago-area outdoors from bucks to bass to birds to bugs

WWW Chicago outdoors: Ice fishing, Bears, Packers

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So Pat Harrison called this week and suggested, well, let's say it applies to this Wild Weekend Wandering around Chicago outdoors.

He wondered if a group of us could get together to ice fish on Shabbona Lake, on Sunday. I said, ``Ah, no Pat, that's the Bears and Packers.''

He started laughing.

Little matter of the biggest sporting event, at least in football, in the history of Chicago, on Sunday.

Speaking of laughing, it was fun to view the YouTube above for an old ice fishing joke. Got to see history passed on. No, I'm not going to tell the joke, you have to watch.

But ice fishing remains the top item. Now I suspect the brutal cold and high pressure today will limit action, but that will ease some by tomorrow and Sunday.

Even south of Chicago, ice levels are reaching 10 inches and thicker.

If I had to pick a hot spot for panfish, it would be Mazonia South, which opened Monday, or Mazonia North, which opened less than two weeks ago. I have had really good bluegill reports from there.

The Chicago harbors continue to give up perch, but it takes sorting. A friend sent a photo of some very good walleye on tip-ups at night in the north suburbs. If I read the background right, it was on the Chain O'Lakes.

Willow Slough had another spurt of good bluegill fishing.

HERMANN'S ICE FISHING EVENT: From 7 a.m.-2 p.m. Sunday, Hermann's holds an ice event on Nielsen's Channel on the Fox River at Port Barrington. There are four categories: perch, bluegill, crappie and striper (I think that means white bass or yellow bass). And a ``Big Fish Kitty'' for the biggest legal fish not in those categories.

EAGLE WATCHING: Starved Rock Eagle Weekend is at Starved Rock State Park and the Illinois Waterway Visitor Center. There is a slew of activities. My guess is the timing should be right as the river locks up more. This reminds me that our family has not done its annual winter pilgrimage to Starved Rock for a break and to see the eagles.

SHOWTIME: The Hammond Outdoor Sports Show is at Jean Shepherd Community Center in Hammond, Ind. Saturday and Sunday. This is a show loaded with people I have know well or have been out with, in other words, people who know our outdoor world.

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, blue catfish and smallmouth.

Guide Ken Wilson called to say it has been good at Newton and Coffeen, however he said Sangchris slowed some with units shut down.

Otherwise, try below a dam or at a discharge on the Fox or Kankakee, or many spots on the Chicago River system in the city or some of the steelhead tributaries in Indiana.

Ken Gortowski did some driving earlier this week and reported mostly open water on the Fox between Yorkville and Montgomery. I am not sure if that had changed by this morning, or will change by tomorrow morning.

ARCHERY: Archery Bow Range Chicago offers beginner courses and much more regularly. Click here.

PERSONAL PICKS: I had planned to do the Hammond Outdoor Show, but my Saturday is starting to disappear. . . . The family will get in our family hike Saturday afternoon. . . . Sunday is filled, between church and the Bears game, religions of different sorts. And I have to watch the Steelers game, too. This may be the only chance in my life for my two teams to meet in the Super Bowl. Everything else can wait Sunday. . . . Again, much of my spare time is tied up with working on ``Outside,'' the radio show Joel Greenberg and I are doing at 4:30 p.m. Mondays on WKCC-FM (91.1).

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Nice video. She's no stranger to the rod!

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This page contains a single entry by Dale Bowman published on January 21, 2011 6:23 AM.

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