The best thing about this Wild Weekend Wandering around Chicago outdoors might be the weather forecast, which says we're to bust 80 by Sunday.
For those who want a hands-on experience with reptiles, this is the weekend.
The Chicago Herpetological Society's 18th annual ReptileFest will be at the University of Illinois Chicago Physical Education Building from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
Click here for info.
SMELTING: It just goes to show, you never know what will happen on Lake Michigan. They have actually been netting some smelt at Montrose Harbor. A few have even topped 100.
Nets may go in at 7 p.m. Regulations and expectations (low) are about the same. One difference is 31st is not available because of harbor work this year.
INDIANA PERCH BY BOAT: On Wednesday, Ed McCain and Mike Starcevich of Mik-Lurch reported finding good jumbo perch in 51 feet due north of Gary Light. They were using perch flies (chartreuse or orange) with baby roaches or small fatheads. Capt. Bob Poteshman of Confusion Charters also did decent in the same area with fatheads on the bottom.
The wind and weather look promising this weekend for smaller boats to get out there. Poteshman said he had four smaller boats catching fish around him Wednesday. There will be more by Sunday.
LAKEFRONT COHO: The bite by boaters around the Indiana state line has been wonderful. The hot spots vary day to day, but are the usual ones: Cal Harbor, Gary Light, Buffington Harbor. or the front of East Chicago Marina, the Hole-in-the-Wall or the shipping channel.
Poteshman primarily uses Dodgers and peanut Howie flies. Speed of 2 mph is important. McCain said the next best choice would be Rattlin' ThinFins.
MORELS: Jason Johns, a guide for Todd Gessner Outdoors in southern Illinois, told me yesterday he started finding some small ones this week. He thought by next week, it should be going good down there. A couple weeks for up here.
BLUE CATFISH: There have been good reports of numbers and size of blue catfish from both Braidwood and LaSalle.
TOP OUTDOORSMAN: Bass Pro Shops is again holding the Field & Stream Total Outdoorsman Challenge. The Gurnee store will hold first qualifying round of events on Saturday and Sunday. Click here for other stores and times.
HUNTING: Turkey hunting opens in the north zone on Monday. . . . In the north zone, the youth turkey hunt is this weekend.
BANQUET: Tonight the West Suburban Ducks Unlimited holds its banquet at Willowbrook Ballroom 8900 Archer Avenue in Willow Springs. Con Keith Bucholz at (630) 364-9337.
PERSONAL PICKS: I have family duty Saturday. . . . Friday is some official meetings on an outdoors book I am way behind on completing. . . . There will be a family hike on Sunday. Don't know where yet. . . . Apparently, I may have missed the last great gasp of smelt netting in Chicago history. They have been getting some smelt at Montrose. I might try to catch a bit of it tonight. . . . As always, a fair amount of my spare time is spent working on ``Outside,'' the radio show Joel Greenberg and I are doing at 4:30 p.m. Mondays on WKCC-FM (91.1).