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WWW Chicago outdoors: Walleye, asparagus, morels, perch, coho

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Looks like one of those weekends that remind us April is still close to March, but there are things to do for this Wild Weekend Wandering around Chicago outdoors, including checking if morels or wild asparagus are poking up.


I like the way Lakeside comes up with these open ideas each month to hype fishing at Shabbona Lake. Saturday is the Walleye Open.

Here's the word:

Cabela's Outdoors has generously agreed to sponsor the 2011 Shabbona Lakeside's Walleye Open on Saturday April 16th, 6 AM - 7 PM. The huge female, 10+ Pound, Walleye at Shabbona are typically up spawning around the 3rd week in April. Water temp is near 45 degrees and the Walleye are shallow.

Cabela's will be offering $100. for the heaviest legal Walleye caught on April 16th from Shabbona Lake. We will have a Walleye stocking donation jar, set up at Lakeside Bait, Tackle & Boat Rental, for each event. If you donate $5.00 or more to the Walleye Fund, and you place 1st in the event, Cabela's will double your prize to $200. Lakeside will award an additional $100, if the Walleye breaks the current lake record of 9.9 pounds. (This could very easily happen!).

If that Walleye breaks the current State Of Illinois Record of 14 pounds, Lakeside will award an additional $500., making a potential payout total of $800!!! Note: The Walleye Open begins at 6 AM.

Remember!!! No entry fee and no pre-registration required. Just show up and fish!!! Weigh your fish in anytime during the Open!

Pokanoka's Cafe will also be offering its famous "Dollar Day Specials" on April 17th. This has become equally as popular as the Fishing Open!!!

Lakeside is now taking reservations for Bass Boat, Pontoon, Gary Special, Motor Boat or Row Boat!!! Go to NEW FOR 2010 - $5.00 off on all day boat reservation at Lakeside, if made in advance 24+ hours.
Lakeside opened for the season on April 1st.

(For more info contact Denny Sands at or 815-824-2581)

WILD ASPARAGUS: I talked with Jeff Lampe last night and he was gloating about eating wild asparagus already. He lives outside of Peoria. That seems way early. My lawn only started greening a couple days ago. Though my neighbor had his kid out and was mowing last night.

MORELS: They are finding them in southern Illinois, and starting to in central Illinois. It seems a touch early up here, but as soon as I type that somebody will send a photo with a bunch of good ones. Remember, if searching on an Illinois public site with turkey hunting, wait until 1 p.m.

SMELTING: They continue to net some smelt on the Chicago lakefront, probably the best in a decade. Not sure how long it will last. Montrose has been the spot. Nets may go in at 7 p.m. Regulations are about the same. One difference is 31st is not available because of harbor work this year.

INDIANA PERCH BY BOAT: The jumbo perch are there in 50 feet off Gary Light. The problem is finding weather that allows boaters to reach it. Small boaters especially should use care. But Mike Starcevich at Mik-Lurch said there have been several in the 2-pound range.

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. Capt. Bob Poteshman of Confusion Charters said Hole-in-the-Wall has been hot this week.

Poteshman primarily uses Dodgers and peanut Howie flies (green, gold, aqua). Ed McCain at Mik-Lurch said the next best choice would be Rattlin' ThinFins.

There's been some good catches from shore, especially at Montrose and Waukegan, too.

BLUE CATFISH: Blues have been the glamour fish on the cooling lakes. Big ones have been caught in the past couples weeks from Braidwood, LaSalle and Powerton.

HUNTING: Turkey hunting is underway in both the south and north zones. With the weather we have been having and what I see forecast, I doubt that the spring record will be topped. But there's a few weeks to go.

DU BANQUETS: Tonight there are a pair of Ducks Unlimited banquets. The Lockport chapter has its at Woodbine Golf Course in Homer Glen. Contact John Suva--(708) 301-8366--or Dan Tully Sr.--(708) 301-1326. . . . The Three Rivers chapter has its at Diamond Hall in Diamond. Contact Lou Lieberman--(815) 955-7271--or Dave Maryanovich--(815) 355-2363.

PERSONAL PICKS: I have family duties today and Saturday. . . . There will be a family hike on Sunday. Don't know where yet. . . . And I haven't fished the town pond yet this year, Sunday might be the day to do that. . . . 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).

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Glad that you mentioned about safety going after those perch in Indiana: 2 guys almost drowned last weekend in those strong south winds on sunday. I was out there this past wednesday, and saw boats that had NO BUSINESS being on the big lake. John boats (like the type you seen in Canada at fishing camps), duck hunting boats, and even small boats with what appeared like no higher then 20 inch sides. If one wave comes over the bow or the side, you're done in that cold of water.

The guys that were rescued sunday were in a 15 foot Lund: they took 2 waves over the bow and that was the end of it. Please be careful out there: those perch are 2-3 miles off shore in deep water, where there are no breakwalls for protection, and nowhere to hide when the weather changes.

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This page contains a single entry by Dale Bowman published on April 15, 2011 6:37 AM.

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