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

May 2011 Archives

Click here for a double Fish of the Week, largemouth bass from local ponds, which was apparently the place to fish over the weekend.

FOTW06-01-11rs fotw06-01-11-2rs

It only seems apt to run the Stray Cast here.

Click here for MOTW and other field notes.


Naturalist Carl Strang talks about singing insects and his ongoing project, Singing Insects of the Chicago Region, on "Outside" this afternoon with Joel Greenberg and me.

joelgreenberg dalemugbest

It's simple enough, a rumination off catbirds by John Vukmirovich, yet rich enough to show why I love reading anything from the man of the 10th Ward on Chicago's Southeast Side.

Here are the details on visitation and mass for John "Duke" O'Malley from the SouthtownStar obit.

The IDNR announced some restrictions at Starved Rock for the holiday because of the flooding.

There are options far and wide for this Wild Weekend Wandering around Chicago outdoors; but, if you happen to have downtown Chicago on your agenda for the Memorial Day weekend, I lead with four possibilities there.

If you're planning holiday weekend fishing, I would suggest thinking more of early May than late May or early June. With that, to the lakes/area section of the Midwest Fishing Report.

Looking at the radar and the forecast, I thought about holding off doing the rivers section of the Midwest Fishing Report until later today, but I suspect fishermen know river conditions could change significantly.

Click here for the fish of the week, a double of a big crappie and a big muskie.

FOTW05-25-11Crappie%208[1] fotw05-25-11muskie

It only seems apt to run the Stray Cast here.

I can only imagine the entertainment value in the five public open house meetings on waterfowl hunting the Illinois Department of Natural Resources has set for June.


Click here for Morel of the Week, one of the best shots a reader has sent, and other field notes.


Time to check in with the checkbook on "Outside" this afternoon as Joe McFarland, co-author of Edible Wild Mushrooms of Illinois & Surrounding States, discusses hunting for morels and other less-known edible mushrooms in Illinois this spring with Joel Greenberg and me.

joelgreenberg dalemugbest

Since the world is ending tomorrow, I debated not doing a Wild Weekend Wandering around Chicago outdoors, but there is so much to do as usual on this May weekend, literally about anything, that I decided to defy the end times and post some times for things.

Some things you can't make up, and just make me happy, say Leinenkugel's joining with the Friends of the Chicago River to help clean up the river.


The rush toward summer patterns last week crashed to a halt and retreated with the brutal May cold over the weekend, but it looks a more stable week of weather and a promising weekend for this Midwest Fishing Report; and there are promising notes like smallmouth on the rivers and Chicago lakefront, and coho out North Point.

Rivers around Chicago settle into normal May patterns for this Midwest Fishing Report, enough so that Fox Valley Area Anglers will hold their rescheduled white bass open on Sunday on the Illinois River.

Click here for the tale of Bill Lanham catching and releasing what looks like the Illinois record for pumpkinseed.


It only seems apt to run the Stray Cast here.

turkeyjump Illinois hunters bagged 1,444 fewer turkeys than last year, most likely because of the cold and wet April.

Click here for Morel and the Week and other field notes, including an odd Mailbag item on poison and mushrooms.


Terrance Martin, curator of anthropology at the Illinois State Museum in Springfield, discusses his archeological work with animal bones in Illinois with Joel Greenberg and me on "Outside" this afternoon.

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After church today, I had the call, much to the consternation of my family.


While talking to Eddie Hudson about the big brown trout he caught May 5, he mentioned he was an artist.


It's one of those Wild Weekend Wanderings around Chicago outdoors where you stay close to home for a Chicago River event or crappie fishing at the Mazonia lakes, or range far and wide for white bass on the Wolf River or largemouth bass at Emiquon Preserve; there's a wide spectrum of stuff to do outside.

Finally, fishing unofficially but practically took off for this Midwest Fishing Report.


The lilacs are blooming by the fence in the backyard, so it's time to hit the Kankakee River for smallmouth and the white bass have started on the Wolf River in Wisconsin, things like that lead this Midwest Fishing Report.

Click here for Eddie Hudson's FOTW, the second in a row that is a brown trout caught from shore on the Chicago lakefront.


It only seems apt to run the Stray Cast here.

storm3x Mulling things on my morning ramble

with Storm, the family's mixed Lab.

turkeyjump Better weather has helped to up turkey harvest in recent days, but a record seems highly unlikely in Illinois.

Click here for the Morel of the Week and other field notes.


Burnout by those fighting for conservation is one of the more interesting points touched on by Mike Clifford in discussions with Joel Greenberg and me this afternoon on "Outside."


Hanging close and looking low or heading north to fish lead this Wild Weekend Wandering around Chicago outdoors. There's a variety of stuff to do, and light to do it in.

The Wisconsin inland opener and big Waukegan perch lead this Midwest Fishing Report.


Coming out of flood waters leads the rivers section of this Midwest Fishing Report.

gortowskirs After a decade or so, Ken Gortowski

may have sent his final report for fishing the Fox River.

Click here for this Fish of the Week.


It only seems apt to run the Stray Cast here.

Morels: The Meal

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A few bites in, I remembered I wanted a photo.


Turkey hunters in Illinois who had trouble reporting their turkeys the last couple days should be able to do it now, and are asked to do so as the data is important.

turkeyjump With the historic rains of April, Illinois' turkey harvest

is well behind last year's near-record pace.

Bob Moseley, Illinois conservation director for The Nature Conservancy, talks about some major TNC projects in Illinois with Joel Greenberg and me on "Outside" this afternoon.

joelgreenberg dalemugbest



About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from May 2011 listed from newest to oldest.

April 2011 is the previous archive.

June 2011 is the next archive.

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