It's kind of an odd Wild Weekend Wandering around Chicago outdoors, there's some endings and one big beginning in the opening of bowhunting on Saturday.
And the wind or gales have yucked up Lake Michigan and thrown things around on land, too. That's just a nice fall addition.
BOWHUNTING BEGINNING: The big beginning is the opening of bowhunting for deer and turkey in Illinois (and Indiana) on Saturday. I think the winds are supposed to die down enough to make for better and safer hunting by tomorrow, definitely by Sunday.
LAKE ENDINGS: Some lakes begin closing next week in advance of the opening of waterfowl seasons. I usually try to get out to Heidecke, which closes Tuesday, before the final day. Not sure I will this year. . . . Braidwood/Mazonia also close Tuesday, except Monster Lake at Mazonia South remains open year round for fishing. . . . And boat fishing ends Thursday at Willow Slough in Indiana. I did get out there a week ago for a final outing until ice comes.
DUCKS UNLIMITED BANQUET: The Orland Park 2D is at the Orland Chateau tonight. Contact Bob Benson at (312) 351-4610 or Jon Ellis at (312) 656-8170.
SHORELINE AND STREAMS SALMON:The great salmon run may be mainly restricted to the streams and harbors until the big lake settles. But it has been a great fall so far. In Chicago, the best reports come from Montrose and Jackson Park/Casino Pier. But McCormick Place/Northerly Island, Diversey, Belmont and 39th are also producing fish. Steve Palmisano of Henry's reminded that we are that stretch where it is good add a rod with lighter line and a float with spawn to catch trout and smaller coho while casting with spoons or crankbaits for kings. . . . In Indiana, the streams are loaded with salmon and steelhead. And the rains kicked up the flow. . . . Also in Indiana and Michigan, the St. Joe is seeing a mixed bag of coho, kings and steelhead. Even a couple browns have made it to South Bend.
WADING/FLOATING FOR SMALLMOUTH: Rains only kicked the rivers enough that I suspect it will improve fishing in most areas. I think most of the local rivers remain very wadeable. And the weekend looks good for waders.
DALEY DERBY: Today is the last day for the year. Carp and kings are the species for September in the Richard J. Daley Sportfishing Derby. As might be expected in a good fall salmon run, a monster 26-3 king leads. Register fish at Henry's Sports & Bait, Park Bait or Vet's Bait. Go to henryssports.com or call (312) 225-8538.
ILLINOIS PERMITS: Random daily draws for firearm/muzzleloader deer permits run through Monday. . . . Youth waterfowl hunt application period runs through Saturday. Click here. . . Snowmobile permits expire today.
HUNTING: Squirrel hunting in general remains open until February, but around northeast Illinois, the three public spots--Silver Springs SFWA, Kankakee River SP and Iroquois SWA--close to squirrel hunting at the end of today. . . . Dove hunting continues. I actually saw more the last couple days. . . .Woodchuck trapping ends today.
SALMON SNAGGING: On Saturday, snagging for chinook and coho opens on the Illinois lakefront at four locations only: Lincoln Park Lagoon south of Fullerton Avenue, Waukegan Harbor (North Harbor Basin only); Winnetka Power Plant discharge area and Jackson Park Harbor (inner and outer harbors). No snagging is allowed at any time within 200 feet of a moored watercraft or as posted. I suspect the snagging will be outstanding. There are a lot of fish in the harbors, and the water in there should be better shape than on the main lake.
ARCHERY: Archery Bow Range Chicago offers instruction.
PERSONAL PICKS:I will at least check the lakefront today when I pick up my oldest boy. . . . I hope to sneak in some time at Heidecke before the end on Tuesday. Just not sure when. . . . Work continues on an ongoing writing project. . . . 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).