We've got options--coho, Braidwood Lake, Babe Winkelman--for the Wild Weekend Wandering around Chicago Outdoors.
COHO: Maybe there is some good coming out of this mild winter. The great spring tradition of Chicago fishing is underway, big time.
Mike Starcevich at Mik-Lurch put it best. As he rattled off coho spots hot for shore fisherman--95th Street, East Chicago, Hammond, Amoco--he stopped and said, ``Get my drift, they are everywhere.'' There's some browns mixed in, too. Add Montrose and Belmont in Chicago, especially for powerliners, and Michigan City in Indiana to Starcevich's list of shore spots. For boaters, Starcevich recommended, ``Troll where there is warmer water, there are coho.'' Think places like the state line power plant and Gary Light. Some coho are 20 inches already.
SHED HUNTING: It's that's time. A guy I hope to look with this week suggested I keep the weekend open for it. I have heard from several dedicated shed hunters that deer seem to be holding their antlers longer this year than most. I don't about that.
SHOWTIME: The big one, the show that has the biggest collection of stars is the Great Outdoors Expo at Woodstock North High School on Saturday and Sunday in Woodstock. Headliners are Babe Winkelman (11 a.m., 3 p.m. Saturday; 11 a.m., 2 p.m. Sunday) and Lefty Kreh (11 a.m., 2 p.m. Saturday; 11 a.m. 3 p.m. Sunday) headline.
The Spring Fishing Classic is at the Bass Pro Shops (Gurnee, Bolingbrook and Portage, Ind.) runs through March 11. This is the weekend with some big names.
The Elmwood All Outdoors Show is Saturday and Sunday at Elmwood High School and Grade School Downstate.
BRAIDWOOD LAKE: The cooling lake in the southwest corner of Will County (that's the island on the south end yesterday as I fished) opened to fishing on Thursday. Boaters were doing much better for bass than I had seen in recent years. If you want action, there's plenty of small channel catfish. Bluegill were on the tough side.
SWAP MEET: The Salmon Unlimited Swap Meet is at River Park Moose Lodge in River Grove from 7 a.m.-noon Saturday. Click here.
BRONZEBACK BLOWOUT: You have to preregister and today is the last day to do so for the Illinois Smallmouth Alliance's Bronzeback Blowout from 3-9 p.m. Saturday at the Elmhurst American Legion Hall. click here. Kayak fisherman Drew Gregory headlines.
CLASSIC TV: It's a week late, but ESPN2 is showing coverage of the 2012 Bassmaster Classic, ending with champ Chris Lane earning his first Classic title in a two-hour show beginning at 8:30 p.m. Sunday.
BANQUETS: The Central Kane County chapter of Ducks Unlimited hold their banquet at Riverside Receptions in Geneva tonight. Contact Phil Eggen at email@example.com. . . . The Harvard Limbhangers chapter of National Wild Turkey Federation hold their banquet at The Stratford in Harvard tonight. Contact Paul Hereley at firstname.lastname@example.org.
ILLINOIS HUNTING PERMITS: On Tuesday, youth spring turkey county permits available over-the-counter.
MAPLE SYRUP: Check your local park districts and forest preserves as many begin holding maple syrup events this month. Our kids find it wonderful, and they have been bugging me do tap our tree. But I am afraid of
ARCHERY: Archery Bow Range Chicago offers instruction.
PERSONAL PICKS: I hope to sneak in a bit of shed hunting this morning, unless I concede to my health and nurse my kick-my-ass cold. . . . Not sure what we will do for the family hike yet, but it will have to be Saturday, because I am covering Beat The Champs for the Sun-Times on Sunday. . . . Of course, there is a chance that I will be shed hunting with a buddy on Saturday. . . . I am back into the swing of my Outside radio show on WKCC-FM (91.1). I am enjoying pulling shows together. Some good ones are coming up. . . . Work grinds on on a writing project.