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

WWW Chicago outdoors: Spring variety and state tournaments

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There are some eclectic options, including some state competitions, for this Wild Weekend Wandering around Chicago outdoors.

A big celebration of the Chicago River begins Monday. See below.

Eight IHSA bass fishing sectionals are scheduled for today, weather permitting. I plan to be at one of them. Which one may depend on weather. That's also why I am getting this up Thursday night instead of Friday morning.

And Blackhawk Field Archers host the IBO Illinois State Championship on Saturday and Sunday in Rockton.

CHICAGO RIVER FRIENDS: Friends of the Chicago River celebrates its 20th anniversary with ``Chicago River Day 20/20,'' Monday through May 12. There are many events, including a contest for four to stay overnight in the McCormick Bridgehouse & Chicago River Museum. Click here. Link should work now.

WALLEYE WEEKEND: Lakeside is at it again this weekend on Shabbona Lake, holding ``Going For The Illinois State Record Walleye'' weekend through Sunday at Shabbona Lake. It's free. Biologists said some of the walleye are not spawned out yet. Click here or call (815)824-2581 for details.

MORELS: Reports are coming again, and I expect with the forecast rains more will be coming. I say though I have not found any yet myself. Usually, I run the weekly celebration of morels in May on Sundays in the Sun-Times outdoors page. With the historic March weather this year, MOTW started on April 1 and will continues. Email nominations to

TURKEY HUNTING ILLINOIS: I already received a bunch of good stories from the north zone youth hunt, so Turkey of the Week already started and will run for awhile Wednesdays in the Sun-Times outdoors page. If you stories and photos for TOTW, I would love to hear about them and seem them at . . . Turkey seasons are underway in both the north and south zones.

ARCHERY: Blackhawk Field Archers host the IBO Illinois State Championship on Saturday and Sunday in Rockton. Contact Dave Lee at . . . Archery Bow Range Chicago offers instruction.

LAKEFRONT SMALLMOUTH: Starting to hear smallmouth reports again in the downtown harbors.

WILD ASPARAGUS: I have started looking. Soon, very soon. I am sure some is up. I just haven't found it.

DUCKS UNLIMITED: On Wednesday, the Northeast Illinois chapter holds its banquet at the Antioch VFW. Contact Bert Metz (847) 732-3825 or Jack Fields at (847) 274-3958.

HEIDECKE: The former cooling lake east of Morris is open daily to fishing. Launch opens 6 a.m.; bank fishing, 6:30 a.m. Close is sunset. Better walleye reports again.

ILLINOIS HUNTING PERMITS: Random daily drawings for spring turkey permits in Illinois are the near the end. Click here . . . Resident Illinois deer hunters may apply online for first firearm and muzzleloader permits through April 30. Click the ``Online Services'' tab at

SMELT: Smelt runs the month of April in Chicago. Nets may be set at 7 p.m. Netters must be out of the parks by 1 a.m. Reports have been poor, or non-existent. Water in the low 50s is not helping with one of the great traditions of Chicago fishing.

PERSONAL PICKS: I am at one of the IHSA bass fishing sectionals today. . . . I will keep looking for morels and wild asparagus. It would be a hoot to find both on the same weekend. . . . I suspect the family hike will be at Kankakee River State Park this weekend. . . . I was invited to a smelting event. Might go for the social aspect, about all that is left of smelting. . . . Otherwise, I am back into the swing of my Outside radio show on WKCC-FM (91.1). I am enjoying pulling shows together. . . . Work nears the end on a writing project.

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Hi Dale - thanks for the post! To get to the Chicago River Day 20/20 website, you have to type the www. Try fixing the link to

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About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Dale Bowman published on April 19, 2012 10:34 PM.

Ramble with Storm: Early goslings was the previous entry in this blog.

IHSA bass fishing: Braidwood postponed is the next entry in this blog.

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