Looks like we are wading right into summer and bullfrog season opens today in Illinois, and both lead this Wild Weekend Wandering around Chicago outdoors.
That's quite the YouTube video from National Geographic.
BULLFROGGING IN ILLINOIS: And yes, that subtitle is having a little fun with Trout Fishing in America, as I give away my age and tangential interests. Here is the general words on bullfrogging, which opens today in Illinois:
A sport fishing license is required to take bull-frogs. Bullfrogs may be taken by hand, pole and line fishing methods, pitchfork, landing net, bow and arrow or bow and arrow device, spear or gig. Firearms, air guns, gas guns or commercial fishing devices such as dip nets, hoop nets, traps or seines are not allowed in the taking of bullfrogs. Bullfrogs may be taken from June 15 to August 31 (both days inclusive). The daily limit is 8 bullfrogs with 16 bullfrogs being the possession limit.
WADING: Rivers are so low that even spots normally wadeable are accessible. I was out once this week and will probably be out again on the Kankakee River.
In talking about the Fox River, but it applies more broadly with this heat and low water, Alex Kiscellus emailed: ``Word of the wise, though: Try & keep your battles short (use slightly heavier gear & line to assist in this) & have your camera ready before taking the fish out of the water as oxygen levels are very low right now & the fish are surely stressed.''
Sam Bennett mentioned a great point, ``The water is as low as I've seen it in my five years on the Fox. Now is a great time to study spots that are usually underwater. Large sections of the St. Charles riffles are now dry ground.'' That reminded me that my old friend and well-known teacher/speaker/fisherman Mike Norris would go around in low water like this and not even fish, just take pictures to get the lay of the land if you will.
PERSONAL APPEARANCE: On Tuesday, I do a rare speaking engagement. I will talk about Lake Michigan smallmouth bass to the Libertyville Fishing Club on Lake Michigan smallmouth. , It meets at the Libertyville Township Center, beginning at 7:30 p.m.. For club info and directions, click here.
BIKING: The fourth AON Lecture Series panel discussion (Gabe Klein, Danny Solis, Jeff Kidder, John Greenfield, Eboni Senai Hawkins, Steve Sullivan) on ``Chicago Cycling: What's Next?'' is at the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, from 6-7:30 p.m. Thursday. It's free and afterward the museum will be open until 9 to view the new bike exhibit. For info, click here or call (773) 755-5100.
LAKEFRONT PERCH: The bite is very variable. I would hope the south blow finally turns things on for good for the last few weeks perch season is open before the July closures. Have heard of boaters getting some off Navy Pier, if they can find weeds. Mik-Lurch guys said No. 18-24 on the breakwall were key. Shore fishermen at places like Montrose and Burnham/McCormick Place did terrible or limited, depending on the day and the fisherman. Bite appears to be both soft shell and minnow.
KIDS STUFF: On Saturday, Sgt. Tommy's Kids Fishing Day (every child is given a a rod and reel to fish with and take home, lunch, casting instruction, crafts and games) is at Herrick Lake in Wheaton. It runs 10 a.m.-2 p.m.. It's free, but registration is appreciated; click here.
ILLINOIS HUNTING PERMITS: The second lottery for firearm and muzzleloader-only deer season runs through June 30. Click here . . . The first lottery for fall turkey (residents only) runs through July 2. Click here.
PADDLING: Summer weather is here and a good option is paddling, such as Chicago River Canoe and Kayak and its many options, including the downtown paddle I keep meaning to do.
ILLINOIS SALMON: The great reports just keep coming for salmon by boaters. With this weather, it should only stabilize the fishing: Chicago to Waukegan to North Point.
DALEY DERBY: In June, catfish, carp, perch, coho and chinook are the species for the Richard J. Daley Memorial Sport Fishing Derby. Check fish in at Henry's Sports & Bait. It runs through September with cash prizes for the heaviest three fish from selected species caught around Chicago fishing each month.
PERSONAL PICKS: I was out wading the Kankakee with my kids on Monday. That might be in the plans again this weekend instead of our usual hike. . . . On Monday, I am fishing the Gary Zilian Memorial tournament out of Diversey Harbor on Monday with Capt. Bill Kelly on Leprechaun charters. . . .My youngest said he wants to take me fishing for Father's Day. That strikes me as a good idea. . . . And Tuesday is speaking at the Libertyville Fishing Club. . . . Otherwise, I am catching up my Outside radio show on WKCC-FM (91.1). I am enjoying pulling shows together. . . . Work nears the end on a writing project, sorta.