This wild weekend wandering around Chicago outdoors will take some girding of the loins, or should that be ungirding; but mainly a seeking of water and a way out of the heat, I know I am.
PERCH FISHING: On Sunday, the hated July closure for perch fishing in Illinois waters begins; however, those 15 and younger may catch and keep 10 perch daily in July.
But before then, Henry's eighth annual perch fishing derby will be held at Northerly Island on Saturday. Registration begins at 4:30 a.m. Fishing 5-9 a.m. It's free with prizes.
Perch reports have varied widely since the blow on Monday.
WADING: Rivers are low, even record low in spots, so fish are getting concentrated with advantages and disadvantages.
On Wednesday, he emailed about the Fox River,
``Overnight the river plummeted to 190 cfs, 15 cfs from the lowest I saw it in 2005. Driest year in recorded history.
Concentrates the fish, but makes for some ugly warm water.''
Water is getting so low that people are digging back into history. Norm Minas emailed yesterday,
``The USGS Wilmington gauge shows the lowest recorded flow for June 28 was recorded back in 1988. It was 532 CFS. Lower than my old memory cells thought.''
He dug that up because I wondered the other day whether we might be closing in on 1988 levels within the next week or so. From what Gortowski emailed, that has already happened on the Fox.
BERRIES: I am finding mulberries and raspberries, but they are much smaller and fewer than usual. Gortowski weighed in with much the same, though he found OK numbers, just small. But the wonderful time of year for berry picking is here.
PADDLING: On July 4, Chicago River Canoe and Kayak holds a special Skyscraper Canyon Tour on the Chicago River downtown. Click here or call (773) 704-2663.
SKAMANIA MANIA: The 23rd annual Skamania Mania begins at 12:01 a.m. Saturday runs through 4 p.m. Sunday at Michigan City, Ind. The 12 largest steelhead win gift cards to Cabela's. Weigh-in is at the Steelheaders tent on the south side of the Michigan City harbor. It's part of Summer Festival at Michigan City. Click here.
SALMON: The great fishing of the late spring and early summer has been salmon fishing in the Illinois waters of Lake Michigan. If you have never done a charter trip, I would suggest this would be a good year to do it. Or if you get an invite from a friend go. There's big kings, lots of coho and lakers, and some big feisty steelhead around.
KANKAKEE DERBY: The Kankakee River Fishing Derby begins today and runs through July 8. Click here.
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:
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.
DALEY DERBY: In July, catfish, carp, perch, coho, Chinook, steelhead and perch (15 and younger) 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.
ILLINOIS HUNTING PERMITS: The second lottery for firearm and muzzleloader-only deer season runs through Saturday. Click here . . . The first lottery for fall turkey (residents only) runs through Monday. Click here. . . . Through Tuesday, free dove hunting site applications for the first lottery are available. Click here.
ARCHERY: Archery Bow Range Chicago offers instruction.
PERSONAL PICKS: I am flathead fishing on the Fox River tonight, then plan to hit Henry's perch derby early Saturday morning in an orgy of no sleep, heat and fishing variety. . . . Don't know what the family hike will be yet, but suspect it will involve wading into either Rock Creek or the Kankakee River. . . . 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.