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: Bikes to bass

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That's bikes to bass, not biking to bass, although I like that idea, too; but summer settles in and some regular summer doings take the lead for this Wild Weekend Wandering around Chicago outdoors.

Chicago is a regular stop for the New Belgium Tour de Fat, a social and lifestyle statement. It starts at Palmer Square at 10 a.m. Saturday.

I absolutely have to get to this one of these years. Unfortunately, it usually falls on a time when I am on another assignment for the Sun-Times.

Click here for info.

BASS ON PONDS AND LAKES: From what people have been sending me as nominations for Fish of the Week, it has been a good summer--on those waters without fish kills--for largemouth bass. It isn't reinventing fishing. Go early or late with your favorite topwater--I will be teaching my daughter to throw a frog this summer--or, at other times, work weed lines with plastic worms or Senkos.

WADING AND FISHING: We got some water across the entire area. But considering how dry it was, it is probably not enough to truly impact flows much by what I have seen.

Ken Gortowski, who is back to guiding again for waders with the Fox River Guide Service, recommended checking here for the USGS gauges in Illinois.

While it should be more moderate today, it looks like more 90s heat will build back over the weekend. So if you do fish, handle fish as little as possible and get them back in the water quickly. Or if keeping fish to eat, having ice to put them on immediately. Quick icing makes quite a difference in taste.

PADDLING: I have been able to wade the Kankakee several times in the past few weeks and am amazed how many people have been paddling it, despite persistent low conditions. Maybe that is part of the enjoyment.

Reed's Canoe Trips offers rentals for the Kankakee River. I take them about once a year. I still need to do it this year. Click here.

Chicago River Canoe and Kayak is offering a deal on their downtown ``Canyon'' trip on many days this month.

CRCK holds many other trips and outings, especially on the Chicago River. Click here or call (773) 704-2663.

On the lower Fox, Geneva Kayak Center's Yorkville Outdoor Center has many options, including whitewater ones, but also simple tube rentals. Click here.

SALMON/TROUT: ISalmon and trout fishing is settling into more of a summer pattern, but the good fishing of this spring and summer goes on. This is a good year to book a charter or find a buddy who goes out.

PERCH FISHING: The hated July closure for perch fishing in Illinois waters is here; however, those 15 and younger may catch and keep 10 perch daily in July. Perch have been in and out around Chicago harbors and Waukegan. For boaters, there's been some in Indiana out of Portage and Michigan City.

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.

ARCHERY: Archery Bow Range Chicago offers instruction.

PERSONAL PICKS: I am gone for the weekend for a gathering of my siblings. I will get in some hiking, maybe some trout fishing. . . . 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.

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This page contains a single entry by Dale Bowman published on July 20, 2012 6:18 AM.

Fish of the Week: First trophy walleye was the previous entry in this blog.

Chicago fishing and White Sox: Zona throwing out first pitch is the next entry in this blog.

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