We settle back into normal summer for this Wild Weekend Wandering around Chicago outdoors, but there are some changes relative to the coming week, too; can you say, ``Wisconsin wolf hunting?''
Let's begin with the changes.
WISCONSIN WOLF HUNTING: Beginning Wednesday and running through Aug. 31, Wisconsin holds a unique application period, weighted in the future for unsuccessful applicants, for permits for its inaugural wolf hunt. Permits are $10 and can be purchased from license agents, online (click here) or by phone at (877) 945-4236. The season is Oct. 15 to Feb. 28, 2013. Beginning next year, half of the draw will be for those with preference points, so applying this year, even if unsuccessful, could help in the future.
I am fascinated by this and plan to put my application in, if only to increase odds in coming years. It is quite the opportunity to have wolf hunting this close to home.
PERCH FISHING: The hated July closure for perch fishing in Illinois waters is almost over. Unfortunately, I have very little sense of what Wednesday morning will bring for the reopener. Other than I know hundreds or even thousands of perch fishermen will be out on the Chicago lakefront for the grand tradition of Chicago fishing.
WATERFOWL BLIND DRAWS: Draws for waterfowl blinds at area public sites are Saturday; the ones for Illinois River area sites are Sunday. Click here to double-check blind draw dates.
ILLINOIS UPLAND GAME PERMITS: On Wednesday, applications may begin for free upland game permits. In my world, this is the coolest hunting program in Illinois. Luck of the draw is about one in three. I usually make a deal with several friends. If one of us gets lucky, the others get first invites to come along. Click here.
ILLINOIS HUNTING: Squirrel hunting opens Wednesday.
WADING AND FISHING: Moderating temperatures and at least some fresh water in most of our rivers make for some good summer wading.
He relayed a wonderful tale from last night: Stopped at a creek after work today, it was loaded with fish. Hundreds of them, and I only wandered about 200 yards of the creek.
A lot of small ones, but bigger ones mixed in. I didn't scale down and wound up playing with the fish for a couple of hours.
It was fun to watch them running around with the jig/twister in their mouth. One would drop it, another would pick it up. Step and repeat endlessly.
Caught and missed way too many to bother counting.
Largemouth, smallmouth, gills, green sunfish, crappie and 2 of the biggest rock bass I've ever caught out of this creek. Lots of carp and suckers hanging around too.
I wish I would have brought my 7 foot, 3 weight fly rod and a bunch of little flies.
I would have landed a hell of a lot more.
DUCKS UNLIMITED: The Chicago 75th anniversary gala is Saturday at the JW Marriott in Chicago. Click here or contact Grant Rada, (224) 805-6583; Rodney Schlafer, (815) 403-3597 or Todd Bishop, (616) 450-7006
BASS ON PONDS AND LAKES: Nominations for Fish of the Week for big largemouth bass from ponds and lakes just keep coming in. Apparently, there has been a good bite for them. 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.
PADDLING: 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 holds many 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: As Capt. Bill Kelly of Leprechaun Charters put it on Monday, we are in ``summer patterns.'' By that he meant the numbers frenzy of earlier this summer and spring is gone. But the fish being caught are big ones, including some quality 4-year-old kings. I repeat, this is a good year to book a charter or find a buddy who goes out.
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. In August, the species are carp, catfish, panfish, steelhead, Chinook and perch. 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 have been sneaking in the odd hour or so wading the Kankakee, but really need to work the town pond for largemouth with my daughter. . . . Need to talk to a buddy, but one of us needs to be out for the waterfowl blind draw on Saturday. Probably will be me or both of us. . . . I have a trip planned with Capt. Bob Santangelo this week for an interesting idea he has. . . . . And of course, I should get in a token morning of trying for shoreline perch. . . . I am fairly sure, I will get a morning of chasing squirrels in to later this week. . . . 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.