With the winds blowing south and southwest for days, shoreline fishermen have hopeful hints of the salmon return; that might as well lead this Wild Weekend Wandering around Chicago outdoors.
SHORELINE SALMON: I just talked to Mike Repa at Park Bait early Friday morning. He said a couple salmon had been caught at the mouth of Montrose's south pier and another day five browns and two kings were caught on the Montrose horseshoe.
I was talking to Brian Breidert, the Lake Michigan fisheries biologist for Indiana, on Thursday and he was hopeful. ``We are right on the cusp of a decent fish run,'' he said. ``If that weather pattern holds true, that may flip things over.'' He remembered one time years ago during low water when Aug. 27-29 they had more fish than they could handle and process at the weir in Northwest Indiana. ``I remember in 2004, we had a heckuva run during the [Michigan City] boat show,'' he said. That boat show is this weekend
IN-WATER BOAT SHOW: The Michigan City In-Water Boat Show runs through Sunday at Washington Park in Michigan City, Ind. It is quite the thing to see the powerboats and sailboats. New this year is a chance to try ($100) for yourself or watch a demonstration of the FlyBoard.
INDIANA STREAMS: Breidert said primarily steelhead are in the creeks, especially Trail. But some are in Salt and the east and west branches of the Little Cal. Some of the better accesses are U.S. 20 access on Trail, Deer Creek Path and Johnson Road. He said Trail cooled to 63-64 degrees.
Capt. Rich Sleziak of Slez's Bait Shop in Lake Station said some steelhead are active around the old Camp 133 dam by the Ditch. ``What is interesting is that we know fish go there,'' Breidert said. ``To have steelhead there is unusual. Usually we have salmon there.''
Click here for the Indiana DNR's map of Trail Creek access.
WADING: Flows are generally passable, though on the low side, and another weekend with building heat suggest the perfect time for wading.
DUCKS UNLIMITED: On Saturday, the Three Rivers Pig Roast and Shoot is at South Wilmington Sportsman Club in Wilmington. Contact Jean Wilson at (815) 354-2429; or Lee Day at (815) 482-3736. . . . On Sunday, the North Shore Fun Shoot is at McGraw's in Dundee. Contact Joe Boehm at (847) 736-4252 or Scott Martin at (312) 961-2908. . . . On Thursday, the Northwest Suburban chapter's banquet is at Atlantis Banquets in Arlington Heights. Contact Jeff Schroeder at (847) 903-4909.
ILLINOIS PERMITS: Applications for free upland game permits run through August. I pulled my application together this week. And am hoping. 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. . . . Running through Tuesday is the first lottery for controlled pheasant permits--click here or click here. The first lottery, residents only, for duck/goose reservations--click here for ducks or click here for geese also runs through Tuesday. . . . Running through Sept. 10, permit applications are accepted for random daily drawings for 2012 Illinois firearm and muzzleloader deer permits, Click here.
SQUIRREL HUNTING: With the weather change, more hunters were out in the last week. I suspect with the heat that will drop back again this weekend.
PADDLING: Looks like a weekend to do this. I will keep running this, even though we have the first moderate weekend of the summer ahead of us.
Chicago River Canoe and Kayak holds many trips and outings, especially on the Chicago River. Click here or call (773) 704-2663. Right now, they are running a good deal at Skokie Lagoons, where it is $10 per hour rental after 5 p.m. Week days. Click here.
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.
On the lower Fox, Geneva Kayak Center's Yorkville Outdoor Center has many options, including whitewater ones, but also simple tube rentals. Click here.
DALEY DERBY: In August, the species are carp, catfish, panfish, steelhead and Chinook 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.
BULLFROGGING IN ILLINOIS: There's one week left. 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.
WISCONSIN WOLF HUNTING: 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.
PERSONAL PICKS: I buzzed out to the Michigan City In-Water Boat Show on Thursday for the opener. It was quite the thing. . . . We are camping with the youth group Friday night, so most of today and Saturday is filled with prepping for it or doing it. The one good thing is I will get some get away from the kids time and cast in the Kankakee River. . . . My Sunday is spent covering the Chicago Triathlon for the Sun-Times. Always interesting to see people swimming in Monroe Harbor. . . . Still pending on the very exciting change in my work life about which you may hear more very shortly. . . . I am lining up some good shows for my my Outside radio show on WKCC-FM (91.1). I am enjoying pulling shows together. Listeners have helped with some good guests. . . . Work nears the end on a writing project. Been saying that for awhile. Beginning to feel like I am channeling Jim Morrison.