A good fall trinity--the venerable Chicago Carp Classic, bowhunting for deer and shoreline salmon--lead this Wild Weekend Wandering around Chicago outdoors.
Let's begin with the Chicago Carp Classic.
I can't believe it, but it will be the 19th.
In its early years, the CCC, when held downtown on the Chicago River, drew international press coverage. Some of that international flavor is back again.
Paul Pezalla, owner of Wacker Bait & Tackle LLC in Broadview, said the presidents of Marukyu Japan, Marukyu China and Marukyu UK are expected. Marukyu is a major Japanese bait company with an eye on the expanding American carp market.
The Classic itself will be 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday at Montrose Harbor. The pegs designating fishing spots will be from the harbor mouth to the horseshoe. As the photo above shows, it is quite the scene: rod stands of long rods with beepers attached, worth thousands of dollars, overlooking the Chicago skyline.
Recreational fishing begins today on Chicago lakefront, Chicago harbors and the Chicago River. More of the same continues on Sunday.
Click here for more information or to register.
BOWHUNTING: The second most popular hunting in Illinois--bowhunting for deer-opens on Monday. EHD and rapid crop harvest are the two wild cards this fall. Officials expect about the same harvest as the last few years. . . . Bowhunting for turkeys also opens.
SHORELINE SALMON: Reports are variable, not unlike the weather, but shoreline Chinook are in harbors, shorelines, streams and rivers in all four Lake Michigan states. Along the Chicago lakefront, I've heard and seen reports of many good kings caught. Mornings or evenings, as usual, have been better. Spoons--classics like K.O. Wobblers, Krocodiles, Cleos to new ones like Moonshine--have been good, but crankbaits are also doing well. Again, this is the best of of Chicago fishing this weekend.
NATIONAL PUBLIC LANDS DAY: Saturday is National Public Lands Day. For things to help with around Chicago outdoors, click here.
A faithful reader suggested seed collection at Isle a la Cache Preserve in Romeoville or brush control at Romeoville Prairie Nature Preserve. Click here or call (815) 263-7900.
INDIANA STREAMS: Steelhead, coho and even a few browns and Chinook are in the Indiana streams of Trail, Salt and the Little Cal. Spinners have been best according to Capt. Rich Sleziak of Slez's Bait in Lake Station, Ind. and Mike Starcevich at Mik-Lurch reported, but skein and shrimp are also taking fish.
Randy Brindza from the Indiana's Lake Michigan fisheries emailed,
Stream fishing: Low, clear water conditions along with heavy fishing pressure is making it tough on anglers this week. Early morning hours have proven to be the best time out on the water. Cohos have been especially plentiful in the tributaries this fall based on angler interviews performed by our creel clerks. Good numbers of cohos are scattered throughout Trail and Salt Creeks and are concentrated in the lower reaches of the East Branch of the Little Calumet River. According to the anglers, chunks of fresh salmon skein drifted in spawning areas (gravel) have been productive. Bright, flashy spinners have also caught a number of cohos this week as well. Clerks have seen very few kings caught by anglers this week on the streams. A few that have been caught hit spoons or spinners while holding in deeper pools. Good numbers of steelhead have been caught by anglers while targeting salmon. Looking over the reports, spawn bags was the top producing bait followed by small pieces of shrimp and small spinners.
Click here for the Indiana DNR's map of Trail Creek access.
RIVER CLEANUP: On Saturday, there is an ambitious Little Calumet River Clean Up, beginning at 9 a.m. Click here.
DELAVAN DOINGS: Lake Lawn is presenting its second annual Fall Family Festival on Delavan Lake in southern Wisconsin through Sunday. Call (800) 338-LAKE or click here.
TRAPPING CLASS: The Northern Illinois Conservation Club in Antioch has a trapping class from 7:30 a.m.-5 p.m. On Saturday. William L. Paulsen is instructor. Call (847) 542-1708 or (847) 356-4173 to reserve a spot. Class is limited to 30.
DOVE HUNTING: I will say this, I saw more doves around fields again this week, but maybe that is simply the rapid pace of harvest in northeast Illinois moving birds around. Public sites are tough, and most end dove hunting as of Sunday with bowhunting for deer beginning on Monday.
SQUIRREL HUNTING: Sunday is the final day for most nearby public sites with bowhunting for deer beginning on Monday. Frosts should have helped lessen foliage and ground cover.
DALEY DERBY: Sunday is the final day for the year. In September, the species are Chinook and perch 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.
WISCONSIN FALL COLOR: If you are heading north to double up on fall colors in Wisconsin, the next couple weekends should be prime, depending what area you are heading toward. Click here for the fall color report for Wisconsin.
RAIL HUNTING: Season is underway. But I will admit that I know no one who hunts them.
WOODCHUCK TRPPING: Season ends Sunday.
PADDLING: I will run this at least this week, maybe another one or two. The weather seems to be holding.
Chicago River Canoe and Kayak holds many trips and outings, especially on the Chicago River. Click here or call (773) 704-2663.
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.
PERSONAL PICKS: I am doing something with the Chicago Carp Classic, most likely hitting the party tonight. . . . Weather permitting, I should hit fall salmon on the Chicago lakefront in the next week. . . . Not sure that the family will do a hike this weekend. The town's big festival is this weekend and that consumes. . . . My Sunday is gone grilling for the kids' 4-H club fundraiser. . . . Still pending on the very exciting change in my work life about which you may hear more very shortly. Heck, I want to know. . . . I can use some good suggestions for guests on my Outside radio show on WKCC-FM (91.1). I am enjoying pulling shows together. . . . Work nears the end on a writing project. Been saying that for too long without crossing the finish line.