The biggest week for outdoors shows, along with multiple ice-fishing events, leads this Wild Weekend Wandering around Chicago outdoors.
SHOW SEASON: The buzz is from the big new fishing show, the Chicagoland Fishing, Travel & Outdoor Expo opens at the Schaumburg Convention Center. It was something to walk through there on Thursday (above). I will try to pull together some show notes on walking the big shows on Wednesday and Thursday.
The traditional show, the Chicago Outdoor Sports Show is at the Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont. Opening today and co-located with it is the new Chicagoland Gun Show. I will check that out on Sunday when I am in the Heartland Outdoors booth.
Strictly Sail Chicago is at Navy Pier. Because of the pack of other shows this week, I will not be hitting it.
The Illinois Fish & Feather Expo opens today at the Interstate Center in Bloomington. I have yet to visit this because it generally is the same weekend as the big shows.
The Hammond Outdoor Sports Show is this weekend at the Jean Shepherd Community Center in Hammond, Ind. I will be there Saturday.
ICE FISHING EVENTS: U:PDATE: Now there's just the two events in northwest Indiana.
WALK ON WATER CHARITY ICE FISHING DERBY: UPDATE: WOW is canceled. It was scheduled for Saturday on Bangs Lake in Wauconda. UPDATE
WINTERFEST ICE FISHING DERBY: It is 6 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday for LaPorte County in northwest Indiana.
Here is the word from Facebook:
The Winterfest Ice Fishing Derby is co-sponsored by Rotary, LaPorte City Park Dept and IU Health LaPorte Hospital, Friends of Fishing as well as several fishing product suppliers.
Pre-registration is anytime before 1/26 at the LaPorte Parks Office for $10 adults and $5 youth. Day of event registration is $15 for adults and $7/youth at Cummings Lodge.
Rotary will be selling "chili" from 11am-4pm for $6/adult and $4/youth. $2 discount to our registered fisherman.
Grand Prize is a Vexilar FL-12!!!
For more information contact Mike Sutton at 219-510-3193
PCCC ICE FISHING DERBY: The Porter County Conservation Club's ice fishing derby is 6 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday.
Here is the word:
P C C C
Ice Fishing Derby
Porter County Conservation Club
Saturday January 26, 2013
Make-up Date Saturday February 2, 2013
6:00 AM - 1:00 PM
Check back for update on Ice conditions
OPEN TO THE PUBLIC
FOOD - BREAKFAST - BONFIRE
5th annual ice fishing contest
Sign-up starts at 5:30 AM in the club house
$10 per Adult and $5 per child under 12
CASH prizes will be awarded for largest Bass, Crappie, Bluegill, Redear, Catfish and Perch
Ongoing raffles and prizes
320 N. 150 W Valparaiso, IN 46385
Located just west of Valpo on route 130, north of Creekside golf course
For more information and directions contact us at:
EAGLES AT STARVED ROCK: With area waters locking up, timing should be good to watch the bald eagles at Starved Rock this weekend.
Here's the word from the IDNR:
Visitors are invited to the annual Bald Eagle Watch Weekend on Jan. 26-27 at Starved Rock State Park in Utica and the Illinois Waterway Visitor Center (Lock and Dam), hosted by the Illinois Audubon Society, IDNR and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. More details are available online at
ICE FISHING: It is here and well underway. The problem areas remain any current areas or goose holes, which recently froze over.
Greg Dickson at Triangle said he expects 9-12 inches in spots on the Chain O'Lakes by this weekend. I saw Denny Sands from Lakeside at the Schaumburg show and he said the ice fishing has been decent up front and back in the no-motor zone, but the middle is very tricky because geese had been keeping it open.
CHICAGO PERCH FISHING: With ice building in the Chicago harbors, the most consistent results have come from 92nd and 95th in the river on Chicago's Southeast Side, but it takes much sorting most days for keepers. . . . I have not heard of anything yet from ice fishermen in the harbors.
CHICAGO PIER PASSES: Probably a good time to remember that the $6 pier passes for Chicago harbors, except 31st, are available now at Henry's Sports and Bait, 3130 S. Canal.
GOOSE HUNTING: Goose season continues in the central zone through Jan. 31. Traditionally, this is the hot time at Braidwood Lake and the clubs around it. Not this year. It has been slow. Maybe the feeze-up will help in the final days, but I have not heard from site staff yet.
HAWG HUNTERS BREAKFAST: The Quad County Hawg Hunters chapter of Muskies Inc. holds its annual Dick Cole Memorial Breakfast on Sunday at the Plano American Legion.
Here's the word:
Quad County Hawg Hunters
Chapter 17 - Muskies, Inc.
Dick Cole Memorial Breakfast
Sunday January 27th, 2011
Plano American Legion
510 East Dearborn Street
7:00 - 11:00 AM
All you can eat menu:
Eggs, Sausage, Pancakes, French Toast, Potatoes, Biscuits and Gravy, Milk, Orange Juice, and Coffee
Seniors & Children 6-12 $5.00
5 and under FREE
Proceeds go to improving IL Muskie fisheries!
FOX HUNTING: Fox hunting ends in Illinois on Thursday.
INDIANA STREAMS: There's a few steelhead in the streams, but low and slick banks haven't helped. The lake-effect snow could help kick up the flow. Click here for the Indiana DNR's map of Trail Creek access.
POWERTON FISHING: If you're itching for some cooling lake fishing, shore fishing is open 8 a.m.-4 p.m. at Powerton, just outside of Pekin. And boat fishing is coming soon on Feb. 15.
ARCHERY: Archery Bow Range Chicago offers instruction.
YOUTH TURKEY PERMITS: Youth (younger than 16 years old before turkey season) may apply now for outdoors access for youth turkey hunting in one of 23 counties. Click here.
PERSONAL PICKS: Today I am taking a breath, though I might try to sneak in some ice fishing. I want to try the Bait Flare technique I saw at the Rosemont show. And I need to get some paperwork done for a bunch of recordings for my Outside radio show on WKCC-FM (91.1). . . . Otherwise, my weekend is primarily shows. Saturday I will hit Hammond. On Sunday, I am working the Heartland Outdoors booth at Rosemont. And I sure hope that sloppy mix they are calling for late Sunday will hold off until I am home, safe and sound.