Chicago Sun-Times Latest news from the Chicago Sun-Times Online en-us (Editor) Newspapers Chicago Sun-Times 84 34 30 Copyright 2014 <![CDATA[ Dove hunting around the corner ]]> Lead story image

It’s time to divine sunflower heads and count doves on wires. With opening day for dove hunting on Monday — Labor Day — the fields will be packed. This year comes with season changes. In Illinois, the two seasons are Sept. 1-Nov. 14, which eliminated the gap before the small-game seasons, and Dec. 26-Jan. 9. ‘‘We hope this late season will provide a little more opportunity for those willing to brave the weather,’’ emailed Stan McTaggart, the agriculture and grassland-wildlife program manager for the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. In Indiana, three seasons were made: Sept. 1-Oct. 19, Nov. 1-9 … ]]> Tue, 26 Aug 2014 20:50:43 -0500 <![CDATA[ 08/27: Midwest Fishing Report & Fish of the Week ]]> Lead story image

MIDWEST FISHING REPORT LAKEFRONT SALMON: CHICAGO/WAUKEGAN: Waiting. INDIANA: Before rains blew out streams, a few big kings (and browns) came in. SOUTHEAST WISCONSIN: Harborside: Chinook being seen in Kenosha Harbor. SOUTHWEST MICHIGAN: Tackle Haven: A few kings came in. AREA LAKES: Ken ‘‘Husker’’ O’Malley, Water Werks Fishing Team: Floating Rapalas or small creature baits taking bass shallow early. AREA RIVERS: DES PLAINES: Marcus Benesch: River is high, but pike are going on Colorado-bladed spinner baits and large Husky Jerks. ILLINOIS: Tine on the Water Outdoors: Catfish on cutbait are best. River is high, stained. KANKAKEE: Norm Minas: River high and … ]]> Tue, 26 Aug 2014 20:50:43 -0500 <![CDATA[ Sam Becker, 13, keeps the muskies coming ]]> Lead story image

For those unacquainted with muskie fishing, casting a Medusa swimbait is like heaving a small cement block into the water and reeling it in all day. Keep that in mind in this story about 13-year-old Sam Becker, who started his first year at Lincoln-Way Central last week, and his muskie accomplishments the last two years. ‘‘I don’t show any mercy,’’ father Richard Becker, 44, said with a laugh when I asked why his oldest son was heaving such heavy baits around. ‘‘He doesn’t quit. He can go for hours without any action, and he is still like it is the … ]]> Sun, 24 Aug 2014 02:33:40 -0500 <![CDATA[ Chicago Marathon: 2013 race generated more than quarter-billion dollars ]]>

Beth Bracco remembers the early days, some 18 years ago, of Blue Plate Catering’s connection with the Chicago Marathon. ‘‘That first year, it was coffee out of paper boxes,’’ said Bracco, vice president of business development. ‘‘As the marathon has grown, our company has grown. Our employees look forward to it each year.’’ One of Blue Plate’s warehouse guys even started a company ­running club. The Bank of America Chicago Marathon has sprawled into the core of Chicago sports and civic life. The economic impact of the 2013 marathon generated more than a quarter-billion dollars for the first time. Don … ]]> Fri, 22 Aug 2014 02:35:59 -0500 <![CDATA[ Clancy family ready for Chicago Triathlon ]]> Lead story image

Jack Clancy laughs when he is asked if he enjoyed college life at Wisconsin a little too much. Let’s just say Madison is a good place to be in your late teens and early 20s. A change came when he  returned to Chicago this summer. It started with a healthier lifestyle, which included boot camp at the Lincoln Square Athletic Club. His father, Ed, thought setting a goal might be worthwhile. That’s why Clancy will be participating Sunday in the sprint distances of the Chicago Triathlon with his parents, Ed and Cindy. ‘‘So far, it is really new to me,’’ … ]]> Fri, 22 Aug 2014 02:35:46 -0500 <![CDATA[ Going frog wild on nighttime hunting trip ]]> Lead story image

Pairs of eyes popped, shiny bright, as Jeff Norris scanned the duckweed-clotted golf-course pond Monday night with his headlamp. “There’s a good one,’’ he said. With that, frogging was on in the western suburbs. Think ‘‘Caddyshack’’ with bullfrogs in place of gophers. I had not gone frogging since my brother and I did it on our nearby stream as kids. Norris offered the chance to share the adventure. The idea is still the same, catch frogs so you can eat fresh frog legs. Norris honed his method over the decades since he was a kid growing up near the steel … ]]> Wed, 20 Aug 2014 18:15:20 -0500 <![CDATA[ Midwest Fishing Report: 8/20 ]]> Lead story image

Midwest fishing report LAKEFRONT KINGS: CHICAGO: Henry’s reported salmon being seen in the harbors, one caught around 31st-39th, another at Jackson Park. WAUKEGAN: Waiting. INDIANA: Mik-Lurch reported at least one caught in the streams; otherwise some kings being seen at the Hole-in-the-Wall. SOUTHEAST WIS.: Faithful reader sent photo of one caught last week. HARBORSIDE: Reported people trying, but none so far at Kenosha. SOUTHWEST MICH.: Waiting. AREA LAKES: Bait Shanty, Algonquin: Hot bait at Three Oaks is Johnsonville brats stuffed with cheese for catfish, also works for walleye and smallmouth. Ken “Husker’’ O’Malley, Water Werks Fishing Team: Downsizing has been … ]]> Wed, 20 Aug 2014 18:15:20 -0500 <![CDATA[ Wait is on for Chinook salmon ]]> Lead story image

As August came in during a summer that never really was, North Side pastor Mark Jones and Stacey Greene at Park Bait had the same question I was wondering about: Would salmon come in early on southern Lake Michigan? Lake Michigan program head Vic Santucci noted: ‘‘We really have nothing to compare this year to in recent times. I was in high school the last time we had a winter like this past one. Some of the old-time charter captains might remember what it was like for Chinook returns back in the late 1970s and early 1980s, but I don’t.’’ … ]]> Wed, 13 Aug 2014 02:22:47 -0500 <![CDATA[ 08/13: Midwest Fishing Report & Fish of the Week ]]> Lead story image

MIDWEST FISHING REPORT LAKEFRONT REMINDER: Chicago Air and Water Show is this weekend. AREA LAKES: More crappie reports than usual this early. Ken ‘‘Husker’’ O’Malley, Water Werks Fishing Team: ‘‘Bass bite is really going.’’ He suggests throwing Bandit Footloose crankbaits, swim baits and flukes in open areas of the moss. AREA RIVERS: FOX: Ken Gortowski/Bob Long: Both wondering if dearth of smallmouth catches is related to the historic winter. ILLINOIS: Tine on the Water Outdoors: Catfish remain good. A few white bass around Big Vermilion, clam beds or off Illinois Power. Some sauger reports. KANKAKEE: Norm Minas: River is below … ]]> Wed, 13 Aug 2014 02:23:04 -0500 <![CDATA[ Illiana Tollway threat is back for majestic Midewin ]]> Lead story image

Standing deep in prairie brightly colored by yellow cornflower, sweet black-eyed Susans and Canada tick trefoil, Gary Sullivan pulled up a small mystery, the bluejoint leafhopper. ‘‘No one knows how it turned up here,’’ said Sullivan, senior restoration biologist for The Wetlands Initiative, one group helping with restorations at Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie. The appearance of the bluejoint leafhopper is one of hundreds of big and small mysteries popping up at the 20,000-acre U.S. Forest Service site near Wilmington. A bigger mystery will come in a few months when bison are restored at Midewin in an area that should be … ]]> Sun, 10 Aug 2014 02:31:34 -0500 <![CDATA[ IDNR tweaked deer-hunting regulations for the good of the herd ]]> Lead story image

We knew nobody would like the changes to deer-hunting regulations in Illinois — not trophy hunters, not meat hunters, not farmers, not drivers in deer-heavy areas and not biologists who had to sign off on the changes. All the same, changes had to come. Everybody knew that. You don’t have a historic 25 percent drop in firearm deer harvest in one year without changes being made. The changes were announced at the end of July. The key changes were 20 counties were removed from the late-winter antlerless season and firearm permits were reduced by 11,300 from the 277,585 available in … ]]> Sun, 17 Aug 2014 02:32:05 -0500 <![CDATA[ Tips on earning a free upland-game hunting permit ]]> Lead story image

I will take any edge I can get when it comes to Illinois’ coolest hunting program, the free upland-game permit program. It’s what I call ‘‘king for a day’’ hunting. Successful applicants may hunt wild birds in restored landscapes for a day with their own groups (usually three others) at 41 sites this year. The odds of being successful are roughly 1-in-3, though you can improve your chances. The application period is in August each year. To apply, go to, then to hunting/trapping, then to upland game and finally to free upland-game permit program. Through the years, I have … ]]> Tue, 05 Aug 2014 22:41:09 -0500 <![CDATA[ 08/06: Midwest Fishing Report 08/06: Fish of the Week ]]> Lead story image

Midwest fishing report LAKEFRONT PERCH: Tough going, both from shore and boat, but Phil Schuman of Tackle Haven reports some in 45 to 50 feet off Michigan. AREA LAKES: Ken ‘‘Husker’’ O’Malley, Water Werks Fishing Team: Smaller bass being caught evenings on crankbaits parallel to shore. AREA RIVERS: DES PLAINES: Marcus Benesch: Pike improving; best in shallow weeds or laydowns adjacent to shallows on spinner baits. Panfish picking up. ILLINOIS: Tine on the Water Outdoors: River is dropping, clearing. Catfish remain top bite on cut bait, shad or stinkbait. A few white bass. KANKAKEE: Norm Minas: River at lowest point … ]]> Tue, 05 Aug 2014 22:41:09 -0500 <![CDATA[ Fishing Chicago River at night a different type of experience ]]> Lead story image

From people strolling on the riverwalk in downtown Chicago to the decks of party boats on the Chicago River, the questions came: What are you fishing for? Do you eat them? The answers were bass, largemouth and smallmouth.  And we do not eat them; we release them. The questions should stop. Yes, the Chicago waterways have good fishing. Then again, the questions should keep coming. Fishermen on Chicago waterways have become part of the ambiance, much like fishermen on the piers in Florida. It’s a good thing. There have been a couple of decades of serious fishing for multiple species … ]]> Sun, 03 Aug 2014 02:29:35 -0500 <![CDATA[ Spring Valley hub of fish hubbub ]]> Lead story image

Illinois Outdoor Hall of Famer Bill Guerrini thinks the Illinois River will be better served if Illinois’ ultimate fishing tournament returns to its roots and the Spring Valley Walleye Club splits with the Masters Walleye Circuit. Town officials want the MWC to stay and have enlisted Frank Hyla in a sort of Secretary of State John Kerry-like role. It might mean the Illinois River will have two major walleye tournaments. I would love to paint this as good against evil. It’s not that simple, but —by nature — I side with the local interests over the national. A lot of … ]]> Tue, 29 Jul 2014 21:32:19 -0500 <![CDATA[ Midwest Fishing Report: 7/30 ]]> Lead story image

Midwest fishing report LAKEFRONT PERCH: Two major blows within a week have fishermen waiting for Lake Michigan to settle. AREA LAKES: Ken ‘‘Husker’’ O’Malley, Water Werks Fishing Team: Fishing slowed with weather changes. Evenings better. No patterns. CHAIN O’LAKES: Triangle: Catfishing is top bite all over on Sonny’s or cut bait. Some bluegills, mostly around piers. Walleye are spotty. CHICAGO RIVER: Drop-shotting is most effective method for smallmouth and largemouth downtown. COOLING LAKES/STRIP PITS: BRAIDWOOD: Steve Smith: 50 bass  Sunday, plus a 12-pound blue. MAZONIA: Jon’s: Smaller bass being caught on power worms. Some crappie and bluegills deep on Ponderosa. … ]]> Tue, 29 Jul 2014 21:32:19 -0500 <![CDATA[ High-profile gig for gar star Solomon David ]]> Lead story image

I need to get out more. That much is obvious. On Wednesday evening, my wife and I went to see the second Science Pub of the summer during ‘‘Jazzin’ at the Shedd.’’ Solomon David was presenting ‘‘Dinosaur Fishes in the Modern Era.’’ I expected a couple hundred of the fishy-nerd sort I know well to be wandering around looking at the fish exhibits and sipping white wine from plastic cups. Au contraire, faithful readers. Try 2,000 to 3,000 people seriously mingling, drinking and eating around the Shedd Aquarium. OK, my estimate was close on the number, about 100, who left … ]]> Thu, 28 Aug 2014 06:37:45 -0500 <![CDATA[ Drumming up another fishery on Lake Michigan ]]> Lead story image

David Allevato faced a good problem on the morning of July 11: He battled a fish so big that there was no way to lift it up at 31st Street Harbor. ‘‘Actually, I had to climb down the ladder on the side and reach down for it,’’ he said. ‘‘Everybody was cracking up: ‘Nice fish. How are you going to get it in?’ I was almost up to my waist in water to get it.’’ Allevato, a Wheaton man, owns a boat with his girlfriend at 31st Street. He had been fishing for yellow perch and smallmouth bass with crayfish. … ]]> Tue, 22 Jul 2014 21:22:49 -0500