Chicago Sun-Times Latest news from the Chicago Sun-Times Online en-us (Editor) Newspapers Chicago Sun-Times 84 34 30 Copyright 2014 <![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 … ]]> Sun, 27 Jul 2014 02:30:12 -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 <![CDATA[ 7/23: Midwest Fishing Report ]]>

MIDWEST FISHING REPORT LAKEFRONT PERCH: CHICAGO: Soft shells best. Mike Repa, Park Bait: Some limits Tuesday at Montrose. John Saban: Only boat out Sunday morning. Caught 28 perch 10 inches or longer by the filtration plant. David Allevato: Numbers and size of perch at 31st. NORTHWEST INDIANA: Mik-Lurch: Portage and Cal Park best, but it varies daily. ST. JOSEPH (MICHIGAN) AREA: Phil Schuman, Tackle Haven: Quite a few limits. North and south in 35 feet on minnows. KENOSHA, WISCONSIN: Bob DeAngelis, Harborside: Boaters doing better than pier fishermen. AREA LAKES: Ken ‘‘Husker’’ O’Malley, Water Werks Fishing Team: Throwing frogs (black … ]]> Tue, 22 Jul 2014 21:22:49 -0500 <![CDATA[ Waterfowl seasons set ]]>

WATERFOWL SEASONS SET The proposed waterfowl seasons for Illinois are out in time for the public blind draws this weekend. No changes are expected from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The blind draws at northern Illinois public sites are Saturday. Most of the draws for the Illinois and Mississippi rivers are Sunday. Duck-season openers are Oct. 18 (north), Oct. 25 (central), Nov. 8 (south-central) and Nov. 27 (south). Teal season is Sept. 6-21. Early Canada goose season is the usual Sept. 1-15. Youth hunts are Oct. 11-12 (north), Oct. 18-19 (central), Nov. 1-2 (south-central) and Nov. 15-16 (south). The … ]]> Tue, 22 Jul 2014 21:22:49 -0500 <![CDATA[ Windquest beats Il Mostro in Race to Mackinac ]]> Lead story image

In a battle stretching the north-south length of Lake Michigan, Windquest outdueled Il Mostro for first-to-finish honors in the Chicago Yacht Club Race to ­Mackinac. The Max Z86, owned by Dick and Doug DeVos of Macatawa, Michigan, crossed the finish at Mackinac Island, Michigan, at 9:55:50 p.m. Sunday in 32 hours, 15 minutes, 50 seconds. Il Mostro, a Volvo 70 owned by Peter Thornton of Burr Ridge, was less than a half-hour behind, finishing at 10:21:41 p.m. in 32:41:41. The 106th Mac sailed faster than expected, with most of the fleet expected to finish Monday. Boats have 24 hours after … ]]> Mon, 21 Jul 2014 09:41:01 -0500 <![CDATA[ No alligator gar, but trip certainly not a waste ]]> Lead story image

CANTON, Ill. — I hollered out to Ben Cantrell, ‘‘How do I get out there?’’ From the camp chair he was sitting on under a canopy on a pile of gravel at a pit at Rice Lake State Fish and Wildlife Area, he yelled back, ‘‘Take your shoes and socks off and wade off.’’ So began my quest to catch an alligator gar. Reintroduction in Illinois of alligator gar, never common in the state and declared extinct in 1994, began in 2010 in Illinois River backwaters. Reintroductions have continued, though not this year because the Illinois Department of Natural Resources … ]]> Sun, 20 Jul 2014 02:31:01 -0500 <![CDATA[ Mackinac: This year’s problem is cold water will killwinds in the middle ]]> Lead story image

The Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac projects to be uneventful by the weather models up and down Lake Michigan. So it’s probably a good thing that there’s the matter of the America’s Cup being considered briefly for Chicago. The 106th Mac had 333 boats register for the race, and about 320 will set sail on the 333-mile race from Chicago to Mackinac Island, Mich. The cruisers will sail Friday afternoon. The bulk of the fleet sets sail east of Monroe Harbor beginning at 11 a.m. Saturday and running through about 3 p.m. The first to finish likely will arrive … ]]> Thu, 17 Jul 2014 23:44:57 -0500 <![CDATA[ Here’s a fish story for you ]]> Lead story image

Doug Busch stands in his Eddie Olczyk Blackhawks cap, holding a big smallmouth bass — the glamor fish on the lakefront — at an iconic Chicago location beside Monroe Harbor south of Buckingham Fountain. But was it the Illinois-record smallmouth? There is no fish to examine, only one photo and reports of witnesses. Like many, I’ve waited for years for somebody to catch the record smallmouth on southern Lake Michigan. But the story of Busch, 54, and his smallmouth will haunt me, as it already does him. He was serious when he said: ‘‘Oh, my God, I almost need counseling. … ]]> Tue, 15 Jul 2014 21:05:04 -0500 <![CDATA[ 07/16: Midwest Fishing Report & Fish of the Week ]]> Lead story image

MIDWEST FISHING REPORT LAKEFRONT PERCH: CHICAGO: Weather slowed bite and fishermen. Should rebound with stable conditions. INDIANA: When boaters can get out, they’re catching good perch at Cal Park. Mik-Lurch guys are doing best with spinners and soft shells. Others are using baby roaches and perch flies. Brian Breidert: Indiana’s Lake Michigan fisheries biologist: ‘‘Perch fishing is on fire’’ in 25 feet from Portage to Michigan City. ST. JOSEPH, MICH.: Phil Shuman, Tackle Haven: Perch good south toward Cook plant in 40 to 45 feet. KENOSHA, WIS.: Harborside: Perch hit-and-miss. Boats by breakwall doing better. AREA LAKES: Ken ‘‘Husker’’ O’Malley, … ]]> Tue, 15 Jul 2014 21:05:04 -0500 <![CDATA[ A tip to be tankful for when you’re at Bears camp ]]> Lead story image

KANKAKEE — Emilie Janes and Christina Di Monte lugged nets of fish up from the electroshocking boat Monday at Bird Park. The Olivet Nazarene University seniors handed the nets to members of the Northern Illinois Anglers Association inside a panel truck with aerated tanks. Sometimes those guys handed back smaller fish for Janes, a science education major from Peotone, and Di Monte, a zoology major from Bolingbrook, for their plastic basin. The fish in the tanks were put back in the Kankakee as tagged fish in the annual Kankakee River Valley Fishing Derby. The smaller fish were destined for a … ]]> Sun, 13 Jul 2014 02:26:20 -0500 <![CDATA[ Pond-hopping with Ken ‘Husker’ O’Malley ]]> Lead story image

At our first pond, Ken ‘‘Husker’’ O’Malley and I parked in a dead-end turnaround and walked in on a path, which dog-walkers, strollers and exercisers used regularly while we fished. It was a big-fish spot, which is why O’Malley wanted to hit it first. Once you learn ponds, you know which are for numbers and which are for big fish. And you learn which have bluegills and which have crappie. The first pond we fished came with history and a couple of koi swimming in it. ‘‘A friend told me, ‘Hey, there’s a nice pond back here, a nice little … ]]> Wed, 09 Jul 2014 02:21:04 -0500 <![CDATA[ 07/09: Midwest Fishing Report 07/09: Fish of the Week ]]> Lead story image

Midwest fishing report LAKEFRONT PERCH: CHICAGO: Park Bait: ‘‘Killed them’’ Tuesday morning with both minnows and soft shells. Montrose and Belmont are good. Henry’s: Good around most harbors; best is pipe at Burnham. Look for weed beds, then do drop-shotting. INDIANA: Mik-Lurch: Good catches at mouth of the Ditch in 35 to 40 feet. Cal Park slower. ST. JOSEPH (MICH.) AREA: Tackle Haven: Improving in 40 to 50 feet straight out. AREA RIVERS: Receding and clearing. Looking like best weekend in weeks. DES PLAINES: Marcus Benesch: ‘‘Pike are still an easy target in Cook County.’’ Use Rat-l-traps or large willow-bladed … ]]> Wed, 09 Jul 2014 02:21:15 -0500 <![CDATA[ Increase in duck numbers are good news for hunters ]]> Lead story image

For the third consecutive year, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service released a promising report last week on trends in duck-breeding populations. The 2014 report estimated there were 49.2 million breeding ducks in the surveyed area, up 8 percent from last year and 43 percent higher than the 1955-2013 long-term average. The estimate on mallards, the duck most pursued by Illinois hunters, was 10.9 million, similar to 2013 and 42 percent above the long-term average. That brought this from Ducks Unlimited chief executive officer Dale Hall: ‘‘It looks like another good waterfowl breeding year for a good portion of the … ]]> Sun, 06 Jul 2014 02:31:37 -0500 <![CDATA[ Celebrating the perch of July ]]> Lead story image

It figures a small seiche surged around dawn Tuesday as three of us launched at Burnham Harbor. Even Mother Nature doesn’t give perch fishermen in Chicago a break. They finally caught a break from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources when director Marc Miller announced in mid-June that July would be open to fishing yellow perch on the Illinois waters of Lake Michigan for the first time since 2001. In exchange, there will be a closure in 2015 of May 1-June 15, roughly around the spawn. So Tuesday rolls around, and the first July 1 open in 13 years is … ]]> Wed, 02 Jul 2014 02:21:55 -0500 <![CDATA[ 7/2: Midwest Fishing Report & Fish of the Week ]]> Lead story image

MIDWEST FISHING REPORT LAKEFRONT PERCH: CHICAGO: Park Bait: Montrose remains best from shore, but Belmont good, too. Bite shifted to soft shells. Henry’s: Best downtown south is pipe at Burnham. Boat fishing has been tough, a few in the harbors. WAUKEGAN: Lori Ralph, Salmon Stop: Slowed for boaters, a few off Government Pier on minnows, shrimp or soft shells. INDIANA: Mik-Lurch: Bite in Cal Harbor died; as it did near the Port of Indiana. ST. JOSEPH, MICH.: Phil Schuman, Tackle Haven: Some in 40 feet south of St. Joe pier. KENOSHA, WIS.: Bob DeAngelis, Harborside: Slow from shore; boaters catching … ]]> Wed, 02 Jul 2014 19:56:29 -0500 <![CDATA[ Chicago out of running for America’s Cup, possible for 2015 or 2016 ]]> Lead story image

Chicago will not host the 35th America’s Cup. The prestigious yacht-racing event got a little closer to finding a new home Tuesday, with San Diego and Bermuda shortlisted as candidates to host. Chicago was in the running but now looks more likely to contend in 2015 or 2016. To decide between the finalists, the America’s Cup Event Authority (ACEA) will work closely with each city to form commercial opportunities, hammer out logistics and establish public and private relationships key to the success of the event. ‘‘We are now able to focus on two venues that are motivated and enthusiastic at … ]]> Wed, 09 Jul 2014 02:20:53 -0500 <![CDATA[ Chicago a good place to explore the urban wild ]]> Lead story image

The junkyard along the Calumet system is what drove home to me the overwhelming oddity of beauty in the modern urban wilds. Around the turn of the millennium, I did a lot of running around the Calumet system with John Farmer and Rich Pinkowski in preparation for the BASS Master Classic, that great but failed experiment in big-league competitive urban fishing, in Chicago in 2000. Finding beauty is a far different thing in urban wilds than in more traditional natural getaways. I would like to celebrate that different sort of wild beauty in some way. I thought of that earlier … ]]> Sun, 29 Jun 2014 02:33:12 -0500 <![CDATA[ Meet Dick Phelps, the walleye master of the Kankakee River ]]> Lead story image

Dick ‘‘Flip’’ Phelps knows walleye on the Kankakee River. He was at it again this month before the high water came with another pair of big ones on the Indiana side. Phelps, who has fished the Kankakee system since 1946, has a history with walleye on the river. His first one as a kid was an ounce shy of 10 pounds. Teaching fishing on the Kankakee is something Phelps has done for years. He has helped the Sportsman’s Letter’s Ed Mullady with classes. Mullady uses Phelps extensively for updating the Indiana edition of the Kankakee River Atlas. ‘‘He is one … ]]> Tue, 24 Jun 2014 20:43:59 -0500