outdoors

Dale Bowman biography

Outdoors columnist Dale Bowman began his reporting career as a correspondent covering state government for WTAJ-TV in 1982. While in graduate school in 1984, he …

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Here’s a fish story for you

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 …

  • 07/16: Midwest Fishing Report & Fish of the Week

    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 …Read More

  • A tip to be tankful for when you’re at Bears camp

    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 …

    Pond-hopping with Ken ‘Husker’ O’Malley

    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 …

  • 07/09: Midwest Fishing Report 07/09: Fish of the Week

    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 …Read More

  • Increase in duck numbers are good news for hunters

    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 …

    Celebrating the perch of July

    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 …

    7/2: Midwest Fishing Report & Fish of the Week

    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: …

  • Chicago out of running for America’s Cup, possible for 2015 or 2016

    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 …Read More

  • Chicago a good place to explore the urban wild

    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 …Read More

  • Meet Dick Phelps, the walleye master of the Kankakee River

    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 …

    6/25: Midwest Fishing Report and Fish of the Week

    MIDWEST FISHING REPORT LAKEFRONT PERCH: CHICAGO: Minnows and soft shells working. Stacey Greene, Park Bait: Late afternoons better than mornings at Montrose. Some being taken on Shad Raps and spinners, too. Steve Palmisano, Henry’s: ‘‘Good and getting better’’ in and out of harbors. Burnham/McCormick is …

    Two out of three not bad for Geneva’s Ben Kanute in World Triathlon Series race

    Spain’s Javier Gomez did the expected Sunday; Geneva’s own Ben Kanute made an unexpected splash in downtown Chicago. Gomez, the world’s top triathlete, easily won the ­International Triathlon Union World Triathlon ­Series event in 1 hour, 47 minutes, 21 seconds. But Sunday belonged to Kanute. …

  • Technology puts a modern spin on a Classic

    EAGLE RIVER, Wis. — It’s nice to wax poetic about nature — say, a doe gingerly leading a fawn along the shoreline waters of Cranberry Lake. Even better is catching muskie good enough to overshadow the flowery stuff. On the first day of the 34th …Read More

  • July green light for yellow perch

    The phone rang early Monday. “Is it true?’’ Lori Ralph at the Salmon Stop in Waukegan wanted to know. It is true. Illinois Department of Natural Resources director Marc Miller found a way to get July reopened this summer for fishing for yellow perch in …

  • 6/18: Midwest Fishing Report & Fish of the Week

    MIDWEST FISHING REPORT LAKEFRONT PERCH: The wind switch brought back better reports Tuesday. Stacey Greene at Park Bait said it’s now shiners and soft shells. Montrose has been best, but Diversey and Belmont have been the best on other days. CHAIN O’LAKES AREA: Triangle: Catfish …Read More

  • Perch fishing will be open in July

    July will be open for perch fishermen. The Illinois Department of Natural Resources will announce Monday that July will be open for fishermen to catch yellow perch in the Illinois waters of Lake Michigan for the first time since 2001. IDNR director Marc Miller made …Read More