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This week’s field notes

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DALE’S MAILBAG

Q: ‘‘I saw your article on Bears camp and fishing the Kankakee River. I’m a novice fisherman and don’t really fish much in rivers. Do I need any special equipment to fish the Kankakee at your article’s suggested locations? By the way, I don’t wade.’’

­— Jim Beno

A: Beno planned to target catfish, so I suggested 10-pound line. But for generalists targeting smallmouth bass, catfish, rock bass, walleye and even pike, I would suggest 6-pound line on a light or medium spinning setup. It’s my basic.

Updated: November 5, 2011 5:19PM



PERCH REOPENER

Perch fishing on the Illinois waters of Lake Michigan reopens Monday for those 16 and older. Weather is the wild card, but Aug. 1 has become the biggest day in Chicago fishing.

BUCK OF THE WEEK: UNPLUGGED

Talk about timely. ‘‘I counted 11 points on this young guy, escaping the raging Des Plaines River near Thatcher Woods [in the near west suburbs early last week],’’ Mary Sullivan said. Send nominations for BOTW: Unplugged, the weekly celebration of live big bucks around Chicago outdoors, to straycasts@sbcglobal.net.

ANOTHER PACU

Melody Dixon, who turned 6 on Saturday, landed a surprise Tuesday from a Crest Hill retention pond: a pacu. ‘‘We caught it on a chunk of hot dog after watching it torment bluegills for about an hour,’’ said her dad, Mike, who fished those waters for 30 years and never saw anything like it. Jason Duracka of Animal Island Pet Shop in Midlothian said, ‘‘It is definitely a pacu.’’ He guessed it was red-bellied. Sadly, it is a story becoming too common.

WILD TIMES

YOUTH OUTSIDE

Saturday: Lake County Pheasants Forever and Northern Illinois Conservation Club 2011 Youth Event (trapshooting, archery targets, air-rifle range, fishing, food), noon-5 p.m., NICC grounds, Antioch, lakeonline.com/nicc. Cost is $5 per youth and $7 per adult.

ILLINOIS HUNTING SEASONS

Monday: Online permit reservations for controlled pheasant hunting open at 8:30 a.m. Go to dnr.illinois.gov
and click ‘‘Upland Game,’’ then ‘‘Controlled Pheasant Areas.’’ .  .  . Squirrel hunting opens. .  .  . Applications for free upland game hunts begin.

Tuesday: Phone-in period for free dove permits begins. .  .  . Over-the-counter archery deer, turkey and youth firearm deer permits on sale.

BIG NUMBER

1.91 Kilograms (4 pounds, 3 ounces) of the world-record yellow perch, caught by Dr. C. Abbot on May 1, 1865, in Bordentown, N.J. It is a rare dubious record accepted by the International Game Fish Association, keeper of fishing records.

THE LAST WORD

‘‘Some very small spotted fawns are being seen again, indicating some late birthing still taking place. Similarly, some turkey broods are being seen with very small poults, indicating there was probably some late re-nesting.’’ ~ Wisconsin’s outdoor report, always a font of good information



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