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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  • Heidecke Lake, the former cooling lake, has a lot of fish stories

    The big crappie being caught in the opening weeks of fishing at Heidecke Lake reinforce how much of an anomaly the former cooling lake is. Over the last several years, district fisheries biologist Rob Miller moved adults from nettings at Milliken Lake and added some …Read More

  • Midwest fishing report AREA LAKES: Crappie and bass time. Ken “Husker’’ O’Malley, Water Werks Fishing Team: “On sunny days, bass are up shallow. Cloudy days push them back. Wind blown shorelines have been best.’’ CHAIN O’LAKES AREA: Triangle: Crappie are top bite, otherwise look for …Read More

  • Record Illinois sauger? It seems that weigh

    Some fish are big enough to flop over the hide-and-seek of tournament fishing. Say, the sauger Joe Miller caught March  28 on the Illinois River while prefishing for the Masters Walleye Circuit tournament out of Spring Valley. All Miller boated was a sauger likely big enough …Read More

  • Chicago River yields monster walleye

    Gerardo ‘‘Gero’’ Cortez asked and answered the right question about walleye and the Chicago River last week. ‘‘I was down there Monday or Tuesday and asked Ryan, ‘Hey, any walleye in there?’ ’’ Cortez said. Ryan Whitacre is a dedicated Chicago River fisherman and a member …Read More

  • 4/9: Midwest Fishing Report & Fish of the Week

    MIDWEST FISHING REPORT SMELT: None to slow. Netting runs through April in Chicago. Hours are 7 p.m. to 1 a.m. SPRING TROUT: Season opened Saturday in Illinois. Local waters include Axehead, Belleau, Green, Horsetail and Wolf in Cook County; Grove, Pickerel and Silver in DuPage; …

    Hunting sandhill cranes isn’t for everybody, but it isn’t unethical

    Hunting sandhill cranes is like eating horse meat: In terms of science, there is nothing wrong with either. But I have no interest in hunting sandhill cranes or eating horse meat. I came to mulling this because of a question from faithful reader Craig Holderness. …

    Conservation police officers coming from closer to home

    Home matters. That’s the best thing I took from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources holding a graduation ceremony for 14 conservation police officers Friday in Springfield. Half the class came from the Chicago area, though none was from Chicago. That’s a step in the …

    4/2: Midwest Fishing Report & Fish of the Week

    MIDWEST FISHING REPORT LAKEFRONT COHO: Wind and weather are wild cards. CHICAGO: Steve Palmisano, Henry’s: ‘‘Good up and down the lakefront.’’ Gary Bloom: Saw two or three coho ‘‘in most every bucket’’ Sunday at Montrose. INDIANA/SOUTHWEST MICHIGAN: Capt. Bob Poteshman: Going out of Hammond Marina …

    Michigan runners class of field in Shamrock Shuffle

    The landscape is still trapped in winter drabness, but there was green aplenty Sunday for the 35th Shamrock Shuffle downtown. As the sun rose over Lake Michigan on a calm morning, executive race director Carey Pinkow- ski said: ‘‘Finally. It is a rite of spring.’’ Jake …

    It’s slow, but spring action is starting

    I   found myself on Wednesday looking at Morelmania.com and Morels.com to check for reports nearby of morel mushrooms. There weren’t any. It’s one mixed-up spring coming out of an all-time Chicago winter. On Tuesday, smelt netting opens on the Chicago lakefront. A week ago, a …

  • Spring turkey hunting upon us

    Turkey hunting will be different this spring after the historic winter. In Illinois, spring turkey hunting begins this weekend with the youth hunt in the south zone. ‘‘Turkey hunters are going to be facing, particularly in youth season, winter birds,’’ said John Burk, a regional …Read More

  • Masters Walleye Circuit event this weekend at Spring Valley

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  • 3/25: Midwest Fishing Report and Fish of the Week

    MIDWEST FISHING REPORT LAKEFRONT COHO: Coho are in. Limits in Indiana: Michigan City, Portage, Gary Light, Hammond Marina and the shipping channel. All depends on ice being out. Capt. Bob Poteshman, Confusion Charters: Coho are running 15 to 18 inches; shipping channel was best Monday. …Read More

  • Fish kills a concern in wake of conditions this historic winter

    Rob Miller had a good idea about what he would find when he put a camera into Milliken Lake at midweek: dead fish. Pond owners, fisheries managers and homeowners are wondering: How much impact did the historic winter have on fish? The critical point is …

  • There’s nothing like opening day at LaSalle Lake

    MARSEILLES, Ill. — As we drifted a bank early Saturday, Pete Riedesel put it well — long before we pounded hybrid striped bass on opening day of fishing at LaSalle Lake. ‘‘Finally, a Saturday I am not aimlessly wandering around the house,’’ he said. The …Read More

  • 03/19: Midwest Fishing Report & Fish of the Week

    MIDWEST FISHING REPORT LaSALLE OPENER: Water temperatures were in the 40s on the cold side and 80 in the hot chute. All launches should be open. Concessionaire trailer is scheduled. March hours are 6 a.m. to sunset Wednesday through Sunday. Some big blues and some …Read More

  • A time for talking at yellow perch summit

    Jumbo yellow perch are magical, whether they are being hooked on Lake Michigan or their fillets flipped in a hot, buttered pan. Yet, for the last two decades, it feels as if Lake Michigan perch have been under the sway of dark magic as populations …Read More