March 31, 2015


Indiana has upped its record for lake whitefish, again. I actually expected this to happen even sooner.


Dan Rostecki caught his whitefish while bottom fishing for brown trout off the Michigan City pier.


Here is the word from the Indiana DNR:


Michigan City angler catch...

March 31, 2015

With the daily routine of the morning ramble, I learn the natural rhythms in my piece of God's good earth.


Everything has its place in time, especially in the spring.


I found the first goose on a nest this morning.


The Canada geese return to the town pond a few days to...

March 30, 2015

 SPRING VALLEY, Ill.--I talked to Mike Hanson (left) and J.J. DeBernardi Sunday because they weighed in a beautiful, fat-bellied walleye.


The 6.8-pound walleye was big fish for Spring Valley Walleye Club's first Illinois River Walleye Classic out of Barto Landing in Sp...

March 30, 2015

Lady growled and barked, almost involuntarily, from our couch at a gray squirrel maurauding below my bird feeders on our front porch.


When I opened the door to start the morning ramble with our family mutt, she lunged at the squirrel scurrying off our porch. It scooted...

March 28, 2015

Dozens of robins sat around sidewalks, roads and any grassy area with their feathers puffed so thick they looked like some sort of avian Sumo wrestler.

(Surely you knew I would find a video like this.)


What do robins do on a morning like this? By like this I mean a...

March 27, 2015


I have not heard about as many fish kills this winter, in part because the worst of winter did not arrive until the very end of January. Though once it arrived, it lasted well into March.



And I suspect that many of the lakes and ponds ripe for winter fish kills...

March 26, 2015

Downtown, there are bird cages encasing flowers as a decorative art form in the window of the insurance office.


They fascinate me. I find it creative in an everyday sort of way.


Morning to think about stuffed birds, about old bird cages.


A pair of ducks whistled o...

March 25, 2015

STRAY CAST: James Shields looks like a poster child for a week-long hunting trip. (That's a compliment.).

 (This site and our outdoors media company are named for the Stray Cast, which has snapped off the end of my outdoors column on Wednesdays in the Sun-Times since Ap...

March 24, 2015

A morning where I had to dig the felt-lined leather boots out of the stuff piled in the mud room (back steps).

The bridge to spring is filled with turnoffs.


And I mean turnoffs.


A week ago, we had 70s, then yesterday several inches of snow.


It just made for an odd Monda...

March 23, 2015

For years, I have written that blue catfish have become the glamour fish at LaSalle Lake, the cooling lake south of Seneca, Ill.


Here's why.

Mike Lynch gave this explanation, ``We didn't take any measurements but I have weighed many 30-pounders and this made them look s...

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