• Dale Bowman

Ice fishing Chicago area: Tidbits & notes

I pulled together a few more things on ice fishing today while trying to compile lists of access points for the Chain O'Lakes area and updating the regulations on area public sites.

I will probably have that finalized tomorrow. I am missing a couple things.

Along the way today the most notable thing is that while there is some ice fishing along the edges, especially in northern areas around Chicago, there is still a vast majority of open water around.

The photo at the right of a local pond pretty much captures the essence of that mix.

But the bottom line is that there is ice fishing in the back channels in areas such as the Chain and in southern Wisconsin. South of Chicago, things are iffier.

Nancy laughed when I called Willow Slough FWA. There is not ice fishing right now. At it's best, the Indiana site, just across the state line an hour south of Chicago, is the best ice-fishing spot for panfish. It's best is not now. There's about an inch of ice and goose hunting is still going on.

Staff at Silver Springs SFWA near Yorkville said their lakes are nowhere near being ready for ice fishing. Same goes for the Mazonia lakes, most of which soon open to fishing with the closing of various hunting seasons.

When I checked in with Greg Dickson at Triangle Sports and Marine in Antioch about the Chain, he summed up the ambiguity well, ``We are going to hit a warm-up, then spin down colder on Sunday. But only God knows.''

In deference to the vagaries of God, tomorrow, before the warm-up and rains arrive at week's end, I hope to have the local-site regs and the access points for the Chain cleaned up and presentable.

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