• Dale Bowman

WWW Chicago outdoors: Sheds, shows & maybes

Trekking into another Wild Weekend Wandering around Chicago outdoors.

I will try to have this up every Thursday morning, in part to have a place to post links and general info on things mentioned Wednesday night in our broadcast of Stray Casts, and in part because I just like to put out a list like this.

For fishermen, the big thing is the reopening of fishing Tuesday at Braidwood Lake.

Hours are the usual 6 a.m. to sunset.

I will be there, I think shore fishing the morning, probably on the hot side.

Biologist Rob Miller said blues and hybrid stripers are doing well. He has some concerns about the bass, because legals dropped to about 20 percent in the fall survey.

Expect the same fiddler size on channel catfish, not much on bluegill. Miller is also concerned about the drop in basic forage: threadfin and gizzard shad. He wonders if it is related to a fish kill last summer.

All the same, I am looking forward to being there.

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We are in the prime time for looking for shed antlers. That will take up at least one, possibly two, of my days by Sunday.

The video to the right is some tips from the young guys of Northern Wisconsin Outdoor Adventures.

Personally, I need more than tips I think. I need real help in finding sheds.

Kids are off again today because of the storm, so when things settle later this morning, I may enlist their young eyes to help me.

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I don't know what to say about ice fishing, but there should be at least some into the weekend in far northern Illinois and southern Wisconsin. South of Chicago, many spots have been wide open for days.

Open-water options are opening up, too. Before the blow and the snow, Stray Casts' favorite electrician Ryan Yoos did well, really well, for largemouth bass in Burns Ditch with just about anything they threw.

The sauger are going in 20-22 feet on the Illinois River from Starved Rock to Henry, said Thom Matejewski at Illinois Valley Outdoors.

I don't know what to say about Lake Michigan, though it may settle enough for at least shore fishermen to chase early coho and browns by the warm weekend.

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As to seminars, there is another one going at Lake Michigan Angler in Winthrop Harbor on ``Locating and Catching Salmon and Trout.'' It's free. For info, call (224) 789-7627 or click here.

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When it comes to shows, the Indianapolis Boat, Sport and Travel Show, one of the last 10-day shows in the country, runs through Sunday at the Indiana State Fairgrounds. . . . The Deer, Turkey and Waterfowl Expo is there Friday through Sunday.

Closer to Chicago, the big show is Our World-Underwater, Friday through Sunday at the Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont. I would actually like to see that some year, and this might be the weekend to do it.

The Lake Home & Cabin Show is at the Schaumburg Convention Center, Friday through Sunday. I have never done the show, and will not this year either.

The Ultimate Outdoor Show is Saturday at Legen's Sportsplex in Bourbonnais. I may get some time there with the kids.

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