The last couple weeks we have been doing trial runs of streaming the Stray Casts television broadcast. While we did the news and fishing reports sections, I realized it would be helpful to have something of hard copy on web sites, contact info and such without slowing down the pace of the show itself.
So I think the easiest way is on Thursday mornings (or Wednesday nights after the show if I have the gumption), to bring back ``Wild Weekend Wandering: Chicago Outdoors'' here on straycasts.net.
If you have thoughts or suggestions on that, let me know. Same goes if you have news or an event you would like included
This weekend is dominated by two things: a definitive return to ice fishing and the Tinley Park Fishing and Outdoor Show. Well, those and a couple signs of spring and a couple other shows.
Let's start with the Tinley Show, which is Saturday and Sunday at Tinley Park High School.
It is the great family gathering of outdoors shows of the winter, especially with the Strictly Archery target range on the stage. It is cool.
On the adult side, I would suggest both of the noon seminars. On Saturday, it is Jim Phillips explaining the ``CCFPD Musky Program.'' Now if only I can convince Jim not to spell muskie like those people north of the border; then on Sunday, Frank Hyla is listed for doing a seminar on ``Bass Fishing Hot Spots Close to Home.'' Click here for the complete seminar list.
I plan to be there late Saturday. I think ``Bobby B'' Bergren will be at one of the booths.
As it turns out, this was the perfect weekend for ice to rebuild and solidify. If you want to go ice fishing, this is the weekend to do it. Hell, take your honey out in the ice fishing shack on Valentine's Day. (I would suggest knowing your love well before floating that suggestion.)
And if you want to participate in an organized ice fishing event, this is the weekend to do it.
The Northern Illinois Conservation Club Ice Fishing Derby and Winter Festival is Saturday and Sunday, headquartered at Turtle Beach on Channel Lake. This is the longest running event of its kind, 56 years.
One of the biggest charity events--Walk on Water Charity Ice fishing Derby--is Saturday on Bangs Lake in Wauconda.
The Island Lake Lions Club Ice Fishing Derby, headquartered at Eastway Park, is Saturday. The raffle and prizes are at 3-D Bowl/Sideouts beginning at 3 p.m.
As to spring signs: we have seminars on trolling, a decoy show, a power plant lake opening and coho and brown trout action beginning.
That's right, Powerton Lake near Pekin reopens to boat fishing on Monday. Hours are 8 a.m.-4 p.m.
And yes, there have been some coho and brown trout being caught on southern Lake Michigan the last few weeks. I would note when weather allows. All the same, some days boaters pick up a few mainly at the warm-water dishcarges, such as Gary Light, from shore at the public access in the Port of Indiana or a few by powerliners at Montrose.
Considering the last couple winters, there is a remarkable lack of ice on Lake Michigan.
As to trolling, Lake Michigan Angler in Winthrop Harbor has free seminars on brown trout and steelhead techniques on Saturday: Capt. Al Johnson (9 a.m.), Jim LaFortune (10:30 a.m.). Call (224) 789-7627 or click here.
The Bass Pro Shops Fishing Classic is Friday through Feb. 21. Pat Renwick will be working that this weekend I think in Portage.
If you're a muskie guy, MUSKIE EXPO Milwaukee is Friday through Sunday at Washington County Fair Park & Conference Center in West Bend, Wis.
And one final sign of sping or the end of winter, depening how you take it. Hunting for shed antlers should be near peak this weekend and next.
That is my first find on my own from a couple years ago.