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The reports are coming in. There is lots of good fishing going on in the area as this warmer-than-usual spring has really accelerated the fishing timetables on most of our local water.  Some of the best fishing seems to be in the rivers right now.

The Fox River is reporting really nice catches of largemouth and smallmouth bass. The reports indicate that fishing any structure available, such as downed trees, has been quite productive. Other areas to try would be any of the deeper holes in the river channel. Crawfish color crankbaits and jigs have worked the best. The Des Plaines River fishermen have been reporting some good northern pike fishing — not a lot of size, but plenty of action for the shore fisherman.  Walleye and sauger are being caught on the Illinois River south of Starved Rock State Park. The best activity has been about four miles south of the state park on the clam beds.

The big lake has been doing pretty good as well; perhaps the ramp will open in Evanston in the next few weeks. The boats going out of Waukegan Harbor have been boating limits of really nice lake perch between 12-15″. I hope they’ll save some for those of us who will be getting out soon. The shore fishing at Montrose and Burnham Harbors has been steady with a lot of coho salmon being taken this past week, and some of the best catches were on nightcrawlers.

This was a big week for Kevin Wallin and his son Zach. The guys went fishing at Independence Grove on Easter weekend. There is a great story here; the short version is that his son Zach caught two of his personal best  fish that day, a really nice catfish and a very impressive 27+” walleye that, from the photo, was probably about 8 lbs. The walleye came on the last line of the day. Nice fish, Zach.

The City of Evanston Free Fishing Days begin

May 1 and continue until the end of September at Lovelace Park. This is a great way to introduce you and the kids to the joy of fishing. Looking forward to seeing a lot of you out there. Until next time … keep a tight line.