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Mother Nature has been putting a hurt on some of the better fishing locations these past few weeks.  The rain has all the rivers quite full, at or near flood stage, which makes fishing very difficult. There have been reports that the Fox River was closed, but has reopened for boats, although the fishing has been poor. The same reports of poor fishing have come in from the Kankakee River and the Des Plaines River telling of very fast, high water with a lot of debris, very muddy and no fish caught.

Better news from the harbors along Lake Michigan: The perch fishing has been really good from the banks of our larger harbors. Both Montrose and Burnham have been yielding limits of nice jumbo perch in the 11” to 13” sizes. Limits are being taken on some of the smaller fish as well. The best bait combination has been small minnows on a crappie rig, but fish are being taken on slip bobber rigs, kastmasters and roadrunners with white or yellow twister tails. There was one report of some very chunky smallmouth bass being taken at Monroe Harbor right along the walls — definitely worth a trip downtown to walk along the harbor.
Skokie Lagoons remain an area hotspot for several species: largemouth bass, northern pike and walleyes. Busse Lake has also been reporting steady catches of bass in both ends of the lake. The Fox Chain has been quiet; high water there also has kept fishing off its pace for late spring. Lovelace Park has been open for several weeks now and the fishing for the kids there has been great. Remember, though, Lovelace is a catch-and-release body of water.

Speaking about catch-and-release, with the economy still off its mark, it is still the law when posted on signs, or by lake and species in the fishing regulations. Last fall and earlier this spring undersize adults and protected species were taken from some of our lakes and rivers. When I see this occurring I call the Illinois DNR and report a poacher. Unfortunately, that is the only way to stop people from destroying fishing areas. Anyone who sees people filling buckets with small fish or undersize fish, please consider calling the IDNR Hotline at 1-877-236-7529; give them as much information as possible so they can catch and prosecute these poachers. No more soapbox, now — keep a tight line till next time.
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