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The weather is really making changes in the location of fish these past weeks. Because of both the temperature and the lack of good precipitation, fishermen who wanted to catch dinner have had to adjust their patterns. Lake Delevan is reporting 52-degree water, and most of the anglers have been catching plenty of panfish. But they have to wait for a couple hours of sun to warm the shallow water in places like the piers and the walls around the Lake Lawn Lodge harbor. Most area lakes and rivers are reporting that the water has cooled down, water levels are low and fish are very reluctant to bite. That means fishermen need to slow down any presentation.

The quarterfinals of the Illinois State High School Bass Championship was held this past weekend. There were competitions on 19 lakes all over the state to select the field for the Championship Tournament coming up May 4-5 on Lake Clinton. Two of the sectionals were right in Evanston’s backyard, on the Skokie Lagoons and Busse Lake. The weather was not the best, but the winning teams figured out the trick: slow and slower. The team from Niles North managed to finish at no. 2 and qualify for the championship with 4.14 pounds of bass. They also had “Big Bass of the Day,” a nice Largemouth at 3.1 pounds.

Anyone who has had doubts about the quality of bass in Busse Lake should consider that the top three teams boated a total of 15 bass weighing about 33 pounds. At 5.2 pounds, the “big bass” was a really big bass. These young people are fantastic; we wish the team from Niles North good luck at the State Championship Tournament in two weeks. (ETHS still has no team – New Trier has entered two teams. Maybe it’s time.)

The good news for young anglers and their parents and grandparents is that the City of Evanston fishing program resumes at Lovelace Park at 10 a.m. on May 4. All participants need to do is show up. The City has fishing rods, bait and people to help with catching and releasing fish. Young fishermen may bring their own fishing rod and tackle if they wish; the help and advice will still be there for them. Hope to see everyone at Lovelace Park.

Until next time … keep a tight line.

Contact Dick at hookedonfishing@comcast.net.