Fishing in the area stinks. The area lakes and streams are not producing and neither is Lake Michigan, where normally perch and salmon would be caught in and around the around the harbors. Reports from neighboring lakes Geneva and Delavan are much the same, with very spotty action on a variety of species. It is time for a change in tactics.

This weekend holds a trip to Galena, Illinois and the Mississippi Palisades State Park. The area is one of the best for fall migration routes for a wide variety of birds and for nesting bald eagles. It is also a great area for observing the fall colors both near Galena and along the Mississippi River. A fishing rod and a small tackle box will also be on hand because the area also has some great places from which to shore-fish the river.

A good collection of items for a travel box includes a selection of jig heads (1/8-ounce to 1/4-inch) in black, yellow and chartreuse; a few 3-4-inch twister tails in white and yellow; two small crankbaits (shallow and medium divers) in a fire tiger pattern; a couple of Kastmasters (1/8-ounce) in gold and chrome, and two 1/4-ounce spinnerbaits with white/chartreuse skirts. The rod of choice would be a 6-foot, 6-inch medium-action spinning rod with 6-pound test line. This package allows one to fish for almost anything that swims in most water conditions. A camera is coming along too: One wouldn’t want to miss out on the area’s terrific scenery and be unable to capture a little of it digitally.

If Galena is too far for a drive, one might consider Starved Rock State Park as an alternative. Starved Rock has miles of trails for hiking/walking through some spectacular woods and canyons and rumor has it the white bass are biting in the Illinois River near the dam. At this time of year even Skokie Lagoons or the Botanic Gardens would make a great fall trip to enjoy with the family.

Until next time, hoping for better fishing, keep a tight line.

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