The wet weather this spring is having a major impact on fishing. Area rivers and streams have gone from flood stage to normal and now back to flood stage, which makes fishing there very, very difficult. Reports from the Kankakee, Des Plaines and Mississippi rivers say waters are rising this week because of all the rain. So anyone planning to head out to any of these area waters needs to keep that in mind.

There are good reports of perch fishing in Chicago harbors, especially Montrose Harbor, where anglers have been getting limits on a regular basis. Shore fishermen, who have been able to pick up some very nice smallmouth bass in the harbors, also found the smallmouth on beds this past week. As these are the spawning females that are critical to sustaining the smallmouth population, it is important for fishermen to practice CPR – that is, catch, photo, release.  The action at Lovelace Park has apparently been exceptional for the last two weeks, with reports of kids catching fish as fast as the bait hits the water and resident crappies spawning.

The Illinois State High School Bass Fishing Tournament finally took place this weekend, with 51 teams launching on Friday on Lake Clinton. As with all the fishing so far this year, weather was a major factor. Not only did it delay the tournament almost an entire month, but when it finally started, it lasted just one day. Saturday was a complete rainout.

That one day of bass fishing was pretty spectacular, though, with more than half the field bringing in a full, five-fish limit at what turned out to be the only weigh-in they would have. The winning team was from Morton High School, with a five-fish limit weighing in at 13 lbs. 4 oz. Two area schools performed very well: Notre Dame High School placed third, with a weight of 10 lbs. 14 oz., and New Trier High School placed 13th, with a weight of 7 lbs. 7 oz. Congratulations go to all the young anglers for a fine job. Perhaps Evanston Township High School will have a competitive team next year.

It is a good time to get out and enjoy the fishing – and to take the kids. Until next time … keep a tight line.

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