Fall is beginning to arrive here in Evanston. The days are getting shorter, leaves are beginning to turn their autumnal colors and temperatures are getting cooler. Fish do not have the same calendars as people, but nature tells them things are changing as well. Less sunlight means aquatic plants are browning, which leaves less oxygen in the shallow waters. Air temperatures are cooling the water surface temperatures. And on bodies of water like Lake Geneva, the fall turnover will be happening soon. The fish are beginning to move to deeper water and are forming large schools, mostly by size. All these changes are showing up in the reports that have been coming in this week.
Busse Lake was reporting dying weeds, with some still green, down 15-20 feet, so fishing has been slow. The fish are relocating and not actively feeding, especially in the main pool at Busse. Lake Geneva has been reporting cool lake temperatures, with most activity in 20 feet of water. The largemouth bass and northern pike are being caught regularly at that depth, with very little action in the shallows.
Big Green Lake, a favorite, has a big smallmouth bite going on. Again coming out of 15-20 feet of water, the guys are catching and releasing numbers of 5- and 6-pound smallmouth bass. Lake Winnebago has been producing some great catches of perch all summer with no signs of slowing down this fall. Nice stringers of 10- to 12-inch perch are being caught every day. Lakes that have slowed down and are in transition should pick up in a few weeks: Skokie Lagoons has been reporting slow action, as have Lake Delevan and the Illinois River at Starved Rock.
Those who missed the last day of fishing at Lovelace Park missed a lot of fun. The area Cub Scouts had their annual fishing day to teach young scouts about fishing and the environment. Lots of fish were caught, and everyone had a great time. One gentleman hooked a 2.5-pound gold carp (koi), a goldfish someone had obviously tossed into the pond to get rid of it. Well, it is still in there. The man put it back. There were great times at Lovelace Park this year for the young people, courtesy of the City of Evanston/ Evanston Ecology Center. They’ll be back next year.
Until next time…keep a tight line.
Contact Dick at firstname.lastname@example.org.