As summer has officially arrived, the fishing is heating up as well. Water temperatures are going up as the days stay on the warm side. The big lake has temperatures in the low 60s, and many of the inland waters are showing temperatures in the low 70s. This means the fish, being cold-blooded, are becoming more active and aggressive and are foraging more for food, which equates to better fishing for all of us anglers.

The reports from almost every lake in the area are that the catch rates are terrific. Lake Geneva, where at this time of year night fishing is the norm, is reporting pretty good fishing for both largemouth and smallmouth bass during the daytime hours. The Fox Chain of Lakes reports are good for most species of fish, but the walleye bite has been really good early this summer. The Forest Preserve lakes are really doing well. Reports from the Skokie Lagoons are that the water has cleared up quite a bit and everything is biting –walleye, bass, bluegills, and catfish. Busse Woods reports slow fishing but nice-size fish when they bite. Lake Glenview now allows kayaks, canoes, and float boats for the first time, and there was a photo of one angler who pulled out a 25-inch Muskie last week. No one was aware that Muskies had been introduced into the lake, but evidently they have. And Lovelace Park is active as always, with kids catching lots of catfish, bluegills, and the occasional bass or crappie.

Most of these lakes, especially the Forest Preserve lakes, are easily fished from shore, so I want to talk a little about shore fishing. It is a good idea to travel light, because, as with a boat, it is necessary to move around onshore to locate the fish. A 6 1/2- to 7-inch spinning rod will be long enough to cast far enough out from shore using a small selection of lures, including spinner baits, small hard baits, a few jigs, and some 3- or 4-inch plastics. Tools can be kept simply. A stringer is good for keeping a few. For the best time, it is good to travel light. Let’s get out there and enjoy fishing.

Until next time…keep a tight line.