As I was out doing a little shore fishing this weekend at the Skokie Lagoons, I became aware of the fact that some people do not realize that as part of the larger fishing community there are Rules of Etiquette and Behavior that really need to be followed so everyone has a more enjoyable time fishing. 

First, “Give everyone their space.” If someone is fishing a certain spot and catching a few fish, don’t move in on top of them. The rule of thumb is to have at least 50 feet of separation between people fishing.

Second, “Don’t throw leftover bait into the water.” This is one way non-native species gets into our eco-systems. Dump the unused minnows and worms out on the ground, not into the lake or river. 

Third and finally, “Take away more than you brought in.” Always leave the place you fished cleaner than when you arrived. Pick up that little bit of trash that you found when you got to your spot and take it out to the trash with your debris. By following these rules, everyone in the fishing community will have a more enjoyable time fishing.

The fishing these past few weeks is improving, along with the weather. All local lakes and streams are warming up and the fish are beginning to move into their pre-spawn patterns. The reports from the Mississippi River have been that the male walleye have been caught in 12-14 feet of water in the quiet water behind the wing dams and any other current breakers.  The bite has not been really aggressive, and the best technique has been sitting and working a spot rather than drifting in the current. 

This spring has been exceptional for crappies. Lake Geneva, Lake Delavan and the Fox Chain have all been recording great days of fishing for them. These last few weeks have shown no sign of slowing down, but as the waters get warmer the crappies will start moving into deeper habitat.

 A heads-up to our local anglers: The City of Evanston’s fishing program at Lovelace Park will begin June 2. Those who want to introduce kids to fishing at no cost should check out the City’s website for times when this program runs.

Until next time…keep a tight line.

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