As we venture forward in our new normal, I can’t help thinking that a fishing trip to an area lake would help with the “lockdown” feeling and allow us to get out into the fresh air and participate in an activity that we did prior to the COVID-19 impact.

There are rules to be followed when we go fishing just like everywhere else we go, especially “social distancing.” When we fish from shore, we traditionally keep a fair distance from other anglers; in a boat, it’s a bit more challenging but still very possible.

Good news for Evanston fishermen who launch at the Church Street ramp. The City has announced it plans to have the ramp open and accessible by the end of the month, so get your boats uncovered, defog your motors, get all the gear back on the boat and get ready for some outstanding salmon fishing.

The inland-lake fishing has been pretty well impacted by our lovely weather pattern – a couple of nice days, then a 20-degree drop in temperature for a few days, then back again. Throw in some rain and wind, and you have some very difficult fishing conditions.

This normally a time when I look to the Mississippi River for early season walleye (pre-spawn), but the reports are that the river levels are dropping quickly and water temperature are ranging from the mid-’40s to upper ’50s, making the fishing pretty tough.

Right now, I’d probably take a pass on a trip to the Mississippi River. Lake Winnebago is reporting good walleye action in deep water off the reefs with slip bobbers set for about a foot off the bottom and a nightcrawler for bait.

Lake Delevan still has good crappie fishing, and Lake Geneva has been slow to warm up so the bite there is pretty slow – you’ll work hard for a few fish.

Closer to home, Busse Woods has been steady with bass and panfish. Remember that the parking lot is being closed on weekends by the Forest Preserve District, so access is challenging.

Skokie Lagoons has good bass activity if you can get away from the crowds. I recommend fishing north of Tower Road and work the downed trees and other covers for the bass.

Hang in there; we will get through this together.

Until next time … keep a tight line.