Chicago: Perch & importance of access

SHARE Chicago: Perch & importance of access
SHARE Chicago: Perch & importance of access

AsLafayetteLacyunhookedadoubleofyellowperch,hesaid,“Ipickedtherightweekforvacation.’’

Lacy,atruckdriverforFoodliner,wasoneofdozensperchfishingMondayafternoonattheslipnorth

of87thStreet.Overtheweekend,fishermentotaled far more.

TheperchareinattheSouthSideslipsofChicago.ThetraditionalwinterhotspotsontheNorthSide–

NavyPier,Diversey,Montrose–havebeenslowerforsomereason.

Butattheslipnorthof87th,percharethere.

“ThisisthefourthtimethisweekIamhere,’’saidLacy,whobroughtalongseveralteenagers.

But,ontheChicagolakefront,accesstouchesanyfishingstory.

Lacy’steenssatinthevehicleashefinisheduphislimitof15.Wewerefishingthemouthoftheslip

atChicagoParkDistrictParkNo.523attheeastendof87th,becausethatistheonlyopenrightnow

tofishermen.NortheastwindsdrovecoldoffLakeMichigan(wavescrashedovertheCalumetHarbor

breakwall)intoourbones:Notkidfriendly;hell,notadultfriendly.

LacyplannedtofishtheprotectedwestendonprivatelandoffLSD,butpoliceandsecurityforceshave

beenrunningpeopleoutoftheresincetheweekend.

Fromfoureyewitnesses,thisiswhatIpiecedtogether.Sincethatareaopened,fishermen,policeand

thesecurityhaveanunspokenagreementthatfishermencanfishtheprivateland,atleastsometimes,

aslongastheypolicethemselves.

Overtheweekend,fishermenpiledintotheprivatelandbecausetheperchstackedupintheslip’s

westend,ashappensaswintercomes.Securityaskedfishermentoleaveonearea.Threeindividualsacted

likejackasses.

ManyplacesinChicago,especiallyonthelakefront,haveunwrittenagreementsforaccess.Butitonlytakes

onejackasstoruinit.That’swhathappened.Oneeyewitnesssaidthejackasses“cussedoutsecurity.’’Fishermen

wererunoutandfishingwaslimitedtothecouplehundredyardsonthesouthsideoftheeastendofthesliponparkdistrictland.

Butpercharethere–mostly6to7inches–forthewinter.Isuspectitwillbedifferentfromlastwinterwhenfishermenhada

couplemonthsoficefishing,whichallowedaccessallovertheslip.

Thewindgotthebestofmebeforesunset.

Itwastime.

Toreachtheslip,takeLakeShoreDriveto87th,thengoeastandparkattheend.

HUNTING:Someover-the-counterpermitsremainforthelate-winterfirearmantlerless-onlyandCWDdeerseasons;

firstseasonisThursdaythroughSunday.

PADDLING:ShuttlerunsfromLinneWoodsare8a.m.-2p.m.ThursdayfortheHappyCanoeFloatontheChicagoRiver,

aNewYear’sDaytraditionstartedbythelateRalphFresein1985.Gotofpdcc.com/happy-canoe-year/.

INMEMORY:My father-in-lawThomas Weinhold, diedunexpectedly Tuesday.

Mr.WeinholdwasoneofthebestfishermenoutofthePlainfield/Jolietarea.Ioftenwroteabouthimandthefamily

onTableRockandTaneycomolakesafterheandmymother-in-law,Phyllis,retiredtosouthwestMissouri.

WILDTHINGS:AnotherirruptionofsnowyowlsbringsreportsfromalloverIllinoisandIndiana.Don’tflushtheowls,

theyhaveenoughdifficultysurvivingthenewlandscape.

STRAYCAST:Ican’tdecideiftheBearsarebailingwaterin30feeteastofNortherlyIslandorhavepulledtheboatout

atBurnhamHarborforwinterizing.


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