perch11_12_18hujarlimitnavypier_e1542162943839.jpg

Paul Hujar with a limit of quality perch from Navy Pier on Monday morning.
Provided

Running south on Lake Shore Drive: Doing a perch drive on the Chicago lakefront

SHARE Running south on Lake Shore Drive: Doing a perch drive on the Chicago lakefront
SHARE Running south on Lake Shore Drive: Doing a perch drive on the Chicago lakefront

Aperch ride running mainly south on Lake Shore Drive seemed perfect Monday for a farewell to songwriter Skip Haynes, who died last fall.

The first stop was 5:30 a.m. at Navy Pier. Only two guys were out that early.

‘‘I like to get them before they get picked off,’’ said Tim Paulsen, who was using cut herring left over from salmon fishing.

Paul Hujar, who already had one keeper in his bucket, said: ‘‘Down yesterday and caught limits. We had to weed through them.’’

He figured keepers were one of every four or five. The daily limit is 15. He was using the classic minnows on crappie rigs.

No one was out at Montrose Harbor as dawn neared. No one was at Northerly Island, but it’s a favorite view of Chicago.

View of Chicago from Northerly Island on a morning of a perch drive down Lake Shore Drive.<br>Dale Bowman/Sun-Times

View of Chicago from Northerly Island on a morning of a perch drive down Lake Shore Drive.
Dale Bowman/Sun-Times

At Henry’s Sports and Bait, fishermen were lined up — a sign perch were in — for fatheads, small roaches, weights and perch flies.

Ken Worth and Dennis Ocasio were excited for the first time for perch in the fall. They pulled up photos of big catfish from the Des Plaines River. Ocasio later messaged perch photos from the Calumet River.

Walter Harvey with a double of perch at Steelworkers Park.<br>Dale Bowman/Sun-Times

Walter Harvey with a double of perch at Steelworkers Park.
Dale Bowman/Sun-Times

I ended at the South Side slips. At Steelworkers Park, seven guys were getting hits on most casts. The perch were mainly 7 to 8 inches.

Walter Harvey and son Phil were using a mix of baits. As we chatted, Walter pulled up a double and released them.

On to the slip at 89th, which sadly featured a sign that warned ‘‘No Trespassing.’’

Late in the morning, Hujar emailed photos of a limit and the fillets. Then he signed off with: ‘‘Only going to get better.’’

One of the great benefits of perch fishing on the Chicago lakefront, a mess of fillets.<br>Provided by Paul Hujar

One of the great benefits of perch fishing on the Chicago lakefront, a mess of fillets.
Provided by Paul Hujar

Parking/access

Montrose has free parking within easy walking distance. . . . At Navy Pier, check in at the parking office in the east lot. Be out by 10 a.m. for $6 parking. . . . At Burnham/Northerly Island, use the Burnham fishermen’s lot or meter parking north of the old terminal (on days with no events at Soldier Field or the music pavilion). . . . The only legal fishing at the slip north of 87th is on the east end of Steelworkers Park. There’s plenty of free street parking.

Stray cast

Access at the South Side slips reminds me of the Steel Curtain of my youth.


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