Spot on: Parking and fishing along the Chicago lakefront
Driving and checking parking for anglers (and others who drive and use the lakefront) from south to north, Calumet Park to the Evanston border.
It’s been years since I last checked the entire Chicago lakefront for parking options. On Nov. 17, after the Chicago Fishing Advisory Committee meeting, I made another run with a focus on fishing spots, but it applies more broadly to accessing the lakefront by motorized vehicle.
Keep in mind with both metered and free street parking, there may be rush hour or overnight restrictions. Check the signs. Same goes for some lots.
Permits for the angler lots — 12 spots on northeast corner of Burnham Harbor and eight spots at DuSable Harbor — are $20 for two months. Permits may be purchased at Park Bait (cash only) through early December and again when they reopen in the spring and at the Northerly Island Visitor Center Monday through Friday (10 a.m.-4 p.m., credit card only).
Here’s the breakdown, going south to north from Calumet Park to the Evanston border.
Calumet Park: Free street and lot parking or metered parking for boats and rigs.
Steelworkers Park/North Slip/South Slip: Free street parking on 87th, 89th and South DuSable Lake Shore Drive.
Rainbow Beach Park/Park 566: Metered lot by Rainbow Beach or free street parking on South LSD.
Jackson Park: Work on the Obama Library has parking screwed up and will for a long time, only legal parking is the metered lot east of South LSD.
Promontory Point: Limited free street parking or a metered lot, both long walks.
Oakwood Boulevard: Metered lot.
McCormick Place/31st Street: Metered parking, otherwise walk from beach parking lot on the west side of LSD.
Burnham Harbor/Northerly Island/Museum Campus: Metered parking on Solidarity Drive, anglers lot at Burnham, metered lot by the Northerly Island Visitor Center or pay lots.
Monroe Harbor: Metered street parking, underground parking, the anglers lots at Burnham or DuSable, or metered parking on Solidarity Drive.
DuSable Harbor: Anglers parking lot.
Navy Pier: Check in at parking office, leave before 10 a.m., $9 for anglers.
North Avenue pier: Pay lot or walk (a long one) from street parking west of LSD.
Diversey Harbor/South Lagoon: Tough free parking on Stockton and Cannon, metered lot by the driving range.
Belmont Harbor: Pay lot on the south, metered parking on the north.
Montrose Harbor: Free street parking on Montrose or meters on Montrose Harbor Drive.
Foster Pier: Free street parking or metered lot by the beach.
Bryn Mawr Pier: Better live in the area or be willing to walk a long way.
Pratt (Farwell) Pier: Metered lot at Loyola Park, otherwise it’s nearly all permit parking.
Rogers Park Beach area seawalls: Good luck. Very limited free street parking, try Eastlake or Rogers.
The second portion of Illinois’ firearm deer season is Thursday through Sunday, Dec. 1-4. During the first portion, hunters harvested 52,354 deer, up from 48,964 in 2021.
Considering the incredible flight of sandhill cranes over the Chicago area on Nov. 18 and 19, it is not surprising that the count at Jasper-Pulaski Fish and Wildlife Area on Nov. 22 was 31,975, near the all-time record.
I know it’s a drive, but I know Chicago anglers who love ice fishing and think the St. Paul Ice Fishing and Winter Sports Show is the show. It’s Friday through Sunday, Dec. 2-4, at the St. Paul RiverCentre in Minnesota.
Closer to home, the Antique Lure Swap Meet is Saturday — free to attendees, who are encouraged to bring old tackle to swap or sell — at the Niles VFW Post 3579, 8 a.m.-noon.
Take your pick, shore lunch on the Boundary Waters or ‘XRT’s Thanksgiving tradition of playing Arlo Guthrie’s “Alice’s Restaurant Massacree.”