Another walleye moment off the Chicago lakefront

Jon Bannister and his nephew Kayden Monterestelli caught multiple walleye in Calumet Harbor in September, another glimmer of hope for walleye fishing on our end of Lake Michigan.

SHARE Another walleye moment off the Chicago lakefront
Kayden Monterestelli with the biggest walleye of four caught in September at Calumet Harbor while fishing with his uncle Jon Bannister.

Kayden Monterestelli with the biggest walleye of four caught in September at Calumet Harbor while fishing with his uncle Jon Bannister.

Provided

When Jon Bannister heard a couple of guys at Hammond Marina say they had caught a walleye while trolling Rapalas in September, he had an idea.

Sporadic catches of walleye have been made for years on the Chicago lakefront and around Calumet Harbor. But Bannister, who honed his walleye skills on Lake Erie’s legendary fish, ‘‘decided to troll with crawler harness’’ on his Grady-White boat, Great White, with nephew Kayden Monterestelli.

‘‘Great success on Lake Erie, so I figured, ‘Why not try it there?’ ’’ said Bannister, who lives in suburban Lynwood and keeps his boat at Hammond.

Good figuring. They caught and released four walleye, including the biggest of 11 pounds, 2 ounces, which was reeled in by Monterestelli.

They were trolling at 2 mph when they found the walleye in 35 feet of water at Cal Harbor.

‘‘We caught a few smallmouth bass, also, when doing that,’’ Bannister said. ‘‘But we were really going for the walleye, and they started popping up there.’’

He did concede, ‘‘I might have just got lucky that one day.’’

When I asked whether he thought they were roving or resident fish, he said, ‘‘I think they are there.’’

For more than 20 years, I have kept wanting to believe the day would come for walleye being there.

Wild things

Readers again reported many sandhill cranes overhead last weekend. My romantic side likes to think the sandhills know the weather coming later this week. . . . Ice-up this week should concentrate bald eagles near dams for the holidays.

Stray cast

Eagles look majestic, but they’re carrion feeders at heart.

The Latest
The tornado drill will be conducted by the National Weather Service at 11 a.m. Wednesday and will include use of emergency signals on radios, according to the weather service. The drill is part of Severe Weather Preparedness Week.
Taillon is scheduled to throw a simulated game on Monday.
Over 5,000 people took a dip Sunday to benefit Special Olympics Chicago and Special Children’s Charities programs. Organizers said it was the largest attendance in the event’s 24-year history, raising $1.9 million.
To Ryan Donato, the most encouraging aspect of this horrendous season is that the Hawks’ young players — the players who really matter long-term — are seriously upset about it.
A look at the eight games that will determine which teams advance to Champaign.