A special run of fall salmon, a bit early, and trout builds on the Illinois lakefront
The late summer and early fall run of salmon and trout on the Illinois lakefront is off to a special start.
“Last night I had a thrill of a lifetime” could be the mantra of the last month of salmon and trout fishing on the lakefront.
Peter Ratcliffe emailed that line in mid-August leading into the tale of his personal best salmon at Diversey Harbor.
He cast unsuccessfully for a couple hours with a salmon rod with glow spoons (the gold standard for fall salmon). Then he switched to an ultralight telescopic rod, a birthday present, with 8-pound line and a 1/4-ounce watermelon Rooster Tail.
“Second cast down and a 30-minute battle administrating the beast I had hooked on to,” he emailed. “She unspooled me three times, but I kept my chin and rod tip up. When she was done, I thought [what the world] do I do now?! Left my net home because why do you need one? Whenever I bring it I have no use for it. . . . I managed to get a fellow grumpy angler to lend me his net. Bless him. He was rushing me to get the fish out of his net so he could get back in his game.”
It weighed 17.5 pounds.
Then there’s fishing instructor/school teacher Hyacinth Cabael catching her first salmon last Wednesday at Northerly Island [see photo at the top].
“To come out straight from work, she got the fishing bug bad,” Carl Vizzone texted. “What’s hysterical is one of my longtime instructors was out here all day and night, no fish. He got to net hers though.”
It’s been a different start to fall shore fishing for salmon and trout.
Knowing the difference between Chinook and coho might matter.
“I think lots of shore fishermen’s personal best coho will be taken this fall,” Capt. Scott Wolfe emailed from Waukegan a couple weeks ago.
Then there’s Laurance Reed over the Labor Day weekend catching a pink salmon in the hump mode. Pink salmon are not rare (two Illinois records were caught this year), but seeing the hump mode here is.
“Lucky for me, a couple of good guys - Tom and his buddy Luke with his no-fail net skills -showed up right when this was hooked -and we got a pic of this pretty fish that Aaron took (attached) before reviving and releasing it.”, he emailed.
He caught it on a 3/4-ounce K.O. Wobbler (chrome with a blue stripe).
He added, “Chicago is a world class fishery, and it’s so nice to be able to just show up and fish here, drop a line, and meet new friends up and down the lakefront.”
The crop report on Monday had the first report of corn harvest. . . . Early Canada goose season ends Thursday. . . . Teal, rail and snipe seasons open Saturday.
American white pelicans spread across the Chicago area in recent years, but Robert Hughes tweeted Sunday that one sighted Thursday at Montrose might be the first “on land” there.
Considering that long ago I lived in the corner building that now houses Will’s Northwoods Inn, I feel obligated to help them spell muskie.