All over the map: Chicago WWW

Perch fishing, Chicago nature photography, deer hunting, Shabbona lake seminars, late fall river fishing and sandhill cranes in Indiana, heck we’re all over the map for this Wild Weekend Wanderings around Chicago outdoors. Oh, and dare I say it, an ice-fishing presentation.

Let’s begin with the Shabbona seminars

SHABBONA LAKE SEMINARS Saturday afternoon at Indian Creek High School in Shabbona, there is a wealth of raffles, vendors and presentations by Aaron Sands, Bill Ballenger, John Graham, Jim Kopjo, Denny Sands and Jay Angel (below). Doors open 3:30 p.m.


Here’s the details:

SHABBONA LAKE SPORTSMAN’S CLUB PRESENTS FISHING SEMINARS SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 14, 2009 Indian Creek High School Shabbona, Illinois Door opens at 3:30 3:45 – 4:15Musky Fishing by Aaron Sands 4:20 – 4:50 Riggin Plastics by Bill Ballenger 5:00 – 5:30Smallmouth Tactics by Jonn Graham 5:40 – 6:10Ice Fishing Shabbona Lake by Jim Kopjo 6:15 – 6:40Raffles 6:45 – 8:00Shabbona Lake Slideshow by Denny Sands and Jay Angel (Photo’s of Lake before it was filled and fishing tips.)

LAKEFRONT PERCH FISHING:Shoreline perch have been hit and miss around Montrose and Navy Pier. It’s been much steadier for boat fishermen around the Cal Park/Inland Steel area. And the weather looks OK for a good weekend of that.

ICE FISHING TALK: Yes it is that time already. Tony Boshold and Tod Todd speak on ice fishing techniques at the Arlington Anglers Fishing Club at the Dick’s Sporting Goods in Schaumburg at 7 p.m. Tuesday. Go to

NATURE PHOTOGRAPHY CONTEST: Sunday is the final day for submissions for the Chicago Park District’s digital photography contest and exhibition, “Nature in Chicago.” Details are here.

SANDHILL CRANES: For the third week in a row, the count on sandhill cranes at Jasper-Pulaski FWA in Indiana has topped 10,000. It is something to behold, and this is the prime. It is a little over an hour from Chicago, southeast of Valparaiso.

CARP LEAGUE: Magdalena Ludwinska and others sent word the Winter Carp League, based along a warm canal in Lockport, begins its fourth year on Sunday. It runs through the winter. Go to

ENVIRONMENTAL FAIR: There’s many options for the environmental fair at the Prairie Center for the Performing Arts in Schaumburg, 9:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Saturday. Call (847) 252-5443 or go to

HUNTING PIECES: Farmers made a tremendous amount of harvesting this week, which should help the waterfowling this weekend (though a big push of birds doesn’t seem likely) and the second weekend of upland game. . . . A couple reminders, the second dove season ends Sunday, and the first Canada goose season in the entral zone also ends Sunday.

CHICAGO-AREA RIVER FISHING: As Karen Sass’ 30-inch walleye from the Kankakee River east of Momence on Saturday showed, this can be a prime time for fishing rivers. And we are in a relatively warm stretch for mid-November, which seems to be helping. The Illinois River should be in much better shape this weekend, very fishable.

DEER HUNTING: The deer are moving. I expect this weekend to be the best of the year for Illinois bowhunters. We’ll know by Monday.

PERSONAL PICKS: i have been doing a lot of road scouting the past week, hoping to see my big boy roaming near my stand. No such luck so far. There will be more of that leading up to firearm deer season, which opens next Friday. They are not moving around as much as I would hope, which could be a good sign for firearm season.

Saturday is pretty much shot with a Downstate high school football game, although I may go catch Perch America’s stocking of walleye (bought by fisherman’s donations) at Wolf Lake in the morning. We’re into the second decade already for that. It is one of those grassroots efforts that makes me proud.

On Sunday, I plan to try handlining for sauger and walleye on the Illinois River with Chicagoan John Mannerino.

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