Deer dreams & big perch: Chicago WWW

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Opening of firearm deer season on Friday and the good bite for jumbo perch off Gary Light lead this Wild Weekend Wanderings around Chicago outdoors.


BOAT FISHING FOR STATELINE PERCH: The hot spot for big perch, like those caught by Mike Starcevich of Mik-Lurch last Friday (above), has been in the deep clay flats in 48-52 feet off Gary Light. They found the same school of perch still there this morning.

I’ll repeat what Burbank fisherman Tom Zeman said earlier this week: “You want to be on one of those subtle bottom changes. If you can find those subtle changes or convergences, you are on fish.”

He said the biggest school is about 1 1/2 to 2 miles off Gary Light. His bearing was 41 degrees, 39.757 minutes north, 87 degrees, 18.876 minutes west.

It is good enough that Capt. Chuck Weis of Ace Charters is keeping his boat going as long as the weather holds for those who prefer a charter or don’t have a boat.

CLINE AVENUE NOTE: I don’t know what the latest is on the status of Cline Avenue bridge. Some got through earlier today. Otherwise, launch from 95th or Portage. Or check with Mik-Lurch at (219) 989-0575 or stop in. They had been planning to make some maps for making the East Chicago any way

DEER HUNTING: This is the big story with more than 200,000 of us taking to the fields and woods of Illinois for the first firearm deer season Friday through Sunday.

If you have other plans at public sites open to deer hunting, please be aware.

SANDHILL CRANES: Tuesday’s count of 13,235 sandhills was the high for the year, so far, at Jasper-Pulaski FWA in Indiana.

I highly recommend making a trip or side trip to see them, and the next couple weeks should be peak.

Jasper-:Pulaski is a good 1 1/2 hours from Chicago, southeast of Valparaiso. For the basics of sandhills at Jasper-Pulaski, go to

CHICAGO RIVER CARP FISHING: Word from Paul Pezalla of Wacker Baits is the big carp are going on the Chicago River.

POND FISHING: OK, my buddy who has been having some good success on a “private” pond took exception to my saying he was fishing a “super secret” pond.

Private water if totally different than secret water. Its the first time in my life that I’ve had access to private water. And as far as if its good info it absolutely is. If bass are biting there on soft plastics I guarantee you that there biting at most ponds around the chicagoland area. I’m sure you have hundreds, if not more, readers who fish ponds exclusively because they don’t own boats. So I don’t think you should put that one on my secretive nature.

I’ll be the judge of that last sentence, but his broader point is legit about hundreds of readers focusing on local ponds.

PERSONAL PICKS: I’m gone deer hunting. If I happen to bag one early, I plan to put in a morning of carp fishing on the Chicago River with Paul, either Saturday or Sunday.

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