WWW Chicago outdoors: Asparagus, smallmouth, paddling

SHARE WWW Chicago outdoors: Asparagus, smallmouth, paddling

A nice mix of options–fishing Mazonia, paddling the Des Plaines, seeking wild asparagus and fishing lakefront smallmouth–marks this Wild Weekend Wanderings around Chicago outdoors.


Sometimes, I just get ahead of myself. Looking through notes from last year, I see the spear of wild asparagus above was not found until early June. So maybe there is hope for me.

Before we start, if you planned to fish a river around Chicago, you might want to reconsider. However, the Kankakee basin is in much better shape than the other river systems.

WILD ASPARAGUS: They’re up. Ed Bowen sent a note yesterday that finding wild asparagus has been much better than finding morels in the far south suburbs. I believe him. So far, I am skunked for the year on asparagus, but have done well on morels.

MAZONIA LAKES: I had so much fun out there on Monday, I am tempted to put in a few more hours this weekend. The lakes are prime time right now for a wide mix of species. If you find a good cloudy day, hit it. Just watch the ticks, they are as thick as ever. Click here for site details.

LAKEFRONT SMALLMOUTH: The stories just keep coming on good smallmouth on the lakefront. It has been the bite of the spring around Chicago, and it is still going. Weather and water conditions should be good for the weekend. Go slow, go slow has been the mantra from those who know.

PADDLING: The big Des Plaines Canoe & Kayak Marathon is Sunday. But stay alert and check the site. Conditions may force closure of the event.

MORELS: We may be at the end. As Jerry Shomo, a hunter around the Southeast Side put it in a note this morning, “Not much out there now.” I just wonder if the rain my help with one last burst. I have not seen any in the past two weeks, and I have been in some good spots.

BOAT & TACKLE SWAP: If you want booth space for the second annual Boat & Tackle Market on May 23 at Soldier Field, better do it today. Contact Luca Serra at (312) 235-7149 or lserra@soldierfield.net. Click here for event details.

BOAT INSPECTIONS: The Arlington Anglers will have the Coast Guard Auxiliary and the US Power Squadron give free safety checks for boats in the Dick’s Sporting Goods parking lot in Schaumburg at 7 p.m. Tuesday.

BIKING: National Bike-to-Work Week begins Monday. Click here for a good list of various biking stuff around Illinois from the IDNR.

PERSONAL PICKS: I plan to play around with the lakefront smallmouth on Saturday. . . . And I will be trying again to find asparagus. From last year, I know where a good patch is. And somebody e-mailed a patch where some is being found right now. . . . Slight chance, I will do a more extended fishing excursion on Sunday.

The Latest
Denver is two wins away from its first NBA title.
The world premiere drama by Grippo Stage Company limps and falters where it should float and sting.
Authorities received reports that a black bear had been spotted near Gurnee Mills mall. The public is asked to call authorities and not interact with bears.
The Vatican said there were no complications in the three-hour surgery. The pope will be hospitalized for several days, and papal audiences are canceled through June 18.