As usual, this is the most packed weekend of the winter, as this Wild Weekend Wandering around Chicago outdoors indicates. There’s several widely varied ice events, a do-good event and a couple good shows.
I like the late-night ice fishing event Shabbona Lake. I did not realize it had been four years since I have done it until I looked up this photo of Anthony Robinson.
Fishermen are allowed to fish into the night, but must be out of the park by 10 p.m. Conditions should be fairly decent.
SHABBONA LAKE ROCKFEST: Because of the Blizzard of 2011, Rockfest at Shabbona was rescheduled to Saturday. So it will be a busy day there on Saturday.
CHAIN DERBY & FESTIVAL: The 51st Chain O’Lakes Ice Fishing Derby and Winter Festival, by the Northern Illinois Conservation Club, is this weekend. The headquarters are at the Thirsty Turtle on Channel Lake; with a satellite at the Sandbar on Lake Marie. Call (847) 395-NICC or click here.
SHOWTIME: For many, the Tinley Park Fishing & Outdoor Show is the capper to the show season. It is this weekend at Tinley Park High School. Highlights include the Outdoor Kid of the Year competition Saturday and IDNR director Marc Miller noon Saturday. Click here for info.
CHARITY ICE FISHING: The Walk On Water Charity Ice Event is at Lindy’s Landing on Bangs Lake in Wauconda from 7 a.m.-noon Saturday. Call (847) 526-9789 or click here.
PERCH FISHING: There’s been a run of good jumbo perch at Navy Pier. But to do, you have to either fish open holes or try to bust thinner ice at old holes. But several readers reported very good perch this week there. In the harbors, ice fishermen continue to sort through for keepers.
OPEN-WATER FISHING: Boat fishing opens Tuesday at Powerton Lake, the cooling lake outside of Pekin. Shore fishing is already open. Winter hours are 8 a.m.-4 p.m. It is a wonderful lake for white bass, catfish, flatheads, blue catfish and smallmouth.
HENRY DECOY SHOW: This annual event is at Henry-Senachwine High School in Henry from 8 a.m.-2 p.m. Sunday. Call (309) 364-4104 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
SNOWSHOEING: Conditions permitting, and they are, L.L.Bean’s Walk-On Adventures includes snowshoeing on Saturday and Sundays this month at both the Skokie–(847) 568-3600–and South Barrington–(888) 552-5548–stores.
EAGLE WATCHING: With the icing of the rivers, eagle watching continues strong. And I mean on our local rivers, particularly the Kankakee and Fox, both have regular eagle sightings now. Of course Starved Rock State Park is the classic spot. If going there, also remember to go on the other side of the Illinois River to the Illinois Waterway Visitor Center.
ARCHERY: Archery Bow Range Chicago offers beginner courses and much more regularly. Click here.
PERSONAL PICKS: I need to stop by the Tinley Park show, probably early Saturday or late Sunday. . . . Our family will be doing a church sledding event, I think at Poop Hill on Saturday, as it warms up. . . . I would like to make it out for the late ice fishing at Shabbona, but I’m not sure I can squeeze everything in. . . . I have never made it to the Henry Decoy Show, but it has been my desire to see it for years. But my time just disappears and I don’t think it is happening this year. . . . As always, a fair amount of my spare time is spent working on “Outside,” the radio show Joel Greenberg and I are doing at 4:30 p.m. Mondays on WKCC-FM (91.1).