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Sandhill cranes, powerlining (coho, browns, lakers), sheds: WWW Chicago outdoors

Juan Luis Gutierrez taking a coffee break while powerlining Thursday at Montrose Harbor.
Credit: Dale Bowman

Well, this week will go down for record flooding in spots and also the week where spring arrived. Those spring signs popped up from guys trying powerlining for coho at Montrose to sandhill cranes flying north to bulbs and buds showing.

Yesterday, four different readers from four different areas–Indiana, Chicago, southwest suburbs, northwest suburbs–reached out to let me know sandhill cranes were on the move.

In his note, Ed Buric also talked about other changes:

Dale
Just observed multiple sedges of sandhill cranes traveling North. My daffodils are beginning to show themselves and the buds on my redbud tree.
Hope does spring eternal.

Yes, indeed.

Bopping around yesterday–I had to make one of my rare visits to the Sun-Times office–I stopped by Montrose Harbor to see if any powerliners were out. One was, Juan Luis Gutierrez (above); two other guys showed up while we talked.

This is a weekend where I take a breath after dealing with the flood earlier in the week and lots of a Beat the Champs stuff the two previous weekends. Seeing “Black Panther” is the big agenda item for me and our boys. That and surveying my garden to guess when I might be able to get in it and start digging. Well, it does look like I will finally have a window to rummage around on the edge of the woods for shed antlers. We will see.

With that, on to the regular stuff of this Wild Weekend Wandering around Chicago outdoors.

NEW LICENSES: That is one item on my agenda for this week, probably Friday, getting my four licenses for the Lake Michigan states. Illinois is a little different this year with the new hunting and fishing licenses becoming available on March 1, instead of mid-January. Click here to read about that.

COHO: Guys, and this is primarily a guy thing, are trying powerlining for coho, though more of the spotty catch is more brown trout and lake trout. That is what I learned from Gutierrez. Tom Platt at Henry’s Sports and Bait pretty much said the same thing. Guys are trying.

SHED HUNTING: It’s that time.  Searching with be tougher with the snow cover gone. May actually get some time on Sunday.

ICE FISHING: Better head north.  Many lakes and ponds south are already open water or partially open water.

I called Greg Dickson at Triangle Sports and Marine in Antioch a few minutes ago for an update on the Chain O’Lakes and he said, “Man, it is hard to say. Probably be some people going out, but to put the safety flag up, it would be smarter to back off.

“`We just rounded the quarter pole on the final leg.”

I think that nails it.

Click here for the update on ice-fishing regulations for local waters.

PERCH FISHING: Earlier this week, Tom Platt at Henry’s Sports and Bait said guys are still catching some perch at the Southeast Side slips; that’s also true in some of the harbors. I saw some guys poking around the piers at Montrose Harbor after I chatted with Gutierrez.

SHOWTIME: The Salmon Unlimited Swap Meet is 7 a.m. to noon Saturday at River Park Moose Lodge in River Grove. Click here for details.

The Indianapolis Boat, Sport and Travel Show, one of the last 10-day shows and one I need to get to at least once, opens runs through Sunday at the Indiana State Fairgrounds. Another year where I will not get to it.

“Fish-On,” the Portage (Ind.) outdoors show is at Portage High School on Saturday and Sunday. Click here for more information.

Click here for the complete general list of shows this winter. If you have any adds or tweaks for the master list of shows, please let me know.

FIELD FREE DAYS: Best hurry.  The free days at the Field Museum only run until the end of February for Illinois residents. Click here for details.