Many of the 2.7 million people who live in Chicago love freshwater fishing. You never have to ask where to fish as there are over a dozen great spots on the southwest corner of Lake Michigan. These hardcore anglers catch many different species, and so can you. Here are 4 places that have great fishing in Chicago, Illinois.
The Chicago River
The Chicago River is interesting, and there are 156 miles of fishing from the Illinois River fishing spots. While the average depth is 10 feet, parts of the river are twice that deep. Anglers mostly catch trout, calico and rock bass, bluegill and carp. River fishing tips include the bridges along the North Shore Channel, especially near drainage areas where fish congregate. Many anglers prefer the overflow dam near River Park so it can get crowded. Regardless, fishing on the Chicago River encompasses a variety of tributaries. An important tip for river fishing; If the fish move seasonally, you need to move too.
Spring Coho salmon and melt are there until the water warms up, and then they are replaced by panfish, small bass, and carp. King and Coho salmon return in the fall, along with large brown trout and steelhead.
When the water is open in winter, you can find perch, panfish, and trout on the edges. Freshwater drums, known as sheephead and panfish, are common in the spring and summer. Salmon, steelhead and brown trout return from September to December.
The lake is a great warm water fishery with main and small bass, bluegill, redfish and crappie as the main targets. Pikeperch, hybrid musk and pike are routinely caught, as are bullhead, carp and pike.
Buy an Illinois fishing license and hit the water. Fall fishing is among the best freshwater fish of the year in Chicago.
Tom Keer is an award-winning writer living on Cape Cod, Massachusetts. He is a columnist for the Upland Almanac, a contributing writer for Covey Rise magazine, a contributing editor for Fly Rod and Reel and Fly Fish America, and a blogger for the Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation’s Take Me Fishing program. Keer is a regular contributor to over a dozen outdoor magazines on topics including fishing, hunting, boating, and other outdoor activities. When not fishing, Keer and his family hunt highland birds over their three English setters. His first book, A New England Coast Fly Fishing Guide, was published in January 2011. Visit him at www.tomkeer.com or www.thekeergroup.com.