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home : columns : columns February 6, 2016

7/17/2013 2:25:00 PM
Hooked on Fishing: Fish Timetable Off
By Dick Peach

By the middle of summer, fishing for spawning fish is typically over. Even the bluegills will usually have spawned by this date on the calendar.

The fish, however, do not always agree with the fishermen’s calendar. They have their own calendar based on the angle of the sun, water temperature and water depth. Spring was atypical this year, so the calendar was slightly skewed as well, with trees blooming later and warm weather arriving later. It is not surprising that the fish are off their timetable as well.

A lot of fishermen are reporting in that they are getting spawning bluegills this late in the summer and they are not in their usual spawning location up in very shallow water in the reed beds. What has happened is that there was an early temporary warm-up, when the water warmed to 65 degrees, ideal for bluegill spawning. Then a prolonged cool-down occurred that chased the bluegills off the spawn. When it warmed up again, the temperature jumped quickly into the 70s – in some lakes 80-degree water that made it too warm for the spawn. Fishermen are locating the big spawning bluegills in "deeper" water, 4-6 feet deep at the edge of the reeds, and they are catching a lot of big ‘gills. Anyone going out to one of many lakes might try the deeper edge of the reed beds for some potentially great bluegill action.

Speaking of action: On Busse Lake in the main pool, bass and walleye are active on crankbaits. Up on the Fox Chain the walleyes and crappie have been the most productive, with both liking a jig-and-minnow combination. Shore fishermen are doing OK in the Chicago Harbors, picking up some nice catches of perch in the 10-inch range, and also a lot of gobies.

The big local story is Lovelace Park. The kids are catching some pretty nice crappies, a couple of which have been over 12 inches in length. The fishing is free at Lovelace, courtesy of the City of Evanston.

Until next time keep a tight line.

Contact Dick at

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