Living in Chicago, you might think my fishing options are limited, but fishing life in the big city isn’t that bad.
How far do you live from a bass? Ok, how far do you live from a 5-pound bass?
I live 2 miles west of the shores of Lake Michigan. And if you know anything about the great lakes, you know they hold great big smallmouth. My middle-school classmate actually broke the Illinois State Record this past October with a 7-pound smallmouth! And this mega football was landed just a few miles from my place. I’ll post a picture and link to the blog below.
The Illinois RECORD Smallmouth Bass caught by old classmate Joey Capaulupo. Way to go Joe!
My chances of catching a local, big-bellied largemouth become more challenging—but it’s still within the realm of possibility. The local harbors, public ponds, and most importantly, private country clubs (keep that one between us) all hold lunkers.
For living in the third-largest city in the USA, my fishing options aren’t THAT limited. In fact, I can get to three spots within 20 minutes and each one holds enough fish to encourage me to come back for more.
Lake Michigan fishing isn’t always easy but this lake holds BIG FISH. And it’s right down the road.
The South Branch of the Chicago River runs through my neighborhood. One considered the dirtiest river in America, the south branch has bounced back.
I grew up fishing the Des Plaines River in Lyons, Il. The same area where French explorers realized they could get from the Chicago River into the Des Plaines River. This connected the Great Lakes to the Mississippi River, growing Chicago into a major city.
Driving Past Bass
In recent years, I’ve spent so much time venturing out of state; it has caused me to look past (and drive past) local fish. Don’t get me wrong, I love loading up the truck and hitting the road, the sense of adventure a fishing trip provides, is unlike anything else. But I need to stop looking past the fish that live closer to home.
The landscape may not be as pretty, the fishing will probably be tougher, and the species might be less abundant—but, the feeling of reeling one in will remain the same.
Now, think about where you call home… Is there a lake, river, creek, or ditch pond you’ve been skipping over? You might have driven past it on your way to work, or noticed it on Google Maps. Little fishing gems are everywhere and it’s on us to see what kinda fish they hold. Tight lines!
They Do Exist!
Here are a few memorable catches that I caught in or around Chicago:
A Des Plaines River pike that I caught in the Spring of 2018
I caught this Chicago River crappie during my lunch break this past May.
A Chicago harbor smallmouth. Check out those colors!
This is just a picture I took on a night that I was probably skunked.