Chicago has been home to some legendary fishermen: Ernest Hemingway. Norman Maclean. Richard J. Daley. Now it's your turn. Remember, the important thing isn't the fish you catch, but the story you tell afterward.
Come late summer, as things cool off and fish move inland, seasoned fishermen looking for a challenge fly-fish the shallow waters near the city and suburban harbors. Chicago Fly Fishing Outfitters provides tackle and other gear, as well as various classes and clinics for beginners and experienced anglers; sign up now for Introduction to Fly Fishing, an all-day session on June 7th (1279 N. Clybourn Ave.; 312-944-3474 or chicagoflyfishingoutfitters.com).
These outfits supply all the gear and the exper-tise. (For more options, go to chicagofishinglinks.com/illinoischarters.htm.)
Burnham Harbor: Captain Al Skalecke's Charter Boat Fleet; 312-565- 0104 or captainalscharters.com
Montrose Harbor/Winthrop Harbor: Confusion Charters; 888-929-3474 or confusioncharters.com
Waukegan Harbor: Challenger Fishing Charters; 888-427-8262 or challengerfishingcharters.com
A valuable but vanishing resource, Chicago-area bait shops can tell you where and how to land the big ones.
Henry's Sports, Bait & Marine: 3130 South Canal Street; 312-225-8538 or henrysports.com
Lakefront Bait: 29 East Madison Street, Waukegan; 847-244-4360
Park Bait Shop: in Montrose Harbor (at 600 West Montrose Avenue); 773-271-2838
Vet's Live Bait: 10150 South Indianapolis Avenue; 773-734-6720
To learn more about licenses and other angling information for Lake Michigan (as well as elsewhere in the state), download a copy of the fishing guide prepared by the Illinois
Department of Natural Resources at http://dnr.state.il.us/fish/digest.
Get fishing reports, tips and techniques, weather reports, marine forecasts—even recipes—at lakemichiganangler.com.
For information about the Chicago Park District's fishing festivals, contests, and kids' programs, call 312-742-4969.
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More than 90 different kinds of fish inhabit Lake Michigan. Here is a guide to some of the more common species found in and around Chicago.
YELLOW PERCH (Perca flavescens)
SMALLMOUTH BASS (Micropterus dolomieu)
COHO SALMON (Oncorhynchus kisutch)
STEELHEAD TROUT (Oncorhynchus mykiss)
BLUEGILL (Lepomis macrochirus)
Click here to learn more about the changing shoreline of Lake Michigan.