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updated: 5/21/2014 6:24 PM

Be prepared for your spring fishing opportunity

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Does anyone have an extra set of heavy-duty raingear?

Only kidding. I have my own foul-weather stuff and it has gotten a lot of use this spring. But it sure pays to continue to watch our local weather conditions, even if just to be sure there's enough time to launch a boat or spend some time on the water.

Safer waters:

The U.S. Coast Guard recently released the 2013 Recreational Boating Statistics, and the new figures show the largest decrease in the number of alcohol-related recreational boater deaths in the past five years. From 2012 to 2013, there was a 31 percent decrease in the number of recreational boaters' deaths where alcohol use was the known primary contributing factor. But what about the northern Illinois lakes, like the Chain with near-misses created by drunken boaters?

Angling update:

You might try Lake Michigan and the salmon and trout explosion. From North Point all the way southward into Chicago, coho and rainbows are fast becoming table fare.

Fox Chain walleyes could displace the salmon if you play your cards right. Current areas are starting points for walleyes and channel catfish.

Fox River water levels are high, and if you choose to fish it stay on shore and use live bait around deadfall trees, especially in Elgin, South Elgin and Batavia.

Deep Lake in Lake Villa has excellent bluegill action and improving largemouth angling.

• Mike Jackson can be reached via e-mail at, and you can catch his radio program 6-7 a.m. Sundays on WSBC 1240-AM.

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