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updated: 6/18/2014 5:34 PM

State eases Lake Michigan perch fishing ban

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Trade-offs in Illinois have become a traditional form of political winks and nods.

Take the case of the most recent scenario in which IDNR director Marc Miller did away with the "no fishing for perch in Lake Michigan during July" edict that had rankled scads of anglers in the Chicago area.

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The ban was originally put into place as a result of maneuverings by former IDNR director Brent Manning and former Illinois Senate President James "Pate" Philip.

It was described in 2001 as an "under the table deal" by some critics because Manning outlawed commercial perching and Philip didn't like that. Philip reportedly needed to be appeased in the process, so "punishment" was meted out toward the sportfishing community as a quid-pro-quo. In other words, July hook-and-line perch fishing was outlawed.

Sportfishermen, Miller, and other IDNR officials met earlier this year to discuss this controversial issue, and this week Miller lifted the ban by executive order.

Starting in 2015, yellow perch fishing will be allowed in July on Lake Michigan, but it will not be allowed from May 1 through June 15 to protect spawning stock. The number of fish allowed per angler remains at 15.

Fishing update

Speaking Lake Michigan perch, the bite has been very good on the far south end, but don't rule out the Belmont and Montrose rocks.

The Fox Chain is offering excellent angling, especially for walleye and largemouth bass. Bluff Lake is a decent bet for white bass and muskie action.

Lake Delavan bass are very active in shallow water.

• Contact Mike Jackson at angler88@comcast.net, and catch his radio show 6-7 a.m. Sundays on WSBC 1240-AM and live-streamed at www.mikejacksonoutdoors.com.

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