Articles filed under Jackson, Mike

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  • Petzal logic: Respect is central to a successful hunt Oct 9, 2013 9:33 PM
    A healthy respect for the prey doesn't make for good TV, which may be one reason it's missing all too often from most of the hunting shows these days.

  • When it comes to fishing, ‘old’ often means ‘good’ Oct 2, 2013 6:03 PM
    Rods, reels, lures and neighborhood bait shops shouldn't be passed over simply because they're old. Because in fishing, 'old' often means 'good.'

  • Low water creates fishing opportunities on Fox Sep 25, 2013 11:19 AM
    Cool, dry weather leads to a valuable fall opportunity on a great area fishery, the Fox River. Mike Jackson explains the advantages of wading into the water with the right safety and fishing equipment.

  • One big reason to visit Rawah Lodge Sep 18, 2013 5:54 PM
    A visit to Rawah Lodge, about 65 miles west of Fort Collins, Colo., led Mike Jackson to an encounter with a mythically large wild rainbow trout.

  • Nothing like an early rise on a secret stream Sep 11, 2013 8:53 PM
    One stream I discovered that allowed me to don my waders and explore its depths and hiding places. This jewel was still partially hidden by the darkness of the dawn, and yet its magnificence was already showing as the sun slowly rose to the challenge.

  • Finally, a remedy for buggin’ out Aug 28, 2013 6:21 PM
    We've all had our share of biting insects, but there are new weapons in the war against summertime mosquitoes.

  • Fish wish: Guided trip lands legal Chain muskie Aug 21, 2013 2:24 PM
    It's sometimes hard for a guide to produce fish for his client, but it sure worked out well for Robby Binder as Chris Taurisano put him on a Fox Chain muskie that taped out at nearly 50 inches.

  • A tactic for bringing out the best in your fish Aug 14, 2013 6:07 PM
    Far too many outdoor enthusiasts and anglers believe the only way to cook fish is to prepare it in a beer batter until it’s unrecognizable, and then fry it until whatever natural flavor that was once there has become lost.

  • There’s no debate: the key’s the bait Aug 7, 2013 12:03 PM
    In the heat of summer, there's just no fishing substitute for lively fresh bait. Give it a try before declaring local waters devoid of good fishing.

  • A retro fishing tourney? Dream on Jul 31, 2013 9:05 PM
    How about a return to the days when fishing tournaments measured an angler's skill, instead of the ability to master technology?

  • Occasionally, fishing is simply for the birds Jul 18, 2013 12:06 AM
    Sure, fishing is mainly about the fish. But bird encounters tend to make for a most memorable fish story.

  • A delicious dinner meets with conversational indigestion Jul 10, 2013 9:50 PM
    Mike Jackson's outdoors reputation sometimes precedes him, which made for an awkward encounter recently while the columnist was dining out.

  • Once again, the Menominee rises and shines Jul 3, 2013 2:45 PM
    An early start to the day paid dividends on a recent trip to the Menominee River near Crivitz, Wis., where Mike Jackson and guide Mike Mladenik used a couple of different tactics to produce a memorable day of smallmouth bass fishing.

  • Go deep to avoid the dog days Jun 26, 2013 6:41 PM
    As hot midsummer weather settles in, don't expect to always find fish in shallow water. Properly presented live bait in deep water, for example, can be the ticket to summer walleye action on the Fox Chain.

  • In fishing, confidence comes in all shapes and sizes Jun 19, 2013 5:05 PM
    When Mike Jackson talks about whacky-worm action, he's not speaking about a specific product by a style of fishing setups. Confused? Mike clears it all up with some tips such as the Texas and Carolina jigs you may want to try.

  • Happily, the big lake’s demise has been greatly exaggerated Jun 12, 2013 4:33 PM
    In spite of dire predictions about the future of sportfishing in Lake Michigan, the big lake is more than holding her own. Quality opportunities for perch, smallmouth bass and even walleye await those who are willing to give it a try.

  • Unwinding, with a simpler life in the Northwoods Jun 5, 2013 2:42 PM
    Mike Jackson knows close to a dozen guys who dream of being someplace else, like the Northwoods. Schaumburg angler John Plaza, for instance. He retired, sold his suburban home and built a beautiful lakefront home designed by his wife. There are others whose stories are very similar. And then there is Ben, who opted for a simpler life and doesn’t look back with any regret at his new job as a fishing guide.

  • Figuring out what fish like can get pretty whacky May 29, 2013 11:35 AM
    I promised my wife I would be a tad more considerate with what I write in this week's column. I suggested to her that everyone has an opinion, and mine is the only important one. Just kidding. Anyway, I am reminded that far too many television anglers have advanced degrees in language skills as well as biology, and I have never understood how some "professional" fisherman manage to know what a fish likes or dislikes.

  • Walleyes for Tomorrow making a stand today May 15, 2013 4:11 PM
    Clubs like Walleyes Unlimited, Salmon Unlimited, the Illinois Smallmouth Alliance and all the state and local muskie groups and bass clubs, as well as Walleyes For Tomorrow, deserve more than a casual attaboy and a pat on the back.

  • Watching a fishing master make sweet music May 8, 2013 2:17 PM
    There are no trumpets blaring, nor are there any illuminated blimps circling the area. No overt signals announcing the development, mind you. But there are battalions of swimming creatures priming themselves to do their part to ensure the future of their species. Spawning time for crappies is also the unofficial signal to all of us humans who have suffered through agonizing winds, frigid temperatures, and out-and-out excuses from those television happy talkers calling themselves weather predictors. Like faithful and dedicated employees, we are on the clock, investing precious moments while treasuring the warmth of the newly arrived sunshine along with those speckled-bodied fish called crappies. It’s the thoughts of those filets sizzling in that new Teflon-coated frying pan that take us from pond-to-pond. Have any of you ever been to Orchestra Hall to witness and listen to the spectacular music coming from the stage? Have you ever found yourself mesmerized by the conductor’s arms with his motions setting the tempo for the orchestra members to follow? I know this is rather melodramatic, and I suspect I’ll hear from one of my angling pals, A.J. Paul, who will be sure to offer his critique. The conductor in this case is none other than Spence Petros, the venerable maestro of fishing with his own sweet symphonies honed over a lifetime of on-water performances. I sat on one side of the boat while I watched his wrist flick the tiny jig to a slice of watery real estate, knowing full well there was going to be a fish ready to eat. No slip-floats on this foray, but rather tiny, fixed bobbers, 6-pound mono, and a chunk of fluorocarbon line attached to a micro-jig tipped with a tiny “Wedgie.” In past years I would scour the ponds in Cook and DuPage Counties, discovering pods of slab-sized crappies and big bluegills. There were no secret spots in all those industrial park holes, where cars and trucks would zip by them without even a glance to catalog the exact locations of future bonanzas. There was one pond in Hoffman Estates that I was invited to fish by a homeowner who claimed he never missed a Thursday column. It was one of those special times when every cast with an ultralight setup hooked up with a fish, both crappie and bluegill. Once in a while a small bass had to share in the action as well. I remember catching close to 65 fish in just over an hour. There was another industrial park pond in Itasca that gave me an afternoon’s worth of joy with 10- to 12-inch crappies and bass just over 1½ pounds. And in DuPage County’s Blackwell Lake to be more specific, it was a treasure trove of pike, crappie, bluegill and bass tossed in for good measure in these first warmer weeks of the new season. Petros had the natural touch on this day. He knew the crappies would keep moving around in the shallows, so we did the same. “We won’t need minnows,” he explained, “because these fish are on a plastic bite.” Not too long ago there was one excursion with him on a large local pond where we founds scads of aggressive fish in deeper water. We used 1/32-ounce Mini-Mites and 4-pound mono for our attack. These fish went crazy for the micro jigs and tails. We finally tired of the continuous routine and moved on. But now it was pure, classical Petros — performing his own routines without any applause, to an audience of eager crappies. ŸContact Mike Jackson at, and catch his radio show 6-7 a.m. Sundays on WSBC 1240-AM and live-streamed at

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