The Chicago River is one of the most overlooked places to fish in the Chicago area. If its a fish fry you are planning, try elsewhere. But if you want to have a shot at some big bass, big crappie, big bluegill, carp, and several other speciaes of fish. Give the Chicago River a try.
The Northshore Channel connects with the North Branch at Foster and continues north along Kedzie/McMormick Blvd., before turning east where it connects with Lake Michigan near the Evanston/Wilmette boarder.
There are many places to fish the Northshore Channel. One of the most popular places is the spillway dam at Foster Ave. This is where the North Branch spills into the Northshore Channel. The whole area has recently been renovated and now includes 2 fishing areas on the western bank. The best spot however (and trespassing is a gray here), is right behind the North Park College football field. It takes a little climbing to get there, but is well worth it. Again, police have thrown people out, but not a day goes by when several dozen anglers might try this spot.
North of Foster, the river travels under several major streets. Almost all of these bridges are great places to fish if you find a way under them. Again, this is a gray area as far as trespassing goes. There are also aeration stations at Devon ave and at Howard street. These are excellent places to catch fish. The Howard street location actually has a couple of warm water discharges that offer fantastic open water fishing year round.
Here's the deal... due to legal issues I'm not saying exactly how to access several great spots. You can always fish the fishing wall at Foster with no hassles. And a new walkway is being built behind Lincoln Village Shopping Center opened in March 2005. What I will say about other spots is simple... driving over any of the bridges, parking nearby, and walking around to see all the beauty, can often reveal a spot that might be "ideal" to fish. And of course, a boat or canoe can access ALL the great spots. Just be careful... there can be some serious boat traffic during the summer and some of these vessels are BIG and go FAST! There are no wake regulations, which is a joke, so BE CAREFUL!
Jason W. Norris
Managing Editor - WindyCityFishing.com