Hard to believe 2018 marks 20 years of this website. In the first few years, it wasn't called windycityfishing.com. The site's "title" was Jason's Chicago Area Outdoors and Fishing Page. It was hosted on an AOL members site.
The site all began from an idea after getting lost on my way to Heidecke Lake - a lake I had heard about from various fishing outlets which I just HAD to see for myself. Well, after getting lost several times once down in the area, I finally found the lake and it wasn't what I expected at all. I though, there must be a way to share information about local fishing spots. So I set out to learn some basic HTML and the site was launched, probably in July of 2018.
The early years of the site featured a swinging banner on the main page, and a midi version of The Rolling Stones "Waiting on a Friend" playing in the background. There were about a dozen or so pages of basic information and reports I typed in.
In around 2000, the site moved to geocities (now defunct), before landing at it's current domain of windycityfishing.com in 2001. It was about a year later that I added some off-site message boards.
I'll share more of the history of WCF of some stories throughout this year. I wish I could find all the original files, or that they would even still work, but in the meantime, here's a snapshot of a very early Busse Lake page...https://web.archive.org/web/20040714135050/https://windycityfishing.com:80/busse.htm
And here's a look at the earliest incarnation of the site I could find (from February of 1999)...https://www.web.archive.org/web/19990203005706/http://members.aol.com:80/jay1318/chifish.html
Jason W. Norris
Managing Editor - WindyCityFishing.com